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Fall 2004 Travels In Asia Part 2  
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 16841 times:

The rest of my fall travels will be posted in this thread - earlier ones can be found at http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/48245/

09 November 2004
Osaka Kansai International (KIX/RJBB) – Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI)
Asiana Airlines OZ 111
Boeing 767-38E/ER
HL7263
1310-1500 – On Time
Economy Class, Seat 10G (Bulkhead)


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I took the limousine bus from the Osaka Hilton to Kansai, another new Asian airport located in the middle of nowhere. The ride took about an hour, and I arrived at the Asiana desks well ahead of departure. Agent at the Business/Star Gold counter was apparently a trainee, and the supervisor had to help with everything. However, they managed to check me in all the way to Bangkok (separate tickets) which was appreciated.

I then headed through security and immigration without delay, and took the train to the ANA Signet Lounge closest to my gate. It was quite simply the worst international lounge I have ever been to, small selection of drinks, practically no food and no internet stations available. Also, there were no windows and the place was about the size of a closet.

Boarding for OZ 111 started on time, and a smiling OZ flight attendant greeted me at the door. I had a bulkhead seat which was comfortable enough. Also, the flight was far from full, so the seat next to me remained empty. We were pushed back roughly on time, and taxied past a bunch of Chinese jets as well as a Korean A330. I snapped a few pictures until a rude flight attendant was again pointing at me and saying “off”. I have never had a problem using my camera on any other airline.

We taxied past some Japanese cargo jumbos and took off without delay. Having browsed airlinemeals.net, I was expecting a Japanese cold obento box. Instead, the crew tossed out a tray with two sandwiches and a cup of orange juice and disappeared for the rest of the flight. I had so good views of Korea as the weather was nice, and soon we were on descent to Incheon.

During descent, various passengers and their luggage were reseated near the front. Most didn’t bother wearing a seatbelt or stow their bags properly, the crew didn’t care. As we landed, the guy next to me decided he needs to go to the toilet as we were reversing on the runway… He was told to go back to his seat though, so he stood there next to his seat for the rest of the taxi to the terminal.

09 November 2004
Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) – Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD)
Asiana Airlines OZ 341
Boeing 747-48E/M
HL7421
1720-2050 – On Time
Business Class, Seat 14B (Upper Deck)


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I asked for a business class seat at Osaka for this flight, they had no clue what I was talking about. Upon arrival at Incheon, I went to the nearest Asiana transfer counter, where a very helpful lady assigned 14B on the upper deck for me. I believe all Bangkok flights operated by a 747 use at least one section of business for economy class, on the combi it’s the upper deck.

I then headed to the Asiana lounge, the food and drinks there were very welcome after the poor offerings on the Kansai-Incheon flight. This sector itself must be one of the most hated for business travelers – both airports are very far from downtown, but the flight takes less than two hours. I expected a full pax 747 for the BKK run, but HL 7421, a combi was waiting at gate 7. OZ has always full flights to Bangkok, but perhaps there is also a lot of cargo and a combi is needed on some days.

I was greeted by a usual Asiana flight attendant on the upper deck – not very friendly at all. She was actually the only one serving us on the upper deck, and service was very slow obviously. The seats seemed to be a bit more comfortable than the 747-400 pax business class seats – or maybe that’s just an illusion. The seat was comfortable, and I was very grateful I wasn’t stuck back in the cattle section.

Upper deck filled up completely, and it was obvious Asiana had again put just about anybody to a section that should be filled with frequent flyers. There was also a group of women from Iraq or Iran (just saw their passport for a few seconds) – they should have been sent to the nearest shower before being allowed to board. Later, they kept stealing items from the meal trays, shouting to each others a few rows apart etc etc… Premium zone indeed.

Drinks were served first; I had a Chivas with coke and an Asiana snack mix. A quick look at the menu card revealed that the meal would again be the same… I have now had the honor to eat the same meal in August, September, October and November on three different routes. Very poor in my opinion. Had some wine with the meal and another Chivas with Coke afterwards. “Last one” said the sole flight attendant. I was quite happy this would most likely be my last time this fall experiencing this kind of service from “The Jewel of Asia” (that was printed on some OZ lounge invitation).

I believe the PTVs had only 4 movies, so I got out my MP3 player, reclined my seat and stared at the airshow map showing 3:30 as remaining flight time… Request for a can of beer was declined as well, and she did not find a customer comment card when I asked. I later went to the lavatory, and amazingly this flight attendant asked how I like the service on Asiana… Trying not to be rude, I merely complained about eating the same food for four months. Also told her some folks stole about half of the contents from the meal tray – “that’s ok” was the reply. I was really pissed off about this group of middle-eastern women – I could smell the sweat even when being seated two rows apart and their shouting and loud chatting made sleeping impossible.

Water and orange juice was offered prior to landing at Don Muang. The routing was the usual one I have described before, so I won’t go into details here. Landing on 21L was slightly ahead of schedule, immigration was a breeze, but bags took a long time to arrive. Taxi driver was a complete asshole, his meter was fixed to screw up the fare by about 100 Baht, Oh well, at least I made him drive downstairs instead of the usual tollway and he seemed pissed off about that.

11 November 2004
Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Phuket International (HKT/VTSP)
Orient Thai Airlines OX 267
Boeing 747-246B
HS-UTP
0810-0935 (0840-1000)
Business Class, Seat 15K (Upper Deck)


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I bought an advance ticket from a travel agent this time – it cost about 200 Baht extra but flights to Phuket are quite full nowadays. I somehow managed to wake up for the flight as well – no idea how but I had no alarm clock or anything due to visiting too many watering holes the night before.

A quick shower, and I was soon in a taxi to good old Don Muang once again. Quick trip in the early morning, and I arrived at the Orient Thai check-in lines at 7:20am – in other words five minutes before the desks were scheduled to close. However, this is Thailand and not some Ryanairland, so I was promptly checked in at 7:50am, and the friendly lady said “we start boarding 7:30 sir”. The upgrade receipt this time says “UDDATE BUSSINES CALS”. She wrote a few versions down first before deciding which one to put on the official receipt…

Security was quick, and I walked straight onto a waiting TAGS bus at gate 9. After a long drive, we arrived next to a decent looking old bird – HS-UTP to be more exact. Uniform Tango Papa is another 1972 JAL vintage. A friendly girl greeted me at the door, and I made my way up the spiral staircase. Upper deck and the whole plane was in good shape. Another nice and friendly lady greeted me there, and offered a pre-departure drink in a Kampuchea Airlines glass. Upper deck on HS-UTP has 16 old JAL Reso’cha business class seats, quite comfortable. Also the usual Seiko clock displaying BKK and TYO times was present.

The flight attendant offered to store my bag as there are no bins whatsoever, and was surprised when I said “It’s ok, I know the closet is back there”. There were two other passengers in 15A/C, and two mechanics later took seats in the last row. We pushed back late as usual, and a noisy takeoff from 21R followed after the captain welcomed us on board the “Boeing 747 series 200 Jumbo”.

As we were slowly gaining altitude, service started – more drinks in Kampuchea glasses and new style OX peanuts – they are very tasty actually. After a few drink refills, I went to have a look downstairs, quite full and the interior looked very nice unlike the one on UTB. Snapped a few pictures and listened to the roar of the old JT9D-7s in the very back before heading back to the serene surroundings of the upper deck.

