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4 Airlines,3 Cities,2 Wonders (USA On SQ,VS,VX,B6)  
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 19757 times:

Slightly over a month after my trip to Kathmandu, it was time for another trip, a 12-days whirlwind trip to USA with my partner! It is been a long while since I went for a holiday that stretched for more than a week. For this trip, I covered the cities of New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco, as well as visited the natural wonders of Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon. 4 airlines were flown, namely Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and Jetblue, with flights on both Business and Economy. Tickets were a mixture of redemption and paid. It was quite a task to put the itinerary together and the final result is below.

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/196286_10151574786219017_2069282191_n.jpg


The first 2 sectors were on a Virgin Atlantic ticket as they offered one of the cheapest one-way ticket to New York and allows 100% Krisflyer/Elite miles accrual too, with the SIN-LHR leg on SQ (VS code-shared) and LHR-JFK leg on VS. Transfer in London was only a short 1hr40min with no terminal transfer needed. However as the first sector was on a Virgin-issued ticket, I was unable to perform seat-selection or online check-in for the SQ flight. Check-in for the SQ flight could only be processed at the airport Terminal 3. Luckily the flight was rather empty today for the leg up to London and we could snatch an entire row of 3-seaters each! Our bags were tagged up to JFK and boarding passes of both SQ and the connecting VS flight were issued. Seats on VS were already prior-selected via VS's website. Cool! VS boarding pass on SQ stock!




This morning, we would be departing from Gate A13.




Due to low loads, a B773ER was scheduled instead of the usual A380. 9V-SWG would be flying us to London.

06 March 2013
Singapore Airlines
SQ 308 (Code-shared VS7318)
Singapore (SIN) - London Heathrow (LHR)
B777-300ER
9V-SWG
Economy Class


Boarding was just starting when we cleared security at the gate. Was greeted by name by a very cheerful set of crew (if the flight was so empty, I would be cheerful too!). Good start here. My seat was towards the rear of the mid-economy cabin.


Welcome aboard!




View from my seat.




Boarding in progress.




Boarding was completed rather swiftly and hot towels were distributed. Flight time was estimated to be 13h20m. Doors were closed and we pushed back on time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYbg1H2mG14


We only had a short taxi to Rwy02L.




Taxi to runway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toyF-Dx0UO8


And takeoff from Rwy02L, bound for London Heathrow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVwPrUaPJc8


After seat belt signs were turned off, service started with distribution of headsets and "Givenchy" amenity kits, followed by menus.

Economy amenity kit with a toothbrush set and a pair of socks.




Stuff in the seat pocket.




Menu, with a rather nice cover.




Lets see what's on offer for breakfast and midflight snacks.




Beverages menu. Looks like SQ have decided to list down all available soft drinks as well as all the various teas. Makes the beverage selection much more impressive.




Selection of juices an water was first offered before the start of the breakfast service. I had an orange juice and started on my first movie, "Pitch Perfect".




Flying over city of Kuala Lumpur less than 30min after takeoff.




Spot the Twin Towers!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8089/8582909468_1998dd5fb5_b.jpg


Another view over Malaysia.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8526/8581808229_bd71074d09_b.jpg


Breakfast was serve starting from the front of the cabin. When reaching my row, the crew were running out of the scrambled egg choice, but we were going to choose local carrot-cake anyway. According to the very engaging, friendly and casual Leading Stewardess (LSS) serving my aisle, the other non-asian passengers were not too "adventurous" with trying a different cuisine, especially "Carrot-cake" for breakfast, which sounded more like dessert to them. She also promised us that we would love them and that all the crew were so happy that carrot-cake was one of the breakfast choices!

A very substantial breakfast tray. Other than the main, the tray also consisted of fruits, warm roll with butter and marmalade, muffin and cornflakes. I had an orange juice and tea to go along.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8377/8581808063_99f12e733b_b.jpg


Cut fruits and almond muffin.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8365/8581807707_4b46c0790f_b.jpg


Singapore Fried Carrot Cake. True to the LSS's words, it was delicious! One of the better breakfast dishes I had on a plane. However it might not suit the western palette as it was a tad spicy, but definitely a very Singaporean dish.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8385/8582908752_83832e518f_b.jpg


Rumblers cornflakes with milk. Cornflakes are only available on London flights. On other breakfast flights, one would normally get a yoghurt.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8386/8582908252_8518cbf867_b.jpg


Visit to the lav.




Toothbrush sets and combs were available in the amenity drawer.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8512/8581806339_9ab021ae32_b.jpg


View of the rear economy cabin. Quite a number of passengers had a 3-seater row to themselves and were dozing away on their own make-shift beds.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8100/8581806083_9cbaee3632_b.jpg


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 19664 times:

Approaching India.




Over the Indian soil.




The really great LSS, on seeing that we were watching movies, handed us a set of snacks each from the galley behind and told us to enjoy the snacks with the movie. I was totally impressed with her service!! The snacks were potato chips, chocolate chip cookies and a Toblerone chocolate bar.




One of the perks of flying in the day: Wonderful views out the window! Here, we are flying over snow-capped mountains in Afghanistan, approximately halfway through the flight.




