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SIN-FRA On Singapore Airlines. FRA-HAM On LH.  
User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9131 times:

Singapore Airlines SQ26
Boeing 747-412 9V-SMW
14 August 2003
STD 2350 ATD 0025
STA 0630 ATA 0629
Seat 47C

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Photo © Philippe Bleus
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Photo © Dietmar Schreiber

As much as I love flying, the night flight from Singapore to Frankfurt has always been like hell to me. Due to strong headwinds, it's nearly 12 hours long, it's dark the whole time, and very cramped on board one of SQ's B747s.
So as you can guess, I wasnt really looking forward to this flight. I had a 3 hour layover in Singapore from my previous flight out of Auckland, which passed very quickly as there is lots to see and do in Changi.
I arrived at the gate at 2230. It was still shut but there was a notice up on the display saying it would open at 2340. And indeed, a few minutes later, the lounge was illuminated and staff entered the lounge, as well as the flight attendants. At 2340 sharp I was asked for my boarding pass and passport, then went through security screening. No problems here and I settled down in one of the numerous seats to start writing my trip report on my laptop for my flight from Auckland.
The lounge slowly filled with passengers. I knew this was a full flight as I had to waitlist for it and was unable to get an exit row even though I requested one.
This flight was packed with Germans and a few Americans that would continue on to JFK.
Boarding began at 2310 roughly by row numbers but I stayed in the lounge as I figured I'd be sitting on that plane long enough. About 10 minutes before scheduled departure I was the only passenger left in the departure lounge. I asked staff and I was indeed the last passenger so I boarded the aircraft not hoping for too much of a delay due to late passengers.
Unfortunately most overhead bins were full but the stewardess was very helpful spreading out my stuff all over the cabin - and on my boarding pass she wrote the row numbers where I could find my stuff. It looked like this:
44G Bag
46G Laptop
46C Coat.
That was a nice touch I thought and maybe a good sign for a comfortable journey... Or so I thought.

A few minutes later the captain came on the PA describing the route we'd be taking. The usual routing, over Kuala Lumpur, Gulf of Bengal, Delhi, Afghanistan, Baku, Black Sea, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and finally Germany. Then he went on to say that they had requested push back but that we had to sit at the gate for a good 20 minutes before we would be able to take off due to congestion. The exact same thing happened when I was doing this flight earlier this year!
I was hoping the attendants would come around the cabin serving drinks but nothing happened. At least Krisworld was working. And they even distributed the head seats already! Finally at 0020 we were pushed back, taxied out to the runway and did an intermediate take off. This seemed to take forever, which was no surprise to me. Full load and long flight. I am sure there wasnt much runway to spare...

Meanwhile the passenger in 47A starting coughing in this really annoying and disgusting way and on top of that, really long, which brought back memories of SARS...

All announcements by the flight attendants were made in English and poor German, but good enough to understand for most people.

Soon the beverage service started and I just tried to get really drunk so I would be able to sleep through the night and stand the annoying passenger. He must have been the most disgusting man I have ever seen.

There was a choice between battered fish and some chicken dish, I had the chicken but I was so disgusted that I really couldnt eat much. So I really cant tell whether it was good or not. I definitely didnt enjoy it.

Most passengers around the man in 47A were really annoyed by now, but the attendants showed no sign of concern. People in a condition like this should really not be travelling.
Finally, after about 2 hours after take off, the cabin lights were dimmed so I could give sleeping a go. I slept for about 1 hour, but then was woken by other peoples reading lights. The entire cabin was quiet by now but this one person must have hit the button in his sleep, and when the whole cabin is dark then one reading light can give quite a bit of light. Not that the attendants were bothered by this. So I asked for ear plugs and eye shades and received them. Finally I could get a bit more sleep, which was nice.

I woke about 6 hours into the flight, somewhere over India I think. The man decided he had to get up so he squeezed past the lady that sat in the middle and then pushed against my leg as if he was wanting to squeeze past me too. No word whatsoever. So I get up and let him, no thank you either. Whenever I have a window seat I ask the people politely if I could get up and thank them for it. This man was just being a rude bastard. Same when he wanted to sit down again, tapped my shoulder, murmed something in German and then stood right in the way so it became a mission to get up even. Couldnt stand that guy.

