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Budget Vs Business To Boracay (TR, 5J, 2P, SQ)  
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11887 times:

I had just returned from a short trip to the beautiful Philippine island of Boracay over the Labour Day weekend, with a couple of days stop-over in Manila. This trip was booked on 4 different airlines, namely Tiger, Cebu Pacific, Airphil Express and SQ. My return flight on SQ was initially redeemed in Economy but with SQ's recent promo in J class, I immediately cancelled my Economy ticket and redeemed Business class instead for less miles! So on to my report:

First flight would be the typical Tiger flight to Manila. The flight was S$140 including baggage fee and taxes. Nothing much to report as it was an overnight flight and I was already dead tired from a full day of work. So lets just view the photos.

28 April 2011
Tiger Airways
TR 2728
Singapore (SIN) - Manila (MNL)
A320
9V-TAV
Budget Class


Typical budget airline Boarding pass aka "supermarket receipt"


Boarding 9V-TAV. The plane is barely 3 weeks old!!
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5106/5690755402_7b9163a54d_b.jpg

Pack of Tigers returned to base and resting for the night.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5310/5690179409_7de18ec12c_b.jpg

Look at how clean the exterior of the brand new plane is!
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5226/5690755584_c096aeed03_b.jpg

Boarding in process with crew explaining emergency procedures to pax at emex row. There were 4 crew on board (3 female, 1 male). Interestingly, 1 female crew is a Korean. It seems that Tiger has quite a number of Korean crew! Tiger has also fitted their newer A320s with black leather seats (similar to Air Asia) instead of clothed seats. The recline however was still pretty good. Cabin still smelt new and is very clean! Flight was about 75% full and flight time was announced to be 3hrs10min at 37K feet.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5029/5690755668_5c5627fd61_b.jpg

Legroom is tight (as expected) but seat recline is better than other budget airlines. Luckily the pax in front did not recline her seat into me or it would be a very uncomfortable flight!


Inflight mag, BOB menu and safety card.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5190/5690757000_7035c44b36_b.jpg

Cabin view after takeoff.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5028/5690758932_d2a53d6ed0_b.jpg

Crew performing buy-on-board service. Hot meals were available for purchase too. Not many takers on this late night flight.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5270/5690181771_0097147290_b.jpg

Lets take a look at the BOB menu.


Not much choices though...
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5061/5690758074_41ded2e0af_b.jpg

Midflight, with most pax sleeping.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5301/5690758218_44ae486195_b.jpg

Landed in Manila T1 15min early! Overall a smooth flight. No complaints.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5150/5690182467_6ce0824c90_b.jpg

SQ bird night-stopping.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5229/5690182537_7d8cd314e9_b.jpg

JAL B763 in new "old" livery
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5102/5690758606_2730f59a10_b.jpg

Arrival airport internal shuttle pick-up point. I would be transferring to T3 for my Cebu Pacific flight.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5181/5690759204_2af07f74bf_b.jpg


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 11824 times:

The free shuttle bus ride from T1 to T3 took about 15min, making stops at T2(PR Terminal) and T4 (Domestic Terminal). Most passengers on the shuttle bus were transferring to T3 for Cebu Pacific flights, including quite a number on my Tiger flight. T3 was a complete contrast to T1, new and felt a bit like Bangkok's Sumbvarnabumi, but a bit sterile. Half the terminal was still closed off (with the only International airline being ANA) with the other half operating Cebu Pacific(5J) and Airphil Express(2P) flights. 5J was the major carrier though with long queues at the check-in counters.

Terminal 3 5J morning peak
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5142/5694052120_1ffd7eb718_b.jpg

Common check-in for 5J domestic flights. Quite a long wait even with all counter opened. Check-in agents were all sweet young things (no one above the age of 40 in sight at the check-in desks) and all seemed happy performing their duties.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5268/5693480647_9bbd88c9e4_b.jpg

Receipt type boarding pass again.


I proceeded to explore the terminal after check-in. Not much facilities except for some eateries at the public area. The other other international airline, ANA, is also beginning its check-in process.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5028/5693480849_fee62694fb_b.jpg

One interesting thing observed: All passengers on flights to Caticlan have to go to the Body Weight counter before proceeding through security. There, agent will weight each passenger together with their hand luggage. This is due to the extremely short runway in Caticlan (only about 900m) and so aircrafts takeoff/landing there are severely weight restricted, which means calculating the exact weight of the plane is extremely crucial for a safe takeoff or landing. Check-in bags on Caticlan flights were also restricted to 10kgs and handcarry luggage at 5kgs.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5229/5694052402_111e327ee9_b.jpg

After this, I went to pay my 200pesos terminal charge (no airport tax included in tickets from Philippines) and through security. Security checks are done my gender, with each line specified for either males or females. Shoes have to be put through the xray machines too!!

Inside the departure area, the facilities are quite basic. Majority of the terminal remained closed though.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5025/5693481111_f2a436bf03_b.jpg

The 2 airlines operating from T3. Have a fun flight, everyone.


