Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:38 pm


Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:09 am

It has been a while since I took the trip so some of the details may appear to be vague. My apology. This is also my very first report, I hope you would enjoy reading it and offer me some advises. Thanks in advance!

I have been planning for a holiday since May as I badly needed a break from the really hectic work commitment from April to July (roughly 90 hours every week). Singapore is a logical choice as I could visit my family members and friends who currently reside in the small island city.

There are a few carriers offering direct flights from Shanghai to Singapore, namely SQ, MU (China Eastern) and Garuda. SQ economy class fares for this route are a lot higher than that offered by MU and Garuda, consistently in excess of RMB1000 to RMB1500 (approx. USD120 to USD180) from my observation. However for me the choice is easy as I would prefer SQ any day for its more superior in-flight experience as well as the Star Alliance mileage.

Few days prior to the scheduled travel, I was informed by the HQ in Kuala Lumpur that I was required to slot in a day trip to Kuala Lumpur to conduct interviews for some candidates who would be relocated to Shanghai if successful. I was told by my secretary that both MH and SQ flights on the chosen day (13 August 2004 – Friday) were all fully booked. However upon checking the online booking facilities of both airlines, I discovered that some of the flights on that day are still available, albeit only on First Class.

An idea sprang to my mind and I proceeded to log on to SQ Singapore website to purchase a F class ticket for SIN-KUL and then logged on to SQ Malaysia website to purchase a KUL-SIN F class ticket. I figured by buying the tickets separately from the 2 country websites, I would be able to take advantage of the differentiating pricing to save some money. As a result, the total round trip costs SGD435 (USD240) as compared to SGD496 (USD274) if I were to purchase a round-trip ticket directly from SQ Singapore website. IMHO, the saving of SGD61 (around 15%) is well worth the effort.

Sorry for the long-winded opening … here we go …

Date: 12 August 2004 (Thursday)
Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ815)
Class: Economy
Seats: 34K
Aircraft type: B777-312 (with Star Alliance Livery!)
Scheduled departure: 0850 (GMT +8)
Scheduled arrival: 1355 (GMT +8)

The night before the departure, I stayed on and worked in the office till 3am to go through the profile of the interviewees. Took a taxi home and began packing until 4am. Had a nap of 2 hours and woke up half and hour before the schedule pick-up time. The company driver arrived at my door step right on the dot and I started snoozing in the car as soon as I got on. Woke up just 5 minutes away from Pudong Airport while the magnificent MAGLEV flying past in remarkable speed  Wow! .

The departure hall was pretty busy in this morning with plenty of flights departing to Asean countries as well as Japan and Korea and as usual, there were big crowd of people sending their relative/friends off. The line for check-in was short and within minutes I was standing in front of a stern looking female check-in agent. However the lady greeted me with a smile and started chatting with me in fluent English. That’s a pleasant surprise. I managed to secure a window seat and thanked the agent before proceeding to pay the airport construction fee of RMB90. FYI, effective 1 September 2004, the airport construction fee would be included directly in the air-ticket price and would be collected by the airlines. There will no longer be a need to pay separately at the counter. It took me about 15 minutes to clear the immigration and security and I immediately went to the departing gate as the duty free shops in PVG are very much overpriced in my opinion.

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I was excited to discover that the SQ aircraft that would bring me to SIN was in fact the much talked about B777-300 with Star Alliance Livery. I must admit that I do not have high regards for this livery but nevertheless I was feeling lucky to have the chance to fly in this specially painted aircraft  Laugh out loudD. While spotting from the terminal, a group of Singapore Girls and Boys strolled past to enter the gate. I must say the Singapore Girls and Boys do really command huge attentions from all passengers even from the surrounding gates, a big testament to their world-wide reputation and the excellent job of the SIA marketing department! Aircraft spotted from the international side this morning included 2 ANA B777, 1 MH777, 1 Garuda A330, 1 JAL B767, 1 LH747-400, 1 NW747-400, 1 UA747-400, 1 Air China 777, 1 Air Macau 737 and 2 MU A340-300.

