Canberra From Denmark, joined Apr 2004, 310 posts, RR: 4 Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 12887 times:
It’s a long time since I have had any interesting flights (ok, maybe except this one) so I decided to make a report about my flight to New Zealand for New Year 2004/2005. My first time in New Zealand, my first B777 flight and my first flight on a Christmas decorated aircraft
Planning started almost a year in advance, when we received the invitation to some friends wedding. Tickets were bought already in March, yes, that would be 9 month in advance. We decided to fly on Christmas Eve (Christmas celebration for us Danes) as that would save us EUR 225 per person compared to the day before or after.
After a long wait it was finally time to go. As always we left in good time so I could have a look around the airport before boarding. Well this time I didn’t manage to have a look around, but I was very happy that we left home in good time because there was a problem with our ticket! I booked via Internet as I (almost) always do, received confirmation and e-tickets so everything was fine I thought. When it became our turn to check-in I was asked the last four digits of the credit card I used for paying the ticket. Of course I didn’t remember so I first tried one. That didn’t work so I tried my other one. That didn’t work either, and then it hit me, one of my cards had been chanced (to one of those ‘new’ chip cards) during the last 9 months, and I had no where to get the old card number as my Danish bank was closed for Christmas and we didn’t have time go back and find it. I must admit that I got a bit nervous when the supervisor told me there was no way the could check us in with the last four digits, as they where required by the system Luckily a visit to the Singapore office solved the problem. They were able to print a paper ticket for us, and they even did that without any extra fees. Holiday saved and we were on our way
Lesson learned. They always say bring the credit card you used to pay with. They ‘never’ check but bring it anyway
We completed boarding a little late, as we had to wait for a few passengers. They also had problems with the last four credit card digits, but with 45mins delay we were on your way. Taxied out for departure on Kaagbaan (RWY24). On the take run we passed the Martin Air cargo platform where there as usual (in that period) was an Antonov An-124 parked. At the time we reached the spotters parking we where already airborne.
Don’t remember all the details from the flight anymore, but a few things where rather special. First of all, the entire plane was Christmas decorated and the crew was walking around with red Christmas hats (‘nissehuer’ in Danish, don’t know the English word). It was also announced that we would have a special Christmas dinner, though I would say only the idea was special, plane food is plane food no matter is the call is Christmas turkey
This was also the longest flight I have ever been on (CPH-BKK was the record before), so I was not unhappy to find my own screen with a wide selection of possibilities in front of my seat. Normally I am not really into those small screens, but I must admit I liked the (on-demand) movie selection and the small quizzes! Most of the time was spent making holiday plans and sleeping though.
Anyway after almost twelve hours flight we arrived Singapore where we had a two day stopover. Hotel were booked with SQ’s Stopover program at a very decent price, and included a lot of free tickets and discount coupons for attractions around the city. Having been there before we didn’t use a lot of them though. Most of the time was spent looking for camera equipment, but I was not impressed by the price. Most things were available cheaper on-line in the States than in the shops in Singapore.
After enjoying Singapore it was finally off to Auckland, New Zealand. This time the check-in went without any problems, and I had a look around the airport. Even though it was already dark I logged a number of new frames, including local carriers Silk Air and Tiger.
We also had time to watch a bit of CNN. The stories about the Tsunami were just coming in and several hundred people were reported killed. It was only after we arrived New Zealand we found out how big it was and how close we were
Anyway we finally found our plane and off we were.
Date: 26th December 2005
Flight number: SQ285
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Aircraft: 9V-SPP, B747-412 (c/n 28029/1276)
Scheduled/Actual time of departure (AMS): 2100L/????L
Scheduled/Actual time of arrival (SIN): 1150+L/1245+L
Scheduled/Actual flying time: 09:50/??:??
We departed the dark Changi Airport, and were quickly asleep. This time we were on Singapore Star Alliance Jumbo. Inside, this plane was also Christmas decorated, but the crew lots the hats
After some hassle with immigration (worse than in the US) we could finally start our holiday, but first I needed to have a look around AKL. Nice bits, as EK A345 and B773, were seen together with many local airliners.
We also had quite a few flights planed in New Zealand. Most were unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather, including Mount Cook PC-6, Milford Sounds BN.2, Airsafaris Nomad. Only our two scheduled flights were operated.
First an Air Nelson Saab 340 brought us from Napier to Christchurch on the first day of the new year
SOU146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 12321 times:
I shall be travelling LHR-KUL-AKL on MH next February.
I'm also planning very similar flights to you whilst over there (Milford Sounds BN2A, AirSafaris Nomad), I just hope mine wont be cancelled either. It's a shame you didn't get the opportunity to do them.
I am flying QF AKL - ZQN, can you tell me what the approach into Queenstown was like, I hear it's pretty spectacular..? - Thanks.