As we were flying turboprops, our plane would be parked at the remote stand. And so, the departure gate was a bus gate. Several other flights were also departing from the bus gates.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5146/5694052688_0128f722a1_b.jpg

28 April 2011
Cebu Pacific
5J 895
Manila (MNL) - Caticlan (MPH)
ATR72
RP-C7257
Budget Class


My 5J flight to Caticlan was only about S$70, which was relatively cheap considering how airlines normally charged astronomically high prices to Caticlan. Boarding was announced right on schedule. We were ferried by bus to our ATR72 aircraft parked on the tarmac with other props. Most passengers were also beach goers to Boracay
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5269/5693481355_8486a5cf91_b.jpg

Boarding the ATR72.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5185/5693481421_87e0977e47_b.jpg

We received a friendly welcome by a crew at the door and proceeded to our seats. There was another crew member at the front of the plane assisting in the boarding process.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5108/5693481501_e205aa5aa8_b.jpg

Cabin still being boarded.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5188/5694055194_e4159c18f5_b.jpg

One of the aspects of 5J being a "fun" airline, pop songs were playing during the whole boarding process. Everyone were in a relaxed mood and some kids were even singing with the songs!
Katy Perry's Fireworks being played!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-h23pyO5wk


One of the 2 well-groomed and friendly crew.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5267/5694055106_eefe0f8eac_b.jpg

Seat pitch is reasonable. Slightly better than the earlier Tiger flight. But the leather upholstery looked quite worn.


At the stand with 2P planes beside. I would be flying the albino 2P Dash8 when returning!
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5141/5694053086_c18c96e0b7_b.jpg

Safety card.


With inflight mag and airsick bag.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5230/5693481899_1b6883747e_b.jpg

A 5J A320 taxied past behind.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5308/5693481961_cd9e909cf8_b.jpg

Boarding was completed on time and the flight was totally full!! Flight time was announced to be 1hr. Crew then did a live safety demo. No dancing though, haha.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulqdSZC7cso


Engines started up and our ATR72 taxied to Rwy13 (the shorter of the 2 MNL runways) for takeoff.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5223/5694053512_6c7a0a3c5f_b.jpg

5J ATR72 and 2P DH8-400
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5104/5693482095_d8ea37e023_b.jpg

The taxi, though only a short distance, took quite a while as many planes were queuing for takeoff. We passed the domestic terminal, T4, which is right at the end of Rwy13. Lots of Zest Air planes parked there too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtUXnV5oU3A


Holding at the start of Rwy13.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5150/5694055028_942f3e4cfe_b.jpg


Takeoff to Boracay!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgR94Jjkryc


Making a right turn.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5188/5694053740_69f21ec10b_b.jpg

Over southern suburbs of Manila.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5143/5694053884_5a89daa721_b.jpg

Into the clouds.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5030/5694054964_c12533e0a7_b.jpg

Shortly after takeoff, seatbelt signs were turned of and service started. It was a great sunny day for flying with hardly any turbulence!

Second point why 5J is a "fun" airline, the crew started playing a game with the pax!! The crew announced that they would name some items and the first pax to raise up the item would get a prize, which is a 5J toiletries-type bag. 3 prizes were given out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y30ZpOu9YHQ


Following the game, the crew came down the aisle with 5J collectible items for sale. No offers of any BOB food/drinks though. I just while the flight away staring out at the window and catching a short nap.

Cabin view inflight. Note the 2 rear-facing passenger seats right at the front?
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5143/5693482481_d79cea3f4a_b.jpg

Nice blue skies.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5263/5693482561_e24a153d3e_b.jpg

Over some clouds, but flight was still smooth.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5225/5693482645_d982daec99_b.jpg

Some Philippine islands in the middle of the open sea.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5021/5693482739_c58b5895bf_b.jpg

We soon started a steep descent into Caticlan. The approach into Caticlan was spectacular!!

Flaps down and approaching back to the coast.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5188/5693482815_bc44a59b24_b.jpg

Flying beside hills.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5066/5694054228_f050d5a1df_b.jpg

Passing a small seaside town.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5148/5693482999_da72df209d_b.jpg

The landing to Caticlan was amzing! Beautiful scenery before touchdown and hard braking on the short 900m runway! A few aircrafts had either landed short or overrun the runway in the past. Watch the video for the landing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RsDSfu4mGg


Parked at the tarmac, with the 2P albino prop just landed after us.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5027/5694054436_90e87d0b53_b.jpg

Albino prop parked beside us. I think the tarmac can only allow a maximum of 4 planes to be parked.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5182/5693483573_2f7ae18014_b.jpg

Disembarking.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5228/5694054542_0901772b97_b.jpg

Last look at the ATR72. Baggage being unloaded.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5303/5693483357_decf753f6c_b.jpg

The arrival "hall" is just a sheltered shed. Passengers will wait there for their check-in bags to be delivered directly to them from the plane on carts.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5030/5693483475_fd4a8bf20e_b.jpg

Overall a short and interesting flight on Cebu Pacific. Not much service except for the inflight "entertainment" but this is expected for the budget airline. Start of my beach retreat!



