Topic Author
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2000 3:58 pm


Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:36 pm


It’s taken a little while to write this report. Upon returning home, I managed to write most of it, but left it sitting on my computer for a good few months before completing it. I went on a two-month trip away from home to visit friends and relatives and go on a German exchange, stopping over in Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, England, France, Switzerland and Hong Kong. Thanks to this brilliant Lufthansa airfare, I was able to fly on three carriers (AN/LH/SQ) and fly within Europe for only $90 per flight (irrespective of distance). Flew the 777 and A340 for the first time; from a passenger’s perspective, they’re fairly comparable. Flew in a little Fokker 50 for the first time as well – not too bad actually. The report hasn’t been written in the best English, I’ve just tried to say about everything I can remember of the trip.

I’ve used a small summary of info before each report, and the translation is below:

Flight number. Departure-arrival. Scheduled departure-arrival time. Aircraft type (registration).
Actual departure-arrival time. Takeoff time. Landing time. Schedule integrity L=late/OT=on time/E=early. Load
Seat. Pitch. Width. Jumpseat. Video. Audio. Meals. Menu. Hot towel. Amenities kit.

Out of all the airports I flew into, Frankfurt was probably the greatest disappointment. Has the most pointless and stupid sign I’ve ever come across in an airport, “Andere Richtungen” – other directions. What the hell is that supposed to mean? The airport has nothing for waiting pax to do, more on that later. Onto the report…
Topic Author
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2000 3:58 pm

Flight 1: MEL-SIN On SQ228

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:37 pm

SQ228 MEL-SIN SCH0050-0515 744 (9V-SMY)
ACT0058-0517 TKF0112 LDG0512 ITG:0:08L/0:02L LD100%
SEAT49K. PIT:31.5" WID:17.5" JS: N. VID: PTV. AUD: Y. MLS: D/B. MENU: Y. HT: Y. AMN: Y.
GD: 9/10

I arrived at MEL, was checked in all the way through to KUL by a friendly, chatty QF lady. Noticed that at Gulf Air, there were quite a few security guards and only one person is allowed to accompany the travelling party for security reasons – very strange (for me). Left Oz with 18kgs of luggage. Snared seat 49K (thanks to someone at SQ MEL - thank you!), probably the best in economy for an aviation buff, window, emergency exit, just behind the wing, so you have the view, and get to see all the wing action. Next to the galley, which I see as a plus, because you get more attention from the crew.

Made some last calls to a few mates, then boarded SQ218 to SIN, 9V-SMY (del. 3/94). First impressions good, crew everywhere, and everyone greets you – the atmosphere is genuinely warm, IMHO. Normal instrumental boarding music drowned out by the aircon. Walk through business class, looking good, as it should, then finally get to economy, seat 49K. If there is a bad point about 49K, it’s the fact that the emergency slide compartment (at the base of the EE) bulges into your legroom, so you don’t have that much and have to point your legs away from the door. I noticed on Lufthansa, they don’t have a seat next to the emergency exit because of that. For those who wanted to know, no personal airvents.

Blankets and pillows are on the seat already, just awaiting departure. Captain comes online and we’re told that we have a slight delay due to ‘congestion at immigration.’ All the pax have now boarded and hot cloth towels are given out on pushback from gate 8, then collected with tongs. Safety video comes on, those in the video have big smiles and act really gracefully, and there’s a small sign language display in the bottom RH corner. Lights are dimmed and flaps extended, boy are they huge. On taxi we peak at 27 km/h, before turning onto the 3657m long RWY16. Turning onto the runway, the PW4056s are spooled up a bit, before being advanced to EPR 1.39 once we’re fully lined up. Takeoff is fine, a nice growl emanates from the 4 PW4056s, noticed some slight nose pitch up (surprised to see that in a 747) as we accelerated down the runway, rotating just past the tower (about half way down the runway.) Initial rotation was very slow, and upon gear retraction some of the galley cupboards popped open.

7 minutes after takeoff, seat belt sign goes off. Lights came back on, and headsets were distributed, thought it was strange at how you had to put the foam ear covers on yourself. 3 minutes later, amenity kits are distributed, a simple sock, toothbrush and paste in an envelope affair – a nice touch, something which you don’t get too much of these days anyway. Lots of amenities in the toilets, such as combs, shavers and the rest I’ve forgotten. 4 minutes later, the menu is handed out, a small A5 booklet. Juice or bar service offered, went for some water, I was pretty parched. 0134, ‘Piper’ champagne was offered, there were few takers.

At 0141, we’re at FL350 (10700m) cruising at 920km/h through the air (820 km/h GS) and it is –51°C outside. Pretty smooth so far, but the 747 is pretty noisy inside. Decided to try the renowned KrisWorld, tried some Super Nintendo game, had to wait for it to ‘download’. Didn’t really use KrisWorld much on the flight, used the map, that’s about all, otherwise I just slept. Controls looked very well used, and the audio is in stereo. When you walk around the plane, you can easily tell that you’re on SQ, you just notice that most of the pax just sit there glaring at the little LCD screens, even at 4AM – nobody looks up and notices you. On most other airlines, people are sleeping, or at least trying/pretending to sleep and when you walk around, you occasionally arouse the odd glance here and there.

FAs on this flight are wonderful; I had a trainee handle me for the flight. She was very considerate, my nose and eyes were drying out, so she kept on bringing water for me throughout the flight, often without being asked. When she picked up the cup, she’d ask whether I was better. Yes, and if you were wondering, she was pretty good looking She probably gave better service because she was a trainee, but the whole crew were simply fantastic. If there’s one thing on SQ FAs compared to others, it’s that they never stop working. Don’t know what they’re doing, but they always seem to be doing something for the whole flight – 7hrs of it; I’d guess that service is about dead for 15mins max. They were very eager to flock off cards and toys; I lost count at how many packs of cards they gave me inflight.

Finally at 0223, meals (‘refreshments’ – closer to a snack) are offered. Either a
‘Warm croissant with roasted herb chicken and grilled vegetables’
‘Fried egg noodles with fish, prawn, scallops, shredded egg and leafy greens’
Served with coffee/tea.

Took the croissant, chicken tasted very real, if not a bit dry and had the texture of a cotton wool bud. Noodles didn't taste very good, pretty tasteless. All dishes were served in ceramic dishes, wonder how much weight that adds.

Just before three, a call for seatbelts is given; it was pretty choppy over the middle of SA. At three, was given eyeshades, because of the seat’s close proximity to the galley. I notice the cabin has warmed up considerably since takeoff (so those stories are true). Doze off for a few hours.

At 0500 (MEL time), we cross over Derby at FL390 and vis is not good; it’s as if we’re flying through fog. 0600, some lights come back on and two minutes later, hot towels are out again, only to be collected back two minutes after that. A few minutes after that, all the lights are turned on.

Breafast is served, either

‘Lotus leaf rice’ – rice with chicken, Chinese pork sausage and chestnuts and dried shrimps
‘Omelette with chives and veal sausage, grilled tomato and potatoes’
Served with some fruit, Bulla AB apricot yoghurt, a muffin, a bun, butter & marmalade and tea/coffee/OJ.