At 8.10am, the announcement for boarding was first made in English, followed by Chinese. Boarding was done very orderly according to row numbers and everyone seems very willing to abide by the boarding sequence, which again is a pleasant surprise to me as from my experience, smooth boarding is something hard to come by from flights departing from China (or, sorry to say, when Chinese nationals make up the majority of flights).

An all smile Singapore Girl greeted me at the door and motioned me to the direction of my row. SQ crews were busy greeting the passengers and helping them to store their hand luggage at the overhead storage space. They looked fresh, happy and were immaculately dressed. Today’s flight is only 60% full as I saw quite a lot of empty seats. The 2 seats next to mine were not occupied too!!

As the load was pretty light, doors were closed 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Push back commenced on 8.50am sharp and shortly after that the safety demonstration video was shown. The new safety video is a lot better than the old one in my opinion, and finally at the ending part the performing steward and the stewardess managed to pronounce the phrase “have a pleasant flight” coherently. A short taxi later, we were lining up for departure. After a 35 seconds roll amid the melodious scream from the 2 huge Trent 892 engines, we were air bound. According to the pilot, the flight path involved flying over Hangzhou, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Ho-Chi-Min City and the Eastern coast of Malaysian peninsula before arriving at Changi Airport.

The in-flight service started shortly after the seat-belt sign went off. The 2 stewardess serving my side of the aisle immediately began distributing today’s menu, headphone as well as Singapore immigration card. I was delighted that one of them has also been on the SIN-PVG flight I took back in June this year! I am happy to be on her flight again as honestly she’s one of the most beautiful and graceful stewardess I have encountered since I began taking international flights frequently 8 years ago. At times, I have to force myself not to stare at her to avoid being perceived as rude but boy, it was difficult!  Love The other stewardess served at my side of the aisle is a sweet looking Chinese national who has just joined SQ recently.

The aircraft used is not equipped with AVOD but I think the selection of the movies and music were good and more than sufficient given that the flight time was only 5 hours. Flipping through the channels and I finally settled for a Chinese movie which I have not watched before. I have always found that the sound quality of the headphone supplied in SQ economy class is of ok standard only, however it’s very comfortable to wear even for a prolonged period. Drinks service started around the same time. I asked for a diet coke and was given a whole can together with a packet of roasted peanuts.

The breakfast service followed shortly. I apologise for not “keeping” the menu and as such I could not state the full menu. However I remember the choices for breakfast was omelette with chicken sausage and tomato or fried thin noodle with pork dumpling Shanghainese style (for those who are familiar with Chinese cuisine, that’s actually “xiao-long-bao”). From my previous experience flying out from China, I have discovered that it would be better to go with oriental cuisine and as such I made the choice. The main course was accompanied by fruit appetizer, warm bread roll and a pre-packed mineral water. The noodle and the dumpling was a bit too dry for my liking, nevertheless I finished them as I was hungry. Stewardess came around with more drinks as well as offering coffee and tea. Shortly after the tray was cleared, I resumed 100% attention on watching the Chinese movie from the 6.5 inch PTV screen in front of me. Most of the passengers were either enjoying themselves with the AV options or sleeping. SQ crews could be seen walking down the aisle rather frequently offering juices/water or other assistance to passengers.

About an hour and a half of the flight time to go, we were offered another round of “light snack”. The choices were tuna sandwich or roasted chicken sandwich with accompanied drinks service. I chose the roasted chicken sandwich and it was delicious and the serving was quite big with generous fillings. I washed down the sandwich with 2 small glasses of orange juice.

Time seems to fly when you are enjoying your flight, which I certainly did. About 30 minutes out of SIN, the pilot came on air to inform our descent and gave out weather forecast of Singapore. The approach was quite bumpy, which seems to be a norm every time I take this route. SQ crew then collected back the headphone and prepared the cabin for arrival. And soon enough, we touched down at Changi Airport rather roughly on the hot and humid weather. While taxiing to the arrival gate, I managed see the brand new A320 of the upcoming Singapore based budget airline, Tiger Airways parking at a remote bay. Other aircrafts insight included several SQ B777, B747-400, an A340-500 (really no “Leadership” on it) being prepared for the flight to LAX and a Valuair A320.