At this point, the second meal was served, about 7hrs into the flight. First, was full bar service was offered, where I had a Campari soda.




Was given many packets of peanuts by a lovely stewardess as well.




Lunch was then served. The really great LSS is the one at the right.




What's for lunch? 3 choices were offered!




My meal tray, which was again loaded with food. The main was overflowing from the casserole! Had a white wine with the meal.




Seafood penne pasta salad for starter, which was still half frozen.




Pork "Piccata Milanese" with pasta. The biggest chunk of meat I ever had in economy class! And rather delicious as well.




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19236 times:

Another choice of Fish masala wih spiced ladyfinger and basmati rice. Tasted like the authentic Singaporean fish-head curry (minus the fish head). Great main as well! It was been quite a while since I had such good food on SQ in economy! I was so full with the meal that I saved the cheese and crackers for later.




Panna cotta dessert. Not too bad but would have preferred an ice-cream.




This time round, service was conducted from rear to front.




During lunch, we encountered some light turbulence somewhere over Iran. As usual, seat belt signs were turned off and hot beverage service was suspended. However no more of the annoying "Please return to your seat" announcements, which is a good thing as the pilots on this particular flight were so trigger-happy with the signs, illuminating the seat belt signs at least 6-7 times (excluding takeoff/landing) throughout the entire flight, with barely slight bumps encountered at each time. Because of this, the crew could not serve coffee/tea after the meal service but the LSS took our hot beverage orders during tray collection and promised to return with the drinks after the signs were switched off. Guess they were also annoyed with the signs on for such a long period of time with barely any bumps.




Finally the signs were turned off about 30min after trays were collected and the crew came out with the hot beverages. My requested green tea was delivered promptly.




Cloudy skies below.




Forward economy cabin.



My economy "bed", where I took a couple of hours' nap after finishing a second movie. Seat comfort was average, leg room not too fantastic, but with an empty seat beside, it was rather bearable.




Somewhere over Eastern Europe.




Looks cold down there.




2hrs prior to landing, sandwiches were offered with a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian. I had the non-vege option, which was a soft roll with beef pastrami. The vege option was a coleslaw sandwich that I did not try. Throughout the flight, drinks were offered hourly and crew were reactive to call-bells.




Having my sandwich with the villains of "Wreck it Ralph".




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1260 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18957 times:

I wish I had the opportunity to fly on SQ. The airlines I have to fly on from the US to Europe don't compare.

User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1340 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 18809 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Interesting route and looking forward to the other reports. I like that SQ has 3-3-3 seating on it's 777-300ERs!! I'd like to do a nonstop Europe to Asia someday.

User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40066 posts, RR: 74
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 18776 times:

Fantastic trip report. I love the food served on Singapore Airlines.
Even their short-haul flights have incredible meals in coach. Some of the best chicken curry I've had was on a SQ flight between Bangkok and Singapore.

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 2):
Panna cotta dessert. Not too bad but would have preferred an ice-cream.



Continental Airlines meatball logo on Singapore?   

Quoting ycp81 (Thread starter):
Spot the Twin Towers!


I can see it! I can see it!  



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 17882 times:

Fantastic trip report. SQ feeds you more than many airlines in premium cabins!

Thanks a lot for writing this up!

Saludos,
Alex



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 17336 times:

Just passing Berlin and not too far from destination.




Cloudy skies over Germany to Netherlands.




Crossing the English Channel soon.




We started descending shortly after leaving Netherlands. As usual, headsets are collected and cabin prepared for landing. Approaching the coast of England.




Gloomy skies over London as usual...




Surprisingly, there was no hold for landing and we approached Heathrow from the west. Guess it was not the peak hour for traffic at Heathrow. Very smooth landing on Rwy09L, and you could hear the new announcements that mobile phones can be used after landing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLfAJioMz_s


Passing a fellow B773ER from Air New Zealand while taxiing to Terminal 3.




And another B773ER from TAM Brazil.




Parked at the gate. Chocks on 20min earlier than scheduled.




Disembarking.




View of SWG that flew me to LHR. Note that we were parked at an A380 gate. And only one aerobridge was in use.




Verdict on the first flight of my trip? This is definitely one of my best, if not the best, experience of flying economy on SQ or any airline! Catering was very substantial and much better than usual (wonder if this is a London "high-yield" flight thingy), service was good to excellent depending on the crew but the LSS serving my aisle is definitely superb, IFE was acceptable (well, at least better selections than my SQ flight last year) and seats comfortable though the rather empty flight played a big part. A very comfortable flight indeed on SQ!


After disembarkation, we were off to Transfer to board our next flight. As Virgin would be departing from the same Terminal and there were not many transfer passengers at this time of the day (guess we were the only transfer pax on the SQ flight), the line for security was almost non-existent and it made the whole transfer process rather swift. Much easier than what I had feared earlier (hey, it is Heathrow afterall).

Flight information board. Not many departures at this time of the day. The main departure bank would be during the late evening.