Weird milk served with the tea. I took the western option, I figured QF Inflight Catering in MEL has no bloody idea how to cook Asian dishes, it was passable at best. The sliced potatoes were like rock hard potato discs, otherwise the sausage and omelette were fine. In general, I would say that I’d eaten the worst airline food in my life on board this flight, QF MEL catering better get their act together and I’m not the first one to say this. To SQ’s credit the food wasn’t horrible, it was just that all airline food I’ve eaten before has been quite reasonable.

Seat pitch onboard varies from 31.5” to 32” for the few rows I tested (last few are at 32” Big grin. Seats were fine, nothing great. New regulations stipulate no cockpit visits and I didn’t really bother (plus I was advised that the Captain was not in a good mood the night before – poor thing had to wait too long for a bus to the hotel). Sent a few questions upstairs, so for the techys,

TO Data
RWY16. BRW 323000kgs, FOB 88700kgs. Flap 20, EPR1.39 and V1 148kts, Vr 159kts, V2 168kts.

CRZ Data
FL350-390, M0.857. Avg FF 11500kg/h.

LDG Data
RWY 02R. LDW 250000kgs. Flap 30, Vref 143.

Prior to landing, headsets were collected. Landed into a 24kt headwind and the vortices were clearly visible from the trailing edge. Landing was a tap and roll affair and we stopped pretty quickly. Arrived at Gate F52 for a three-hour wait, fortunately SIN (my first time there) is a great airport (although not quite awake at 5AM). Air inside is a bit weird, humid, just doesn’t smell great, IMHO. Lots of shopping, parks and mini gardens inside, dayrooms, gyms, etc. for those with a wait.

So overall, great job SQ. I always thought SQ was overrated because of great marketing and KrisWorld, but in reality (at least on this flight) service was fantastic and the only blooper on its card was the ordinary food, but you can blame that on QF I figured out what’s the thing about their service, the FAs know when you want something (they can sense it from your language), they always respond to calls, never make you feel as if you’re obligating them to help you, they go about it cheerfully. Friendly and polite, and quite chatty. Nothing like the ‘robots’ that I have been told about. Good job SQ!
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Flight 2: SIN-KUL On SQ104

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:38 pm

SQ104 SIN-KUL SCH0815-0910 343 (9V-SJG)
ACT0020-0917 TKF0833 LDG0910 ITG:0:05L/0:07L LD100%
SEAT16A. PIT:49.5" WID:22.7" JS: N. VID: PTV. AUD: Y. MLS: R. MENU: N. HT: N. AMN: N.
GD: 6/10

Arrived at Gate E12. When you enter the gate area, you put your boarding pass through the reader and then are ‘locked in’ the waiting area. A bowl of Ricola is on the desk, which has been ‘specially packed for SQ’. Had to fill in paperwork for Malaysian immigration, boy do they want to know everything – longest immigration form I’ve ever come across.

Boarded 9V-SJG (del. March 97) through the second door and took my seat. Thanks to a good man at SQ MEL, I had 16A, a window seat in business. Ok it’s a 35min flight, but hey, it’s still nice. Crew on this flight didn’t seem that great, certainly in comparison to the previous flight; weren’t interested in the pax. I noticed the A340s windows were smaller than the 747s and also the fuselage curved in quite a bit. Captain Hover thanked the passengers for flying with the ‘Sun Alliance’ – whatever that may be. ‘Star Alliance’ by any chance?

Taxied very briskly, peaked at 50km/h! First takeoff in an A340, not expecting much – even though this would be one of its shortest routes. 27°C at SIN, we turn onto RWY02R, hold a bit, spool up to 50%, then release the brakes and go, before advancing the throttle to a third power stage. CFM56-5s give an A320 like buzz, and the initial movement was ok, but I was just expecting ‘rotate, rotate’. Was a bit of the cabin pitch up during the takeoff run. Rotated parallel to the terminal. Pretty lazy climb, significantly improved after cleanup. Basically takeoff felt like a heavy A320. Climbed to FL250 and cruised at 810km/h.

Service was very quick, but then again it’s no big task to serve one 95ml tub of apple juice (very stingy SQ, a biscuit or something to go with it atleast). No choice as well. Crew were cold and unresponsive – indifferent is a word I’d use. Toilets on this 340 look pretty ****ed small. Recline was nice, so was the electric footrest. Ventilation on the A340 is superb, the air feels very fresh compared to the 747, and it is noticeably quieter (despite sitting next to engine N°2). KrisWorld isn’t working – too short they say. You look at the inflight map (which is almost unreadable, because the sun reflects on the movie screen) and it looks like you’re landing in the middle of nowhere (which is quite true about KLIA); somewhere halfway between ‘Kuala Lumpur’ and ‘Malacca’. In the descent, speedbrakes out, you can feel the buffet it brings on. Landing in KUL is an interesting experience, you feel as if you’re making an emergency landing into a forest, no sign of civilisation until ~300ft AGL.

Touched down on RWY14R, initially smoothly, then the nose gear banged down. Lots of rattling as we slowed down – doesn’t feel terribly solid and inspiring as other aircraft. Arrived at Gate C2, saying goodbye to flying for about three weeks. A bit disappointed with this flight, AN would have done a much better job back home. Airport is nice, a bit too big I think for KL. Have to catch the ‘Aerotrain’ from the C terminal to the main terminal, a very quick, zippy ride. Nice long ride into KL, the airport is miles out of the place (absolutely ridiculous, no wonder so many airlines have left).
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Flight 3: KUL-SIN On SQ117

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:39 pm

SQ117 KUL-SIN SCH2030-2125 772 (9V-SRC)
ACT2059-2155 TKF2112 LDG2150 ITG:0:29L/0:25L LD100%
GD: 6.7/10

Rushed to KLIA in the rain and utter chaos on the roads. Managed to get there in time, checked in, and somehow despite buying more stuff in KL my luggage had decreased in weight by about 1.5kgs. Ohwell, can’t complain. Checking in all the way through to BHX and allocated seat 40K for my flight to SIN. Had a bit of Burger King before saying farewell to family, the last they’d see of me before I’d jet off alone to Europe. Passed immigration and caught the train to terminal C, gate C4.

KLIA has a similar system to SIN with the holding area waiting lounge. Boarded 9V-SRC (del. 7/98), quite impressed with the interior, the best looking I’ve come across. Looks even better with the dimmed lighting, with reading lights the only source of light. Aircon is quiet, ventilation not quite as good as the 340. Noticed round windows, must be a first for Boeing.

Seat base slides forward as you recline, reducing the little legroom to not much at all. Folding wings and a nifty footrest that angles itself to your feet – pretty good. Newspapers offered, 5 types of newspapers available, took the Straits Times. Inbound was delayed due to missing pax in SIN and departure was delayed to the slow loading of bags and WX (eg. thunderstorms) at KUL. Some words of wisdom during the safety briefing, ‘As this is a non-smoking flight, please do not smoke’. Rain was still pouring down at KL, which I had no problem with, because I knew a ‘contaminated’ runway is an excuse for maximum TO thrust (as opposed to derate). Should be fun, given that we’re only on a 35min hop. In spite of that, the takeoff off RWY32R wasn’t anything great, just felt like an AN762 going on a short domestic run. No real kick in the back, and this wait for ‘rotate’ (I must just be impatient) – strange, because the Vspeeds were quite low (as they should be). KLIA is a beautiful airport at night. Engines were fairly quiet, sounded more like vacuum cleaners. Noticed the increase in dihedral inflight. Very smooth, and not too much wind roar, but the A340 is still quieter.

