Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
To Africa! MNL To ACC Via SIN And JNB On SQ And SA  
User currently offlinegrecomark From Philippines, joined Jan 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13185 times:

Welcome to my Second Trip Report!



You can find my very first trip report here:
It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class (by grecomark Jan 23 2012 in Trip Reports)
It basically details the very usual MNL-SIN-MNL route for me on SQ, so that I will not have to post much detail about that in my future trip reports.

I. Introduction


The purpose of this trip was to represent my Association in a General Assembly of our Federation. The assembly took place in Accra, Ghana, where I joined hundreds of medical students from around the world.

I had a few options to get to ACC: one was MNL-BKK-ADD-ACC on PR and ET. It was the cheapest option at the time. I could also take the slightly more expensive, but quite boring MNL-DXB-ACC on EK. As I really wanted to boost my SQ/Star miles for possible redemption of a trip next year, I looked for routes on Star. By January 29, the personal deadline I set for booking the tickets was looming ahead, and I was determined to book the PR/ET itinerary. Good thing I asked help from Raf, my classmate and friend and one great aviation enthusiast. He suggested going to JNB instead and to ditch the GA for my own African adventure going north. I initially dismissed the thought and really just laughed at him, and it took but a few seconds for me to realize that the route had Star written all over.

By January 30, I was able to come up with two most probable itineraries: MNL-SIN-JNB-ACC on SQ and SA and MNL-SIN-JNB-DXB-ACC on SQ and EK featuring 388 and 343 and a hefty amount of Krisflyer and Skywards miles. That morning the SQ/EK itinerary was even cheaper that SQ/SA. The only downside was that I would arrive on the third day of the GA. I asked my parents and some friends for their opinion, and my final decision was to go Star all the way. By the time I booked the flights (late in the evening of the 30th), the EK leg on the second itinerary was worth a small fortune already. I contacted the SQ local office the next morning for them to assist me in connecting the flights, so I could have my luggage tagged straight to ACC. I was too engrossed in the functions of my organizations and in my studies that the date of my departure came unnoticed. So let's begin!

II. Ninoy Aquino International Aiport T1


I reached the terminal at around 14.40 and proceeded directly to the cashier to pay for the Philippine travel tax (if you book your tickets online, you have to pay a separate tax in the airport amounting to PhP 1620/USD 38 for Y or PhP 2700/USD 63 for C ). After a few minutes, my name was called and off I went to the SQ check-in counters. There are four SQ MNL-SIN flights every day, so the check-in counters are open throughout. Luckily I was the only one on the line and my presented my travel documents. Philippine passport holders are qualified for visa-on-arrival application in Ghana, but they had to recheck the rules, and the check-in agent called his supervisor. As usual the SQ ground staff in MNL is ever so polite. The check-in agent nearby also helped and even asked about my work in the Association. After about 10 minutes, the process was complete and my luggage was tagged all the way to ACC. The SA BP had to be picked up in JNB instead, but that's acceptable. I was given departure cards, an SQ pen and a sticker by the other ground staff, so I took a few minutes before proceeding to immigration.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7108/6900688748_c5422a6be2_b.jpg

Very old school FIDS, taken after filling my immigration form. The MH and EK flights have code shares with PR.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7219/7046787915_c7ec7b918b_b.jpg

After check-in, one has to pay the terminal fee now worth PhP 550 or USD 13. It was previously worth PhP 750. Then off to clear immigration and pass by the security. This was taken after passing the Duty Free shops.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7110/6900695954_6f2cd078e1_b.jpg

To the gates!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7099/7046794685_337826accb_b.jpg

View of the Manila skyline


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7243/6900703322_49dde2eda7_b.jpg

Control Tower proximal to Terminal 2


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7082/7046801605_017286e560_b.jpg

MABUHAY (Long live or welcome)


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7045/6900709270_db57047305_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7097/7046807825_4a3531f605_b.jpg

A7-BAP arriving from DOH


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7192/7046814301_c3d0cbf1c1_b.jpg

When I get rich!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7075/7046816371_3b951c3a6a_b.jpg

PR744 and 333


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7108/7046818829_08b75159f4_b.jpg

Notice how near the residences are to the airport.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7268/6900725270_5a203e8672_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7136/6900727208_1605b28d46_b.jpg

I finally reached Gate 6, where a final manual security inspection was done. Our neighbor is EK333 bound for DXB.



