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Heading Home Part 1: SIN-DXB On EK (With Pictures)  
User currently offlineSQNo1 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 687 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 8033 times:

Greetings All,

After over a month around South East Asia, It was time to head back to my home town in the United Kingdom. It had been a great holiday, apart from a couple of exceptions. Firstly the weather was not as good as I had hoped in Singapore, thanks to the Indonesians who continue to chop down forests, burn the wood which in turn causes the smog and heavy rain showers that impact the area every single year. To my mind though, something really has to be done about it, before it gets completely out of control (unless you already think it is).

Then there was Taiwan, not a place I particularly wanted to visit, basically because of what little knowledge I had about the country, apart from it had a very tall skyscraper which looks like a load of noodle boxes, stacked on top of the other. My personal preference would have been Shanghai in China or Phuket, Thailand. Again weather was pretty rubbish, the experience of hiding in a cellar in a hotel in Taipei, whilst a typhoon passed over the country is one I certainly won't forget. Then came the racist attitudes of the locals. It did dishearten me a bit, I do fortunately know a bit of Mandarin, so I admittedly did cook up a few profanities here and there, where necessary of course.

Our itinerary would see us fly back to England with Emirates, a carrier that I was certainly impressed with the service that they provided on the outbound journey. The seats were pretty comfortable for economy class standards, cabin crew were always were very polite and the food, it was some of the most generous and tasty portions that I have had in the sky. Airlines that I have travelled on in the past, the likes of Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and KLM could not be compared to them, so I was hoping for a similar experience.

Like the two flights that I took with them on the outbound leg to Singapore, this sector would be on a 2-class Airbus A330-200, and the particular flight is part of a triangle that forms Emirates only non-stop flight between Dubai and Jakarta in either direction. I would be however looking forward to the onward flight from Dubai to Birmingham that little bit more, as it was scheduled be on a brand new Boeing 777-300ER! Big grin (That report is coming soon)

The only negative thing about the airline I could think of, it has got to be their absolutely awful schedule out of Singapore. Departures daily at 02:10 & 03:00 in the very early morning, since those flights come from Melbourne and Auckland via Brisbane and then there was the flight I travelled on, a departure time of 02:00!! You could however go for the 23:30 departure, that runs four days a week, although that operates via Colombo, Sri Lanka. Something I would certainly not want to do following recent events. Maybe EK should offer a 10am departure from SIN to DXB, which could then connect to their afternoon European departure bank out of DXB, and therefore allowing passengers a bit more flexibility in their travel plans.




Thursday 10th August 2006

The day came which would the last in Singapore before I start University in September/ October of this year. I hope for everyone in Singapore to come to England to see my graduation, if I do of course. (Just trying to keep my feet on the ground there.)  pessimist 

Early in the day we had a big meal in one of the markets near to the People's Park Centre (not one of the tourist trap rip offs)  Wink . Following this I had to say goodbye to two of my cousins who would begin their national service programme in the Singapore Army the next day and at the same time reflected how fortunate I am that I don't have to do something similar in the UK. We headed back to the apartment we were staying in, on the east of the island to pack my bags, and I did it quickly so I could bring the camera to take a few more photos of the city.

I left the apartment at around 15:00 and took the MRT from Tam pines, and as usual you have to run into the carriage for a seat, pushing people aside in order to do so otherwise your standing up for 40 minutes minimum (Note for SMRT: More Trains Please, Thanks!). I lost on this occasion, and as noted from this picture as I got off the train at Raffles Place, the overcrowding is typically horrendous as you ride the train into the main business district!

After walking out of Raffles Place MRT station, I took a very long walk in the blistering heat, to get the images of the sights, and at one point getting lost in the central business district, but shown below is some of my work.

A General View Of The City.

The Statue Of Sir Stamford Raffles, Who Founded Singapore.

I Just Had To Take This One, Particularly Poignant For Me Being My Home Town.

Orchard Road.

The Fullerton Hotel.

I got back to the apartment for 17:00, and as I soon as I walked through the door, the youngest of my cousins shouted, ALEX, BOMB, BIG BOMB IN ENGLAND. Although in hindsight I should not have, but I ran straight for the television to find out what was going on. In fact a series of alerts had been sparked over a foiled terrorist plot to blow up flights crossing the pond. Immediately we logged on to the Emirates website, and they said that all flights should operate as normal, although expect delays for flights going to the UK tomorrow, brilliant!  Yeah sure

At the same time we checked on online for the two flights, the first from Singapore to Dubai was pretty full, only about 8-10 seats left in economy class. We did manage however to get two seats together on the left hand side of the A330-200, in the front section. My brother also got two seats for him and his friend, but right at the back, in the curved area of the plane, not recommended by the website www.seatguru.com . I gave him my warnings and specifically told him that he could not swap with me if he didn't like it.

Then there was the second flight and initially the airline had allocated all the passengers in the first two sections of the 77W, but I moved it so we each had a row to ourselves, very nice indeed! Big grin

One last meal followed and we hailed a taxi and set off for the airport at around 23:30. Unlike other times the rest of the family didn't say goodbye to us at the airport, we specifically asked them not too, because of the late departure time. The airport was deserted; no surprise there since all the direct flights to Europe had already gone, and we went to check in with EK at the far left hand side of the airport. The only flights checking in the time I saw was a KE flight to ICN, and even they were just about to shut up shop, with one passenger quickly running to get his spot on the flight, he was then quickly escorted by staff to get to the gate.