Transit at Heathrow was not too bad. Browsed through some shops, had a sandwich and it was soon time for boarding for the next flight. in fact, my itinerary had a slightly shorter transit time and total flight time than flying on the direct SQ26! Also the day flights made the journey much less tiring than usual.




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineomidp From Canada, joined Jun 2010, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 17036 times:

Awesome TR. Could you please tell me what is your camera's style and brand?

Thank you  


User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 16514 times:

Now for the continuation of the journey to New York. As mentioned earlier, I would be transiting at London Heathrow for my onward Virgin Atlantic flight, which was not too bad an experience. During the transit, we had also went to the VS transfer desk to ensure that our bags would be transferred onto the VS flight. The agent also took our SQ-issued boarding passes and re-issued new ones on VS stock. Our earlier allocated seats were not changed, not that I would want them to be changed for a good reason to be revealed later.

My "virgin" Virgin boarding pass for my "virgin" Virgin Atlantic flight! (Sorry, can't help it...)




Proceeded to the gate about 40min prior to departure time. Our departure gate was quite a long trek at Gate 13 but it is definitely not the furthest gate at Heathrow. Our almost brand new Virgin A330-300 was already prepared for the flight to the Big Apple.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8370/8591764347_abee13b7de_b.jpg


Today, the flight would be operated by the aptly named G-VNYC "Uptown Girl"!!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8096/8592863806_17d312d8dc_b.jpg


Head-on view of "Uptown Girl".

06 March 2013
Virgin Atlantic
VS 9 (Code-shared SQ 2509)
London Heathrow (LHR) - New York John F Kennedy (JFK)
A330-300
G-VNYC
Economy Class


Boarding has long commenced when we reached the gate 30min prior to departure. Boy, does Virgin board their flight early! This flight was also code-shared with SQ but I seriously doubt there would be any SQ-ticketed passengers. There was a random secondary screening (what is new for US-bound flights) which I was so luckily picked for. No worries as it was swift and the security personnel were polite.

Heathrow's "Boarding" really means boarding, unlike some other airport...




Boarded the aircraft and was greeted by a crew at the door. Stepped into the aircraft and both of us went "Oooooo". The first sight that we saw upon stepping into this A330 was the really funky Upper Class bar and a model-like flight attendant concocting cocktails at the bar for Upper Class passengers. A range of newspapers were laid out on the bar counter and us lowly Economy passengers were also invited to grab a copy. However that is where the awesomeness ends as we turned right into Economy, first passing through Premium Economy, which was less ooomph but still way better than normal economy.

Reached my seat at 56K, which was an extra legroom seat! Hence the reason why I would not want my seat to be changed. On VS's A333, seats 50-56 A/C and H/K are designated as extra legroom seats with a seat pitch of 34", compared to the normal 31". These seats could be purchased for an additional USD50 per person. However, not sure whether it was a system glitch or due to my booking class, I was able to secure seats 56A/B or H/K (but not 50-55) during online seat selection, and thus immediately reserved 56H/K. Passengers seated in the normal seats would only be allowed to occupy the extra legroom seats by paying the cabin crew.

"Warning" on the headrest. Basically, do not sit on this seat unless allocated or paid for.




My 34" seat pitch, making it a more comfortable economy flight. A red blanket was already placed on the seat. However Virgin has discontinued with the economy amenity kits on day flights since a few months back. However they would still be available on overnight flights. The IFE in Economy is fully touch-screen, with no handsets available. However the screen is responsive and the lack of handsets does not bother unless one is to play games, which then may be a bit tiring to the arms.




Stuff in the seat pocket. Not much of an inflight magazine for "Vera". More of an entertainment magazine and IFE guide. This aircraft is also equipped with inflight mobile phone usage capability. Not sure about the charges but it was stated as roaming rates.




Passengers were still trickling into the cabin. Today, it seemed that the only "hot" flight attendant would be in Upper Class. None of the crew in Economy Class today resembled the flight attendants in the Virgin advertisements, haha. Well, not too concerned as long as the service is acceptable.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8514/8591763483_923db6a762_b.jpg


The cabin lights would have this cool purplish tint throughout the entire flight. Boarding music was playing new released pop songs.




Cartoon safety card.




Hmm, this card accidentally fell into my bag...




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1260 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 16000 times:

$50 is a great deal for 34". UA charge $100.

User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 15534 times:

At the gate.




Soon, boarding was completed and the purser welcomed everyone onboard, as well as announcing the total number of passengers, which I recalled was around 220pax. Flight time was stated to be a short 7hrs instead of the scheduled 8hr10m.


Had a very long pushback while the entertaining safety video was played. The SQ aircraft that I flew into LHR on could also be spotted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTd3DHS-0dw


Started the short taxi to Rwy09R, passing lots of BAs during taxi.




BA Land at T5.




Takeoff from Rwy09R......not....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EpmNDf3Ywg


Apparently there was a small administrative issue with the tallying of bag numbers vs passengers onboard, but this was resolved rapidly. However we had to wait for another 10-15min on the taxiway for a takeoff slot again.


SAS MD80 passing by while we were waiting for takeoff clearance again.




Off we go again, this time successful! However we were 30min behind schedule by then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEno38ARLic


Climbing through the clouds.




