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Flying The Orange Star Monopoly - SIN-SWA On 3K  
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11440 times:



Introduction

Shortly after returning from my Great Asia Trip, I thought I would be on the ground for a good 2 years because I have to enlist for National Service. Therefore, I tried looking at all sorts of LCC’s websites in search of good deals to some regional destinations. Having 13,000 miles in my KrisFlyer account, I thought I could redeem a SIN-DPS J class flight on SQ and returning by GA but that will cost me around S$300 for a daytrip, although I can boast that I have actually flown SQ J class before.

As if by fate, I managed to chance upon Tiger Airways’ website that is offering S$218 return from SIN-SZX all inclusive and I can take the chance to visit my relatives back in China again. That would have been a very great deal but I continued searching in search of better deals and found HX offering SIN-HKG return at S$500. Another alternative I had was MH SIN-KUL-CAN for S$477 but that deal was gone just an hour after I found it. Therefore, I decided to fly SQ SIN-HKG/CAN-SIN, breaking my tradition of having to land and depart at the same airport. I was planning to upgrade to Business Class using my miles for CAN-SIN as it is operated by the new Airbus A330-300.

However, I was doing a dummy booking for SQ 853 for CAN-SIN and found out that it only cost 12,500 miles for a Business Class ticket which I thought it must be a system error at SQ’s end. I jumped up upon finding out that there was actually a 50% mileage redemption for selected flights in both Business and Economy and SQ 853 was one of them. Without a doubt, I decided upon my final itinerary on SIN-SWA on 3K, SWA-CAN on CZ and CAN-SIN on SQ. This would mark my first time flying on the SIN-SWA route, first time on the Boeing 737-300 on SWA-CAN and first time in SQ Business on CAN-SIN. Not a bad record for a simple relative visiting trip!

Direct to Shantou from Singapore


The availability of flights between Singapore and Mainland China are a plenty. From Singapore, you can fly to places like Guangzhou, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guilin, Haikou, Hefei, Dalian and many more. The routes were either operated directly or via a hub or focus city such as Guangzhou or Xiamen. Airlines operating were also a vast variety from the likes of Singaporean airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Silkair for the business and high budget leisure travellers while LCCs like Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways cater to lower budget travellers. To get more variety, you can also choose to fly one of the Chinese airlines like China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Xiamen Airlines and the recent upgraded 5-star Skytrax airline Hainan Airlines. However, despite the large amount of destinations available from Singapore, there was still a gap to be filled – Shantou.

Back in 2010, an airline decided that the Teochew population in Singapore has gone through too much hassle just to go back to their hometown, Shantou, in China to visit their relatives. In the past, travellers had to fly to other cities like Xiamen or Guangzhou to transit to a domestic flight into Shantou to visit their relatives. Therefore, the airline decided to open up a direct route between Singapore and Shantou. This airline adorns the bright orange star recognizable by any aviation enthusiast. It is none other than Jetstar Asia.

Despite being a LCC, the prices between Singapore and Shantou were not cheap, sometimes shooting up to as high as S$660 return. However, this route remains popular owing to the huge Teochew population in Singapore and the number of Teochews heading over to Singapore from their hometown.

The first ever direct flight from Singapore to Shantou happened on 2nd February 2010. It has been operating on a 3 weekly flight basis and loads were healthy. Many Singaporean Teochews and Chinese were elated by this direct link between the 2 cities which should have happened decades ago.

Fellow a.netters, please join me on this journey as I bring you on the direct flight between Singapore and Shantou.

Booking Process

Having a totally sleepless night and booking a flight in the morning has never been in my agenda. However, it happened for me for this trip. After suffering from insomnia for the whole night due to my drinking of a whole pot of Chinese Tea (also another thing that Teochews love to do), I headed to the ATM to deposit my money and headed home to make some last minute confirmations before officially booking my tickets.

I had expected Jetstar to have ridiculous fares for the sector as I am booking only 8 days in advance of my flight. However, I managed to secure a fare of S$309 for SIN-SWA one way which was pretty good. As a norm for my when flying on LCCs, I will get a seat at the exit row. A lesson learnt from my Hong Kong Trip with Jetstar tells me that normal seats on LCCs are lacking the seat pitch I really need since I am of a bigger build.

