steveper From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11168 times:
My wife and I decided that it's nice to get away from the kids for a few days. She went to Bali with a friend a couple of months ago, so now it was my turn. I decided Cambodia seemed like a good choice and the flights allowed me to make efficient use of the short time.
Normally I would avoid flights leaving in the middle of the night, but not this time. I took the Transperth bus from my house to Perth Domestic Airport, and then the terminal transfer bus to the international terminal. There seemed to be quite a few people doing the same thing, which suggests there might be some demand for public transport to the international terminal. Also, the terminal transfer bus was pretty full so maybe they could look at having them more often than every hour.
Waiting for the transfer bus
It took ten minutes or so to get to the International terminal.
I'm puzzled about the benefit of online check-in for international flights. It doesn't seem to achieve anything considering I had already selected my seat, and I still had to check-in at the airport (despite having no checked luggage).
Check-in area at Perth International
I went upstairs to the viewing area to pass some time. There was nobody else there. Only two aircraft were currently at the International terminal (which isn't too bad for Perth).
South African A340
There wasn't much else to see, so I headed through immigration and then into the SilverKris lounge. It's small and not very interesting, but there are PCs, free wifi, more comfortable chairs, and the food is good. I ate most of the prawn toast and a few other things.
The flight ended up leaving slightly late. As we taxied out I noted an Our Airline aircraft (I believe they operate charter flights to Christmas Island for the government) and the ex-Ozjet 737-200s wearing their new N- registrations.
As it was the middle of the night, I didn't take any real photos and slept as much as I could. The business class seats on the SQ A330s are OK for sleeping. I don't like the lack of foot-space, and the angle meant I tended to slip down. But I still managed to get a reasonable amount of sleep.
Poor photo of my sleeping conditions. This is one of the few situations when I would like a decent wide angle lens.
We landed in Singapore at 6:15am, and I noticed Hellenic Imperial Airlines A9C-LH. I wonder what they were doing in Singapore. I took the train over to T2 and found the SilverKris lounge. I really like Singapore Airport; everything is easy and well laid out. And the lounge has delicious pork buns, though I tried to leave room for some food on my next flight. I had planned to have a shower but the showers were constantly busy so I didn't get a chance.
After I headed over to the gate and through security there was a wait of about 15 minutes before boarding began. Priority boarding worked well. The aircraft looked a bit dirty on the outside, but inside was fine and the old fashioned business class seats were soft and wide with generous legroom.
View from the aircraft
Breakfast was pretty good without being amazing.
Approaching Siem Reap
Our aircraft on the ground
Other aircraft at REP
Arriving at Siem Reap airport was a pleasure. I had no luggage to wait for, so it was straight to the immigration desk (where there were plenty of immigration officers waiting) and then quickly through thanks to the e-visa.
Before leaving my hotel, I checked the departures on the TV (there were no departure screens at the domestic terminal).
It was another pleasant check-in experience at a nice small airport. They even gave me a great seat (4D) though on boarding this was changed to 15C. That was really the only disappointing aspect of this flight.
Not much to do at in the small departures area, though they did have a few toys for children to play on - a rocking horse, 2 rocking elephants, and a rocking dog. The highlight was watching an American who had caught some sort of animal try to get through the security doors to release it outside.
The gentleman in front of me here was also keenly taking photos of the aircraft prior to boarding. Here is AirAsia 9M-AFA "Truly ASEAN" arriving as we were boarding.
As we boarded, the group of Americans was discussing how small the aircraft was.
Shortly after take off, there was a food and drink service which I found quite unexpected for such a short route. Thumbs up to Cambodia Angkor Air!
US Marines parked next to us on arrival in Phnom Penh. Thai Airways TG585 Thursday May 31, 2012 Phnom Penh (PNH/VDPP) - Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK/VTBS) Duration: 1h05, 328mi Departure: 20:25 Arrival: 21:30 Seat: 12A (business class) Aircraft: Boeing 737-4D7 HS-TDD Chumphon
After a day seeing the sights of Phnom Penh, I arrived back at the airport a bit early and had to wait 45 minutes for check-in to open. There is nothing to see or do in the check-in area.
Once through security and immigration, Phnom Penh is a small but pleasant airport. I spent the last of my US dollars and then went into the lounge. It's better than the lounges we have in Perth!
They have mini-burgers and mini-pizzas!
But best of all they have an entire fridge just for desserts. I should have eaten more of them.
The priority boarding let me jump the queue. Unfortunately once on board I was immediately disappointed with Thai. I know it's only a one hour flight, but the legroom in business class was pathetic. The seat was uncomfortable due to the relatively low back and no adjustable headrest.
Dinner was served shortly after take off. There was a spicy chicken stirfry which was OK, a cold beef salad which was excellent, and a yellow coconut dessert. The service was a bit poor. Once I had my dinner I was asked "red wine/white wine, sir?" by a flight attendant who wasn't serving the wine.
I was pleased the flight was coming to an end as we started our descent into Bangkok. On the ground we taxied for ages to a remote stand, despite there being plenty of aerobridges available. On the positive side, we parked near this beauty. Sorry about the blur.
A bus took us half way across the airport. Then it felt like I had to walk most of the way back again. I've never been to BKK before, but my initial impressions were that I didn't like it. I found the layout confusing and the signage poor. At security, boarding passes were checked and it was belt off, shoes off, and a full xray.
