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Too Early For A Goodbye? On The QF A380 To SIN  
User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 11896 times:

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Dear readers,


As the end of year holiday season is coming soon, I decided to spend it home. While there are several options of getting
home, announcement of the recently announced Qantas and Emirates partnership reached my email.

The partnership means QF will be re-routing its 'Kangaroo Route' flights into Dubai, and Singapore will no longer serve as
the stopover point. The partnership is expected to commence in March 2013, will see the MEL-SIN route served by daily 744, with the superjumbo being pulled out of the city-state.

---- Background ----

As I have no further plan to fly the SIN-MEL route until early 2013, I am certain that the Qantas A380 will be my ride home. While it may be too early to say goodbye, this might be my first and last chance to fly on board the QF A380.

My journey began with a tram ride to Southern Cross Station, where the shuttle bus will take me on a 20-minutes ride to Melbourne Airport.

---- Check-in ----

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Economy Class check-in desk for my QF 9 flight

I reached Melbourne Airport T2 around 2.5 hours prior to departure time. The Qantas Check-in desks were serving both Singapore and Hong Kong departures, resulting in long queues forming for desks serving economy section. The staff serving my desk was friendly and efficient, and check-in process were completed in just 10 minutes.

After check-in and a security screening, it was time for passport control. As expected, a snaking queue formed in the immigration area, with only less than half of the immigration counters were available. It took more than an hour to get my passport stamped. Melbourne Airport seriously need to learn from some other airports to improve their efficiency. It is just inappropriate to have this situation continues with the increase of tourists into Australia.

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CX A333 ready for departure to HKG


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Coffee, boarding pass, passport and its background of CX A333

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My boarding pass to SIN


With one more hour to kill, I decided to pay a visit to the coffee shop with the good view into the airside, the Hudsons. I stayed for around 45 minutes watching a CX A333 flight departing for HKG.


---- Boarding ----

(Flight Details)

Flight Number : Qantas Airways 9
Type of Aircraft: Airbus A380-842
Registration : VH-OQB (msn 15, del. 25/06/2008)
ETD/ETA : 1640/2125
Seat Number : 57C


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SQ and QF superjumbos will race to Singapore, who will win?

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The SIN-bound SQ flight was operated by 9V-SKB, the first A380 I've flown



On the assigned gate 11A, there were two flights waiting for departure, which consists of my QF flight and an SQ flight, both departing for Singapore. Boarding call were made just on-time at 1605, and passengers started to board the superjumbo.

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Our aircraft today, VH-OQB, named "Hudson Fysh"


There were three lanes used for boarding. One for Business & Premium Economy (in upper deck), one for first class, and another one for Economy.

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The Economy class seats on QF A380



My seat with pillow, blanket, and headsets ready.


Within the next 45 minutes, passengers filled the superjumbo that is bound for both SIN and LHR. There was an Australian businessman sitting on 57A, while the middle seat was empty on this left side of the A380.

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"Welcome" from the Q In-flight Entertainment system.

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Decent legroom for Economy class

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Pillow and Blanket for the 7 hours 30 minutes flight.


After boarding process was completed, the plane were on a standstill for another 30 minutes. This made me and other passengers puzzled why are the plane did not started its push-back process yet.

Later on, the Captain announced on the PA that they apparently sent the wrong flight plan and they had to wait for another one to be sent from the QF operations centre. Despite my disappointment over the delay, I was surprised how this mistake could even happen.

I always thought that flight-plans were checked and approved before even the crews sit on the cockpit. Maybe some readers who are familiar with flight operations could explain further on my doubts.

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Lining up with the runway for take-off (from the skycam)


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Powerful take-off run (from the skycam)


The clearance to push-back was given 50 minutes late, and we taxied on to the runway while the safety demonstration was done in both video and life demonstration by the QF cabin crews. The flight took off at around 1745, an hour later than scheduled departure of 1640.



---- In-flight ----



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Shortly after take-off as seen in the skycam.


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Our flight path to Singapore today.


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A380 safety instructions, QF 'The Australian Way' Magazine, Duty-free catalog


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Friendly crew members distribute menus and mineral water after take-off.