The usual process is to log on to the ever attractive www.jetstar.com to search for my flight and choose 3K 823 departing on 4th May under the JetSaver fare. Fully expecting myself to pay for the exit row seat, I spared another S$20 to S$30 for my flight. However, when selecting my seat, I noticed I was not charged for the exit row at all. At this time, I was at the peak of my fatigue but I still managed to make a call to the Jetstar call centre and enquired if it was a system error. Several confirmations by the call operator later, I decided to proceed on with the booking and was indeed able to choose my seat without paying any charges. However, being the paranoid me, I still decided to call the Jetstar call centre again and I was served by an operator named Paul (if I remember correctly). He seemed like an Australian and greeted me very cheerfully. (Note: I have not even gotten this kind of treatment on SQ!)

“Good morning! May I know who’s on the line?”
“Good morning, I am Mr. Tay”
“Hello Mr Tay! How was your day?”
“I am fine, you?”
“I am fine too. How may I help you Mr. Tay?”
“I have booked a ticket on the Jetstar website and was not charged for the exit row seat”
“I see. May I have your booking reference please?”
“Sure, it’s ******”
“May I know where is the flight heading to?”
“Singapore to Shantou”
“Yes sir. I see you have seat 13A reserved and confirmed here. There will not be a problem Mr. Tay”
“I was not charged for it at all, will the seat be cancelled?”
“Certainly not Mr. Tay, it has been confirmed and there will not be any problems at the airport.”
“Sure thing, thank you.”
“Is there anything else I can be of assistance?”
“That’s all for now, thanks!”
“Thank you for choosing Jetstar Mr. Tay. Goodbye and have a nice day!”

That has got to be the best tele conversation I ever had with an airline employee and I did not expect it to be on a LCC at all. Thumbs up for Jetstar!


One way I will fly around the world!
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11429 times:

The Journey to Shantou

4th May approached quickly and I woke up at 10.30am to prepare for my flight at 1.45pm. I was planning to reach the airport as early as possible in case my seat gets cancelled or they decide to charge me for the seat. After some preparations, I headed to the airport and targeted to reach at 11.45am, exactly 2 hours before my flight.

The taxi pulled in at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 and I proceeded to the Jetstar check in counter to see that the check in for my flight has already opened. There seem to be a tour group checking in too but thankfully they were queuing behind me. After just less than 3 minutes of waiting, it was my turn to check in. I fully expected my luggage to be overweight from all the stuffs that my relative has requested from me; milk powder, salmon oil capsules and such. These 2 items already weight more than 15kg. Sure enough, my baggage was 25kg and I had to pay S$100 in excess baggage fees (S$20 per kg) as I only have 20kg of checked baggage allowance.

I would not have mind paying the fees if the counter was processing the payment quickly. I waited for quite some time at the counter before getting my receipt and boarding pass which I was not really satisfied about. On a side note, it seems like Jetstar has finally decided to use “proper” boarding passes instead of receipt style ones. Putting those aside, I decided to head airside immediately to grab lunch and chill out before heading to the boarding gate. Deciding on what to eat, I stumbled upon Delifrance and decided to give it a try since it has been a long time since I ate it. I chose the Salmon Croissant Meal with includes a soup and a drink. It tasted quite good I must say.


The ever so new terminal 1


My lunch


Boarding pass


Chilling out in Delifrance, I hopped onto Facebook and some other websites (including a.net of course) that I visit on a daily basis before getting to the boarding gate at around 1.15pm, 30 minutes before departure. Coincidentally, my boarding gate was C24, the gate I departed just less than 2 months ago on TG 410 to Bangkok.

Jetstar Asia Airways Flight 3K 823
Origin: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN/WSSS)
Destination: Shantou Waisha Airport (SWA/ZGOW)
Registration: 9V-JSB (DEL 01FEB05)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Time of Departure (Scheduled): 2.27pm (1.45pm)
Time of Arrival (Scheduled): 6.03pm (5.50pm)
Class of Travel: Economy
Seat: 13A

As I sat down to admire my plane, 9V-JSB, chatters of people speaking in Teochew were all around me. This is definitely a flight heading none other than to Shantou. From what I gathered from the gate all the way to the aircraft, I heard things like “this is a small aircraft”, “we have to pay for food onboard” etc...

9V-JSB prepped for her next mission


Boarding was announced at 1.30pm starting with rows 25-30 and subsequently it moves forward. When my row was called, I headed onto the jetway, full of anticipation for my maiden international flight into Shantou airport. This is not my first time flying into Shantou as I had done that back in June, albeit a domestic flight.

