Hi all and greetings from the Premium Plaza lounge at Hong Kong, CLK, a very pleasant place to spend a few hours if you're not flying F or J class; it's like a Business Class lounge, but you pay in.
Anyway, to the subject. My original flight to HKG was cancelled by CX due to the downturn, so I was put on the later flight, which would get in at about ten. I didn't fancy flying at night, so I contacted CX (with much difficulty) and managed to persuade them to put me on an earlier flight, CX 1724, a 777. It was, however, operated by Malaysia. Now, that would be interesting. I got to the check in desk at 8.00 for a 12.30 flight (okay, so tell me you don't do this, sometimes!) I got my bags sent through to LHR only (my final destination is JER, but they couldn't put the bags all the way through. However, my excess baggage (Good Lord, is it that heavy? I rehearsed, just in case!) was overlooked and I had a window seat on a 777.
I did a bit of spotting upstairs and got some photos; most of the earlier MH flights came in, as well as 2 SQ flights and a CX 330. IC had an A320, but it used a taxiway much further away.
The satellite for international flights is, appropriately, star shaped. There are two levels. There are good, big windows in a few places (particularly upstairs), from which fine shots can be got. Now, to the plane:
Seat 31K, just behind the wing - very good.
The boarding was efficient, cabin crew pleasant and most importantly, seats equipped with PTVs. Load was not completely full and I had a free seat beside me. Lovely weather, a little cloudy, but nice. Pushed back 5 minutes early (like the other two flights on my trip). I was able to get a good shot of a Malaysia 744 just behind us (MPF), which was getting a good going over from maintenance - flaps down, all doors and cowlings open; an A check?
Airborne from 32R well ahead of time. The cabin crew were excellent and a fine menu was offered; the Boeing climbed across Malaysia, towards Kuantan, to 290, but later reached 410. The route took us just to the right of Ho Chi Minh City. The inflight entertainment choice was excellent: Bridget Jones, Moulin Rouge, a few other movies and an excellent comedy channel. We approached HK from the east, landing on 25R - not a good landing (hey buddy, look after that landing gear - you'll need it to get back to KL!)
All in all, a lovely trip with a fine, underrated airline. I read Business Traveler magazine at a lounge in KL (one similar to this) and they had the results of a readers poll. SIA won an obscene number of awards - Best Overall, Best Asian, Best F,J and Y and best airport for Changi!
(Incidentally, as I write, there are a few crewmembers from the Emirates flight here at other machines, emailing. They go back to BKK on a later flight; the aircraft was a 777-300, 'EMP).