Thought I would post my report of my first longhaul trip by myself.
SQ282 AKLSIN 15APR04 9V-SMH Gate 5 05L departure. Seat 34K
Cruising altitude 11582m - until Java then 12192m
I wasn't scheduled to depart from AKL until 0910, but I was just so excited that I was up at 4am just checking that everything was sorted, and to see if the details of my Job in the UK had been posted through (they hadn't). Oh well - off to the airport. I went to the SQ office at AKL, to check whether my waitlisted flights for the following day SIN-LHR had cleared at the last minute.
It was in vain. Although I had the benefit of knowing exactly how many were on the waitlists, and my position the flights were still bursting at the seams. The least number of people was on SQ322 but that was still 11 people. The most was 35 people. No chance, or even if there was it wasn't a risk I wanted to take. Next problem, find a seat on SQ to Europe from SIN. I had a good friend searching the system for seats. LHR none, AMS none, FRA none, ZRH none, FCO None. CDG 1 Seat. Looks like I'll be going via CDG then.In fact not just the last seat on SQ to europe for 16APR04, but the last until early May! A totally new airport for me, guaranteed new aircraft type,airline & rego to fly on. Whatever will I do with myself for the day? Onboard the crew were awesome. They were very attentive and the head pursor presented me with a KrisShop bag filled with business class goodies incl a large bottle of Evian etc all. The look on some of the other pax faces was priceless. Arrived in SIN on runway 20R (gate E24) around 20 minutes early, and were off the plane, through immigration with luggage & onto the
bus to the hotel before we were even scheduled to arrive. Now that's an efficient airport!!
SQ334 SINCDG 16APR04 744 9V-SMS Seat 61K Gate F52.
Cruising Altitude 10800m (asia) 11600m (europe)
Arrived early to do a little spotting & to lounge around at Changi in the way that you can. May as well cos I knew the flight would be full. Seat was 1st row of 2 on the window near the back. Nice, room to put stuff & to stret ch legs. As predicted, not a spare seat on the plane, I just happend to get a Spanish lady next to me that didn't speak much english, an excuse to practice the spanish..."Hola bonita senorita"
Flight had some pretty good turbulence, I had been watching the movies, people were getting queasy and waking up in the middle of the night due to it and complaining. but the up and down & side to side motion lulled me to sleep....lol
AF1970 CDGLHR 17APR 320 F-GJVG Gate F44.
AF is so French....lol An uneventful & rather short flight, but the service was of a good standard considering. Arrived Terminal 2 LHR. Chaotic and disfunctional, It reminded me of AKL straight away, albeit a busy version.
Discovered finally where I'd be working in a Pub, that's a bonus.
I made a fair number of trips to LHR while I was away, and picked up some pretty wonderful regos. but I wouldn't fly again until August due to unforeseen circumstances.
I decided I would splash out on a week's break somewhere in Europe. I had caught up with my ex girlfriend in London & we had decided to travel to Italy. "'I'll handle the bookings" I said, knowing that if I played my cards right I could get a cheap fare, geta new airline,aircraft types and maybe even a few transit airports. ex wasn't keen on multiple transit points, so I found the perfect solution. We would go to Naples, and visit Pompeii. We would fly Alitalia. It was cheap, I'd get 4 flights instead of two and it was only one short transit in each direction at MXP.
AZ were brilliant, Fit F/As, decent airline food and typical italian brio. Not to mention 3 new aircraft types (esp. MD82s!!). need I say more? To save on space here are the details in one space.
AZ231 LHRMXP 17AUG 321 I-BIXR Seat 23A
AZ1289 MXPNAP 17AUG M80 I-DAVV
AZ1292 NAPMXP 23AUG M80 I-DAVL 18A
AZ244 MXPLHR 23AUG 319 I-BIMG 21F
I really loved AZ. I loved Italy in general. It's a wonderful place.
Once I returned I start planning for my big trip of Europe by Eurail pass - starting with a Eurostar to Brussels. I covered Belgium, France, Monaco, Italy(incl. Maranello- Ferrari Cntl.), Vatican City, Austria,Germany & Czech Republic.