What greeted me in the jetway was a long queue of people waiting to board the aircraft and it was moving very slowly. Finally, I stepped onboard the aircraft and the FA at the door caught my attention with her fluent Teochew. Her name was Sally and she was also the inflight manager. Once she looked at my ticket, she gave me a huge smile and told me that I will be sitting in the emergency exit row. As I approached my seat at row 13, my seatmate at 13C was already there so I had to go past him to get to my window seat. The great news for me on this flight was that the middle seat was empty but the 6 exit row seating on the other side was empty too and I was secretly wishing that my seatmate would move over there but it seemed like he did not.


The long queue in the jetway


Pushing back


I placed my backpack below the seat in front of me to test the crew’s reaction to this matter as I clearly know that stowage is not allowed in seats at the emergency exits. Sure enough, not even a minute later a FA approached me and told me that stowage is not allowed and offered to help me to put my backpack into the overhead bins. Another thumb up for Jetstar!

By this time, it was already 1.45pm but we did not seem ready to depart yet. I decided to browse through the inflight menu when the FA came by to brief the 3 of us sat at exit rows about the procedures. It seemed like Mr. 13C is not interested in it at all and is all focused on his iPhone while Mr. 12C is also not paying attention although not as obvious as 13C. We finally pushed back at 2.08pm, 23 minutes behind schedule and taxied to runway 20C for takeoff. We finally lifted off at 2.27pm, 42 minutes behind schedule and the crew was very apologetic about it.


Legroom shot


Menu


View to the front


Dark clouds when taxiing


Planes at remote gates


This must be VH-OQA, the infamous Nancy Bird Walton that encountered engine explosion upon takeoff on 6th November 2010. It has had all its engines removed


Liftoff


Clouds


Clear weather


Shortly after takeoff, announcements were made that food will be available for purchase onboard and that you can upgrade to the exit row seats for S$30. I felt very lucky at this point in time as I actually got this seat for free. Some passengers tried to “upgrade” themselves by sitting in the emergency exit rows but were told that they need to pay S$30 and they immediately moved back to their original seats. This has happened at least 5 times throughout the whole flight and I was glad with their action taken. When Sally approached my row, I decided to order the Japanese Curry Rice which cost S$8 and to complete my meal and topped up S$5 for a drink and dessert. I chose Pulut Hitam, a popular dessert in Singapore but was told that it will be served at room temperature without any coconut milk. I was alright with it but not really anticipating to it. At this point, only orders were taken and no money was collected yet. Around 15 minutes later, the F&B cart rolled out and food was served to the passengers.


At cruising altitude


When about 5 rows in front, Sally took a packet of food and ran back to my row to pass it to be and told me in Mandarin, “I will collect the money from you later. Enjoy your food!” She seem to be able to recognise locals from foreigners which is a very nice touch and her service was more to the casual side compared to those you receive on legacy carriers which makes her shine out even more.


Just before meal service


Japanese Curry Rice – Unopened


My meal


Pulut hitam – cold but nice


My can of coke


As she approached my row with the cart, I was asked for my choice of drinks and I enquired if there was a “Singapore Sling Tea” as mentioned in the menu. She apologised and told me that it was not available on the flight so I got a can of coke instead. Yes, it was a whole can of it.  The Japanese Curry Rice tastes alright but the rice was sort of hard. Pulut hitam tasted quite nice despite it being cold and without coconut milk. Right after meal service, duty free commenced and I decided to purchase a Jetstar Comfort Kit to add to my collection. The comfort kit was a great deal. For only S$12, you get an amenity kit with eye shades, socks, earplugs, inflatable pillow, blanket, toothbrush and toothpaste.


Comfort kit contents


After all the action in the cabin, it was time to pay a visit to the lavatory. While waiting for the lavatory, I sat down at the last row which was a normal seat to test out the seat pitch for the normal seats. It was ok for sitting a while but it will be hard on your legs when you sit in them for a long time. The lavatory was nothing to write home about, just a normal airplane lavatory with basic amenities.


Galley views


Normal seat legroom


Lavatory


Soon, I returned to my seat and tried watching movies on my Samsung Galaxy Tab till around 1 hour before landing when the FAs did another round of BOB but only snacks and sandwiches. I got a pack of Skysnacks for S$6 which consists of a packet of nuts, 2 packets of biscuits and a bottle of water. By the time they finished their second round of BOB, descend to Shantou Waisha Airport has begun.


