Docpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3 Posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 13410 times:
Hello from (whatever the name of this place is which is 20 miles east of Sacramento), California. I'm here on a holiday and I'm sure at least one of you, namely Singapore_Air, is interested in not so much what I'm doing here, but HOW I got here.
SQ2 10 May ETC 1700
Both my mum and I redeemed free tickets off her couple of hundred thousand miles on Krisflyer. (OK laugh at me for being 20 and still travelling with my parents) She got J Class I got Y. awwwwhh. Anyway I did a phone checkin exactly 48 hours before on 8 May at 1700 and got an emergency exit seat, lucky me!
We got to the airport at 1610 and got to the J Class checkin area which had absolutely no one. The checkin staff, who was polite and somewhat friendly tagged our bags and issued us boarding passes in less than 5 minutes.
Cleared immigration and went to the First Class lounge(Mum's PPS status allows us to do that). I fail to see the diff b/w the F and J class Silver Kris lounges, except that the latter has satay in its food selection. It was nicely decorated and tastefully done though. But we didn't have enough time to sit and enjoy the ambience etc. I can't compare this to lounges of other airlines since I've never been to them.
at 1645 we headed to gate E4 and boarded 9V-SPG which was operating as SQ002 to HKG and SFO. I was impressed with the interior of the plane. Very fresh, very well-kept, unlike another SQ 744 I took to MEL a year ago, which looked tired, to say the least.
Just before pushback we were served hot towels, and at 1701 we began pushback and the safety video was played. As I have always said, it's been the same one they've been playing for as long as I remember. Perhaps the reason why they don't change it is cos only idiots like myself actually pay attention to them.
Anyway we taxied to Runway 20L (which is the runway facing terminal, and we took off in the direction of the city, is that right, Alvin??) and began our takeoff roll. We got an excellent view of the city and saw the entire island of Singapore from North to South, East to West.
The flight was only 75% full so I shifted over to 39F which gave me an empty seat next to me. Menus were handed out. I know this is really superficial but the cover of the menus this time round was very bland and boring, unlike the 'elements series' theme they had last year. It was a plain beige cover with a simple 'curvy line' design.
Dinner included the usual bread, coffee/tea blah blah (go read 9V-SPK's report on SYD-SIN-HKG, the SIN-HKG meal is exactly the same) and a choice of either Asian or Western (which was seafood pasta, which I chose) There was also an Indian vegetarian selection, which means there were 3 choices for the main course.
Krisworld had a choice of 22 excellent movies-but I had watched most of them before, unfortunately. Watched a cantonese show called "Running out of time II", which was very good! They also have these new headphones for Y class which just 'clip' over your ears-and i took some time to figure out how to use them. It's unlike the old ones where they had the thing in the middle running over your head. The new ones are good in the sense that they fit tightly over your ears giving you a better sense of sound.
Back to the food, I chose the pasta, which was OK. I've never really had great food ex-SIN on any airline. Once in a while I did have good food, but usually it's just edible. Unlike my previous flights, no particular dish on this flight was marked "specially created by the international culinary panel". I hope they have sacked all 13 of those chefs since the food has never improved significantly since the airline decided to tap their "expertise". Some dishes in the past which were not marked 'specially created' have tasted way better than those which were. Anyway, Aircraft food (especially on economy class) IS just aircraft food.
Midway through my meal, a stewardess spilled beer on an American passenger sitting 2 seats away from me on 39D. Of course he made a huge HUGE fuss. She apologised and stuff and looked very sorry and he was shouting but I couldn't hear the exchange since I had the headphones on. I felt really embarrassed for her. ( I usually feel embarrassed for people who make a fool of themselves in public, regardless of who they may be) 3 minutes later I glanced back at the passenger and he was happily watching his PTV and laughing.
A young male FA came up to him 10 mins later to apologise. Hmm, why make him undo the mess SHE created right? Anyway the passenger just told him it was alright and from his body language hinted he wanted to continue with his movie. The IFS passed him and apologised as well. And some minutes later, the young male FA came again and asked if he could offer him a gift voucher, which he declined. I think they just wrote him one and gave it to him anyway.
