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Flying BA To MEL (With Pics - Hopefully)  
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10931 times:

It’s that time of year again, when I de-stress and leave my worries behind in the office and embark on a well deserved vacation. Melbourne was picked this time as I wanted something different. I decided to take a driving tour of the Great Ocean road. Driving in Singapore is a pain, with the numerous road junctions and traffic lights, one seldom gets a chance to drive long distances at high speeds. I admit I love fast cars and driving at high speeds. A drive trip to Australia would provide me with that opportunity. Furthermore, I longed to experience some nature as I was getting sick of the skyscrapers in the business district that I work in.

It just so happened that a Travel Fair was held just before the end of the year, and I managed to get myself a package to Melbourne. I had a choice of flying either BA or QF for this trip, and I figured that it would be nice to fly BA again. I cannot recall why I didn’t choose QF. If I had it my way all over again, I would have chosen BA outbound and QF inbound.

December came, and soon enough it was time for me to embark on my much awaited trip to Oz. I was still slogging away in the office at 4pm when I realized that I had a few last minute stuff to get for the trip. Made my way to the nearest mall and then rushed home to do some last minute packing. By the time that was done, it was almost 5pm and my flight was at 7pm.

I called for a cab and which arrived at my door step at 5.30pm sharp. Hopped on and was soon speeding down the expressway. I arrived at terminal 1 just 20 min later and met my friend at the check in counter.

Having failed to successfully check in online on BA’s website, we were left with lousy seats by the time we got to the airport. The flight was full, as it was carrying passengers who had boarded from LHR and were on their way to MEL on this extremely lucrative Kangaroo route.

Check in was done by SATS (subsidiary of Singapore Airlines), and the service was nothing to shout about. The check in agent was efficient and quick doing her job. Any request for better seats were curtly turned down… “sorry flight’s full” she went. “Any possibility of getting us the 2 seaters at the back of the aircraft?”…”sorry, flight full lah” she went again. No smiles, no eye contact, she was looking intently at her computer terminal.

We were given seats 30BC…a middle and aisle seat. That meant either my friend or me would have to decide on who gets the middle seat. For some unknown reason, my friend came down with a headache before the trip, and I had no choice but to sacrifice my comfort so that he could have the aisle seat this time round.

We headed through immigration and proceeded to the Cactus Garden for a much needed nicotine fix before boarding our flight, and later on proceeded to the gate for our flight.

http://img206.exs.cx/img206/8296/p10008302vd.jpg

Boarding had already commenced by the time we arrived at the gate. Judging by the snake like queue at security, it was clear that this was going to be a very full flight.

I wasn’t sure if boarding was conducted in an orderly fashion as more than 90% of the passengers had already boarded the aircraft by the time my friend and I entered the gate.

We walked down the aerobridge and thus began our experience with British Airways… I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves from here….

The FA were all decked in their new uniform… me thinks that the new uniform lacked character, and were in a way, boring. The male FAs wore new ties with designs that matched the FA crew’s scarf. Come to think of it, it looked as if the female FA were wearing the male FA’s uniform and had the pants replaced with skirt.

http://img203.exs.cx/img203/39/p10008350vh.jpg

The FAs seemed to be in a good mood, there were smiles all over the cabin as they chatted among themselves. However, the strange thing is that they lost their smiles whenever they communicated with the passengers.

Y seats were narrow, as narrow as the Y seats on SQ’s 744 fleet. SQ’s Y seats on their 772 and 773 fleets were far superior in comfort. Here’s a comparison (albeit not the best comparison as I wasn’t able to take a picture of the entire BA seat)

SQ:
http://img33.exs.cx/img33/7710/nz1482ug.jpg

BA:
http://img168.exs.cx/img168/9029/p10103105pe.jpg

An inflight amenity bag was placed in every seat pocket.

http://img224.exs.cx/img224/713/p10008406gk.jpg

Contents: Eye shades, socks, toothbrush set. Very nicely packed.
http://img71.exs.cx/img71/8843/p10008466dc.jpg

In comparison, SQ’s amenity kit looks dated and lacking in aesthetics
http://img133.exs.cx/img133/6116/dscf01884zd.jpg

So were the head sets which thankfully were not the clip on ones that are currently used on some airlines. SQ stopped using those uncomfortable clip on earphones after 2 years, and have reverted to the very comfortable stereo sets…here’s SQ’s head sets 2 years ago and now (BA’s headphones are as comfortable as SQ’s new head sets, although the sound quality from SQ’s head sets were far surperior)

SQ (new):
http://img23.exs.cx/img23/5890/picture2712es.jpg

SQ (old clip on – clip ons are on the extreme left of the tray)
http://img238.exs.cx/img238/6751/dscf02233ig.jpg

BA’s headsets:
http://img235.exs.cx/img235/4370/p10009038of.jpg

Announcements came on in English, welcoming passengers on board this flight. This was followed by a very rushed and inaudibly short version of the Captain’s announcement in Mandarin. Passengers were settling down and the crew stood in position to get themselves ready to point at the various emergency exits when prompted by the safety video.

http://img214.exs.cx/img214/663/p10008366gw.jpg

Push back was approximately 20 min behind schedule and we were soon thundering down the runway at high speeds. Take off was smooth and within 15 min, the seatbelt signs had pinged off, giving the signal for the crew to begin their dinner service.