Trying to watch “Megamind” on my laptop


Another IFE – Samsung Galaxy Tab


Skysnacks


Beautiful clouds appeared along the descend path but it got cloudy as we descended further. Finally, we turned on finals for runway 4 at Shantou Waisha Airport. A smooth touchdown was executed by the pilot and medium braking was used till we cleared the 2500m long runway at the very end. The landing was surely not as bumpy as my last landing in a Boeing 737-800.

 airplane  Landing video can be found here  airplane 


Seat back view


Clouds when descending


A very cloudy descend!


Translates into, “Shantou residents welcome you”


While the FA was making her arrival announcement, she apologised profusely for the delay and any trouble it has caused us. The temperature was reported to be at 20 degrees celcius which was quite cool although it has risen to 28-30 over the last few days. When the plane finally came to a halt at gate 4, the usual shuffling up the aisle occurred and I wanted to wait for all the passengers to go before asking if I can get a chance to visit the cockpit. Sadly, the pilots left the plane before all the passengers did. Is this normal?

Shantou Waisha Airport

Shantou Waisha Airport is a small airport compared to other international counterparts. Having used both international and domestic arrivals, I can say that both are very small with only 1 baggage carousel. However, one thing I need to praise them is that all the 8 immigration counters were opened to process the passengers from our flight which was great. The airport currently serves only 3 international flights; from Singapore (3K), Hong Kong (CZ) and Bangkok (CZ) respectively. I guess the immigration officers will have quite an easy job since both Singapore and Bangkok flights are not daily and there should be only 1 or 2 Hong Kong flights per day.

[Edited 2011-05-18 07:46:56]


One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11429 times:

Life in Shantou

Shantou and Singapore are 2 different worlds. Once you arrive, you feel like you are in the 1990s instead of 2011. The very first piece of evidence would be the airport that looks very simple with only 7 gates equipped with jetways and a single baggage carousel for domestic and international flights respectively. As you travel on the roads of Shantou, you can't help but to notice that there is a distinct difference here and the nearest major city, Guangzhou. The traffic is very messy with honking all day round and cars travelling in opposite directions of the road instead of staying in their own lane. Furthermore, the roads here have no road markings; simply concrete and you determine where you should be. There are also lots of portholes on the ground and people crossing the road from all directions which simply adds some challenge to the driving here.

If you are from Singapore like me, be prepared for a culture shock when you arrive. You might think that you are fluent in Teochew or Hokkien but when you arrive, you will notice that they have completely different accents from what we are used to there and they speak like a rocket. Having visited here the last 2 years and being my 3rd consecutive year here, I am still unable to get what the locals here are trying to say with the exception of my relatives. As I arrived into my usual adobe, I was greeted by a wide mattress placed on the floor next to a double bed at the room right opposite the Master's Bedroom which will be my home for the next 10 days. This is not my usual bed but as my usual bed is occupied, I have to make do with this.



Another distinct difference you notice is that there is a switch which writes "pump work" beside each water source be it in the kitchen, laundry room or in the toilets. This is because at times there is not enough pressure for the water to reach the tap and you have to turn the switch on for water to flow. However, be aware that the tap might behave weirdly like a child trying to cough out phlegm. Even after you get the water flowing, be prepared that the water pressure is not as strong as what we are used to in modern cities.



If you are not someone that is used to proportions, be prepared for a "fun" time when showering. There are a total of 3 knobs on the gas operated water heater in the bathroom. The first switch is for adjusting the intensity of the fire in the water heater. There is a small hole that you can peep into to watch the fire as you adjust it. The second switch alternates between "winter" and "summer" modes whereby you get warm water when you switch to "winter" mode and you get cold water when you switch it to "summer" mode. The last knob controls the water temperature that comes out of the showerhead, either hot or cold. Why do I say that you need to be someone that is good at proportions? Even after adjusting all the knobs to my liking, the water came out was steaming hot. Since it is summer time, I turned all 3 knobs to "small", "summer" and "cold" respectively. This gave me comfortable showers all the time.



However, there is still another problem. No, the water is not yellow in colour. However, you can feel your body is soapy even after washing off the soap from your body and even after several washes it does not change. Basically there is nothing much you can do besides wiping your body dry and the feeling is gone.

Basically, I still enjoy my stay in Shantou owing to the good food here. However, the internet is really slow here compared to what I have back home but I guess I shall make do with it for the time being.