Again, the less than impressive 95ml tub of apple juice offered, although IIRC there was a choice available this time. Water tasted pretty chlorinated. Noticed that you can use your own headphones or those provided to you (not on this flight) with the three-holed jack and the FAs use a touchscreen near the doors to control lighting, videos, etc. The inflight map on the 777 is more advanced than on the other SQ planes and I didn’t get a chance to checkout the famous 777 damped toilet seat.

Friendly cockpit crew, ‘We’ll begin descent…about…now’, cabin crew were nothing flash, but better than the previous crew on the A340 flight. Bit of wobble on the approach, then a noisy, but relatively smooth touchdown at SIN on RWY02R. Fairly smooth and quiet rollout, a little shake in the cabin, ‘crash bang’, but still better than in the A340. Saw a SQ773 – long they are indeed, then saw my LH343, D-AIFA sitting next door to us. Had a quick chat to the crew, FAs told me that SQ has had the ‘no visitors in cockpit’ rule for about a year. Deplaned, then a short walk from E26 to E24.

Tech Info.

TO Data
BRW 194000kgs. FOB 12300kgs V1 130kts, Vr 131kts, V2 135kts. EPR 1.27. ASMD Temp, 60°C (max derate, but not used). OAT 24°C

CRZ Data
FL230. 850km/h. –14°C

LDG Data
LDW 189000kgs. Vref 131, Vapp 136. Burnt ~5000kgs of fuel. OAT 26°C

Overall, better than the last flight. Good, but nothing great. The 777 is a great plane.
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Flight 4: SIN-FRA On LH789

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:40 pm

LH789 SIN-FRA SCH2240-0530 343 (D-AIFA)
ACT2245-0459 TKF2258 LDGXXXX ITG:0:05L/0:31E LD100%
GD: 7.7/10

Saw the monitor flashing ‘boarding’, so quickly entered the gate area. Darn, we’re not actually boarding yet and I’m locked in the gate area. It’s going to be a full flight.

Board D-AIFA (del. 8/00) via the second door, taking a newspaper, and the first thing I notice compared to the SQ flight is the absence of smiling crew manning the doors and helping pax. Noone seems to take notice of the boarding zones – a good idea in practise. Makes it feel as if I’m boarding a mundane old train or bus. More about non-existent crew later.

Find my way to my seat, 23G, first row of Y, the RH aisle of the middle 3 abreast section (yes 3, not 4 – only first and last few rows). It’s a good place to sit with enough legroom thanks to the moveable bulkhead in front with an angled base – a makeshift footrest. There are only five rows of Y in this section – wonderfully private, compared to the ‘zoo’ behind. The legroom doesn’t look great, so I’m grateful for my bulkhead seat. LH is in the Christmas spirit with wreathes hanging on the bulkheads. Crew don’t come around till later, and then hand out orange juice and headphones. Safety cards, magazines are all enclosed in a plastic pocket. Animated safety demo comes online in a myriad of languages, German for a while, and English goes by very quickly – Fas, hello, where are you?

I know its only perception, but this LH340 wobbles a hellava lot less on taxi than the SQ340 – given that we’re 269 ton with 101.8 ton of fuel onboard, it shouldn’t really – also note we taxi a slower than SQ (I feel that LH pilots are more disciplined and consistent than SQ pilots). Lights are dimmed; lights & audio aren’t working in this forward part of Y, but are in the rear and business cabins. An initial gentle push in the back – not as bad as everyone makes the A340 out to be. Interesting to note that the monitors all retract upon the application of TO power (N1 98.3) and the aircraft sounds different to the SQ340 – no buzz (probably due to different power being used). As we approach ~150kias, there is hellava lot of rattling, cabin fittings such as the overhead lockers dancing about – really quite bad, however I’ve been told that SIN has a poor runway. Really disconcerting, I’ve never had a plane vibrate so much on takeoff. Initial climb is gentle, you really feel the forward speed as we smoothly rotate – we’re definitely moving forward and sort of climbing. Once the gear goes up, the aircraft is pretty quiet. 13 hours of flight time ahead.

Flaps start to retract, you can actually feel the reduction in lift – but then it’s a fairly significant move from Flap 2 to Flap 1 (20° degree of flap + slat, to mere slat – if it works like the A320). For about an hour we sit in darkness – just as if we’re onboard a train, with no sign of life from the flight deck or cabin crew, and of course no audio or lights. I start to notice how pitiful the LH blanket and pillow are – no help thanks to the A340s excellent ventilation (best of any aircraft I’ve noticed; also no personal airvents). Aircraft sounds as if you’re at home and a neighbour is vacuuming – it is quiet, IMHO.

2352 and the cockpit comes online with flight info and inflight map pops up on the screens. 10:09 to FRA. 2355 and the cabin purser makes a service announcement, sounding detailed, yet very muffled. Cabin service to begin when we reach cruising altitude. We’re now at FL310, -32°C and 957km/h GS (ground speed). It’s about 0030 and pretzels and drinks are handed out; crew seems friendly – esp. when you speak German. 0042, Das Journal (news) comes on, shortly after meals are served.

Chicken piccata (Italian tomato based chicken dish with mixed pasta) or beef, curry type turkey salad, grapes and cheese, NZ butter and bun, sundried tomato, biscuits and coconut jelly topped with shaved chocolate and cream.

Before I start my commentary about the meal, I have to say something about the Germans being reputed to being very blunt and honest. Vielleicht. In this case they were, news comes on with the second case of BSE in Germany being reported. Moments later, the meal carts come out, offering chicken or beef – they tried to be smart and called the beef, steak, but noone fell for it. Meal in no uncertain terms was the best I have ever eaten inflight; chicken was wonderfully tender and flavour was there aplenty. Nothing offended my palate and I was pretty satisfied after. Half an hour later, tea and coffee were offered; the FA offered me some Baileys, but I wasn’t in the mood.

I’ve been told that speaking German onboard Lufthansa flights gets you better service, I think it’s true to a certain degree, they’re certainly friendlier. I’ve got another suggestion, the darker the hair (eg. brown), the better the service, because on this flight, the blondes really lived in their own world.

As with the SQ headphones, you have to put the foam pads on yourself, something I’ve never come across flying AN. I notice that the audio controls have provisions for video, info and auxiliary, but being LH we can only use audio. It’s strange, channels 0-10 are in mono, but 11-16 are in stereo. Toilets are small and spartan, unlike SQ there are very few amenities – only moisturiser and mouthwash. Recaro seats have no footrests, but the tray tables (first rows) operate so smoothly – very easy to stow and cannot be misstowed unlike the SQ tables which have to be moved forward before being pushed back inside. LH maintenance is superb; the aircraft is simply immaculate.

Dozed off to some jazz tunes, didn’t bother with the movies. Headrest wings are more than a novelty, combined with a neck pillow, they’re bliss. Wake up, decide its time to pay the office up front a visit.