Service started with drinks and snacks…very tasty…not too salty…

http://img150.exs.cx/img150/3364/p10008595qr.jpg

Followed by dinner. No menus were provided, and I could only rely on my own imagination on how the ‘chicken’ and ‘seafood fried rice’ would look like. I picked the safer choice…”chicken”. The meal was nicely presented, spacious trays that looked like there was more space than food available… Sufficient quantity and delicious passion fruit cheese cake dessert. This was followed by a round of coffee or tea.

http://img133.exs.cx/img133/1439/p1000874a0ph.jpg

http://img144.exs.cx/img144/7669/p10008916ig.jpg

As dinner ended and trays were collected, the crew prepared the cabin for the night… I removed my shoes, slipped on the socks, kicked up the foot rest and tried to get comfortable for the rest of the flight….

Foot rest:
http://img207.exs.cx/img207/9167/p10008948na.jpg

IFE: Friends is on. Selection wasn’t great, no AVOD…I miss SQ’s 60 movies, 200 CD AVOD selection… The IFE control was also located at a very awkward position, requiring me to contort my arms trying to reach the controls…

http://img103.exs.cx/img103/4505/p10008705db.jpg

http://img103.exs.cx/img103/2831/p10008719dw.jpg

The rest of the flight was uneventful. My friend’s overhead light was spoilt and he highlighted this to the crew in the galley. “No worries, we’ll just get it reset”. The lights were still down by the end of the flight, and there was no update on what whether she had tried to reset it or not…

http://img236.exs.cx/img236/1784/p10009063id.jpg

For me, a trip to the lavatory was always necessary on flights of more than 2 hours. And once again, I cannot help but compare the state of BA’s toilets to SQ’s. SQ provides extra toothbrush sets, shavers, cologn, moisturizers, mouth freshners in the lavatories on all their medium to long haul flights. The lavatories on BA looked like they were about to fall apart….hand soaps and napkins were the only things available…

BA: A whole side panel covering the paper napkins was almost falling off – unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take a picture of that…

http://img23.exs.cx/img23/3344/p10009077pe.jpg

In contrast, SQ’s bright, well stocked lavatories on one of their older B773s…

http://img101.exs.cx/img101/2171/dscf02208sa.jpg

Breakfast was served 1 ½ hours before arrival into Melbourne….Cold “all day deli”… I kinda liked the lunch bag concept… it’s definitely easier to dispose off than serving breakfast on a tray…

http://img92.exs.cx/img92/5218/p10100060so.jpg

Melbourne just a short distance away…

http://img12.exs.cx/img12/2500/p10100180oe.jpg

We arrived in Melbourne right on time despite a delayed departure.

Overall here’s how I rate BA:

Seats: 6/10
Food: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10 (not warm, but efficient. Minimal interaction with passengers of any race). Crew: 7.5/10 Friendly if you chat up with them. You have to initiate, else they’d rather just read their newspapers in the galley.

I hope the picture links work …


There's always a better way to fly...
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLeonB1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10837 times:

Nice report and cool pics!

*Must book self on flight of more than two hours*  Wink


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10800 times:

Thanks! Yeah... flying makes me want to pee.

I'm not used to writing picture reports...so excuse me if the language and style used is rather childish... also lacking in inspiration today...



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineEK773 From Malta, joined Jul 2004, 237 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10633 times:

Thanks for your trip report and sharing the details with us.

Though i have to ask.. whats the deal with Singaporeans always comparing everything to SQ? Undoubtedly one of the best airlines but when you compare with the best you're only going to let yourself down. And in those reports, treatment of the races always seems to be an issue. Just my observation.


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 10205 times:

I think it's fair to compare SQ with BA. Both are undoubtedly one of the leading carriers in the world. I wasn't disappointed with BA's service, not the best that I've experienced, but not the worst either... the only observation was that their aircrafts seemed more worn and unkempt than SQ's.

Comparing SQ to BA is like comparing apples to apples. If I were to compare SQ to say, OA, then you'll be right to say that it's an unfair comparison.

As for why Singaporeans compare SQ with everything else... 2 possible reasons:

1) SQ is to us, a national pride. We would like to see where we stand amongst the competition. It's in almost every Singaporean to benchmark ourselves against everything that is considered world class, and if there's anything that we can learn from the competition, we attempt to emulate. I think it's the same case with Dubai.

2) If the majority of my travels were to be with EK, I suppose my trip report here would be a comparison between BA and EK. Alas, almost 80% of my trips are usually with SQ...so I hope that explains.