All too soon, we left our cruising altitude and started approach into Phuket International Airport. The flight attendant took her seat in front of me, and we had an interesting chat about Orient Thai and her job. Definitely not a very glamorous schedule they have… The destination she hated the most was Incheon – with a funny remark “I think better you stay here in Thailand”. I can imagine what a charter with 462 Koreans is like… Our flight to Phuket had 311 passengers, and the continuation, OX 218 to Hong Kong had about 200 booked.

We made a smooth landing a little behind schedule but it never seems to bother me on these 747 Classics with nice flight attendants. Only problem is that the schedules to HKT are rather inconvenient for me.

13 November 2004
Phuket International (HKT/VTSP) – Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD)
Nok Air DD 7503
Boeing 737-4D7
HS-TDB “Phuket”
1035-1200 – On Time
Nok Plus, Seat 12A


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Since Orient Thai leaves so late in the evening, I decided to try something else this time. Booking on nokair.co.th was convenient, and I could even choose a seat from a seatmap. Seemed too good to be true, and that was unfortunately the case. I arrived about an hour before departure, and was greeted by a Thai Airways employee whose attitude was “since you are not paying to fly TG but our low fare airline, I’ll treat you like crap”.

“Your bag is too heavy. You must go pay for 5 kilos, then come back”. Funnily, Orient Thai had no problems whatsoever with my bag. So, off I went, cursing my decision to fly with this low fare airline instead of TG. After getting a receipt for the abovementioned 5 kilos (250 Baht), I went back to the unfriendly lady… She handed me a boarding pass for 58F. Getting pretty pissed off at this point, I told her I had actually paid for the Nok Plus cabin and chosen 11A as my seat. “System says you book economy. You have confirmation print out?” Well, I didn’t even have a clue of the PNR to be honest.

After some other staff went to the ticketing kiosk, I was finally given 12A in the premium section. Boarding pass said “Thai Royal Executive Class” and DD 7503 C. Now, it was time to go get a refund for the excess baggage charges. I was given 300 baht which I pocketed and walked to security. Expectedly, one of the agents soon came running and asking to get the 50 Baht back… Such a quality operation DD has here.

My Nok Plus fare was about 2000 Baht, the same would have gotten me a TG V fare with lounge access and 40kgs luggage allowance as Star Gold. TG is obviously better value in this case, but I wanted to try Nok. The best value is still 1950 Baht for Orient Thai Business Class. I obviously had to wait in the general waiting area, being booked on a low fare airline. Boarding started on time, and was handled entirely by Thai Airways staff again.

The 737 had full Thai Airways interior, and I had one of the old style Royal Executive Class seats. Unlike on the A300, pitch on the 737 is about the same as in economy class, and my seat was poor value on this almost empty flight. There is no complimentary service on Nok, they sell TG snackboxes and soft drinks. The funniest part was when one of the girls asked “Sir, you want to buy airplane?” while holding a beach toy Nok plane.

Crew was very young and friendly, dressed in beach shirts and light brown skirts. The 737 was spotless inside, had Thai Airways safety cards and was flown by TG pilots as well. The routing was the usual, and I slept the entire flight until we were on approach to Don Muang. Landed on 21R and arrived at the domestic terminal after a short taxi. There was nothing wrong with the inflight service, but considering the price, hassle, no miles, no lounges etc, I think Thai is a better deal if you have a problem flying with the best i.e. Orient Thai. Big grin

14 November 2004
Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI)
Thai Airways International TG 658
Boeing 777-2D7
HS-TJA “Lamphun”
2350-0700+1 (0015-0720)
Economy Class, Seat 32C


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This flight was overbooked in economy, and wide open in business, so I was hoping for an upgrade. However, when you expect one, it never happens. I got to the Star Gold counters with long lines about 1h20min before departure, and after a short wait, was checked in by your stereotypical Thai Airways BKK ground agent. No smiles, and she lied to me that 32C would be the first row. Go for the older guys if they are working at the premium desks, I’ve had much better experiences with them.

I then headed quickly through immigration to the Thai Royal Executive Lounge, and had a massage before checking out the old lounge as it was closer to the basement aka international bus gates. Trying to get a better seat, I offered to pay the discounted upgrade fee, fare difference etc, but not surprisingly it was “not possible.” I guess it makes more sense to upgrade non-status Korean tour group members for free – that was the case here.

I boarded the last bus to the aircraft; it was HS-TJA, Thai’s first 777 this time. The interior was worn, my armrest was broken, and the 3-4-3 configuration combined with a non-bulkhead/exit row was awful. I went to the lavatory but pushback just started at the same time – no problems, go ahead said the purser. Takeoff was half an hour late for some reason, and I was not looking forward to this redeye.

A snack is served after takeoff – a pastry with drinks that is. Additional pastries were offered to those who wanted. The seat was pretty damn uncomfortable, so I went to get a drink from the galley – actually ended up spending the next three hours there chatting with the purser and inflight supervisor. IFE was broken on this aircraft, but the IFS managed to get it working after a few re-boots. Although TG has pretty spartan IFE on the 777s, the control panel was still a sophisticated looking LCD screen. I had a few drinks as well, and the crew seat was much more comfortable than 32C anyway.

As they were starting the breakfast service, I went back to my seat and wished we’d be at Incheon already. A narrow seat, no empty middle seat and the guy in front of me fully reclined – as bad as cattle class seat comfort gets. The 3-4-3 config is tolerable in bulkhead/exit rows, preferably with an empty middle seat, or if you have a set of 3 or 4 seats for yourself. But since Incheon flights are always full of Korean tour groups, it is the ideal plane I guess.

As per the purser’s recommendation, I had the Thai chicken dish for breakfast, and it was pretty good with the usual extras such as yoghurt, fresh fruit and warm rolls and croissants. We landed at Incheon late, and I joined the usual long queue for passport control… This was my first bad experience with Thai this fall, although the cabin crew was great as usual except for the two Koreans.

16 November 2004
Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) – Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL)
Philippine Airlines PR 469
Airbus A330-301
F-OHZM
2020-2330 – On Time
Mabuhay Class, Seat 16K


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After finishing classes at university at 4pm, I took a bus to Incheon as usual. Being rush hour, it took almost two hours. Check-in is handled by Korean Air, and the agent was pleasant enough. The lines and amount of baggage for economy class were insane. Korean Air seemed to use their own system for PR, since my boarding pass has these weird KE reservation numbers etc. Although it says FQTV PR, my miles haven’t appeared in the account.

KAL Lounge, Incheon KR

I got an invitation to the smaller KAL Lounge near CX and NW lounges. Apparently, this is the place where KE sends all partner airlines’ premium passengers. I have never been to the main KAL Lounge, so I can’t compare them. This one was however quite nice, with modern design. Food offerings were poor compared to SQ though, no hot food was available. Cold snacks consisted of sushi, sandwiches and some paninis. Drink selection was smallish but decent. They had two computers available with free internet.

The lounge also has a good view of the tarmac – at the nearest gate was a good old JAL 747-246B (JA8160), preparing for departure to Kansai Osaka. Boarding for PAL 469 started on time, and the stories I have read about domestic vs international PR service were definitely true. I was greeted by a non smiling grandma who was just about to collapse from the weight of jewelry she was wearing. Another equally disinterested lady would be serving the business class cabin with her tonight.

The flight had showed full economy cabin and wide open in business the day before, but unfortunately the Korean Air agents upgraded over 20 passengers (all Koreans), and we pushed back with a full load in both cabins. Pre-departure drinks were only water or orange juice, poor for an international dinner-time flight.

