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Singapore (UK-Australia) 744+772  
User currently offlineRyanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2960 times:

Firstly my apologies if this reads poorly, I'm still rather jet lagged! this only talks of my Singapore Flights, for my Qantas and Virgin Blue ones if you are interested look elsewhere as reports will be seperately posted.

Unfortunately the SQ experience started poorly, with their UK Office messing up my booking in such a way that it seemed likely I wouldn't be able to travel. SQ refused to correct it despite many reasonable attempts to get this changed and their acceptance it was their mistake. Sadly things degenerated to such a point that the matter took a formal legal route after which SQ settled out of court and corrected the mistake. None the less it was an upsetting start to my first trip back home in two years which rather took the edge off it. However, once out of London SQ were pretty faultless and if you read past all this I hope that comes through.

LHR-SIN 744

Because of the above my day started at the SQ Ticket Desk which happily had no queue. Maybe people were put off by the staff, who were more interested in their nails and over done make up than providing any sort of service.

Checkin was chaos and I felt very sorry for the staff. Two of SQ's services depart only 1hour 5 minutes apart, which with full 744's and only five check in desks makes for a challange. A gentleman in Emerates uniform directed procedings and did a very good job keeping his cool and humor. Those of us on the later flight were put into a cattle pen as the desks gradually switched flights, which was OK but the queue was a full hour long.

The checkin agent gets top marks as both quick, friendly and professional.

Security queues looked horrendious but in truth moved quickly. The airside at T3 has been refurbished and is now seemingly one giant Duty Free Shop and in my view is an improvement.

The gate staff were very friendly and chatty which made boarding effortless. I was pulled over for a bag search but it was no inconvenience.

Upon boarding the cabin crew were very welcoming and created a good impression of SQ. Prior to take off they presented a menu, comfort kit (socks and toothbrush set) and earphones all seperately. Also pre take off drinks of either water or orange juice followed hot towels.

Being an idiot I dropped the key to my case while we were waiting at the gate for taxi clearance and my key made off somewhere. Two crew members came to help me find it and they acted as if they genuinely wanted to help well. I also noted they distributed toy bears to all the children.

We took off an hour late (French atc were on strike) heading west along the Bath Rd Runway and stayed low for quite some time.

The meals were served quickly although my Oriental Vegetarian was mixed up for my neighbours Vegan Meal. Amazingly they were carrying a spare Vegan Meal for my neighbour and gave me my Vegetarian as well. Mine was a bit tasteless, Rice and Veg, Potato, Beans, Desert, Roll and Water, OJ plus Tea/Coffee.

Following this they served Ice Cream which I ate watching Rugrats on a 747, pretty close to heaven for me.

The seats were comfortable with good lumbur support, while the adjustable (height and winged) headrest was especially good. Cabin decor was a bit dull for my taste, I liked their old scheme better. I did note the cabin was looking a bit old and battle worn with things like yellowing plastic, scuffed walls etc.

Our experienced cabin crew came round frequently throughout the night with water, apple juice plus a selection of snacks in a basket like Chicken Sandwiches and fruit. I liked the hot milo drinks. Apart from the demand that shutters be down I felt this crew delivered on the SQ adverts.

This ac had the old KrisFlier System but was still impressive with Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Monsters Inc all catching my eye. The game selection was good too. Lots of health info was available.

Breakfast was Noodles and Veg with Roll and something else. Landing was delayed but we were informed. Most people missed their connecting flights.

Transit:

DOH! One extreme end to the other. Visited the 7/11 and enjoyed Orange Tea and a Potato Snack sat in the Sports Zone. A carp pond was nice to see as was the Piano Bar.
SIN-BNE 772

The ground staff were OK, helpful but a bit reserved for my taste. My first 777 so I was excited. On boarding the cabin seemed big and knowing of the extra space it was noticeable but I'm not sure without prior knowledge I would have done.

Our 777 crew didn't have quite the edge of the London flight and made a few errors preparing to go. I noted the senior cabin staff were a good 20 years younger than their 744 colleges and wondered if that was the reason.
We departed late due to a no show, who happily was due to sit next to me. It was a long taxi to the runway enroute I noted the Fine Air DC8 sat on it's nose. On take off the unique buzz of RR engines entertained me as did the sharp initial burst of power. However apart from hydrolic noises the cabin was quiet.

My meal was again rice and veg which sadly tasted bland. A simply Soya Sauce would have made such a difference. The PTV moved more on the 777 which made seeing it easier, but the Interactive Services broke on mine (ie. games, map etc) which irritated me a bit.