Past Trip Reports

Flying 5 Star - SQ SIN-CAN-SIN (2009) (by Initious Mar 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Sardines In A Can - Jetstar Asia SIN-HKG-SIN (by Initious Mar 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern SIN-CAN-WUH Vv (1/2) (by initious Apr 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern WUH-CAN-SIN (2/2) (by initious Apr 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Oldest Vs Newest: Royal Silk Class On Thai (by Initious Jun 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
First On Airliners.net - CZ Shanghai To Shantou (by Initious Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
18 Hours Of Royal Orchid Service: Thai PVG-BKK-SIN (by initious Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Good Morning Borneo! - Where Silkair Unwinds... (by initious Oct 17 2010 in Trip Reports)
Irama AirAsia! - Kota Kinabalu To Singapore (by initious Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury (by Initious Mar 23 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 2 - In Love With Emirates (by initious Mar 27 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 3 - The Arabian Adventure (by initious Apr 15 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Finale - Brothers In Bangkok (by initious May 9 2011 in Trip Reports)



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11174 times:

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
jumped up upon finding out that there was actually a 50% mileage redemption for selected flights in both Business and Economy
Quoting initious (Thread starter):
first time in SQ Business on CAN-SIN.

Yeah, I had also flown my first ever SQ Biz flight on MNL-SIN recently compliments of the ridiculous offer! U can check out my report too.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
That has got to be the best tele conversation I ever had with an airline employee and I did not expect it to be on a LCC at all. Thumbs up for Jetstar!

Yep, I too had very good tele conversation with Jetstar's call center, which is in Oz I guess. Much better than the experience with SQ's call center.



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 9815 times:

Heya ycp81,

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 3):
Yeah, I had also flown my first ever SQ Biz flight on MNL-SIN recently compliments of the ridiculous offer! U can check out my report too.

Yup I saw your report and replied to it but it seemed like you missed out my reply.  
Quoting ycp81 (Reply 3):
Yep, I too had very good tele conversation with Jetstar's call center, which is in Oz I guess. Much better than the experience with SQ's call center.

Jetstar's call centre is great and I'll look forward to flying with Jetstar again someday. I'd guess their call centre is in OZ too since that guy speaks in an Australian accent.

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineLuftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 1012 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 9712 times:

Daniel,

I have been looking forward to the first trip report in this upcoming series of yours, and I am pleasantly surprised to see it online so quickly! Nevertheless, you managed to present us with your journey in fantastic detail. Also, it was great to read about the life in Shantou. Thanks for sharing all this with us.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
However, when selecting my seat, I noticed I was not charged for the exit row at all.

Even better! I would still pay for it if I am given the option to. It's just too bad some airlines reserve them for their top-tier members...

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I fully expected my luggage to be overweight from all the stuffs that my relative has requested from me

Was there a possibility to pay for higher luggage allowance beforehand, at a discounted rate? I wonder if the surcharge you paid was actually higher than what the things you brought to China would have cost there.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I stumbled upon Delifrance

I have only very recently heard about Délifrance. It looks pretty good, I have to say.   It might pay a visit if I ever come across it. But I guess their main market would be in places where French culture does not have a great influence per sé - as it does in Europe, for example, where you can find French produces in every supermarket and bakery.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I placed my backpack below the seat in front of me to test the crew’s reaction

You can consider yourself lucky you didn't have your DSLR yet.   In my experience, you can't keep a large camera when you are seated in the exit row, and therefore have to put in the overhead bins.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
The great news for me on this flight was that the middle seat was empty but the 6 exit row seating on the other side was empty too

When I flew home from London last year, I was the only one in the entire exit row. I thought it may be more popular on longer flights, like the one you took.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
Menu

Nice to see they offer warm meals, and not just cold sandwiches.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
My can of coke

Good to see JetStar Asia still offers reasonably-sized cans. Some airlines have gone over to serving only 0,15l cans.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
Legroom shot

It looks rather cramped - or perhaps it's only the photograph?

Mine was pretty good:

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
Sadly, the pilots left the plane before all the passengers did. Is this normal?

Yes, it happened to me once at ABQ (turnaround flight). The pilots had gone into the terminal to use the restroom.

Quoting initious (Reply 2):
Once you arrive, you feel like you are in the 1990s instead of 2011.

Who knows what it will look like in 10 years from now? At these astounding rates of growth, I'm certain that Shantou will not be the only city in China to stay as it is for a long time.