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 11704 times:

Scenes of Boracay!
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/221606_10150188922744017_556614016_7075389_5955697_n.jpg

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineAirbusa322 From Australia, joined Apr 2009, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11342 times:

Nice new leather seats on Tiger! Looking forward to seeing these soon on Tiger Aussie A320s!

User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 11225 times:

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
I had just returned from a short trip to the beautiful Philippine island of Boracay over the Labour Day weekend, with a couple of days stop-over in Manila. This trip was booked on 4 different airlines, namely Tiger, Cebu Pacific, Airphil Express and SQ.



Hi, great to read! But sad to see that you wasn't flying SEAIR- according to their timetable, DG is using even a LET410 to Boracay.   


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter Ho

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
First flight would be the typical Tiger flight to Manila. The flight was S$140 including baggage fee and taxes.



I will be flying TIGER Singapore soon, but their web-page is only offering a "FAQ"-section for TIGER AUSTRALIA...  
So, if you have pre-selected baggage, do you still have to pay for check-in (according to TIGER only web check-in is FOC). Also, does the ticket already include the Singapore airport tax? THX

Looking fwd for the 2nd part...

chriX

[Edited 2011-05-07 04:22:52]

User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10630 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
I will be flying TIGER Singapore soon, but their web-page is only offering a "FAQ"-section for TIGER AUSTRALIA...
So, if you have pre-selected baggage, do you still have to pay for check-in (according to TIGER only web check-in is FOC). Also, does the ticket already include the Singapore airport tax? THX

Tiger Singapore does not charge for airport check-in currently as web check-in is not available as yet. Yep, my ticket price includes all taxes.



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10268 times:

After 3 wonderful nights in Boracay, we again had to hop onto another flight to Manila. I had booked on Airphil Express (a wholly owned subsidiary of Philippine Airlines) as it offered the cheapest fares from Caticlan to Manila. However it was still not cheap at about S$120 per person. Also, the airline has also changed by earlier booked flight departing at 1pm to an earlier flight at 1150am without seeking my consensus! To make things more absurd, my original booked flight at 1pm is still operating!! But I am too lazy to complain though... To note, it seems that airfares out of Caticlan are significantly higher than from Manila to Caticlan. I can only guess that it is due to the props unable to carry full load of pax to depart from Caticlan due to the short runway. Therefore, they might have to charge more for the return flight to offset the empty seats. Some travellers would also fly back to Manila via Kalibo (a 90min bus ride from Caticlan) as it is much cheaper than from Caticlan,

After a short boat ride across to Caticlan and a 5min van ride to the airport, we arrived at the terminal building about 1.5hrs before departure. A new departure hall has been built to replace the old one and we would be checking in from the new hall. There are also plans to extend the runway of Caticlan to enable A320s to land.

New Terminal building
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3516/5698125565_af60e7ef42_b.jpg

Check-in counters. One check-in counter was allocated for each of the 3 airlines (Cebu Pacific, Airphil Express and SEAir) flying to Caticlan. Cebu Pacific operates the most flights, with more than 10 flights a day departing from Caticlan! Fyi, Caticlan airport only has daytime operations and therefore no flights would operate in/out during the night.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2653/5698698440_19fee52250_b.jpg

Got my boarding pass. A proper boarding pass is used!! As usual, only 10kg check-in luggage allowed and passengers would need to be weighed individually. Just stand on the weighing scale used to weigh luggage during check-in!!
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3018/5698125703_f5f8c9be41_b.jpg

After check-in, we proceeded to one of the cafes opposite the terminal building to grab a drink before proceeding to the departure gate area. A terminal fee of 20 pesos has to be paid (much lower than the 200 pesos for domestic flights at NAIA). The waiting area is open-air with rows of seats, a cafe and a souvenir shop.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2453/5698698750_d2f609a768_b.jpg

A portion of the runway could be seen from the waiting area. Some plane-spotting could be done, even though there is not much variety. Throughout my half hour wait, a SEAir Do328 departed while 2 5J ATR72s landed/departed.

SEAir Do328 taxiing to end of runway foe departure.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2389/5698698612_579b29bf10_b.jpg

5J ATR72 taxi for departure
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2213/5698698816_a62322e7ae_b.jpg

Our flight was slightly delayed due to the late arrival of aircraft. Boarding process only started at 1145hrs. We had to walk out onto the tarmac and to the aircraft parked near the arrival shed.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2557/5698126175_7e77526c94_b.jpg

A 5J ATR72 taking off
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5302/5698698884_8b6f14b833_b.jpg

01 May 2011
Airphil Express
2P 56
Caticlan (MPH) - Manila (MNL)
Dash 8 Q300
RP-C3017
Budget Class


The albino Airphil Express Dash 8 Q300 that would fly me back to Manila. Not sure why the plane was not repainted in 2P's livery though.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2413/5698126247_f5550e6f09_b.jpg

Boarding the plane. My first time on a Dash 8.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5304/5698126323_693060e304_b.jpg

Boarded the 58-seater prop. Welcomed by a cheerful crew member in 2P's orange-coloured polo-tee and beige shorts. Really casual uniform!! A male and a female crew on this flight. The seats are upholstered in blue.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2184/5698699106_dfa933f28c_b.jpg

Boarding in progress. The flight was about 80% full (even though it was sold out on the net). Weight restrictions perhaps?
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3565/5698699178_867501cb38_b.jpg

eat pitch was surprisingly good.


