akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 20418 times:
Dear fellow A.netters,
Every time I enter the terminal of Singapore Changi Airport on my return journey, I have a flash back to 1999 when I was on my layover underway from Indonesia to move to Netherlands for good. By that time, I was overcome by the feeling that I was abandoning Indonesia. As fellow A.netter Hannah (Infodesk) has rightly said, I kind of learn to deal with it in course of time.
Welcome to the first part of my trip report series Bye Asia
akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 20630 times:
AT THE AIRPORT
I love Changi ever since I set foot at the airport for the first time when I was six years old. It keeps amazing me on how it manages to maintain the progressive design time after time.
As my partner and I were walking up the passenger bridge, I noticed two gate agents standing on each side of the bridge just before the exit. They were repeatedly asking everyone, “Singapore or Doha?”
Upon mentioning “Doha,” we were handed over a transit card.
I was excited as I went through the exit door. Finally, I made it to the youngest part of Changi, Terminal 3! When we flew in with Qatar two years ago not long after the opening of Terminal 3, we were not allowed to disembark our aircraft during our layover . The local security rules have strikingly been changed.
What immediately caught my attention were the high ceiling and light brown carpet layer with snapped vertical line patterns. Combined with the glass walls separating the corridor and the holding areas, you might just wander and unaware of being inside an airport terminal.
Long corridor along gate A11 and following higher numbered gates
Corridor along our gate A10 towards the shopping arcade
With one and half an hour lay over, we figured out that we had enough time to visit the lounge.
Then, it was another five minute walk. Terminal 3 was deserted during the hours.
Shopping arcade at the end
Unmanned information desk on the right
The shopping arcade was marked with purple glass façade and distinctive ceiling.
Shopping arcade. Note the panel design
Another striking thing I noticed was that the lounge signage indicated the served airlines.
We went upstairs to the SATS Premier Lounge.
SATS Premier Lounge
Then I noticed another feature.
The screen indicated which airline passengers were allowed the entrance at the moment.
Two lounge attendants on duty, Genevieve and Kriziezel, greeted us. Genevieve took our boarding passes and hold it one by one before the scanner. After satisfying ‘blip’ of each, she returned our boarding passes and said, “Have a nice stay with us,”
Kriziezel made a slight bow as we replied, “Thank you,”
As we walked in, I figured out that the lounge was divided in two layers, the covered inner and the open outer layer.
Three compartments could be found here.
At the left compartment , there was a secluded corner with white couches, a magazine rack and a separate coffee corner.
Magazine rack and coffee corner on the right
At the middle compartment, there was a open seating area with dark and light brown couches. This area was equally divided in two by the passage to the outer layer.
Left side with brown couches
Another part on the right was appointed with white couches as well.
View towards the secluded left compartment
The common buffet was located at the right compartment.
The buffet was divided in the wall and table area.
The wall area was mostly used for the bar offering.
Coffee and hot water corner with cookie jars
Assorted instant noodle cups
Triangle sandwiches with smoked turkey, mango muffins and pudding with berry compote
(Non) alcoholic drink cans
Drinking water and apple juice container
Spirits and wines
The warm dishes were served on the table area. It was amazing me how many varieties were still there at the late hours.
Baked fish with Thai spice sauce and fried egg noodle with chicken oyster sauce
Chicken rice and gravy chicken
Assorted bakery and tomato soup container
Again another three compartments could be found here.
At the left compartment , there was a separate corner with self-massaging chairs.
The middle compartment was under divided in the inner part and the outer part.
Magazine racks could be found on the wall side of the inner part.
View to the left
View to the right
The outer part overviewed the lower floor.
The koi pond
The internet kiosk was located at the right compartment.
Internet kiosk. Passage on the right leads to the toilet
We took a table at the outer part. I got myself a dash of vodka and a can of tomato juice from the buffet, while my partner took vodka as well and orange juice instead.
After finishing our drinks, we decided to return to our gate. We thanked Genevieve and Kriziezel and made our way downstairs with a detour along the koi pond.
Koi gathering around oxygen blowing water pomps
Too bad there was no feeding time at that late hours, so we moved on.
Again, it was a five minute walk.
There was considerable queue forming before the security without any separate lane for premium passengers. At that moment, I could not help thinking why no Asian international gateway followed the example of Munich for instance. It would have been less hassle with the security checks before entering the passenger area.
But it was not that bad at the end. The security officials handled the process correctly and efficiently. One of them picked my partner’s glasses when he lost them somewhere after security.
