Flight: SQ861 (HKG
Class: J Class
Date : 22 August 2004
I checked in at a down town check-in station at Hong Kong MTR Station. I was impressed as I could actually get my luggage checked-in and my boarding pass issued at a train station!! How cool was that!
There wasn't a counter for Raffles Class but I checked in anyhow with my best friend who was flying Y class on the same flight. I asked the lady if I could get my friend to fly with me on J class and she said SIA was not doing any upgrade on that flight. Oh well, at least I asked! I noticed she cut my pink first class luggage tag and replaced it with a blue Raffles Class instead. I thought that was really petty of them and I felt a bit upset as that pink tag had survived many check-in stations!
Took the airport express train from down town to the airport. I bought a LG
DVD recorder so that was my only hand carry I had but I was not allowed into the immigration area and the nasty girls at the entrance asked me to bring it back to the airline to get them to check it in instead! I told them that I was able to bring this from SIN
without any problem and I am not about to go and join the queue to check in this fragile item! My friend and I left in a huff and found another entrance to immigration about 500 metres away, and this time, I wasn't stopped!
My friend wanted to go shop around so I pushed the trolley with our hand carrys to the airline's lounge instead. When I was about to approach the staff a the lounge, they told me that no trolleys are allowed into the lounge and almost couldn't believe what they said! All the lounges I used before are always located above shop level (in Sydney and Singapore) and its their fault for allowing an airline lounge to be situated on the shop level! I just conveniently pushed my trolley in when I cleared immigration since they were all on the same floor. Anyway, I couldn't be bothered arguing with them and joined my friend instead and burnt some serious holes in my pocket at the shops!
I was the last few to board the aircraft and I told my friend that I'll come and get him to sit with me for a short while after meal service and I'm sure the FAs wouldn't say no to that! It was full on economy and business class (didn't have a chance to check out the first class section) except the 2 seats next to me! I thought I was lucky or something and I moved myself to the middle seat so that no one would come and occupy any of the empty seats. Pre-departure drink was a German Riesling and a pack of mixed nuts was also handed to me along with a thick serveitte.
Plane took off on time and was airborne shortly. I forgot to mention its only my 2nd time on a Boeing 777. Unfortunately, this is not a B772ER, otherwise, the seat would be a spacebed instead. With the intention of retiring the B744, I wonder if SIA would install the first class's Sky Suites on their existing fleet or go for a completely different product. I really like their Sky Suite except their seat is too hard and not holstered in connolly leather like the trimmings.
I was quite upset when there was no sound on my headset when I plugged it in to the new seat I'd moved to. I told the steward and he immediately apologised for that and exchanged another headset. I plugged the new one in and it was no good too. The same steward came and tried the headset on the other emtpy seat next to mine and still, no sound. He told me he'll try to reset the system and see if it would help. Very shortly, he came back and said that the reason why the two seats were the only ones empty was that the audio side of the IFE was out of service and therefore they left the seats unsold/unassigned. Feeling silly, I went back to my original assigned seat and finally, dolby sound filled the noise canceling headset. Anyway, that steward was really friendly and patient, squatting by the seat trying to pull the screen and testing the equipment for me.
Meal service commenced immediately and I got some pictures of the meals I had and also the covers of the menu BUT unfortunately, I didn't not take down the details in the menu itself :P.
I had a German Riesling, Green tea for beverage and the entree was some salad with seared scallops and smoked salmon. The serving was very generous and I was almost full from having this entree! It was a long time since I got to use a proper knife rather than some blue plastic looking fork! I didn't do any BTC (Book the cook service) so I ordered the Fish with eggplant and rice for my main. The stewardess came out of the gallery with a big smile, and dislodged my main from the clamp that was holding onto the plate. The eggplant and sauce were really nice but I didn't really like the fish as it was pretty soggy. I finished everything nonetheless, except the carrots (I hate carrots!).
Shortly after my main was cleared away, assortment of cheese was already nicely cut and placed on a small plate along with some grapes. I finished the brie leaving the rest untouched. Lastly, when they served the dessert, tiramisu ice-cream, my stomach was almost exploding! I had a scoop and didn't touch any of that anymore. Anything I had at that point was tasteless to me!