The lounge was crowded, the range of food was a bit lacking though they did have pork buns, and they had a baffling booking system for the shower. After booking there seems to be no notification of when it's your turn, but I got in eventually.
With boarding time approaching I went for a bit of a walk then headed to the gate. About ten minutes before our scheduled departure, they announced a delay of one and half hours so like a lot of other people I left and went back to the lounge. The new boarding time was 1:00am. The lounge was even less interesting the second time though it became less crowded as it got later.
After I went back to the gate there was no sign of boarding. Soon it became obvious that our original aircraft (HS-TED) was no good and we were going to a remote stand. The new boarding time came and went, and drinks were brought in to the gate area, but two minutes later it was time for boarding. Again we went on a bus to the other side of the airport.
747 parked next to us
This is the meal. I don't know what it was exactly because there were no menus.
I watched part of a movie on the entertainment system and then tried to get some sleep. But I was unimpressed when they woke everyone up 1.5 hours before landing for a sandwich. The best thing about business class on an overnight flight is being able to sleep, so I really hate this. I also think a fancy sandwich is not a breakfast.
Back in Perth, I used the Smartgate system to get through immigration. My bag was one of the first out (I had to check it in because of the extra weight of my shopping). I declared some wooden spoons and they were quickly inspected, then I was on my way home using the transfer bus (with a detour via the long term car park) and then Transperth.
Overall, an excellent trip. Singapore Airlines and Silkair were good as always, Cambodia Angkor Air was great for the short domestic flight, and Thai were unimpressive.
I wish I could write trip reports to the same standard as some of the regular contributors, but the overnight flights don't help. Next trip: PER-AKL-BHE on Air New Zealand.
palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1229 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 11072 times:
Great report - really enjoyed reading about your trip to Cambodia.
Nice to see the ATR flight as well that you took. Looked quite generous too in terms of F&B. Did you take many pics at your destinations? I would love to see some if you did.
I was also equally unimpressed by Thai when I flew with them 12 years ago between MEL-BKK - another midnight flight. However it wasn't the brand new (at the time) B777-300, it was the crew who were disinterested in the passengers and the food was pretty horrible. Also, at that time TG had not installed any PTVs in Y on any of their aircraft which was pretty behind what their regional competitors were offering at the time. Thankfully, the next sector to FRA (on the MD11) was much better. I also preferred the MD11 from a comfort perspective. It was great. Sadly that has been my only MD11 flight to date.
steveper From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9766 times:
Quoting palmjet (Reply 1): Great report - really enjoyed reading about your trip to Cambodia.
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.
Quoting palmjet (Reply 1): Nice to see the ATR flight as well that you took. Looked quite generous too in terms of F&B. Did you take many pics at your destinations? I would love to see some if you did.
578 photos in three days, I'm still working my way through them. I'll post a link in a couple of days when I've started uploading them. Here is a brief sample:
ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8644 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9722 times:
Nice report Steveper, thanks for posting.
Quoting steveper (Thread starter): My wife and I decided that it's nice to get away from the kids for a few days
- Sounds like a good move
Quoting steveper (Thread starter): the terminal transfer bus was pretty full so maybe they could look at having them more often than every hour.
- Seems a very infrequent service, can it be walked?
Quoting steveper (Thread starter): I'm puzzled about the benefit of online check-in for international flights. It doesn't seem to achieve anything considering I had already selected my seat, and I still had to check-in at the airport (despite having no checked luggage)
- Seems odd, was this due to a visa check?
Quoting steveper (Thread starter): I've never been to BKK before, but my initial impressions were that I didn't like it. I found the layout confusing and the signage poor.
- BKK is pretty nasty airport really, as you saw yourself, the worst part is the directional signage, really very poor.
Quoting steveper (Thread starter): t I was unimpressed when they woke everyone up 1.5 hours before landing for a sandwich. The best thing about business class on an overnight flight is being able to sleep, so I really hate this. I also think a fancy sandwich is not a breakfast.
- TG look really unimpressive here, I always though they were a pretty decent act - I agree with your breakfast comment, that is not breakfast!
StevePER From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9432 times:
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 3): - Seems a very infrequent service, can it be walked?
It is 8.4km between terminals, so no chance of walking! Eventually they are going to move all the passenger terminals to be near the current international terminal, which will make transfers a lot easier. It really is a bit of a joke that we're in the middle of the "mining boom" yet we still haven't got any decent public transport to the airport.
No visa is required for Singapore and they didn't look at my Cambodia e-visa (Cambodia has visa on arrival facilities anyway, so I didn't need to have it). Maybe just a standard passport check? But if they need to check this and reprint your boarding pass, what's the point of checking in online?
nethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1097 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7238 times:
Seem like you are death tired on the way back home.
Some people want to eat, some want to sleep, best act for airlines is to give them options.
They should wake those who want to eat and let those who want to sleep continue.
No menus on business class? given the irrigularity? Still unacceptable!! No excuse!!
Since it's a 6:30 hours flight, the first meal is full service while the second meal is more of a snack service as time between 2 meals is short. I think this is industry standard.
You won't get full hot dinner service then full hot breakfast service on a 6:30 hours anywhere on this red-eyed flight.