III. MNL to SIN, SQ919


Date: 2 March 2012
Aircraft & Registration: A330-343E, 9V-STI
ETD/ATD, ETA/ATA: 17:10/17:35, 20:45/20:48
Class, Seat: Y, 57K


I still had about one and half hours to wait. As I just finished an exam earlier that morning, I was too lazy to drag myself to spot. So I settled in with a can of soda and my iPad. Good thing there's free WiFi, with sufficient bandwidth. After some twenty minutes, 9V-STI arrived from SIN.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7233/6900728888_fdf4c97734_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7207/6900730868_30e053453d_b.jpg



Boarding began thirty minutes before scheduled departure. I knew then that there was a high probability of our flight getting delayed, given the huge amount of people in the gate. Priority boarding was done first for Business Class Passengers, Krisflyer and Star Gold members and PPS Club members, then for families with children and those needing assistance. Finally boarding for Y passengers was done by rows.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7084/6900733442_80cb25f36a_b.jpg

Great legroom! The compartment contains the magazines on board, a copy of Straits Times I picked before coming in, my iPad, my Blackberry and earphones.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7184/7046831071_6625d15cec_b.jpg

Our neighbor just arrived from DXB.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7213/7046833125_a4dc6b0f7f_b.jpg

Look at the mighty shadow of our aircraft!



At around 17.10, our scheduled time of departure, hot towel service began. The captain came on PA and explained that the luggage of some missing passengers had to be offloaded, and that pushback would commence shortly, pending ATC clearance. Some more checks and reminders were done. Final inspection was performed by the Flight Supervisor.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7249/7046834995_521721ec31_b.jpg

The safety demonstration video began playing on the PTVs after a while. Then pushback!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7182/7049928911_9f06c2ce40_b.jpg

CX744 bound for HKG


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7235/6903839694_091d03cc23_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5114/7049930897_5a9a6c5a98_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5199/6903841436_baa1525cc0_b.jpg

EY332 bound for AUH, A6-EYS in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix livery. Middle Eastern carriers dominate NAIA T1 in the late afternoons, with EK, EY, QR, SV and KU departing almost consecutively.


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5349/6903843126_db048ca2b7_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7081/6903844020_7fa5abfb53_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7201/7049935335_d8c7095f5e_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7123/6903845778_849c4f78ce_b.jpg

Rwy06 was used, so I was not able to take a photo of the terminals. On the lower right is the South Luzon Expressway, the primary road connecting Manila to the nearby provinces from the South.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7216/7049937113_b1110f5971_b.jpg

We entered some dark clouds hovering the nearby cities before turning to a South-westerly direction.


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5197/6903847508_5cb5e36910_b.jpg

These views make me want to fly and fly and fly.


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5279/6903848306_cc690a0b3f_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5197/7049939631_3ac0ba283b_b.jpg

Once the seatbelt sign was turned off, headphones were distributed and menus were handed with that touch of SQ hospitality.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7218/7049940505_3439a1d8cf_b.jpg

Mixed nuts were distributed, and the drinks service began. Of course, I chose the Singapore Sling! Two glasses please!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7243/6903851004_1be44fbd08_b.jpg

I watched Modern Family to let time pass. After a while the show outside caught my attention; I have this rule that whenever I fly westward on a late afternoon, I choose the Starboard, so I get to witness “infinite” sunsets.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7242/6903851852_d5a03d5de1_b.jpg


Twenty or so minutes later, dinner service commenced. There were two choices for the main: braised beef and chicken curry. I chose the beef.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7036/6903852700_cafb34eb71_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5349/6903853486_67b437f0d6_b.jpg

The appetizer was a tuna Waldorf salad. It was okay although some dash of pepper helped enhance its flavor. The tuna reminded me of a particular Italian brand of canned tuna: Rio Mare. I liked it. The dinner roll was also good, soft and fluffy and fresh; perfect with the butter provided. I asked for seconds. For the main, the beef was tender, but it needed some more seasoning. So far the mashed potato served on board my past SQ flights beat the mashed potato being served in the restaurant my roommate and I frequent for that creamy goodness. The dessert was green tea cake, which was just fine. I also had two cans of Coke light.



Coffee and tea service began after all meals were distributed. A final water/OJ/champagne run commenced, which was a first for me on this route. A little while later, I walked a bit, initially just to go to the washroom, but then I proceeded to the galley to ask for another glass Singapore Sling. There were two Singapore Girls arranging the food trays then; one told me that she would prepare it shortly, another asked me about my trip and if I was an aviation enthusiast. We had a short chat, and I checked the washroom before returning to my seat. A glass of Singapore Sling and a glass of water were served.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7073/6903854238_7e1e51d054_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7218/6903855096_f4234a3214_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5454/7049946201_e24e8b3990_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7051/6903856620_3a081f80af_b.jpg

I fell asleep somewhere here and was woken up by a Singapore girl, asking me to straighten my seat and telling me that we were on final descent.