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Meal service guide on the Melbourne - Singapore leg.


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Beverage options for the flight.


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First meal service around 2.5 hours after take-off.


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My meal : Wok fried chicken with shallot sauce in steamed rice. Tasty.


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As the middle seat is unoccupied, the cabin crew opened the middle table to allow more space for us.
Looks more like the European premium economy seats on my medium-haul flight.


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The main menu on 'Q' inflight entertainment system.


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Controls are hidden under the armrest. Stylish and convenient for me.


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Watched 'In-time' after the meal service.

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Passengers were either asleep or watching movies after the meals.


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Lavatory visit : Well maintained, but lacks in amenities for long-haul flights




Rear stairs which I assumed is off-limits for Economy passengers.


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Well stocked snack bar at the rear of the aircraft.
Cookies and soft-drinks are available throughout the flight.

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The rear economy class cabin. Seats were green in this section.


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Hot chocolate were served around 4 hours into the flight. It tastes great.


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Not long after hot chocolates, the crew were going around with ice creams.


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Sunset while flying over Northern Australia.

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As sun was setting outside, the mood lighting was activated.

After it was completely dark outside, the cabin lights were switched off to allow passengers to rest. Before I decided to take a sleep, I did some duty-free shopping, which includes the QF Airbus A380 scaled 1:400 model. The duty-free was processed efficiently, and I fell asleep for the rest of the flight.

Throughout this period, the cabin crews regularly going around the cabin with offers of hot beverages, water, and a bucket of apple for passengers.

I was awaken when the light was switched back on, around 1.5 hours away from SIN. They announced a refreshment service will be done prior to arrival into Singapore.

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Refreshment service distributed before descent into SIN.


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A slice of pizza for pre-arrival refreshment


---- Arrival into Singapore ----

Around 45 minutes before landing into Singapore, the second officer announced that we had started our descent. This was followed by the announcement made by the purser in preparation for landing. He also give detailed instructions to passengers who had missed their connections on other QF, AY, and BA flights to LHR, HEL, and FRA, due to the delay in MEL.


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The cabin view on approach to SIN.


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Approaching the runway (seen from the skycam)


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Touchdown : 2234hrs.


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Reaching the assigned gate C23.


As the plane is docked at gate C23, it marked the end of our flight. Passengers in Economy main deck had to wait for a few minutes as the upper deck and First Class passengers were deplaning to avoid 'bottleneck' on the aerobridge.

I bid farewell and thanking the crew before disembarking, for their friendly and warm service throughout the flights. Changi Airport were always impressive and efficient. It takes less than 20 minutes to deplane and complete passport control.

After the baggage claim, I was reunited with my family who were waiting at the arrival hall.


---- Final thoughts after the flight ----


On my first ever experience on board a Qantas A380, I found that they are really beyond my expectations. Their in-flight entertainment system in the A380s, the 'Q' were one of the best I've ever tried.

Having flown several other carriers on this route, I found that QF meal service on the Asia - Australia flights were impressive. From a meal service, hot chocolates, ice creams, regular drink and fruit services, and Self-service snack bar. It is more than enough for passengers on a 7.5 hours flight. As always, Qantas International crews are always warm and friendly.

I would like to congratulate QF for their wonderful service on the A380. With their planned partnership with Emirates, it is sad to see the A380 leaving the MEL-SIN service.

While it may be too early, but personally..

Goodbye QF A380s. Its been a pleasure to fly to be on board one of you.


Do post comments if you have any thoughts or questions.
Thanks for reading.


Regards,
Dirktraveller.

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyFromMEL From Australia, joined Nov 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks ago) and read 11293 times:

Quote:
Around 45 minutes before landing into Singapore, the second officer announced that we had started our descent. This was followed by the announcement made by the purser in preparation for landing. He also give detailed instructions to passengers who had missed their connections on other QF, AY, and BA flights to LHR, HEL, and FRA, due to the delay in MEL.

Lucky I've never missed a connecting flight, but I've always wondered what happens in this situation. Do you remember what information/instructions the effected passengers were given?