In the seat pocket were a safety card..


.. and the inflight magazine.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2448/5698699412_65c7520b10_b.jpg

Parked at the tarmac. Boarding was completed within 10mins and engines were started. The flight time was announced to be 50min.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5307/5698699472_c65ac9220a_b.jpg

Manual safety demo was performed by the female crew with voice-recorded instructions.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhxNH3RKeIc


We immediately proceed to taxi to Rwy06. Passed a decommissioned Yak aircraft which had overran the runway some time ago.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3406/5698126809_32e786c982_b.jpg

Turning onto the runway and backtracking to the end.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2336/5698699586_da66d36c04_b.jpg

Backtracking down the runway and making a u-turn at the end. Note the public road at the end of the runway with no fence between it and the runway. All traffic across the road at the end of the runway is also stopped by guards at the gantry posts beside the runway.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMOT1_-L6o


As mentioned that the runway is very short at only 900m, the plane then actually reversed right to the end of the runway to maximize the available takeoff length! Every meter counts!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHMMRqTcze4


Then brakes were locked, engines spooled to full throttle, brakes released and we blasted down the runway fighter-jet style and being pushed back into our seats!! Awesome!! Island of Boracay can also be seen after takeoff.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H48NLvrOJ9A


Bye, Boracay!
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3187/5698699646_d74ebf4efd_b.jpg

Another island above Boracay.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3627/5698127015_84e5021e78_b.jpg

More beautiful scenery during ascend. It was another beautiful day for flying.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5189/5698127111_f2ee6e91dc_b.jpg

After seatbelt signs were off, a crew member went down the aisle with a BOB menu card offering BOB service, but no takers for any food or drinks on this flight. Then the 2 crew disappeared into the galley behind to have their meals. No other service or entertainment on this flight.

Cabin view.


Cruising.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3056/5698700024_65d35df2c9_b.jpg

Cabin view again.


Very soon, the pilot came onto the intercom with some flight information and announced our approach into Manila.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shAEHnYNTA4


Start of descend into Manila.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5269/5698127491_9e7e0e9726_b.jpg

The crew then reappeared from the galley and prepared the aircraft for landing. Approaching the southern suburbs of Manila.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5029/5698700272_5cafa6e04c_b.jpg

As there were some arrival traffic, we had to fly out to sea and stay in a holding pattern for a while.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2694/5698700340_ff95ce0fa3_b.jpg

After circling for a few minutes, we resumed our approach. Gears down!
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2244/5698700402_66590fdafd_b.jpg

Final approach into Manila.


The approach was a bit bumpy and landing was rough. Probably due to strong winds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K9kXr_-26s


We parked at a remote stand at T3 and disembarked. Ferried by bus to the terminal building.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5110/5698127831_a90017f975_b.jpg

Last look at the albino Q300.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2772/5698700592_f95e038872_b.jpg

Another Airphil Express Q400.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5142/5698700660_999a399e51_b.jpg

Airphil Express A320
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5185/5698700728_6828bc5bd5_b.jpg

Cebu Pacific A319
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3036/5698700798_1ffab83b2a_b.jpg

Very empty baggage reclaim area of Terminal 3. Half of it was closed off.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5145/5698700858_99ce439a13_b.jpg

Airphil Express baggage belt.


Airphil Express is just like any other budget airline, bringing you from one destination to another and thats it. Nothing much to comment about (other than the rescheduling of my original booked flight). 2 nights in Manila before my first SQ business class experience!



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9994 times:

Hotel H2O in Manila and local Pinoy food. Warning! Some of the local delicacies are not for the faint-hearted.

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 9962 times:

Hi Yong,

very interesting report with beautiful destinations pictures! I really need to visit the Philippines one day.

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Tiger has also fitted their newer A320s with black leather seats (similar to Air Asia) instead of clothed seats.

Good to hear, the cloth seats on my Tiger Australia flight last year looked quite cheap.

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
All passengers on flights to Caticlan have to go to the Body Weight counter before proceeding through security.

The same happened to me when I recently took a sightseeing flight on a Vision Airlines Dornier 228.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 9818 times:

As mentioned earlier, I had initially redeemed economy tickets for the flight back on SQ. But recently with the 50% off redemption miles applicable for my flight, we cancelled our economy tickets and booked on business class instead for almost the same number of miles! It would be my first SQ business class experience, even though it would be on the old regional business class seat (if I had returned 1 day early, I would have scored a spacebed as SQ sent a B744 to MNL on SQ910/917 the day before due to the high loads in economy).