We arrived a few minutes past the ETA and taxied 10 minutes or so to our gate in Terminal 3.
Overall it was my usual kind of flight with SQ on this route. By “usual” I mean topnotch. I ended up detailing this flight because it would be the last A333 MNL-SIN-MNL trip I could cover for a long while. Since March 25, SIA has replaced the sole A333 on this route with B772, using it in all four daily flights. I was still on an A333 on the return flight, but I just slept through.

I met up with a friend to catch up and have a more substantial dinner before going back to Changi for my next flight scheduled to depart by 02.35.

Wait up for the next part.


[Edited 2012-04-06 03:47:56]

[Edited 2012-04-06 04:42:24]

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineckblah From Singapore, joined Jul 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12758 times:

Great report, looking forward for the onward journeys!

User currently offlineokapi From France, joined Jun 2006, 213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12607 times:

Wow! The routing looks promising.
Can't wait to read more.

Cheers!


User currently offlinethegivenone From Austria, joined Jan 2008, 192 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 12551 times:

Love the routing as well! Great first part of the report – I look forward to the upcoming (longer) sector. Makes me miss flying SQ.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
By January 30, I was able to come up with two most probable itineraries: MNL-SIN-JNB-ACC on SQ and SA and MNL-SIN-JNB-DXB-ACC on SQ and EK featuring 388 and 343 and a hefty amount of Krisflyer and Skywards miles. That morning the SQ/EK itinerary was even cheaper that SQ/SA. The only downside was that I would arrive on the third day of the GA. I asked my parents and some friends for their opinion, and my final decision was to go Star all the way.

Your decision making process resonates strongly as I too am a loyal Star follower (Gold and Silver) and Silver on Skywards (hence, I would have made the same decision as you!) The MNL-SIN-JNB-DXB-ACC routing would have been for a true aviation enthusiast with time on his/her hands. Would have been super exciting  


User currently offlinegrecomark From Philippines, joined Jan 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 12214 times:

IV. Changi Airport


By 23.30 I was back in Changi Terminal 2, after traveling via MRT. The place had been well documented, and I go there very often, so I did not bother taking pictures. There was a rather lax security screening before immigration. While looking at my onward ticket, the immigration officer started a conversation on my trip and was amazed that I was going to Accra. We chatted a bit, and she even asked me to get some of those Changi Airport candies. She wished me well, and that put a rather huge smile on my face. It beats the “hospitality” of Filipino immigration officers.

Since the opening of T3, T2 has been too quiet, but I still is such a great escape. I was looking for some gadgets that my sister asked me to get her. Alas, the only Apple store in Changi was in T3, so I boarded the Skytrain and walked the long walk. At that hour, T3 was still buzzing with departures to Europe. I finally got my sister’s wishes and bought noise cancelling headphones in the nearby store. After which I stayed in Starbucks to get some coffee although I was already planning on sleeping. I finally settled in on one of the comfortable seating areas near the 24 hour food court in T3.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7237/6904581500_e6c69feff0_b.jpg

Not too shabby, eh?


I let the time pass creating a playlist in my laptop and transferring it to my iPad and my phone. I also used the free WiFi to read up on the activities and responsibilities awaiting me in Accra. By 01.45 I started to walk to the Skytrains, just in time for the Boarding sign for my flight to appear. I knew that this is another one of Changi’s trick to make sure that the passengers hurry up and get to their gate. The walk to gate E8 was long, and after 20 minutes I passed through the final security screening. It took another 10 minutes before priority boarding commenced, and by that time I was really sleepy.

V. SIN-JNB, SQ478


Date: 3 March 2012
Aircraft and Registration: B777-212/ER, 9V-SVN
ETD/ATD, ETA/ATA: 02:35/02:54, 07:25/07:01
Class, Seat: Y, 56A



I sleepily walked to the queue when my row was called. I checked the seat plan earlier that afternoon to see if I would have any seatmate because I really wanted to stretch out on this flight. Good thing I had all three seats to myself.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7126/6901267866_3da50a07b6_b.jpg

All mine for the next 10 hours!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7199/7047364563_8d4aacd39e_b.jpg

Leg room was sufficient although for this particular trip it would not matter.