Gate number reminder
The holding area was appointed with sets of six brown upholstered chairs. I did not try it, but it looked more comfortable than the common gate area chairs.
Overview. Note the staircase to the upper passenger bridge at the far end
Date: 19 August 2010
ETD/ATD: 02.25 / 02.15
ETA/ATA: 05.15 / 04.15
Flight number: QR 639
Plane: Boeing 777-3DZER
Delivered: First delivered 29 September 2009
First Officer: Captain Ecuador
akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 20620 times:
There was a new set of flight attendants on duty. South Korean purser Kim greeted us at the door.
“Welcome on board, Sir,” she said as she took our boarding passes. “Your seats are located at the second row on the right,”
As we reached our seats, I immediately noticed the different presentation. A wool blanket wrapped in a plastic bag was placed at each seat bottom. The drink cooler lids remained closed this time.
Our seats 2A and 2B
As I put our hand luggage into the overhead locker, I noticed another feature.
Tiny mirror inside the locker
A leather menu fold containing the meal and beverage list was stored in the arm rest stowage.
Leather menu fold
The beverage list consisted of one champagne, three of each white and red wines and one port.
French’s Chardonnay and New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc
German Riesling and French Merlot dominated wine
Italian Sangiovese and Australian Shiraz
Taylor’s Tawny Port
The meal list consisted of Indulgence and breakfast à la carte menu.
Breakfast à la carte
Chirpy Malaysian flight attendant Wan Leng appeared with pyjamas bags and amenity kits similar to the ones we got on our flight from DOH to Kuala Lumpur.
“Good evening, Sir. My name is Wan Leng. I have the pleasure to present you this pyjamas bag and our amenity kit,” she said while passing the bags to each of us. “I will be here to serve you and make your flight enjoyable. May I offer you our signature drink lemon mint?”
Well, how could we say no as she proposed it in such an enthusiastic way.
Upon saying “Yes, please,”, our glasses of lemon mint were brought immediately.
Refreshing lemon mint
While sipping my lemon mint, I noticed the ex-DPS J passengers returning. Seven new passengers were joining us in SIN.
At 02.05 Captain Ecuador introduced himself on the intercom. “Good evening, this is your captain speaking. On behalf of purser Kim and all remaining cabin crews, I wish to welcome on board of our Qatar flight to Doha. Our flight time will be six hours and forty minutes. If you wish anything to make your journey more comfortable, please contact our cabin crew for assistance. I wish you a pleasant flight,”
Purser Kim soon followed his announcement, “Our customers are on board. We request our ground crews to leave the aircraft,”
FA Qaiyana appeared on our side, “Would you like hot or cold towel?”
“Hot towel, please,”
Wan Leng followed her to take our meal order. “Good evening, Sir. Are you joining us for indulgence?” she asked me.
I was stuffed at the moment, but nevertheless replied, “I will have the pastrami, please,”
“Anything to drink, sir?”
“I will have the Shiraz please,”
She turned to my partner, “How about you, Sir?”
“I will have the Caesar salad and also the Shiraz, please,”
Wan Leng in action
Taxiing and taking off
Push-back commenced at 02.15. The lovely humming of the engines started to fill the cabin. Somehow, I got addicted to the sound.
It was a long taxi as we reached the active runway after fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, I could not take any decent picture out of the window because of the darkness, even after the cabin lights were dimmed.
After a rather long take-off roll, we lifted off at 02.35.
The fasten seatbelt signs were switched off at 02.40. Five minutes later, Wan Leng appeared with our wines and the palate pleaser.
Chili marinated salmon crepe and Shiraz to wash it down
I must say, the strong salmon taste went harmoniously with the sweet chili and the crepe was a nice finishing touch.
After another fifteen minutes, Wan Leng returned to set our table one by one. I got attended first. Firstly, she covered my table with a linen. Secondly, she folded the napkin across and laid it on my lap. Finally, she set mini pepper and salt containers, a dish with red pesto and a water glass.
Due to the flight duration, another serving procedure applied.
“Would you like still or sparkling water?” Wan Leng asked me after having my partner’s table set.
“Still water, please,”
“Certainly. And how about you, Sir?” Wan Leng turned to my partner.
“Also still water, please,”
Wan Leng then brought our meal one by one before pouring the water.