Had a chat with the pilots, LH usually operates the 340 on this route at M0.83, but because we had a good deal of time on our hands, we were flying at M0.82. We’re at FL390 with 89-92N1 and a fuel flow of 5600 kg/h, which goes down to about 85N1 just before we descend. According to the captain, the A340 is not underpowered, it’s just everything else is ‘overpowered’. He said that he’s the only pilot at LH to have flown every Airbus at the airline – plus a handful of Boeings. FO says that the Boeings are better to fly. Was told about climb gradients being stricter for quadjets (3%) vs twinjets (2.4%) and he says the A340 has the best cockpit ever – very quiet, simply an excellent work environment. If you do the math, it’s simply better to lose an engine in a quadjet, simply because you will have more power proportionally than if you lose one engine in a twin (An A340 with 1 engine out is better powered than a 777 with 1 engine out). Nevertheless with all engines running we’re fairly lazy in the initial climb, achieving something like 1500fpm before cleanup. Lufthansa’s normal takeoff policy is to use Flap 2, only using Flap 1 at high airfields. Told a CX 340 captain, and it’s basically Flap 1 wherever at CX because of better second stage climb (with the 340, any improvement in performance is welcome). Possible reason for the LH policy is airframe preservation, as it’s subject to lower speeds – however lose two engines on TO and you won’t make it, but you might on Flap 1. If there’s a problem with the 340, funnily it’s the IFE system; we’ve been having problems with the inflight map. We’ve got some experience onboard, this guy’s flown every Airbus ever operated by LH, and he’s the only one at LH in that position – pity he’s not landing. Asked about ‘LH’s cockpit policy’ and was invited back up for landing, after breakfast.

2 hours before landing, hot paper towels are handed out and a drink service begins. Breakfast is served shortly after.

Small warm croissant & bun, blueberry yoghurt, fruit salad, omelette and potato triangle, some pureed green vegetable and a cherry tomato. Gruyere cheese, strawberry jam, NZ butter and coffee creamer.

Stay in the jumpseat for the descent and landing, QF5 is in the terminal area, he got there before us, but we sneak onto a shorter final for 07R and beat him to the airport (German ATC wouldn’t be discriminating here, would they?). Final approach speed is about 145kias, with 2.5-4° nose up, coming into the flare at about 30 something feet AGL, and the nose goes up to a whopping 10° nose up, before touching down with a little thud at 130 odd kias. Taxi at 15kts to gate B23, through the dead airport. Arrive at 0459 – half an hour early and we’ve burnt 93.4 ton over 13:20. I wish the captain ‘frohe Weihnachten’ and a happy retirement before I leave.

Arriving at Frankfurt made me realise what was so great about SIN – you notice what you don’t have. I really pitied the New Zealander family that had a 9-hour wait for their connection to Dublin; young kids, and nothing to do for 9 hours. This was one time where you wouldn’t mind your flight being late.

Wander round the airport, visiting all the piers and terminals before deciding to go to the spotting deck. It’s not a bad place actually, you pay DM5, but you have a walkway, which goes right out till the end of one of the B piers of Terminal 1. Multi levelled to a certain degree, you get a good view of the action – with the longhaul flights on 07L, they rotate just before your eyes. Pretty cold, I last about 2 minutes with a shirt – I hear its pretty close to 0. If there’s anything good about FRA, it’s the drinking fountains, German water is pretty good (a far cry from UK midlands water) – great after a long flight.
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Flight 5: FRA-BHX On LH4590

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:41 pm

LH4590 FRA-BHX SCH0955-1035 735 (D-ABJI)
ACT0959-1037 TKF1007 LDG1127 ITG:0:04L/0:02L LD40%
GD: 7.5/10

Have to catch a bus out to the plane (del. 10/91 – ‘newest’ LH735), the load isn’t that great. Pop music plays during boarding and I find my way to my seat in row 8 – the EE row. There’s a lot of weird whining and clunking happening beneath me. Normal LH grey leather Recaro seats are reasonably comfortable, with plenty of pitch in this row, and a 19” wide cushion – only thing is this row doesn’t recline, but I’m hardly worried. Notice LH has these glow in the dark strips on the floor which outline the aisle and routes to the EEs and there are 4 FAs onboard today.

First flight in a 737-500, so I was expecting a big kick in the back on takeoff – it’s the closest thing Boeing has to the 757-200. LH’s 735s are equipped with the 20k engines, so they’re basically –500s with the power of –300s, so they’re good on paper, with a power loading of 2.89 (weight/power).

K intersection takeoff is fine off 07L, rotating at 127kias on Flap 5 using 88N1 (51°C ASMD temp), with a mild kick in the back, but impressive climb performance. Morning snack is served from a basket; it’s either a ham and lettuce roll with cream cheese, which was fine, except the roll was a bit stale. Two drink services given, one before meal service, one after. Everyone on this flight either has a window or aisle seat and business class goes up to row 6.

One thing I notice about these intra-Europe flights is the constant weaving in between air routes – nothing like that in Australia – it’s basically point to point after the SID. Crew are great today, it’s probably good not having to serve too many people and as soon as I tell the FA “Ich komme aus Australien” she gets all excited.

Visit the cockpit and stay for landing, I had a bunch of jokers for flightcrew today – we joked all the way till the threshold basically. They say that the –400 is the best 737 to fly (when LH had them), the –500 has some weird yawing characteristics because of its shortened body. LDG weight is 43.3 tons. We’re zooming down the glideslope, till we put the gear down at 4.7NM at 195kias. Approach on the ILS till a few hundred feet AGL (had a 700ft cloud base), flying at about 125-130kias. Landed on RWY15 (2606m), a nice flare at 10ft and a very smooth touchdown. Turn off at the end of the runway and make our way to the gate, but then we strike a problem – there’s noone to lead us into the gate. Wait a few minutes, and then the guy leads us in, but stops us too early. So we have to wait for a truck to drag us in, and I farewell the crew and begin my European holiday.
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Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2000 3:58 pm

Flight 6: MAN-FRA On LH4617

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:42 pm

LH4617 MAN-FRA SCH1615-1905 735 (D-ABIO)
ACT1622-1903 TKF1630 LDG1856 ITG:0:07L/0:02E LD55%
SEAT14A. PIT:34” WID:17.5" JS: N. VID: N. AUD: N. MLS: S. MENU: N. HT: N. AMN: N.
GD: 7.1/10

Very slow immigration at MAN causes me to almost miss my flight. Finally get to my gate, oblivious to the fact that I’m late and the gate agent tells me I’m about to be kicked off the flight, but I quietly feel confident, because I know it’s not worth wasting time finding my bags, esp. given I have a connection at FRA. I’m not kicked off, and I apologise profusely in German to the FAs (they’re very sympathetic) and make my way to row 14, just behind the wing. Now, I can’t seem to find my passport…aargh!

After I board D-ABIO (del. 4/91), we quickly scurry to RWY06L, rotating shortly after. Flaps go up 30 seconds later! On this flight, everyone has a window or aisle seat, and business class takes up 10 rows – more than half the plane. Seating isn’t bad, cushion is 17.5” wide, with 34” pitch (I checked that a few times – also 12.4” of legroom). I don’t bother trying to visit the cockpit on this flight, trying to find my travel documentation is more than enough. Same old LH intra-Europe cheese or ham bun service, with the 2x drink service. Crew were fine, not bad actually. About an hour after takeoff, we hear the first words from the cockpit, despite our delay (caused by whom again?), we’ll be arriving on time, and indeed we do, touching down on 07R at 1856. I notice all the contrails coming from the wing on the approach, landing wasn’t bad, just a few jiggles after. Very speedy taxi back to the terminal, with quite a bit of power being used.
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Flight 7: FRA-BSL On LH3692

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:43 pm

LH3692 FRA-BSL SCH2105-2220 F50 (D-AFFZ)
ACT2105-2231 TKF2124 LDG2218 ITG:OT/0:11L LD43/48
GD: 7.6/10

It’s another bus to the plane (del. 1988) affair, this time we’re parked in front of Terminal 2. I’ve never flown on a turboprop, the closest thing to this (size wise) in my experience has been the CRJ. Today’s flight is operated by LH Team Partner, Contact Air, who took over the LH Cityline fleet of F50s a few years ago.