The flight was fairly uneventful apart from occasional turbulent weather. The full moon reflecting on the wing added a really nice touch. It also illuminated the countried beneath us, so interesting to see the Afghanistan mountains, then Iran and Turkey. Over east Turkey, and about 2,5 hours before landing, the cabin was illuminated and I received a "cold" hot towel. Not good enough. I love them REALLY hot.

Meal choice this time was an omelette or noodles. I went for the omelette which wasnt cooked very well. It came with a muffin, orange juice and a roll from the "bakery"... Big grin
They came around serving more juice, coffee and tea while we were eating.

At 6am, somewhere over Bavaria, we began our decent and the captain came on announcing that we would be vectored in and he expected us to land in about 30 minutes. Finally this flight would take an end!

It seemed we didnt have to fly any holding patterns (would have been surprised to this time of the day!) and at 6.29am touched down on runway 07L on German soil. Only light braking was applied as we needed to go all the way to pretty much the end of the runway anyway.

We taxied past an SAA A346 ZS-SNA and parked at gate C5, where SQ26 parks most days. Once the doors where opened a lady with a *strong* German accent came on the PA announcing that people going to New York should be back in 1,5 hours and that German authorities were carrying out a check so everyone should have their passport handy. She repeated it in German and then finally at 0645 I was stepping out of the aircraft. The people carrying on to New York would be in for a treat... A nice blackout!  Big thumbs up

Only got to walk a few meters as there was a huge queue in the actual jet bridge. Welcome to Germany!  Angry Just what I needed after a flight like that. So I had to wait for another 10 minutes for them to check the passports and then went on the long hike to the Skyrail.

The rail took me straight through to gates A, where my onward flight to Hamburg would be departing. Had to show my passport to immigration but there where no queues so it was a breeze. No customs whatsoever this time! Big grin

Lufthansa Business Lounge, Frankfurt/Main Schengen
Had to walk about 2 kilometres out the Lufthansas *conveniently* located lounge at the end of the terminal complex. As SQ could not issue me with a boarding pass for this onward flight, I had to check in. A rude lounge attendant checked me in and placed me on seat 22K, a window seat in second row of Economy.

I went to the showers straight away, as I had been looking forward to them ever since I arrived in Singapore. Unfortunately there was none available immediately so I had to put my name down on a wait list. Fair enough. Had a cappucino then was called up to the shower lady.
Those showers after long flights are always the best! Smile

Once I finished, I had a bit more time to wait around. To my surprise the lounge was packed on this working day morning. There was a good selection of newspapers and drinks. I just wish they would give you mabye sandwiches or fruit even. But all there was is peanuts and some cookies.

Lufthansa German Airlines LH128
Airbus A300B4-603 D-AIAI
15 August 2003
STD 0820 ATD 0830
STA 0920 ATA 0917
Seat 22k

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Photo © Vasco Garcia

Flying short hops has always been a pleasure to me, as opposed to those extra long long hauls I fly sometimes.
I arrived at the gate at 0810 and was one of the last few passengers to board. This flight wasnt too full but it did have a big business class. LH can change the layout of their aircraft by shifting a curtain from one row to another. This results in all seats being the same. Personally I wouldnt want to pay the extra surcharge to fly Bizfor such crappy seats and service LH offer on their European network.

We were pushed back at 0820 and taxied out to rwy 07L. We rotated after a short and fast run at 0830 into the sunny skies over Germany. Flight time today was about 45 minutes. 20 minutes into the flight we were served one drink, but as always I asked for 2, a coffee and some water. They havent said no yet...

The pilot came on the PA when we were over Hanover already and announced a remaining flight time of about 20 minutes and that we would begin our decent soon. The attendants could barely finish the beverage service, as the seat belt signs came on soon. Minutes later we were on the ILS down runway 23 and touched down nice and smoothly 3 minutes ahead of schedule.

Quick taxi to the gate, and at 0930 I had once again finished a *very* long trip. I had to wait about 20 minutes for my bag, even though it was one of the first. This definitely needs to be improved.

Well, this is it. There are some photos to look at here: http://www.geocities.com/falkowestphalen/sq26.htm. Sorry its basic.

Thank you for taking the time to read this report. Feedback and comments as always welcome.  Smile

Yours truly - StarFlyer
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9000 times:

Excellent report, StarFlyer!

