9V-SVD (del. 18 Oct 2001)
Photo © Alexander Jonsson
ETD: 1940 Actual: 1940
ETA: 1040+1 Actual: 1025+1
I arrived in O'Hare's Terminal 5 around 1615. I was travelling with 3 of my friends. We proceeded straight to SQ's check-in counters, which weren't opened for another 15 minutes, but the line in front of the x-ray machine was already growing so we decided against smoking and quickly joined the line.
The counters opened exactly at 1630 and the line had grown very long. I wondered why SQ is the only airline who x-rayed the checked-baggage one by one, it was so troublesome. After my friends and I got in front of the queue line they decided to move around the machine, so we had to wait for another 5 minutes or so. It was such a mess. The machine itself had a very short conveyor so it could only hold two bags at a time, hence it couldn't keep up with the incoming flow of the passengers. They really need to get a new machine.
After successfuly dealt with the machine, we joined the queue for the check-in counters which was rather short. After about 1 minute or so, we got to the counter. At first we were refused to be checked-in together since we were not booked under the same booking code but after a few arguments, the lady agreed to check us all in together. One problem, she didn't know how to give us the seats together, so she went inside to see her supervisor and returned after 10 minutes with seat assingnments 57ABC and 57G.
We still had about 2 hours to kill so we went outside to smoke and inside to the food court area. After smoking another stick we went to the security checkpoint. T5 was busy that evening with lots of European departures and the security line was long although it moved fairly quickly.
Our gate that evening was M12. 9V-SVD in all her glory was already parked there. Upon reaching the gate area, one of my friends was worried can such a "small plane" take us to Singapore. Ha ha. He was in complete disbelief that we were not going to fly the Megatop. I assured him that the 777 is much more comfortable than the Megatop and it was in fact capable of taking us to Singapore. We waited for about 30 minutes until boarding time. In the mean time I told my friends what kind of planes that passed us.
Boarding began shortly after 1910 and it was rather chaotic since they didn't use the PA system. We got inside at 1920, was greeted by the IFS, and proceeded to our seats at the rear of the aircraft. FSS Sherlina showed us to our seats. 9V-SVD looked sharp and fresh. Boarding completed at 1935 and the doors were closed shortly thereafter. The flight was about 90% full with some empty seats at the rear of the cabin. The captain then came on the PA and said the usual welcome stuff. Our flight tonight was going to take 7 hours and 15 minutes.
We pushed back exactly on time at 1940. I was impressed! SQ 35/36 isn't exactly known for its on-time performance you know. In the mean time, LSS Joshephine made the welcome announcement and FSS Sherlina distributed the hot towels. She looked tired and didn't look too happy. We began taxiing at 1950 with a U-turn. We passed T5 and I saw BA 744 in Wunala Dreaming tail, Mexicana 757, SAS 767, Lufthansa A340, and to my surprise Aer Lingus 734. What was it doing there?
We sat on the holding area pretty long and saw various UA planes, Delta 727, NW DC 9 overtook us for take off. Finally the FO came on at 2005 to explain that it was a very busy evening in ORD, bla bla bla, and we should expect to be airborne within the next 15 minutes. Right after he finished speaking, we began moving and turning to the runway.
We took off to the southwest and after a 45 second take off roll we were airborne shortly before 2010. We turned left after take-off towards the lake and passed downtown Chicago. After about 10 minutes, the seatbelt signs were off. FSS Sherlina began distributing the headsets and menus. The headset was the new variety and I found it to be troublesome to use.
My friends' PTVs were not working properly. One couldn't play games while the other couldn't watch movies. They complained to the LS which said that they would try to reset the system but nothing ever happened for the rest of the flight. Mine, on the other hand, was working perfectly and I began to enjoy the Wisemen feature and watched Friends. I don't quite like "the one where Rosita dies" episode, so I was flipping between Friends and the airshow.
Bar service began with a choice of prepoured OJ, Beer, and white wine. No more Champagne for Y class pax. How sad. Dinner was served shortly afterwards and consisted of:
Garden vegetable Salad with seafood
Pan fried chicken in red wine jus with seasonal vegetables and potatoes
Fillet of salmon in hoisin sauce, seasonal vegetables, and fried rice
from the bakery:
Roll and butter
I usually choose the Asian selections, knowing that they would most of the time, be better than their Western counterparts, however since I'm not too fond of fish, I chose the chicken. It was bland and tasteless. The vegetables consisted of corn and peas and they looked like they were the frozen varieties. The seafood salad appetizer was good though. For dessert, they gave a cup of White Chocolate Gelato which was the highlight of the meal. It was soft and absolutely delicious.