Although there was a specific line for internet check in, it wasn't required since the desks were surprisingly quiet at that time. There was a man and his wife checking in to go through to LGW, quite rude actually as I recall, saying to the agent can they speak English, what a retard.

The only other connections were to BHX, LHR, LGW and LOS. In fact I saw a couple of the passengers in SIN and then saw them in the baggage hall in BHX. The chap for LOS was particularly amusing actually, he had 40 bags for bowling balls or skittle balls or something like that, the agents were certainly struggling with them anyhow, since they couldn't lift them off the ground!

It's All Pretty Quiet In Singapore Changi Terminal One!

We went through to departures and then I sat down had an ice tea and logged onto one of the free computers and spoke to friends using the msn web messenger function. They were a bit perplexed as to why I was at an airport and on msn at the same time, something which they have probably never experienced at any other airport, like LHR a notable example!

An hour to go, I thought I might to add to my collection of goodies that I already had and bought myself a bottle of Vodka, also some cans of Tiger Beer!  bouncy  This was in addition to the Ipod hifi and the Bee-cheng-hang sliced pork I had stashed in my rucksack.  yummy  In fact there was even more, my mum invested in a diamond watch, shoes, handbags whilst in Singapore, plus a new camera in Hong Kong and clothes in Taiwan, all that rubbish that is so much more expensive than in England, and well over the limit of the value of goods that we are normally allowed to bring into the UK.(Don't Criticise Me, We Have All Done It Before Well she and my younger bro were at the GST counter to claim some money back.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/SQno1/DSC09739.jpg

Closed!

Shot Glass Anyone?

My mum on the other hand, thought it would be a good idea to sit by one of the televisions to watch the CNN news bulletin and to keep on the latest developments of the terror alert. I had a quick listen and I believed it was a complete shambles, and it was a superb attempt at scaremongering. Well they did well, because it got my mum, but it was completely unnecessary. {red flag}

Who Is This Guy, Anyone Know, I'd Love To Give Him A Piece Of My Mind!

One final use of the Internet, and I had a look at the live flight arrivals of the Changi Airport website, to find that the inbound flight from DXB via CGK had landed about ten minutes ahead of schedule, good. As usual it was around 01:20 and already final call was being displayed on the departure boards, but this time we decided through to the gate as most of the shops had now closed.

Departure Board.

Once we got to the gate, we had the usual formality of the security screening completed, and nothing appeared to be different, just friendly smiles and went through without the alarms going off. Out in the dark of the apron, again not a lot was going on, there was a Cathay Pacific A330-300 parked up a couple of stands away from our flight. There was also passengers coming off the EK 405 flight form MEL, followed closely behind by the crew, who were most likely having a couple of nights in SIN before heading back to DXB.

Area Outside The Departure Gate.

Our Airbus A330-200, being prepared for departure.

Emirates Flight: EK 344

From: Singapore Changi (SIN)
To: Dubai Dubayy, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
Scheduled Departure - 02:00
Actual Departure From Gate D34 - 02:07
Takeoff From Runway 20R - 02:16
Scheduled Arrival - 05:20
Actual Arrival On Runway 12L - 05:12
Arrival At Stand T4 - 05:17

Seat 19A

Aircraft Type: Airbus A330-243
Registration: A6-EKZ
First Flight On 13th September 2000, Delivery To Emirates On 27th October 2000



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Malcolm J.Bezzina
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Noam Kornblum



As was already seen on the online check in section of the Emirates website, the flight was pretty, and there were around 40 passengers who had travelled from CGK, and all they had to do was show their boarding pass to the agents at the gate.

The Boarding Lounge.

Boarding started around 25 minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight, with Business Class, Skywards Gold & Sliver cardholders and those with younger children allowed to board first. My brother and his friend went to the plane ahead of us, since they were further down the aircraft. We took our seats and hot towels and menus were handed out to us. Again we had a mixed crew on the flight and our section would be served by an Australian lady, who was very cheerful and always smiling.

We departed from the gate around five minutes behind the schedule and taxied for a short distance to the runway threshold. We had to wait for a Fedex MD-11 to land first before we lined up for Runway 20R, then as we powered away at around 02:15, the aircraft for the EK 405 flight, due to depart ten minutes later than us was still at its gate, not far from where we were.

We made an immediate right turn after takeoff as the video about the features of the aircraft was played in both English and Arabic. Then the crew started a snack service along with drinks, so that the majority of the passengers could go to sleep. There was only one choice, small club sandwiches, one of turkey and one of cheese along with a chocolate and banana mousse.

Middle Of The Night Snack On EK 344.

Once the trays were cleared the cabin lights were dimmed so the passengers could go to sleep, and many chose that option. The crew made one final announcement saying that a breakfast service would be served on arrival and that drinks and cup noodles would be available form the galleys in between.

