aussie_
Posts: 1600
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Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:38 pm

Trip report

Adelaide-Singapore, 19 January 2002, LH 9771/SQ 230, 777-200, 9V-SRD, PB: 1437, TO: 1444 Rwy 23, LA: 1832 Rwy 02.


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Photo © Takuji Sohmura - the airliner photo collection



I arrived at the airport at around 1230, thinking I had heaps of time. However once there, the queues were already out the door even with all check-in desks open. It seems that the Adelaide international terminal can’t cope even with the one international departure. Ever since the arrival of Virgin Blue, our poor 20 year old “temporary” terminal hasn’t been able to cope. Once I reached the check-in desk, I got my seating allocations with mixed feelings. My Adelaide-Singapore flight had me in 49K, a mid-section window seat – I couldn’t really ask for any better. However, the Lufthansa flight SIN-FRA yielded an aisle seat near the back (48G), despite all my protestations for a window seat. My boarding pass for FRA-MUC showed 9A – no complaints there.

We boarded SQ230 on time and I found my seat with little difficulty. I had high expectations of SQ (this was my first SQ flight) and initial impressions certainly didn’t let me down. The cabin was impeccable and the décor was in good taste. Not only that but someone had had the thought of placing discreet Christmas decorations the length of the cabin – perhaps a little late but still a nice touch.

Pushback and rotation was quick due to the close proximity of Runway 23 from the international apron. After the landing of a Qantas 737-400 we were off, the 777’s twin engines providing a powerful takeoff for our near-capacity flight.

Once airborne, the Inflight service began promptly with a lunch of beef stir fry, smoked salmon and ice-cream (first time I’ve had that on a flight!) complementing the comprehensive bar selection. The other choice of main course was roast chicken. Though the food was not up to Lauda standards, it was nevertheless far better than the average airline meal. The in-seat TVs soon kicked in and provided great entertainment the whole way to Singapore. Here, SQ’s Krisworld was up to par if not better to Lauda’s Flying Wonderworld.

On descent into Singapore after our reasonably bumpy 6hr 18 flight, we were treated with gourmet chicken rolls and a further drinks service.

Landing at Singapore was smooth and we soon taxied to our gate. We deplaned smoothly and I was soon in Terminal 2 – my first visit to the other half of Singapore’s fabled Changi airport.

Overall, SQ was excellent, though I would still rate my Lauda 777 experience higher. However I can clearly see why SQ has its reputation and I would most definitely fly them again and recommend them to anyone else.

Singapre airport is another reason to choose SQ. T2 had everything from live jazz bands, a live game show allowing pax to participate, quiet areas with sleeping chairs (complete with vibrating headrests serving as wake-up alarms) plus shops etc. The e-centre allowed me to plug in my laptop free of charge and access high speed internet. Fantastic. I have never known 5+ hours of airport “boredom” to pass so quickly.

Singapore-Frankfurt, LH 779, 20 January 2002 (scheduled 19 Jan) 747-400 D-ABVK, PB: 0042, TO: 0100 Rwy 02R, LA: 0636 Rwy 25R.


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Photo © Miguel Snoep



Much of this flight (but not all), my first on LH longhaul, proved to be a disappointment. Firstly while in transit in Changi (and again at the gate) I tried to get a window seat – to no avail. The flight was overbooked and several pax were rebooked onto SQ and QF flights to FRA leaving at a similar time. In hindsight, I wish I had been one of them… After all, the compensation I believe is quite generous. Anyway, once the chaotic boarding was completed, I was most pleased with my seat. Despite the fact it was in the rear economy cabin, my aisle was a blessing. The reason: in all my long experience of flying longhaul, I have never, repeat never, seen such cramped Y class conditions as LH. I am of average height and my knees were pressed into the seat in front. One pleasant surprise, however, was the fact that in the adjacent aisle seat sat a girl from my law classes in Canberra, which meant that a good deal of non-sleeping time was spent chatting! I always say how small Adelaide is in regards to meeting people at random, but this just proves how small the world is… Amazing!

After an initial false start, we proceeded to wait another 50mins for pushback. According to the captain, flights to Europe have to leave 20mins apart, which struck me as excessive (and probably unlikely) due to the very large number of European services out of SIN for Europe at that time.

