26 May 2002
Singapore Airlines SQ 340
Singapore Changi International(SIN/WSSS) to Rome Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumucino Int'l(FCO/LIRF)
Departure Gate: E8
Arrival Gate: Remote stand(unknown)
Scheduled Departure: 0100 hrs
Schdeuled Arrival: 0725 hrs
Flight Time: 12 h 25 mins
Actual Departure: 0105 hrs
Taxi: 0113 hrs
Takeoff: 0117 hrs
Landing: 0713 hrs
Time Parked: 0722 hrs
Block Time: 12 hrs 17 mins
Seats: 40A, 40C, 15A, 15C, 16D
Photo © Johan Kellerman
We arrived at the airport and did a check in at 11 pm. During check in, the CSA informed us that the J class cabin was fully booked and an upgrade would only be possible at the gate. We checked our baggage in and went for supper at the Changi Kopi Tiam restaurant at the viewing gallery level. After finishing our food, we went straight to immigration and, finding we had a lot of time, we went to explore the transit facilities at Terminal 2.
Soon, it was time to board and we got to our departure gate at E8. This gate is the last gate of the finger pier at T2 and involves a lot of walking. Upon reaching the gate, there was a long line of people waiting to clear the security check. There was a very long queue at the security check area, and it was mostly filled with Italians and Australians. We were one of the only Chinese in the group of passengers.
We finally cleared security at 1225 hrs and went into the holding room. Soon after, the gate agent called us and told us there were 4 empty seats. In the end, my dad, my brother and me got upgraded while my mom accompanied my grandma in Y. We then got our hand-written boarding passes, and by then, the plane was already boarding. The boarding announcement could not be heard due to the huge amount of noise. I asked for the registration of today's aircraft and he told me it was 9V-SVF, one of the newest planes in SIA's 777ER fleet.
We boarded and settled in for our 12 hour journey. One thing I noticed that on the Boeing 777-212ER, the J class seats are the same as that of the F class seats on 9V-SYF, which I had flown exactly 5 months before, only the seat covers were blue,instead of purple or maroon.I immediately reached for the Silver Kris and KrisWorld magazines and read them. The automated announcement requesting or passengers to buckle up their seat belts kept going.
The captain then came on and announced that we would be departing in five minutes. Following that, an Indian stewardess came and asked what we would like for our pre-takeoff drink. I took an orange juice, my father got a Coca-Cola and my brother an apple juice.
Doors were closed at 0103 hrs and we then pushed straight back onto the apron. The safety video then came on. Hot towels were given out after the video and then collected while taxiing. The stewardess came along again and asked us what we would like for our post-takeoff drink.
Taxi began and we turned left for the short taxi to Runway 20L. Looking around the airport, I noticed there was not much activity at this time of day. We then turned onto 20L and 5 seconds later, we commenced our takeoff roll. We lifted off near the SATS Inflight Catering Center 1 and I could see the skyline of Singapore.
The shrill whine of the flaps being reset after takeoff filled the cabin and we made a right turn, providing spectacular views of the Singapore skyline. We continued along the Singapore coast on a standard Europe departure and at the same time, climibing to FL280.
The stewardess then came along and asked what we wanted for our supper. This is the supper menu.
Salad of smoked snowfish and sundried tomatoes.
Fondue of chicken in forestiere sauce with tomatoes and fettucine pasta
Olive bread with smoked salmon and onion, grilled vegetables
Short rib of beef in Chinese wine-five spices with seasonal vegetables and fried rice
Selection of cheese with garnishes
I chose the fondue of chicken and asked for an orange juice to go along with it. By now, we were past the coast of Malaysia and I turned on my PTV, which has WISEMEN 3000, and selected the movie, Ocean's Eleven. Although I have watched it before, I decided to watch it again to kill boredom as I didn't find the other movies interesting.
Supper was finally served while over the Andaman Sea. Today's flight routing would take us over India, the Arabian peninsula, Iran, and while avoiding the no-fly zone over Iraq, into Turkey, over Greece and finally over mainland Italy.
Then a leading steward came along and offered us some garlic bread and brioches. Being hungry, I took two slices of garlic bread. My meal finally came along and, due to an empty seat next to me, I decided to dump my pillow into that seat. Wrong move. Every 10 minutes or so, a stewardess will come by and refill your cup with Evian water.
