DL Flight# 1039 RSW-ATL
Scheduled Departure Time: 8:30pm
The trip I had been waiting for all year had finally arrived on June 4, 2002. My dad and I loaded our month's worth of luggage into the car and headed up to Ft Myers intl, RSW. We arrived at the airport around 6pm and headed to the kiosk to check in. However, since this ticket included international segments on SQ, we found out that we had to check in at the counter. Since there was no line it was no problem anyway, and we checked in with no problems. The check-in counter agent informed us that since our flight had only been running for 2 days, it only had 4 pax yesterday and it left early, so we should try to get to the gate a little early today. We headed up to have dinner with my mom and sister at Chili's since we had tons of time to spare before the 8:30 departure time. We finished our dinner around 7:15 and decided wed head to the gate since there wasnt really anything else to do. We got to security and when I tried to say goodbye to my mom and sister since I was leaving for over 3 weeks the old lady and man working at the front of the security xray machine shouted at me to hurry up as "my flight was waiting for me". I tried to tell them that there was no way my flight was leaving an hour and 15 minutes early but they insisted that it was...so I rushed through security only to wait a few minutes while they checked my dad. We then rushed to gate B2 to find that it was the 6:50 flight to Atlanta that was waiting for 2 of its passengers. The gate agent informed us that the flight was delayed because of weather, and that we could take the 2 remaining first class seats on it if we wanted to get to Atlanta at a decent time, as our 8:30 flight would surely be delayed. We decided to take the seats and were about to board when the captain came off and informed everyone that we would be waiting one more hour to find out if the weather would improve in Atlanta. My dad and I took a seat in the waiting area and had a conversation with a business man who needed to get to Atlanta for important business the next morning. About 10 minutes after the captain had found out that they would be waiting another hour the plane was deboarded. I found that a nearby payphone had a dataport and hooked my laptop up to check the weather in the atl and chat with some people while we waited. Weather.com showed a pretty severe squall line headed straight for atl, but luckily at around 8:40 boarding for our flight was opened back up. As we boarded I found that this was one of the newer 752s in the DL fleet with the new F/C seats.
DL Flight# 1202 RSW-ATL
Scheduled Departure Time: 6:50
Photo © PolishAir42 - Chicago Aviation Photography
The plane was boarded hastily and by 9:00 we had pushed back. I received a ginger ale while on the ground, and we quickly taxied out to the runway. I saw the 763 that we were supposed to be on, and I found out later that that flight never operated due to "technical problems", I assumed that no one was scheduled on the flight as only two other people were booked on it other than us and they probably got on the flight we switched to anyway. What is the procedure if no pax are on a flight? Wouldn't they still fly the plane to the destination because it was needed the next day? Anyway, we immediately tookoff at around 9:05 and although it was overcast and rainy out we had a smooth climbout of ft myers and before I knew it we were at cruise altitude and the seatbelt sign had been turned off. I read my Seinfeld book (hilarious) for most of the short flight, and we were offered biscoff cookies and drinks during the short hour we had in the air. I can't really comment on the service we received as it was such a short flight. Approach into Atlanta was bumpy and seemed to take forever. The weather was stormy with constant lightning and heavy rain. We touched down around 10:50 and taxied to the T concourse. The airport was very busy for 11pm, many flights must have been backed up due to the inclement weather. Once we deboarded the plane we started the long walk from the T-Concourse to baggage claim. Our bags came off next to last...so much for priority tags. Once we had all of our luggage in hand, we headed out into the rain to catch the bus to the Renaissance hotel for our short stay in the atl.