Takeoff happened finally at 0100, an hour after the scheduled departure time. Our plane at full pax, cargo and fuel capacity took an age to get off the ground, but nonetheless we were soon nosing upwards. Soon after drinks and dinner came out. Not surprisingly the quality of the food corresponded to the quality of much german food – overcooked and heavy. Nothing special at all, certainly nothing like SQ. Soon after lights went out and I managed to scrounge a bit of sleep while half watching the movies on offer on the main screen (Bandits, Curse of the Jade scorpion, Serendipity, Princess Diaries).

The flight was a long 12.5hours long but we nonetheless made some time and after a not-all-that-impressive cooked breakfast we landed at Frankfurt at 0636, under 30 mins late. The view of Frankfurt on landing was spectacular though not being at the window meant I only got glimpses. Many pax were panicking regarding short connections (many to MUC as they had like me been rebooked on this flight when LH’s SIN-MUC service was cancelled). However, for aircraft reasons I had chosen the later departure to MUC and thus had no worries.

On arrival, we pulled up to an airbridge but then were refused use of it. We had to descend the stairs, at the head of which were 2 customs officials who scrutinized passports as we left the aircraft. I have never had anything like it before. We then of course had to reproduce our passports at the customs checkpoint once in the terminal.

Transfer was quick and easy and I soon found myself at my gate for Munich in concourse A in plenty of time. LH domestic flight gates have a great little coffee and tea facility which permitted me to enjoy a hot fruit tea before my flight left. In addition, all LH gates are well provisioned with a range of German and English language newspapers.

Frankfurt-Munich, 20 January 2002, LH 060, A310-300 D-AIDH, PB: 0813, TO: 0823 Rwy 18, LA: 0857


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Photo © Colin K. Work



This flight was quite empty being a Sunday morning and due to the fact that all transferring pax from SIN were booked on the flight 30mins earlier. The main purpose of the flight was to have my first A310 flight, so in that way, I was very happy. 9A also proved to be a nice position at the front of the Y-class cabin.

It was ironic to see that all my domestic flights offered legroom that was far superior to that of the longhaul 744s. Surely the 744s need it more!

As the flight was so short, F/As only had the time to run up and down the cabin once offering drinks before having to prepare for landing. I ask myself why so many people choose business class in such situations as the only difference was that they got a roll with their drink. They even have the same seats (curtain gets moved according to demand).

The flight was quite uneventful and we touched down at Munich almost 15 early at 0857. MUC is a most impressive airport inside and out – certainly ultra modern with a new Terminal 2 well into construction.

After a long wait for my luggage I headed into the arrivals area to meet Victor (from airliners.net chat) who was kind enough to meet me and take me into town. It was interesting to note that the other MUC flight that all the pax on the SIN-FRA leg were rushing to connect to ended up arriving after my flight.

As I am tired now from jetlag, I will stop here… You will all have to wait for the next instalment of my trip, my short hops on Lufthansa from Munich back to Frankfurt then on to Hamburg and finally Brussels all taken the next day (2 days ago now). In about a week, I will be able to offer a further report on my 737-800 flights from Brussels Charleroi to London Stansted on Ryanair.

Thanks for reading this far!!!!!!

 
airnewzealand
Posts: 2310
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:00 pm

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:28 pm

Hey Aussie!!
Great! So what would you rate LH?? Are SQ and LH comparable to NZ or better??
If you could, with all the Star carriers you have flown, can your rank them from top to bottom??
I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip, and have safe flights, and great cabin crews throughout!

Cheers
mike
 
Skystar
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RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:25 pm

Mike,

I've flown all 3, and SQ is comparable to NZ, but LH is not. SQ and NZ are 'special' airlines with impressive service (but of a different style to each other).

LH is more of a standard, does the job, type airline.

Alex, what happened to the tech data?

Cheers,

Justin
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:43 pm

OK the star carriers I have flown (I'm talking longhaul mainly here)

1. Lauda
2. Singapore
3. Ansett
4. Austrian
5. Air NZ
6. SAS
7. United
8. Lufthansa

That said, AirNZ was still excellent. Airlines 1-5 were all great. Even SAS impressed me quite a lot coming in at no.6 though I haven't flown them longhaul.
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Wed Jan 23, 2002 9:58 pm

Great Report!