On the day of departure, we took a cab to NAIA T1, the crappiest terminal of NAIA (imagine going back to the 70s) and as expected, was stuck in a slight jam. We arrived 2hrs before departure time and proceeded to check-in after security checks at the entrance.

NAIA T1 Check-in hall
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2354/5699647092_26f9f559d1_b.jpg

SQ's check-in counters were located at a corner. First and Business queues were non-existent but Economy was long (not seen in photo). There were about 8 check-in counters opened for the flight.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5064/5699074569_275e2dbb06_b.jpg

My first ever SQ Business Class boarding pass!
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5187/5699663430_04229de402_b.jpg

After check-in, all pax have to pay a 750pesos terminal fee (why does the crappy T1 charges the same as the much newer T2 or T3?) followed by security and departure immigration. Through that, I proceeded to the Silver Kris Lounge located beside Gate 7.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5225/5699647200_9ec6dc6c6f_b.jpg

Singapore Girl welcoming us to the lounge.


The lounge has 2 sections, First and Business, but was quite small, however with a reasonable selection of food and drinks. No shower facilities too but there was free wifi and a work area. The lounge filled up with quite a number of passengers.

Hot food selection
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3514/5699647656_a39647c2d0_b.jpg

Sandwiches and cakes.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2148/5699647780_c20088cf34_b.jpg

Some of the food I had.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2582/5699075639_d1fa8fdd8a_b.jpg

Coffee after refreshments.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3116/5699648512_6378fdc132_b.jpg

As the lounge faces the active runway, it offers a great view for plane-spotting!

Cathay B744 parked just beside the lounge.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5150/5699075165_7e9e4f466a_b.jpg

TG A333 arrived from BKK
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5065/5699648066_d0a95a5c02_b.jpg

KE B773 taxi for takeoff to ICN
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5070/5699075913_03bbc13d7f_b.jpg

SV B744 landing.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5186/5699648292_9d0739a725_b.jpg

CX B744 push back. This aircraft is an ex-SQ plane! (PW4056 engines)
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2772/5699076087_d2d78446a9_b.jpg

PR B744 landing
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2448/5699076697_fcbf0c3580_b.jpg

JL B763 arrived.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5142/5699648844_7830f529bc_b.jpg

Arrival of 9V-SQC. 3rd oldest B777 in SQ's fleet. Almost 14yrs old!!
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2515/5699648636_74e8b76745_b.jpg

Of course, there were also lots of other local airlines (5J, 2P etc) departing and arriving.

About half hour before departure time, we left the lounge for our aircraft at Gate 9.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3142/5699649268_2a115cc930_b.jpg

Shops in the terminal building. Felt like a shopping center in the 80s.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2100/5699649420_2c46273e89_b.jpg

At the gate.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3230/5699077241_17e5a4099a_b.jpg

Gatehold room. The flight was pretty full! I was so glad to have upgraded to Business Class! Found out that the load is 3F/31J/222Y. Chock-a-block in economy today!
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3031/5699077383_3548151a4b_b.jpg

SQC still being refueled.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5064/5699649832_41360ed9b1_b.jpg

03 May 2011
Singapore Airlines
SQ 917
Manila (MNL) - Singapore (SIN)
B777-200
9V-SQC
Business Class


Boarding started quite late at about 1400hrs for a 1410hrs departure. No reasons given for the late boarding though. I was welcomed aboard (but not greeted by name at the door, opposite of my last 4 SQ flights where I was greeted by name even though I was flying economy). Proceeded to my seat at the first row of the aft business cabin. A big pillow and a blanket were already on the seat. Menu and headphones were preset in the magazine rack at the seat.


Boarding in progress.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3538/5699650170_2c655208ae_b.jpg

At the gate.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2298/5699077765_a7257458e9_b.jpg

Legroom at Row 15. Nice! Newspapers were also offered but not magazines.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5183/5699650366_caedd33a78_b.jpg

Following that, hot towels and welcome drinks were offered. What better way to start my first Business Class experience than a Bollinger Special Cuvee champagne!


Boarding was completed quickly and we started our pushback 10min late. Flight time was estimated to be 3hrs.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5061/5699650562_aee1979290_b.jpg

Safety video was shown and we had a short taxi to Rwy06.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y07AJL3e9T0


There was no queue for takeoff! Unlike an hour ago when I saw a long queue of planes waiting for takeoff, some even waited for almost half hour!
Takeoff from Rwy06. Downtown Makati can be seen!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zly96lvloZY


Office towers in Makati can be seen!
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2461/5699650664_06be979a61_b.jpg

Making a right turn towards Singapore.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3164/5699650774_af6594755f_b.jpg

Climbing
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2301/5699078633_a8fde0d32d_b.jpg


After seatbelt signs were off, the crew came around with the Business class amenity kit of sockettes and eyeshades.


Noise-cancellation headphones.