By the way, I've never flown the Qantas A380 from Melbourne to Singapore, but have flown the SQ service (which will be hard to beat). Your review makes Qantas look very favourable as well. How would you compare them to SQ?


User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10565 times:

Thanks for the report!

I will be flying my "last" QF's A380 flights on QF10 SIN-MEL and QF1 SYD-SIN for my next trip in a couple of day's time!! Definitely will be memorable flights.



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10341 times:

Hello FlyFromMEL and Ycp81

Thanks for reading.

Quoting FlyFromMEL (Reply 1):
Do you remember what information/instructions the effected passengers were given?

Well, from what I remembered, passengers continuing on BA12 and QF1 to LHR were re-scheduled to fly on board the same flight to LHR, which is QF 9. AY-connecting passengers are advised to hurry because with the delay their connection are really tight. Gate numbers of the connecting flights are also given to speed up transfer process.

Other passengers are told to 'contact the ground staff' at Changi, which I assumed they are going to be booked into hotel rooms in SIN awaiting for their connecting flight the next day.

Quoting FlyFromMEL (Reply 1):
Your review makes Qantas look very favourable as well. How would you compare them to SQ?

I found Qantas service is great, hopefully my review did justice to them   . Personally the last time I've flown SQ is more than five years ago, on a 744 from SYD to SIN. More recently I've flown to Asia from MEL on GA, BI, and JQ (Business).

From my experience, I found that the QF offering on the route is superior towards these carriers. I agreed with your statement that SQ is hard to beat, but QF isn't really bad compared to them.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 2):
Thanks for the report!

I will be flying my "last" QF's A380 flights on QF10 SIN-MEL and QF1 SYD-SIN for my next trip in a couple of day's time!! Definitely will be memorable flights.

You're welcome.
Great to hear that, I am sure it will be a memorable flight for you.
Looking forward for a trip report if you are planning to write after your flight.


Regards,
Dirktraveller.


User currently offlinebaguy From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10046 times:

Great TR!

Really enjoyed my experience onboard QF9 in September - looked exactly the same as yours   although I did manage to grab the coveted Y class seat 71D! 

I have to say I absolutely loved the Hot Chocolate service - such a nice touch!

Quoting dirktraveller (Thread starter):
Not long after hot chocolates, the crew were going around with ice creams.

I did, however, have a rather unfortunate experience with my mango ice lolly as it was rather too cold (!) and stuck instantly to my tongue, and so I had to yank it off :/

BAguy  


User currently offlinedavidCA From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 69 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9644 times:

Thanks for posting a nice report, Dirk. QF looks to have a really nice product. I'm curious as to why the first meal was served only 2.5 hours into the flight? Other than the mineral water you mentioned, was there a bar/drink service before the meal? Or, does it just take that long to get everyone served on a 380. Thanks again!

User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9555 times:

Hi BAguy and David,

Thanks for dropping by!  
Quoting baguy (Reply 4):
Really enjoyed my experience onboard QF9 in September - looked exactly the same as yours  although I did manage to grab the coveted Y class seat 71D! 

I have to say I absolutely loved the Hot Chocolate service - such a nice touch!

Great to hear that, this means that QF is displaying a consistent service throughout their 'kangaroo route' flights. The hot chocolate is indeed a nice touch, it is actually the first one I've ever tried while cruising at 38,000ft. Thankfully I did not encounter that experience with the ice cream.

Quoting davidCA (Reply 5):
'm curious as to why the first meal was served only 2.5 hours into the flight? Other than the mineral water you mentioned, was there a bar/drink service before the meal?

There were several drink runs and a bucket of apples are being offered by the crew prior to meal service. Personally I have no idea behind the reasons for starting the meal service later.

Indeed QF has a really nice product, especially on their A380s.

Regards,
Dirktraveller


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6707 posts, RR: 78
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 9539 times:

Hi dirktraveller,

nice report about your QF A380 journey. I flew LHR-SIN on VH-OQG earlier this year and enjoyed it. The seat (I was in 76H) was comfortable, but the 31-inch pitch wasn't sufficient. It felt as cramped as on LH's A380 after a few hours. The dinner choices weren't overwhelming either. The crew was fine, though. That flight will be featured in my next report.