Quoting initious (Reply 2):
he traffic is very messy with honking all day round

Sounds awful! Keeping that mind, I would even call our traffic "civilized".

I am eager to see the continuation!  

Cheers,
Marius

[Edited 2011-05-19 09:56:36]


Et là tu montes encore plus haut et ça persiste, alors on vole
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 9640 times:

Hey Marius!

Thanks for a very detailed reply to the report!

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
I have been looking forward to the first trip report in this upcoming series of yours, and I am pleasantly surprised to see it online so quickly! Nevertheless, you managed to present us with your journey in fantastic detail. Also, it was great to read about the life in Shantou. Thanks for sharing all this with us.

Thanks! I actually wrote this report while in Shantou a few days after I arrived but have decided to put it on hold since I wanted to integrate the landing video into the report. The internet in Shantou wouldn't allow me to upload videos on YouTube or Photobucket so I had to wait till I'm back in Singapore to do that.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
Even better! I would still pay for it if I am given the option to. It's just too bad some airlines reserve them for their top-tier members...

I would have paid too but since I got it free I can't complain :P. Well for LCCs basically you pay for whatever seat you want which I find it good. Airlines like TG and SQ lets all kinds of passengers reserve a seat which I think is a pretty good touch.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
Was there a possibility to pay for higher luggage allowance beforehand, at a discounted rate? I wonder if the surcharge you paid was actually higher than what the things you brought to China would have cost there.

I had some milk powder which would have cost me at least S$70 per 1.8kg tin. I treated the S$100 I paid as my accommodation and expenses in China since I got almost everything provided there...  
Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
I have only very recently heard about Délifrance. It looks pretty good, I have to say.   It might pay a visit if I ever come across it. But I guess their main market would be in places where French culture does not have a great influence per sé - as it does in Europe, for example, where you can find French produces in every supermarket and bakery.

It's not bad although I only eat it rarely, once every few years to be exact. I have not seen any Delifrance outlets out of Singapore yet though.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
You can consider yourself lucky you didn't have your DSLR yet.   In my experience, you can't keep a large camera when you are seated in the exit row, and therefore have to put in the overhead bins.

I had my DSLR with me on my return flight in SQ J and I was also told to put my bag in the overhead lockers. However, it was a night flight so nothing much to take out of the window as we were the last flight to depart from the airport for the day and planes at the airport were just resting for the night. I got my digital camera ready just in case though.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
When I flew home from London last year, I was the only one in the entire exit row. I thought it may be more popular on longer flights, like the one you took.

I got the entire 3 seats to myself on my previous SIN-BKI-SIN flight with MI and AK and it was great! =D

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
Nice to see they offer warm meals, and not just cold sandwiches.

LCCs in Asia will normally offer hot meals as we Asians are more accustomed to them. The elderly would definitely prefer hot meals to cold sandwiches in flight.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
Good to see JetStar Asia still offers reasonably-sized cans. Some airlines have gone over to serving only 0,15l cans.

We don't have those kinds of cans here in Singapore, unless you mean those imported from Japan which may cost 2-3 times more than the normal can of coke. That can of coke would have cost S$3 ala carte though.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
It looks rather cramped - or perhaps it's only the photograph?

It's just the photo and my fat thighs. :P Since I'm quite tall my legs are also pretty long so it makes it seem like there is lesser legroom.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
Who knows what it will look like in 10 years from now? At these astounding rates of growth, I'm certain that Shantou will not be the only city in China to stay as it is for a long time.

Shantou was one of the cities chosen by the Chinese government to develop into a metropolis. However, the project failed due to Shantou's close proximity to Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Despite that, the Chaoshan area (consisting of 2 other cities named Chaozhou and Jieyang) is being named as the happiest cities in the Guangdong Province which I think they owe it to their suburban-ness as you do not feel the stress.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 5):
Sounds awful! Keeping that mind, I would even call our traffic "civilized".

I'll welcome you to Shantou with open arms and let you have a taste of the traffic...  

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9104 times:

Preview for next TR:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yrOeFHWzh0



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineairtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1557 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8484 times:

Great trip report, thanks for sharing  


Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2012 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8348 times:

Great report! I'm amused that you spoke with an Australian at the Jetstar call centre. All my calls over the past year have been first to Malaysia and now the Philippines. The hot food selection is so much better than in Australia, but that's to be expected.


Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8114 times:

Quoting airtrainer (Reply 8):
Great trip report, thanks for sharing

Hi airtrainer,

Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading! =D

Quoting allrite (Reply 9):

Great report! I'm amused that you spoke with an Australian at the Jetstar call centre. All my calls over the past year have been first to Malaysia and now the Philippines. The hot food selection is so much better than in Australia, but that's to be expected.

Hey allrite,

Wow, I didn't know they'd have call centres in Malaysia and the Philippines since they do not have major hubs there but impressive nonetheless. I was quite impressed by the hot food selections too, the choices are much more than what legacy carriers offer!

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6408 posts, RR: 38
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 6903 times:

Hi Daniel,

Nice start to another series. Thanks for sharing!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
I thought I would be on the ground for a good 2 years because I have to enlist for National Service

Wasn't that grossly misunderstated!  
Quoting initious (Reply 1):
Sure enough, my baggage was 25kg and I had to pay S$100 in excess baggage fees (S$20 per kg) as I only have 20kg of checked baggage allowance.

Ouch. Should have just flown with another airline rather than JQ.. Or can you prepay for higher amounts like you can down here?

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I decided to browse through the inflight menu when the FA came by to brief the 3 of us sat at exit rows about the procedures. It seemed like Mr. 13C is not interested in it at all and is all focused on his iPhone while Mr. 12C is also not paying attention although not as obvious as 13C

Haha, stark contrast to PH's Frontier experience!

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
View to the front

Isn't it protocol to have a passenger at all emergency exits in case of an emergency? I don't see anyone in the seat in front of you..

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I got a can of coke instead. Yes, it was a whole can of it.

Well tbh, you paid for the meal and the drink! Usually they do give you the whole thing if you pay for it :P

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
Translates into, “Shantou residents welcome you”

Haha I'm trying to figure out which city is more hazy - Singapore or Shantou.. I guess Shantou wins that one!


Looking forward to the next one.

Cheers,
NIcholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8508 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 6805 times:
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for sharing, a very interesting route for sure!

Did many people buy from the BOB service?

The plane you flew on, I've also flown on, 3 times now, it's getting repettetive!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 6795 times:

Hi Daniel,

another great report which I had somehow missed! It seems you had a good flight on Jetstar Asia. I flew on the Australian Jetstar once, but wasn't impressed at all. At least the approach was spectacular:

2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ) +Pics (by PlaneHunter Oct 18 2006 in Trip Reports)

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Pulut hitam – cold but nice

What exactly is that?

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Sadly, the pilots left the plane before all the passengers did. Is this normal?

Not unusual, I have seen that numerous times.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Haha, stark contrast to PH's Frontier experience!

  


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6608 times:

Hi Nicholas,

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Nice start to another series. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks and welcome.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Wasn't that grossly misunderstated!

Lol.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Ouch. Should have just flown with another airline rather than JQ.. Or can you prepay for higher amounts like you can down here?

Well 3K has the monopoly between Singapore and Shantou and yes I can purchase a higher baggage allowance on the web if needed. I did not expect my baggage to be so overweight though.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Isn't it protocol to have a passenger at all emergency exits in case of an emergency? I don't see anyone in the seat in front of you..

Probably not here in Asia since most flights I've been on the exit rows were empty.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Well tbh, you paid for the meal and the drink! Usually they do give you the whole thing if you pay for it :P

True! However, I'm sure we've paid for it on US carriers too. :P

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Haha I'm trying to figure out which city is more hazy - Singapore or Shantou.. I guess Shantou wins that one!

Hands down!

Hi Mark,

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
Thanks for sharing, a very interesting route for sure!

You're welcome!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
Did many people buy from the BOB service?

I'd say less than half the plane since most were Chinese and the price onboard were too expensive for them. S$13 can get you a very nice meal in Shantou.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 12):
The plane you flew on, I've also flown on, 3 times now, it's getting repettetive!

Cool, which routes did you fly it on?

Hi PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
another great report which I had somehow missed! It seems you had a good flight on Jetstar Asia. I flew on the Australian Jetstar once, but wasn't impressed at all. At least the approach was spectacular:

Thanks for your compliments. I just read that report of yours and it was greatly written! The approach was definitely spectacular.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
What exactly is that?

It's a black glutinous rice pudding meant to be served hot and with coconut milk, a delicacy in both Malaysia and Singapore.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Not unusual, I have seen that numerous times.

Cool, I have never seen that before.

Regards,
Daniel



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