It did not take long until we had decided to book a trip...
August 07, 2003
Photo © Anders Presterud
Photo © Søren Geertsen
Airsicknessbag and I met at Frankfurt airport infront of the Singapore Airlines counters where we checked in shortly after they had opened the desk at the First Class Check-In and already we got sequence numbers 317 and 318. So there must have been about 315 passengers who were on the JFK-FRA-SIN flight as the earlier numbers must have all been given out at JFK. Those passengers would spend two nights in the airplane as they journey goes over 16489 km’s split into 6205 km for JFK-FRA and 10284 km for FRA-SIN.
After we got our boarding passes we took the Skyline train to Terminal 2 where we sat down at the Mc Donald’s (the largest McD’s in Europe btw.) and had a look out of the window where we watched the action going on outside. As the time of our departure came closer we went back to Terminal 1 to slowly go to our gate which would be B43, one of only a few gates in T1 also capable to have an A340-600 or 777-300 park there. When SAA operates the A346 to FRA that is usually the gate for it. I wonder how Lufthansa plans to have 10 of them on the ground on the same time in the future.
On these two pictures you can see our gate, in the first it is where the Air Canada A330-300 is parked and in the second where you see the left Lufthansa 747-400:
Photo © Sven De Bevere
Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
After we had arrived there our plane was already standing there and the passengers that came in from New York were leaving the plane for their two hour transit stop at Frankfurt.
It took a while and then slowly the passengers started to gather around the ground staff that would finally let us board the plane. We got to the door at the plane and since both of us knew where we would sit we had our boarding passes already packed away but the Flight Attendant that greeted us there insisted that we would show them to her. So we had to dig them out from our stuff just so that she could with a smile tell us the way. Since we thought of this messure to be very useless, at least for us, she heard a fairly rude reply that we already knew our way around. It took a long walk through the whole cabin until we reached our seats in row 63, one of just four rows where the 744 had only two seats instead of three because the fuselage narrows down there.
We stowed our bags in the overhead compartment and then took our seats. It didn’t take much longer and the plane was completely boarded.
Pushback was on time at 1235 and while we started to move the crew welcomed us on the plane, first in English and then in German and then the safety demonstration video was shown and also every passenger got an Amenty Kit Bag consisting of socks a toothbrush and toothpaste in addition to the one that was already to be found on each seat upon boarding.
We taxied to the far end of the airport past the South African Airways A340-600 and Qantas 747-400 to runway 07L. A few planes landed before us and then we turned onto the runway.
The engines were slowly driven up to full-power and the fully loaden Jumbo slowly started to speed down the runway. This must have been on of the hardest take-off runs I’ve ever experienced as the plane was near MTOW and the outside temperature was almost 40°C.
It seemed as we would drive to Singapore. In the last quarter of the runway the plane lifted off the ground and gradually started it’s climb.
It did not take very long until the Flight Attendants started serving the first meal.
Daniel had pre-ordered a seafood menu so he did not have to go through deciding which main meal he would want to have but I still had to go through the deciding process.
Since the flight actually started in New York I’ll also start with what was served on that flight.
Grilled tournedos of beef with assorted mushroom sauce, seasonal vegetables
and roasted rosemary potatoes
Wok fried chicken in sesame, oill and ginger, braised beancurd with vegetables
and chicken rice
Cheese and crackers
From the bakery:
Roll and butter
But since I was still at home in Germany while that was served I can not give you more insight into that meal though...
Fish fillet in Thai yellow curry with seasonal vegetables and steamed rice
Chicken with grain mustard sauce, green beans, carrots and potatoes
Cheese and crackers
From the bakery:
Roll and butter
With the main menu I had the chicken with grain mustard sauce, green beans, carrots and potatoes since I do not eat any fish. The meal tasted very good and everything was very well fit together.
I was surprised when I saw the ice cream on the card and after we were done with our meat a F/A came by and handed a little box of ten chocolate-covered-vanilla ice-cream-cubes which was a very fine (in Singapore „fine“ is really a special word ) way to end the meal.
After the meal we both slept for a while but that did not last long and we were also interrupted by the great scenery we could see.
Here you can roughly see our flightpath, except that we flew a little more southern route.
Leaving Germany we flew over the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova,
Odessa (great view!), Crimea, Tbilisi, Caucasus, Baku, Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, tiny bit of North
Eastern Iran, Afghanistan (Herat, then right between Qandahar and Kabul),
Pakistan, India (right over the Taj Mahal at Agra, unfortunately clouded),
Bay of Bengal, Malysian Peninsula and then to Singapore.
For those of you that know me when we were over Afgahnistan all I thought is „I’ll be back!“ hoping to be able to go to Kabul with the German Forces.
It was just too bad that we had an early night so everything from about the hight of Iraq/Iran was dark but you could still see the ground at least.
Probably some here want to know a few details about Krisworld... For those I have bad news since we had the flight mapper on the whole time so we didn’t get the chance to look into it. I a few times just had a look through the system but never really played with it. But from the speed of the reactiontime from button-input to reaction on the screen was like on an old computer. From the little I can say The IFE system on LanChile was more of a pleasure. But as I said I didn’t really use the system so I have no right to judge here.
During the flight there were a dozen rounds of drinks served by the very friendly Flight Attendants so we did really feel at home on Singapore Airlines.
Before we would land at Singapore Changi airport breakfast was served where again we had the choice between two different meals. But again first the JFK-FRA flight.
Croissant with wasabi, mayonnaise spread, smoked salmon and shaved cucumber
egg, bacon and cheese sandwich
And now for our FRA-SIN flight.
Braised egg noodles with shredded pork in Oriental sauce and leafy greens
Scrambled egg with warm salad of potatoes, peas, mushrooms and tomatoes
From the bakery:
Assorted breakfast rolls, butter-fruit preserve
I had wanted to have the braised egg noodles with shredded pork in Oriental sauce and leafy greens but tough luck for me I had to go with the scrambled egg with warm salad of potatoes, peas, mushrooms and tomatoes. But this was not bad afterall as it did also taste very good.
And it was at least enough to get us to our hotel without starving.
It did not take too long and then our plane left the flight level on its way home. We could enjoy a night view over the Island as it still was dark outside and then we touched down at Singapore Changi International Airport more than half an hour early.
There must have been a cow or so on the runway as the plane was moving from one side of the runway to the other shaking the passengers around in their seats. Both of us were reminded of the TPE-accident in 2000, not that we were passengers on that flight, but we were lucky as the pilot seemed to have choosen the right runway this time.
I had never experienced a landing which involved that much veering off the centre line, and neither had Daniel.
Leaving the runway we taxied past a few retired Singapore-A310s some with titles and/or
logos removed and also a few stored „Megatops“ to our gate where we than got out and went through immigration. But before every passenger got it’s temperature taken by these „things“, almost looking like German speed-messurement pistols used by the police, and both of us were no suspects of bringing SARS back to Singapore.
I hope you did enjoy this first part of our short trip to Singapore. Thank you for taking the time to read it. And I also recommend to watch out for Airsicknessbag´s coverage of our stay in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia as well as the return flight.