Before arriving at the gate, several passengers could be seen (or rather heard) switching on their mobile phones and an announcement from the leading stewardess was immediately followed to warn of such illegal use while still in the aircraft. I really couldn’t understand those people!!  Confused

I managed to clear immigration and custom and was on my way to Conrad Centennial Singapore within 20 minutes, which illustrate the efficiency of Changi Airport. Two Thumbs up for that.

Overall the trip was a really excellent one. This has been one of the best flights I had with SQ so far (I usually take around 6 SQ flights a year). The crew today were excellent, the food edible and the IFE was nothing to complain about. I was a very happy passenger when I deplane! From the various posts in this forum and my recent experience with them, I am glad to see that SQ has managed to provide the high level of services which made it a world-class airline on a more consistent basis.

Date: 13 August 2004 (Friday)
Sector: SIN-KUL
Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ102)
Class: First Class
Seats: 14A
Aircraft type: B777-212/ER
Scheduled departure: 0630 (GMT +8)
Scheduled arrival: 0725 (GMT +8)

The hotel morning call woke me up at 4.30am and I reluctantly dragged myself out of the comfortable bed of Conrad Centennial Singapore. To side track a bit, this is a truly five-star hotel with very personalized services and excellent locations, surrounded by plenty of shopping and food options.

After a quick preparation, I called the concierge for a taxi to the airport. To my pleasant surprise, a taxi has already been arranged was waiting for me at the front entrance. Now that’s what I call service!

A quick taxi ride later, I found myself at the rather empty Terminal 2 of Changi Airport. A glance at my watch revealed as only 5.15am. I should have slept for another 15 minutes! Anyway I walked over to the dedicated SIN-KUL shutter flights check-in counters and q-up at the economy class counter as no first class counter was opened. The SAT agent welcomed me with a smile and handed to me my boarding pass.

After going through the immigration, I proceeded directly to the SilverKris Lounge as most of the shops in the terminal were closed. SilverKris Lounge was very quiet this morning. I was one of the mere three patrons there. Despite the early hours, hot and cold food such as congee, fried egg noodle, assorted sandwiches, cereals, smoked ham and salmon and a variety of drinks and juices were available on self-service. I spent 30 minutes in the lounge having a light breakfast while following up with the latest development of oil prices on the live CNN. Perhaps due to the early hour, there were only 2 staffs manning the whole lounge, including the reception area. SilverKris Lounge provides a quality place for passengers to relax before their flights but I personally think The Wings and the Piers at HKIA and the MH lounges in KLIA are much better. For me, an ideal airport lounge should always have a view to tarmac.

Boarding was called 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time. I left the lounge for the departure gate, stopping only at the bookstore to pick up 2 magazines. After passing through the security, I proceeded to board the aircraft from door 1L. The leading stewardess shown me to my seat and offered to store my jacket. She also offered to bring me a glass of orange juice which I gladly accepted. The gentlemen seated in front of me requested for a glass of champagne. He became quite grumpy when the leading stewardess explained to him that they do not serve champagne on this sector. A smiley SQ girl then came around to offer newspaper while a colleague of her offered me a hot tower. Today’s aircraft was of two-class configuration and the Ultimo seats are installed in First Class. The seat pitch and the leg room are very generous and are certainly more than enough for a 55 minutes flight. I looked out from the window and saw a MH737-400 parking at the next gate. The MH’s baby Boeing would be operating as MH605 to KL 20 minutes later than our flight.