Most of the upgraded Koreans sat the entire flight with their winter jackets on and had no clue how to use a PTV, reading light, seat recline etc. I know who they were as the KE agent simply came onboard and handed them all their new blue boarding passes and took the old ones. What a discrete way to handle operational upgrades. Menus were distributed after takeoff, but were immediately collected back when the grandmas had taken the dinner orders. However, I managed to hide the Cebu-Incheon menu in the seat pocket later, and will post it when I find it.

Mixed nuts in nice bowls were served with drinks first, followed by dinner. The starter was delicious and nicely presented, but the garlic bread was cold. I had the chicken for main course and it was great as well. Dessert was an economy class style piece of cake. Drink refills were offered once during the service. Fresh fruit (bananas, apples and oranges) were offered with the dessert course. The upgraded guy across the aisle from me kept asking for this and that until the flight attendant got pissed and said “could you please wait as I have to serve others as well.”

After the meal, crew disappeared for the rest of the flight but thankfully responded to call buttons. The seat, while comfortable for short domestic hops, is in my opinion not very comfortable for sleeping. I had a few glasses of champagne and relaxed for the rest of the flight. The guy next to me got out his digital camera and started browsing pictures of various clearly underage Filipina girls. I felt like stuffing the empty champagne glass into his mouth…

We landed at NAIA on time, and quickly taxied to terminal 2 which was deserted. I was the first at immigration along with a Korean guy who presented an empty immigration form. I mean, how stupid can one be? The rest seemed to ask the Filipina flight attendants to fill in their forms…

Immigrations was a breeze as was customs. The female officer said “Hi sir, good evening… err it’s morning already isn’t it? Have a nice stay.” Since it was very quiet at terminal 2, I had no choice but take an overpriced airport taxi to my hotel (350 Pesos and a jerk trying to pocket 150 as tip as I paid with a 500 Peso note).

Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, Ermita

I have been waiting to visit this hotel since its soft opening in mid-September. The rate was a decent $81 per night, and I would also earn 2000 Gold Passport bonus points. The lobby is nice and modern and check-in was reasonably quick. The bellhop then escorted me to my room on the 9th floor. The room was large and very nice – on par with new Hyatts elsewhere with very modern design. There is also a DVD player in every room. The bathroom is great, with a superb rainfall shower and a bathtub next to it. They also have an airport style metal detector at the door and no manual check like older hotels in Manila. Ermita area has a lot of bars and clubs nearby, and the Hyatt has Manila’s largest casino I believe. A highly recommended property.


Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
74 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLuftaom From Australia, joined May 1999, 426 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16543 times:

Nice report mate ...

looking forward to the next sick part of your neverending oddessy


User currently offlinePilatusguy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2004, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16534 times:

as usual, fantastic report!
keep 'em coming!


User currently offlineScandinavian From Sweden, joined Sep 2000, 267 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16505 times:

Hi Lari!

Nice report as always! You really had to witness a lot of bizarre experiences on your latest flights....

"There was also a group of women from Iraq or Iran (just saw their passport for a few seconds) – they should have been sent to the nearest shower before being allowed to board.".....I know what you mean. Once I had the same experience between Cape Town and Frankfurt, not funny at all.

The upgrade receipt this time says “UDDATE BUSSINES CALS."....unbelievable!

"I was the first at immigration along with a Korean guy who presented an empty immigration form. I mean, how stupid can one be?"........indeed, how stupid can one be?

Regards

Markus




"He was a wise man who invented beer"-Platon
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6503 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 15956 times:

Nice report, Lari!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8508 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 15718 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice reports Lari.

With each OZ report they seem to get worse,especially the no more drink stuff,must be joking!

I've just come back from a trip to the states,flew US Airways,they were excellent as usual,i'm sure they were trying to get me drunk as i never had an empty glass Smile

Looking forward to more.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 15583 times:

17 November 2004
Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) – Mactan Cebu International (CEB/RPMC)
Philippine Airlines PR 857
Airbus A340-313X
F-OHPJ
1200-1315 (1300-1405)
First Class, Seat 1B

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I woke up quite late, and got stuck in traffic to boot. I was pretty sure to miss the original flight as I didn’t even have the e-ticket receipt with me. This piece of crap Finnish ISP has a new system that doesn’t even let you know what it determines to be junk mail – obviously the Philippine Airlines e-mail was considered junk. I picked up a copy of the itinerary receipt at the PAL ticket office at 11:20 in order to enter the terminal building, and was surprised when I was still able to check in. No wonder after a quick glance at the boarding pass – departure had been pushed back by 30 minutes for who knows what reason. Seems to be common practice at PAL.

I was also assigned seat 08H – such seat doesn’t exist on the A330 that was scheduled. Sure enough, an A340 was waiting at S2, and I got my seat assignment changed to 1B in the Mabuhay Lounge. The snacks and drinks were the usual, and the departure time got pushed back to 1pm due to emergency lightning problems on the A340.

My return flight was booked as CEB-MNL-ICN – but according to the agents it was a too short connection in MNL. To boot, the earlier flight had been switched to a 737 with no business class. Luckily they came up with the best possible solution – “sir why don’t you take the nonstop Cebu-Incheon flight?” Booking was made and I was told to go to the Mactan ticket office to get my tickets revalidated. I wanted this flight to start with, but the contracted Korean travel agency serving as PAL agent was too incompetent to understand such a complicated request.

The flight was nice and uneventful, a good hot meal was served by a young and attentive crew. Such a total difference from the international service. PAL has a stupid seniority system in place like the American carriers, and the younger crews only fly on domestic flights. Landing was about an hour late, and I then headed to the ticket office.

They didn’t quite understand what I was trying to say, and I was sent to international check-in at first – they thought I wanted to fly to ICN on the flight leaving in 10 minutes. After explaining that I need the Sunday flight, I had to wait about an hour as PAL computer system was down. I then got an awful looking piece of paper – two separate tickets stapled together with a handwritten note “Pls accept for CEBICN nonstop.”

21 November 2004
Mactan Cebu International (CEB/RPMC) – Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI)
Philippine Airlines PR 488
Airbus A330-301
F-OHZR
1500-2020 – On Time
Mabuhay Class, Seat 11A

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Check-in was a total zoo with probably 99% of the passengers being Korean tour groups. My fancy ticket also caused some confusion, but after a few minutes I had a boarding pass and lounge invitation in hand. I then paid the international terminal fee and cleared immigration which was very quick and painless compared to the ordeal one has to go through at NAIA 1 on busier days.

Mabuhay lounge was pretty poor by international standards – same snacks and drinks as in the domestic lounge and a few bottles of alcohol to boot. A Korean group decided it was appropriate to chat loudly, set up a camera with tripod and pose for pictures in a business class lounge. One of the main advantages of lounges is that you get away from the hustle and bustle of the general areas of the terminal – that was not the case here.

Boarding started on time as the A330 had arrived from Manila well ahead of the Incheon departure time. Security check was conducted at gate and was the usual walk through affair. I was greeted by an older lady who was very friendly and we chatted a bit about my holiday in Cebu etc. Pre-departure drink selection was the same, i.e. poor. The bulkhead row doesn’t have that great legroom, but I had the seat next to me empty and wasn’t in the middle of upgraded Koreans like on the ICN-MNL sector.

Dinner orders were taken before pushback, I chose beef medallions with roasted potatoes and champagne to drink. I was addressed by name all the time by the two ladies, while they asked the Koreans “what do you eat?” and “Drink? Beer, wine, what?” Pushback was on time, and we took off for the four hour sector without delay. Meals were served shortly after takeoff – the appetizer was crabmeat salad, and the beef main course was very tasty. Garlic bread was hot and delicious this time, and drinks were refilled a few times. Dessert was some Y class type of thing, don’t remember what exactly.