SIA HAS removed champagne from economy class. I noticed that missing from the menu and I asked one of the FAs, Fiona Wong, if they had removed it. She said that they have started to remove it progressively from some sectors and said it was due to the fact that it was an unpopular choice among passengers. I'm not sure if that's the case though! (Maybe they just removed it to churn up enough money to pour into Richard Branson's pockets last week to build those hangers and what not he needed for Virgin Atlantic..... kidding)
On that note, I do feel I have to compliment Fiona Wong. She managed a warm genuine smile throughout the flight and made a very good conversation with me. (Greg, I hope you hear this! )
Nothing great to mention about the flight path, except that we went straight up the south china sea, passed the eastern most cost of Vietnam and headed straight for HKG.
About 40 mins before landing in HKG, I asked one of the male FAs (forgot his name, but he was quite a young guy, the same guy who apologised to the American passenger) if I could move to J class next to my mum so we could disembark together. He agreed to that after checking with another FA in J class who checked with my mum. 30 mins before landing, the Captain came on and said his usual "we're beginning our approach into HKG blah blah blah" after which Fiona Wong asked me to take my things and follow her to 19H, on the upper deck of J class.
The only thing i got was a hot towel... haha. Anyway 30 mins later we made a boring uneventful landing at Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong. Nothing like Kai Tak, of course!
Got to our gate and we disembarked, getting 'transit stickers' from Cathay Pacific ground staff. My first impression of the airport after getting off the aircraft: Architecturally impressive!
I'm tired now. Give me a break and I'll post the second leg of this flight soon enough......
Docpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13228 times:
OK I'm not tired now. I'm using a laptop that I'm horribly unfamiliar with, so pardon the spelling errors.
Anyway we had to clear Hong Kong security and that was done in a jiffy. The shopping area in CLK is truly impressive! The number of shops were comparable to a shopping centre. Made our way to the Silver Kris Lounge which was quite impressive for an overseas station for SQ. It was divided into J and F class areas, and from what I understand, it has just been renovated.
Headed back to the boarding gate at 2140. The scheduled time of departure was 2155. A different set of crew was there to great us on boarding. This time the plane was nearly full, I would say Y class had less than 10 empty seats. So I had to get back to my old seat, 39K.
As with the first leg, they served hot towels before pushback and played the video etc. Flight time to SFO was 11h 30 mins. The FA serving my area of the plane was an Indian female FA, who spoke very articulately(don't most Indians?) and was very pleasant.
Oh forgot to mention this for the first leg, which applies to this leg as well. Announcements were made in English, then in Mandarin. (The FA who did it in Mandarin was the one who spilled beer on the American passenger) As far as I know, most Hong Kongers speak Cantonese and don't even understand Mandarin. Thus I feel having mandarin speaking FA on this flight is irrelevant. It's like putting a French speaking FA on a SIN-FRA flight.
Supper consisted of the usual appetisers and bread rolls, but was without dessert. It was a choice between Stir fried fish fillet and braised beef in red wine for the internationall selection, and Okra stir fried with mango powder, red beans masals and saffron pilaff, curd and pickles for the indian selection.
Food was OK, just as the first leg. Not horrible, but not horribly tasty as well! Have they taken out cheese and biscuits as well? cos I they were not available for dinner nor supper.
Flight path took us across the straits to Taipei, then over the east China sea, off the eastern coasts of the main Japanese islands, past just east of Tokyo into the Pacific (Great circle route). The sun came up about 5 hours into the flight, and about 6 hours into the flight we crossed the International dateline, and from 8.47am on 11 May, it became 8.47am on 10th May. (I think)
Was beginning to doze off so I don't have a strong impression of what went on after supper. Though I did wake up and stretch for a while, which was when one of the FAs were offering snacks to passengers who were awake, which besides me perhaps numbered another two or three in the cabin.
They did walk up and down the aisles every 15 minutes or so, which was probably a standard requirement.