Quoting dirktraveller (Thread starter):
Lining up with the runway for take-off (from the skycam)

The camera view is the best feature on the A380.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9439 times:

Hello PH

Thanks for dropping by  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
I flew LHR-SIN on VH-OQG earlier this year and enjoyed it. The seat (I was in 76H) was comfortable, but the 31-inch pitch wasn't sufficient. It felt as cramped as on LH's A380 after a few hours

Well, the seat-pitch did not really bothers me because I'm just a medium-built person. But I understand that it is quite cramp especially for a long-haul flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
The dinner choices weren't overwhelming either

That's kind of disappointing for a long-haul. I thought on the LHR-SIN sector their meal service would've been better.

Because on my MEL-SIN flight I found their meal offerings are more than sufficient, although in terms of quality they're just fine.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
The camera view is the best feature on the A380

Agreed, I hope more airlines have these feature on their fleets in the future.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
That flight will be featured in my next report.

I am looking forward to see your QF experience report.

Regards,
Dirktraveller


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8623 times:

Hello

Interesting report, good to see you logged the 380 to SIN before they reroute via DXB!
QF's 380 look pretty nice!


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8421 times:

Hello Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Interesting report, good to see you logged the 380 to SIN before they reroute via DXB!
QF's 380 look pretty nice!

Thank you , I was glad that I had the chance to get on board the QF A380 before they re-routed the flight. The QF A380 is a really nice aircraft indeed.

Regards,
Dirktraveller


User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8255 times:

Great report.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
The camera view is the best feature on the A380.

I'd say, one of the many great things about the A380.  

Seems an odd business choice to route the London flight through DXB. EK seem to do a lot of things better than most airlines so I could imagine EK snuffing QF out at some point.

Looks like you could have gone up those back stairs. The rope to keep pax out must be at the top.


User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7755 times:

Hi Babybus

Thank you.

Quoting babybus (Reply 11):
Seems an odd business choice to route the London flight through DXB. EK seem to do a lot of things better than most airlines so I could imagine EK snuffing QF out at some point.

I tend to agree with your opinion that EK may snuff QF at some point, actually I was not really sure that re-routing the kangaroo route flights to DXB will make their situation any better.
That being said, I wish all the best for QF's new partnership with EK.

Quoting babybus (Reply 11):
Looks like you could have gone up those back stairs. The rope to keep pax out must be at the top.

Yes, I also thought the stairs were upstairs, maybe I should have tried to go up a bit further.

Regards,
Dirktraveller


User currently offlineTomskii From Belgium, joined May 2011, 464 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7650 times:

Those hot posh wraps really look shit. :P

Liked the TR very fun and nice to read!

Tom



Nikon D90 + Nikkor f4.5-5.6 18-105mm + Tamron f4-5.6 70-300mm
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7588 times:

Just did QF10 SIN-MEL. Was seated towards the rear. Service was casual and friendly, but rather uncoordinated. The last few rows did not receive menus even though I saw the crew distributing them at the front. Not sure if they ran out. Another crew missed giving out bottled water to some pax, including my row. No hot chocolate service and cookies at the self service bar. Are they discontinued on the sin-oz overnight flights?

However inflight entertainment remained great. Slight improvement in food quality as well. The lady serving my aisle was great! But overall still a tad disappointed compared to my previous QF A380 flight.



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7389 times:

Hi Tom and Ycp81

Thanks for dropping by!

Quoting Tomskii (Reply 13):

Those hot posh wraps really look shit. :P

Liked the TR very fun and nice to read!


Luckily the wraps didn't taste as bad. :p
Really appreciated that you enjoys the TR and find it fun. Thank you.
See you on my next TR!

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 14):
Just did QF10 SIN-MEL. Was seated towards the rear. Service was casual and friendly, but rather uncoordinated. The last few rows did not receive menus even though I saw the crew distributing them at the front. Not sure if they ran out. Another crew missed giving out bottled water to some pax, including my row.

Thanks for sharing your QF experience. But hearing this I am shocked. Having flown one of their overnight service to Australia from Singapore I found their service was alright.