Cabin layout was good, with 3+3+3 seating, toilets away from seats and standing space for people like me who enjoy moving round. The 777 seat was more comfortable than 747 for sitting but less for sleeping.

Our crew came rounf frequently with water but no food on this shorter flight, which really dragged for me once we hit Australia.

An hour and a half out of Brisbane breakfast was served which was bread based. The lady I shared my block with wasn't hungry so offered me hers, which I gratefully accepted.

We flew into Brisbane via Kingaroy, Kilcoy, Caboolture (where I was spotted by friends!) and Redcliffe landing from the East for a very smooth landing, but sharp stop.

Never before have my bags been x-rayed entering Australia, I guess customs are copying Russia now a days!

I will post the return flights later, hope it's informative!


16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2872 times:

"KrisFlyer" is the FFP, I think you meant to say "KrisWorld"... Other than that, very informative report. Sorry to hear about the London experience with SQ. I have heard more that a few nasty comments about the London office, are they really that bad?

Cheers
Ryan



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

ummm Ok.... whatever that was  Laugh out loud hehe.

A very good trip report Ryanair!!!.

It is lovely to hear you had a nice flight from London despite the lapses with SIA UK London.

However, it's a shame to hear about the loss of Interactive services on your KrisWorld system on your Australia leg. If you want to complain, go to the SIA Feedback and Enquiries webpage

Once again, great trip report  Smile



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineRyanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2859 times:

Hi Ryan, you're right I did mean Kris World (woops) and thanks for the coments.

On the LON office, I've tried to be forgiving and diplomatic in my comments. At the end of the day I'll concentrate more on my free flight to Europe and less on the problems. However, in answer to your question based on my experience (I can't go on anything else) yes they are really that bad and probably worse than I've made out here, because I've kept some of the worst points to myself on the basis they'd probably be taken and twisted by all sides if I posted them on A.Net.

Enough of that, glad you found the report informative.

Cheers, Ryanair.



User currently offlineRyanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2849 times:

Thanks Singapore_air for the nice comments too.

The return leg.

SYD-SIN 744

Arrived having had a bit of buzz, travelling to the airport for a long haul on the back of an Easyrider is pretty cool!

The line at SQ checkin was a bit long, but took only five minutes to clear. QF was handling the flight and sadly their agent was down right rude and unhelpful.

I went to watch the activity from the Kingswood Smith Suite when it must be said I got a bit of treat. None less than a Connie taking off! She rolled up to the threshold and sat there for ages as other a/c came and went. i really hoped she was taking off and not just doing taxi tests or something. After about 10 minutes she lined up and started to jog down the runway. In the words of my friend her gentle roll and take off was "so graceful". It looked as if she was barely moving when she rotated only just increasing in height. The drum of the pistons was readily audable inside the terminal. The whole thing was just "wow"!! I remember giving $10 to help rebuild that plane, which to me at age 12 was quite a bit of money, so being able to watch it fly and by surprise was such a treat.

Customs and Security were friendly and quick as was the QF Gate Agent despite my lateish boarding.

We were in the air about twenty minutes later. Our captain despite the rather amusing SQ style of diction gave one of the best announcements I've ever heard, a good mix of information and humor which captured the attention.

For the first two hours of this seven hour flight I had at least one or sometimes two drinks in my hand. The meal was very tasty, Noodles and Tofu plus Veg with gravy. Interesting mix but it worked. There was also a fruit salad, seaweed, some rolls followed by a Magnum Ice Cream.

We flew over the outback which is always amazing to see. It starts baron, gradually razor backed ranges appear literally hundreds at a time with bright red tops in the sunlight. Occassionally a dam or road passes, butit looks like the moon. Soon salt lakes develop, pure white like the ice caps against the rich red earth. The lakes stop and suddenly soft gulleys replace the sharp ranges much less rich in colour but occassion freakles look so red they seem on fire. Then we approach Alice Springs and it's flat with no sign of civilisation until four urban housing estates appear plus a railway station dumped into the middle of desert, then nothing again. It's weird.... The ground is then beige, until a dead straight line after which it's brilliant dark rich red turning to purple as the sun sets. One dirt road with three road trains sending up a cloud of dust remarkably like vapor trails is the only sign of life until the coast, two hours flying away.

Back aboard the crew are young and friendly people enjoynig each others company which shows through into the service.

A snack is served an hour out of Singapore, for me a Pita Bread with Omlette and Pepper. I think the QF Meal boxes are better.

On landing we really slammed into the ground shacking violently every which way, definately not impressive.

Transit:

I'd forgotten just how humid Singapore gets, but stepping outside in T1 (which I'd walked down to) reminded me quickly. I love trying to local stuff when I stop over, this time some Chilled Green Tea in a can (I think), whatever it was soooo refreshing. Rode the train to T2, which is on the landside so you get a good view of the real world outside. Shame I wasn't stopping.