The LH Business lounges are a total joke in the food department and overall as well I'd say. I actually thought they were ok until I visited the Cathay HKG lounges a few days ago... Whoever placed that ridiculous "FIRST CLASS LOUNGE" sign in front of the Senator lounges needs so pay The Wing or The Pier a visit. The business class sections of the CX lounges are about 74 times better than any LH lounge.

Best Regards from Manila,


Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8982 times:

Lufthansa747, thanks for your comment.
I visited the Qantas Club in Sydney last year and that is their equivalent to LH'S Business lounges. A giant fridge full of drinks, sandwiches, snacks, fruits, magazines and newspapers we all available. If LH want the high yield passengers they had better upgrade their lounges quick.

Yours truly - StarFlyer
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8980 times:

Hi again StarFlyer,

I am actually writing this from the QF Club in Manila, and indeed, even this place is much nicer than the LH Business Lounges and has better snacks than LH SEN lounges. And this one is located at an airport that QF doesn't even serve daily. But I'm afraid that the level of service in European (let alone U.S...) business class lounges is so pathetic that LH doesn't need to do a thing.

The CX ***BUSINESS*** lounges offer four noodle dishes from a menu (made to order), a full bar (including champagne and cocktails), another bar for speciality coffees and Hagen Dazs ice cream, a juice bar with fresh juices, 20 computers with high speed internet, showers, the nicest toilets i have visited in any lounge... the list goes on. about 5 sorts of sandwiches, pastries, instant noodles and soup were available of course as well. F lounges have full restaurant, dayrooms and everything. The problem is that I now need to make OW Emerald or fly CX F award someday to try the F ones!



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offline9V-SPK From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2001, 1646 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8958 times:

Couldn't view the photos yet...out of bandwith  Laugh out loud

Well seemed that your flight wasn't too bad...only for the fact that some bastards would always ruin your flight for nothing!

Talking of the congestion when your flight was ready to push back from Singapore, I always encounter this problem when I'm on my flight to SYD that leaves at 00:15. There are quite a number of long-haul flights leaving around that time and if they have any slight delays then it'd cause quite a lot of congestion, and if you're lucky you can leave on-time but if you're not...just gotta trail behind all those planes...

Best Regards

User currently offlineOystein From Norway, joined May 2003, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8938 times:

Nice report! I enjoyed it. Sorry to hear about your neighbouring passenger on the SQ flight. Sounds like a real bastard.

Øystein S.

User currently offlineGodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2753 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 8940 times:

Good report, I also really liked the pictures you took.
It's always good if you can relate to what you are talking about and since I was on the same flight on the 10th of August I had no problems with it.


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 31
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 8898 times:

>>>The LH Business lounges are a total joke in the food department and overall as well I'd say.

Go to the AF Concorde lounge - compared to them, all LH C and Ftl lounges I visited were like heaven.

Daniel Smile

User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 8864 times:

Hi Falco,

an excellent report as always! Sorry to hear about you seat neighbour, some idiots can really turn a nice flight into a bad experience. I also flew SIN-FRA last Friday but fortunately I had the day flight which was not so exhausting than the night flight. I have to say that SQ is way overrated, everyone told me before how great SQ's service is but I was rather disappointed, maybe I expected too much or their service has become worse lately.


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8839 times:

Actually, I had the same in July (having a nasty neighbour).

In my case, it was an ugly fat women having a disgusting smell and having the same annoying irritating cough. Also, she was already seated when I entered the plane (I had a window, she the aisle). When I wanted to sit down, she didn't want to get up. I looked at her, she didn't react so I looked back with an annoyed face, and only than, she moved a bit asside so I could pass.

This was in a small BA DHC8 turboprop on a (lucky) short 55min hop between EDI and MAN. I can imagine that, if I would have to be seated 11h besides her, I would be crazy.

Luckily the cabin crew + service was excellent.

Great report as usual...


User currently offlinePSAHO88 From Italy, joined Sep 2000, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 8816 times:

Excellent report, I liked it even more because I flew the same route the same night!
I was on LH779, which left gate E4 at 23.05,after a flight from Sydney, and experienced more turbulence and a worse service than you did.
I will post a trip report in a few moments, including all the flights to Sydney and the legs from Florence to Frankfurt.
Thanks again and congratulations for the good job!