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Push back was 5 minutes late for unannounced reasons and soon we were on our way. Take-off was powerful as usual for B777 and after a short roll we rocketed towards the sky. Service started immediately after the seat belt sign was switched off. The leading stewardess came around to offer continental breakfast which I politely rejected. The gentlemen who requested for the champagne earlier became even more grumpy when he got to know that there would be no other options besides the continental breakfast. The poor stewardess had to keep apologizing to him to calm him down. I glanced over to “check out” the content of the breakfast my next-seat neighbour was enjoying and it seems that I did not miss much. Today’s breakfast consists of a fruit salad bowl, apricot or plain croissant and coffee or tea. I requested for a glass of orange juice which promptly arrived in a nice glass with laser printed First Class logo.

About 15 minutes into the flight, the Captain came on air to announce the descent and informed us to expect some turbulent during the approach as KL was raining quite heavily. SQ crew sprang into action to clear the trays and empty glasses and also prepared the cabin for arrival. I could imagine it must be a pretty tough task to serve a full cabin of First Class passengers in such a short flight. 2 stewardesses then distributed the jackets back to the passengers and they casually forgot mine! No big issue as I could ask for it before disembarking later.

True enough our approach to KLIA was very bumpy as advised and the leading stewardess made no less than 3 announcements to remind the passengers to fasten the seat belt. Touch-down at KLIA was smoother than I expected though. After taxiing past several MH747-400s and MH777s, we arrived at Gate C3.

Disembarking was smooth as First Class passengers were given the priority and I also gotten my jacket back after asking from the leading stewardess. She was apologetic and wished me a pleasant stay in KL. Passing through the immigration was a breeze this morning (actually this does not happen very often in KLIA) and there was no need to use the priority lane. As I have no check-in luggage, I was out on my way to Damansara Heights where my company’s HQ is located within 20 minutes of touch-down.

Overall the flight was OK but not overly impressive. It could be a lot better if I was greeted and addressed by name (not even once actually) and if they did not forget to give back my jacket. Anyway for such a short flight, I could live with those petty slip of service standard.

Date: 13 August 2004 (Friday)
Sector: KUL-SIN
Carrier: Malaysia Airlines (MH605)
Class: First Class
Seats: 1K
Aircraft type: A330-300
Scheduled departure: 1540 (GMT +8)
Scheduled arrival: 1635 (GMT +8)

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I spent the next few hours conducting interview with the candidates from 9am onwards and by the time it was finished, to my delight it was only 12.15pm. I realized that I could possibly fly back to Singapore on an earlier flight and could even be put on a MH flight if there are available seats. The thought of being able to experience the fabulous MH first class lounge at KLIA was “mouth-watering”!

I politely rejected the lunch offers from my HQ colleagues and in stead asked the driver to send me to KL Sentral to take the KLIA Express to the airport as the traffic out of KL would be very jam due to the praying sessions on this Friday afternoon. I arrived at KL Sentral after a short 10 minutes ride. The first thing that struck me upon getting down from the car was the 2 hugely impressive buildings directly opposite the departure gateway at KL Sentral. The 2 identical building (from outside) would be occupied and run by Hilton Hotel and Le Meridien Hotel separately beginning October this year.

I have always enjoyed the ride to KLIA on KLIA Express and this time is no exception. The train is very modern, clean, comfortable, speedy, reliable and efficient. I would definitely recommend anyone traveling to Kuala Lumpur to take advantage of this service. However one downside is that if you are traveling in a group of more than 2 persons, it makes more economical sense to take a taxi.

A short 28 minutes ride later, I arrived at the ultra-modern-yet-empty-at-times KLIA. KLIA is one of my favorite airports (the other being Changi, HKIA, Munich and Schiphol) and I always spend some moments to admire the architectural marvel of it. Some people criticized Malaysian government for building such a huge airport and allowing it to be so underutilised. Some even labeled it as a “White Elephant”. However for those who had been to the old Subang Airport would agree with me that a new airport is absolutely needed for a big Asian city like Kuala Lumpur. As for the claim that it was built in such a big scale just to show off (well, ironically some international quarters do think that Malaysia always want to build biggest/tallest/longest landmarks to go with it’s national motto “Malaysia Boleh” – literally it means “Malaysia Can”), for me those claim is pretty myopic. I reckon that it is a good decision as one simple don’t build an airport of such important status just for the air-traffic demands for the next 10 years or so. Perhaps if MH joins a major alliance soon enough, we may even see an influx of flights and passengers traveling through KLIA.