SIN-LHR 744

The ground staff were both friendly and helpful this time but the whole boarding process was slow. The crew were very welcoming and I remembered some from the first flight.

Again the cabin age showed, with worn handles (vener peeling off), yellowing plastic etc. We were late but as was explained by our Captain (who sounded like Biggles) this was due to the closure of some air routes over Pakistan causing congestion on the alternatives. Our take off roll used every inch of the runway.

At this point discovered this plane was equiped with the "Wisemen 3000" Inflight Entertainment System, which is the best thing since sliced bread. It's a Video on Demand service, so you get a list of 50 movies, 66 short features, 50 CD's, 12 Audio Channels, 31 Gameboy Games plus more, which you can start, stop, pause, rewind and fast forward at your leisure. I won't list everything, but the range was diverse with CNN at one end to MTV at the other, with documentaries, game shows, dramas, comedies, animation the works. To be honest it made the journey a pleasure. To give an idea I watched Austin Powers 2, Hollywood Squares, Ice Age, a documentry about Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Quantum (an Australian Science thing), MTV and CNN World News Magazine. I liked the Juke Box facility, but found the Games Selection poor compared to the old system, but in fairness it's less needed than before however I do enjoy playing video games inflight as a personal preference.

I have no idea what my meal was, it involved noodles again and tasted good. Around the meals drinks were constant, I had 7 or 8, but in between services I was disapointed by their infrequent offering. When they did come round we were individually approached which was a nice touch and the food backet included entire packets of biscuits.

Woke up over the Saudi Oil Fields which were amazing to see.We then passed over Syria, into the Med, Cyprus, Greece,Fmr Yugoslavia, Hungry, Germany, Belguim, UK.

Breakfast was basically a Continental with two lots of bread, yog, OJ and coffee. However there was a hot addition to it, no idea what it was but tasted fine.

Very very smooth landing, we didn't even use reverse thrust which I've never experienced on a 747.

Painfully slow to leave the a/c, but plus side meant wait for luggage wasn't long.

Really this flight was a pleasure.

Keep an eye out for my other flights with Qantas and Virgin Blue!


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2832 times:

Nice report despite the initial confusion which left me wondering why on earth Ryanair!!! was suffering from jetlag when he has not been on a flight this past month.

I still am curious what transpired between you and the London office though... It's ok if you don't wish to reveal it here.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

A very nice return trip report. It's nice to know that the young Singapore Girls are doing it alright.

It's a shame that the flight attendants did not do their rounds sufficiently often. Again, I think you should complain via the link I posted above.

A very good trip report.

"It's ok if you don't wish to reveal it here." I would disagree. Please do share with us your experience. Living in the UK, I think it would be most enlightening.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineRyanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2770 times:

Essentially the name on the ticket was wrong, I tried to get this changed but was they refused telling me even though it was their mistake I'd probably be unable to travel and this "misfortune" was my problem. Unbelieveable!!!!! I still cannot believe this happened! It was a real go to hell attitude which really upset and angered me particularly as I tried numerious times to get this changed with the same reaction each time. I was about to loose a months trip home to see my family and friends for the first time in two years, so I think it's hard to overstate my upset.

So having tried at length unsuccessfully to resolve the matter as a last resort I then took them to task under the SOSA 1982 ss12? about due care, which states a professional must use due care when providing a service and that if this is breached I can claim damages in the relevant court (small claims here). At that point somebody from the Marketing Department phoned me with an offer (as described), which I accepted in a very pleasant way, a fact that appeared to irritate them beyond belief (you can't win!!!) They then wrote a rather unpleasant letter outlining the steps to making a successful airline reservation.....

So I guess that's the "pre-trip report". When all said and done it's over and settled water under the bridge.

My final comment on the matter is "Alls well that ends well". CLOSED!


User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2773 times:

Was the person from Marketing a man?


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineB-HXB From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2769 times:

I've always wondered: do you get to complain if your meal isn't served by a Singapore girl, but a male flight attendant?...  Smile It just irks me that SIA must be practically the only airline that advertises its flight attendants in such a way.

X-ray screening for incoming bags is now compulsory at all Australian airports, after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth. New Zealand also takes this approach, and has done so for far longer than Australia.


User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2747 times:

Here's my input as a former SIA UK staff. SQ increased its flights to LHR from two to three a day during the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997/98, but because business was bad the company did not hire extra staff, and to my understanding they haven't boosted their staff numbers to this day. London is understaffed, and it doesn't come as a surprise that a mistake like this happened and that it wasn't handled in the best possible manner.