Service started, first with the distribution of headphones. There is also a "Change for children" donation envelope within the headphone pack to support VS's charity work, with any donations encouraged in the envelopes and to be passed to any cabin crew upon disembarkation.




This was followed by the distribution of menus. Yes, VS is one of the few airlines which still provide menus in Economy Class, even though it is only a card.




What is on offer for today's flight? 3 choices offered for mains, including a vegetarian choice!




The sun has begun to set. We would be chasing the sunset for almost the entire flight! Longest sunset ever witnessed.




A bar service was first offered. My aisle was manned by 2 male attendants. They were casual and friendly, but nothing exceptional. Not a problem with me as long as they still provide the expected service.




Was given a pack of delicious pretzels and selection of drinks from the bar. We both went for the speciality cocktail without alcohol. According to the crew, it is a mixture of cranberry and orange juices. Tasted fine to me.




Drinks were served in a fanciful but of good quality purple plastic cup.




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14782 times:

Started with a movie. IFE movie selections on Virgin's Vera are not bad and comparable to SQ's Krisworld, but SQ is better on the Asian and European movies. Guess this is due to the 2 airlines' vastly different route network.




Shortly after, the meal and drinks cart were rolled out. A crew member would be distributing meals while another would be following behind with drinks.




The meal tray with a salad, main, roll with butter and a cutlery pack.




All laid out with cool purple plastic cutlery used. Dessert would be served separately with coffee/tea. I had a diet Pepsi to go with my meal.




A simple salad and unheated roll.




I had the Minced beef with herb breadcrumb topping, mixed vegetables and potatoes. Not too inspiring and portion of beef is rather small.




My partner chose the Diced chicken with cheese and leek sauce, garlic and thyme potatoes and creamed spinach. This tasted slightly better but portion is again not too generous. Luckily we were not too hungry as our minds were screaming "Bedtime!!".




Nicely designed salt/pepper sachets.




After the meal trays were cleared, 'Gu' dessert was served along with coffee/tea. Today's Gu selection was a Black Forest Mini Pud/ I also had a tea to go along. Tea was served in a "Slurp" designed paper cup.




The 'Gu' dessert was what a dessert should be. Sweet, sinful and satisfying! One of the best desserts ever had on a plane! Yummy!!




The sun is still setting.




Visit to the lavatory. It was basic, with nothing more than the necessary.




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlinerichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4295 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14734 times:

What a great TR - keep it coming!


None shall pass!!!!
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40066 posts, RR: 74
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 14620 times:

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 12):
Started with a movie. IFE movie selections on Virgin's Vera

Looks like a Jane Fonda workout at 35,000 feet!

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 12):
The meal tray with a salad, main, roll with butter and a cutlery pack.

Nice buns.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 14218 times:

A view of the cabin.




By the time I have finished my movie, we were almost halfway across the pond.




4.5hrs to go.




The still setting sun. By this time, fatigue has caught up with us and we decided to sleep the rest of the flight away. Guess we missed the mid-flight ice-cream service that Virgin offers. Snacks, such as chips and chocolates, were available for purchase if you want a bit more.




Slept for almost 3hrs and when the glancing out the window, the sky was still in its last moments of sunset. We were then somewhere over the cold Canadian soil.




An snack, supposed "High Tea", was served slightly more than an hour prior to landing. It came in a cardboard box.




The snack consists of cheese and onion sandwich and a Great British cupcake.




The cheese and red onion finger sandwiches were cold and unmemorable.




But the Great British cupcake was really yummy!! A really nice sweet treat!! Wished I could have a couple more of it!




Had another tea along with the snack.




Just passing Boston when the pilot came on and gave the arrival information.




Seemed like VS's adopted some of the "practices" of its previous major shareholder. The cabin was secured for landing, seat upright, headsets returned, and even blankets have to be tucked away behind you, all 30min before landing!! Now who's more "safety conscious"?!




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 13911 times:

As there was a storm brewing and heading towards New York area, winds were rather strong, making a very interesting landing. Throughout the entire approach, passengers in the plane were entirely silent while we felt the plane swerving left and right and engines spooling up and down in total darkness. Finally. the skillful pilots made a rather smooth landing onto Rwy04R, half hour ahead of schedule thanks to the weak headwinds. Even the crew remarked that JFK is "seriously windy" during his arrival announcement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxO4jVg3mm0


Parked at Terminal 4.




My seat for the last 7.5hrs. Legroom is good but seat cushion is a bit hard.




Waiting to disembark. A bit of a wait here as only one aerobridge was in use.




Legroom is not that great at the normal rows.




Premium Economy seats.




As there were no other arrival flights at this time, the immigration hall was almost deserted! Luggage was also out quickly and customs just looked at our forms and waved us on. In fact, we only took less than 20min from stepping out of the aircraft to clearing customs! Must be quite a record for an international arrival at a US airport!

Thoughts on my first ever Virgin Atlantic flight? Acceptable but not exceptionally great. Guess being pampered on the previous SQ flight did not help. Cabin comfort and IFE is acceptable, ambiance is "Virgin" funky, but catering could be improved, especially for the main course quality and portions. But don't remove the Gu dessert and cupcakes! Service was acceptable, not exceptional warm but not bad either. This sums up my review of Virgin Atlantic, and also the start of my USA whirlwind journey!