Amenity kits were distributed, and hot towel service began at 2.35, our ETD. The captain then came on the PA and announced pushback would commence shortly.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7097/7047365325_1afe7ed78a_b.jpg

Perhaps my only complaint with the old SQ772s is the condition of the PTVs. They can wish not to change the seats because they are much more comfortable than the refurbished ones, but the PTVs need some huge changes. The 10 in screens would be great, especially on long haul. Since my last SQ772 trip a month and a half before, they have since changed the user interface of the PTV, so that’s an improvement.


The cabin load was so light that passengers began choosing their own seats of three or four.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7109/7047366333_a5bfa1cf51_b.jpg


After the final checks, we took off into the night. To Johannesburg! Yes at this point I was pumped up and was not at all sleepy. Perhaps, that was the café latte flowing in my veins. Once the Seatbelt Sign was turned off, headphones and menus were handed, again with that SQ smile that never wears off even at that ungodly hour. Light snack was available, and it was a choice between a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian sandwich. I chose the latter of course.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7094/7047367447_3af1b69cba_b.jpg

The sandwich was huge compared to what I was expecting. They were still offering alcohol at that hour, but I went with my trusty Coke Light. The passenger behind me asked for a second serving of the sandwich, which the Singapore Girl gave him less than a minute later. Coffee and tea were also served, but I refused. i>


The Leading Stewardess then came on the PA to announce that there would be drink runs every hour, and that refreshments were available. I went to the washroom to change my shirt, brush my teeth and wash my face. The cabin lights were dimmed; I used two blankets and four pillows to make my bed, and I was off to some well-deserved rest.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7041/6901272644_a79f9d0a0c_b.jpg

I woke up somewhere here. I then decided to turn on the music in my iPad. As it turns out the medicine took me off so heavily to fell asleep without my headphones on. Off to sleep again.


Disoriented to time and place (I was dreaming), I woke up again about an hour later and decided to have some snack. An FA was just passing by with glasses of water and orange juice, and he asked me if I wanted some. I also asked for a sandwich and a bar of chocolate.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7258/6901273724_67bb067555_b.jpg

It was again a choice between vegetarian and non-vegetarian sandwich. I chose the latter, and it was good. Some ham and cheese and lettuce!


The drink runs took place at 30 minute intervals. I could not sleep at this time, so I went to the galley to ask if they had some noodles. The Flight Steward told me that he would look if they still had one on stock. A Singapore Girl arrived and asked me if I was feeling okay. I said yes, and we chatted a bit about Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Flight Steward said sorry because he could not find a cup of noodles, which was just fine as it was not on the menu anyway. He asked me if I wanted a sandwich instead. I said yes to a vegetarian sandwich this time. I was also offered some water and juice and chips on my way back to my seat. Nice touch, eh?

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7053/7047370057_69a3531570_b.jpg

I could not sleep anymore, but we still had more than three hours to go. I planned on working on my presentation, but decided against it and watched the series instead.


About twenty minutes after settling in my very comfortable seat, the same Flight Steward I talked to in the galley asked me if I still fancied a cup of noodles. I said yes, and five minutes later I had my cup noodles WITH A GLASS OF WATER AND TABLE NAPKIN. This is what I love about SQ. The little things count, a lot. Their FAs have been trained to notice and attend to the minutest details and still maintain that splendid personality.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7236/7047370981_b9174fd020_b.jpg

Two hours prior to landing, the cabin lights were gradually turned on.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7185/7047372023_a3b8416a9e_b.jpg

The view outside is just stunning.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7250/6901277606_e673d10432_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7136/7047374007_5af7504226_b.jpg

Although it was not much of a problem, it would be better if the armrests could be fully raised.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7087/7047374911_2c0837c131_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7274/7047375871_f603db4e5e_b.jpg

Breakfast was a choice between beef and mushroom on noodles or sausages and omelet. I chose the former.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7102/6901281374_972f3cff8f_b.jpg

The fruits were properly chilled and still fresh. The bread was surprisingly warm; I asked for seconds. As for the main, the noodles were overcooked, but the beef was tender and the sauce had the perfect seasoning. I had orange juice and a few cups of coffee. Overall it was a pleasant dining experience on Y.


Throughout the flight every awake passenger was kept hydrated with the frequent water/juice runs. My cup of coffee also got refilled a few times, so I was a happy man. After the breakfast service, immigration forms were handed out. The captain also announced that initial descent should begin soon.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7256/7047377771_81e6c8162e_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7254/6901283310_e74ed8961b_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7098/6901285280_9ce99f6c3b_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7257/7047381645_d82d09da66_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7218/7047382463_10d4d05e2c_b.jpg

Does anybody know what those are?