It is really disappointing to hear that your row did not get the menu and the mineral water. Did you asked the crew about the menu or the bottles of mineral water? It is just strange that experienced international crews could "forgotten" to serve the last rows the aircraft.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 14):
No hot chocolate service and cookies at the self service bar. Are they discontinued on the sin-oz overnight flights?

Were there any other hot beverage service throughout the flight? Such as rounds of coffee or tea? It is also quite surprising to hear the state of under-stocked snack bar on the QF10 flight. If there's no cookies, were there any other snacks or soft drinks on the rear snack bar?

After the re-routing of flights to DXB, QF will still continues overnight flights between Singapore to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth on board B744 and A333.

Good to hear that IFE and the crew serving your aisle was great. I hope your return flight QF 1 SYD-SIN will not be another disappointment and become a memorable 'last QF A380' flight to Singapore.

Regards,
Dirktraveller


User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7210 times:

I did not ask for the menu or water as I am not a too "demanding" pax. However I would not expect to have to request as these are supposed to be standard items. As for snacks in the bar, only drinks were available. Hot coffee/tea were available after meal but not peppermint tea and hot chocolate.


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5167 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7166 times:

Fantastic trip report! Thank you

I flew the 380 SYD-HKG in July, and was very impressed with the aircraft. I honestly didn't think it could be as good as they hype, but if anything it was better!

The only snag was that the quality of the catering wasn't that great, which was a shame since I normally like QF food. That said, I've always thought that their catering out of LAX was better than SYD for some reason.

I'm flying QF8 DFW-BNE in December, and really looking forward to it. Looong flight in one their refurbished 747s with the A380 product. A trip report should be forthcoming!

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 14):
No hot chocolate service and cookies at the self service bar. Are they discontinued on the sin-oz overnight flights?

They don't serve hot chocolate/peppermint tea on late night departures any more because apparently a lot of people complained about the meal service taking too long when they want to sleep. They can, however, be requested.

As for cookies, that is strange. I guess they simply weren't loaded in SIN, but that is disappointing.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6933 times:

Hi Ycp81 and RyanairGuru

Thanks for sharing.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 16):

I did not ask for the menu or water as I am not a too "demanding" pax. However I would not expect to have to request as these are supposed to be standard items. As for snacks in the bar, only drinks were available. Hot coffee/tea were available after meal but not peppermint tea and hot chocolate.

Yes, I understand. But it is just surprising that they missed your row and only offering drinks in the rear snack bar. As for the absence of hot chocolate service I agreed to RyanairGuru's probable reason.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 17):

Fantastic trip report! Thank you

I flew the 380 SYD-HKG in July, and was very impressed with the aircraft. I honestly didn't think it could be as good as they hype, but if anything it was better!


Thank you. Honestly prior to flying the A380 flight, I was expecting a service within the normal standards. And it was proven my experience onboard the QF A380 was beyond what I was expecting. Indeed, the QF A380 is an impressive aircraft.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 17):
I'm flying QF8 DFW-BNE in December, and really looking forward to it. Looong flight in one their refurbished 747s with the A380 product. A trip report should be forthcoming!

Hope you have an enjoyable experience on the long flight. Will be looking out for your trip report when its time  

Regards,
Dirktraveller.


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1118 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6694 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi dirktraveller,

Very nice report, thanks for sharing it with us.
Always nice to catch an A380, a type I am ashamed to say I still have to fly.
QF looks quite impressive here, well done

Quoting dirktraveller (Thread starter):
Later on, the Captain announced on the PA that they apparently sent the wrong flight plan and they had to wait for another one to be sent from the QF operations centre. Despite my disappointment over the delay, I was surprised how this mistake could even happen.

Wow, that is surprising how that can happen

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6370 times:

Hi Brendan,

Thanks for reading.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 19):
QF looks quite impressive here, well done

Thanks. On this flight, their product really impressed me indeed.  
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 19):
Wow, that is surprising how that can happen

Yes, when it was announced in the PA I found it is really puzzling how it could happen. I always thought flight plans are checked and loaded prior to departure time.

So far, this is the most 'amazing' reason I had for a delay, other than some technical reasons.

Regards,
Dirktraveller


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