Took Airtrain/subway E to our hotel, Staybridge Suites Times Square, at Port Authority, which was a cheaper and faster way than the shuttle buses. Taxis are ridiculously expensive! My first meal in USA would be the famed New York Pizzas, with a rather famous chain located just steps from my Hotel.




The pizzas from 2 Bros are cheap and delicious! Strongly recommended the cheese and pepperoni pizzas!




Then it was straight to bed for the night before our day-trip to Niagara Falls early the next day.

Morning view of Empire States from my hotel room.




Free breakfast provided.




New York Times building across from Port Authority.




Then it was back to the subway for the journey to JFK again. It started to snow a bit while on the way to JFK.




View of Delta Terminal 2 from the Airtrain.




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 13457 times:

Delta-land at JFK Terminal 2/3.




More Deltas at Terminal 4.




jetBlues and TAM at Terminal 4.




Reaching the jetBlue Terminal 5. It is a rather long walk through the link-bridge from the Airtrain station.




Tarmac action across to Terminals 7 and 8.




Deicing on a jetBlue A320 in progress.




First sight that greeted us at Terminal 5. Self-service check-in machines. As we had no check-in luggage for the day-trip, I proceeded to the machine to print out boarding passes, as I had done online check-in earlier. Unfortunate due to some issues, the machine could not spit out our boarding passes and
we had to get them from the counters.




jetBlue check-in counters. No queues at all and we got our boarding passes immediately.




Boarding pass for the flight.




Document check by TSA done (valid passport/ID needed to clear through security) and through security we went, which was not too bad as there were no queues. Travelling through US airports, as long as everyone follows the drills (shoes, jackets and belts off, liquids out, laptops out, all metal objects out), the process would not be that painful. And currently they also utilizes the body x-ray thingy to speed things up a bit.

Departure board.




The spacious departure hall, with shops and dining available.




There is even a A320 engine on display!




Shops in the terminal. There is even a Muji!

07 March 2013
jetBlue
B6 108
New York John F Kennedy (JFK) - Buffalo Niagara (BUF)
A320
N564JB "Absolute Blue"
Economy Class


"Absolute Blue" would be flying us to Buffalo this morning.




Boarding had already commenced when we reached the gate. So straight into the aircraft we went.




Welcomed at the door by a friendly crew member. Down the aisle, passing through "Even-More-Space" seat rows with 36" pitch. These can be purchased for an additional cost, but I don't think that is really necessary as normal seat rows on jetBlue A320s offers 34" pitch, the largest economy seat-pitch among all US airlines.




Reached my seat at 19A. View out of the window.




Boarding in progress.




DirectTV entertainment consoles on the armrest. I had brought my own earphones to enjoy the free IFE.




Entertainment selections are already available at the gate.




Weather Channel, showing a storm brewing around Boston. Legroom was more than sufficient at 34". The leather seats were rather comfortable.




Safety card and inflight guide in the seat pocket.




Entertainment and buy-on-board meal box options.




And the complimentary snacks/drinks and payable alcoholic options. The beverage choices can put many full-service carriers to shame!




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 13406 times:

All aboard and we are ready to go. Flight time was announced to be approximately 55min. A manual safety demo was conducted by the crew. There were only 3 cabin crew onboard this A320.




Pushback.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gri468FwxoE


Starting the taxi to Rwy 04L.




Taxi to runway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5axo2JhhjOU


American eagle ERJ starting its takeoff roll.




Delta Connection CRJ ahead.




jetBlue behind.




And another jetBlue landing.




Takeoff from JFK Rwy04L to Buffalo!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsUyUAgx30Y


Above the white sea of clouds, which would be the only scenery throughout the entire flight.




Flight map. We would only be cruising at a low 20+k feet.




On this short flight, jetBlue would only offer the express-service instead of the full works. This meant that only a few selection of drinks and snacks would be available. For today, the snacks available are Linden's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Kings Nut Fancy Nut Mix. Drinks on offer are Orange juice, Dasani water and Dunkin' Donuts coffee. First, snacks are distributed from baskets, followed by drinks on trays. No carts were used on jetBlue flights. Crew were friendly and professional.




Both options of snacks, paired with coffee and water. More than sufficient for such a short flight! The mixed nuts were delicious, being a premium mix of almonds, cashews and honey roasted sesame sticks.




View for the rest of the flight while I channel surf on DirectTV.




Before long, we started our descent into Buffalo.




Crew picked up the trash and secured the cabin for landing. We would be landing towards the north-east today, but flew south to intercept the approach path.




Cloudy day in the Buffalo area as well.




Flaps and gears down...




And landed smoothly on Buffalo Niagara International Airport Rwy 05.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu8A52c1M24


Parked at the jetBlue designated gate. One interesting concept of US domestic operations is that most of the domestic airlines have their own dedicated gates in the terminal.




Southwest B737-700 also arrived.




Disembarking.