Takeoff is interesting, reasonably gentle, and this killing din as the props spin up to takeoff power (TRQ85.2). We’re at 20.3ton and seem to be sitting on RWY18 for ages it seems, despite our rotate speed being only 110kias with flap 5. Once thrust is reduced in the air at 1300ft, it’s fine again. We climb up to FL170, cruising at 210kias.

A light meal of cheeses and hams with a pasta salad is served with a nice praline served for dessert, tastes fine. Single class service onboard today. The Fokker 50 has a fairly decent cabin for its size; it’s fairly comfortable for this short flight. 2 FAs onboard today, one is short, one is a giant. I ask if I can visit the cockpit, because I’m a student pilot and I’m from Australia (LH FA’s always respond to that one).

I’m in the cockpit again. You actually step up into the F50 cockpit; it’s elevated over the cabin – almost as if they designed the plane, and then forgot to build the cockpit into the overall design. We’re in the midst of the descent, passing through 15,000 at 175kias, descending at a leisurely –500fpm. The crew were very professional, but still friendly. They were wondering why the flight was so full – my exchange group was the reason. We’re going to have an ILS approach onto RWY16 at BSL, so we start preparation, including getting a torch and searching for ice outside. We intercept the RWY centreline at 22NM BSL, before intercepting the glideslope at 19.5NM, flying at 160kias. 12NM to go, Flap 10 comes out, at 9NM gear goes down, slowing down to 130kias, where we extend Flap 25, achieving a final app. speed of 115kias, with a 5° nose down angle – began the landing procedures very, very, probably too early in my opinion (esp, when ATC had no requirements). Just at the last minute before minimums, the RWY lights appear. FO calls out radio altitude, we flare at 10ft AGL with a very smooth landing and roll down RWY16 till we turn off at RWY26, where we wait in the pitiful foggy 500M visibility. In the fog, it really feels like flightsim! We wait, BSL ATC is very busy (despite there being only 3 acft on the ground), finally they tell us a car is coming – we can’t find it. Ask again, and a minute later he finds us and we follow him to ‘gate’ 10. I thank the crew and quickly board the bus back to the terminal – where you can choose to go into Switzerland or France.
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Flight 8:BSL-FRA On LH5389

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:44 pm

LH5389 BSL-FRA SCH1415-1530 ARJ (D-AVRO)
ACT1420-1529 TKF1425 LDG1515 ITG:0:05L/0:01E LD35%
SEAT10A. PIT:32" WID:18.6" JS: N. VID: N. AUD: N. MLS: S. MENU: N. HT: N. AMN: N.
GD: 6.8/10

Overtones of the MAN experience go over me, and to confirm the worst, I hear my name over the FA – never mind it’s in French – surely looking at my surname they can guess that I probably don’t understand French. Quickly run to gate A43 and get the bus off to meet my plane (del. 10/94 – 1st LH ARJ85). Run around it snapping photos, before boarding with all my hand luggage, barely able to fit it in the ARJ’s very small overhead lockers (esp. in the wing area – centre of the cabin). Fortunately the flight isn’t very full so my excesses make no difference. I ask the purser if I would be able to visit the cockpit on the flight, and she says she’ll ask. I never hear from her again.

Meal is the traditional LH ham and lettuce roll, served with a small apple slice. Nice, but very cold, the ever so lukewarm LH tea somewhat compensated for that. Business class occupies rows 1 to 5. One thing I noticed, the window shutters on this plane are weird -–there are two, one which goes up, one which goes down, and they both meet half way in the window. Like the CRJ or 747 upper deck, the windows are a tad low – about breast height.

If there’s a good thing about FRA, it’s pretty good for aviation enthusiasts, with its viewing deck and touchscreen infostands located throughout the airport – enthusiast info includes various times, registrations and runways being used for each flight, etc.

Went to the enthusiasts shop to try and get some model jets, except they ran out of LH744s (out of all places, at FRA), ahwell, make my way back to the gate.
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Flight 9: FRA-HKG On LH738

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:45 pm

LH738 FRA-HKG SCH1735-1140 744 (D-ABVK)
ACT1832-1227 TKF1844 LDG1221 ITG:0:57L/0:47L LD95%
SEAT32B. PIT:31" WID:17" JS: N. VID: Y. AUD: Y. MLS: D/B. MENU: Y. HT: Y. AMN: N.
GD: 7.7/10

This aircraft, a Boeing 747-430 (del. 5/92), used to wear the “Hannover – Expo 2000” colour scheme, and it had just come in from Beijing about four hours beforehand. Gate lounge B46 was fairly full and boarding was just a few minutes late.

Upon boarding, you have the FAs clearly visible in the exit areas, but there just seems to be a cold atmosphere, with the LH/Star Alliance logo slideshow playing on the monitors. For some reason my FA is nice looking, but cold, and able to put on the lugubrious smile when needed (eg. little kids) – I ask her if I can visit the cockpit sometime. The safety animation is played, first in German, then Cantonese. As for English, well, “Please read your card” is about as far as they went. Schade. As per usual LH long haul practise, tetra paks of orange juice are handed out.

Captain comes online and we’re delayed due to snow at FRA, so we just have to wait. Refresher towelettes are handed out, and finally the deicing trucks come along spraying the wings and that takes about twenty minutes. Shortly after, there’s good news – we’re on our way. Our plane makes its way to RWY07L, making small creaks, we finally get there and we have a nice smooth takeoff, much smoother than the A340 (FRA has a much better runway).

Service announcements are made, and the purser’s English could do a bit better (funny when I talk to her later it’s all normal). As per usual LH long haul, we’re invited to visit the galley to get snacks and drinks (the size of their chocolate is amazing for a ‘snack’ Big grin and meals will be served at cruising altitude. The pathetically small LH blanket is handed out, and drinks & sesame biscuits are served 15mins later. One question, why is it that people always seem to drink tomato juice when flying, people just kept on asking for “Tomatensaft”. We reach our cruising altitude of 33,000 feet and the cockpit comes online again – apparently we’ve managed to secure a more southerly route to save some time (GS 920km/h – M0.86). About half an hour the food trucks come about, and there’s no beef, but the Fas says (translated into English), “Ahh it’s ok, it’s all from South America.” I have to admit it all smells good.

Seasonal greens with tuna with Italian Dressing, cheese & 2 grapes, bread roll & butter and chicken breast in thyme sauce with orzo pasta (rice like) OR Sweet & sour stir fried pork with buttered rice. Accompanied with carrot, cauliflower, etc. Dessert was a caramel brittle crème.

