Wedesday 2nd October 2002
Departure time: 10.10pm
Departure gate: B42
Sector: FRA SIN
Presented my Boarding Card to the gate agent who slipped into the computer and I attempted to find a seat in the Gate area but with no luck. It was obvious that the flight was going to be chockers. The Boarding announcement and was made and it was free for all to board. Wisely I had positioned myself near the gate and was one of the first to board. Found my seat easily enough mean you would have to be blind not too. Once again this flight was full of Aussies and Kiwis.
The FAs on this flight seemed a slight improvement on the SIN FRA leg but still not great. Anyway the doors closed and we were off. I can’t remember much about the take off. I read the LH October issue and it was like reading the “New Zealand Women’s Weekly’ but less interesting. I scurried to the back to check the moves in this flight and they were shit. The audio wasn’t much better though the club mix channel was good. Perusing LH in flight magazine I noticed their logo and under it proclaimed “There’s no better way to fly’. How original is that! I think it should read ‘There are heaps better airlines to fly’.
Anyway before I start off on a rant the world famous in flight service. Cocktails were soon served but at least the FA this time wasn’t the same bad tempered bag from SIN and, no, I only asked for one Gin & Tonic. Dinner followed cocktails; Chicken or Fish. The person next to me requested the chicken, as did I. however when he opened the foil what lay before him could only been described as a gastronomical disaster. I wished I had taken a photo to send to www.airlinemeals.com. It would have received a 0/10 on the scorecard. Luckily I had not opened the foil (I was in shock) and asked the FA if I could swap for the fish and she was most obliging and I must say it was a considerable improvement. In fact it was very tasty. The salad in all fairness was atypical of airline Y salads: a slither of tomato and very limp lettuce pieces. The dessert though tasty was only the size of my thumb nail (perhaps a wee bit bigger) which I devoured ion two mouthfuls. Had a coffee and just read my book until the sleeping pill I took began taking effect. I slept for about 7 hours in my reckoning.
Woke up and slid open the shade. Bright daylight…too bright. Read and I could smell the brekky being cooked – or should I say, being heated up. Yes it was the Omelette again. I wanted to throw it out the window but couldn’t. Still the fruit and crackers were nice. Has anyone ever eaten an airline meal where the only thing eatable on the tray is the crackers and cheese? I have. Heaps of times.
There is not much else to report on this sector except we had a smooth landing into SIN but a lengthy taxi to our gate. The person next to me, a truck driver from Brisbane drawled ‘Struth mate, if that takes any longer we will be in fucking Darwin’. I had to concur.
In conclusion, this sector on Lufthansa was average. The service was an improvement of the SIN FRA sector. However the entertainment was abysmal. I still believe their short haul product/service is far superior to Long Haul
Friday 4th October 2002
Departure time: 9.30am
Sector: SIN SYD
Checked out the Kai Sek Hotel in Chinatown around 6.3.0 and caught the MRT subway direct to Changi. What a breeze though I would not particularly recommend it if you had lots of luggage.
Arrived at Changi and fortunately I had received my seat allocation the previous days so it was just a question of checking in mu luggage. Hey presto that was done in a jiffy. Then headed through immigration and made my was straight to the Information Desk. You see, the previous day I realised that while unpacking my bag at the hotel my camera had gone astray. I was able to deduce that silly me had left it on the frigging LH plane. Soooooo I go to the Information Desk to see whether it has been found. She checks the computer and makes a phone call and informs me that, yes, a camera matching mine has been found. Unfortunately the camera is with LH and that the office is presently unattended. Gave me a slip of paper and advised me to ring them. Off I went. Sent a few e-mails then made a few attempts to contact LH. By this stage, time was marching by I went back to the Information Desk and the helpful women directed me to the Transfer Desk where I was dealt with by a very pleasant older gentleman. Eventually he tracked women down named Priscilla who had my camera and would bring it directly down .to me. Yes it was mine (or so I thought), thanked her profusely, bought the most delicious bottle of mineral water I have tasted in all my life and ran to Gate E27. Went through security then passed my BP to the gate agent just as they announced a boarding call for my row.