Last look at the spacious and comfortable cabin. Crew were already clearing the trash off the seats while bading goodbyes, preparing the aircraft for the short turnaround.




Welcome to wet and cloudy Buffalo!




It was a really comfortable flight on jetBlue. Even though jetBlue did not market itself as a full-service carrier, nor of a budget carrier, the service provided is definitely not budget at all, and not surprisingly could be better than the legacy US carriers. Seats are comfortable, legroom good and catering more than sufficient. For those travelling with bags, jetBlue also offers 1 free check-in bag per passenger, unlike the major "full-service" carriers which are already charging for check-in bags on domestic routes. Definitely the carrier to recommend when flying domestically within USA.

From Buffalo airport, we headed directly to Niagara Falls using the airport taxi. There was an hourly shuttle by the same company which costs much less, but we missed the shuttle and so decided upon the taxi to save time, However return was on shuttle. Upon reaching Niagara Falls at the USA side, which was about a 40min drive away, everywhere is walkable or reachable by a shuttle trolley bus.

First stop was lunch at the Culinary Institute of Niagara, which was recommended to us by the attendant at the Niagara Falls Visitor Center. It is basically an institute with a restaurant, bakery and sandwich place run by students of the institute.




True to her recommendation, food was great, service was good and prices were very reasonable! Starter of a salad.




Yummy gnocchi.




Equally tasty carbonara!




My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineRvXKaz From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 195 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 13012 times:

Hi Ycp81,

I chanced upon your report and thanks for this wonderful preview of the airline services from 3 different continents in one TR!

SQ really feeds passengers very well as seen from your TR, just look at how generous the meal portions are. The carrot-cake looks very good too (makes my mouth water, just looking at the generous portion of carrot cake topped with juicy shrimps!). But yes, as you've pointed out, SQ should perhaps look into changing the name of the dish for the menu as their European passengers may easily confuse with a dessert dish!

I wasn't aware that SQ serves 3 choices of main in Economy but thanks for enlightening. Both of the options you've shown look very good!

Your review of Virgin Atlantic's service is very interesting too! Meal portions look smaller compared to SQ's but nicely presented and looks tasty indeed. I think the menu card in Economy is very well-appreciated!

I also really like the mood lighting onboard Virgin. Very soothing ambience and I'm sure you had a good 3hr rest after the movie.

Oh yes, congrats on securing a seat with extra legroom on this sector!

Virgin Blue's service looks very decent on this short sector! I've heard so much complaints about domestic US services but having a PTV (with flight-tracking map feature nonetheless), a free snack and a choice drink for a flight that is less than one hour is great!

I am looking forward to reading about your flight back to Singapore on SQ15 in Business! I'm be flying SQ16/SQ15 myself (though in Economy) and I'll like to see what SQ offers upfront! Interesting that you opted for SQ603 rather than continue with SQ15. Good decision to try SQ's service on their regional routes in my opinion!

Thanks for this epic report and take care!
Gavin



They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 12946 times:

Most people would visit Niagara Falls from late spring to early autumn as that is when most attractions would be in operation. For my visit in early March, the entire Niagara Falls felt like a ghost town, with most attractions like the Maid of the Mist and Caves of the Winds closed. However there is still a charm in visiting Niagara in winter, with no crowds to jostle your way through.

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/64233_10151688623089017_334000963_n.jpg

http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/554887_10151688623654017_1902414424_n.jpg


Rapids of river towards the falls.

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/228894_10151688618954017_167637187_n.jpg

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/527633_10151688619129017_901357994_n.jpg


Trolley bus shuttle within the park. There is a shuttle every 10mins!

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/208730_10151688620364017_2063260161_n.jpg


American Falls.

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/24302_10151688617659017_561231184_n.jpg

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/579059_10151688619709017_1372801335_n.jpg

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/221605_10151688620244017_143317239_n.jpg


The bigger Horseshoe Falls, where idiots went over in barrels.

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/527715_10151688621804017_19084596_n.jpg


Within the State Park

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/577670_10151688621414017_2079295501_n.jpg

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/562206_10151688620694017_1826302014_n.jpg


And lots of squirrels around! The little one preferred my potato chips to the berries it was originally eating on a tree!

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/24459_10151688623709017_1612049545_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12832 times:

As mentioned earlier, we took the Airport Shuttle back to Buffalo Airport in the evening, after having a light bite at Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls. The shuttle could be arranged at the Niagara Falls Visitor Center for only USD16 per person. Much lower than our USD70 taxi fare to Niagara Falls!

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/599669_10151688624444017_1698864195_n.jpg


Some buffalo wings in Hard Rock Cafe.

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/555146_10151688617814017_399191301_n.jpg


Again, having done internet check-in earlier, we just picked up our boarding passes at the check-in counters at Buffalo airport. There were no queues at all as we were still rather early.




Off through security again with the same rituals without fuss and into the secure areas. I was getting quite deserted with most shops closing or closed, leaving only a restaurant still in operation till the last departure.




At the next gate was a delayed Boston flight due to bad weather in Boston. According to the flight information boards, all flights to Boston experienced lengthy delays that day.