The chicken was pleasant and tender, salad was good, the bread was pretty chewy (a far cry from the brötchen I ate daily in Freiburg) and dessert was ok, nothing great. Water is offered during meal service, followed later by tea/coffee. As per usual, LH “special black tea” is warm, nicely coloured and totally tasteless. After meals I just dozed off.

I was in an emergency exit seat, aisle and just next to the toilet blocks. Legroom for the other Y seats looked pretty ordinary, and I was disappointed to see no footrests – the only thing worthy about the seats is the cupholder and the winged headrest.

Four hours later I’m up and we must be over Russia, because we’re at 11400m/37500m (Russia & China are about the only two countries that insist on using metres instead of feet for altitude). Had a chat with the Fas, this time in English “Ich kann fast kein Deutsch, weil ich zu müde bin”. Not a bad bunch, my local FA was a bit cold, but these ones are great. One of them brings some nice choccies from Business Class, which was nice, as was the small tailwind – we were at 1020km/h GS. I ask if I can visit the cockpit before landing, and it’s fine, we’ll just wait till First Class wakes up.

At 0135 Frankfurt time, the FA brings around some tea for those who are awake – this time it’s actually awake. The difference between SQ and LH is that people can be bothered to go to sleep on LH (or at least try), instead of being glued to bloody KrisWorld day and night. There’s a smidgeon of turbulence, otherwise everything is fine. Below is the Gobi desert, looking like Antarctica.

3 hours out from HKG, the lights in Y come on and hot paper towelettes are handed out. I finally score my visit to the cockpit, first time in the office of a 747-400 – it’s fairly long. 3 crew, who I manage to impress with technical knowledge, and just as I’m going to have a shot at nabbing the jumpseat for landing, I find out the captain’s daughter is onboard – ahwell. Thank the crew, and return to my seat, with breakfast just about to be served.

Croissant, roll, strawberry yoghurt, Gouda cheese, omelette with sausage and salsa.

Breakfast was good; I was surprised at how the omelette was still in as good a condition it was after who knows how many hours. Descent begins, and 40 mins later we’re on the approach to CLK RWY07R, and we’re blind outside, turbulently swaying and wobbling our way to the threshold, until the ground becomes visible at 400ft. A small tap on the ground and we roll our way to the gate – the purser having to order some local pax to sit down during taxi.

Spent my good few hours in Hong Kong visiting a friend, before returning to CLK, getting onto the train back to the airport with 10 seconds to spare. Phew.

BRW: 361,200kgs. Flap 20, 97.8N1 – V1 138, Vr 165, V2 174. FOB: 128,000kgs. 340kias climb, then M0.86.
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Flight 10: HKG-SYD On AN888

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:46 pm

AN888 HKG-SYD 03FEB01 SCH1920-0710 744 (VH-ANB)
ACT1938-0723 TKF1959 LDG0718 ITG:0:18L/0:13L LD100%
SEAT15C. PIT:34" WID:17" JS: N. VID: PTV. AUD: Y. MLS: D/B. MENU: Y. HT: Y. AMN: Y.
GD: 9/10

Hong Kong airport is big. Along with my boarding pass, I was given an express customs card with all my details on it, only needing to answer some questions. I was expecting a lot from this flight, because it was my first time on AN International, and I had heard so much about it. I purposely routed my trip this way to try the 744 service; it was going to be an AN/SQ contest. It’s Chinese New Year, so the AN flights to MEL and SYD are full, they’re overbooked actually. Fortunately I’m not on the direct flight to Melbourne, because I find out that it was delayed, then cancelled. Had I caught it, I would’ve arrived on Monday at 2AM MEL time.

We board our ex SQ 747-412 (del. 11/89) from the second door. Blankets, pillows and the amenity kit are already on our seats; my seat 15C is the first row on the upper deck, an aisle seat. Cards, earplugs, etc are all available on a tray towards the rear of the upper deck (or on request). Seats are basically the same as on SQ, except the seat material is AN style. Menus are handed out. My FA on the upper deck is one of the really cheery, laughing and smiling types. Safety demo is the standard AN human and TV demonstration (screen pulls out from the roof in the aisle – upper deck). The upper deck is wonderful, especially on a full flight, because the pax are no noisier than below. What is different however, is the level of noise. You don’t hear the flap movements, engine noise is muted, and it is a nicer atmosphere. The cabin temperature is just right, LH was too cold, SQ was too warm (I’ve heard quite a few stories about SQ). Flap 20, EPR1.38 (ASMD TMP 50°C), we’re around 360 tonnes for takeoff (107tons of fuel), 13°C and a slight headwind/crosswind, we smoothly rotate at 161knots (290km/h), bound for Sydney.

Five minutes after takeoff, the purser gives her service announcement, a cordial affair beginning with “My name’s Liz” – it was nice to hear relaxed Aussie accents again, after being away from home for two months. She introduces the team onboard (upper & lower deck), and there’ll be a cocktail/bar service, and then meals will be served. Passengers are actually referred to as guests. This was pre the AN 767 debarcle, so FAs were still saying yes, instead of ‘absolutely’.

Oh no, something bad on AN happens. I pull out my PTV from under the seat (this is a bulkhead row), and the TV falls off the arm. No great stress, I just wanted to see what was on (I’m not the biggest fan of PTVs – gimme legroom anyday!), so I just let the FA know. 5 minutes later drinks and a cocktail mix are served, and the FA pulls out the tray for you, which is a nice touch – couldn’t see this happening on LH.

About an hour after takeoff, the first officer comes online, gives info about the flight and apologises for the delay at HKG, due to apron congestion. Shortly after, meals are served.

I’ve heard a lot about good legroom, I knew the old Ansett 747-300s, had 34” of seat pitch on the lower deck and 38” on the upper deck. Now AN flies the 744, and seat pitch is at a respectable 34” on the upper deck (69 seats – max permitted). I’ve sat in many emergency exits on the narrowbodies (35-36” Big grin, but somehow this 34” was pretty impressive – to have two windows per row was pretty impressive in my books for Y travel. Since my trip, I’ve found out that AN has 60 seats on the upper deck, meaning that pitch is back to 38”. It’s a pity that the lower deck has the ordinary SQ legroom, so this aircraft is only truly a “Spaceship” if you’re in Business Class or on the upper deck.

Back to the PTV ‘saga’, well the FA comes back to me and asks me if I would like to go and view the entertainment in the crew rest. After a moment’s hesitation, I say yes – not really interested in what there is to see, but to take advantage of the crew rest (I’d been travelling for more than 24 hrs). After dessert is finished, the boss arrives. The cabin purser apologises profusely and asks me what type of wine I like: red, white or champagne? I say red and she asks whether I’d like Penfolds, or some others, I’m no expert on red wine, so I follow her down and she goes downstairs to the galley and gives me a bottle of wine – her recommendation; I thought that was a nice touch, especially when I really didn’t care about the PTV. In addition, she went and brought me a glass of red from business class, which was of course, pretty good. She was very friendly and was doing her best to arrange a jumpseat landing, but it seemed that there was some confusion as to what the actual policy was, nevertheless I got my visit. I found out that a few toilets were unserviceable and they would have to be fixed in Sydney, as that is where such maintenance is done. Excellent service; It’s interesting how the FAs sort of bow down to you as you speak, as opposed to towering above, looking down on you. They’re great with hopeless pax as well, I had the eternal whinger behind me, and somehow they managed to pacify him, which I thought was impressive (I wouldn’t know what would make more noise, a 6-month baby or that guy).


