08 June 1999 - Sunny, cloudy
It was with much exhilaration that I took to Changi Airport on that rather cloudy Tuesday morning. As usual, on the Pan Island Expressway, there was a horrifying traffic jam and our Mazda 323 was trapped in a mass of cars. We reached Terminal Two at around 7.30am and went straight to Row 7 where a queue of passengers were waiting to check in. Most of them were last-minute trying to get on the morning flight to Penang (SQ192) as well as some last passengers on the Jakarta flight (SQ152). A nice gentleman checked me in for SQ223, processed my FF card and assigned me to seat 50G on the Boeing 777. This morning, we would be boarding from gate E8, which was somewhere along the finger pier extension.
The Meet And Assist personnel came out to bring me in at about 9.05am, which I thought was rather late considering the flight was scheduled to leave at 9.35am. Anyhow, we were transported on a mini-car which drove us straight to E8, which was much further away than I expected. After going through immigration and passport processing, we were allowed to board. 9V-SQF was the aircraft scheduled to take us to Perth. We were seated at about 9.24am and the smiling F/As started distributing the hot towels to freshen up before they distributed newspapers and some pre-flight snacks, which included nuts and a cup of hot-beverage. The captain then came on and said we had just got clearance from tower and our flight time this morning was estimated at 4hr 30mins. We pushed back promptly at 9.35am and engines were started at about 9.40am. We then taxied to Runway 20L infront of a LONG queue of aircraft, including 9V-SPL to Sydney (SQ219), 9V-SYA to Manila (SQ72), 9V-SJK to Beijing (SQ802). As we were taxying past the remote apron, we saw 5 SIA 744s and 2 A343s. We turned onto the holding point but stopped just as I thought we were going to depart on-time. It was already 9.48am and I had initially thought we could just make wheels-up at 9.50am. However, that was not so as there were three flights landing before we could take off. At 9.56am, we turned onto 20L and the RR 884s spooled up and you could just feel the power then even though, it was close to a full-load that day. We lifted off at 9.58am and were soon on our way to Perth. As we lifted off, I spotted a British Airways 747 pushing back from Terminal 1 and I suppose that was going to Perth too, confirmed later.
KrisWorld was turned on as we climbed through FL200 and according to the FlightMap program, we had an ETA of 2.15pm into Perth, still 15 minutes early. Brunch was served shortly after and consisted of Chinese noodles with greens, four huge prawns and some mushroom and chicken. It was a delicious dish and the crew asked if I needed a second helping since I was complimenting it so much. I declined it and they served me a coke together with a chocolate ice-cream (nice!). The crew were very pleasant and went round serving all the passengers. Our route to Indonesia was very turbulent but after Indonesia, the weather improved and we were now cruising at 1003kmh in contrast to 914kmh before. Even at that speed, our ETA was still at 2.15pm.
The crew on this flight was very busy as they kept going around replenishing drinks and serving beverages as well as desserts. At this time, I noticed how the curved headbins in the 777 really made the cabin feel more spacious. The seats were very comfortable and wide and it was not cramped at all. Just after noon time, I asked one F/A if it was possible to visit the cockpit...