Soon, the gate agent announced that our flight would be slightly delayed for 20min due to late departure from JFK. Apparently the weather in JFK was also worsening with the snow storm approaching. I was just glad that the delay was not as long as the neighbouring Boston flight, which was delayed more than 2hrs!

Finally our Embraer E190 jet arrived from JFK, 30min behind schedule.

07 March 2013
jetBlue
B6 131
Buffalo Niagara (BUF) - New York John F Kennedy (JFK)
Embraer E190
N284JB "Sincerely Blue"
Economy Class


Luckily the turnaround was rather quick and the plane was rather for boarding less than 10min after the last passenger got off! It was my first time flying on the Embraer aircraft and even though the seat configuration is in 2-2, it still felt rather spacious. Jetblue's E190 was configured with only 100 seats, thus only 2 cabin crew were needed. Seats were the same as on the A320s.




Legroom on the E190 was only 32" compared to the A320's 34", but still more than sufficient for the short sectors the E190 operates. DirectTV is also available.




Safety card and inflight guide, similar to the A320s.




Boarding in progress, with seated passengers already channel-surfing on the DirectTV.



Plane being refueled. Another thing noted was that the windows of the E190 are huge!




Very soon, all passengers were aboard. Almost a full flight this evening to JFK. Safety demo done manually and flight time announced as 1hr. We pushed back and taxied to Rwy05.




Takeoff from Rwy05, heading back to JFK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NplnBmFENPw


Service announcement after takeoff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFl6UI09Bdk



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12796 times:

We would only be cruising at a low 20K feet tonight. In fact, most of the time we were flying in the clouds, with lightning flashing out the windows. Surprisingly there were only minor turbulence, even though the seatbelt signs were kept on for most of the flight.




As briefed in the service announcement earlier, the "Express" service for this short flight would consist of a choice between animal crackers and mixed nuts, and beverage choices of water/coke/diet coke/sprite. Again, snacks were first offered from a basket, which the friendly female crew, who was conducting service at the rear half of the plane, offered us both choices each. This was followed by drinks from trays, where I had a Sprite. We were offered whole cans each, with cups of ice also available. I was seriously impressed with jetBlue for having so many cans of beverages on offer! On full-service airlines, SQ included, passengers were normally only served a plastic cup full.




Animal crackers and the delicious mixed nuts. Again, more than sufficient for the very short flight.




Watching the latest episode of Glee on Fox channel!




On jetBlue, cabin lights were kept dimmed throughout on night flights. The lights were only switched on for landing preparations.




Lavatory of the E190. It took some time for me to locate the 'Flush' button. See the blue button above the toilet roll? I initially thought it was the cabin attendant call button!




Descending into stormy New York.




We landed on Rwy31R from the south.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWn_qLZ3AXI


Parked at Terminal 5. It was snowing rather heavily by now.




Disembarking. Comfortable seat pitch on the E190 as well.




Our E190 in the snow storm!




Again. a short and pleasant flight on jetBlue, despite the delay which was due to weather, so no fault of the airline. Luckily we had flew to Niagara Falls this day as the following day, there were major delays at all NY airports due to heavy snowfall overnight! Back to the hotel and rest for the night.


And this was what greeted me the next morning!

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/599614_10151690322584017_272737658_n.jpg

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/197039_10151690323754017_1283520841_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 12370 times:

Had the complimentary breakfast again at Staybridge Suites.

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/63897_10151670053209017_883213943_n.jpg


It had been snowing very heavily throughout the entire night till late morning.

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/31482_10151665592919017_562923039_n.jpg

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/541572_10151666207129017_293516117_n.jpg


Due to the heavy snow, we decided that it was not an appropriate day to explore NY city, and thus decided to go up to Woodbury Premium Outlets instead for some shopping! It was a correct decision as we felt as if we were shopping in winter wonderland!

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/527619_10151690323069017_972993536_n.jpg

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/310531_10151690324084017_149401703_n.jpg

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/208786_10151690324189017_1621037458_n.jpg

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/479821_10151666212249017_1425848692_n.jpg


Simple lunch at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/486609_10151690322914017_1174566723_n.jpg


After lots of shopping, it was back to Manhattan for dinner! By then, the snow on the streets had been cleared.

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/536374_10151690323254017_891256234_n.jpg


An evening of sinful New Yorker "cuisine"! First up, Shake Shack burger!

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/598752_10151666997979017_831644244_n.jpg


Followed by Mac n Cheese from Schnipper's Quality Kitchen.

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/72431_10151666998089017_396984487_n.jpg


Ending with dessert from Cake Boss Cafe!

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/484870_10151666998159017_571454684_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 11902 times:

After 2 days of snow, the weather was perfect on the 3rd and 4th day I was in New York! Cool temperature with sunny skies! Loved it! As this was not our first visit to NY and having been to the main tourist attractions, this trip was more of exploring the unexplored areas as well as shopping!

The ever famous Times Square!

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/601059_10151668309999017_576496257_n.jpg


One of the must-try cupcake chains, DC Cupcakes. Based on a reality TV show!

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/482775_10151668309939017_1112764820_n.jpg


Candies and more candies!

