Docpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3 Posted (13 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2771 times:
Date: 14th Dec
I go to Christchurch, New Zealand, at least twice every three years. SQ and Air NZ jointly market the flight (SQ operates the flight thrice a week and NZ operates it the remaining four days) HOWEVER, They do not have a common pricing structure!! I fail to understand why. Air NZ is cheaper. Therefore, we booked ourselves on Air NZ tickets (NZ 4287 and NZ 4288) on days where the flights were operated by SQ aircraft.
Got to Changi T2 1h 10 mins before departure with mum and a friend. I actually did a phone check-in the day before so we didn't have to appear till 45 minutes before departure We were taking Y class, but with mum being a PPS, we checked in at the Raffles Class queue. Thought it would be quicker, but it was really slow. Looks like being a PPS these days is nothing great huh!
20 minutes before the flight departed, the monitors still read "Gate Open" for our flight. Which meant boarding hadn't commenced yet. Therefore we went to the Silver Kris Lounge for a wee snack. There was some pasta, salads, sandwiches and soups and a wide variety of wines, beers etc. I just had a small tuna sandwich though.
We then made our way to gate E24 (I think) at 2100. We got to the gate at 2104 and apparently we were the third last group of passengers to board.
The aircraft was an A340-300 registration 9V-SJH. It looked pretty new and well kept, with christmas decorations hanging on the walls! Made my way to the emergency exit seats that we had requested. However when I got there, this couple with two screaming babies asked if I was so kind as to give up my seat for them as they needed the basonettte(however you spell that) to put their babies in. Well how could I say no to this perfectly legitimate request?? In the end we sat at 55A and B, and 47H or something.
The seats had this nice designwith those 'wing' supports for the head. Seat pitch was OK too, despite my height.
We were given hot towels just before we departed the gate. The safety video was screened and I'm so familiar with the music in the background of that video I did find myself unconsciously humming to it......(loser....)
Flight time was 9h 20 minutes. We taxied right to the end of runway 02L and the takeoff roll was REALLY long (as I expected on an A340). It was as if we were going to Christchurch by land or something.
After take off, the plane banked right, and we had an excellent view of the whole of Changi Airport. And Singapore as well. Gosh, Singapore's so bloody small! I could see the entire nation from east to west.
Drink service started soon after take-off, with champagne and orange juice being the choice of most passengers. I think most passengers just chose champagne 'cos like, which other airline serves it on Y class?? Menus were handed out as well. It had a very stylish cover with a very 'modern' kind of feel to it.
Dinner consisted of a choice of sweet and sour pork (specially made by the international culinary panel) or something else which I forgot, but was western. Salmon or something. I chose the sweet and sour pork, which wasn't anything to die for but well, it's aircraft food right, what's there to expect?? Mum who chose the other choice said hers was nicer (and that wasn't specially made for me by the international culinary panel, so well, perhaps there isn't a direct corelation between who makes them and how nice they taste?
All this while, the cabin crew were very friendly and polite. They didn't seem stupid and they made quite intelligent polite talk with the rather friendly New Zealand couple in front of us.
Watched a couple of movies on Krisworld. One French movie which involved everyone in the family having a affair with everyone else(like, the mum was having an affair with her teenage daughter's history teacher, who was also having an affair with the teenage daughter herself. And the father was two-timing a man and a woman(who was not his wife) Get the idea?
Watched this Chinese show called Para Para Sakura which I wouldn't have paid $8 to watch in the cinema, so just as well they showed it for free on board. And finally, bits of Rat Race, which was star studded but absolutely stupid.
I must admit that PTVs are a MUST for me when I travel. I absolutely cannot survive a long flight without PTVs, which is how I nearly died of boredom on the Air NZ flight last year which only had a main video screen on board.
Fell asleep for about a couple of hours, intermittently. Our flight path took us out of Singapore over Jakarta, the North west coast of Australia near Port Hedland, the southern part of Northern Territory, northern S. Australia, NSW past Sydney and over the Tasman straight into the west coast of the South Island, over the Southern Alps, Canterbury plains and finally, approach into Christchurch airport.