Call me egotistical, but whenever I fly any carrier other than SQ, my expectations are often times measured as I would not expect that they would be better. If they aren't...that's more or less expected and hence no disappointment, if they're miles better than SQ (as experienced on my first EK flight 2 years ago), I'd definitely sing their praises.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineTt80 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 10126 times:

Great trip report. Enjoyed reading it.
Look forward to your next.



Regards, DS
User currently offlineEK773 From Malta, joined Jul 2004, 237 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9900 times:

SQ772, SIA's success should definately be a matter of pride for the people of singapore and for the publicity it generates for your island state.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9670 times:

Y seats were narrow, as narrow as the Y seats on SQ’s 744 fleet. SQ’s Y seats on their 772 and 773 fleets were far superior in comfort. Here’s a comparison (albeit not the best comparison as I wasn’t able to take a picture of the entire BA seat)

Hahahaha... I liked the way you chose the pictures to "compare" the seats of SQ and BA. Looks like the boy has died on the uncomfortable seat en route to Melbourne. A little biased, perhaps?  Smile

The IFE control was also located at a very awkward position, requiring me to contort my arms trying to reach the controls…

I totally agree... I have accidentally hit the buttons while resting my arms on it.

My overall experience with BA was excellent and i would not hesistate to fly with them again. But it looked like the service on your flight was rather cold...

Great to have a report coming from you again after all this time!

Cheers
Ryan



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineAirWales From UK - Wales, joined Oct 2004, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 9608 times:

Yeah great pics - reall enjoyed the report - thanks.

User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8708 times:

great report

the breakfast on BA looks pretty mean, though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
User currently offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8559 times:

Hi, interesting report. I agree with you, Y toilets on BA's 744 are really falling apart. But they are much better on the 777s!

Quoting SQ772 (Thread starter):
In contrast, SQ’s bright, well stocked lavatories on one of their older B773s…

Perhaps that's because SQ doesn't provide these articles in the passenger kits!

Best,
Alan.


User currently offlineDocPepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8368 times:

Entertaining trip report. Enjoyed it immensely. Oh the All Day Deli! The famous All Day Deli shouldn't be seen outside of Europe! I'm shocked it makes it as far as Melbourne =)

Oh the ammenity kit. Having travelled on QF, BA, AF and SQ longhaul, I haven't seen any airline except SQ that provides moisturisers, mouth gargle, Shavers and perfume in the Y toilets.


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7949 times:

Hi all,
I thought this report got archived ages ago...thanks for those that are still reading it, and glad that you enjoyed it.

All Day Deli - Yes, I thought it was what BA served on their inter-European sectors only. So it came as a surprise when the crew came about passing the bags to everyone. Nevertheless, it's what in the bag that matters, not so much how the meal was presented... It was the same on my return flight...the second meal, was a slightly more substantial snack in a bag.

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 10):
Perhaps that's because SQ doesn't provide these articles in the passenger kits!

I've not heard of any carriers providing mouthwash, moisturizers etc in their amenity kit bags in Y class before...

The toilets - I've been on other carriers, US based ones (NW) and Asian ones (NH) etc...and it appears that SQ is the only carrier that provides mouth wash, moisturizers and EDT in the lavatories IN ADDITION to the toothbrush sets and socks that they already give out to every passenger on overnight flights.

I also like the fact that the FAs on SQ make it a point to clean and stock the lavatories regularly on medium and longhaul flights.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6758 times:

Thanks again for all the kind praise - it will only encourage me to do more now!


My soul is in the sky...
User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6751 times:

Nice one - most enjoyable


My soul is in the sky...
User currently offlineSulman From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2037 posts, RR: 32
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6750 times:

The pictures are excellent, I wish more people would take photographs in dimly lit cabins with people in them, because that's the long-haul experience; that's what it's like. Really puts you there.


Cheers


James



It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
User currently onlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2527 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6186 times:

Well this was a nice trip report... The food on longhauls is very good at BA. I remember flying them to Dubai and we had some delicious lamb meat with a sort of couscous and a salmon Taboulet...As a desert, a tasty cheese cake. That was just great... Food on AF or LH longhaul is just horrible and boring. When it comes the breakfats I was also shocked but the box had some nice things in it...

Continue the good job BA!



Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6162 times:

Good report Mr SQ772

Quoting SQ772 (Thread starter):
It’s that time of year again, when I de-stress

LOL - You live in Singapore. You can get go to Changi anytime to look. You could not possibly be stressed! Nice to see the comparison shots between BA & SQ. Now I know why I always go SQ!



My soul is in the sky...
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6088 times:

Quoting Door5Right (Reply 17):

haha... I think you took what I said entirely out of context. Going to Changi doesn't really de-stress me cos I am still in Singapore, cos I still have to go to the office the very next day. Taking a vacation was my way of getting out of work , seeing new places... that's what I really call de-stressing!



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5725 times:

I enjoyed your trip report but I simply can't congratulate you for it.

Nevertheless, and with all due respect, I find of bad taste your comparisons between BA and SQ. Just one recommendation: next time try to concentrate in the airline you flew.


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