June 5, 2002
DL Flight # 1967 ATL-LAX
Aircraft: 767-300ER (Landor Scheme)
Scheduled Departure: 8:25am est
Scheduled Arrival: 9:53am pst
Photo © Gary Watt
Woke up at the nearby Renaissance hotel at around 5:30am after about 3 hours of sleep and got dressed and ready to head out. Headed downstairs around 6:00 to checkout and grabbed a starbucks coffee from the little kiosk in the lobby. After a few minutes the airport shuttle arrived and we loaded all of our luggage on. The shuttle had to stop at a few other hotels and by the time we got to the airport it was jammed and we had to wait for everyone to get off to get our 6 bags of luggage out. We then headed into the jampacked delta check-in lobby and found the line for the medallion/first class check-in to be just as long or longer than all of the other lines. Nevertheless, we entered it hoping it might move faster than the other lines. As we sat in line watching all of the other lines make faster progress than us, we wished we had just gone into a coach check in line. When we finally got up to the counter it was 7:30...meaning we waited a whole 40 minutes. We had no problems checking in and the agent told us she hoped wed enjoy our international flights. We then rushed to the medallion security line which went quickly and was a very good alternative to the looooong line for regular security check. Once again my dad was checked and I went right through without a problem. After we both got our bags and laptops from the xray machines we ran to the train and got on for our journey to the international concourse "E". Once we were there we headed to the gate which I believe was 45 and found that the plane was already boarding at 7:50. As we boarded many pax were being searched because apparently this flight had alot of random check victims. Fortunately we were not randomly chosen and we boarded the 763ER, the first that I had been on. I immediately noticed the room difference between the MD11 and the 763er and wished that they hadnt switched the MD11 out for the 763ER on this route. We pushed back around 8:20am and taxied out to the runway for takeoff. We were third in line for take off and soon enough we started our quick take off roll. Climb out was smooth and the weather was sunny with a bit of morning fog still burning off. Once we reached cruising altitude I decided to watch the movie "I am Sam" which was actually pretty good, and the FAs came around to take orders for breakfast. I believe the choices were tomato and ham omelets or cereal, I chose the cereal which turned out kind of plain but hey...its cereal. The captain came on when we were approaching the Texas border and informed us that due to the front that was over Texas at the moment that we would be flying a bit more north than usual, and that we would be getting some pretty good chop so he turned the seatbelt sign back on. After breakfast and the movie I tried to catch some sleep because I only had 3 hours the previous night, but after 45 minutes I figured I’d just listen to music and take in the view of the rockies over New Mexico. I pretty much just rested for the rest of the flight as nothing that I wanted to watch was on the ife, and soon we were on approach for LAX. Approach was very smooth as the weather was perfect, and we landed at about 9:50am. After landing we quickly taxied to the Delta Terminal and deboarded the plane by about 10:00, pretty much on time. This time our luggage came out first at baggage claim, and after we picked it up we were off to Anaheim for a day at California Adventure.
June 6, 2002
Scheduled Departure Time: 2:50pm
Scheduled Arrival Time: 6:00pm
Photo © Craig Murray
Even though the flight’s departure time was 2:50pm, since we were about an hour away from lax at Anaheim the Super Shuttle insisted on picking us up at 10:20 in the morning. We arrived at LAX at about 11:20 and headed right up to the First Class check-in as my dad was flying first and I was in business. As our turn came up to check-in at the first class desk someone from the economy line tried to cut in front of us but the check-in agent noticed and told him that we were next. The agent was all smiles and after she checked us in gave me a pass for the silverkris lounge so that I could go with my dad. After we bought a few items at the stores in the international terminal we headed through the crowded security area and through the long hallway of every airline’s premier lounge one could think of to the Silverkris lounge at the end. The single lady working in the lounge asked us about our trip as we put our carry-on luggage in the storage facilities. At this point we were still scheduled to go to Bangkok (we switched to Bali later) and she couldn’t understand why