kulatict From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 119 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 11313 times:
This is the recent trip i took on SQ & CO from ICT to KUL via IAH, DME, SIN. This is also my 3rd trip report ever and my first picture post
the last time i went back to Malaysia to see my parents were in 2008. They came to ICT to attend my MBA graduation in 2009 and now its time to make the trip to see them during the Chinese New Year.
my preference is to fly with SQ or CX and the travel agent quoted me approx 1400usd on CX flying on 773ER. However, the bad experiences my friends with CX's hard shell sliding Y seay and my own experience on these seats during my last trip in 2008 from HKG - KUL A330. i decided to try SQ instead but the travel agent couldn't find the SQ flights of IAH - SIN on the date i wanted (despite reading on Airliners.net that SQ 61/62 is daily), instead she quoted me via HKG & SFO instead with B747 and with 4 stops on ICT-KUL, vice versa. I really wanted to try 773ER....so.....
i tried calling SQ directly and hoped to get to try A380 instead. However, the reservation staff could never able to understand what i requested so i decided to go back the route via US instead. That is not an easy matter as well as the SQ's agent keep saying ICT is not their destination and i had to tell them to look at UA or CO's flight and they insist on telling me which SQ destination to conenct to...with that frustrating experience, i'm trying online
after scouting several websites, i managed to book the SQ61/62 via IAH & DME for about 1500usd. the reason i picked SQ61/62 is due to the timing on arrival and departure, and the 'exotic' DME...after all, it gets old to transit HKG and NRT even though they are great airports
in the weeks prior to departure, i found that SQ's website on selecting seat is pretty much useless as it only allowed to purchase "priority seating" which is on the exit row for 50 dollar each segment. tried calling SQ's agent but none of them able to do much besides requesting aisle seat and unable to let me know the seat number until 48 hours before departure. even if they're able to tell me my seat (40C) at 24 hours prior, when i checked in that's not the case
Jan 12 2011
CO 2620 (code share as UA 4292)
ICT - IAH
seat: 2A (gate 3)
flight time: 1hr 40 mins
in the past week, ICT had some snow on the weekend and the morning was about 8F, so i bundled up and asked my friend with SUV to pick me up. at the airport, there're some crowd but the CO counter was empty. it was manned by an older AA agent, which is my worst nightmare came true as when my friends checked in last year, he caused them so much grief of overweight bags (even just 0.7lb over). So, true to his nature, he caused me lots of grief when my bags came in 58 and 52lbs. So i had to open the bags, moved some stuff to my hand luggage and removed other stuff and had my friends bring them back sicne most of the stuff belongs to my friends who asked me bring them back to KL on their behalf. and another horror is; the SQ seat to SIN was 51C, instead of 40C as promised, which im fumed since its way back in the plane and the folks in ICT can;t do anything about. of course, they can;'t print the boarding pass for Silk Air's SIN - KUL.
with all said and done, the security check and boarding was without incident. the flight left the gate pretty on time.
while taxing, this little guy seemed stuck on the runway... trying to warm up perhaps?
the taxing took some pretty unusual route (at least to me). the place taxied all the way to the southwest corner of the airport (along K42 or Cessna plant for those familiar with Wichita) and made a turn to take off from the runway
everything is so white in the airport's perimeter
the learjet plant next to the airport
westside wichita neighborhood
the warren theater at the W21st street with the allegedly world largest IMAX
east side wichita and the Wichita State U campus
the US54/400 & I 135 intersection
the huge McConell AFB runway and the Spirit plant adjacent
outskirt of Houston
downtown Houston hiding in a cloud of haze
landed..you can tell this is CO's land
the flight was uneventful and the CO/ expressjet FA with a little texan twang served us well and offered drink and gave me 2 packs of mini pretzels (even though i'm no fan of pretzels), in addition, i also made sure that i picked up a good copy of the final edition of Continental magazine
while the plane was approaching the terminal, the flight attendant suddenly screamed 'sit down, you need to sit down' and then used the inercom saying "you need to keep him seated"..apprently one of the jr flyer getting a bit restless (or too excited) that he got up a tad too early
once i deplaned and took the 'train' from terminal B to terminal D/E, i grabbed some quick lunch and tried in vain to get some free wireless in the terminal. First i sat at the bridge in bwteen D & E but the signal from President Room keep quitting and finally i got the free 20 mins by clicking on the promotional video thing...ah, at least im connected. after a while, its time to venture around the terminals and txting the bf
Terminal D's check in area
the SQ 777-300ER that will be my 'home' for the next 25 hours or so
the counter was staffed with 2 very polite and courteous staff and managed to get me my boarding pass to Silkair and i requested the seat change but the flight was full, oh well....