Coming back to the trip report. Upon reaching KLIA, I immediately approached the KUL-SIN shutter flights counter in the hope to secure a seat on a MH flight (flights between KUL-SIN vice versa are operated by MH and SQ on a shuttle basis, so it is possible and in fact fairly common to ride on either airline’s metal provided there is available seat and the time is suitable).

The MH ground staff manning the first class counter was very accommodative and after a quick check on the computer, I was given a MH boarding pass and an invitation to the first class lounge. My assigned seat was initially an aisle seat but was changed quickly to a window seat upon request. Again passing through the immigration was a breeze as not many flights depart from KLIA in the afternoon. A short aero-train ride later I arrived at the satellite building and immediately proceeded to the MH first class lounge which is located on the first floor.

A Malay lady at the reception took my invitation and escorted me to the first class lounge. The lounge is very spacious, airy and very elegantly decorated, even bear a slight “zen” feeling to me. I particularly like the shallow pond in the middle of the lounge (which also doubles up as a separation “screen” from the business class section of the lounge) and the accompanied palm trees beside the sofa. A wide variety of high quality food (fried rice, pasta with 2 choices of sauce, curry mutton, pandan chicken, sweet and sour fish, different fillings of pie and sandwiches, fresh fruit, desserts, nyonya kuih, a huge selection of drinks etc) is available and you could also order any type of coffee or tea. Besides, there are several big flat panel TVs scattering around the lounge showing live broadcast of CNN, CNBC and information from KL stock exchange. International newspapers and magazines are available as well as 2 high speed internet terminal. There also are several well-stocked showers in the lounge. And most importantly, I have unobstructed view of the tarmac albeit the traffic was limited. I enjoy myself enormously every time I have the chance to visit the MH lounge and it’s really no wonder why our fellow comrade “Ryanair!!!” is so in love with it.  Big thumbs up

The boarding call for my flight was announced while I was finishing my first report on the interview conducted in the morning and I reluctantly “dragged” myself out of this wonderful place. A casual 5 minutes walk later I arrived at the departure gate. After passing the security I walked directly to the air-bridge for premium passengers but was stopped by a very stern looking agent. “First class only” was the phrase thrown at me but after seeing my boarding pass, his attitude changed 180 degree and even offered to shake my hand. What a weird situation! I shake his hand nevertheless.

A very cheerful MH girl (now is there a title like that for MH stewardess?) greeted me at the door and escorted me to my seat. She took my jacket while a lanky steward in the awful green jacket (sorry to say that) offered me a choice of pre-flight drinks from the tray. I took the pink colour guava juice which turned out to be really nice. Shortly after that, another stewardess pushed around a trolley full of newspapers for first class passengers to choose. The purser came around to take after-take-off drinks order and also enquired if we would like to have a hot snack. The load for the flight was very heavy and I could only note 1 empty seat in the first class cabin. This aircraft has seen its better day and the interior looks tired though very well maintained and clean. However the first class seat pitch (business class seats actually) and the leg room on this A330-300 are nothing to shout about and there is no PTV. I believe MH uses it’s A330-300 only for short regional routes.

The scheduled departure time came and gone and there was no sign of push back. At this time the pilot came on air to inform that we were waiting for 3 late passengers. He even said this “for the passengers seating at the right side, if you look out the window you could see 3 running passengers and yup, we shall be on our way as soon as they got on”. I found his remark very amusing!  Laugh out loud Some chuckles could be heard too.

We were finally pushed back 15 minutes behind schedule and taxi towards the runway for a straight departure. Service started immediately after we reached the cruise level (FL270 if my memory serves me well). One stewardess set up our tables while the other distributed to each of us a tray with a bowl of fruit, utensils wrapped in light purple colour napkin and an empty plate. They then offered us 3 kinds of hot snack - marinated spicy fish cake, chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and sausage roll, together with whatever drinks we want. I again asked for the excellent guava juice which was promptly brought to me. The food was excellent and the service was immaculate. They even have the time to offer a second serving despite such a short flight! I was very impressed that all of 4 crews serving the first class cabin remember and addressed me by my name throughout the flight. It must be a hell lot of work to memorise all the passengers’ name correctly especially when doing turnarounds on short sector.