All the inflight mags and menu.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2054/5699651104_6e9946875a_b.jpg

Lets take a look at the beverages available:

Champagne and Wines
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5189/5699081981_a1e2a7e920_b.jpg

More Wines and Port
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3252/5699654130_e4375f983c_b.jpg

Cocktails and Spirits
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5261/5699079137_1c06245ab0_b.jpg

Coffees and Teas. The selection is mind boggling!
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3082/5699079303_1be37a6c1a_b.jpg

Of course, juices and soft drinks (similar to economy) are also available.

Now for the food menu! Light meal would be served on this flight.


The crew then came around with post-takeoff drinks and a packet of nuts. I had ordered a Silver Kris Sling earlier on. Choices of main meals were also taken.


More champagne!


I made a quick visit to the lavatory. Similar to economy, just better L'occitan amenities.


Cruising
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2088/5699079909_0966bbe98f_b.jpg

Meal service starts! Firstly the meal tray with starter was handed out.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3130/5699652376_71583c8e84_b.jpg

Hot smoked salmon with pear slaw
Oven smoked salmon served with pear coleslaw, mixed salad, salmon roes and lemon
It was not bad!
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2517/5699652576_325d312bf7_b.jpg

A selection of bread was offered. I had the garlic bread and a soft roll.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2603/5699652428_411b60794e_b.jpg

After the starter was cleared, crew handed out main courses from the galley.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5268/5699654000_acd7beaa6e_b.jpg

Rellenong manok
Filipino style chicken stuffed with pork, sauteed green beans, carrots and steamed rice
I had this dish. It was good. Presentation was also great.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/5699080557_7774a309f3_b.jpg

Seared pork fillet and confit pork belly, apple chutney, savoy cabbage, fondant potato
Exclusively created by Gordon Ramsay, London
I also tried some of my friend's pork. It was delicious! But the pork belly may not appeal to some.


New York Cheesecake (It was a bit rich for my liking though)


To round off the meal, I had a Colombian Supremo coffee.


Crew clearing the meals.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2316/5699653224_4b79f90618_b.jpg

We flew into some rough weather, but the turbulence was not too bad.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3494/5699082067_1375ba4bfc_b.jpg

After the heavy "light" meal, I just relaxed in my seat. Even though the seat is a regional business class seat, it was still rather comfortable with great legroom and descent recline (maybe i was too used to economy). I am sure the new business class seats would be much better! However inflight entertainment was crap on this non AVOD equipped aircraft. Screen quality was fuzzy and choices of films limited. Even the audio channel I wanted to listen to was not working! So I just switched on the flight map for entertainment.


Also had a TWG Singapore Breakfast Tea with honey.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2224/5699653368_989635ebc5_b.jpg

All too soon, the flight came to an end as we started our descend into Singapore.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5230/5699081271_59d4aae4da_b.jpg

Approaching Bintan. The crew handed out bottles of water to each passenger and secured the cabin for landing.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2365/5699081361_eaf11c35a7_b.jpg

We flew around in circles as it was arrival peak at Changi. Sunset over Indonesian islands.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2060/5699081425_c6f05575ff_b.jpg

Final approach into Changi Rwy02L.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3599/5699081515_26485aaf8f_b.jpg

Landing into Changi. QF A380 landed just before us!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G6_SUCClrU

Touched down about 10min late. After landing, we had a long taxi to Terminal 2 Gate F37.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5307/5699081619_733a41ab23_b.jpg

It was a good experience on SQ Business Class. As I am mainly an economy flyer, I could not compare to any previous biz experience, but it is definitely better than any economy flight! Hopefully I can get the chance to fly on business class again in the near future, be it SQ or any other airline!

Any comments are most welcomed!



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1066 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9766 times:

Hey ycp81,

It's great to see reports on places that I have not been to and learning about the place. Boracay seems a very nice place to be in and the short runway must be very exciting! Glad to know that TR is now using leather seats instead of cloth ones as I would think that leather seats are more comfortable. I, like you, is utilizing the 50% off redemption and will be flying CAN-SIN on their A333 on 18th May. The timing given was crap though, 1am departure and 5am arrival. Glad to know that SQ is still up to standards!

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineJetBlue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1458 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9527 times:

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
T3 was a complete contrast to T1, new and felt a bit like Bangkok's Sumbvarnabumi, but a bit sterile.

I couldn't agree more! It's ages ahead of T1 but like you said, it's sterile. It'll become "colorful" once international airlines start to move there.

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Arrival airport internal shuttle pick-up point. I would be transferring to T3 for my Cebu Pacific flight.

Ah! Memories. The arrival area of T1 is a horrible first impression of a wonderful country!

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
Receipt type boarding pass again.

That's odd, 5J usually give out those colorful boarding passes (real paper)

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
I proceeded to explore the terminal after check-in. Not much facilities except for some eateries at the public area. The other other international airline, ANA, is also beginning its check-in process.

Ah! Looking for more airlines to move to T3!

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
One interesting thing observed: All passengers on flights to Caticlan have to go to the Body Weight counter before proceeding through security. There, agent will weight each passenger together with their hand luggage.

