9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 11 Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7607 times:
Part 1 :
Date : 11th March 2005
Destination : Bangkok
Airline : Finnair
Departure time : 2230
Arrival time: 2350
Aircraft type : MD-11
Rego : OH-LGD
Runway used : 02C
Load factor : 100%
About my trip. My friend, Bas and I had planned this trip about a month ago. We wanted to take a break , go for some rides to some nearby destination near my area. As he is Dutch, he doesn't mind heading to Asia at all. We have a number of choices like going to TPE on one of the shuttles flight but after some discussion and discovered that Ethiopian flies to (HKG for only US$104 per person on that day, we decided to book ourselves on that flight, ET656. I decided to fly back to on Jetstar Asia, I always wanted to try that low cost-carrier. The colour scheme of that airlines attracts me.
Anyway, back to the trip report, Bas was to go to Bangkok first joined by my friend, Garuda who went to Bangkok the day before was meeting him after his arrival.Anyway, since Bas was flying on Finnair, we will be both flying the same aircraft so he sms the rego of the aircraft to me. Took a half day off at camp , I went home and packed my stuffs and left for Changi very early, at around 1700 hrs. I decided to book in early, get a window seat and then spotted for a while before exploring the departure area. Time passed fast, I was at the gate D40 at around 2130 hours, there were crowds queueing up , I waited for a while before entering the gate. Boarding started at around 2210 , everyone got boarded by 2235 I think .
Pushed back started with the 3 engines starting quickly before taxing to runway 02C holding point waiting for a plane to land before we took off. The take off of the MD-11 was super impressive, acceleration was much faster then the other planes I flew on , 777 , 747, 330 , 345. I was very impressed with the power of the aircraft, no wonder so many airliners.net fans praised the aircraft, now I understand why. Anyway, let me talk about the entertainment system on board. As there is no PTV installed on Finnair 's aircraft, we have to watch whatever they want to show us. I was quite disappointed in this aspect because they only showed a short documentery for this 2 hours flight , there was no magazines to read , only safety card to see, I had nothing much to do but just to enjoy some bumps and light turbulence during the flight.
I noticed something about the aircraft, even through the air was smooth, the aircraft seem to be shaking left and right , I am really puzzled ... Luckily I was not sitting at the back , it was quite noisy when I was walking towards the back cabin, I took some cabin shots since I had nothing to do . I have took a lot of photos but they are not ready now, once they are , I will post them up here if you are interested.
Food was served not very long later, I quickly went back to my seat , as the configuration was 3-4-2 , I was lucky to be at the 2 seater. My neighbour seem quite unfriendly and gave me a wierd look as I wanted to get back to my seat, ohh well, waited for my food to be served. Fish, veg and rice was the main course, food tasted average , rice was a bit hard , fish tasted quite nice but can be cooked better. Ohhh dear, I am so fussy ! However, the chocolate cake was nice, I love to eat sweet dessert after the main course.
After the meal, took a small nap . Plane started to descend , we landed quite smoothly on runway 21L .Landed at around 2340 hrs , 10 minutes ahead of schedule which is good. I met up with my friend , Bas and Garuda where we headed to Asia hotel to stay overnight .
My ratings for Finnair
Service : 4/10
Grumpy faces among almost all the cabin crews, not very helpful to help when called upon. (I observed a lot ) However, there is one who always smile and was helpful. Nothing impressive really.
Food : 6/10
Average really but I ate worse food then this , can't complain much.
Entertainment system : 3/10
I feel like I am flying in the 80s, no PTV system or magazine to read at least, tv programme lasted only half an hour , one of the most boring flights I ever flew on .. only good entertainment I had was the wonderful take off and landing .
Schedule : 10/10
Departed on time , landed slightly earlier then schedule, not many airlines can do that for a full flight like this one.
If you are really interested to fly the MD-11, AY is one of the airlines you should consider. They are not a bad airline but definately I have experienced better service then this but I wont hesitate to fly them again.
P.S If I missed out on anything, please let me know. Feel free to ask me any questions. Ohh yes, I found a 757 safety card on one of the seats behind me !
Guys, I have one question. What engines powers Finnair's Tri-jet?
9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 11 Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7502 times:
Part 2 : Bangkok to Hong Kong on Ethiopian Airlines , ET 656.