In the mean time, our flight path took us over Lake Michigan and afterwards we flew over Southern Michigan, Detroit, and crossed Lake Erie. We flew a rather southerly route than usual. After we crossed Lake Erie, we flew over upstate New York, passed Buffallo, Schenectady near Albany, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine before going northwest alongside the coast of Maine. We began our Atlantic crossing after we reached Halifax and Gander.
Dinner was cleared about two hours into the flight, during which I already started to watch "A Beautiful Mind." I was feeling rather sleepy, so I decided to sleep. Having watched the soccer World Cup every day, which aired around 0130 to 0330 here in the US, apparently had messed up my body clock so I only got about one hour worth of sleep. Decided to visit the loo but beforehand I gave FSS Sherlina a visit in the rear galley to ask for the comfort kit (knitted socks, toothbrush, etc). She said that it wasn't available on this flight. How strange considering all my friends got one!
I watched the rest of "A Beautiful Mind." A cool feature of Wisemen is that if you stop a movie and you want to re-watch it, the movie will start right from where you stop it, so you don't have to ffw it. Finished the movie and we were still in the middle of the Atlantic, but the sun was beginning to rise in the horizon. With about 3 hours of flight time left, I began to watch a Chinese movie "Marry a Rich Man," which was pretty damn funny.
During the flight, the FAs offered drinks every 40 minutes or so. Continental breakfast was served about 1.5 hours before landing. It consisted of a fruit platter, a cold muffin (which was pretty good), and a roll complete with butter and jam. They were using the new bluish trays, which I found very classy and so much better than the old red terracota trays.
We made landfall over the Southwest coast of England, near Cardiff. We flew north of London and then crossed the North Sea towards Amsterdam. The FO came on to say that we had started our descent into Amsterdam and we could expect to touch down at 1025, 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Weather condition was good.
We touched down really hard exactly at 1025. The landing was so hard that there were some "oohs" and "aahhs" from the passengers, myself included. After a short taxi, we deplaned from gate G5.
After we smoked, we roamed around the main terminal and bought several last minute gifts. Saw a lot of KLM planes and also Northwest's. Saw a lot of American carriers' aircrafts in G-concourse, 2 UAs (777, 767), CO (767), US (767) and a couple Deltas. A welcome change in AMS is that they eliminated the security checkpoint between the G-concourse and the corridor leading to the main terminal. After we smoked another stick, we went to the gate where our flight was already boarding at 1120.
ETD: 1150+1 Actual:1154+1
ETA: 0655+2 Actual: 0611+2
We went straight to board the aircraft. A sleek FSS greeted us and showed us the way to our seats. New crew on this segment. FSS Ong showed us to our seats and I found out from her that this was going to be a 100% full flight. Indeed it was. Boarding was fast and quick. By 1140 the doors were closed. The new captain came on and said we were ready to go but they were still waiting for ATC clearance. With a flight time of only 12 hour and 5 minutes, we could expect on time or even early arrivals. Again I was impressed due to the reason mentioned above.
We pushed back at 1154 and FSS Ong started to distribute the hot towels. LSS Tan collected the used towels. Welcome announcement was made by LSS Jennifer. I set my PTV to the Airshow but I guess the system is messed up since they only show flight information without the map. I found this rather annoying.
We taxied and by 1210 we already roared down the runway. After a 45 second roll we were airborne. I was irritated that the map hadn't appeared on the airshow. My friends' PTVs however were working perfectly now.
Bar service started shortly after the seatbelt sign was off. LSS Tan served our aisle. Drinks are now served straight from the cart and not pre-poured. After the bar service, lunch commenced and consisted of:
Smoked turkey with mesclun salad and fruits. Herb sauce
Pan fried fish fillet provencale style with tomato, vegetables, and potatoes
Wok fried sliced chicken in sesame oil and button mushrooms, leafy greens and fragrant rice
from the bakery:
Roll and butter
No Indonesian choices that afternoon which was kind of a bummer. I chose the chicken and it was really really good. I wish the portion was a bit larger. Service was slow and lunch was only cleared 3 hours into the flight. LSS Tan, however, was absolutely perfect. Her service is impeccable, all smiles, and very natural, not robotic at all. I guess it is true that once they don the green uniform, the Singapore girls' service becomes more and more natural. One sour note though, the Ice Cream that the menu promised as dessert never showed up. What's up with this?