the folks waiting at the gate area, presumably my 'roommates' for the next 11-25 hours
the lovely BA 744 waiting patiently at D9 to go across the pond to LHR with the Oneworld paintscheme... this pic ended as my facebook profile pic for about 3 weeks
another angle of the queen of the sky
while waiting, the KLM flight to AMS was departing and the gate agents made no less than 20 final boarding calls and passenger names and at the last minute, people were running to the gate with bags in tow ...
the scheduled borading was 330pm but as the time getting closer to boarding, the gate got filled up quickly and most of them are Vietnamese and Russians... once borading announcements were made at 4pm, people started gathering and lining up and the agent made boarding process orderly by the row numbers.
once our boarding pass was collected, we were met with some scary/angry looking homeland security personnel stopping us to ask how much money we're carrying. the Vietnmese couple in front of me got into trouble when the wife said 10k and the husband said 8k and then they can't get their figure right. with that, the boarding process got slowed and the couple got pulled aside eventually while i marched on since i'm just a poor fellow with little cash on me
once boarded, we're welcomed by throngs of Singapore Girls wishing us aboard and the biege-ish seats
the 'giant' screen (at least for Y class ) and the Singapore Girl that worked on my row
the pillows & blanket as designed by Givency but really worn and the seats next to mine
time to explore the lavatory...notice the step pedal to open the trash compartment, GREAT idea since i hate touching the trash lid... yup, a card carrying OCD freak
as the plane filling up, my seat mates, an elderly Vietnamese couple took their seat and we didn;t make any conversation until an hour from SIN, they were going to Vietnam (obviously)
A family of 3 behind me wanted all 3 sat at same row and not across aisle cuz the parents wanted to take care a 5/6 year old child..the dad complaint to lead stewardess, she brought the station managershiftly and the station manager told him to take the next day’s flight as the flight was full and he refused. The disgruntled passenger then asked lead stewardess to talk to a higher up and she said he’s the station manager and the top guy in Houston. once we're airborne, she eventually found a lady with an empty seat next to her at the starboard side of the plane and moved the wife and kid there...problem solved and no kicking child behind me
the flight indeed looked full in Y, looked like full in C & F (messy cabin while disembarking).as a result, passenger having trouble finding overhead space. The couple with money problem and stopped by the Homeland Security was among the last on board.
as many of the passengers were elderly Vietnamese passengers, most of them spole little english so that made the cabin crew job difficult as they just not understand the crew's intructions to keep the seat up-right, tray table stowed and the foot-rest stowed (the foot-rest is a major hit, they elderly likes to try them)..in that case, the Singapore girls had to squat down to stow them themselves, and reached over to press the button keep the seat upright during take off (and landing later)... these Singapore Girls put the Air China f.a.(on my flight to China on mid feb ) to shame on all these pre-flight/landing checks (i'm planning to write a trip report bout that trip once im finished with this )....
anyway, back to this flight...once airborne, the cabin crew then distributed the menu and the hot towel...some passengers used them to wipe the tray tables which made me think twice to wipe my face on the DME - SIN leg. My best friend who was a former Singapore Girl later told me that when she worked on India flights, they used the wet towels to wipe their feet... eeeccckkk
airshow..barely scratching the surface :~
oh boy, we got a long way to go
about an hour after we departed, its dinner time...i picked the chicken, which taste good
some crucial 'stats' right after dinner
flying right above the border of USA and Canada
during the flight, i had to try out the Krisworld and watched the Social Network for the first time...yup its a great movie, to paraphase one of my facebook friend, i feel dirty when i'm on facebook...later i listened to the new (at least to me) album of HK superstar jacky cheung and some other hits of UK
with my noice cancelling headphone, the roaring GE90 engines were muted somewhat and tried to take some sleep but unfortunately, being a light sleeper, whenever im about to be asleep my seatmates wanted to get out to go to lav, which totally disrupted my sleep...urrggghhhhh
above the land of IKEA..close enough
looks like either we took off again in the middle of atlantic in between Greenland & iceland or the GPS lost signal there
Houston to Scandinavia is only 1200 miles?