About 2h45mins before landing, a meal called 'before touch-down, from hong kong to san francisco" was served. It wasn't named breakfast, nor dinner, nor lunch. I suppose it was cos of the weird timing of the flight. Anyway it's obvious from the menu that it was breakfast!
There was a fruit appetiser, and a choice of either pork noodles, hotcakes and syrup, or deep fried iindian cottage cheese with chappati. And of course assorted breakfast rolls and chinese tea/coffee-tea.
Chose the noodles which was very delicious. Wasn't expecting that!
They did inflight sales about an hour before landing, but I didn't see anyone who actually did buy anything. I did the usual "May i go to J class since mummy's there" thing and one of the FAs brought me there.
By then, I was REALLY tired and jetlagged and was practically floating, so I have hardly any recollection of what went on.
However I do remember that the landing in SFO was smooth and nice. It's a spectacular landing too, coming in from the bay. Makes one feel that one's gonna land on the sea!
We landed at exactly 1900 on 10 May, 25 mins ahead of schedule and technically about 3 hours BEFORE we left Hong Kong!
Made a long 15 minute taxi to our gate and parked next to a Lufthansa A340. A ground staff came on board and made a welcome announcement in English-and CANTONESE (not mandarin).
SFO is a very very boring airport. Reminds me a bit of Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur. Anyway we cleared immigration very quickly and were met by the friendliest immigration (female) officer I had ever seen in my life! Hardly asked us any questions and wished us a wonderful holiday.
We got our bags pretty quick since it was priority tagged, but the First bag on the belt was tagged "Raffles Class" and NOT "First Class". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that it should be the other way round!
All in all I had a good flight with SIA, though I feel my SIN-CHC and CHC-SIN flights were better (I did write reports for these sectors 3 months ago, if any of you remember) The most important things when I go on long flights are: PTVs and nice spanking new aircraft. I believe SIA is the only airline operating the SIN-SFO route, on a same plane service, that can offer me that. What's more, it leaves at a more sane hour, unlike the other two airlines that do this route, who leave at 6.30am or 7.00am.
Thanks for reading. I may have left out heaps of seemingly trivial details that some of you may want to know so please feel free to ask! And sorry for the spelling mistakes, I know there're heaps. Hate this laptop.....
My next trip is on Sunday: San Jose-LAX on Southwest!!! (It's a one way ticket so I know I'll practically have to strip naked for security checks! )
Mr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 13150 times:
Excellent trip report as usual! Had fun and a pleasure to read. How did you find the seat pitch in economy? There were arguments on SQ's seat pitch just a few posts away! How's the load on the HKG - SFO sector? Wonder if the pilots always did come on the PA and tell everyone information on the flight? On all of my SQ flights except one, the pilots keep coming on the PA to update us on what's going on.
About the runway... the one you took off on 20L faces south (east coast park) and I believe the plane turned left after depature... I think it was on the HOSBA SID.
Singapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13141 times:
What a great trip report! Throughly enjoyable before my French exam
It's a shame that the food wasn't very good. I think many people had thought that it had improved but now it either hasn't or has gone down. Maybe when you come back to Singapore you can complain to SIA Customer Services.
How was seat comfort / pitch and the toilets?
Great to know you had a chat to Fiona Wong. At least it shows that not all SIA staff are "robotic" eh Greg?
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 13096 times:
Excellent report! Keep the trivial details, it is what makes the report interesting!
FYI: there is satay in the First Class Silver Kris Lounge, and sushi, and nasi goreng, and cold cuts, and hot snacks, and Hagen Daaz, and fresh fruits, and... Should I go on?
I have never been to the Raffles Class Lounge (only been to the First), so how was it? I just think that the lack of windows is such a major major letdown for the lounge. I think its rather small as well, the fact that SIN is a hub for SIA (duh... Where else?) I would think that the airline would have done something better... like MAS in KLIA, perhaps? Like CX in CLK, perhaps? I hope members of the SQ boardroom is reading this, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE LOUNGE!!! IT SUCKS!