Warm beef pastrami and sauerkraut sandwich
My partner’s Caesar salad with jumbo dill prawns
Wan Leng returned with warm bread baskets. Both my partner and I had to decline it as we were getting full at that stage.
Well, I must say that the combination of pastrami and sauerkraut was marvelous. I enjoyed every single bite of it, but unfortunately I could not finish it off. My partner did finish his and told me that it was enjoyable meal.
Wan Leng appeared on our side, “Have you finished?”
“Yes, it was delicious. But I am full. I just want to get some sleep now,” I replied.
“That is fine, Mr. Akhmad. The breakfast will be served about one hour before we land. Would you like us to wake you up?” Wan Leng asked as she cleared my table.
After putting away the dirty dishes, Wan Leng returned to clear my partner’s table.
“Do you wish anything else?” she asked before leaving.
“Yes, please. Can we have a glass of whisky?” I asked.
“Which whisky do you like?”
“Glenfiddich, please,” my partner said.
“Certainly. May I call you Mr. Akhmad?” Wan Leng surprised me by the question.
“Yes, sure,” I replied and pointed at my partner. “You can do the same to him,”
“Err, can you tell me how to pronounce your name?”
After telling Wan Leng the pronunciation, she said, “I will be practicing to pronounce your name, Sir,”
Our glasses of Glenfiddich were promptly delivered.
“Oh, no nuts, please,” my partner said as Wan Leng returned with two trays of warm nuts.
To get myself ready for sleep, I decided to pay a visit to the same lavatory where I came across the empty champagne bottle during the flight from Denpasar. As it was supposed to be, the lavatory was kept clean and tidy. No empty bottle was sticking out of the waste disposal lid. Couple dental kits and pre-packed combs were available this time.
View on the washbasin
Dental kits and pre-packed combs
As I returned to my seat, bottles of water had been distributed. Mine was placed in the drink cooler.
My water bottle in the drink cooler
I could not remember whether I managed to finish off my Glenfiddich before going to sleep.
Qatar time zone
At 02.40, I got up as I needed to leak. This time I went to the opposite lavatory.
As I was returning to my seat, I met Wan Leng on the aisle.
“Mr. Akhmad, I have put a hot towel for you as we are preparing for breakfast,”
Wan Leng came on our row to take our breakfast order. In the meantime, Kim cleared up the towels.
“Are you joining us for breakfast, Mr. Akhmad?”
“Yes, please. I would like to have the energizer, the smoked cod breakfast and the ricotta, please,”
“Certainly. Do you want anything to drink? Tea or coffee?”
“A double espresso, please,”
“Certainly. And how about you, Mr…..” Wan Leng was trying her best to pronounce my partner’s name.
“Never mind. Thanks for your efforts. I would like to have the orange juice, the tropical fruit and the omelette, please,”
“Certainly. Anything to drink, Sir? Tea or coffee?”
“Coffee with milk, please,”
“No sugar, please,”
Our energizer and orange juice were promptly delivered. The energizer has become my favorite breakfast drink on board of QR.
My partner’s orange juice and my guava, passion fruit and banana energizer on the back
Wan Leng returned to set our table one by one. She was consistent about the procedure. Instead of a dish of pesto, a butter dish and a breakfast bakery basket were presented this time. The bread bowl contained croissant, soft roll, pain au chocolat, white and brown toast.
“Would you like sparkling or still water, Mr. Akhmad?”
“No, thank you,”
“Shall I remove the glass then?”
“That is okay,”
“How about you, Sir? Would you like sparkling or still water?”
“Not for me as well. Thank you,” my partner said.
“That is fine, Sir,” Wan Leng removed my partner’s glass as well.
Wan Leng attended my partner first this time.
Tropical fruit with honey yoghurt
She then came back with my breakfast starter.
Double espresso served with sugar cubes
Smoked cod and salmon breakfast with raspberry vinaigrette dressing
The vinaigrette was simply right to temper the salty cod with the salmon balancing the two.
My partner on the other hand was a little surprised about his meal presentation. He had expected the yoghurt to be served separately in a bowl. Nonetheless, he still enjoyed his.
After we finished our starters, the main course followed up soon.
My partner’s emmenthal cheese omelette with asparagus
I was excited about the QR signature breakfast ricotta hotcakes. However, the maple syrup was already sprinkled on the cakes when Wan Leng brought the dish. Apparently, the maple syrup was not presented separately and poured in front of you like what fellow A.netter SR103 had seen on his flight.