Roast duck salad, flavoured with Hoisin butter lettuce and crisp apple slices.

Main Course
Pappardelle Wide Ribbon Pasta arranged with sauteed vegetables and steamed spinach & chilli garlic cream sauce.
Braised Beef with steamed potato, carrot and broccoli, leek, black olive and chunky tomato fondue.
Fried Fish on Stir Fried Vegetable Rice with seasoned choy sum in a coriander and ginger sauce.

Chocolate hazelnut ice cream.

Overall the meals were fine; they could’ve been a bit hotter. I took the beef and it was good, the salad was quite nice as well. My only qualm with the main meal was that the potatoes could have been cooked better. For some reason they put a sweet bun for dinner, which didn’t go well with butter (I’ve noticed that Asians seem to prefer sweeter breads). Ice cream served for dessert was a nice touch, frankly more enjoyable than some of those creamy, boring airline mousses, etc. Simple yes, but good. Following that there was a coffee and Chinese or English tea service and the tea is served out of proper Asian teapots, not the sterile looking stainless steel pots. I believe snacks such as instant noodles were available.

Surveyed a few of my neighbouring passengers, it seems that AN commands quite a bit of loyalty on this route, and they were all impressed by Ansett. I did some work at Ansett Customer Relations a while back, and one thing I noticed is the disproportionate number of compliments compared to Ansett Australia (even when accounting the difference in passengers flown) and compared to overall complaints – from that I was determined to fly AN International. In my experience, the service is as good as I was lead to believe, the personal attention by the crew the impressive factor – I was only in Economy.

I managed to doze off to sleep and wake up, finally securing that cockpit visit. Had a simple chat, crew seemed happy with Toomey, AN/NZ seemed to be going ok (frankly they sounded quite clueless on airline politics); unfortunately I wasn’t able to snare a jumpseat ride today. AN it seems does not have a clear jumpseat policy. Two hours from Sydney, the lights come back on, with hot fresh towels served to wake us up. We just make it to FL390 (cruising at M0.857) and are then offered another drinks service. A little while later, we’re served breakfast, which consists of juice, a fruit platter or breakfast cereal and yoghurt and a char siu (Chinese pork filled white fluffy bun) bun. Again, not bad – different to the traditional ‘heavy’ airline breakfast; I took the fruit.

We begin our descent into YSSY/SYD, with Aussie soil just minutes away. We turn about over Botany Bay, before intercepting the RWY34L centreline. Typically quiet upstairs and if there’s another thing special about the upper deck its when you’re turning over water, you don’t see anything but water, giving the impression that you’re steeply banked. Touchdown is the best 747 touchdown for the trip, very smooth.

When we exit, as there is only one jetway door, we exit via the forward door, and I must say, AN’s Business Class is pretty ****ed spacious. Think older (pre bed) First Class seats with older First Class legroom, and you’re right – an A340 2-2-2 layout in a wider 747.

Go through passport control, and well for me the express card is useless, because I’ve got an Aussie passport, so I choose the fastest line. Still, it’s good of AN to give those cards.

I’m waiting for my luggage and it takes a little while, but fair enough, it’s a full flight, but I’ve got all my luggage, but I’ve just been waiting for my last piece. The baggage lady tells me to go to the oversized baggage counter, and there is my foldup trolley – not quite oversized (smaller than my suitcase), but hey she was right.

Customs was good, friendly, and I supposed she was happy to get someone who had everything ready to declare and spoke good English – a far cry from the sour faced Malaysian customs. I rush as fast as I can to the AN transfer lounge to checkin for my domestic flight (you have to retrieve your baggage and get it cleared by customs before flying domestically), but it’s a bit of a squeeze to get my original 0830 flight, AN17 back to MEL, which I would’ve liked because I wanted an A320. Well, it was a push, too much of a push to get AN17, so I was put on the next flight at 0900, AN19, which was another bloody 737. I did some customer service work at AN the year before, so I knew about the 737 refit disaster, and was willing to try it myself to see how bad it actually is.

If I could sum up AN International service – informal, more natural SQ service.
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Flight 11: SYD-MEL On AN19

Sun Jun 03, 2001 12:48 pm

AN019 SYD-MEL SCH0900-1020 733 (VH-CZN)
ACT0900-1020 ITG:OT/OT LD50%
GD: 7.6/10

Boarded this 737-377 (del. 10/88) with too many carryons, I forgot to checkin a bag which was hanging off my back, but as the flight wasn’t particularly full, the cabin crew were very obliging. I managed to secure a row 9 seat, which was an emergency exit row – 35” of pitch IIRC (maybe 36).

Takeoff off RWY34R was fantastic, I’ve never had such a big kick in the back on takeoff, and upon rotation, I was really forced back into my seat. Turns out that one of the thrust computers wasn’t working, so maximum thrust (as opposed to derate) was the only amount allowed – I had no problems with that Max thrust (93.5N1) and a very light load = great performance. SID also provided a nice view of Sydney. It was probably Flap 1 (slats), so we would’ve been climbing about as fast as any 737 can climb.

Service was the traditional AN affair. Morning snack consisting of a tart of some sort, some cheese and biscuits, a chocolate Tim Tam and some more I can’t remember. Electronic headphones are now standard affair as opposed to the older pneumatic ‘tube’ ones and they showed the news and some light entertainment. Cabin crew were quite cheerful, in my experience it always seems to be the case when I’m on an Ansett 737. There aren’t many airlines which can provide as complete a domestic product as AN on such a flight, and bear in mind they can do a lot better during meal time on a 45 minute flight between Melbourne and Canberra.

Just prior to the descent, I notice something new. The FA comes out with a basket filled with lollies, handing them out to ease air pressure changes during the descent – this must be something new from the NZ merger. It’s a bit turbulent in the descent, but once we go below 2000ft it’s relatively smooth sailing. A soft touchdown on RWY27 and I’m finally home.

So two months of travelling comes to an end, and I loved it. Best airline, really it’s a tough tie between Ansett and Singapore Airlines. Longhaul flights were fairly equal between the two, SQ had perhaps slightly better service, but AN had a better overall product. Lufthansa is a classic, simple ‘no-frills’ longhaul airline, professional in its approach – doesn’t have the frills of SQ/AN, but is fine once the service begins. Shorthaul flights, SQ pales in comparison with AN – I don’t care what people say about SIN-KUL being a short flight; if there is time for a drink, there is time for a small snack as well. If AN can serve a full meal between MEL & CBR, then SQ can surely serve something small between SIN & KUL. LH shorthaul flights were fine; plenty of drinks, catering was perhaps simple, but fine. I’m convinced that AN do the best shorthaul flights in the world, we just don’t appreciate what we have downunder until we fly overseas. I haven’t flown US domestic, and it’s probably something I don’t need to rush to do.

This trip report is generous with the words, but hey, it was a long trip. At least you have a cure for insomnia  Smile

If you've made it till here - congratulations!