About 20 minutes into the flight the captain came on air to welcome us again and to advise us of the approach into Changi Airport. While waiting for my turn to use the washroom at the front gallery area, all 4 of the crews managed to make small talks to me despite the hectic workload of clearing the trays and preparing the cabin for arrival.

Our approach and touch-down at Changi Airport was uneventful and soon we were at the arrival gate. As usual, the first class passengers were given the priority to disembark. Before stepping out the plane, the purser again addressed me by my name and wished me a good stay in Singapore.

I took the chance to wonder around the airport and got myself a good deal on a just released Ipod 4th generation. Changi Airport is really a world-class airport with excellent shopping and dining facilities, not to mention the huge amount of free internet terminals conveniently located everywhere in the building. I would have no problem spending a few hours of transit time here and sometimes I even think walking around in the terminal beats visiting the SilverKris Lounge.

The Malaysian Airlines flight was truly an excellent experience. Even on such a short flight they did not compromise on the world-class service quality. It is no wonder that they have won the Skytrax Best Cabin Staff award for the 4th year in a roll. With the impending (and much needed) upgrades for its premium class products, hopefully MH will finally earn the due respect as a world’s elite airline. I would really love to take more MH flights in the future, but honestly without being in a major alliance the incentive of doing so is discounted, at least for me. And I personally think that MH’s FFP is pretty lousy comparatively.

Date: 17 August 2004 (Tuesday)
Sector: SIN-PVG
Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ806)
Class: Economy
Seats: 61A
Aircraft type: B777-300
Scheduled departure: 1015 (GMT +8)
Scheduled arrival: 1455 (GMT +8)

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Photo © Xiao min

Due to a rescheduled business trip to Milan at the end of August (I will try to post the trip report PVG-MUC-MXP-FRA-PVG on LH if you guys are interested), I was forced to cut short my trip in Singapore. Nevertheless I had a good 3 days meeting up with friends and relatives and eating local food.

I arrived at Changi Airport at 8.55am after a slight hiccup during the check-out process from the hotel. There was already a considerably long queue at the check-in-counter. It was finally my turn after waiting in the line for 25 minutes and to my dismay, the agent told me that the flight is close to 100% full and the only window seat left is at the last row of the aircraft. I accepted it nevertheless.

By the time I cleared the immigration, there were only 15 minutes left for me to source for the “nyonya kuih” and also the deodorants I promised to bring back for my colleagues. Luckily I am fairly familiar with the shops layout in Changi and I managed to achieve the task within the tight time frame.

By the time I arrived at the gate, most of the 200+ people have already cleared the security and were lining up for boarding. I noticed that there were a lot of Chinese nationals traveling on this flight after their tours in Singapore. Besides, the usual suspects were mainly business man in suit and tie. One interesting thing is that most of the people in the holding area were staring at the live Olympic broadcasts.

Soon enough boarding was called and as usual for SQ flights, boarding was done according to roll number. However everyone seemed to rush to board and the poor agents had to act quite aggressively to tell the people to observe the rules. At this time I vaguely heard someone called my name and when I turned around, I saw and recognized a primary school mate which I have lost contact with for the past 17 years!

As we were so excited to have bumped into each other after all these years, we spent a good deal of time chatting and catching up. As such, my impression towards the in-flight service and route was vague. In fact, I could not even remember what was served for lunch on that flight. However I do remember having the cube form chocolate ice-cream as dessert because I remembered I was telling myself then how nice if Haagan Daz ice-cream were served. I also noticed that the crews were absolutely busy during the flight especially when conducting the on-board duty free sale. The demand for the duty-free goods was the strongest I have seen in all the flights I have taken so far. Credit must be given to the SIA marketing department for duty free sale as the range of the products available is just amazing (Lufthansa’s is another very impressive one). Me too, cannot stand the temptation and put down my hard-earned dough to purchase a pair of B&O Earphone because the price offered by SQ is the cheapest I could find anywhere (the price beats the retail price in HK due to the extra 10% discount given for on-board duty free sale available only in August).