We left it late to organise transport back to UK, which was a mistake cos we were stuck with EasyJet. I consoled myself with the fact that it was 2 new airports & a new flown on rego/airline. Oneway CGNLGW cost a fair bit more than LHR-MXP-NAP-MXP-LHR
EZY5348 CGNLGW 31OCT 319 G-EZEA
I was Pax 007 to check in, after a Cold night sleeping on the floor at Cologne Hauptbahnhoff train station. Went through immigration/security nice and early to do a bit more spotting ( I wanted a Tu154 that was scheduled). I went to check the gate which was a downstairs bus gate, saw that there was nowhere to spot and no security and came up again to get some Eurowings 717s on lease from Spanair. I had been spotting for about a half hour before I saw my EZY plane arrive. Little did I realise that it was late so I hurredly went to go downstairs to gate & WTF!?!?! they had put up security that hadn't been there previously and were painstakingly searching bags cos of an Iran 313 that was about to board too. Meanwhile I was looking at the time. 3min to departure Exclamation Luckily because EZY is such a shambles at boarding I made it on time, and cos I was 007 on the list I just pushed my way through to the front to make sure I got the seat i wanted. Arrived back at Gatwick, which is the biggest Zoo I have ever seen. Pasty white english kids whinging and crying and adults complaining about this that and the other. It was great, cos i was on a kiwi passport I went to the non EU national line and got stamped straight through...
I arrived back in England with 6 Euros & 5 pounds....that had to last me 2 days in the 3rd most expensive city in the world. I managed to get up to London to pick up the rest of my considerable luggage, and was preparing to camp out at the airport for two days when my Aussie mate Pete said I should stay at the pub that I had been working at. Lifesaver !! Stayed overnight and caught up with everyone behind the bar & a few of the locals. Filled up with Beer, Cider & English breakfasts I made my way out to the airport for the last flights of my trip.
I went out early and it was just as well I did. I weighed my luggage on the free scales knowing from experience of lugging my pack everywhere around europe for a month that it was heavy. All up my luggage came to 50kg + 14kg hand luggage...lol I was expecting to have to whip out my credit card for excess luggage... but they waived me through and gave me my boarding cards.
Decided that given my travel experiences so far that I should expect the law of averages to kick in. No sooner had I got through a screening point and sat down when the T3 terminal had the fire alarm set off. Everyone was running around everywhere, but they were told to go to their gates, which I duely did. It was once I got on the plane that I realised I had only had my luggage screened, I hadn't been checked at any stage for my boarding card, and my passport hadn't been checked by immigration!!!
"Oh well" I thought ..."Better not be any bloody terrorists around the terminal today or there might be trouble"
SQ321 LHRSIN 2NOV 744 9V-SMP 42K
Chatted to an english guy who was going out to see his son & family in SYD. It was his first flight of over 4 hours and he wasn't looking forward to it, so I consoled him the way only a plane spotter can.....lol
Good flight, service not quite as awesome as first flight, but better than the flight to CDG (though that was cos they were strapped in due to turbulence for much of flight). Blinds down, and I had been checking the times in both timezones and decided that when it was 0900 GMT and 1400 in SIN that my blind could & should go up, after all that's what the windows are there for and by this time there was only 3h to go, but I got told to shut it several times by the SQ girls before the lights were put on again.
SQ285 SINAKL 3NOV 744 9V-SPQ Assigned 34K
I thought I was lucky, both seats next to me were free and then at the last minute a mother & young child (looking like he was going to scream)
sat down next to me...I gave a look that would have turned medusa herself to stone and one of the passing SQ girls noticed and moved me straight away to 38K. Nice, I could recline the whole way without thinking cos it was toilets behind me. The service was the best of the entire trip, They were coming past about once every 40min to see if I was awake still, and offering me tea/coffee/juice/snacks probably in the vain hope that I would sleep.Far be it from me to turn a beautiful girl bearing food & assorted beverages away....brilliant!!
All in All I had a fantastic trip, and I may well be going back to work soon if I can't get work here. Hope it wasn't too long a trip report, but it did have to cover 7 months!!