Decided to make another topic - here are the first two reports:
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ226
Perth (ER / YPPH), Australia - Western Australia">PER/YPPH) to Singapore (SIN/WSSS)
Date: July 30, 2003
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-200ER (Not Considered ER by SQ) – 2 Class
Aircraft Registration: 9V-SRI
Scheduled Departure Time: 4:00 PM (Local Time)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 9:15 PM on SIA Website, but 8:50 PM on PTV (Local Times)
Gate Number: 4
Seat Number: 45B/45A
Flight Time: Approximately 5 hours – 2,421 miles
Ground Speed while Cruising: 907 km/hr
Cruising Altitude: About FL360 (36,000 feet) – 11,000 meters
After spending two nights in Perth after our arrival from Singapore, we headed off north by car to Carnarvon at 6:30 AM, where a night was spent, Exmouth, where three nights were spent, Coral Bay, where two nights were used, Monkey Mia/Denham, where another three nights were spent, and finally, Kalbarri, where we spent a single night, totaling a trip of 11 days and 10 nights, arriving at Perth about 4:30 PM.
We were originally planning to make our way to Sydney, but finally called it off. My dad still had to go to Sydney to attend a business meeting, and we dropped him off at the domestic terminal on Sunday, July 27, originally planning to head back to Singapore on Thursday, July 31, but at the last minute – at the night of July 29, she changed the booking to July 30.
We arrived at the airport at 1:45 PM in my Aunt’s old pickup, and got two trolleys for an outrageous price of AUS$6 – where in Manila and Singapore cost nothing. We headed inside the terminal where three flights were checking in – Qantas Flight to Singapore, departing 30 minutes before our flight, our SIA flight, and finally a Malaysian Flight to Kuala Lumpur leaving 30 minutes after ours.
There were only 3 counters open for SIA passengers, 3 for MAS ones, and an astonishing some 6 for Qantas. There were few passengers in the SIA line, but the Qantas lines were so jammed packed that they opened two more counters for the airline. It turns out that the SIA and MAS flights were 772s (250-300 pax) while the QF flight was a 744 (About 400 pax). The QF flight looked like it was fully booked. Did the airline offer a highly discounted fare or do Aussies prefer their national airline?
By the time we got to the front of the line another counter was opened for SIA passengers, and we proceeded to the counter. The Perth agent was friendly and checked in our seven pieces of baggage quite efficiently, and gave us boarding passes for Row 45 – three near the left window while two in the center.
We went up the escalator as my mom filled up some required forms for Departure Immigration. We went through immigration – quite fast compared to the Arrival one, and then proceeded to dump all our stuff at the X-ray machine for a final security check.
As we past the security check a SIA 777 was making its final approach and hit the runway with quite a smack of dust. I made my way to Gate 4 while the others went off to buy some Chocolates, Scallops, and other stuff like that. The airport was rather full – mostly passengers of VH-OJJ, which had arrived from Singapore earlier and was going back soon. After arriving in Singapore, it was likely it would head back to Perth, be sent across the desert to Sydney before taking off on a flight to Europe or the Americas.
Soon the jet was visible from the Gate 4 waiting area, and as it turned into the Gate 4 parking bay, the letters and numbers ‘9V-SRI’ gleamed out from the back of the fuselage. Finally, the Indian-Singaporean pilot fastened the brakes, as Perth Airport ramp staff began attacking the jet with their vehicles, taking out baggage, waste, and putting in food, fuel, and the baggage of passengers on flight SQ226. The jetway fastened itself as the passengers fled the aircraft downstairs into the crowded and cramp Immigration hall. Great, I thought, this thing is probably fitted with AVOD (Wisemen 3000 for you, S_Air).
The others came running back with Chocolates, Scallops, Australian Nut Candy, and all kinds of stuff, and my sister coming back with a stuffed Kangaroo. Argh, she had spent enough on stuffed shit already! Anyway, I later found out it was a free present from the shop they bought stuff from.
The Qantas flight began boarding, but minutes had past and it still did not push back. It seemed that one family had not boarded, and they were waiting for them. Finally, it was our turn – the agents handling the flight required our boarding passes and passports. After a quick check at the passport and the pushing of the boarding pass into a machine, we had to go down the stairs to board Sierra Romeo India.
Many SkyWest props were touching down, and so were a Qantas 738, a Qantas 763, and a Virgin Blue 738, which all headed to the Domestic Terminal. Several 727s of some airline were sitting on the ramp near the domestic terminal. A Malaysian Triple Seven also landed and taxied to Gate 5, registration 9M-MRD. Wouldn’t it be nice to take it to Kuala Lumpur then connect with a shuttle flight to SIN?