we would want to go there (our first clue to switch). She told us that she was from Bangkok and she even went to the trouble to write a whole list of useful sayings we might need to use in Thai? After a conversation with her we found that Bangkok might not be that great of a vacation spot for two tourists with two laptops, all kinds of other hardware and 7 bags altogether. Anyway, since we arrived at the airport early we had almost two hours in the lounge before we finally headed to the gate to meet our 744. We got to the gate at about 1:50 and I quickly spotted the group of kebaya-clad beauties that would be serving our flight. This was my first time on Singapore Airlines, and I had heard about the renowned Singapore girl and I know according to some of you that looks can be deceiving with them but damn…I’ve got to say that every single one was stunning…such a change from US carriers… Anyway, at about 2:20 first, raffles, and pps club boarding was commenced and after waiting in a short line I headed upstairs to my exit row seat 17A. A smiling ffa greeted me and gave me a choice of reading material and a choice or orange juice or champagne. A few minutes later hot towels were served, which I noticed were larger, thicker, and…hotter than those I received on Delta. I was glad that I had chosen the exit row seat as I would not have to climb over the lady next to me if I wanted to get up and I had plenty of legroom as well. Our plane left the gate around 2:50pm and we taxied out to the runway (I didn’t get any runway #s…sorry) and waited for two planes in front of us to take off. “In the end” was on the music channel that I listened to as we took off, and after 55 seconds of rolling down the runway we rotated, beginning our long flight to Narita. Climbout was pretty smooth and it didn’t take long to get above the sparse clouds that dotted the sky. Shortly after we reached cruising altitude orders for lunch were taken and although I forget the choices I know that I chose the chicken dish. Sorry I really don’t remember much about this meal except the fact that the chicken wasn’t half bad, dessert was vanilla ice cream with fruit, and the ffa who served me was very friendly and attentive. As I started using the ptv I noticed that this 744 was equipped with Wisemen, and through the flight I found just how useful the on-demand system really was. I watched “The Time Machine” which turned out to be a pretty good movie. When I was about an hour and a half into the movie the krisworld entertainment system shut down, but it was reset in about 20 minutes. Unfortunately I had to fast forward through the whole movie because it didn’t save where I was…but it was still a lot better than having to wait for the whole movie to play through to that point like I would with any other entertainment system. After the Time Machine I watched Friends, Mr. Bean, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Who’s Line Is It Anyway which were all good. Although the cabin was dark and most of the pax were asleep I still wasn’t tired, so I played some games on my laptop for awhile and watched some more friends on dvds. After that I tried to get some sleep, but for some reason I couldn’t fall asleep and my back was kind of sore. I’m glad that they are introducing the spacebeds now…as I definitely noticed the difference between the 52” pitch on the ultimo seat and the 60” pitch on the businessElite seat. By the way, how can SQ say that their J class pitch of 52” is the most out of all major airlines (they say this in their raffles class description in silverkris mag)? The flight was relatively smooth except for a few instances where the seatbelt sign was turned on and the fas were asked to take their seats. About two hours out of Narita the cabin lights came back on and the friendly ffa came back to take drink and meal orders for dinner. Again I forget the choices but I know that I chose noodles with shrimp which didn’t turn out to be very appealing to me, although the noodles that were served as an appetizer were good. Once again dessert was vanilla ice cream and fruit. About 45 minutes after the meal our descent into Tokyo began. The weather was mostly cloudy and the descent was smooth, and we landed at Narita at about 5:55pm. I noticed a few United 744s, an AA 772 and of course multiple ANA and JAL aircraft. As we deboarded the plane the still smiling FAs all said goodbye and after I found my dad we headed down to immigration and customs, and then on to the spotless rail station for transit to Nagoya. My overall first impression of SQ was very good and I had no complaints at all…my first flight with them had been my best flight yet due to mostly to their impeccable, yet friendly service.