VGML Oriental special meals can be iffy when catered out of non-Asian stations. Actually, most Asian meals in general can be iffy out of Europe. I still remember teaching my caterer's staff to stir fry - I had to do it - their initial attempts ended up looking like a stew!!

The cabin crews' insistence on closing the window shades is always a source of irritation to many. Management seems to prefer to keep doing this, though. Maybe they figure it benefits the majority of paxs. They do need to look at this policy again, IMO.

What kinds of mistakes did the staff make on the SIN-BNE flight? In SQ, senior crew seldom get to pick and choose their flights, unlike some other carriers, so I doubt if they really were 20 years younger! Also, I always thought that the nighttime flights to Australia served a dinner and then a continental breakfast before landing. I wonder when this changed. What did the menu card say about the order of meals?


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2738 times:

Ryanair,

by the way, idle reverse thrust is used under several favourable conditions. Eg. dry runway, light aircraft, long runway... factors which do not require extra inputs to stop the aircraft. Interesting to note that almost all my Australian flights with MAS and QF ended with a silent landing with no reverse thrust audible. I have had that same experience on board an SQ A310 from BKK-SIN, just a 2hr flight!

It all depends on the flight crew, if they feel comortable letting the aircraft slow down on its own - of course with the help of spoilers increasing the drag.

By the way, glad to hear a good report about SQ (other than your experience with London's office). Comments about them have been less than satisfactory lately. So its ok to air your bad airs about them, it is just going with the current trend so no harm done. We seem to take bad comments about SQ better than those who defend NW to their deaths. Hehehe...

Cheers
The Other Ryanair!!!



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2711 times:

just wondering...When you say that the captain out of the Sydney leg was humorous, what did he add to his welcome announcment?...I sometimes find SQ's flight deck crew announcements to be really formal and very corprate...no feeliing...though I have gotten some really funny ones out of NRT and SIN...all of them were Singaporean crew...it just adds that bit of warmth...

Great report by the way!... nice to hear a good report on SQ's service once in a while!



Keep Discovering
User currently offlineKrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 571 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2724 times:

Yah I echo Ryanair!!!’s comments about its good to hear something of SQ. I think a lot of us have been pretty dubious as to where the company has been headed. If the customer service on the ground I’ve received is an indication, then I don’t think SQ has a future! Simply shocking, especially the treatment of us Krisflyer members like myself who has been battling for 10 months for missing mileage. In the old days at SQ, this was unprecedented and this new-found attitude has certainly filtered down to the frontline staff who are quite obviously bored out of their skulls. Sad really that things have become this way so its certainly good news to hear some positive feedback!

In regards to the 744 fitted with the Wisemen, I was wondering whether in actual fact in YCL they have fitted the new generation VGA plasma monitors? Any bigger? And how about the seats? Were they the upgraded 777-ER typed with the 3-adjustments or just the plain old comfy and cramped 343/744 variety? Good report mate, hope you enjoyed your trip back downunder!


User currently offlineSIA fan From Indonesia, joined Aug 2000, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2622 times:

Wow! I'm amazed that the SQ staff in London wouldn't change your name. I had my name spelled wrongly on my last ticket and called their 1-800 number in the US and all they asked for was my passport number and my complete name on the passport. Then they put a remark on my reservation. A simple 1 minute task! I didn't get any difficulty at all at the airport.

Nice report btw!



SQ*G BD*S
User currently offlineRyanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2570 times:

The seats are the same as the other aircraft I travelled on but I couldn't tell you if they are recently changed or not. The handset design was only difference I noticed between the Wisemen and old system. PTV screen remains the same.

I think Ex_sqer has hit the spot. It struck me the staff in LON were over stretched and pretty unhappy people. Couldn't tell you about the menu card, as a VGML SQ don't give you one but I think I was served meals in the order you describe.

I guess you are lucky in the US. SQ Res in Australia is very good too, but not UK. I know when BA messed up a friends name on a holiday we took they sorted it in about two minutes. Luck of the draw I guess.



User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2543 times:

Ryan, you mentioned that on your SIN-BNE flight the crew came about with lots of water but no meals, and that gave me the impression that they served only one main meal before landing, and nothing (or maybe a small meal) after takeoff, which is highly unusual. Maybe I just misunderstood the whole thing!

By the way it is hard for me to imagine anyone on SQ - cabin or cockpit crew - making humourous announcements. The cabin crew are given fixed standard announcements to make, and deviating from them is frowned upon. I wish there could be more spontaneity in the announcements, but then again knowing the general standard of English among the crew I would think twice about discarding the announcements book!


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