A Leading Stewardess was busy chatting with her boyfriend, a Steward, as I sighted the plane. She quickly stopped and looked at my boarding pass and pointed quickly with a smile – this way sir. Chinese newspapers and ‘The Western Australian’ were available. At this point in time, the QF flight still had not departed.
I sat in 45B, while my brother got the window. Disgusted that this plane was not fitted with AVOD as earlier thought, I flicked through the KrisWorld magazine, lightened that it already had the August movies and shows. If this plane had AVOD I would have played a few rounds of the Inflight Challenge, nice but on my earlier flight I only saw a maximum of five people playing at a time. Hot Towels were offered and then collected.
The Qantas flight left 10 minutes before our departure, as we pushed back and taxied to the runway. The Indian-Singaporean pilot gave no introduction at all – indeed all the passengers heard nothing of his voice – all the sound that came from the cockpit was from the Chinese-Singaporean copilot, who came on about 4 times during the flight to instruct the F/As to do something, whether it be closing the doors or sitting on the crew seats. The Safety video was played but few paid any attention to it.
We got on the runway and was followed by an immediate acceleration as the Rolls Royce Trent 890s jolted to life – in MNL and SIN we usually waited like 30 seconds before accelerating, maybe there was a plane behind us landing. Take off was quick as we took off towards the south, entering Perth airspace. A sharp right was executed, as we turned on course for the 5-hour flight to the Fine City.
KrisWorld had begun, and I decided to watch ‘A Guy Thing’ starring Jason Lee – I couldn’t decided what to watch. The crew came along with the drinks tray, and I picked up an Orange Juice – an Aussie brand, which tasted much better than the one on the outbound leg. A father behind us was explaining to his two little kids who apparently never flew before all the features of the aircraft and the feeling of take off and cruise and all the stuff like that. We found out later when on final approach that they were chatting about being on a 747 and talking about London – it pointed to that they were connecting to SQ322 to Heathrow, which departed about two hours after our flight arrived.
The meal service came along, and for dinner, they offered Lamb or Chicken. Chicken it was – and was good – as the food usually is on SQ flights. Got some softdrinks which they served in a tiny can – lol. The movie by then had finished – and there was still about 3 hours left to Singapore.
I then flicked to ‘Moulin Rouge’, which was horribly boring and too full of music and people with too much scary makeup How did Nicole Kidman pick up a French accent? Anyway, flicked through the channels and tried to watch ‘Basic’ starring John Travolta (Sadly his private 707 wasn’t shown), but for some reason I couldn’t concentrate on the movie. Plus it is very annoying that SQ has 135-minute cycles, as most movies only last from 100-110 minutes and in between the end of the movies and the end of the cycle they show some old comedy show that isn’t funny at all.
My brother wanted to play some video games but his ‘Interactive’ selection was not working. So I agreed to trade with him under the condition that he couldn’t trade back. Hehehe…window seat yet again
We left Indian Ocean airspace and entered Indonesia’s as the pilot slowed the Trents and we descended into Changi Airport. The kids at 46A and 46C began chattering with their dad again – whew, I felt like a veteran flier. Landing was an ok one from the south, with the terminal to our left.
We crossed the bridge over the road that led to the airport, and spotted a 747 with a white fuselage and blue tail, many SQ A310s parked, a single SIA A340, many SQ 747s, the QF 747 that had arrived from Perth earlier, another QF 767, and a Garuda 747, but sadly we didn’t get a chance to see any European birds except a Swiss/Swissair Hybrid MD11. A JAL 777 was also spotted before we docked at E11 next to 9V-SQB that was off to Colombo and a SilkAir A320 that was departing to some exotic place. Getting off the plane, we walked ages until the Immigration hall – there were flights to London, Paris, Colombo, Seoul, etc departing, like the set of flights we had seen when we arrived from Manila.
Before going down to the hall, we passed a large group of French tourists from our plane – probably connecting with the Paris flight. Immigration lines were longer than usual for SIN, but the two officers at the Singapore Citizens/PRs/Residents Counter were quite efficient and fast. Changi should open at least another counter (2 officers) for Singaporeans. Candy as usual was put in plastic bowls – a very nice touch.
The baggage came out quite quickly as we entered the Arrivals Hall and sped off into the strict atmosphere of Singapore.