During the rest of the flight, generally no service was offered in the cabin, but the old guy working the galley made sure my champagne glass was never empty and he also kept bringing me bowls of mixed nuts. Very good service for me on this flight, although the Koreans might think differently. I was the only western passenger in the business class cabin.

We arrived at Incheon on time, and taxied to a gate that was just vacated by another PAL A330, bound for Manila as PR 469. Overall, the flights were well worth the rather low business class fare. A bit more legroom and enthusiastic crews would make the product much better.

I was treated to another full search by Korean Customs – quite pathetic as they only picked the very few foreigners while Koreans themselves simply walked through. I had of course just missed the Korean Air bus, and had to wait about 25 minutes for the next one.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 15563 times:

23 November 2004
Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) – Singapore Changi (SIN/WSSS)
Singapore Airlines SQ 015
Boeing 777-212ER
9V-SVI
1915-0045 – On Time
Economy Class, Seat 48C (Bulkhead)

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Due to poor availability of United Business award seats, I had four days to spare. A fellow Airliners.netter also happened to be in Kuala Lumpur, a city that I had never visited previously, and Singapore Airlines had a decent fare down to Singapore. SQ 15 also had a departure time that would allow me to take my Tuesday classes at university, so a booking was made at singaporeair.com.

I arrived at Incheon after a long and boring rush-hour bus ride, and quickly collected my boarding passes at the Raffles class desk – I had already checked in online. My bag was checked in all the way to Kuala Lumpur although the SIN-KUL sector was on the next day and on a separate ticket. Security was very slow as was immigration, and I reached the SIlverKris lounge only about half an hour later. I then had some pasta and prawns for dinner before moving to the bar for a few glasses of champagne.

I also had SQ to mess up the frequent flyer data completely. I had logged in with my KrisFlyer number to make the booking. I then provided them my UA number when booking, when checking in online, at check in counter and at the lounge. The staff had no clue whatsoever when I complained that my boarding pass showed the SQ number. “Points go to SQ, miles to UA.” Now, I’d love to know what sort of points I earn in economy class in addition to miles. I still asked at the gate for them to put in the UA number – and guess what? The miles are in my SQ account that has no other miles whatsoever. I will fight this ridiculous episode with KrisFlyer until the miles appear in my Mileage Plus account.

SQ 17 with the routing Vancouver-Incheon-Singapore was an hour late, but my flight arrived on time from San Francisco and was scheduled to depart on time. Boarding started on time, and there was nobody to greet me at the door. The aircraft was full of Indians – SFO-SIN is a codeshare service with Air India. My bulkhead seat had excellent legroom as the bulkhead is not wide enough to block the C and H seats’ legroom. However, a woman with two young kids was seated in 48B. Thankfully they were very well behaved, so I didn’t need to give up the good legroom on this rather lightly loaded triple seven.

Cabin crew was predominantly Korean, and service was simply put poor and slow throughout the flight. The Singaporean LSS serving my section occasionally was much friendlier though. At times I felt I was on a Korean carrier and going to India. Menus were distributed, and had a special Indian selection for all meals listed as well. The amount of special meals was huge on this flight as well.

We were pushed back on time, and took off without delay for the rather long 5h40min flight down to Singapore Changi Airport. Peanuts and drinks were served first, but it was not until two hours into the flight when the meal cart arrived at my row. Selection was Korean beef, chicken with garlic mashed potatoes or some Indian choice. I had the chicken and it was awful. The mashed potatoes were made from the powder stuff, not real potatoes, and tasted terrible. It took another hour and no drink refills before the crew finally collected the trays. It seemed like this flight had about half of the number of flight attendants that Thai Airways has on a triple seven.

There was no further service on this flight – I listened to a playlist I had compiled from the various albums available on Wisemen 3000 and played a few rounds of SIA Inflight Challenge. Landing was a few minutes late at Changi, and I headed to the SilverKris First lounge – that’s where I would spend the night. There were still quite a few flights leaving such as those to Cape Town and Johannesburg.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15561 times:

Singapore Airlines SilverKris First Lounge, Singapore SG

Since the Kuala Lumpur shuttle has very cheap First Class tickets available, I decided to book one, spend the night in the lounge slumberettes and help my self to some fine drinks. The food buffet was still there when I arrived, so I had some chicken and beef with rice as I was hungry after the not so good offerings on ICN-SIN. Asked if they have some champagne still available – a bottle of Krug was soon opened for me to enjoy. I was the only one in the First lounge at this point. After making sure none of such fine champagne would go down the drain that night, I had a shower and headed to slumberette no. 4 for the night.

The slumberettes are poor to be honest. SQ offers flat beds in business and first, but no flat bed in a room meant for sleeping. I simply put a few blankets on the floor and slept there, as the chair type thing was uncomfortable. Hopefully they’ll have sleeping facilities such as the SAS Scandinavian Lounge in CPH soon. The SAS rooms have a normal bed and even a shower and toilet.

24 November 2004
Singapore Changi (SIN/WSSS) – Kuala Lumpur International (KUL/WMKK)
Singapore Airlines SQ 110
Boeing 777-212ER
9V-SVO
1235-1330 – On Time
First Class, Seat 12K (Raffles Class Spacebed)

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I had some breakfast and more Krug in the lounge before heading to the gate for boarding. Luckily it was a Spacebed 777 scheduled for this flight, so I could finally try out the seat. Boarding started on time, and I was shown to my seat by a friendly leading stewardess. For some reason, the headrest covers had the Raffles Class logo; I thought they are usually changed to First ones on the Kuala Lumpur shuttle.

First disappointment was the pre-departure drink selection – only pre-cupped juice and water unlike the usual wide selection in First. Newspapers and hot towels were offered later. Pushback and a powerful takeoff followed – flying time to the Malaysian capital was 45 minutes this afternoon. I played a bit with the Spacebed before the meal service, quite uncomfortable in the upright position, but a very comfortable bed was what I thought. Much better than the new Swiss seats that I have tried before.

Meal was a choice of chicken or salmon – I had the salmon. It came on a huge F class plate, but there was hardly anything to eat. Two cold pieces of salmon, each about the size of a candy. My request for champagne was turned down – “there is no champagne on this flight, sorry.” I could understand offering Raffles class champagne, but no champagne in Singapore First cabin?

Trays were later collected, and we were on approach to KLIA. The approach is strange – shows you where the airport is, i.e. in the middle of nowhere. We landed on time, and I took the train to arrivals and passport control. I met my friend there, and we took the train to XKL, Kuala Lumpur Sentral that is.

JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

Since I’m just a few nights short of hitting Marriott Rewards Platinum, I chose this hotel despite many other tempting and cheap choices such as the Ritz Carlton or the Westin in the city.

Check-in was painfully slow; the guy seemed to have no clue what he was doing. No upgrade and no information about the lounge was given. They forgot to bring my bags upstairs until I called. The room was nice, albeit a bit small. But again, there was somebody else’s platinum amenity on the desk. And it was a smoking room despite booking a non-smoking directly with Marriott. The bathroom had a separate shower and tub, and was very nice. The location is great in the middle of the touristy area, and the JW Lounge was quite nice but not as nice as at the Bangkok property. Check-out took an eternity again. Overall, it was a nice property in a good location but the staff should get additional training urgently.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15535 times:

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge, First Class

I checked in at KL Sentral – the MAS guy was not very friendly, but I was still looking forward to my first flight with the company. A quick train ride later, I arrived at KLIA and went to a MAS First desk to confirm that my KLM FF number was in the booking as there was no mention on the boarding pass. A very friendly lady confirmed that it was there indeed, and asked if I had a pass for fast track immigration and a lounge invitation.