Date : 12th March 2005
Destination : Hong Kong
Airline : Ethiopian Airlines
Departure time : 1115 ( delayed to 1220 )
Arrival time: 1545 (can't remember what time we arrived, sorry about this)
Aircraft type : B767-300ER
Rego : ET-ALL
Seat: 30K (changed to 31K)
Runway used : 21R
Load factor : 100%
This was the flight , Bas and I were waiting for. Garuda would not be joining us to HKG as he wanted to spend more time in Bangkok. We arrived early at the airport, did some spotting at the spectator's viewing mall , the lighting was pretty bad as there is back lit but took a few shots before we headed to our check in counter. There were no one there was we arrived . We thought the flight was empty but after we asked , the lady told us our flight was full which was a surprise to us. Anyway, we had 2 seperate window seats as we wanted to take window shots with our cameras. He was sitting at 34K and myself, 30K .We went to our gate area, did some spotting there, one thing I don't like about the windows is it's very reflective ,some of my shots can see the reflection which frustrated me but I managed to get some good ones like Malev, Kenya , Nok , Bangkok Airways, Thai MD-11 , EVA Air A330 , China Airlines B747-400 and of course our plane which I was very disappointed. Why disappointed ? Check this out . I was hoping for the new 767 instead of this leased aircraft.
Anyway, the plane came took some shots of it before we shot a lot more, luckily Bastian checked the time as he realised that we were late but as the flight was delayed , when we reached to the gate. The boarding just started, we were one of the first to board . The seats were leather seats, seems quite nice but to my disappointment no PTVs , I notice the configuration is of the old 767's cabin so I guess this aircraft could be more then 8 years old .From what I see , there were 60-70 % Africans, the rest were of mixed nationality, mostly Chinese. When I reached to my seat, there were a couple of African passengers who refused to give up their seats so in order to avoid a confrontation, I decided to find another seat but luckily for me, a gentleman from seat 31 offered me to seat with him , I accepted without hesitation. Immediately my camera went into action, took some outside shots but couldn't take any cabin shots yet as there are still a lot of people coming in and finding their seats.
The shocking thing happened, about half of the passengers on board were still struggling to settle down , some were putting their stuffs into the handbag compartment while some are walking towards the seats , the plane was PUSHED BACK ! Bas and I were stunned ! How can the plane be pushed back when the passengers were not settled down ! It took them quite a while for them to settle down, that was before the plane started to taxi . The cabin crews were having a hard time settling the passengers and granting the passengers's request for whatever stuffs they need. Plane taxied to runway 21R for an immediate departure to Hong Kong , behind us was a Gulf Air's 75th Anniversary aircraft , I was shooting happily despite the dreadful weather. I should post some shots over here once they are uploaded to my computer. The plane was very noisy at take off , light turbulence until to FL 340. Sorry Boeing 767 fans but I am definately prefer flying the A330 over this aircraft. Anyway, once the seat belt signs were on , people started getting out of their seats, walking here and there with the cabin crews at full swing.
I was tapped by my shoulder by a Chinese man most probably from Hong Kong, he told me that there was this man sitting at the other side wanted to talk to me . He said that he wasn't able to communicate with the African cabin crews because of language problem and wants me to talk to them on his behalf. I agreed to help him, so I went over to his seat. He told me that he was not happy because he was scared that the food that the airline was serving them was not clean food and asked me to talk to them about it. I was like so puzzled and kept explaining to him that everything is ok , he should trust them. I was thinking if you were so worried, why fly Ethiopian Airlines in the first place ? Don't you agree ? So , it took quite a while for me to convince him not to worry. Phew ! Went back to my seat, just in time for my meal. Lunch was again fish and rice. The rice wasn't good but the fish was ok , not better then the Finnair's food I ate the day before. Ate finished my food, decided to watch I-Robot played on the monitor screen , even through this is only a 2 hrs flight like Finnair, at least they played a movie for us to past time . Time passed quite fast on this flight, nothing much to say really until the landing, another shocking thing happened. After the plane landed and taxied out of the runway, one of the African men stood up and the rest all followed and open the comparment to take their stuffs out. Despite pleas from Captain to tell them to sit down until the plane reached the gate, they refused and they were standing up, getting ready to get off the plane. This was my first time , I ever see such a thing. I felt like I was in a bus not a plane at that moment. Once we reached the gate , passengers disembarking very quickly. I guess the most relieved people were the cabin crews, they had a tough job to look afte these passengers .
Service : 7/10
Pretty polite and with patience to their cabin crews. Most important is that they had smiles on their faces which makes you feel warm. Service may not be as good as Emirates or Japan Airlines but they did their best for this flight.
Food : 5/10
Not to my liking but just ate as much as I could. Can't be too fussy all the time right ?
Entertainment system : 6/10
Lack of ptv doesn't really matter to me, I had a couple of shock incidents that left me laughing inside my heart, I felt entertained on this flight and at least had something to do on board .