I went to the economy section and got my friend to join me. Duty Free had already started and both of us wanted a belt from the catalogue. A stewardess clad in Red stopped her cart with her colleague and was happily yakking away, taking their time to tell us that the belt was reversible and it will go well with the selection of ties she had in her cart. In the end, I got the belt and my friend bought the tie and belt. As she only had one belt in her cart, she promised to come back with the other belt shortly. Indeed, she came back shortly with the belt and we concluded the sale.
The 3hrs 15mins flight time went passed quickly and next the flaps were deployed and the aircraft landed smoothly in Singapore Changi Airport. I bid farewell to my friend and continued to Gate E39 for my onward flight to SYD
Flight: SQ221 (SIN
Class: J Class
Date : 22 August 2004
As my plane from HKG
landed at 7.45pm and by the time it taxied to its gate, it was around 8pm when I disembarked the a/c. I didn't have any time to use the lounge at all to take a shower before I proceed to the aircraft as boarding had already. I was greeted by my last name by a very cheerful stewardess with abundance of smile at the door. She showed me to my seat (spacebed installed) and I was approached by another stewardess whom I felt was genuinely nice and cheerful when she offered to help me stow my DVD recorder on the overhead compartment.
She asked me what I bought and I told her I got a DVD recorder from Singapore. We then went on to chat about the places to get cheap electronics in Singapore and she was shocked to hear that I only paid approx A$650 for the recorder in Singapore when its retailing for A$1498 in Sydney! She mentioned I should get a few back to sell for a profit! I thought that was hillarious! I had a predeparture OJ and a pack of mixed nuts were handed to me.
Shortly the door was turned to automatic and it was then I noticed that the lower deck section was only occupied by 2 other passenger on the other side of the window seat. I was the only passenger on the left window seat! This was the first time I travelled with just 3 passengers in the lower deck!
The safety video was played and I wanted to comment on how cool the video was! Pretty interesting enough to keep me watching till the end. At the end, both the steward and stewardess got their synchronised line right on cue this time round!
Plane took off on time and shortly when it was airborne, the friendly FA
came back and took my order for dinner. She also asked if I liked to be woken up for breakfast tomorrow. I told her to wake me up for breakfast the next morning.
Entree was a nice big serving of salad with lobster with vinaigrette and I must admit I am still feeling bloated from my meal I had from my HKG
flight! I skipped all the rest of the courses and I requested for an iced milo with 2 pieces of chocolate. The lights were turned off very shortly as the other 2 passengers were not interested in their main and dessert either.
I had used the spacebed before and I didn't like to extend the bed flat and preferred the reclined cradled position for sleeping instead. I popped 2 melatonins and tried to sleep for at least 5 hrs. Half way through, I went to the toilet and came back and toppled my glass of water (evian) on the carpet. Somehow, staff would get viligant once any passengers woke up from their sleep. They would stand discreetly behind you to try to anticipate if you require any service. Suddenly, I had 3 FAs over to clean up my mess. One was on the floor blotting up the water with towels; one came with a new set of blankets and the other brought me another glass of water. Before the FA
left, one of the FA
asked me to change to any free seats if the water has spilled onto my seat. Usually, when I fly, I'm pretty no-fuss with service or inflight needs but I was convinced that the crew onboard were all genuinely helpful and delighted to do anything to provide a thoughtful service.
I woke up for breakfast which was about 40 min before landing. At that time, all I wanted was just a quick drink. I am never a breakfast sorta guy so I was just happy with a glass of OJ, water and tea. I didn't touch any of the breadrolls. After I came back from the toilet, the blankets were nicely folded and placed on the seat next to me and the tray cleared.
Landing was smooth and cleared custom at 5.30am in the morning. Managed to get my luggage and was happy to get out of the airport and find a taxi waiting to take me home. Of course, the weather of 13 deg was a pleasant one when my whole trip in Singapore and HK
was hot and humid.
It was an enjoyable non-intrusive, highly attentive, polite, efficient and consistent service that kept me a frequent flyer with SQ