I had heard many good things about this lounge, and my expectations were very high. However, the lounge exceeded all my expectations. I decided to have some lunch first – there is a dining area set up like a fine restaurant, with table linens, MAS First tableware etc. I had some chicken curry, smoked salmon and pasta as well as salad and desserts. The selections were fantastic. A few bottles of Laurent Perrier champagne were placed in a bucket on the bar counter. Some Baileys with the desserts didn’t hurt either.

I then headed to sit near the windows while enjoying more champagne. The lounge also has a sleeping area and showers with a sauna. Only two internet terminals were available, otherwise it is a perfect lounge in my opinion. It may not have Krug or Hennessy XO cognac, but otherwise beats the Singapore SilverKris F lounge hands down.

25 November 2004
Kuala Lumpur International (KUL/WMKK) – Singapore Changi (SIN/WSSS)
Malaysia Airlines MH 607
Airbus A330-322
9M-MKR
1930-2025 (2030-2130)
First Class, Seat 1A

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The flight was delayed due to late arrival of the A330 from somewhere. I really enjoyed the extra time in the lounge, although a few passengers with onward connections from Singapore weren’t as happy. Boarding was finally called about 45 minutes after scheduled departure time, and I was warmly greeted by two flight attendants at door 1L of the A330 that had spent its earlier life with Skyservice.

Row 1 had great legroom (60” at least I’d say), and the old style business class seats were comfortable. The cabin was spacious with no overhead bins in the middle, although it caused some problems as well since the F cabin was full tonight. Hot towels, newspapers and various juices were offered before pushback.

Since Singapore Airlines had pretty dismal service on the sector, I wasn’t expecting much. However, service on Malaysia Airlines was from a different world. Hot snacks were offered – I had some chicken and beef satay. Extras were offered as well. I asked if they happened to have champagne – “Of course we have champagne if First class” was the guy’s reply. He even refilled my glass twice on the remainder if the 45-minute flight.

All the stewardesses in First were very friendly and attentive, much better than on Singapore Airlines I must say. No wonder MAS was voted the airline with best cabin crews. We landed at Changi late, needless to say. Immigration was quick as usual, and my bag with First priority tags came out quickly. Most passengers seemed to be connecting to BA/QF services that evening.

Before heading out, I asked one of the MAS baggage guys what aircraft it was – 9M-MKR was the reply. It was dark in both KUL and SIN and I was unable to see it from the gate. I then took a taxi to the Singapore Marriott.

Singapore Marriott Hotel

Check-in was quick, and I was promptly upgraded to executive floor due to my Gold status. They had only twin rooms left, but since I had booked via Priceline, I didn’t care much. The room was on the top floor with great views. It was also nicely appointed, and the bathroom had the usual shower and separate tub. I also got a card detailing all the executive floor benefits, but unfortunately had no time to take advantage of them. The location is unbeatable on Orchard road. I usually book Cebu Marriott and this time booked JW KUL via Marriott.com. Neither property seems to give a rat’s ass about the preferences you select or MR Gold status. I always book JW Bangkok via Priceline and most of the staff there greet me by name.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15522 times:

26 November 2004
Singapore Changi (SIN/WSSS) – Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI)
Singapore Airlines SQ 886
Boeing 777-212ER
9V-SQA
0800-1510 – On Time
Economy Class, Seat 45C

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I checked in online for this flight as well – snagged 45C which has no seat in front. The exit row has only two seats, thus 45C and H have great legroom. Boarding pass was printed quickly and my bag was priority tagged to Incheon, Korea. Immigration was very quick and painless as usual, and I was soon in the room for worthless individuals who gain status by not flying Raffles or First – SIA Premier Lounge that is. Breakfast selections were poor – I had a tasteless sandwich and some Pringles before heading to the gate.

Boarding started on time, and the SATS staff held back the huge Korean tour group coming from Male, so that premium passengers could board. There didn’t seem to be many passengers in first or business on this flight. My seat had very good legroom obviously, but no seat in front meant I had about 50 people of the abovementioned tour group to smash their bags into my arm.

We were pushed back a few minutes late, and took off shortly thereafter for the 6-hour day flight to Incheon. The menu listed a continental breakfast and lunch as meals on this flight. I decided to sleep and skip the small breakfast – this is apparently impossible on Singapore Airlines. I was woken up by a Korean flight attendant who tossed the small tray into my lap without taking out the tray table, and said “your breakfast”. On ICN-SIN, two different flight attendants woke up the woman with two kids next to me and tried to offer the same meal. On Asiana, they place a sticker in front of you that basically says “you missed the meal, go to the galley if you want one”.

I ate the croissant and few pieces of fruit in about three minutes and waited another 40 minutes until the tray was collected. No drink refills were offered. After the forced breakfast I managed to sleep for the rest of the flight until lunch was served. I don’t remember the choices right now, but it was an average airline meal – not great but nothing to complain about either. I’ll post the exact menus once I’m in Finland and unpack my stuff if there is interest.

I slept for the rest of the flight after tray collection, and only woke up as we touched down on Korean soil. Immigration lines were long, but moved rather fast this time. I then took the shuttle to the Hyatt Regency Incheon where I’d spend the night before my United flight the next morning. Thinking about it, I guess I could have re-deposited the UA miles to my account, caught Air Asia to BKK from Singapore, and flown back on SQ later, but I was really looking forward to United Business class.

I know I’m going to get blamed for this, but after my 15 flights with SQ I can honestly say they are the most overrated airline I have ever flown. Especially in economy class, but also SIN-KUL in F. The service is not bad or anything, but it’s just economy class with no extra attention from the crews whatsoever. In short, same stuff you get in Lufthansa Y but with fancy crew uniforms and sometimes AVOD. SQA again didn't have it. The Star Gold lounge situation also discourages me from making connections in SIN when in Y class.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15504 times:

27 November 2004
Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) – Tokyo Narita (NRT/RJAA)
United Airlines UA 800
Boeing 777-222ER
N224UA
1245-1500 – On Time
United Business, Seat 9J

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I booked this trip to Bangkok with Mileage Plus miles – availability was very scarce even back in January. It was a total bargain though, 29000 miles and $14 in taxes, all the way in business class. Check-in was quick – a very friendly lady confirmed my selected seats and tagged my bag to Bangkok. There was no bag search nonsense here for some reason – I was glad this was the case.

Security was rather quick this time, and I went straight to the SilverKris lounge which I must say is a much nicer lounge than the SQ Singapore lounges if we speak strictly about the lounge design itself. Lunch offerings were the usual – so more SQ pasta and prawns for me as well as some beef. The bar is unfortunately only open from 3pm onwards. The lounge was practically deserted, partly due to a very light load in premium cabins on the UA flight.

Boarding started on time again, and I was selected for the ridiculous secondary check at the gate. Being a foreigner seems to guarantee it at Incheon – I didn’t see any Koreans getting this special treatment. If Korea wants to have more tourists, they definitely seem to check their attitudes first. In many places, I have felt very much out of place as a foreigner, and then this security/customs nonsense. But I guess I’m an “alien” just like in the United States.

I was greeted by an Australian purser who spoke a few words of Finnish – impressive. The cabin crew on this sector consisted of this Australian guy, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Hong Kong) and American flight attendants. Row 9 is the only row on the side of the small business class cabin – in the so called C+ configuration. There are some aircraft left with a bit less legroom and these have two rows on the sides as well. My seat had great legroom, and overall I’d say the UA C seat is the most comfortable traditional business class seat I have sat in.