If you want to try something different , try this airline. They are expanding with brand new aircrafts , I think they will do good. Bas has said that he had no intention to fly on this airline again but I probably will.
Lufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 45 Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7229 times:
Quoting 9V-SVC (Reply 2): The shocking thing happened, about half of the passengers on board were still struggling to settle down , some were putting their stuffs into the handbag compartment while some are walking towards the seats , the plane was PUSHED BACK !
Happens on Thai carriers frequently - on Nok they closed door and pushed back as soon as the busload of pax were inside but hardly anybody was seated. On Orient Thai a crew member asked me to close a few overhead bins that opened whilst taxiing - she said they were so heavy...
9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 11 Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7187 times:
Part 3 : Jetstar Asia 's A320 HKG-SIN flight
Date : 13th March
Origin: Hong Kong
Destination : Singapore
Airline : Jetstar asia
Departure time : 1115
Arrival time: 1450
Aircraft type : Airbus A320-232
Rego : 9V-JSA
Runway used :07R
Load factor : 85%
I tried to change my flight time to the evening the day before but at exact 1700 hrs, they were closed so I couldn't make the changes. Bas suggested to buy a single trip ticket for a later flight probably on SQ, I was quite tempted especially flying on their 777 which I haven't flown before. I went to ask for the price fare for one way and they quote me S$800 ! That was so expensive so decided just to stick to Jetstar Asia. Bas got an earlier flight to London on Cathay, because his tickets were standby, he had a choice to fly either Cathay or Virgin . He decided to fly on CX as there was an earlier flight and he could get some rest at home before work. So everything got sorted out around 1015 hrs and we went through the immigration and security check. I was beginning to worry whether I can make it for my flight. The gate was supposed to close at 1040 and I was still stucked in the queue , going through the security at 1035 hrs !! That means 5 more mins to go .
I just love the new Hong Kong airport, in my opinion she is one of the nicest airport in the region at least. She puts Terminal 2 of Changi Airport to shame really.
Anyway, I went to my gate immediately after the check, bidded Bas farewell before I went quickly to the gate , I was relieved when I saw the people waiting in the lounge. We were to wait for a bus to take us to the plane, I love it when the plane parks at a remote parking bay which means I have a chance to take shots of planes ! 10 minutes later, boarding started, we walked to the bus waiting to be ferried to our plane. I was really hoping for VQZ as I had a photo of this plane in airliners.net . This photo means a lot to me for some reasons.
Photo of 9V-VQZ , which I later found out has flown to Australia to it's mainland fleet.
The bus took us to our plane , I saw a lot of planes but nothing unusual apart from China Southern B737-500/-700 , China Eastern MD-90, Dragon Air A321, A330-300 and Cathay Pacific A340-600 (my first sight of her) .
I was the second to board the aircraft,I can smell the new leather seats's smell ,if I am not wrong JSA was delivered in Late Jan, am I right ? I got to my seat at 20L , took out my camera take some shots of the cabin which I have uploaded to airliners.net , hopefully the shot will be accepted so that they can be viewed to you all. An old chinese couple sat beside me, they are quite friendly and asked me why I took photos and they were quite happy chatting with me. The flight crews were quite friendly , I tried to ask whether I can visit the cockpit briefly but was turned down but they said it in a professional tone so I didn't feel disappointed.
About 15 more mins later, the second bus came, boarding completed quickly and the door was closed. The engines were started ,starting by the first. We taxied slowly to runway 07R, took quite a lot of shots including the control tower, I must admit HKG airport looks much better in real life then photos. I am glad I came to HKG even through the weather was crappy and cold !As we were the only one in the taxiway , we turned and took off immediately. The take off was powerful but noisy and light turbulence until we reached the attitude. Once the seat belt signs were turned off, the flight attendence moved in action.
I should talked about the cabin. The leather seats were pretty comfortable but leg room space for a 6 feet 3 guy like myself is pretty tight but I managed well some how. There was not entertainment system at all, no drop down screens or radio system so that wasn't much to do other then reading newspaper and Changi Express newspaper. This is really low cost ! The prices of the food and drinks is extremely expensive. For a proper western or chines meal, you have to pay S$8 !! I bought a cookie for $3 and the size was pretty small ! My most expensive cookie definately. I bought a Jetstar A320 model for S$20 as a momento. I will try the other 2 LCC one day. The cabin crew asked me whether I can do a survey for them, no problem at all . There was this question asking me whether I prefer LCC or full-cost carrier, I chose the latter because I rather have the entertainment system and food together in the air fare I pay and besides I prefer flying widebody. However, A320 is a good plane to fly on.