I ate my supper hungrily and it was actually good. My brother had a children's meal and my dad took the beef. My brother was playing the games on the KrisWorld system. Supper was finally finished and cheese was offered, which I declined. I paused my movie and went to the washroom, after which I went into the Y cabin to try the new seat, which was in between my mom's seat and my grandma's seat, which was blocked off for our enjoyment.
On the way, I saw a lady with three seats to herself, push up the armrests and make a bed for herself. Smart, eh. I went in, got a seat and tried the new chair with its new lumbar support feature. Sat for a while and then went back into the J cabin. We were now past India and heading for Saudi Arabia. A lady from 3 rows ahead came up and asked if she could take another pillow. I said yes and to my surprise, she took BOTH pillows.
But nevertheless, I let her be. We were going to enter UAE airspace and my brother decided to go to the washroom, followed by my dad. I then took the chance to get the window seat and looked down at a sleeping Dubai. My brother came out of the washroom and shouted at me for taking his seat. He then tripped over the legrest and spilled orange juice all over my shirt, pants and the seat. Luckily the broken glass fragments did not end up on my seat. I then went to the toilet to get some tissues to clean up my shirt and pants.
The stewardess came and then removed the glass and pulled out the seat cushion, which was attached to the seat. My father then scolded me and my brother and then went over to my seat and sat down, while my brother continued playing his games. I then watched the next movie, which I cannot remember.
The movie ended and I decided to sleep, as I was very sleepy. I awoke while we were overflying Iran, about to turn left into Turkey. It was still dark and a steward came along, and asked if I would like some biscuits. I said yes and he came back with some apple juice and biscuits, after finishing, I went back to sleep. I awoke just in time to select what I wanted for breakfast. The lights were turned on and the stewardess asked us for our breakfast choice, which was this:
A choice of apple, tomato and freshly-squeezed orange.
A selection of fresh fruit
Braised udon noodles with seafood, black mushrooms and Chinese greens
Trilogy of beef, turkey and chicken sausage in herb jus, roasted tomato and potatoes
Chive omelette with veal sausage, grilled tomato and potatoes.
From the bakery:
Assorted breakfast rolls
I chose the trilogy of beef and asked them for a yoghurt as well. In the meantime, the seat cushion was washed and dried and the LSS placed it back, allowing me to have my window view back. Breakfast was served and the LS came along with some bread, from which I took garlic bread yet again.
Firstly, the yoghurt was served, followed by my main course. The man diagonally opposite was eating the omelette and I regret choosing the trilogy because the omelette looked so much nicer. One thing I noticed was that the potatoes were soggy and soft.
The plates were cleared and we had 1 hour left of our flight. We were now overflying Greece and it was daylight. We began our descent half an hour later and we were now overflying a cloudy mainland. The FCO 16R appproach is pretty funny, as it brings you over the city of Rome and makes you do a 180 degree left turn to align with the runway. Flaps were then set at 30 for approach.
We were now at 2000ft at a Virgin Express 737-300 shot by, perhaps for Runway 16C. We made several more left turns and we began our approach to Runway 16R. We overflew farmland and we could see the highway leading to the city.
We were now flying very low and the runway was still not in sight. Finally, I saw the perimeter fence and the taxiway leading to the runway. I actually thought we were still in the sky as the landing was very soft, with no shaking in the cabin.
Reverse thrust was applied and the spoilers went up. We turned left just after the terminal building and a Continental 767-400ER(N69909 I believe), together with AA 767s and another Delta 767-400. Spoilers were closed and the flaps were reset, and the welcome announcement came on.
We then turned onto the apron and parked two stands away from a Cathay Pacific A340-300(B-HXL). Doors were opened and we then proceeded down into the first airfield bus to bring us to the International Arrivals. The bus drove along the apron and lots of Alitalia Aircraft could be seen. VH-EBW, which had landed after us, also from Singapore, taxied into the Terminal C compound, before parking next to a Thai 747-300.
We arrived at the Arrival hall and waited to meet my mom and grandma. 15 minutes later, they arrived and we went to clear immigration and collect our baggage. We went into the public area and my grandma and I waited while my parents, together with my brother, went to confirm our Alitalia flights to Catania and back.
Everything was completed at 0900 hrs, and we got a taxi out of the airport to our hotel.
Note:The SQ 339 trip report will be posted as soon as possible due to the amount of writing needed yet again.