Godbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 17 Posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9928 times:
The idea for this trip was born after we heard of the special by Singapore Airlines in cooperation with various hotels and other attractions to bring tourists back to the country after the serious impact of SARS earlier this year. The offer was too good to reject it so we booked the socalled „fabulous offer“ which included the flight to and from Frankfurt/Main to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, two nights in one of the hotels, a voucher for a singaporian attraction and another voucher for the SIA-Hop-On-Bus.
It did not take long until we had decided to book a trip...
Airsicknessbag and I met at Frankfurt airport infront of the Singapore Airlines counters where we checked in shortly after they had opened the desk at the First Class Check-In and already we got sequence numbers 317 and 318. So there must have been about 315 passengers who were on the JFK-FRA-SIN flight as the earlier numbers must have all been given out at JFK. Those passengers would spend two nights in the airplane as they journey goes over 16489 km’s split into 6205 km for JFK-FRA and 10284 km for FRA-SIN.
After we got our boarding passes we took the Skyline train to Terminal 2 where we sat down at the Mc Donald’s (the largest McD’s in Europe btw.) and had a look out of the window where we watched the action going on outside. As the time of our departure came closer we went back to Terminal 1 to slowly go to our gate which would be B43, one of only a few gates in T1 also capable to have an A340-600 or 777-300 park there. When SAA operates the A346 to FRA that is usually the gate for it. I wonder how Lufthansa plans to have 10 of them on the ground on the same time in the future.
On these two pictures you can see our gate, in the first it is where the Air Canada A330-300 is parked and in the second where you see the left Lufthansa 747-400:
After we had arrived there our plane was already standing there and the passengers that came in from New York were leaving the plane for their two hour transit stop at Frankfurt.
It took a while and then slowly the passengers started to gather around the ground staff that would finally let us board the plane. We got to the door at the plane and since both of us knew where we would sit we had our boarding passes already packed away but the Flight Attendant that greeted us there insisted that we would show them to her. So we had to dig them out from our stuff just so that she could with a smile tell us the way. Since we thought of this messure to be very useless, at least for us, she heard a fairly rude reply that we already knew our way around. It took a long walk through the whole cabin until we reached our seats in row 63, one of just four rows where the 744 had only two seats instead of three because the fuselage narrows down there.
We stowed our bags in the overhead compartment and then took our seats. It didn’t take much longer and the plane was completely boarded.
Pushback was on time at 1235 and while we started to move the crew welcomed us on the plane, first in English and then in German and then the safety demonstration video was shown and also every passenger got an Amenty Kit Bag consisting of socks a toothbrush and toothpaste in addition to the one that was already to be found on each seat upon boarding.
We taxied to the far end of the airport past the South African Airways A340-600 and Qantas 747-400 to runway 07L. A few planes landed before us and then we turned onto the runway.
The engines were slowly driven up to full-power and the fully loaden Jumbo slowly started to speed down the runway. This must have been on of the hardest take-off runs I’ve ever experienced as the plane was near MTOW and the outside temperature was almost 40°C.
It seemed as we would drive to Singapore. In the last quarter of the runway the plane lifted off the ground and gradually started it’s climb.
It did not take very long until the Flight Attendants started serving the first meal.
Daniel had pre-ordered a seafood menu so he did not have to go through deciding which main meal he would want to have but I still had to go through the deciding process.
Since the flight actually started in New York I’ll also start with what was served on that flight. JFK-FRA
Grilled tournedos of beef with assorted mushroom sauce, seasonal vegetables
and roasted rosemary potatoes or
Wok fried chicken in sesame, oill and ginger, braised beancurd with vegetables
and chicken rice
Cheese and crackers
From the bakery:
Roll and butter
But since I was still at home in Germany while that was served I can not give you more insight into that meal though...
Fish fillet in Thai yellow curry with seasonal vegetables and steamed rice or
Chicken with grain mustard sauce, green beans, carrots and potatoes
Cheese and crackers
From the bakery:
Roll and butter
With the main menu I had the chicken with grain mustard sauce, green beans, carrots and potatoes since I do not eat any fish. The meal tasted very good and everything was very well fit together.
I was surprised when I saw the ice cream on the card and after we were done with our meat a F/A came by and handed a little box of ten chocolate-covered-vanilla ice-cream-cubes which was a very fine (in Singapore „fine“ is really a special word ) way to end the meal.
After the meal we both slept for a while but that did not last long and we were also interrupted by the great scenery we could see.