The entertainment system selections had been changed since the last time I had travelled on Emirates, however the selection didn't particularly suit my needs. I tried to watch the movie V For Vendetta, but to put it quite bluntly, it was bloody awful!  thumbsdown . I decided to play many games of Tetris and also watch the programme Gillette World Sport. We continued to make progress over India, through Bombay and then over the Arabian Sea the cabin lights were lit again, with the smell of bread spreading throughout the cabin.

Here was what was available to eat on the flight.

Breakfast Service On The Flight

Appetiser

Seasonal Fruit Salad

Main Courses

Cheese Omelette With Grilled Tomato, Chicken Sausage & Lyonnaise Potatoes

Hokien Noodles And Seafood

Bread

Croissants


Breakfast, Another Good Meal On EK.

Again the quality of the food was excellent, despite what may be shown in the image above. I went for the omelette and it was very soft and the other items went very well with it, with special mention going to the sausage and the potatoes, they were great, much better than that evil dry SQ omelette that I had about three weeks earlier. Along with the meal, I had a glass of Orange Juice and a cup of English Tea.

The Cabin Following Breakfast.

Cabin crew cleared the trays and began to set the aircraft up for landing, Initially spraying the cabin with insect spray and then asking passengers to return to their seats, but before that I went to the toilet to freshen up, brush my teeth etc. We flew directly over Dubai and then made a 180 turn over the sea to line up on the sea. You could see directly behind us a KLM Boeing 777-200ER that was also lining up to land behind us. We touched down very firmly on the ground ahead of the scheduled arrival time.

Again there was not a lot of activity on the ground, although in the cargo area of the airport was a NWA Northwest Airlines DC-10 being unloaded, so I suspect that had something to do with army duties in the Middle East, but if someone can clarify that for me, it would be interesting to know. Strangely enough however the pilot as he was rolling down the runway then put the brakes on extremely firmly and made a quick and sharp turn off of the runway. It was so firm I was pushed out of my seat, although I did have my seatbelt firmly fastened.

We made a very short taxi again and for the third time at DXB our aircraft was at a stand and not a gate and required us to take a bus to the terminal building.

A EK Boeing 777-300ER Next Door To Our Flight On The Ground At DXB.


On Board The Bus That Will Take Us To The Terminal.

The bus trip again took twenty minutes to reach the screening area of the airport in the centre of the current terminal and we alighted again to blistering heat, even at 05:30am in the morning!!!

Emirates crew again performed well on this service. Normally I would be disappointed if the crew wouldn't be seen for a few hours, but this time it was necessary, because of the time when we were flying. But when coming across them they were hospitable, despite the ugly hours and the food again was great. DXB airport did disappoint me once more; the driver of the bus seemed to be in a hurry as he turned the corners like Michael Schumacher, causing a few people to fall to their side. But hopefully the experience of transiting in Dubai will be dramatically improved with the opening of the new concourse later this year!

EK 344 SIN-DXB
8/10 Big grin

Comments, Criticisms & Questions Are Very Much Appreciated!

With Regards,
Alex.B  wave 




Other Recent Reports By Me, For Your Enjoyment

HKG-SIN On CX (With Pictures) (by SQNo1 Jan 21 2007 in Trip Reports)
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6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEmirates029 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7553 times:

Great trip report, was DXB very busy at the time you arrived?

User currently offlineJustbala From India, joined Feb 2006, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7487 times:

Good TR mate... glad tht u enjoied EK .. waiting for the next leg

Quoting SQNo1 (Thread starter):
Departure Board.

Can smone clarifying which is the retimed flight being shown on the screen to Chennai ? Is it 9W with a whole lot of typos?!!



Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,
User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1171 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7281 times:

WOW nice TR there. I really like the pics of Singapore, I really want to go back there soon!


The meals look really nice. I will have to give EK a try some time soon.

Quoting SQNo1 (Thread starter):
with special mention going to the sausage and the potatoes, they were great,

That line just made me laught, I don't know why!

Looking forward to the next part of the report.



Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
User currently offlineAntskip From Australia, joined Jan 2006, 927 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6851 times:

Quoting SQNo1 (Thread starter):
My brother also got two seats for him and his friend, but right at the back, in the curved area of the plane, not recommended by the website www.seatguru.com .

How did he find the rear curved area?

Great report! The mid-night snack and breakfast look very nice.

What camera did you use?


User currently offlineSQno1 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 687 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6542 times:

Quoting Emirates029 (Reply 1):
was DXB very busy at the time you arrived?

Pretty busy as usual for DXB, people sleeping on the floor as is the norm and the small smoking areas absolutely jam packed to bursting. In hindsight I should have a taken a picture of one of them, i did spent some moments chuckling to myself!

Quoting Antskip (Reply 4):
How did he find the rear curved area?

He said that the seat was pretty comfortable, but annoying when you wanted to rest your head against the wall as he does when he sleeps, nigh on impossible.

Quoting Antskip (Reply 4):
What camera did you use?

I used a Sony Cybershot camera, with 4 megapixels.

I hope I have answered your questions effectively!

Alex  Smile


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8484 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6034 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, nice photo's, thanks.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
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