Despite all that, there was a distinct incident on this flight which is hard for me to forget. It happened when I was back at my seat trying to read a report after an hour of chatting with my friend. It was after the lunch service and most of the passengers were either taking a nap or indulging in the IFE. Suddenly this woman seated in front of me was complaining out loud in Chinese to her companion that she is feeling cold. The next thing I know she turned back towards me and grabbed my blanket which I put next to the handle!  Angry I was shell-shocked and did not know how to react then. Honestly I had the urge then to stand up and grab my blanket back from her but I decided not to make a fuss about it. Come to think about it now perhaps I should at least give her a piece of my mind. LOL. Anyway a steward saw this and quickly brought me another blanket while apologizing profusely. I thanked him and continued chatting with him for a while. He pointed to his “Trainee” tag and told me that he has yet to graduate from SIA cabin crew training programme and this flight was his third training flight.

We began our descent to Pudong Airport shortly after pilot made the announcement. The approach was smooth and the touch-down was nicely executed. We taxi-ed to the gate within minutes as the runway was pretty closed to the terminal anyway. Again, some funny people decided to save a bit of their valuable time by standing up to retrieve their hand luggage from the overhead compartment while the aircraft was still taxiing. Mobile phones can be heard being switched on too. Needless to say the relevant warning was made immediately by the SQ cabin crew.

I tried to rush myself towards the immigration counters as fast as I could after deplaning but was still stuck in the long queue for more than 45 minutes. Anyway it’s been a norm to me everytime I arrived at Shanghai so I was just waiting patiently while listening to my Ipod with my newly purchased headphone.

Overall I had good impression about this flight and would compliment SQ crews for their consistently good services.

This is the end of my first trip report. And it sure feels like I am writing a college thesis or something like that. Hope I have not bored you with unnecessary details therein. I think I should also apologise for not conducting any absorbent test in the washroom.  Wink/being sarcastic  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Thanks for reading this far.
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 9:56 am


Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:43 am

Trip Reports should be just that! Lots of detail! Thanks for the Info! You write well, and the little things you put in (lady and blanket) makes for an Interesting read.

Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm


Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:29 pm

Thanks for the detailed report and in particular, your description of KL airport. I plan to travel for the first time to KL this December and found your info helpful.

Push back was 5 minutes late for unannounced reasons and soon we were on our way.

This seems to be fairly common among carriers in Asia, as I am accustomed to constantly being informed of departure info in the US. Perhaps on-time departures aren't much of a priority on that side of the world.

Passing through the immigration was a breeze this morning (actually this does not happen very often in KLIA)
Is imig normally that bad at KL? I pressume it can't be any worse than any other major Asian city?

Btw, how was your overall stay at the Conrad Centennial Singapore? Can you give more details of your stay/treatment there? Was it worth it in terms of price paid vs. overall satisfaction? I've heard some good and bad about the hotel... another opinion wouldn't hurt. Big thumbs up
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
Posts: 4098
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm


Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:15 pm

those who are familiar with Chinese cuisine, that’s actually “xiao-long-bao...

It will be interesting to see how does SQ keep their xiao long bao moist and soupy within wihtout it drying up after reheating it in the oven. In my experience, the mentioned dumpling needs to be eaten fresh from the bamboo steamer, otherwise it won't taste good.

...several passengers could be seen (or rather heard) switching on their mobile phones...

Another trait I notice on intra-Asian flights. It really annoys me when people do that with no regard for instructions. I actually told this woman off (some ah-lian) next to me "Cannot wait, is it?". And she just went "huh?" and turned her phone off. Typical kiasu mentality...

I walked over to the dedicated SIN-KUL shutter flights check-in counters and q-up at the economy class counter as no first class counter was opened.