I finished watching "Birthday Girl" right after the lunch was finished and dozed off for a good 4 hours. But my sleep kept getting interrupted because of the hyperactive kids who were sitting behind us. They were shouting so loud that one time I gave them a dirty look. I guess LSS Tan must have spotted this, since afterwards she nicely asked the kids to be quiet.
I woke up when we were over Iran. Surprise surprise, the Airshow now showed the map, but the flight information didn't appear. Oh well. Watched half of "Gosford Park" when I was feeling hungry. So I went to the toilet and paid a visit to LSS Tan in the rear galley. I asked her for two cups of water. She was busy doing paperwork but she stopped and brought my water with smiles. I noticed the snack and fruit basket sitting in the corner of the galley so I decided to ask for a sandwich too. Only vegetarian choice were left, but since I was starving I took one. Was not so bad after all. LSS Tan also gave me a small bar of Toblerone chocolate. Finished the rest of "Gosford Park" before dozing off for a couple more hours.
The flight was pretty uneventful except for two very hard turbulences over India and the Bay of Bengal near the Nicobar Island, during which the captain ordered the cabin crew to stay in the seats and we could see lightning outside the window.
Woke up in time for breakfast, which was served two hours out of Singapore. The meal consist of:
Braised egg noodles with shredded pork in Oriental sauce and leafy greens
Chives ommelette with sauteed mushrooms, grilled tomato and potatoes
from the bakery:
Assorted breakfast rolls
Butter - Fruit preserve
Coffee - Tea
I knew that they would run out of noodles once my row was served and I was right. My friends got the last two and I was left with the omelette. It tasted bland but the mushrooms were good.
After breakfast was cleared, we were only 50 minutes out of Singapore. The Captain told us that we would be landing at approximately 0610, 45 minutes ahead of schedule, and the weather condition was good. It was still pitch black outside. We landed at 0611 on runway 20L and taxied to gate F56. LSS Tan made small talks with the hyperactive kids and gave them Toblerone bars.
We went straight to the outside smoking area and was immediately greeted by the warm and humid Singapore air. Lots of people and aircrafts already that morning. At 0730 we went to gate E24 to board SQ 152 to CGK.
20 June 2002
ETD: 0800 Actual: 0834
ETA: 0835 Actual: 0855
9V-SMH (del. 24 Jan 1991)
Photo © Nick de Jonge
The flight was absolutely full. The line for the security check rival those flights to European destinations. Most of the passenger are connecting pax as well as businessmen and women. Boarded the aircraft straight after security check and was greeted by a smiling LSS in door 2L. The cabin was already full. Made my way to seat 43D. 9V-SMH looked tired and yellowish. The seat fabric had also shown its age.
By 0800, we were still missing 3 passengers. At 0805 the captain announced they would offload the passengers bags and it would take some time. During the delay, the cabin crew made time to distribute hot towels and Indonesian immigration cards. Copies of the Strait Times were also being offered.
We pushed back at 0834 and began the short taxi to runway 20L. LSS Belinda made the welcome announcement followed by FSS Dewi who made the announcement in Bahasa Indonesia. Looked like they borrowed a lot from Garuda's welcome announcement.
We roared down the runway at 0840 and airborne shortly afterwards. Then I dozed off until breakfast was served. There were no menus handed out on the short flight. The meal consisted of a fruit platter, OJ, water, choice of tea or coffee, and a main course choice of Nasi Lemak and omelette with veal sausage. I chose the Nasi Lemak and it was excellent. One minor point though, they still used the old and ugly terracota trays.
Due to the short nature of the flight, it was very uneventful. We began our descent shortly and touched down on 25L at 0855. Taxied to gate D1 and deplaned at 0900 exactly. SMS beeps were constantly heard. I knew I was home!
Phew....that was a long report. Thanks for those of you who have made it this far. I know that there have threads in the forum about how SQ's cabin crew standards had gone down the drains but I still feel that they are top notch, especially considering that many people in other parts of the worlds can only dream for a service standards like SQ's.
For those of you who dislike the airline, please rest assured that I wrote this report in an objective manner (despite my user name). It just happened that I haven't had major incidents with SQ whereas some of you may have had. Well thanks again for reading the report, I would love to hear comments and criticisms.