June 15, 2002
Scheduled Departure Time: 12:00pm
Scheduled Arrival Time: 5:50pm
Photo © Jason Milligan
Took the bus that left Hotel Miracosta at 9:15am and arrived at Narita Terminal 2 at about 10:20. A porter met us curbside and helped us take our luggage to the conveyor belt before the SQ check-in area. We then headed up to First Class check-in and in a few minutes we had our boarding passes. Once we got through security and immigration we headed up to the Silverkris lounge. I was grateful for the breakfast food that the lounge had and I had a few danishes for breakfast. Went on the internet for a few minutes but I kept screwing the Japanese keyboard up so when I tried to type something and all of a sudden I’d be typing in Japanese… At about 11:15 we headed down to the gate and about 10 minutes later boarding for First, Raffles, and PPS Club commenced. My dad allowed me to have his first class seat for this flight, and he took a bulkhead seat in the main J class cabin, which he later regretted because 17A is much better. As I entered the plane a really hot LSS greeted me with a smile and showed me to my seat, then asked what drink I would like and gave me a selection of reading material. I declined the reading material and took the Seinfeld book out again for reading until takeoff. Shortly before takeoff the LSS brought a hot towel and took my drink order for after takeoff. After the long taxi out to the runway we waited for a Swiss MD-11 to takeoff, and then we rolled down the runway for almost a minute before we rotated. Weather was overcast and rainy, and climbout was a little bumpy. Soon after cruise the LSS came around to take lunch orders, and I once again chose a chicken dish. Somehow they were out of the duck appetizer so I ordered the prawn instead. The meal started with one of the famous SQ satays…very good. However, I don’t know exactly what was wrong with the prawn but it was really sweet tasting and it really wasn’t good to me so I didn’t eat much (probably just my taste). The chicken, which I think was stuffed with spinach, was good once again as was the chocolate cake dessert. On this flight I had no movies left to watch really so I just watched “Big Fat Liar” which actually wasn’t that bad. Even though the service on the last flight was very good, the service from the LSS and the stewards was even better on this flight. They made sure that my drink was always topped off and they even made it a point to open the lav door for me… Unfortunately this 744 was not equipped with Wisemen, but I did notice that it had Super Nintendo games instead of the gameboy color games that were on the Wisemen 744, which I liked much better. There were only two other pax besides me in the Firstclass cabin on this flight, and one of them ended up sitting in 3 different seats for some reason. I found the First Class seat extremely comfortable and when I made it flat to get some sleep the LSS brought me a bigger pillow without me even having to ask. The flight time pretty much flew by while in First Class and around 6:35 we began to make our final approach. Weather in Singapore was stormy and approach was a little bumpy. We landed at Singapore Changi Airport at around 6:45pm and taxied to the gate for an on time arrival. We breezed through customs/immigration and even though our bags came out much faster than we were used to…our limo driver “apologized” because the bags usually come out faster…what a difference from the States.
June 23, 2002
Scheduled Departure Time: 9:35am
Scheduled Arrival Time: 12:05pm
Photo © Sam Chui
We were originally scheduled to go to Bangkok, but after about 7 taxi drivers we spoke to said that they would never go there we decided to change our plans and head to Bali. Since we decided we would need more than just 2 days in Bali we called the Delta partners desk and got extended our flights home out a few days. We then headed down to the Singapore Delta office to pick up our reissued tickets. While we were at the Takishimaya SC we decided to head over to the Downtown SQ office just across the street to check in for our flight to Bali. There we found out that the Delta Ticket agent never told us that she routed us through Taipei on the way back, and she also forgot to cancel our other reservation. If we had not gone to the SQ office our ticket would have been cancelled… At the office I saw a life size cardboard Singapore Girl…does anyone have an idea where I could get one of these? Anyway, the time finally came for the end of our stay in Singapore and at about 7:45am on June 23 we got a taxi from the Ritz to Changi. We arrived at the airport at about 8:15 and a porter helped us take our luggage up to the check-in counter. Check-in went quickly since we had already checked in downtown and we proceeded to the gate which, although I forget the number, was allll the way down at the end of the concourse. When we got to the gate we joined a large line in waiting to enter the gate area. I got stopped at security and got “wanded” because I forgot to take my camera out of my pocket, but when I showed the security personnel they understood and let me right through. Our A340 was already at the gate and after very few pax boarded during the raffles/first class boarding period and the rows behind us were boarded we got on the plane and sat down in row 36. I was surprised at how new the plane looked on the inside, hard to believe these planes will be out of the SQ fleet soon. I found the seat much more comfortable than DL coach, but the armrest seemed narrower for some reason. Before takeoff we received hot towels and headphones from yet another smiling ffa. Departure was on time and climbout into the partly cloudy sky was smooth. My dad and I both declined breakfast as we had already eaten at the hotel, and the FFA actually asked if we were feeling alright and then when we told her that we had eaten she asked what we had, where, if it was good etc…well beyond the call of duty of any coach service I have ever seen… The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful and we had a smooth, on time landing under clear skies at Denpasar. Well…that concludes this section of the trip report…hope you liked it. I will post the return in about a week, as I am going away for a few days.