2 hour before landing, we were served a 'before landing meal"..i picked the moddle, yummy
the russian sky is covered with clouds
view from the rear
a short while later, we landed at DME and there're snow on the ground and Transero planes were scattered all over the airport among some exotic russian-built birds and some abandoned old birds...
we taxied for a little while and stopped to wait for the Transaero 777-200ER to clear the gate for us.... after approximately 10 minutes, we're docked and i'm off to an 'exotic' airport..but nothing could prepare any of us on what would happen there in less than 2 weeks time....
hope you're enjoying the 'ride' so far
DME - SIN - KUL... to be continued
SIN7 From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 168 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 10902 times:
Wonderful pics of the cabin and snow covered mainland. How I miss it.
Hope had a wondeful CNY back in Malaysia.
Quoting kulatict (Thread starter): Singapore Girls put the Air China f.a.(on my flight to China on mid feb ) to shame on all these pre-flight/landing checks
That's what I notice on MH and TG f.a. too. They are quite patient with these kind of pax.
You’re right, the Chinese f.a. don’t give a damn to their own local pax. I’ve heard f.a. yelling, shouting and commanding at them. I’ve also seen Pakistan f.a. doing like so.
kulatict From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 119 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9402 times:
thanks all of your encouraging comments. the following is the DME-SIN leg and SIN - KUL sector...
Once our flight has landed, the cabin crew made the obligatory announcements about weather and local time but she announced that the temperature at Moscow at -5C and -23F. Someone must have corrected her but when she remake the announcement, she made the same error and only 3rd time the charm that she correctly announced that its 23F.
After a pretty smooth sailing 11hr 25 min flight, everyone made the beeline out of the aircraft. About 20% (a mere guesstimate ) of the y class passenger would not continue to SIN and dissembarked at DME..as the transit passengers like me received a transit card on a hallway right after exiting the airplane from the very cold (attitude wise) ground staff (presumably Transaero staff)...i asked them what time is the boarding and the russian lady just coldly replied 'watch the screen"...oh well....
as we made the twist and turns and escalator towards the upper level, we were greeted by some papersign saying SQ 61 to SIN and some arrows pointing where we should go...and there we went and into a long lines of passengers in front of the 'forms' stands adjacent to the immigration area. there were 100-150 peolple in front of me and we all had to pass through a check desk manned by a SINGLE ground staff while there were additional 4/5 staff standing at the desk looking 'pretty'...so, 45 minutes went by and the screen shows that its the schedule boarding time...as i passed through the desk, all they had done is to write down the "sequence number" on a sheet of paper..glancing over, i'm number 155 (if my memory is right)....
once that part is over, we;re welcomed by 2 lines of hand luggage and x-ray machines. As i walk through the x-ray machine, one of the female russian screener got 'excited' and started grabbing my hand luggage and signaled another female colleague over..i was like "great, now they're going to open the bag up...."...well, turns out, she got excited over my Mike Wazowski key chain on my bag (the one eye monster of Monster's Inc) and the other screener had a Sponge Bob Square Pant key chain and she mentioned that mine are the big brother of hers.... OK....once that commotion died down, i quickly sprint to the gate....
the departure gate/shopping area of DME
at the gate, despite 10 minutes past boarding, we're still waiting...At gate 11, at most 70 seats were available for for plane almost 300 passengers... Everyone standing around waiting. Scheduled boarding 205pm. Agent made announcement many times looking for passenger but no response. Everyone else sitting on the floor in front of duty free shop....
At 255pm, male agent announced boarding begin for F & C , NOT via intercom, instead speaking with with voice.... Everyone start fighting to board and chaos ensued and finally a recorded message in Russian and English used to announce boarding, F & C, elderly and then a minute later, the recorded message announced ALL economy ready to board, a mad dash to the gate, as expected... how organized and systematic....
the same bird taking us to SIN and an Emirate's tail kinda popping into the picture
the forward section Y class
my home again for the next 10 hours
a CX A340 just arrived...while a Transaero 757 (?) is being towed...
a new sets of Singapore Girl helping the passenger to settle in
the Singapore Girl making her magic to keep the bags in place
a Swiss airbus is making its way into the gate while a Transero 747 in the distance resting on the remote stand
after about 45 mins past departure time, we finally pushed back...only to be stopped for some serious deicing that lasted some 30 mins+ and we didn't start rushing down the runway until 445pm
onboard, we're treated by the same hot towel and peanuts and a round of drink and meal started about 1.5 hours after departure...i selected the curry chicken, also yummy
on this leg, i continued the krisworld experience and watched the Wall Street 2, without all the cheesy 80s fashion and brick-sized cell-phones ...after i got bored with the songs i selected, its time to document the air-show
about halfway off afghanistan
mid flight snack, which the cabin crew made several rounds offering, along with juice and water..a tad dry but as expected
as we're getting closer to SIN, looking at the arrival time at SIN made me worried about my connecting flight to KUL. i approached a cabin crew and later to a lead stewardess to voice my concern and see if there's anyway i can out first and she assured me that the ground staff would book me to the next flight if i missed since they are awared that we'll be late...i also requested some playing cards and postcards for my collection
while i was stratching my legs at the rear, some crew were shuffling in-out from the crew bunker and they kept the door opened long enough for me to catch a glimpse...whenever there're people around the galley area, the crew working in the galley would pop his/her head out making sure we're not wanting anything...how pampered
getting really close now, about 2 hours to go..at the turbulence 'hot spot' bay of bengal
we've gone a long way...
