Seamefly From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3 Posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4875 times:
I usually travel as a non-rev when I travel by myself because I'm an airline's employee but this time I had to get to Jakarta in time and to travel on standby was just too risky.
After searching several options, this SQ flight provided me the fastest way to CGK although it wasn't the most economical option. I also searched several website for the most economical way taking this nonstop LAX-SIN and I decided to buy the tickets through itn.net because they included the domestic flights to/from Seattle. And the flight was to leave on the 9th of February.
The reason why I picked SQ is because they don't require me to stay overnight somewhere in Asia (usually in Singapore) and I really detest the idea that I had to spend one night before getting to Jakarta. And I was also searching for any airlines that could give me miles on United because in 2003 I was a gold member for their MP.
I had only a week to purchase this tickets because I played around the websites all this time to search for the most reliable way to travel as a regular paying customer and so I made the reservation hoping it would give them enough time to issue the tickets.
I was then given assignment by my company to fly to Beijing from the 4th of February and to return back on the 8th. It was kind of scary because there would be a chance that I might get rescheduled out of Tokyo as it is very notorious for FAs to get rescheduled out of Tokyo. So along the way to Tokyo from Seattle, I asked my crew members to see if any of them was willing to swap trip with me so that I could come back on Friday instead of Sunday. I was lucky to find one FA that was willing to switch her schedule with me because she needed more flight time for the month of Feb. So we called crew-scheduling when we arrived at our hotel in Tokyo and I felt so relief and thankful that I'd be able to get home a few days before my big trip to CGK.
itn.net delivered the tickets by FedEx on saturday the 7th of February for my travel on the 9th of February. I still couldn't believe that I spent over $1500 on this r/t tickets to Jakarta. But this way I could be relax and not to worry about non-reving.
UA 1251. seat 6c.
I arrived with plenty of time to check in at Sea-tac. I decided to check my roller bag because I really wanted to travel as light as possible on board the plane. They were able to issue me all boarding passes to Jakarta.
I still have some free drinks coupon to be used at their RCC. When I entered the RCC, the first agent told me that I could not be in there because I was traveling Y class. But then again I showed them that I was traveling on Singapore airlines and the agreement between the alliance is that we could use the lounge providing we're Gold member for any of the *Alliance partners. Finally, she gave in and let me in.
I really didn't spend much time there. It was probably a good 1/2 an hour. By then it was time to board my UA flight to LA.
Boarding was on time but then we had to wait for the ground crew to finish loading up the bags and cargo stuff.
We ascended passing Mt. Reinier and afterthat it's all cloud. Soon enough the FAs were busy with their beverage carts.
A couple of hours later, we started our final approach into LAX with a view of California coastal line. Getting into LAX this evening was rather busy. There were JAL, AF, and QF that were lining up for take off. After a few minutes, the captain parked the aircraft and we started to deplane.
I exit the United terminal, I believe it was terminal 7 and tried to find the shuttle bus for Bradley International.
When I entered the bus, I asked if that was going to Bradley, and the driver told me it was terminal 2. Well, I don't really know LAX because I hardly fly into this airport and even if I did, it was with a group of flight crew and I usually just follow them.
So being told that I needed to stop at terminal 2, I got out of the bus at terminal 2. Silly me, Bradley International is still a few terminals away from terminal 2. So I hiked up LAX to Bradley terminal.
Arriving at Bradley, I noticed that the SQ counters were started to form a big line. But then I saw a sign for a *Alliance Gold counters. AHA!! No line!!! Yee pee... I proceeded to that counter and ask the agent if there were any better seat than what UAL assigned me.
I've noticed before on SQ site that the middle row on 46 and 47 only have 2 seats instead of 3. So I asked for that seat. The agent then told me this evening flight was empty. And I asked back, how empty. He said 60% full.
Then I asked if I could get an invitation to their lounge and they happily issued me an invitation. After going through security check point, I went ahead to level 4. There were a few people already in the lounge and yet we still have about 3 hours before the flight due. I wonder how much time those people spend at the airport. Anyway, I got into a wrong lounge, I went to the Raffles lounge. The agent there told me that this was for business class passengers but she whisper to me that she would let me in this time because it was not going to be so crowded.
I thanked her and settled myself to a seat. After a drink and a few bite to eat I started snapping some pictures of the lounge.