I went to the washroom to freshen up and change my clothes. The captain then announced that we were on final descent and asked the crew to prepare the cabin for landing.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7230/7047383195_37eab08c28_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7267/7047384247_3bc859c80f_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7273/7047385145_e5b2f0abcc_b.jpg

Good morning, Johannesburg!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7250/7047386101_0521bf030c_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7221/7047387081_297770bd12_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7257/7047387935_dfe68e581b_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7280/7047388881_d8a4aca206_b.jpg

Oh hello there, cousins! CX and TG in JNB


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7186/7047389785_9d35b17122_b.jpg

Finally we have reached the land of SAs!


We taxied and arrived around fifteen minutes ahead of the ETA. We had an assigned gate, so it was quite a bummer. I walked rather slowly towards transfer.

It was another great flight on SQ. Even on long haul, the hospitality and the attention to detail never falter. This is why I keep flying SQ.

Up next: Why JNB is every spotter’s dream destination!

[Edited 2012-04-06 09:28:31]

User currently offlinegrecomark From Philippines, joined Jan 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11877 times:

Quoting ckblah (Reply 1):
Great report, looking forward for the onward journeys!

Thank you! I'm trying to post as much as I can before I start becoming busy again.

Quoting okapi (Reply 2):
Wow! The routing looks promising.

Indeed! Thanks to my friend's crazy suggestion.

Quoting thegivenone (Reply 3):
Your decision making process resonates strongly as I too am a loyal Star follower (Gold and Silver) and Silver on Skywards (hence, I would have made the same decision as you!) The MNL-SIN-JNB-DXB-ACC routing would have been for a true aviation enthusiast with time on his/her hands. Would have been super exciting  

I am yet to reach Star Gold status. If all goes well I shall be earning more Skywards miles this coming week. Yep. That route would have been epic, but I had to weigh my options.


User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 413 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11086 times:

The catering on the SIN-JNB sector looked poor compared to other long-haul sectors. I had similar offerings on my SIN-CPT flight last year and it was a 12hrs flight! Luckily the great service of the crew made up for it.


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinegrecomark From Philippines, joined Jan 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 11001 times:

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 6):

Indeed, but for some reason it was still sufficient. At least for me. I remember a TR detailing the catering on that sector too. The author complained about the slightly low quantity of food for such a long-haul flight. I guess because of the timing of the departure and the arrival, SQ expects that most passengers would most probably sleep through, which was the case in my flight. Nevertheless, the catering can and should be improved. Oh. And the snacks and drink runs are on the better end of the spectrum, relative to other similar carriers on long haul.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6558 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10713 times:

Hi Grecomark!

Thanks for a great report with great pictures ! That's a very long way to get to ACC from MNL!

Service on SQ seems very good still in Y and great that you had three seats for yourself so you could get some sleep. That makes a huge difference in comfort on such a long flight.

Very much looking forward to the next parts of this journey!

I arrived in MNL about a week after you left and stayed about a week and left on CX to HKG. I wrote a trip report about it.

Take Care

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1195 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10654 times:

At least SQ and Phillipines still serve normal edible Y meals unlike our US carriers.

Very interesting report. Thanks. What was your opinion of Johannesburg? Is it worth a visit? I am going to Cape Town and am unsure whether to stop in JHS..


User currently offlineSIN7 From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10187 times:

Wonderful pics!
Really enjoyed the TR all the way from MNL.

Quite surpised to see the old 777 on a long haul flight.
As long it's empty, the flight's gonna be pleasant even on the older a/c.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
Very old school FIDS,

It's really nice to see those black boards flipping when the flight info is updated.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
Singapore Sling! Two glasses please!

Ha, ha. SQ's signature drink and yours!!

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
The little things count, a lot. Their FAs have been trained to notice and attend to the minutest details and still maintain that splendid personality.

Yep, I agree. I always thought that if the flight was empty, the FAs are very nice. However, they proved me wrong on the flight from SIN to Shanghai. It was 100% full in Y and yet the crew were absolutely wonderful.

Hmmmm, catering from SATS is always a hit or a miss.

Can't wait to see more . . .
Thanks again!


User currently offlinegrecomark From Philippines, joined Jan 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9968 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Thanks for a great report with great pictures ! That's a very long way to get to ACC from MNL!