the breakfast...taste pretty good...looking forward to the catering ex-SIN
throughout the flight (all the way from IAH), we were given real metal cutlery and a russian guy across the aisle commented how SQ use real knive...bravo
soothing lightning while perparing for landing
we're so close , so close...
a bit south of my hometown...the label Kuala Lumpur Subang Intl Aiport is wrong at the wrong location i think
the graceful and elegant Singapore Girl making sure we're well behaved and kept the seat upright, tray table stowed and all the good stuff...
soon we're landed and with only 10 mintues connection, i knew there's no way in hell i could make it...i guess too bad since i wanna try Silkair.... once the plane is connected to the jet bridge, we made a bee line out of the plane but of course, being at the end of the plane and lots of slow moving and tonnes of hand luggage passengers, its no easy task to rush....
we were greeted by several ground staff screaming at the top of their lung "Kuala Lumpur" "Sydney" etc and we who missed the flight were directed to a makeshift ticketing counter right infront of the gate (on T3, too rushed to marked which gate...oops), i grabbed my boarding pass on SQ106 departing 830am and i asked for a phone card but they directed me to a 'real' transfer counter, so off i went running like an idiot so i could catch my parents before they left the house to head to KLIA...at the counter, a friendly abiet a tad slow moving staff greeted me and gave me a 5 dollar singapore phone card and 5-10 minutes later, im on the pay phone telling my parents of my new arrival time and i used a portion of it calling the bf back in wichita telling him the hardest part of the flight is over...
off to some airport sight seeing..... the shiny airy nicely built Changi Terminal 3
the B1-B4 lounges where some SQ A380s are being boarded but too many glass in between to snap the whalejet ...
the 'forest' at T-3..didn't even notice the white tiger until i uploaded the pic to facebook
after a brief train ride to T2, its the duty free area...despite the early 7am-ish, there're quite some crowds around there
the 'forest' at the T2 area...
after struggling to find the gate, in fact, i was being an idiot and missed the sign to the gate, i managed to locate the gate to my short hop to KUL and the B772 is waiting to take me home...
when i arrived at the gate holding area, there're 100+ passenger in the room waiting, so, its a pretty decent load for such a large plane and frequent shuttles.. after waited for 15-20 minutes, boarding announcement is made and by row number..THE way to do it
SIN - KUL
gate F40 (can't find the boarding pass... ...)
while at the jet bridge, i saw the chief stewardess (in red kebaya sarung) arranging the strait times.. i read recently how the singaporeans demand the strait times, i guess thats true
once at my seat, met with some friendly Singapore Girl and a steward with a wacky hairdo... the flight was about 75% full at least in my cabin around the wing where at least 6 out of 9 seats are taken on each row.. there're quite a number of caucasian and japanese passengers on this flight
the old school PTV on the 772, how teeny compared to the ones on 773ER
during the short hop, the crew made a drink round and before long, its time for landing...
once the palm trees are visible, its almost home and the long trip from ICT about 30 minutes came to a smooth ending.
on KLIA, there's not much actions except 4 MH 747-400 are various baby MH boeings... after some duty free shopping and took the bus to the main terminal (the train is under repair), used the automatic passport gate and the bags already waiting for me on the carousel...the bags arrived unscatched and walked straight out to the the arrival area (the custom personnel, as usual, just sitting there and not doing anything)... my parents welcomed me with a huge grin..
jetblue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1440 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8456 times:
Great report! I've always been curious about SQ's IAH-DME-SIN flight. And quite a long track you went through!
And I love SQ's Y class, it looks so comfortable and the colors are really good. Catering, as usual, is great as expected. Would love to try SQ's IAH-DME-SIN one day (We travel to MNL every year from JFK) Maybe we could do JFK-IAH-DME-SIN-MNL!
kulatict From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 119 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8272 times:
thanks for all your comments so far...