LOL. Memories, there were 11 of us going to Caticlan and we had a good laugh when we saw our weights 
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
Security checks are done my gender, with each line specified for either males or females. Shoes have to be put through the xray machines too!!

Tell me about it, you also have to go through pre-security before check-in.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
Inside the departure area, the facilities are quite basic. Majority of the terminal remained closed though.

As international airlines relocate, it'll be filled with airline lounges and duty-free shops. CX is currently constructing their own lounge in the terminal so they'll be the next one to move.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
My 5J flight to Caticlan was only about S$70, which was relatively cheap considering how airlines normally charged astronomically high prices to Caticlan.

You could also get much cheaper fares than that, 5J and 2P has these random sales throughout the year.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
Most passengers were also beach goers to Boracay

I think 100% of the passengers are bound for Boracay  
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
One of the aspects of 5J being a "fun" airline, pop songs were playing during the whole boarding process. Everyone were in a relaxed mood and some kids were even singing with the songs!
Katy Perry's Fireworks being played!!

One of my favorite songs and artists  
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
Second point why 5J is a "fun" airline, the crew started playing a game with the pax!! The crew announced that they would name some items and the first pax to raise up the item would get a prize, which is a 5J toiletries-type bag. 3 prizes were given out!

My dad won some tote bag from Centrum lol, little gestures can make a difference. Though I find their crews unfriendly and indifferent.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):

The landing to Caticlan was amzing! Beautiful scenery before touchdown and hard braking on the short 900m runway! A few aircrafts had either landed short or overrun the runway in the past. Watch the video for the landing!

Yes! One of the best scenery ever.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 1):
The arrival "hall" is just a sheltered shed. Passengers will wait there for their check-in bags to be delivered directly to them from the plane on carts.

Wow they actually "renovated" it. It used to be smaller. But the ramp workers still used those carts.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):
Check-in counters. One check-in counter was allocated for each of the 3 airlines (Cebu Pacific, Airphil Express and SEAir) flying to Caticlan. Cebu Pacific operates the most flights, with more than 10 flights a day departing from Caticlan! Fyi, Caticlan airport only has daytime operations and therefore no flights would operate in/out during the night.

Wow, a lot has changed. It used to look different, now it's modern but still small.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):
Got my boarding pass. A proper boarding pass is used!! As usual, only 10kg check-in luggage allowed and passengers would need to be weighed individually. Just stand on the weighing scale used to weigh luggage during check-in!!

Yep! 2P and PR gives out the typical boarding pass, though I got the "Air Philippines" one when I went there.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):
After check-in, we proceeded to one of the cafes opposite the terminal building to grab a drink before proceeding to the departure gate area. A terminal fee of 20 pesos has to be paid (much lower than the 200 pesos for domestic flights at NAIA). The waiting area is open-air with rows of seats, a cafe and a souvenir shop.

It used to be close, this is a much better idea considering most or if not all of the passengers are beach goers.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):
The albino Airphil Express Dash 8 Q300 that would fly me back to Manila. Not sure why the plane was not repainted in 2P's livery though.
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):
Boarding in progress. The flight was about 80% full (even though it was sold out on the net). Weight restrictions perhaps?
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):
After seatbelt signs were off, a crew member went down the aisle with a BOB menu card offering BOB service, but no takers for any food or drinks on this flight. Then the 2 crew disappeared into the galley behind to have their meals. No other service or entertainment on this flight.


That's odd. No BOB service was conducted when we flew with them, there were 11 of us and on our 5J flight all of us ordered something, so quite the revenue 5J got  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
very interesting report with beautiful destinations pictures! I really need to visit the Philippines one day.

You should and don't forget to chose Asiana  
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
SQ's check-in counters were located at a corner. First and Business queues were non-existent but Economy was long (not seen in photo). There were about 8 check-in counters opened for the flight.

OZ uses those counters too.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
fter check-in, all pax have to pay a 750pesos terminal fee (why does the crappy T1 charges the same as the much newer T2 or T3?) followed by security and departure immigration. Through that, I proceeded to the Silver Kris Lounge located beside Gate 7.

Tell me about it! One thing, the lounge sign says "AF and BA" although they stopped their MNL flights years ago.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
Some of the food I had.

Jollibee! Sisig! Ah, now I miss my home country!  
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
Shops in the terminal building. Felt like a shopping center in the 80s.

The classic blue flooring  
Quoting initious (Reply 10):
t's great to see reports on places that I have not been to and learning about the place. Boracay seems a very nice place to be in and the short runway must be very exciting! G

I could also recommend Palawan, it's less touristy and much tranquil than Boracay. Though if you want the night life and name-brand fancy hotels, then Boracay is for you. It's like a mini-tropical city filled with tourist traps, stores and activities.


Great trip report! I always like TRs about the Philippines, my home country. Boracay is great, I would definitely go back there. I've flown 5J and 2P numerous times before and I think both of them are on par with both product and service. Though 2P has better and friendlier crews from my experience. And the food, you can't go wrong with it!

I also agree that T1 is very shabby, but I have so many memories with this terminal that it's one of my favorites.