The LH legroom thing is strange since they are supposed to have a 32" pitch like SQ but I agree that LH longhaul Y feels very cramped. Maybe the seats take more room or something, I don't know. I flew to HKG on the A340 a while ago and the legroom was ok but the 747s definitely are really cramped in Y (talking about mainly the 200s here) while I had no problems on a Singapore B747-400.

I can't wait to fly Lauda in just two weeks (to SYD), everybody tells me how great they are...

Best Regards,

Lufthansa747
Helsinki, Finland
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
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BNE
Posts: 2921
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2000 9:37 pm

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Wed Jan 23, 2002 10:20 pm

Good report, but can't you stay away from the computer even for holidays.
Enjoy the rest of your flights.


Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11619
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Thu Jan 24, 2002 4:00 am

I'm sorry about the food. I suppose from your POV it was good, but not good enough. For me, it would be hard to e-mail SIA about what I thought about the food. Shame.

If you do have any comments, please do e-mail them at customer_relations@singaporeair.com.sg

 Big thumbs up Great trip report though! (even though I only looked at the SQ part  Laugh out loud)
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
trentis
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 11:19 pm

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Thu Jan 24, 2002 2:57 pm

good report mate! can't wait for the next parts
 
PerthGloryFan
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2000 9:48 pm

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Thu Jan 24, 2002 10:30 pm

On arrival, we pulled up to an airbridge but then were refused use of it. We had to descend the stairs, at the head of which were 2 customs officials who scrutinized passports as we left the aircraft. I have never had anything like it before. We then of course had to reproduce our passports at the customs checkpoint once in the terminal

This seems to be SOP for LH779 upon arrival in FRA. My daughter arrived there the morning of 18 Jan (5min early, after leaving SIN 25min late!) and she said the same happened to her - rear door exit to a bus. She transferred in plenty of time to the early Flt to MUC (LH078 departed 0745, 10min late).

Did you have to pick up an extra Flt coupon for FRA-MUC or was your ticket issued after the cancellation of the SIN-MUC route?

Great report - much more detail then my daughter gave me!
"Aw dad I don't remember, it was just another plane ride."
Sheeesh!!  Laugh out loud

PGF
 
airnewzealand
Posts: 2310
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:00 pm

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Sun Jan 27, 2002 6:13 pm

Thanks Aussie!! I am most impressed with how many Star airlines you have travelled!!

Have a great day
Mike

PS: Thanks also Skystar...I thought you had flown AN aswell?? If so what doyou think??
 
Skystar
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2000 3:58 pm

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Sun Jan 27, 2002 6:29 pm

Mike,

I've flown AN more than anything else in my entire life =)

To be fair, let's compare international products. The only two Star carriers I'd compare would be SQ and NZ (how ironic).

You have a different style of service with each carrier, but I think AN captures the middle ground beautifully (it definately had the best Business product out of the three). You have the warm, earthy (it feels real), down to earth service of NZ, mixed with the trinkets of SQ (like KrisWorld, etc.). In addition, you have superior legroom to both (provided you're on the Upper deck, otherwise NZ takes the cake), and you have good amenity kits (for Economy - have eye shades, toothpaste & brush, socks, etc.)

Better tasting food than SQ, not as tasty as NZ, but more of it though.

Unfortunately, we don't have AN International anymore - easily the best part of AN.

Cheers,

Justin
 
racko
Posts: 4548
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 12:06 am

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Mon Jan 28, 2002 8:49 am

i agree, the LH Y legroom in the 747s is too small. In the A340s, there is enough legroom even for large passengers like me (1,91m).

I'm really looking forward to LHs A340-600s, because romours say they will have PTVs in every seat  Smile
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Trip Report Part 1: ADL-SIN-FRA-MUC On SQ/LH/LH

Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:12 pm

BNE: I'm working over here, hence the computer... Otherwise I'd probably be in some museum or better a bar drinking belgian beer and eating chocolate....

I'll post my ryanair trip report shortly when i get some time to write it up.

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