I thought that SFO was beautiful! In fact, if you read my trip report, I found the architectural concept of the airport was similar to INC, KUL, PDX, KIX and HKG...? I really don't think you should compare it to Subang (SZB), which is in a league of of its own (in terms of a lousy major international airport way back then...). I though SFO had a refreshing feel to it, and it was well appreciated by me after the trans-Pacific flight from NRT! Plus I flew NW, so the appreciation of disembarking from a horrible and cramped cabin into a bright and airy terminal was wonderful!
SIA lands in SFO in the evenings, so you probably didn't see the terminal bathing in the bright sunshine. All the natural lighting flowing into the building, simply awesome.
Personally, I rank SIA's Y Class one of the best, and a tough fight with MAS. The latter has the same kind of seats and IFE systems (think they got it from the same company) but alas! MAS has more pitch, the difference is very obvious especially after you recline the seat and realise how far the seat in front of you is.
I last flew SQ 2 to HKG many moons ago and the annoucements were in Cantonese. However on the return flight, the announcements were strangely in Mandarin! Can't they make up their mind??
Good report... Keep it up!
p/s: All other airlines, take the cue from SQ! Except my fav MH, of course... hehehehe!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Docpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13033 times:
Yay Alvin, I got the runway number for Changi right!!
On both legs, the pilots came on just after take off, and just before descent to update us on our cruise speed, flight path, expected turbulence etc.
The Captain to HKG was Singaporean, while the one to SFO was British in a fabulous British accent.
The British Captain said there would be a smooth flight all the way from HKG to SFO but we had some light to moderate turbulence from Taipei to Tokyo. He did apologise for the turbulence because it wasn't forecasted before takeoff.
Load factors: SIN-HKG: 75%, HKG-SFO, at least 95% for all classes.
As for food, yes they certainly could do something about it. As Richcandy has said in his New Zealand-UK vv trip reports, SIA's Asian selections are fine, but western ones could do with a bit of improvement.
PS: Oh Singapore_Air, you do NOT have to take it upon yourself if anyone complains about certain aspects of SIA's service. it is NOT your fault!!
Carmy From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 627 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12986 times:
Great trip report, always interesting to read about SQ! Were there fruit baskets on YCL? SIA recently became one of the first airlines to introduce fruit baskets for all YCL passengers between meal service, and passengers can choose sandwiches or apples if they feel hungry between meals.
9V-SPK From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2001, 1646 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12989 times:
Great report Doc, I should have posted my return trip report on SQ HKG - SIN - SYD, but i decided not as i will do this sector 8 times an year, so i might post the flights which deservedto be written as a report.
I think i was also on 9V-SPG to SFO last time to Hong Kong on SQ 2 if I'm correct.
So why did you choose to fly via Hong Kong instead of Seoul? I reckon flying on the B772ER Y class seats would be better than those on the B744s!
Also for SQ2, a strange thing is that mainly the passengers that aboarded Singapore are only heading for Hong Kong, with a large number of passengers boarding in Hong Kong and heading for SFO. I know that SQ is doing the best on HKG - SFO, while CX is behind with UA in third place. When CX starts to use the B744, all 3 major airlines will be using B744s on the route...what a competition!
Anyways, really a good report! Makes me feel like on the flight with you!
Docpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12986 times:
Yeah i noticed that most of the passengers boarding at SIN got off at HKG. Even the American passenger who got beer spilled on him got off at HKG. Unless of course he was so pissed he didn't wanna go on to SFO but I doubt that's the case!
Yes Carmy there were fruit baskets. That's the snack that was being served while everyone was asleep!
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1827 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 12905 times:
What kinds of snacks are served in between meals? What is the selection like? Does anyone know if they are served only on selected routes or all flights of a certain duration? How is the service procedure like? Crew walks down the aisle in the dark asking each pax who is awake or do you have the press the call button for their attention? For night flights, do they switch on the cabin lights when going around with the fruit baskets? Also do they still have the movie snack boxes or have they already done away with that?
I tend to get edgy on long haul flights and usually need something to munch on in between meals to keep my mind off the pack of cigarettes in my bag... does SQ provide nicotine gums for smokers like AF does?
Tsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2017 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 12870 times:
Hope you enjoy SFO. How is the security and stuff there? Howz the weather? Nice and good? Had a friend whose flying back from ORD tomorrow (or tonight), and he's loving ORD all the way Also, for SQ, departures are 99.9% on 20L or 02R. However I would like to correct Alvin on his SID, you were on the VMR 2B (aka Mersing 2 Bravo) departure and not the HOSBA departure.
Why are people so lucky to get to fly everywhere?
Cant say U didnt get any updates.. remember CGK-SIN on SYB we were in the deck for the whole flight.. And of course on SYD you have your famous line. Also HOSBA Sids are for Western deps to Brunei and such (at least thats wat my charts tell me)...
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1827 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (13 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 12596 times:
Was on SQ36 to ORD a few days ago, and experienced the snack service. I think it was pretty good. There was no cheese and crackers though. It had cookies, apples, tuna and vegetarian buns and chocolate bars. Snack service was conducted almost every 2 hrs during the flight, alternating with the drinks patrol. There was really no need to use the call button. This however, was only for the SIN-AMS sector. AMS-ORD sector was pretty simple, no snack basket, due to the shorter flight time perhaps.
Also, does anyone feel that the 777ER on SQ has too few toilets for Y ? they are perpetually occupied especially on long haul flights!
Has anyone seen the new serviceware that SQ has adopted? It is no longer the red colored ones which were very ugly IMHO. The trays are now smaller, light blue in color, and cups and plates are a weird oval shape. The base of the cups and plates are lined with dark blue anti slip material. OVerall looks better than the old service ware, but they are smaller, and therefore less space for you to dump your foil and plastic wrappers.
Flew UA from ORD to MSP....must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Crew were young and pretty, and all smiles throughout the 1.5 hr flight. Service was efficient and fast but lack the classiness of SQ. Female FA were neat and smart, while the male purser was a little untidy...had tucked his tie into his shirt, crew walked along the cabin holding a trash bag for pax to dump rubbish in.... overall, I think the service on that sector was pretty good. I will see if this is consistent when I fly back to ORD 2 weeks from now on UA.
Will post a trip report when I get back to Singapore.
There's always a better way to fly...
: SQ772... you made it to the US! And you made it to MSP without NWA! Bravo! Btw, don't forget my SQ seat covers (notice the "ssss") and in-flt mags, ok
: Yes, Ryan, made it to MSP on a US carrier. Not as bad as most people say, but then again, maybe it's because I flew UA not NW? OK, here's what I got f
: OK good one SQ772. Now I know what to expect on SQ340. What was registration of the aircraft operating on your flight? I've actually already experienc
: 9VSVA, My aircraft was 9VSVC. This is the first time I experienced WISEMEN in Y class. It is great, but that also means that I end up Channel surfing.
: 9V-SVC? Hmmm isnt that the one thats perpectually late all the time? Guess that must be the one my friend flew the other day.... Hmmm... Howz MSP? Any
: Well, the 9V SVC that I was on delayed 15 min out of SIN due to ATC. It arrived in AMS 10 min late due to strong headwinds. Departed AMS 10 late due t
: Oops, sorry I meant "the airport (not aircraft) is not as functional as it is pretty"...
: FYI for all... MSP was actually voted the Best Airport in North America in 2000! I found the terminal pleasant and pleasing to the eye. It was nothing
: Yeah, O'Hare is a stunner, bright and fresh looking. But they should really do something about the staff at arrival immigration... they were extremely
: SQ772: You mean they were only shouting at foreigners? And why didn't you have to queue? Were you en-route somewhere else? Were the guys shouting from
: Carmy, They were only shouting at the queue for non-US passport holders. The guys were basically the immigration officers sitting in their cubicles st
: Most US immigration officials think they're out on a mission to deny entry to potential tourists who could collectively generate billions for the Amer
: I don't know what mission the immigration officials were on, but it just seemed like really bad Public Relations to behave thus in front of tourists.