It really was a very looong way, but the aviation geek in me was very satisfied.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
I arrived in MNL about a week after you left and stayed about a week and left on CX to HKG. I wrote a trip report about it.

Are you based in the US nowadays? Imma look it up. Just starting to have time to post and read TRs. HAHA.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 9):
What was your opinion of Johannesburg? Is it worth a visit? I am going to Cape Town and am unsure whether to stop in JHS..

I think you meant JNB  But yeah. A stop is a must! See the next part that covers OR Tambo.

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 10):
Yep, I agree. I always thought that if the flight was empty, the FAs are very nice. However, they proved me wrong on the flight from SIN to Shanghai. It was 100% full in Y and yet the crew were absolutely wonderful.

This happens to most of my 17:10 MNL-SIN flights where Y is almost always 100% full. Still an awesome bunch!


User currently offlinegrecomark From Philippines, joined Jan 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9966 times:

Sorry I got caught up with my family’s Easter celebrations, but here it goes..

VI. OR Tambo International Airport


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7101/7052514599_ae669a406e_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5156/6906427404_dcef7606d4_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7255/7052516067_438de3f5e7_b.jpg


I already obtained a visiting tourist visa for South Africa in Manila since I wanted to explore the city during my transit time, but by a very unfortunate and stupid mistake, I ended up lining for the transit area. I took it as a cue for me to visit Johannesburg and Cape Town in another separate trip. Once one has passed through the separate immigration area, a transiting passenger can go through the transfer desks before undergoing a security screening. Some of the airlines with open transfer desks that early morning were SA, CX, EK, TG and SW. Of course, SA had around 5 manned counters while the rest had 1-2. No one was queuing for SA, so I immediately presented my documents to the SA agent. She was rather indifferent, barely smiling. Definitely different from most of the SQ ground staff in the rest of the airports I have been to. In addition, the agent looked quite taken aback for some reason. I do not know if it was because my flight was not for another 10 hours, but should it not be expected given that it was transfer area after all? After five minutes, I was finally checked in.

Unexpectedly, the security officers were very polite and even welcomed me to Africa. What a pleasant surprise! Once through security, I pondered on either getting a room in the hotel or staying in the lounge. I took the latter option as I wanted to spot planes. The nearest one that accepted Priority Pass was Bidvest, so off I went.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7112/6906442646_371e230506_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5272/7052531651_d462a8ba75_b.jpg



The friendly ladies (not so dragon-like) welcomed me to the lounge and asked if I wanted them to prepare a shower room for me. I said I needed to check my mails first and have a quick bite before taking a bath. When I entered the seating areas, there were less than five passengers inside. I checked out the food offerings and was quite disappointed: just some omelet, sausages, bread and some mixed fruits, but I wanted to eat, so I tried some.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7063/7052518969_5da919c0e7_b.jpg


The food was blah. I just downed it with Coke light and some apple juice later. I spent thirty minutes or so updating my family and reading through mails.
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5334/7052520149_e070e5ba67_b.jpg

FIDS viewed from the lounge


Then I informed the attendant that I wanted to use a shower room. Being able to take a bath and freshen up in between flights is simply the awesomest, don’t you think?

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7244/7052521295_3fb769fc67_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7051/6906431876_9afc782b27_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5275/7052523467_31070f0547_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5238/7052524697_bc71b6222d_b.jpg


It definitely could be bigger, but it was sufficient for my use. I also got the water temperature I wanted so I was a happy man. I took my time to take the jetlag off (although it was not that difficult, really). After the shower, I started working on my presentation for the next hour or so. I also had some great tasting muffins, and good old café latte.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7107/6906435190_50e1b9058a_b.jpg

Weird combination of drinks, I know, but I didn’t want to be disturbed.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7220/7052527585_b1caee9cc3_b.jpg


Passengers started pouring in just in time for me to finish rehearsing parts of the presentation.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5155/6906438550_f47b2aaf4c_b.jpg


I overstayed for about one more hour, but the attendants did not mind. I bid me safe journey.
To plane spotting!

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7247/7052530573_6660776a7a_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7254/7052534947_3b2261328b_b.jpg

OR Tambo with SA as background


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7121/7052539111_e90320f403_b.jpg

KQ 737


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5321/6906449892_35c8ca5201_b.jpg

Look for the real subject of this photo.