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/601543_10151668310119017_922805293_n.jpg


Lunch and more of streets of New York.

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/64828_10151668310209017_857159189_n.jpg


Everyone's out at Central Park!

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/295583_10151668310529017_1757861120_n.jpg


Evening in New York.

http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/261263_10151691414249017_975890132_n.jpg

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/601467_10151669083169017_1546786984_n.jpg


Delicious Italian food at a Zagat and Michelin rated restaurant. Chanced upon this small restaurant just behind the hotel.

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/28990_10151669083249017_1662913000_n.jpg


Morning visit to Chelsea Market.

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/582327_10151670053344017_59782816_n.jpg

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/487923_10151670053464017_2012558039_n.jpg


Grand Central Terminal and SoHo.

http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/480433_10151670776909017_1327496061_n.jpg


Pinkberry and more pizza! Last meal in New York before flying to Las Vegas...

http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/581754_10151670776984017_999908426_n.jpg



My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
25 Post contains images planiac787 : Well First of all amazing report! One can see the amount of effort put behind it. Love the photos... New York for me is the best city in the world ( W
26 Post contains links and images ycp81 : After New York, the next destination would be Las Vegas, mainly for another natural wonder, Grand Canyons! I had booked the flight, again on Jetblue f
27 NASBWI : Excellent report so far! About the hot 'towels': I know they're not quite what some would call a towel, but I'm glad you enjoyed them! I find them pre
28 huldoch : Great report! Thanks for sharing!
29 Post contains links and images ycp81 : The next day was spent entirely in Las Vegas, including exploring the strip and having one of its magnificent and affordable buffets. It was bright an
30 azncsa4qf744er : Amazing Trip report.
31 Post contains images ycp81 : Last city to go, San Francisco! This would also be my 6th flight sector on this trip. Again, took the pre-booked shuttle for the short ride to McCarra
32 Post contains links and images ycp81 : Legroom is more than decent for this short hop. Seat pocket has innovative small separated compartments to place your stuff. Safety card, wifi guide a
33 Post contains links and images ycp81 : Watching a documentary on Tiger Farming. Friendly Virgin America crew starting the beverage service as well as handing out ordered snacks and meal box
34 Post contains links and images ycp81 : Satisfied my pinkberry crave right after touchdown in the terminal! Towards the exit. Claiming our bags. From Terminal 2, we would need to take the sh
35 Post contains images ycp81 : After a crazy 10-day East-to-West Coast USA trip, it was finally time to go back home, and also finally my first ever long-haul experience on SQ Busin
36 B707MT : Thank you, ycp81, for one of the most thoughtfully-crafted TRs it's been my pleasure to read on this forum. I think you have raised the bar for TRs wi
37 icanfly : I stumbled across this amazing trip report and greatly enjoyed it! Reading it I really felt like I was there with you on your travels and that's the u
38 9V-SPJ : Great report! I just flew SQ15 from SFO to SIN and the SQ407 to DEL and was very impressed with the service. Choice of three meals in Y- western, Kore
39 richierich : I completely agree! I think this was one of the most comprehensive TRs I have read in a while! An around-the-world trip, no less! Excellent!
40 Post contains links and images ycp81 : SQ's newest B773ER, 9V-SWT, would be flying the long-haul back to Singapore. Pardon the shaded designs on the glass. We will be departing from gate G9
41 sq_ek_freak : Seriously good report, have loved every bit of it! Some observations: SQ seemed extremely solid on the SIN-LHR route, much more so than usual. Great y
42 Post contains images ycp81 : What is on the menu today? Lunch menu. Spot the "error"? (Hint: The cheeses section) Refreshments and Light Meal. Dinner for the Incheon to Singapore
43 Post contains images ycp81 : Flipped down my bed, tucked into my duvet and continued with "Life of Pi" in bed. Loved the spaciousness of 11K! Cabin lights were also dimmed. Intere
44 CaliAtenza : Loved this trip report series!! The food in Biz class looks so damn yummy!
45 Post contains links and images ycp81 : Nearly there now. Outskirts of Seoul No hold and we descended direct into Incheon. Final approach. Had a very early landing into Rwy33R! We landed sli
46 flightsimboy : I'm not sure if you have too many photos in this one report, which is why a major portion of the latter half are not showing up?. Also your youtube vi
47 chrisflier : A great trip report! I really like when the trip report contains pics from the destinations as well! I didn't have the same issues with your pics as f
48 Post contains images ycp81 : Final sector of this very long trip report! But before that, some plane-spotting at Incheon. Delta B772ER Really big brother beside little brother. Qa
49 Post contains links and images ycp81 : Unique to the Incheon Silver Kris Lounge is a free 15min facial massage service! The massage service is only available from 2pm-8pm and we were the la
50 Post contains links and images ycp81 : Somewhere off the coast of Vietnam. Crew started service about 1.5h prior to landing. First, hot towels and juices were offered. I had an orange juice
51 ycp81 : You can fly SQ from JFK to Frankfurt! It was really very good food served in Economy! 3 choices are only available on certain flights. Under the "no-
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