Here you can roughly see our flightpath, except that we flew a little more southern route.
Leaving Germany we flew over the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova,
Odessa (great view!), Crimea, Tbilisi, Caucasus, Baku, Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, tiny bit of North
Eastern Iran, Afghanistan (Herat, then right between Qandahar and Kabul),
Pakistan, India (right over the Taj Mahal at Agra, unfortunately clouded),
Bay of Bengal, Malysian Peninsula and then to Singapore.
For those of you that know me when we were over Afgahnistan all I thought is „I’ll be back!“ hoping to be able to go to Kabul with the German Forces.
It was just too bad that we had an early night so everything from about the hight of Iraq/Iran was dark but you could still see the ground at least.
Probably some here want to know a few details about Krisworld... For those I have bad news since we had the flight mapper on the whole time so we didn’t get the chance to look into it. I a few times just had a look through the system but never really played with it. But from the speed of the reactiontime from button-input to reaction on the screen was like on an old computer. From the little I can say The IFE system on LanChile was more of a pleasure. But as I said I didn’t really use the system so I have no right to judge here.
During the flight there were a dozen rounds of drinks served by the very friendly Flight Attendants so we did really feel at home on Singapore Airlines.
Before we would land at Singapore Changi airport breakfast was served where again we had the choice between two different meals. But again first the JFK-FRA flight. JFK-FRA
Croissant with wasabi, mayonnaise spread, smoked salmon and shaved cucumber or
egg, bacon and cheese sandwich
And now for our FRA-SIN flight. FRA-SIN
Braised egg noodles with shredded pork in Oriental sauce and leafy greens or
Scrambled egg with warm salad of potatoes, peas, mushrooms and tomatoes
From the bakery:
Assorted breakfast rolls, butter-fruit preserve
I had wanted to have the braised egg noodles with shredded pork in Oriental sauce and leafy greens but tough luck for me I had to go with the scrambled egg with warm salad of potatoes, peas, mushrooms and tomatoes. But this was not bad afterall as it did also taste very good.
And it was at least enough to get us to our hotel without starving.
It did not take too long and then our plane left the flight level on its way home. We could enjoy a night view over the Island as it still was dark outside and then we touched down at Singapore Changi International Airport more than half an hour early.
There must have been a cow or so on the runway as the plane was moving from one side of the runway to the other shaking the passengers around in their seats. Both of us were reminded of the TPE-accident in 2000, not that we were passengers on that flight, but we were lucky as the pilot seemed to have choosen the right runway this time.
I had never experienced a landing which involved that much veering off the centre line, and neither had Daniel.
Leaving the runway we taxied past a few retired Singapore-A310s some with titles and/or
logos removed and also a few stored „Megatops“ to our gate where we than got out and went through immigration. But before every passenger got it’s temperature taken by these „things“, almost looking like German speed-messurement pistols used by the police, and both of us were no suspects of bringing SARS back to Singapore.
I hope you did enjoy this first part of our short trip to Singapore. Thank you for taking the time to read it. And I also recommend to watch out for Airsicknessbag´s coverage of our stay in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia as well as the return flight.
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5 Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9783 times:
...boarding passes already packed away but the Flight Attendant that greeted us there insisted that we would show them to her
Checking passengers' boarding passes is actually a security measure to ensure that only bonafide passengers board the aircraft. So, whether you know your way around the aircraft or not, the crew will insist on seeing your boarding passes.... keep them in your hands next time
B737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9759 times:
thanks for sharing this report. It very much reminded me of my recent SIA flight. Seems like they have not changed the meals in July/August. And as chance would have it they also ran out of the probably delicious egg noddles prior to arrival in SIN on my flight.
Do you remember the actual flying time ?
Looking forward to the return part and to read about your stay in Asia.
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9776 times:
here´s my report.
As usual, I´ll include some words on the stay to, because that´s part of the trp as well. Of course you´re always welcome to scroll down and go directly for the flight itself.