Ricotta hotcakes, raspberries with mascarpone cream and maple syrup
Then I understood why the ricotta hotcakes were lasting on the meal list. At every bite, the cake was melting in your mouth together with the raspberries. The mascarpone and maple syrup were there to tickle your taste bud. Unfortunately, I could not finish it off.
“Are you going to Doha, Mr. Akhmad?” Wan Leng asked as she cleared our table.
“Not really. We have a connecting flight to Munich,”
“I see. Your onward journey should be less than six hours,”
“Thank you for the information,”
After putting away the dirty dishes, Wan Leng returned to our side. “I have some mints for you,”
I got the feeling that my writing was rather incomplete, so I flagged down Kim to provide me the missing details.
“Is that your journal?” Kim asked after answering my questions.
“Yes, it is,”
“Do you work in the travel industry?”
“No, actually it is just a hobby of mine,”
“Oh, that is good,” Kim smiled. “We are going to descend in about thirty minutes and land in Doha in an hour,”
At 03.30, Wan Leng appeared to check our needs, “Shall I get anything to drink for you, Mr. Akhmad?”
“No, thank you. I am fine,”
“How about you, Sir?”
“I am okay,”
“All right, sir,”
At 03.50, an announcement came. “We are starting our descent. Please fasten your seat belt and put your seat in the upright position,”
Cabin lights were switched on including the mood lighting. Hot towels were distributed.
In soft blue
Five minutes later, Kim appeared on our side. “Excuse me, Sir. Are you going to disembark in Doha?”
“No, we are flying onward to Munich,”
“I see. Otherwise I would hand the Fast Track cards over to you,” Kim replied and proceeded to the following passengers.
At 04.00, Wan Leng returned to say goodbye personally to each passenger. “Thank you for flying with us, Mr. Akhmad, Sir. It has been a pleasure to have you on board with us,”
‘What a nice touch,’ I thought.
Then an announcement came, “For the landing preparation, our cabin lights will be dimmed. Cabin crew, please return to your seat,”
View on Doha
After our touch down at 04.10, Kim made a farewell announcement and due to the Holy Month of Ramadan a following notification, “Eating and drinking are prohibited during the day,”
We were docked at 04.15.
After five minutes, we were allowed to disembark through the 2L door. We thanked Kim for the nice flight and made our way to the J bus downstairs.
It looked like that the J passengers were allowed to disembark first as I did not see any further activity from the Y cabin.
A7-BAF from inside the bus
It was a rather long ride as the Premium Terminal was located on the other side of the runway. It should have been an interesting ride but it was just too dark outside to make decent photos.
With the bus transfer, I put an end to the first part of my trip report series.
QR has impressed me again. I never met such a super enthusiastic FA like Wan Leng who was into pleasing her passengers and it showed. The lavatory was kept clean and tidy throughout the flight. Well, I regret a little that I did not pay a further visit to the Y cabin. But that was me.
I hope you enjoy my report so far. Please let me know If you have any advice for a better photo taking during the night. I would be happy to learn it from you.
If you are interested in the previous trips of my summer holiday, please feel free to click on the following links:
Quoting akhmad (Reply 1): There was considerable queue forming before the security without any separate lane for premium passengers. At that moment, I could not help thinking why no Asian international gateway followed the example of Munich for instance. It would have been less hassle with the security checks before entering the passenger area.
But it was not that bad at the end. The security officials handled the process correctly and efficiently. One of them picked my partner%u2019s glasses when he lost them somewhere after security.
We do expect them to handle things efficiently, but I believe SIN does the security check at the gates for some pros that they see.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 2): There was a new set of flight attendants on duty.
This crew pattern on this flight is DOH - SIN:layover:SIN-DPS-SIN:layover:SIN - DOH.
Also seems you arrived an hour early into Doha, increasing an hour of transit time .
Thanks for sharing
A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
AI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 17 Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 19133 times:
Hey Suryo, a great 1st part of the return trip. All of your Asia TR's have been of the best quality. Good to see a few pictures of which lounge QR use in Singapore. Plus I now know not to eat anything as the food offerings are very generous.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 2): Our energizer and orange juice were promptly delivered. The energizer has become my favorite breakfast drink on board of QR.
What is in the energizer drink exactly?
I have to admit that FA Wan Leng sounds like the best FA out there. Very kind, polite and always willing to help and assist in anyway. I think other cabin crew members need to take note.
Rogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1187 posts, RR: 20 Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 19120 times:
Impressed again. Touché!