User currently offlineStratofish From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1076 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 8820 times:

This one is even better than the previous one, which I liked a lot already!
Waiting so long for your bag, in the not very welcoming baggage claim area at HAM s terminal 4... *shudder*

Btw, that A/C is not eactly middle eastern although he is in fact quite rich.  Laugh out loud

The Metro might be the Sub(optimal)way
User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8777 times:

Thanks for everyones comments.
Does anybody know how SQ's seat assignment works? It seems like the agents can never pick a seat but rather its assigned by the computer! I requested an exit row all the way and only got one on the legs SIN-AKL-SIN. On the other flights I had to make do with an aisle.
Asking at the airport they could never even change my seat assignment, and as some of you know, requesting a seat at the time of booking is not possible either!

Yours truly - StarFlyer
User currently offlinePed From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8689 times:

Hi starFlyer
Great report. SQ's seat allocation is a bit confusing.
In First or Business Class - no problem, they can allocate an actual seat number at time of booking.
Economy Class, however, they can only confirm a Window seat, an aisle seat, a bassinette seat or an Emergency Exit seat at time of booking - but NOT the actual seat number. For example, you can confirm an Emergency Exit which is very popular due to leg room, but it is not until you get to the airport that you will know whether it is 49A or 49B or 49C etc. Or, if you have confirmed a Window seat, it may by 33A or 60A, you never know.
Hope this helps.

User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 8666 times:

Thanks for the report! I couldn't help laughing at the description of your neighbouring pax as a "rude bastdard" Big grin ....you sound like an English person - very honest! Big grin

I agree, after 21 years of long haul flights (even some travelled in First/Biz as well as Econ) I have to say that I am getting tired of the same routine on these 12 hour marathons (worse if you have two longhaul flights in a row)...maybe I should invest in fractional ownership of a Bizjet....


User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8647 times:

Let me tell you he was nasty. Few people have grossed me out like that man. Hence the whole flight I was thinking what a bastard he was... Glad its over!
I'll definitely put some money towards that biz jet!  Smile One day...  Yeah sure

Yours truly - StarFlyer
User currently offlineGodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2753 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8579 times:

...,and as some of you know, requesting a seat at the time of booking is not possible either!

It worked very fine when I flew to Singapore and back. On both flights we had gotten our 2-seater in the back of the plane. It only took a short call to the SQ office and everything was taken care of.


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8557 times:

It worked very fine when I flew to Singapore and back.

Same here, we had also one of the two-seater in the back of the plane, requested by calling the German SQ office one day after we booked the trip.


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1827 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8527 times:

It's also possible to reserve the exact seat you want by checking in online (not sure if that's possible outside SIN). Have always got the seat I want on all my SQ flights.

There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8530 times:

To check in online you need to have a KrisFlyer number with your booking. Unfortunately I am not a member of KrisFlyer and hence I cant use it.

Is there any reasoning why SQ wont let travel agents pick the seats in economy as on every other carrier?

Yours truly - StarFlyer
User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8517 times:

Apart from IFE, SQ is usually a little behind the curve when it comes to adopting technology. They decided some time ago to allow only P/J to select seats at booking. Their thinking was that it would be more efficient to only allow Y paxs to request their preferred seats, and to let SQ staff preseat those with such requests. Part of the reason behind this decision, I was told, was cost, part of it was also because Y paxs tend to travel in groups and guaranteeing seat selection at booking might lead to problems at check-in when groups who haven't selected seats are scattered, and part of it was also because travel agency staff aren't always fully competent in using CRSs (thus leading to problems when mistakes are made). Operationally, SQ also tries to seat special handling paxs and paxs with special meals in the same area, and this wouldn't be possible with seat selection. Because of this, they decided to put the responsibility for seat allocation on station staff or their ground handling agents. Some stations (particularly those with long-haul services where people are more fussy about seats) do a very good job of this, though.

Personally, I think it would have been a lot more cost effective to simply allow paxs/agents to select their own seats at booking and to put in certain parameters that will stop certain paxs from selecting seats in certain zones. United and other airlines haven't had much problems with this. I shudder when I think of the number of workhours spent before each flight looking through all the seat requests and assigning seats manually.

User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8535 times:

Plus, groups don't always have to sit together.

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