I was offered three glasses of champagne before pushback – very impressive I’d say, especially on an airline that everyone blames for poor service. The mini cabin had only me and a Dutch guy next to me flying AMS-ICN-NRT as the KLM nonstop had been full in business. The purser confirmed that channel 9 would be on – very interesting to listen to it on this sector as both Korean and Japanese ATC spoke rather poor English and there were a lot of Chinese flights with dismal English to boot.

We were pushed back a few minutes early, and started the long taxi to the active runway. Old and new JAL planes were side by side a 777-200 and a 747-246B at gates 30 something. There was also an Ilyushin IL-62 of some Russian airline. We took off without delay for the short hop to Narita, Japan.

Service started soon – a cold snack was served on this sector. I chose the Japanese sushi rice – nicely presented, tasty and filling, There was also some sort of a dessert on the tray, I don’t quite know what it was but it was tasty as well. An adequate meal, although maybe United should consider hot meals on this flight. My glasses of champagne and water were refilled constantly, and I was addressed by name by the Japanese lady al the time.

Later, warmed nuts from first class were offered by an American f/a who joked that she likes to treat all passengers as first class customers. Soon, the captain announced descent into Narita, and we landed without incident some twenty minutes later. We then taxied to the new part of Terminal one – much nicer than Terminal two in my opinion. Great service on this flight.




Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15496 times:

United Red Carpet Club, Narita JP

The new Red Carpet Club is simply huge. I grabbed a seat near the windows, and was impressed that all seats seemed to have a power outlet for laptops. Free wireless internet is also offered. Snacks are rather non-existent – Oreo cookies and snack mix bags. Drink selection was decent, and I had a few Ballantines on the rocks while watching the endless number of Jumbos landing and taking off outside.

27 November 2004
Tokyo Narita (NRT/RJAA) – Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD)
United Airlines UA 881
Boeing 747-422
N176UA
1825-2250 – On Time
United Business, Seat 16A (Upper Deck)

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United 881 was overbooked in Business class, but the offer was too poor for me to consider a downgrade on a six-hour flight - $200 cash or $400 United travel voucher. The voucher amount is ok but since it has to be all UA metal, and they don’t fly to Finland, I passed. Boarded on time, and a Japanese guy took care of my roller bag due to the limited storage bins on the upper deck.

One of the pilots happened to be walking by, so I asked and was granted a visit to the cockpit while boarding was underway. Had a brief chat with the guys – it’s always nice to be able to visit the cockpit. I then made it back to my seat, where a glass of champagne and a menu card were waiting. Row 15 (exit) is the best on the upper deck, but also rows 16 and 17 have excellent legroom, especially on the left side. I was looking forward to a comfortable ride to Thailand.

Channel 9 was on again, and we were given permission to push back on schedule. Narita tower cleared us for takeoff shortly thereafter and we were on our way to South East Asia. Nuts and drinks as well as hot towels were offered next, and orders for dinner were taken. I chose the filet mignon. The starter was a salad with some sushi and prawns – quite nice. The filet mignon was tasty as well, even though UA is rumored to ship in the beef from the U.S. for its NRT catering operations.

The Japanese guys on the upper deck provided great service throughout the flight, and I drank quite a bit of Champagne while listening to Channel 9. Naha control spoke particularly poor English, Taipei and Hong Kong were ok and then again Ho Chi Ming was very poor. We flew all the way with NW 27, JO 707, JO 727 and TG 775 nearby. All are Boeing 747s from Japan to Bangkok.

Hong Kong granted us a higher flight level – seemed like our pilots were quite frustrated with the current one with occasional turbulence. We also had a medical problem on board, but the crew decided to continue to Bangkok. Finally, at around 2210, Ho Chi Minh instructed “United 881, contact Bangkok control at …”, and we were just crossing into Thai airspace. Bangkok spoke good English, and our crew requested priority approach to Don Muang due to the medical.

I suppose the JALWays guys had flown flown a few times to Bangkok before – just like all Thai flights, they said “Bangkok, Sawadee Khap, Jalways 707 with you” etc. We had indeed been granted priority approach, and at around 10:40pm, the female controller cleared us for landing. “United eight eight one, cleared to land runway two one right”. We made a smooth landing, and quickly exited the active runway and taxied to a remote stand next to a JALWays 747 classic.

The crew asked for our patience while the patient was offloaded first, and my bag was waiting at the top of the stairs. Said thanks to the all-Japanese crew, quickly cleared immigration and headed to town. Another excellent flight on United.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 15489 times:

That's it for today's update. Need to study, I have my last day at uni tomorrow here.

Now missing:

9R 376 Y BKK-HKT 732 HS-AKU
TG 630 Y HKT-BKK AB6 HS-TAX
DD 9200 Y BKK-UTH 734 HS-TDA
DD 9217 Y UTH-BKK 734 HS-TDE
UA 882 C BKK-NRT 744 N128UA
UA 801 C NRT-ICN 772 N786UA
CX 419 Y ICN-HKG 333 B-HLB
CX 907 C HKG-MNL 744 B-HOV
PR 857 C MNL-CEB 333 F-OHZO
PR 848 C CEB-MNL 333 F-OHZQ
CX 900 Y MNL-HKG 744 B-HUE
CX 416 Y HKG-ICN 333 B-HLL

Still to come:

14DEC TG 635 C ICN-TPE-BKK 772
19DEC TG 656 C BKK-ICN 772
20DEC TG 629 Y ICN-HKG-BKK 772
22DEC LH 744 Y BKK-MNL 744
23DEC PR 857 C MNL-CEB 333
31DEC PR 858 C CEB-MNL 333
31DEC LH 745 Y MNL-BKK 744
03JAN AY 098 Y BKK-HEL M11

Regards,

Lari



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6503 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15448 times:

Great reports as always!

Nice to hear that they had Channel 9 on! It's always great and even more interesting when you are outside the US.Channel 9 and Airshow is a great combination.

My experience on SQ is similiar; not really great and vastly overrated.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineBH346 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3265 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15381 times:

Lufthansa747: Thanks for the great trip reports! Looking forward to the next ones. I noticed in the previous thread that you went to Okinawa. Hope you enjoyed your time there although it seemed like you didn't have much time to enjoy the place. The ANA Laguna is very far from the city, but it is true that it is hard to find hotels in Naha City. For the most part, the nicer hotels on Okinawa are out in places like Onna like the ANA Laguna. Most hotels in Naha City offer cheap accomodations, but there are a few exceptions out there like the Hotel Nikko Grand Castle, Naha Terrace, and the Kariyushi Urban Resort Naha. Even though I was in coach, I agree that the flights to Okinawa are expensive and the service could be a lot better for the price. Anyway, thanks for telling us about your experiences. I wish I could travel like that.


Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8508 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 15312 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice reports Lari,as usual Smile

Interesting to note that UA came out better than SQ on recent flights.

Perhaps SQ is mainly hype,just like EK sem to be from a number of recent reports.

Catch you soon.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 15238 times:

Excellent trip report as always. I agree with your comments about SQ, but I have to say, once upon a time they were really something nice. I would however say the most overrated airline for me has been Emirates.

Thanks for the heads up on Malaysian. I am flying them next month to the US and am happy to hear you think they deserve their reputation. I can't wait for you Cathay Pacific part. I'd love to know how your flights were with my all time favorite carrier.