Greeted at the door by a male & female FA. SQs male uniforms are not even on the style gauge, especially in comparison to their female colleagues. Made my way to the back of the a/c where I had a window in the very last row.
There was a minor delay with luggage but the Captain kept everyone informed every few moments. Good work. Push back soon commenced, making our way to the end of the runway to fly out in a northerly direction. Taxied past the usual assortment of SQ a/c and noticed a very battered DC8F parked out in the maintenance area. We then lined up at the end of the runway, engines surged into life and we were off. Once the seatbelt signs were off the FA came around distributing headsets and menus.
A Continental Breakfast was soon served which consisted of a warm croissant, bread roll with jam, fruit dish and of course, tea & coffee. The breakfast was quite nice but then you can really mess up a Continental Breakfast unless they mange to burn the croissant and the rolls are like rocks. It sure beat eating one of those dreaded Omelettes, which, I am sure, are even awful on SQ!!!!!!!
I actually enjoyed Krisrworld this sector and watched a marvellous movie from the UK called ‘Bend it like Beckham’ which I had been meaning to see in Sydney but never got around too.
I love flying over Australia. You don’t really appreciate its vastness until you fly over it. The gentleman next to me who was on his first visit asked me if many people lived in the desert. I said ‘Well about 5 people in total. I went on to explain that the desert is basically unsuitable for human habitation’. We also flew over Ayers Rock but unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the plane. I reckon half the plane jumped up to try and get a glimpse. I did too and saw it in passing. It looked small from the air but, still, very impressive. Well, now I can say I have seen it at least.
I have read a number of complaints from people saying the SQ flight attendants were robotic. I disagree. I thought those harridans on Lufthansa were robotic and horrible with it. No, I found the SQ girls friendly, personable and efficient – and, boy do they work hard. I had a lengthy chat with the FA in my area when he wasn’t busy. Asked her what her favourite aircraft is (she only flies Boeings and loves the 777). Least favourite destination (Manila), Does she suffer from jet lag (Yes, very much so). What she will be doing in Sydney during her layover (sleeping)
Anyway I am rambling again.….where was I, oh yes. Managed to keep myself fully occupied for the entire flight and I did not have that ‘Oh god, when are we going to get there’ feeling you get on so many long haul flights. 3.30 hours into the flight, dinner was served. I chose the grilled Chicken in red wine herb sauce, selected vegetables and potatoes. The chicken was not particularly tasty – in fact, it tasted as if it had been swimming in liquid for too long. The vegetables and potatoes were delicious though and so was the ice cream for dessert. The white wine was a French Chardonnay (what is wrong with Aussie plonk I thought to myself) which I found rather too sweet for my palate.
By the time we commenced our descent into Sydney night had fallen which was a shame. We flew in from Botany Bay which was disappointing because Sydney can be one of the most spectacular cities in the world to fly into – I love seeing those Sydney icons like the Bridge and the Opera House from the air - the Botany Bay flightpath is the least attractive IMHO.
We landed and taxied into Gate 58. The International Terminal was fairly empty as the majority of departures had left for the day and there were only a few more arrivals for the evening. Hopped off the plane. Did some duty free shopping, whisked through Immigration and Customs. Collected my bags and walked out the door into a surprisingly brisk Sydney Friday night. There no queues at the taxi rank, jumped in a taxi and was in my door within 20 mins.
Summing up my trip. I must admit that Singapore Airlines surpassed all my expectations. What a truly first class airline. Well done!!! Well as for Lufthansa. Long Haul was pretty appalling and I would not recommend them to my worst enemy. The In Flight Entertainment was just disgraceful and lets not even discuss the Flight Attendants. However I must say I thought they were very good for short haul. In fact, I was pretty impressed. I understand they now claim to be “the Worlds Favourite Airline’. Rubbish. It’s more like ‘The Worlds Crappiest Airline’.
Hope you enjoyed reading this.
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3