From One Garden City to Another On SQ (w/ pics)
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Date : 10/12/2005
Route : SIN-CHC / WSSS-NZCH
Airline : Singapore Airlines
Flight No : SQ297
Aircraft : Boeing 777-212/ER
Registration : 9V-SVJ
Captain : Tee Kim Chai
First Officer(s) : Nick Lam / Kagen Xie
Block Time : 9 h 45 min
Flight Time : 9 h 17 min
POB : 284 pax, 14 crew
Distance : 4615 nm
Parking Gate : E28
Seat : 58G
Airport : SIN/WSSS
Runway : 02C
Parking Bay : E28
TO Rating : TO
Fuel Load : 82.5 tons
ZFW : 181.4 tons
Flaps : 15
SID Used : ANITO 4A
V1 Speed : 148 kts
V2 Speed : 158 kts
Vr Speed : 152 kts
Squawk : 0165
We left home at 1745h local time, boarded a taxi and headed off to the airport. We arrived at 1815h and immediately proceeded to the check-in line. Suprisingly, the check-in line was relatively long given the early hour, as the flight would only be departing at 2105h. I then realised that the check-in line also catered to the Auckland flight which departs 5 mins before the Christchurch one. Finally got to the head of the queue relatively quickly, only for some problems to occur in the reservations system. My name could not be verified in the system, thus denying me entry into New Zealand and potentially screwing my holiday up.
Thus we were ushered to sit aside for about half an hour, as the gate agent had to send a telex message to verify my particulars were correct. After a while, everything was resolved and boarding passes were issued. Today's flight was full so I had to settle for an Economy seat, which isn't that bad considering that the seats on the ERs in SQ's fleet have 33' pitch. My other family members had Seat 54ABCDE while i had Seat 58G. After that, we went up to the food court for a quick dinner, while I chose to go get Burger King as I'd be eating the food on the plane, as usual.
After dinner, it was time to go into immigration, and thus a long walk to E28. I seem to have affinity for that gate because every year on average, my flight departs or arrives from that gate. Hmm, wonder why. Got to the gate at 2020h, cleared the security check and proceeded to wait for boarding. I turned my mobile phone off since we would be boarding soon. The scheduled boarding time of 2035h came and went, and a ground agent announced slightly later that our flight would be delayed for a while due to the late arrival of aircraft. Thus, we began boarding at 2050, with priority boarding called for Raffles Class passengers, Star Alliance Gold members and families with young children (which fit our bill).
On The Plane
Newspapers were placed on a table at the aircraft door with a selection of international and local newspapers. I picked up the local freesheet, Today as I hadn't had the opportunity to read it yet. Being one of the first into the cabin, a flight attendant ushered me to my seat in the second last row of the Boeing 777. Settling into my seat, 58G, I quickly whipped out the SilverKris and KrisWorld magazines. Flipping through the KrisWorld magazine, I decided on what movies to watch and was delighted to note that the Audio-on-Demand system had several albums that I particularly liked.
My personal entertainment system for the next ten hours.
The first thing I did was to turn the PTV onto Video Channel 99, also known as the Airshow. I kept my camera bag on the floor with me and placed my haversack into the overhead compartment. My seat companions arrived just then with their tour group, and I gathered from their accent that they were Taiwanese headed on a tour of NZ. Soon, all boarding was completed, all passengers seated and pushback began at 2120h, 15 mins behind schedule. Hot towels were given out and collected a short while later by the flight attendants. Chief Flight Stewardess Yeo walked by and I asked her to help me pass my flight information data sheet up to the captain for him to fill in.
We would eventually make up for that shortfall during the flight. The safety video began playing while the massive Trents were fired, and ended just as we began our taxi out to Runway 2C. The taxiway to the runway was extremely bumpy perhaps due to our speed. We waited for a Qantas Boeing 747-400 to take off, then it was our turn. The roll was quick and long, probably due to our weight since we were completely full and had lots of cargo. We made a right turn, heading towards Bali and much of Australia. After the seatbelt signs pinged off, I decided to make use of the headphones inside the seat pocket and listened to my audio on demand service. First album was Catching Tales by Jamie Cullum, followed by some others.
Listening to Craig David's second released single Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry)
Around then, a drinks service was begun and I chose an orange spritzer, which is basically Sprite with orange juice. Imaginative name, huh. Menu cards were also given out in preparation for meal service in over an hour's time.
Today's menu card which also includes CHC-SIN menu choices.
The view from my seat, being that far back.