So while you fly TG this week, I'll be flying NW and KL. Wonder which one of us got the better deal.  Big grin

SR 103


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6503 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 15218 times:

I agree that EK is also vastly overrated.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 19, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 15224 times:

The777Man,

Channel 9 is indeed great - unfortunately it wasn't on for BKK-ICN and the f/a couldn't care less when I asked. It was on for NRT-ICN again - any idea who uses the call sign "Cargo King"?

BH346,

I found rather limited number of hotels available for online booking in Naha. Thinking about it now, I should have stayed either at a nice resort or a city hotel. I did the flights mainly to get the 744D and 747SR - the latter of which ANA swapped for another 744D.  Pissed

Mark,

SQ should be great on longer flights in F and C - MNL-SIN in F was very good. But for economy, well it's your standard economy class. What irks me the most is that they have huge advertisements for this and that and don't deliver. I have had AVOD on about half of my flights for example. SIN-KUL is marketed as "First" - SQ First offers Dom or Krug champagne. Obviously nobody "needs" it for such a short flight, but how about adding "Not offered on KUL flights" to all the advertising. They only mention that no book the cook is available on these flights.

SR 103,

I too remember my first flight with SQ - champagne, cocktails, big meals and nice movie snacks in Y. CX elite treatment is fantastic - more about that later - but I'm afraid to say Y is pretty basic nowadays on CX as well. No hot towels and 2/3 size trays for example. I guess it boils down to the fact that Y class is Y class no matter what carrier. They upgraded me to C on HKG-MNL - that was a superb flight.

TG Royal Executive Class was simply fantastic on ICN-TPE-BKK, wish I would have found this "L" class business class bargain. The dinner service on Taipei-Bangkok put many long haul meals to shame. Enjoy KL/NW, WBC should be nice enough  Big grin

30 November 2004
Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Phuket International (HKT/VTSP)
Phuket Airlines 9R 376
Boeing 737-2B7/Adv
HS-AKU
1050-1210 (1440-1600)
Economy Class, Seat 18A

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I was too lazy to wake up for the Orient Thai morning flight… So, at around 11.20 am, I took a cab to Don Muang – my plan was to go to Phuket but I had no flight reservations whatsoever. Arrived at the domestic terminal at 11.55, and noticed that there was a delayed Phuket Air flight leaving in fifteen minutes.

Can you still sell me a ticket to Phuket, I asked. “Sure sir, 2305 Baht please.” I got a fancy hand written ticket, and the agents told me to run to check-in as the flight would be departing in 15 minutes. Check-in was quick, and I was soon at the only Phuket Air gate at Don Muang domestic. No sign of boarding, and soon the agent announced that 9R 376 to Phuket would be delayed. She kept repeating this a few times with about 20-minute intervals, until we finally boarded a bus at 13.50 pm.

Too good to be true, we were told to go back to the terminal only five minutes later. Phuket Air three-seven-six would be further delayed “due to technical reason”. A few Europeans blew their fuses at this point, one clown kept repeating “Who is responsible for this, you ruin my holiday.” Maybe it would have been better for her to stay in Sweden if three hours is going to ruin her holiday. A Phuket Air representative offered me coffee or tea with some snacks from the complimentary gate bar, and said “I know you probably hate me but can I offer you some refreshments?” He was pretty surprised as I said it was ok, I didn’t hate him or his airline, actually I was happy to get a ticket on the flight at 12pm!

Boarding started again about half an hour later, and this time we were bussed to HS-AKU – a 737-200 in US Airways Metrojet colours. A very friendly lady greeted me at the door, and directed me to the back of the classic 737. Load this afternoon was about 50%, and Phuket Airlines had six very attentive and friendly flight attendants to take care of us on the one-hour flight down to Phuket.

Takeoff was a bit delayed, but eventually we rocketed off runway 21R after a few Thai Airways jets. Takeoff was very noisy on the old baby Boeing. The interior was in good condition – looks like US Airways refurbished the plane for Metrojet service. No wonder Phuket Air got a few of them, probably at bargain prices. Legroom was good as well, and there was an interesting magazine about Phuket Airlines in the seat pocket.

Service was excellent on this flight; a hot meal of fish curry and Thai jasmine rice was served. Drink service was very frequent as well – Thai Airways should be ashamed of their poor domestic economy class offerings. All too soon, we were on descent into Phuket International Airport. Landing was roughly four hours behind schedule, and we then parked next to a company YS-11 at a remote stand. I had no checked luggage, so I was soon sitting in a metered taxi going to Patong beach.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineKL808 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 15171 times:

Great reports Lari.

Im happy you had a good flight from CEB to INC on PR. I too hate the fact that PR uses the American system of seniority, with regards to F/A's. You always get the old hags working the international routes.

Great report man keep em comin'

drew



AMS-LAX-MNL
User currently offlineInterpaul From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 409 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 15153 times:

It was on for NRT-ICN again - any idea who uses the call sign "Cargo King"?


Hi Lari,
I think that must have been China Cargo Airlines. By the way, I really enjoy all of you trip reports so keep 'em coming.

Cheers
Jan



User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 22, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 15036 times:

Some highlights of Singapore Airlines Krisflyer customer service:

We wish to inform you that mileage once credited to KrisFlyer cannot be transferred to another Frequent Flyer Programme (FFP) or vice-versa. These rules can be found in the Terms and Conditions stated in your KrisFlyer Programme Guide book. Nevertheless, under the circumstances mentioned please confirm whether the following flights should be removed from your KrisFlyer account. Upon confirmation from you we will raise a request to the relevant department to delete the flights from your KrisFlyer account. Upon approval and deletion of the flights you will need to retroactively claim the flights with United Mileage Plus.

Next e-mail:

With reference to your email, our records show that your KrisFlyer
Membership Number has been quoted in your reservation as well as your
check-in. We do not have records of your United Airlines Mileage Plus
Membership Number. Hence, we are unable to remove the following
flight from your KrisFlyer Membership Account:

SQ15 - 23 November 2004 - Seoul to Singapore - Economy Class

We wish to highlight that mileage once credited to KrisFlyer cannot
be transferred to another Frequent Flyer Programme (FFP) or
vice-versa.

I merely quoted my UA number four times.




Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineSQNo1 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 687 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 14975 times:

I am impressed about your trip reports. A great job for having the determination to keep it going. I am suprised that you had a dissapointing experience with SQ. I found their service excellent on a round trip between SIN & PEK.
Just wondering how many mileage plus po do you have, and are you returning to helsinki on AY and on what date.

Regards,
Sqno1


User currently offlineLuftaom From Australia, joined May 1999, 426 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 14790 times:

Nice reports lari... keep em coming ... just one little request if I may... would you be able to give a brief outline of the other activities you get up to at all these interesting and exotic locations. I know this is a plane site, and dont get me wrong I love the flying reports - but id love to read what else there is to see and do, especially to do, at all these locations (even if its just what you do, because knowing what ones options are is only half as good as knowing the quality of the options one does).

Cheers.