Quoting MH017 (Reply 8): Your Transaero 757 (?) is, actually, a TU-204, the russian copy of the 757
have to give it to MH017 to be able to tell which plane is that...i was peeking through the teeny window off the rear galley...
the DME airport exterior was pretty dated, but at least its 'a little bit' more modern looking inside...
Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 7): Would love to try SQ's IAH-DME-SIN one day (We travel to MNL every year from JFK) Maybe we could do JFK-IAH-DME-SIN-MNL!
the reason i took this route besides wanted to try the 777-300ER of SQ and to a small extent to explore 'exotic' DME, going via LAX, SFO or JFK would add another stop (4) to the trip...i'd rather stay in the air a little longer than to wander the various airports, at least i'm going somewhere in the air... as for this routing, the 1.5 hour transit is a recipe for delays, esp from IAH and during the winter months. the sheer inefficiency of the DME ground personnel, the long deicing process, and the delay off IAH because of the homeland security questioning...considering myself lucky that MH/SQ/Silkair have a shuttle like operations to KUL every 1.5 hour so i was able to be rebooked to a next flight...
will share some afterthoughts later and the next trip report should be my Air China to PEK and return from Taiyuan-PEK-KUL... that one is not pretty (of CA)...
kulatict From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 119 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7784 times:
sorry for splitting the trip report 3 parts, internet being slow so had to stop by at mum's business for faster connection & can't be online for too long each time
- boarding process: it was painless, efficient and orderly at SIN & IAH (even though uncle sam slowed us down), DME on the otherhand was a total chaos. so it depends on who's handling the boarding, hardly SQ's fault
- service: the Singapore Girls delivered excellent service with grace and patience. the service level was really consistent and i can't notice any difference in terms of service level even though IAH-DME & DME-SIN are seperate crew members. the singapore girls are not as robotic as most claimed . the 'junior' ones did not display much emotion/personality like the flight attendants in the america whereas the more 'senior' ones in my flights (the green kebaya lead) dropped a hint or 2 of sass every so often made it more personable, i guess experience matters. i found singapore girls in general half notch better than CX, may be the cultural relevance of iconic sarung kebaya gave more personal vibe and less business like
- the food: nice portion and taste great considering they are catered in IAH & DME, looking forward to the SIN catered. Bonus points for real metal cutlery
snapshots of menu & other 'collectibles'
inflight comfort kit, much better presentation than the horrid maroon colored ones in a zip-lock bag in the older days
Silverkris magazine & the postcards
the Continental magazine, might be the last one published
OK, that's all for this trip, now getting ready for the next trip report
777MAS From Malaysia, joined Sep 2003, 197 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7296 times:
Quoting kulatict (Reply 10): the cabin crew then distributed the menu and the hot towel
Thanks for sharing. Menu, hot towels, metal cutlery, comfort kit, ahhhhh, reading your post, I was transported back to an era when long haul flying was a whole lot more "rewarding". Flew on a 14.5-hour UA flight (B744) from SFO and HKG quite recently, and there was none of these little extras that spice up the experience!
Maybe this can't be done at "smaller" airports. In my case, I checked in at San Diego, and UA was able to issue the BPs as well as check in my baggage all the way to Kota Kinabalu (BKI) i.e. SAN - SFO - HKG - SIN - BKI, with SIN/BKI on Silkair.
kulatict From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 119 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6719 times:
Quoting 777MAS (Reply 11): Thanks for sharing. Menu, hot towels, metal cutlery, comfort kit, ahhhhh, reading your post, I was transported back to an era when long haul flying was a whole lot more "rewarding
hi 777MAS, indeed, those little effort makes the experience much more special..i don;t remember CX offering hot cotton towel..if not mistaken, just some wet-wipes....though CX's amenity kit is a notch better than SQ's
the check-in process may also have to do with the check-in desk's system too. since we're using AA's to check in for us and they pretty much used a kiosk to check us in for the CO flight in ICT...when i flew CX & AA a few years ago, AA can;t offer CX's boarding pass despite being in the same alliance but a they're able to print SQ's boarding pass when i took the another flight....but of course, all these were circa 2004-2007...
OP3000 From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 1678 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6452 times:
Quoting kaitak (Reply 5): Do you know why the TSA was asking pax about how much money they were carrying? Why did they need to know this?
Those customs agents target go to the jet-bridge checks for certain flights, depending on whether they think a certain kind of activity is more likely. Money laundering in this case, illegal aliens in others, in some cases substances or materials, and sometimes all of the above.