As already mentioned, we did short excursions into Malaysia and Indonesia: the former we covered on Friday afternoon; we took the tube to the Northern part of the island, where we changed into a bus taking us to the border. We then walked over the causeway into Malaysia, got our entry and exit stamps from that country and headed back to Singapore. Speaking of passport stamps: wow, these three days got me ten (!) new stamps, my passport looks like a fruit salad now
Saturday morning (national holiday in S´pore btw [independence day]) was our Indonesia day: we took the tube to the harbour and bought a return ticket to Batam, one of the islands of the Riau archipelago. Cost was only 11 EUR! The crossing took about an hour. Upon arrival, we asked whether it was possible to stay on the boat and head right back to S´pore; reason: we thought we´d need visa, the cost of which was 50 EUR per person, according to the Indonesian embassy in Germany. However, we had to leave the boat and pass immigration. Much to our delight, the friendly officer just stamped our passports without issuing visa or collecting a fee. We loitered around the ferry terminal and its immediate surroundings, changed 2.50 EUR into Indonesian Rupees (to keep them as a souvenir) and went back to S´pore an hour later.
Other things we did:
Saturday afternoon - roam around downtown, Chinatown and Orchard Road. Shopping for dirt cheap souvenirs.
Sunday morning - we drove one complete loop on the SQ Hop On bus; quite nice routing.
Sunday afternoon - zoo; quite nice, but rather overrated imho.
After that, we headed back to Changi airport, arriving there and checking in around 1800, i.e. six hours before departure. Both of us had managed not to check any luggage, despite doing some shopping.
Much to our surprise, again we got very high sequence numbers on our boarding passes, in the 200s. So either Singaporeans check in very very early, or there were lots of people travelling on a connexion from Australia. Speaking of connexions: the woman queuing in front of us had an awfull routing: HYD-MAA-SIN-FRA-JFK-ATL!
We checked out the airport and had already settled for a long boring wait, but then - rejoice! - we discovered a free SMS-terminal. So we spent the next hours spamming our friends´ mobile phones with self gloss "Hi from Singapore" messages
Sunday, August 10, 2003
SQ 26 2350-0635+
operated by B747-412 9V-SMM, delivered June 11, 1992
So, what can I tell you about this flight? Nothing really. The food was quite nice (got my special seafood meals again), the routing was the same as on FRA-SIN (just a tad more south, e.g. we passed right over Qandahar this time). Our flight levels were 9400, 10100 and 10700 metres.
I found the service a bit lacking in style, the steward(esse)s were very hectic, which led to them cutting corners service-wise. Examples: the lack of choice in beverages which are available directly from the cart was sub-standard. Most things other than orange juice (appallingly artificial taste, btw) and water had to be scribbled down and delivered later. Pity that my orders were forgotten twice.
But all in all, the service was quite OK - though not what I would have expected after some reports I had read or heard. But then, they got me to my destination safely and on time - so no hard feelings here. But anyone bashing e.g. LH´s service levels by comparing them to SQ´s doesn´t know what he´s talking about.
I managed to sleep between dinner and breakfast - or from the Nicobars to Baku - so I was in quite good shape after arriving at FRA and could go straight to work that same afternoon.
Singapore is a fine destination for a stop-over, but a pure Singapore holiday is not advisable. I´m not saying that I regret having done this trip, but, let me put it this way: having been there for two days (i.e. not counting the two half-days in Malaysia and Indonesia), I don´t feel there was much I missed. A week there would become very boring. If you´re not into shopping, that is. But, the food alone (especially its price/quality ratio) was worth a visit. I just LOVE Asian food...
SQ is a fine airline, but overrated. Definitely not superior to your average European flag carrier. Service consists of more than pretty girls in exotic dresses.
Thanks again for reading this report. Feel free to express your feelings, bring forward any criticism or ask questions.
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9766 times:
>>>Checking passengers' boarding passes is actually a security measure to ensure that only bonafide passengers board the aircraft. So, whether you know your way around the aircraft or not, the crew will insist on seeing your boarding passes.... keep them in your hands next time
You know, boarding passes are checked numerous times between check in and boarding. After the boarding process is complete (i.e. after the ground staff has torn off their half of the boarding pass), the rest is mine, and it´s no one´s business any more.
But I have no problem at all to stand in the plane´s door and slowly retrieve my boarding pass stub from the depth of my suitcase. Inconveniences them more than me.
Godbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 17 Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9726 times:
First of all thank you for your replies so far.
Wasn't Patrick flying with you on this trip?
Patrick is in Singapore at this very moment as he could not get any seats on our flights. So it won't be long until we hear what he has to say about his stay in Singapore. Or maybe better: It won't take long until he can share which shops he had to go to shopping with his girlfriend.
StarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9734 times:
Nice reports! Flew SQ26 on 9V-SMM earlier this year. My worst veering off the centerline of the runway upon landing was on a Qantas flight from Singapore to Sydney... I was so scared just feeling how instable the plane was running down the runway at high speeds... But then you'd hope the pilots would have practiced these situations during their training!
I actually have a half finished SQ trip report from my trip flying AKL-SIN-FRA-HAM (once again!!!) and I was wondering if anyone would even still be interested in reading it.... Already its very long! Let me know!
B737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9698 times:
Wow, you guys really just went there for the stamps in your passports ?
But imho you did miss something in Singapore - Sentosa island. Although some people say that it's not that great it's a very nice place and you can just relax a bit there and enjoy the beaches. Definitely better than staying at Batam harbor for an hour I guess.
About the service : Daniel, lately already numerous people have stated that the service on SQ has declined and it used to be better a year ago or two. So probably you still remembered the reports of '01 and '02.
I agree with you on the food. There is some delicious food available at the hackwer stalls in SIN (especially Satay).
By the way, what about your hotel ? Was it good, good location ?
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9696 times:
>>>Wow, you guys really just went there for the stamps in your passports?
No. Setting foot on the country´s soil is the important part. I might have mentioned it before on this board, we have a kind of competition running in the office, "who visits the highest number of countries": I´m currently leading with 47, expecting to hit 50 until December (booked Macedonia [STR-SKG-STR] today, plans for Estonia and Lithuania are in the making).
But if it involves only a minor additional effort, yes I go for the passport stamp as well. I did not, for example, do that in Serbia (had no visa) and Romania (nearest official crossing 50 kilometres away).
Plus, the impression alone of Indonesia, and to a smaller degree Malaysia, made me realise how "un-Asian" (i.e. clean, organised, disciplined people) Singapore really is.
Re Sentosa: it was either that or the zoo. I had read about Sentosa being basically one giant amusement park, completely artificial and Disneyland-style.
>>> lately already numerous people have stated that the service on SQ has declined and it used to be better a year ago or two. So probably you still remembered the reports of '01 and '02.
It was not like it was bad or anything, I just had the impression they couldn´t live up to the expectations they arise in people. SQ was worse than Pulkovo Airlines, I swear!
Re hotel: we were in the Albert Court, a medium sized middle-class house in Little India. It was ok, clean, functional. Staff was a bit grumpy and slow, though.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4690 posts, RR: 45 Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 9658 times:
This is a very good trip report - highly descriptive but not too obsessed about unnecessary details. Actually, thanks to your efforts I can now picture the service on ISA Y-class pretty well.
You are right, from the looks of it, the service is in no way superior to economy class on a Europen carrier's long haul flights. That is actually quite an important message for me when I have to fly to Asia some day and am about to choose the airline for my travels. Seems like iI could stay with my beloved Air France if the price is right.
So how much was this trip? I read about a similar offer by CX to HKG for about 299 Euro, which was incredibly good value for money. Did you get miles for the trip or was it booked in a non mile-redeeming fare class? I have heard that some carriers do this with very special offers.
And secondly, what is your opinion about SIN airport? It usually gets rave reviews and very high grades - so what is your personal impression? Another case of overrating or justified this time?
Third and last question for now: did you test the sanitary napkins? I understand this is standard procedure with male SIA passengers.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9593 times:
>>>So how much was this trip? I read about a similar offer by CX to HKG for about 299 Euro, which was incredibly good value for money. Did you get miles for the trip or was it booked in a non mile-redeeming fare class? I have heard that some carriers do this with very special offers.
It was 299 EUR for flight, two nights in the hotel, hotel-airport transfers, SQ hop on bus and entrance to one attraction - the zoo in our case.
Booked in V class, which officially doesn´t earn miles on SQ. But the check in ladies entered our M&M numbers into the system, we´ll see what happens.
>>>And secondly, what is your opinion about SIN airport? It usually gets rave reviews and very high grades - so what is your personal impression? Another case of overrating or justified this time?
Uh, to be honest, I didn´t really pay attention. Maybe Max can answer that question. I know I´m sounding incredibly ignorant, but, hey, it was just like any airport.
However, one point of criticism: security checks are conducted at each gate. I like the system of centralised checks much better, it eases congestion. And it´s more convenient for connecting pax to stay in the sterile zone, which is not possible at SIN.
>>>Third and last question for now: did you test the sanitary napkins? I understand this is standard procedure with male SIA passengers.
StarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9581 times:
You will not receive miles for any frequent flyer programme if you fly in one of the following booking classes on SQ: G, V, Q, N.