Listening to the Black Eyed Peas.
Owing to the fact Christmas was only 15 days away, the cabin was festooned with Christmas decorations such as mistletoe.
The Christmas decorations on board.
The inside of the menu.
My post-takeoff drink. Beginning to watch 40 Year Old Virgin on the flight.
I began watching the movie 40 Year Old Virgin and found it immensely entertaining. An hour into the movie, meal service began. I was starving by that time since I had only eaten a burger from Burger King and that was at 7pm or so. By now it was almost 11pm and time for me to sleep, but I had to eat first and watch my movies. Today's menu went as follows
dinner from singapore to christchurch
Pasta and ham salad
Wok fried chicken in hot garlic sauce with vegetables and fragrant rice
Panfried fish in caper veloute sauce with roasted vegetables and potatoes
Cheese and crackers
from the bakery
Roll and butter
Coffee - Tea
I chose the fish and was promptly served as the food trolley was by my side. I also requested for a cup of Coca-Cola and the flight attendant operating the trolley, a CFS Yeo, poured it for me immediately.
The fish course.
Halfway through my meal.
I kind of expected the potatoes were disgusting, after reading from other trip reports that potatoes were hit or miss in airline food. I personally found the appetiser not that palatable and left it aside, deciding to not eat. My tray was cleared soon after I finished my meal, since I returned it to the galley myself, needing to use the toilet.
I came back and the dessert, ice cream, was served. I also requested for a Sprite and they gave me an entire can of 7-Up, the first time they have done so.
Dessert + full can of 7-Up.
I finished my movie by then and decided to watch my next movie, Sky High. By now we were overflying Australia and the flight attendants had disappeared to the crew rest or were talking in the galley. This being an overnight flight, most other passengers were sleeping except for a few who were watching movies. After the show ended, I watched an episode of the Simpsons. Half an hour later, another drinks service came by and we were offered Evian mineral water.
After that, I realised it was time to hit the sack. I fell asleep as it was about 2am by that time and was in that state for almost 2 hours. Waking up just before we overflew Sydney, hot towels were distributed shortly afterwards in preparation for the breakfast service.
Overflying Sydney with the hot towel in the pocket.
A view out of the door window.
Watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I began watching movie number 3, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Half an hour into the movie, meals were served and the menu was as follows
before touch-down from singapore to christchurch
Braised egg noodles with roasted pork and Chinese greens
Mushroom-parsley omelette with chicken sausage, cherry tomato and potatoes
from the bakery
Assorted breakfast rolls
Butter - Fruit preserve
Coffee - Tea
I chose the omelette and wasn't disappointed. I found it quite tasty although the eggs were too dry for my liking.
Finishing my meal, tray tables were cleared and by now, we were about an hour and a half out of Christchurch. My movie finished right on time as we begun our descent and the flight attendants announced that the headphones would be collected shortly afterwards. I switched my PTV back to Video mode and soon, we were overflying the NZ Alps. Many people seated by the windows quickly whipped out their cameras to take photos of the scenery and I was no exception. Only I had to borrow a window view from the lovely family seated in Rows 59 and 60 who were from England. I got back my flight information data sheet, duly completed and signed.
All too soon, we began approaching Christchurch and initiated a relatively rapid descent. We got lower and lower and all the while not seeing anything on the ground as Canterbury was experiencing low cloud as usual. The cloud was so low that we did not manage to see anything until on final approach for Christchurch Airport's Runway 02, scaring me for a bit there. Flaps were lowered and landing gears dropped, signifying that we would be landing pretty soon.
A photo of the cabin before landing.
We made a very smooth landing on Runway 2 and were directed to Gate 29, which meant a very fast taxi to the gate since it was just at the exit taxiway from the runway. Everyone stood up and collected their belongings from their overhead compartments. Being right at the back, I was one of the last to exit the plane due to everyone exiting from the one jetbridge door. Once out, I met my parents and went to clear immigration and customs, before collecting our rental car for our 12 day self-drive tour.
Airport : CHC/NZCH
Runway : 02
Parking Bay : 29
Flaps : 30
Approach : ILS
Vapproach : 139 kts
Vref : 134 kts
Landing Weight : 196.6 tons
My return trip report on the 22/12/2005 will be posted soon, look out for it. And this time, I got upgraded to J class. Lovely.
And why the title? Singapore is known as a garden city and Christchurch is the Garden City of New Zealand.
[Edited 2005-12-29 03:58:31]
[Edited 2005-12-29 04:00:59]