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5446/7052541353_ee8e3b7a15_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5330/7052542479_f4cbe7e425_b.jpg

LH 380 awaiting departure to FRA early in the evening. As you will see later, there are lots of European biggies in JNB.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7221/7052543619_df2fedf62f_b.jpg

SQ 772 awaiting departure to SIN that afternoon. This bird did not fly to CPT that day.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7237/6906454434_f1ae7143f1_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5156/6906457602_fe4bda0950_b.jpg

OR Tambo is definitely one of my favorite airports. Its architecture allows for great spotting, the air conditioning exudes comfort, and the ceilings are sufficiently high to allow the very spacious feel. Plus it never gets crowded, at least during the times I was there. The only thing I really hate about it is the lack of free WiFi. I had to pay around 10-15 USD for four hours WiFi connection outside the lounge.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7050/7052549771_feac26713d_b.jpg

The regal CX 744 soaring high


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5336/6906461508_793697bfe7_b.jpg

MK 332 bound for MRU


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5038/6906468488_e779e21209_b.jpg

ET 752 arriving from ADD


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5113/6906470396_62d611d1b0_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7125/7052562583_28eb3a0151_b.jpg

I noticed that BA has a very strong presence in JNB, with their numerous aircrafts scattered throughout.


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5452/7052568233_5d5bacd961_b.jpg

LX, BAs, LY, MS


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5333/7052569443_6db5db940d_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5459/7052573441_9c067e4237_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5031/7052576451_00a3b90a18_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7053/7052578993_22f51487b9_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7106/6906491494_ca0eea1809_b.jpg

QF 744 just arrived from SYD


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5467/7052584273_699e3eb6cd_b.jpg

WB 738 to KGL


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7054/7052586913_597a671b25_b.jpg

Finally! SA 332 that will take me to ACC!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7071/7052587673_100a226986_b.jpg

Load ‘em catering please!


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7191/6906499460_aba02a8330_b.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7271/7052590263_d36712ca33_b.jpg


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5466/6906495812_da5958633e_b.jpg

Over all I had an epic time plane spotting in JNB. SRSLY! I highly encourage you guys to visit. I’m definitely coming back (maybe after my medical schooling). Even if I was not able to get out of the airport, the hours just passed by without me really noticing it. That’s a sign of enjoyment, right?



Next part is my last leg to ACC!


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6558 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9781 times:

Quoting grecomark (Reply 11):
Are you based in the US nowadays?

I have lived here for about 20 years originally from Sweden. My wife is from Manila.

Very nice pictures from JNB! I had the pleasure of spotting there about five years ago and it's a great place for that.

Looking forward to the trip report from the flight to ACC!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinesjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 44 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9298 times:

Welcome to Africa man, I love it when people love my continent.......We are looking forward to more GREAT stuff...

Jabulani Africa


User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7572 posts, RR: 43
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 8669 times:

Hello Greco Mark,

Thanks a lot for your great and extensive report. I found it very, very enjoyable! It was especially interesting to me because I was recently in South Africa!

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
(if you book your tickets online, you have to pay a separate tax in the airport amounting to PhP 1620/USD 38 for Y or PhP 2700/USD 63 for C ).
Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
After check-in, one has to pay the terminal fee now worth PhP 550 or USD 13.

Why is this? Why cannot those charges be included in the price of the ticket to make things easier. I could easily see, for example, backpackers finding themselves in a situation where they have spent all of their money, they are going back to their country, and have no money to pay for the tax and the fee upon departure.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
Does anybody know what those are?

I am going to say a coal-fired electric plant. I saw one on the Gautrain on the way from JNB to Sandton a couple of days ago.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
I noticed that BA has a very strong presence in JNB, with their numerous aircrafts scattered throughout.

It is a local South African airline called Comair operating as a BA franchisee.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
SA 332 that will take me to ACC!

Nice! Always good to fly on a new bird. Look forward to your pics and insights about the seat pitch, the IFE, etc.!



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 301 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8423 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Lovely trip report, and what an epic journey!!

Great pics too - and I appreciate you taking the time to write it up!

I love SQ as well. I know people say their staff are robotic, but if "robotic" means polite, calm, unflustered and attentive, then let them be robotic. I've always found them great, and if you make an effort to chat with them, they are very friendly and seem genuinely interested in you.

I'm really surprised, however, that they use their "old 777" product on such a long flight from SIN - JNB. Maybe because it's not such a high-density route? I wouldn't be surprised if it was allocated an A330 in the near future. Seems like they have problems filling a 777 on it, but it's a long way with the old AVOD and seats etc.