There are no more First Class counters in the main check in area. Only the First Class Lounge and you will be escorted there by the custmer service agents when you alight at the designated "SQ PCL Pax Alighting Area" in Terminal 2. Unless that lounge was closed that morning, which is unlikely...

For me, an ideal airport lounge should always have a view to tarmac.

Ditto to that.... Silver Kris Lounge, while it gets high marks normally, scores very lowly in my books for being located in an enclosed area. But I cannot complain about the food though, truly First Class. Now what would complete the perfect setting would be a bistro, accompanied by proper dining tables for customers to consume their meals - rather than at the sofas, with the coffee tables a tad too low for a comfortable meal.

The MH’s baby Boeing would be operating as MH605 to KL 20 minutes later than our flight.

Aren't you glad you were on SQ's shuttle rather than MH? The latter's 737's cabin up front is a sorry excuse for First Class, if you ask me.

The gentlemen who requested for the champagne earlier became even more grumpy when he got to know that there would be no other options...

I swear I had the same experience when I flew SQ's PCL from KUL to SIN. What is it with this people? Champagne early in the morning? I think it is his ego talking....

Overall the flight was OK but not overly impressive. It could be a lot better if I was greeted and addressed by name

I noticed this on my SQ flight as well. Which is why although the equipment can be more crappy, I would rather fly MAS on this flight as they seem to be more sincere, personal and laid back - service-wise, that is.

Some people criticized Malaysian government for building such a huge airport and allowing it to be so underutilised.

For those people who complain, I will like to ask them if they would rather be stuck with the crappy-run down-feel like it catch on fire-miniscule-wharehouse like-dated Subang International Airport? Yes KLIA might be a white elephant but I would give this "Malaysia Boleh" campaign a good push for the country's sometime laid back complacency. They NEEDED Mahathir to push this vision into fruition. Longest, Tallest, Biggest.... sigh, isn't Singapore like that as well? Those people up north must have got the insiration from us.

it’s really no wonder why our fellow comrade “Ryanair!!!” is so in love with it.

No one, and I mean no one, IMHO, can touch MAS Golden Lounge in KLIA. I have tried the lounges of LX, TG, SQ, UA and GA.... Nothing comes close.

However the first class seat pitch (business class seats actually) and the leg room on this A330-300 are nothing to shout about and there is no PTV.

There used to be a First Class cabin on the A330s. The seats are wider, fully automated and upholstered in a pinkish-hued fabric. Needless to say, the pitch was fantastic. I reckon if you shout, it will be returned by an echo! Hehehe...

Alas, as they were losing money on the First Class, they decided to remove it and extend the pathetic Business Class (Golden Club) by another 2 more rows.

Their A330s make it as far as Japan (a 6hr overnight flight from KUL) and I would be damned pissed if I paid for a JCL tix and was confined to the A330s!

I was very impressed that all of 4 crews serving the first class cabin remember and addressed me by my name throughout the flight. It must be a hell lot of work to memorise all the passengers’ name correctly especially when doing turnarounds on short sector.

Once again, I cannot emphasise enough why I always fly MAS whenever possible. FYI, you had 4 crew in your cabin which would explain how the service would be so quick for am almost full First Class (41 pax, in your case). I usually only have 2 when my cabin is empty, as in my last flight on the same A330 as you.

Phew... Now thatI have read your report, let me comment that it is excellent. I can relate most to your MAS experience and the Silver Kris Lounge, and hence my replies. Keep writing!!! Btw, I am honoured that you remembered my preference for MAS!  Big grin


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
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Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:57 am

Glad you enjoyed your MH sector - I am due to do the same in Nov to attend a family wedding in Singapore. Looking forward to the First Class Lounge at KUL - since KLM FD members got booted out earlier this year (we now have to use the Plaza Premium lounge which is ok but is often overcrowded) - unless of course you book in 'F'  Smile
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 5:51 am


Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:40 am

Great report. MH and SQ are so good. And I would kill for a glass of MH guava juice.

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