After eating my cookie, a first officer came out of the cockpit and an idea strucked into me, I wanted to ask about VQZ's wheresabout and maybe if he was free that time to talk to me for a while, I could also ask whether I can go visit the cockit after the flight. I moved to the front galley, told the cabin crews that I want to ask the first officer a few technical questions, they told me to hang on and asked the first officer after he came out. He was very friendly, I didn't get his name ! He was previously flying Qantas's 737 planes and asking him which was his preference, he preferrred the A320. A320 is one of the most easiest and enjoyable aircraft to fly with. (No A vs B war please) . After chatting for some time, he had to go back to the cockpit, I asked whether is it possible I can take some shots of the cabin after the flight, he told me no problem. I was elated.
I saw some empty seats in the front and at the back, I decided to move to the back , one of the cabin crew stuffs seem unhappy I moved to the back, at this point I felt quite disappointed with that particular cabin crew after she told me to move back to my seat because in case of a " plane crash " , they will know where I am seating and the second reason was the aircraft weight balance , if I sat at the back, I would upset the weight balance , I was astonished and upset but because I know I would get to visit the cockit after this flight, I kept quiet and went back to my seat. Landing was bumpy with some air turbulence but we touched down runway 02L nicely and taxied to Gate C22. I took my stuffs and waited for everyone to leave the aircraft before making my way to the cockpit where I talked to the Captain and FO briefly,taking some shots before I left the aircraft .
Service : 6/10
The service was quite good at first but deteriorated especially after that cabin crew told me to move back to my original seat. The cabin crews instead of greeting goodbyes , they stood at the back , talking and joking. What a pity.
Schedule : 10/10
Left on time, arrived in time. Excellent.
Conclusion: I had my mixed feelings on board Jetstar Asia but I won't hesitate to fly with them again.
LordHowe From Finland, joined Jan 2003, 728 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7176 times:
Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter): went back to my seat , as the configuration was 3-4-2 , I was lucky to be at the 2 seater.
Nice report! Thanks!
You had one of the best seats on AY MD11. That part of the cabin is much nicer than the aft part where the seating is 3-4-3 and the seats are actually charter-class seats with no head support. On that leg (SIN-BKK) you might have got seat even on 27 or 28 (J&L) which are used as crew rest on the following leg (BKK-HEL). Personally I think the best seats on AY MD11s are 21 H,J and L and 22H.
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 64 Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7031 times:
Well done! I've always wondered what a Jetstar Asia flight was like on a longer run like HKG-SIN, and hadn't found any trip reports with them on a route like that posted here. Their fares certainly seem reasonable enough.
Thanks for your interesting report on all three flights.
9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 11 Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6853 times:
Quoting LordHowe (Reply 7): You had one of the best seats on AY MD11. That part of the cabin is much nicer than the aft part where the seating is 3-4-3 and the seats are actually charter-class seats with no head support.
I was quite surprised with AY's cabin layout . The first part of the economy class was 3-4-2 while the back part was 3-4-3 except for the last 2 rows ! The experience on the MD-11 was a great one, I hope to have a few more flights with them before they are all gone .
Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 9): How long did HKG-SIN take? I'm guessing 3-4 hours.
The flight from HKG - SIN takes around 3 hrs 20 minutes.
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 10): Your ET report was interesting, I must say, prior to your report I had no plans to ever fly them, and you report did nothing to change my plans Smile
Haha, I understand why. I love trying these exotic african airlines, for me next to go is Kenya Airways.
N949WP From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2000, 1437 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 6808 times:
Thanks for the report.
Most appreciative of your compliments of the HKG terminal. But honestly, most of us local enthusiasts would gladly ditch the swoopy designs in exchange for a proper observation deck with good views of the ramp and runway.....something like what you guys have at Changi T1 !!
Hmmm....maybe it's time again for me to do HKG-SIN-HKG.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6683 times:
...in case of a " plane crash " , they will know where I am seating and the second reason was the aircraft weight balance...
Well, it is free seating after all right? So wtf?! As for the weight and balance issue, it was blown out of proportion by her. Weight calculations, if I am not wrong, takes into acct people walking about the cabin eg. cabin crew needs to walk about to serve. Unless the entire plane load of pax moves rearwards and totally upset the balance of the cruising jet, it is almost never a problem to move abt the plane.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Miami1 From Australia, joined Feb 2001, 706 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 6540 times:
Jetstar Asia is allocated seating.