Soon enough the agent announced that it was time for us to board our flight to Singapore. And wished us a pleasant long journey
SQ 19 seat 26C
When I got to the gate I thought, where is everybody.... Am I at a wrong gate?? I approached the agent there and she said it was for SQ 19. Not long after that, I boarded the plane taking my seat 26C. About 10 minutes after that the lead FA announced that the door was closed and I was amazed that the flight was so empty!
It was even less than 60% that the ticket counter agent told me. I counted later on that there were only 30 of us in Y but then again the FA told me that most of the people burnt their miles to be seated in C. Oh this was great!!!
as soon as we pushed back and took off, the FA was busy with their stuff. First was the Oshibori (hot-towels), then it was beverage service with some peanuts. Soon they served us our dinner. I chose the chicken dish because it sounded better than the fish dish. I then watched 2 movies, 3 sitcoms, and played several games.
I realized that I had spent 5 hours on this flight but still not feeling sleepy. Looking at my watch, we still had about 17 plus hours of flying so I told myself I better get some sleep because I didn't want not knowing where I was going when I got to Singapore.
I took melatonin and this is a miracle because it always work on me. So I slept for 7 hours.
Woke up feeling thirsty, I went to the galley and asked for a couple of pineapple juice cans. They gave me and offered me if I wanted some snacks. They showed me what they had and I picked a bowl of grapes. I just wasn't in the mood for instant-noodles, or cookies/cakes.
About 2 1/2 hours out before landing, they slowly dimmed up the light. The FAs came around again looking just as gorgeous as when I left LA. They again offered us oshibori (hot towels) and breakfast.
We landed in Singapore with enough time for me to take a quick shower at the Premium lounge. I felt so good taking a hot shower there and feeling hungry afterwards. So I served myself a bowl of congee and a cup of hot tea.
SQ 152. seat don't remember
I went ahead to find my gate for the flight to Jakarta. It was quite a walk but it felt so good after seating so long on SQ 19. I found it and soon we boarded the flight. It was a full flight. I didn't remember any of that because I was still affected by the melatonin, I supposed, that I took on board the previous flight. I slept most of the time and even missed the breakfast meal served on board.
It was time to deplane. And I gathered my stuff. After purchasing the VoA (Visa On Arrival) that Indonesian gov't imposed now to most countries. I went to get my stuff and there outside the custom area, I already saw my mom and dad were waiting for me.
Parisien From France, joined Dec 2000, 826 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4615 times:
so, how did you find the seats etc. in LeaderShip, say when the plane is full would it still be bearable for such a long flight ? how long was the actual flight itself ? And lastly, what is this VOA for Indonesia ?
Seamefly From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4602 times:
the seat is bearable on a full flight provided you're given a window seat or aisle seat. I would think the middle seat in the middle row (config. 2-3-2) would be a night mare unless you travel with 2 other people and want to sit together. Keep in mind, the arm-rest in this Exec. Econ seats are not movable. Seat width however is great, much bigger than regular econ seats.
VoA is Visa On Arrival that was recently implemented by Indonesian gov't to certain nationals (US included). They took away free-visit from almost but 13 nationals (the ASEAN countries). The Indonesian gov't only give free-visits to nationals that do the same to the Indonesian citizens for when they visit those countries. Other than that, you either need to apply for a visa prior to visit at a local Indonesian consulate or if your country is included in this VoA, you can pay $10-$25 for 3-30 days visit and non-extendable upon arrival at certain port of entries in Indonesia (Bali, Jakarta, Medan, and some other ports but not all).
SIA fan From Indonesia, joined Aug 2000, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4506 times:
Nice report and pics as well! How long actually was the flight and how many full meals were served and did you find the VoA a nuisance? Most travel industry professionals opposed it, afraid that it would affect the number of tourists visiting the country, but the govt kept on with their plan.
Seamefly From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4428 times:
2 big meals as usual with plenty of snacks you can grab at the snack counter in the rear of the a/c. The snacks consist of instant noodles, cakes, cookies, fruits, and chocolates.
The actual flight time was 17 hrs.
The only think I don't like about the VoA is that they're using a huge sticker that require a whole page in your passport for that sticker itself (like those US or Schengen visas). I visited Indonesia quite often but I think I have to limit it now because not only it cost me more to visit there but also I don't want to have to renew my passport so often. Think about it if I visit the country 3 times a year like I usually do, that means 3 whole pages would be used just for the sticker itselves. It would have been better if we can purchase a multiple entries visa that is valid for a whole year. So only 1 sticker require for the whole year instead of having to have it on every visit.