Sun Jun 03, 2001 2:22 pm

Hi Justin, mind if you tell me how you get the $90 (is it Aussie) per sector fares? In Perth, the cheapest RTW fare is about A$1800 for 5 stops.
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Sun Jun 03, 2001 2:31 pm


The airfare I took (contrary to what it looks like) is only a Lufthansa 'Multi Net' fare, not a Star RTW. It's still around, in fact it's cheaper this year and its among the most flexible tickets in Australia, making it the 3rd most popular airfare to Europe from what I've heard. You don't have to pay for date changes.

It's around $1550 in low season, rising to just over $2000 in high season.

You can fly AN/TG/SQ to BKK/SIN/HKG/KIX and connect with LH to FRA/MUC connecting with more cities in Europe than any other airline (to the best of my knowledge).

That $90 will get you a coupon which will get you as far as Ankara (one coupon per flight naturally). The airfare comes with two coupons (if you only want to go to FRA/MUC, consider yourself lucky, you have a free sidetrip).


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Sun Jun 03, 2001 2:53 pm

Amazing! The best trip report that I've come accross on!  Smile
Proud to be an Assyrian!
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Sun Jun 03, 2001 4:44 pm



Although I haven't read the legs after the SQs  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

I will though.

You are brilliant! Shame about the food on SQ  Sad
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
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Sun Jun 03, 2001 5:17 pm

Great trip report. Warst du zum Austausch in Freiburg? Ich wohne in Adelaide und habe ein Jahr im Schwarzwald verbracht - sehr schön! (Sorry bout the German folks)
The lollies thing must be new on AN, and it would come from the merger with NZ - I flew NZ/AN between Frankfurt and Adelaide last year and they had lollies on NZ but not on my AN domestic flight.
I agree with you about the LH europe fare - it looks fantastic! It was interesting to read about LH long-haul flights.
Toll!  Smile
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Sun Jun 03, 2001 6:28 pm

Congrats to all who made it to the end! That trip began in December and finished in February, and the 10,000 odd words in the report were just finished today (took me a while to actually get the drive to finish it).

It's nice to read your kudos, but if you love it so much, why don't you 'rate' the reports  Smile/happy/getting dizzy - I don't want to rate my own work (and I haven't rated anything else). After reading all that you'd want it to be worth it.

Basically, with all the forums I visit, I had to try and address the needs of all of them, air travel forums, aviation 'technical' forums, general aviation forums, writing for people who travel a lot, people who dream of travelling and want to know anything, etc - hence you have a pretty generous trip report.

Trentis, du hast ganz recht, aber erst seit drei Wochen. Es gibt viele Deutschen hier, die können übersetzen (or  Smile

Singapore_Air - you can blame QF Melbourne for the food. An SQ manager has told me that the food out of QF Melbourne is somewhat dissapointing. At one time, NZ was apparently bringing its own meals from NZ, instead of the QF product.

I don't know whether this is a silly question, but Are there any other questions?




Sun Jun 03, 2001 8:05 pm

Hey I liked your Lufthansa reports !
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Sun Jun 03, 2001 8:34 pm

Loved your reports!!!
You really take into account everything, and donot miss a thing!! It is great!!

Have a great day!


Mon Jun 04, 2001 9:30 am


Did you ever think for one sec that AN wasn't going to be good?? Of course not!! lol

Excellent trip report, I'll be posting one about the return flight to Adelaide I did with my partner and I this last weekend.



***Absolutely Ansett***
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Mon Jun 04, 2001 1:35 pm


I'm headed over your way at the end of the year, so you'll hopefully get a good quality report early next year.

Only thing is, I don't think I'm going to be doing another one of these trips for a little while. Still it was fun. I was fortunate to really get to know the airlines, I'm pretty savvy with LH now (who has the best cockpit policy), having flown the small F50 all the way to the 744.

From what I hear, AN is even better during the day (there's not as much service during the night flight). My expectations were super high.

Lufthansa was better than I thought, as with Germans, it's a lot better once you actually get to experience it - there are just a few FAs devoid of personality (but only on long haul). The main problem with LH long haul is that the boarding process is very sterile - FAs seem to do nothing until meal service. My expectations weren't very high.

SQ service from SIN-MEL was amazing, I realised the notion of "Singapore Girl" was more than hot air, but the shorthauls really dissapointed me. Think of a cheap discount carrier, give them a bigger plane, and you'd have the same product. My expectations were extremely high.

I was almost going to fly SK to Sweden, but then I decided to tour the UK a bit better.

Mx5_boy - I was worried that AN would not be able to hold up to SQ, but fortunately it did. It's a different style of service, but just as good.




Mon Jun 04, 2001 3:32 pm


It was great to read how AN International economy fares up as I have only flow biz with them internationally - and that has always been superb! Other people I have spoken to have praised AN for thier economy service. In a comparison between CX SQ QF and AN to certain Asian destinations - I would always take AN, then probably SQ second - then QF. Not that there is anything wrong with CX's business product!

The domestic trip to Adelaide I did on the weekend was another seemless domestic trip with AN.



***Absolutey Ansett***
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 11:46 pm

You Set The Standards

Mon Jun 04, 2001 6:36 pm

In my opinion, Skystar, you have produced one of the best reports I have ever read at You mix technical details with service reports just the right way, and it shows.
Quoniam Vita Brevis Est, Propera!
Posts: 11621
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am


Tue Jun 05, 2001 2:37 am

Skystar , inreference to yer SIN - KUL leapover, I would have to side with SIA to say that it is a short flight so they don't bother. However, on a more personal POV, the more you get the happier you are really  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Great trip report.

Oh. DId you get loads of Star miles?
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
Posts: 1843
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 6:44 am


Tue Jun 05, 2001 3:51 am

Absolutely great report, one of the best I've ever seen Smile.
BTW, to find german signs on the german airport Franfurt is not so weird, is it?

Just like birdwatching - without having to be so damned quiet!
Topic Author
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2000 3:58 pm


Tue Jun 05, 2001 5:13 pm

Thanks for all your compliments.


I earnt a good handful of AN Global Rewards points, hence the fact I'm off to NZ at the end of the year. The fact that the flight is relatively short is irrelevant to me - if there is time for a drink, then there is time for a small snack, whether that be a packet of peanuts, biscuits or whatever.

Even a boiled sweet would suffice. If AN, NZ, SK, etc. can put on some form of simple service on a short flight, then SQ should too. They once did.

GOT - No, there's nothing strange about German signs in a German airport. It's just "Andere Richtungen", which means "Other directions". When you look at the sign, you try to figure out what the heck it means. What on earth is "another direction"? Believe me, with the amount of lost pax after than LH flight, I think FRA needs to get its signage right.

Compared to the other airports I visited, FRA (from a passenger's perspective) for a major hub is a major dissapointment (T1). Poor facilities, too much smoking and unsatisfactory signage.


Air Taiwan
Posts: 1498
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 1999 3:06 pm


Tue Jun 05, 2001 11:30 pm


You're fantastic!! Such a great job in writing the trip report!!

I think everyone should follow the format now!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

You've done very well!!


Posts: 1242
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 2:55 pm


Sat Jun 09, 2001 9:33 pm

Great report.
That is the best report I have ever read in my life.
It goes into detail and tells me exactly whether to fly an airline or not.

Spirit of Australia
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:29 am


Sun Jun 10, 2001 12:01 am




Mon Jun 11, 2001 1:21 am


HL  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Posts: 3310
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 12:26 pm


Thu Jun 14, 2001 11:30 am

Full marks!

Boeing747 万岁!

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