25 Sabena332 : Hi Lari, Unfortunately I had to skip some reports of part 1 because of the lack of time lately so I started directly with part 2 (rest assured that I
26 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : Hi Patrick, Thanks for the compliments - I am actually at Bangkok Airport right now. QF directed me to the First class side of the lounge, can't compl
27 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 02 December 2004 Phuket International (HKT/VTSP) – Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) Thai Airways International TG 630 Airbus A300B4-622R HS-TAX 1300-142
28 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 04 December 2004 Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Udon Thani (UTH/VTUD) Nok Air DD 9200 Boeing 737-4D7 HS-TDA “Songkhla” 0600-0705 (0620-0715) Eco
29 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 06 December 2004 Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Tokyo Narita (NRT/RJAA) United Airlines UA 882 Boeing 747-422 N128UA 0700-1435 – On Time Business
30 Ba319-131 : Thanks for the updates Lari,good to see a nice assortment of trips. Regardung UA and the BKK lounge etc,i totally agree,it would make far more financi
31 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 07 December 2004 Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) – Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok (HKG/VHHH) Cathay Pacific Airways CX 419 Airbus A330-342 B-HLB 1945-2235 (1945-23
32 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 08 December 2004 Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok (HKG/VHHH) – Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) Cathay Pacific Airways CX 907 Boeing 747-467 B-HOV 0805-100
33 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 08 December 2004 Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) – Mactan Cebu International (CEB/RPMC) Philippine Airlines PR 857 Airbus A330-301 F-OHZO 1200-1
34 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 12 December 2004 Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) – Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok (HKG/VHHH) Cathay Pacific Airways CX 900 Boeing 747-467 B-HUE 1300-150
35 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 12 December 2004 Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok (HKG/VHHH) – Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) Cathay Pacific Airways CX 416 Airbus A330-342 B-HLL 1630-2050 – On T
36 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 14 December 2004 Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) – Taipei Chiang Kai Shek (TPE/RCTP) Thai Airways International TG 635 Boeing 777-2D7 HS-TJB 1705-1845 –
37 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 18 December 2004 Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Phuket International (HKT/VTSP) Phuket Airlines 9R 376 Boeing 757-2Q8 HS-KAA 1050-1205 (1230-1340) E
38 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 19 December 2004 Phuket International (HKT/VTSP) – Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) Thai Airways International TG 218 McDonnell Douglas MD-11 HS-TMG “
39 Lufthansa747 : Interpaul, I think that must have been China Cargo Airlines. By the way, I really enjoy all of you trip reports so keep 'em coming. Thanks for the inf
40 Luftaom : All this was handled at a counter that had a big “closed” sign – a German tourist had a big problem with this. This person insisted she must be
41 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : Are you sure you wern't the one confused with the closed sign. I would have insisted that the thai agent change the sign above the counter to "PX lege
42 SR 103 : Great report as usual. Thanks for the heads up on TPE. I'll be traveling through there in a couple of hours on my way to LAX. SR 103
43 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 19 December 2004 Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) Thai Airways International TG 656 Boeing 777-2D7 HS-TJG “Pattani” 2330-
44 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 22 December 2004 Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) Lufthansa LH 744 Boeing 747-430 D-ABVL “München” 1500-1910
45 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 23 December 2004 Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) – Mactan Cebu International (CEB/RPMC) Philippine Airlines PR 857 Airbus A330-301 F-OHZS 1200-1
46 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 31 December 2004 Mactan Cebu International (CEB/RPMC) – Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) Philippine Airlines PR 858 Airbus A330-301 F-OHZO 1500-1
47 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 31 December 2004 Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL/RPLL) – Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) Lufthansa LH 745 Boeing 747-430 D-ABVD “Bochum” 2035-2240
48 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : 03 January 2005 Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Helsinki Vantaa (HEL/EFHK) Finnair AY 098 McDonnell Douglas MD-11 OH-LGD 0050-0645 (0050-0615) Busine
49 The777Man : Nice reports! The777Man
50 Lufthansa747 : Travel Year 2004 030104 BKK MNL 1093 LH0744 F 744 D-ABVD 050104 MNL SIN 1494 SQ0073 F 773 9V-SYA 060104 SIN BKK 893 LX0183 Y 343 HB-JMA 120104 BKK SIN
51 Lufthansa747 : Next Booked Trip 04MAR LH3101 HEL-FRA 321 Business 04MAR SQ0325 FRA-SIN 744 First 06MAR SQ0076 SIN-MNL 772 First 23MAR LH0745 MNL-BKK 744 First 21APR
52 Carfield : Thanks for such a wonderful series of reports! I am so surprised that TG actually offers an amenity kit for the BKK-ICN service and the meals sound re
53 KL808 : Hey Lari great report as usual. Funny, how you spent xmas in the Philippines. It sure was busy huh? Its good that you weren't in Phuket during the Tsu
54 Lufthansa747 : Carfield, Indeed, I was surprised to get the TG amenity kit as well. Especially considering AY doesn't have one anymore and the LH one is a total joke
55 Luftaom : Tip: If you need snow for that warm and fuzzy (or is that cold and frosty) christmas feeling, it can be replicated quite easily and indeed cheaply wit
56 The777Man : Should be a great trip back to Asia again in First class! Thai announced over a year ago that they were to reconfigure their 777-200s to have similiar
57 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : Bradley, That's hilarious! But I didn't feel like wasting that "specially packed for Thai" bottle and had no beer. Lars, Yes, various rumors from vari
58 Post contains images The777Man : Hi Lari! It looks like TG finally ordered 6 777-200ER recently although the order is listed as by Boeing as Unidentified Order. I think they will star
59 StarFlyer : Lari, impressive reports. Thanks for sharing them with us and for putting in so much time and effort. I am sure this is well perceived within the comm
60 Post contains images Ba319-131 : Lari, Well,i thought my 47 flights in 2004 was good,pretty poor compared to you I'm glad you booked the 'F' trip, i look forward to the reports,as i'm
61 Post contains images Sabena332 : I can only agree with Mark, it was fantastic to read about all these flights (although I missed some reports of part 1). Many thanks for writing all t
62 Post contains images Scandinavian : Great reports Lari! Kiitos! 131 flights last year are a really tremendous amount. I made 39 flights, which was a new record for me. Your next booked t
63 Chris78cpr : Good trip reports! I have enjoyed reading them other the last 3-4 months. 131 flights in one year! Flipping heck! I was proud of my 25! Lol! Got some
64 Lufthansa747 : Thanks for all the comments! I'll upload the meal pictures to airlinemeals.net, but the site seems to be down at the moment. Mark, Yes I plan to email
65 Ba319-131 : Heck Lari, You'll be knackered after that trip! I look forward to the report. Rgds Mark
66 Post contains images Sabena332 : 04FEB HEL JFK AY 005 M11 -Hilton New York (Priceline of course) 05FEB LGA ORD AA 311 M80 05FEB ORD SEA AA 643 M80 05FEB SEA OAK AS 884 734 05FEB OAK S
67 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : Mark and Patrick, Glad you liked this little itinerary! I played around with AA.com for ages until finding that! Was just about to book LGA-SEA when I
68 Post contains links Lufthansa747 : The pictures are finally up. Hope you'll enjoy! http://lari.pp.fi/
69 Luftaom : You add new meaning to the phrase 'sick puppy'. Keep up the good work you legend!
70 Lufthansa747 : Just updating the planned trips: 04FEB HEL JFK AY 005 Y M11 -Hilton New York 1N (Priceline of course) 05FEB LGA ORD AA 311 Y M80 05FEB ORD SEA AA 643
71 Post contains images Sabena332 : Hi Lari, At first: Thanks a lot for the website with the pictures, really great, this is very much appreciated! Is the May trip a milage run or an awa
72 Post contains images Lufthansa747 : Hi Patrick, It's a CX oneworld award in business class. Unfortunately the YYZ flight doesn't have any local rights, so I'll only have a look from the
73 IslipWN : Man....it must have taken you forever to type all of these trip reports!! Great Job!
74 Tk747 : Wow I just found this thread, such an interesting read! Is there anyway/anywhere to still see the pics?
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