Weight and balance is administered differently depending on the airline. Some allow a descrepancy of say two pax under or over in each zone for take off. Others allow pax to move wherever they wish after takeoff. Some ask pax to move back for landing - some don't. JQ in Australia has free seating but will not allow pax to move into blocked seats after takeoff. Yet when the company was QantasLink and using the QF system pax could move after take off but they were strict about moving before.
It all depends on what system the airline is using and they have to abide by that as it forms part of their operations manual certified by the authorities.
The aircraft VQZ and VQX were in a slightly different configuration to the ones dedicated for JQ Asia. These aircraft have two inches more legroom and different lavatory and galley configs. The VQx series 320s also have the touch screen CIDS system for cabin crew as opposed to the push button controls on the JSx aircraft. VQx aircraft also have orange trimmings on the seats, overhead lockers and bulkheads. It looks quite smart and is much nicer, IMHO. The JSx aircraft do not have these as they are leased as opposed to the VQx aircraft being QF-owned.
As an aside. JQ Australia has three leased aircraft from SALE and these do not have the orange trimmings (branding) and newer CIDS system. They are in the same config as the rest of the Australian fleet though. These aircraft are JQG, X and L.
Branded interior of QF-owned aircraft. (Please note the rego on this pic is incorrect. The JQx aircraft do not have the orange branding in the cabin, being leased aircraft.)
9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 11 Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6435 times:
Quoting N949WP (Reply 14): Most appreciative of your compliments of the HKG terminal. But honestly, most of us local enthusiasts would gladly ditch the swoopy designs in exchange for a proper observation deck with good views of the ramp and runway.....something like what you guys have at Changi T1 !! cool
Hmmm....maybe it's time again for me to do HKG-SIN-HKG.
Ohh yes, pity they don't have a observation deck at the airport am I right ? I was told of a observation deck in the departure area, any idea where is it located ?
If you do drop by to SIN, let me know. I can show you around.
9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 11 Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6435 times:
Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 15): That's what I'd call a bargain. Or you fancy a poor sandwich for GBP 5 on FR?? I'd pay S$8 for a DECENT Y meal on any flight. Thanks for the report, looking forward to my free SIN-BKK on 3K.
In Singapore, this price is considered quite pricey , there are other airlines like SAS or Turkish's air tickets sell for only $150 one way.
Look forward to see your view on Jetstar Asia.
By the way, this is how the seat looks like. I need to edit a few more shots before uploading.
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 16): Well, it is free seating after all right? So wtf?! As for the weight and balance issue, it was blown out of proportion by her. Weight calculations, if I am not wrong, takes into acct people walking about the cabin eg. cabin crew needs to walk about to serve. Unless the entire plane load of pax moves rearwards and totally upset the balance of the cruising jet, it is almost never a problem to move abt the plane.
My exact thoughts.
Quoting Miami1 (Reply 17): Just thought I would point out the differences because you said you like the VQx aircraft. The interior is nicer and more comfortable.
Judging by the pics, they look slightly different . I haven't tried Jetstar's service so can't compare with the Jetstar Asia's . Thanks for the in sight of Jetstar.
MilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 848 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6408 times:
Hey - I'm doing a similar trip to you next week, but in reverse. SIN-HKG on Jetstar Asia, HKG-BKK on Ethiopian and then BKK-SIN on Tiger. I was actually going to do AY BKK-SIN but the flight timings didnt suit.
9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 11 Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6403 times:
Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 23): Hey - I'm doing a similar trip to you next week, but in reverse. SIN-HKG on Jetstar Asia, HKG-BKK on Ethiopian and then BKK-SIN on Tiger. I was actually going to do AY BKK-SIN but the flight timings didnt suit.
Do share us your trip report ! The only difference is Tiger Airways ! As for ET's flight , get ready to for a shock ! ;p
Airliners is the wings of my life.
25 Miami1: 9V-SVC - Just thought you would be interested in the different configurations of the Australia aircraft. Sounds like your flight attendants were a lit
26 Lufthansa747: I do have a somewhat "sick" routing - Phuket-Bangkok via Singapore, TR and 3K. I should have the SQ F report up soon as well.
27 ETStar: 9V-SVC, thanks for the report. How many pax do you guess boarded for just BKK-HKG? Do you know how this load is on a regular basis? As for "the shock
28 9V-SVC: It was a full flight amazingly , dominated by mainly Africans like 80% and 20% Chinese I think. It's a different experience especially comparing with
29 ETStar: No idea when ALL is going back to its owner, however, ET's own aircraft do not have leather seats, if that's what you are into. In any case, ALL is q