In June I have to travel to SIN and JNB for work. So, it makes sense to fly SQ, and this is what I'm doing.
However, I'm really not happy with what they've done to Kris Flyer these days! As my flight is in a "low yield class" (because my boss booked it on a "special deal"... grrrr...) I can't get Kirs Flyer miles for it. (Q class I think). If I want miles, I have to pay about $300 AUD to "upgrade my fare" to B class. SQ and EK are really making it hard to earn miles these days. Not even worth it for the average traveller anymore! Better just to book with whoever's cheapest and most suitable and if you get miles its a bonus! Still - very annoying!

Thanks again - hope to see a report on the return journey!
Selamat Po!
Thai744.


User currently offlinegrecomark From Philippines, joined Jan 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8403 times:

I'm sorry I have not updated this one. I'll do so once I reach MXP. My parents sort of surprised me with a trip this April-May. I'm currently in DXB, awaiting my plane for MXP. Will respond too ASAP. Cheers!

User currently offlineShudu From South Africa, joined Sep 2011, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8068 times:

Hi Grecomark,

Great trip report for a second attempt, i see you enjoyed your day spotting at JNB. The late morning to afternoon is dominated by eastern bound carries like SQ, TG, EK, CX, 9W, EY, QR etc. While the evening gives way to European and USA bound jets like DL, LX, SA,TK, AF, LH, and many more. So a full day of spotting is guaranteed from great locations.

Quoting grecomark (Reply 4):
Perhaps my only complaint with the old SQ772s is the condition of the PTVs. They can wish not to change the seats because they are much more comfortable than the refurbished ones, but the PTVs need some huge changes. The 10 in screens would be great, especially on long haul

Yes i agree with you 100%, those do look outdated and tired. But I'm sure SQ more than make up for it in other ways.

Quoting grecomark (Reply 12):
I noticed that BA has a very strong presence in JNB, with their numerous aircrafts scattered throughout.

Yes as per EddieDude above, British Airways operated by Comair is a premium, full service airline operating routes in Southern Africa that include Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Harare, Livingstone, Mauritius, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

Quoting grecomark (Reply 12):
Finally! SA 332 that will take me to ACC!

SAA took delivery of six of these birds during 2011 to replace their A340-200 that were retired in 2011. I booked a joyride from JNB-CPT just to see the new birds and I was impressed. I look forward to the continuation of your report.

[Edited 2012-04-12 12:58:25]

User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5088 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7918 times:

Fantastic trip report - though, I just got a tad exhausted reading about your routing! Thanks a lot for sharing, and I think you made a wise choice by going Star all the way. Hope the conference went well.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3245 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7773 times:

Excellent photos! Thanks for posting. Where do you get your route maps from? Flights on SQ looked good. Loking forward to seeing your JNB-ACC flight now.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):

By January 30, I was able to come up with two most probable itineraries: MNL-SIN-JNB-ACC on SQ and SA and MNL-SIN-JNB-DXB-ACC on SQ and EK featuring 388 and 343 and a hefty amount of Krisflyer and Skywards miles. That morning the SQ/EK itinerary was even cheaper that SQ/SA.

Nice to be able to find some exotic itineraries

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
Oh hello there, cousins! CX and TG in JNB

I didn't know TG flew to JNB. Did you look at flying with then?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic To Africa! MNL To ACC Via SIN And JNB On SQ And SA
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Living The Dream BCN-SIN And Back On JK, LH, SQ. posted Fri Jul 25 2008 09:58:44 by MIAspotter
ZRH-DAR Via NBO And Back On LX In C posted Mon Sep 24 2007 12:59:38 by HAM
MKE-JAX Via DTW And Back On NWA posted Sun Jun 1 2003 00:02:08 by UPSfueler
JAN-LAX Via ATL And Back On DL, All In One Day! posted Mon Oct 29 2001 07:57:14 by Strickerje
Aloha! From SIN To HNL/ITO (and Back) On CI And YV posted Mon Apr 11 2011 18:09:08 by yapple
VS Upper Class / BA J: Africa To BRU Via LHR posted Wed Mar 21 2012 04:46:13 by mayhem
Thai Suite To SIN And To CDG Pics! posted Tue Jan 17 2012 05:08:28 by milesaddict
Part 4:Colombia To London Via FRA/MUC/HEL On LH/BA posted Thu Nov 3 2011 15:49:36 by gabrielchew
Return To BKK & HAN From YYZ Via LHR And DOH posted Tue Oct 4 2011 06:29:25 by kq787
To The A.Net Meeting And Back On EW/LH/LO posted Tue Jul 19 2011 01:24:46 by SPLTA

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format