One of the best TRs I've read, it brings back so much memories!



It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlineRvXKaz From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 195 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9367 times:

Greetings ycp81!

I'd been reading your TRs silently for some time and now that I'm armed with an a.net account, let me congratulate you on yet another excellent report out of Singapore.

I've always enjoyed your Singaporean perspective in your reports and I found them very enjoyable, thanks for the many wonderful TRs all these while.

Now to your report proper,

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
The flight was S$140 including baggage fee and taxes

This is really a steal indeed. Nice!

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Boarding 9V-TAV. The plane is barely 3 weeks old!!

What a perk! That's about what we can hope for more or less on a budget service.

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
1 female crew is a Korean. It seems that Tiger has quite a number of Korean crew!

I am surprised the Korean girls are still around so long after Tiger's failed bid to launch Incheon Tiger Airways. I am guessing it might be fun to work out of SIN as a Tiger Girl? :p

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
All passengers on flights to Caticlan have to go to the Body Weight counter before proceeding through security. There, agent will weight each passenger together with their hand luggage. This is due to the extremely short runway in Caticlan (only about 900m) and so aircrafts takeoff/landing there are severely weight restricted, which means calculating the exact weight of the plane is extremely crucial for a safe takeoff or landing. Check-in bags on Caticlan flights were also restricted to 10kgs and handcarry luggage at 5kgs.

This is really interesting and most amusing! Thanks for sharing these precious details.

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Security checks are done my gender, with each line specified for either males or females. Shoes have to be put through the xray machines too!!

That happened to me as well during my transit through MNL just last week. In addition, it doesn't seem to matter whether the metal detectors beep or don't, every passenger gets a light pat-down regardless. lol...

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Crew then did a live safety demo. No dancing though, haha.

haha! Aww... that would have been nice.

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
One of the aspects of 5J being a "fun" airline, pop songs were playing during the whole boarding process. Everyone were in a relaxed mood and some kids were even singing with the songs!
Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Second point why 5J is a "fun" airline, the crew started playing a game with the pax!!

Its most tempting to fly with 5J just to see how fun things can get up in the air and I'm sure glad you had the privilege of enjoying that experience.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):
A proper boarding pass is used!!

Nice!

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 7):
Hotel H2O in Manila

Wow. is that a marine aquarium in the bathroom? That's so beautiful! The fish-lover me would be glued to the bathroom floor in appreciation of the little fishes had I been there. How much is the accomodation there per night?

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
My first ever SQ Business Class boarding pass!

Congratulations!

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
What better way to start my first Business Class experience than a Bollinger Special Cuvee champagne!

Very nice indeed.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
Hot smoked salmon with pear slaw
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 9):
Rellenong manok
Filipino style chicken stuffed with pork, sauteed green beans, carrots and steamed rice
I had this dish. It was good. Presentation was also great.
Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Seared pork fillet and confit pork belly, apple chutney, savoy cabbage, fondant potato
Exclusively created by Gordon Ramsay, London

The presentations of the meals really look excellent. I am puzzled about the 'light meal' label though. The portions look generous enough to constitute as lunch and MNL is a good 3.5hrs flying time from SIN, why is it a light meal and apart from the label, is there a physical difference?

Also, I am curious, how did the Singapore Girls fare on your first business experience?

I must congratulate you on your very delightful journey trying out 4 different airlines, including fun domestic hops and a SQ Business class vs low cost experience. What a fruitful trip! Also, your pictures of Boracay are stunning and the place looks picture-perfect. Now I know where to go should I need a beach escape! How are the prices of stuff there?

Also, it was very adventurous of you to try out the braised duck embryo.I wouldn't try it myself, especially seeing this one already has little feathers protruding out! How's the taste like? I am curious, what is that fried crispy bird just before the duck embryo photo?

Anyway, I just wanna say I've enjoyed your TR very much and keep them coming! I look forward to more exciting adventures from you.

Cheers and Regards,
RvXKaz



They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8974 times:

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 12):
The portions look generous enough to constitute as lunch and MNL is a good 3.5hrs flying time from SIN, why is it a light meal and apart from the label, is there a physical difference?

From what I know, on MNL service, there is no difference between light meal and dinner. It is just named as light meal as it is after lunch time?

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 12):
Also, I am curious, how did the Singapore Girls fare on your first business experience?

Well, to be frank, friendly and efficient but nothing more. Just as what you would expect on any other SQ flight in economy.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 12):
Wow. is that a marine aquarium in the bathroom? That's so beautiful! The fish-lover me would be glued to the bathroom floor in appreciation of the little fishes had I been there. How much is the accomodation there per night?

The whole room has an aquarium! Check out Hotel H2O Manila on the net.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 12):
I wouldn't try it myself, especially seeing this one already has little feathers protruding out! How's the taste like?

Well, can't really tell as I just gulped everything down. Probably like hard-boiled egg kinda taste?

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 12):
am curious, what is that fried crispy bird just before the duck embryo photo?

That is Kentucky Fried Day-old Chicks!! LoL.



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
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