I was quite pissed off when I found that out because it jeopardized my Frequent Flyer requalification so when I travelled on SQ again I made sure I had a ticket in a different class (M class on my recent trip.)
When I flew Q class earlier this year my FF number was entered into the system as well but I never saw a single mile! Would have been too good for 299€!
Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2 Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9575 times:
To be honest, I found that service is mostly the same on airlines. It's good if the plane is empty and the stewardesses have time. It's poor if the plane is full and they're stressed. Fly in November or February for fun, in the summer for agony.
So I'll openly admit: I go for the IFE. I suspect that SQ may be superior to LH longhaul there, though I haven't flown on either. (Does LH have PTVs in economy by now?)
Oh, and painting seats in bright colours and bright red uniforms are more uplifting, so Virgin rules all the way
PS: Maybe LH wants the A346s for MUC instead of FRA? I'd imagine they'd be right at home there...
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9480 times:
excellent and detailed reports, very good! I returned yesterday night and I must say that SQ is definitely overrated, I am a little bit dissapointed but I should not complain because I only paid 598 EUR for me and my girlfriend incl. two nights in a hotel.
Or maybe better: It won't take long until he can share which shops he had to go to shopping with his girlfriend.
This time I was also a frequent shop visitor, I bought a new toy, it is a Fujitsu-Siemens notebook (with interior by Intel) .
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2897 posts, RR: 24 Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9470 times:
Hello guys! Patrick: welcome back home!
Indeed a great report, and a SQ great offer, especially the fact that the hotel was inclusive, I don't know about hotel prices in Singapore but I guess you would normally have to pay nearly 299 Euro only for two nights in a hotel in Singapore, a three-days bus ticket and entrance fee for the zoo (or whatever).
One question: What seats did you have on the return flight? I know that these two seats window-aisle in the back of the aircraft are very popular, so I guess you have to be lucky to get these seats, especially when being among the 200+ sequence/security numbers...
Talking about sequence numbers: I don't know about SQ's system, but I know that a sequence number 317 does not necessarily tell you that you're number 317 to check in for a flight. For example on Swiss, before the flight opens for check-in, every passenger gets a number, in alphabetical order, so Mr Aarhus will always get sequence number 001, no matter when he appears at the counter. As already mentioned, I don't know about SQ's system, but there might be some system that every JFK-SIN passenger keeps his number for the whole flight, but the numbers of passengers JFK-FRA won't be used again for other passengers flying FRA-SIN (I'm pretty sure about that). Also, don't forget about passengers with an inbound connection, e.g. a passenger LIS-FRA on LH and FRA-SIN on SQ has checked in in the early morning hours.
Once again, thanks for this report! Oh, I nearly forgot: GRAA
Godbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 17 Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 9356 times:
Thank you to all who have replied to this trip report so far!
StarFlyer: Would be great if you would post your reports.
Tristar500: And secondly, what is your opinion about SIN airport?
I can not really judge this one as I only saw it from the inside and I can not give an overall impression as I can for example do for DUS, FRA or ARN. But from the terminal itself I would say it's ok but nothing special. In terminal 2 you have the chance to watch planes but through glass and you only can see those planes parked close to those windows.
Once I have my camera for which I am currently saving I for sure would like to go back there as from one side I saw you can take great pictures of planes and palm trees in one shot, but since we were there at night I have no idea how the light is there during the day. And my inner compass does not really work in southeast Asia so I also do not know where that area was facing.
But from the terminals I do prefer Frankfurt for sure.
However, one point of criticism: security checks are conducted at each gate. I like the system of centralized checks much better, it eases congestion. And it's more convenient for connecting pax to stay in the sterile zone, which is not possible at SIN.
I agree 100%.
Third and last question for now: did you test the sanitary napkins? I understand this is standard procedure with male SIA passengers.
I must also ask for more insight into this one. But I guess I can say no to it since I have no idea what those things are.
Will you also share your journey in a trip report?
Ikarus: So I'll openly admit: I go for the IFE. I suspect that SQ may be superior to LH longhaul there, though I haven't flown on either.
Lufthansa never did brage about their service or their cabin in general either...
Ndebele: What seats did you have on the return flight?
Also the twin-seats in the back. Except then in row 61, so we had extra space between our seats and the wall. And it's always good to have some space to get comfortable on such a long flight and there is really a lot of junk one manages to store there...
Also thank you for the little insight view on the sequence numbers.