Halfway above the Tasman sea, about 2 hours before landing, we were served breakfast. It consisted of either noodles or some other western choice(eggs, sausages etc etc the usual stuff) and I chose the noodles. I remember Air New Zealand did not have an Asian selection for breakfast, on the same flight with them last year. I must confess I was too tired to bother or remember whether the food was good. As far as I can remember though, it was fine.
We landed on time at 12.04pm in Christchurch International Airport after 8404km of travelling.
The cabin crew were great and there's on particular one, by the name of Chee Wai Shan (I think) whom I thought was particularly outstanding. So perhaps Singapore_Air might want to write a letter of compliment on my behalf to SIA praising her?? hahaa. The food was better than I expected and the inflight entertainment was superb. I hope the next time I travel this route, it will be on a 772ER with Wiseman!
I really am looking foward to my flight home on new year's day. I'll try post a trip report then.
For those of you who have got this far, well thanks for reading. I'm sorry I don't have all the little details on what planes were parked next to mine and how old the lady on seat 56B was, but hey, I'll try harder next time ok??
Docpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2538 times:
Air NZ 767-300 seats have a wee bit more leg room than Singapore Airlines.
As for food, SIA has champagne on board, as well as nice little touches like the menu, which Air NZ doesn't have. However, I have no complaints against the meals on board the three occasions I've flown with Air NZ
And anyway, credit for the meals should go to the airport catering services right? Christchurch Airport Catering do their meals pretty well, better than Singapore, and a lot of big airports, I must say. Perhaps it's 'cos CHC is a pretty small airport and Singapore is probably the only destination where they have to cook up so many meals. I've enjoyed the meals from Christchurch airport, whether or not it's SIA or Air NZ. Though Air NZ might score more points if they had an Asian selection for breakfast.
In 1998, Air NZ served ice cream on board the CHC-SIN sector halfway through the flight. However, they didn't have that last year. Also in 1998, between lunch and dinner on NZ26, they kept on coming out with tidbits, orange juice and things like that.....but in 1999, they only had water every hour or so.
As for service, New Zealanders are one of the warmest people I know and Air NZ cabin crew are no different. There was this Asian one, though, who was particularly rude to me when I asked for a second helping for dinner and he just bluntly said "No" and walked off. I'm sure that's just a one-off incident too, I've had rude cabin crew on SQ as well.
SQ cabin crew are nice, prompt, efficient and friendly too. The only difference is that is absolutely NOT a reflection of Singapore. Customer service in Singapore is absolutely non existant. And also, SQ cabin crew look much better than NZ ones (the female ones). Well, I suppose that's because you have much stronger anti- discriminatory laws in NZ...(But that's another story altogether though. Personally I don't mind the nice slender FAs but how the unions tolerate it, I don't know!)
Also, the 767-300 takes nearly an hour longer to get to SIN than the A340. I thought the A340 was a slow aircraft, but whenever I take the A340 home, the flight time is 9h45 minutes and the 767-300 takes 10h45 minutes. Anyone care to enlighten me on this?
AirNewZealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2549 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2487 times:
Thanks for that...Just to give you a few updates on AirNZ...
AirNZ now offers Menus, and new drink/snack features during the flight. This has been outlined and started at the middle of this year!!
Hope that helps...
PS: AirNZ are stingey with there Fuel....hahaha...nah, it maybe a different flight path you took??
JSC_23 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2441 times:
Ahhhhhhh...brings back some great memories...I'm from Christchurch and flew the same flights except leaving CHC-SIN (for London) in April 2001....although I think they have changed the times as we departed at about 0005 or something like that.
What a great report....I can almost smell those lovely smells and hear those sounds of the A340 "Celestar".
What did you think of the A340? Compared to the 747 as a long haul aircraft they are quite small did you find that?