A great way of flying, nice to see the detail you get into. It never ceases to amuse me the amount of information you gather in every flight and how well you remember the conversations with the crew; do you carry a camera with a recorder?
Nice to see that some airlines still care about passengers' needs and do their jobs proudly.
Thanks once again for brightening up this Sunday afternoon.
Is there going to be a DOH-MUC report?
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
Luftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 988 posts, RR: 2 Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 18541 times:
Another great installment, Suryo! It certainly appears like you had another impressive flight on QR. The whole food looks just so delicious and well-presented, in particular those ricotta hotcakes. I really want to try to make them at home. Why weren't you able to finish yours? Too sweet?
Quoting akhmad (Reply 10): I just wanted to make a surprise. I hope you do not mind.
I don't think anyone would mind seeing more reports from you.
A nice tribute to photograph the FA who provided the service. FAs such as her need to be documented this way. It would hold so much more weight than writing a wonderful memo to Akbar Al Bakar lol.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): Please let me know If you have any advice for a better photo taking during the night. I would be happy to learn it from you.
I'm not sure if you are using the flash, as there are dark shadows on some pics, but I use the overhead reading light to photograph the meals (might need some positioning of the light on the tray), and use no flash, macro and portrait settings. Works all the time, of course except when there is heavy turbulence.
And to Amsterdam. Well, how about DOH-AMS-YYZ with fifth freedom rights?
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15): but then I realised you were given the actual time at the location lol
Well, I find it difficult sometimes to handle with time differences.
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15): A nice tribute to photograph the FA who provided the service. FAs such as her need to be documented this way.
Thanks. Nice to know that.
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15): I'm not sure if you are using the flash, as there are dark shadows on some pics, but I use the overhead reading light to photograph the meals (might need some positioning of the light on the tray), and use no flash, macro and portrait settings. Works all the time, of course except when there is heavy turbulence.
Thanks for your advice. I was not using the flash either. Well, perhaps I should have used our other camera.
Quoting The777Man (Reply 16): Another amazing report by you with fantstic pictures! QR ssems really good and my mouth starts to water with your despritions of the food
Thank you. It has been a pleasure to share my experience with you.
Quoting The777Man (Reply 16): Crew seems excellent which have been the case in my own flights on QR; the crew really makes or break a fligh
Agreed and I am very happy with the consistency of QR on board service.
Thanks again for dropping by and reading my report.
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 16323 times:
Fantastic report and pictures once again, thank you for taking the effort to put everything together. It is great to hear that you got such an attentive service on this flight. Cabin crews can really make the difference for an outstanding overall flight experience.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): Well, I must say that the combination of pastrami and sauerkraut was marvelous.
Sounds interesting enaugh. I always enjoy it when airline caterers try something new that you haven't had before.
airpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 936 posts, RR: 27 Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 16011 times:
Sorry for the late arrival at the party Thanks for another fantastic and comprehensive installment. QR has really shown itself to be not only a good carrier but a consistent one. Service from Wan Leng seemed great. And the meal settings and quality of the meals on QR are really impressive - just love the way it's done so meticulously.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 1): Well, I regret a little that I did not pay a further visit to the Y cabin. But that was me.
You're forgiven... once in a while, you're allowed to just sit back and enjoy the flight
Thanks again for this latest and awaiting your next sector.
infodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1368 posts, RR: 35 Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 15810 times:
Once again a very informative read.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): By that time, I was overcome by the feeling that I was abandoning Indonesia. As fellow A.netter Hannah (Infodesk) has rightly said, I kind of learn to deal with it in course of time.
I'm sure it was worse for you because the distance involved is much greater. And because I can go back and to frequently, you get more used to the farewells.
I love all the detail in your reports, parictularly when it comes to food and the wonderful buffets, whether they're in the lounge or a hotel. Very impressive lounge at SIN. And QR, they just keep delivering the goods. That glass of lemon mint looks tasty - I'm a sucker for anything minty.
What are we all going to do when this series of reports ends?
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1773 posts, RR: 6 Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 15736 times:
Thanks for the report and all the pics. I've done the DOH - SIN leg before in C (lucky with a free upgrade from Y) and the service was OK, but didn't seem as good as yours. Certainly the ground service at DOH is the worst I have ever experienced at any airport.
Interesting to see that the Sats lounge in T3 is way better than the Star Gold / KF Elite Gold next door. What a shame for those who fly SQ in Y and are *A Gold but not PPS.