canberra
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 8:32 pm

AMS-SIN-AKL On SQ B772 And B744 (w/pics)

Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:26 pm

It’s a long time since I have had any interesting flights (ok, maybe except this one) so I decided to make a report about my flight to New Zealand for New Year 2004/2005. My first time in New Zealand, my first B777 flight and my first flight on a Christmas decorated aircraft  santahat 

Planning started almost a year in advance, when we received the invitation to some friends wedding. Tickets were bought already in March, yes, that would be 9 month in advance. We decided to fly on Christmas Eve (Christmas celebration for us Danes) as that would save us EUR 225 per person compared to the day before or after.

After a long wait it was finally time to go. As always we left in good time so I could have a look around the airport before boarding. Well this time I didn’t manage to have a look around, but I was very happy that we left home in good time because there was a problem with our ticket! I booked via Internet as I (almost) always do, received confirmation and e-tickets so everything was fine I thought. When it became our turn to check-in I was asked the last four digits of the credit card I used for paying the ticket. Of course I didn’t remember so I first tried one. That didn’t work so I tried my other one. That didn’t work either, and then it hit me, one of my cards had been chanced (to one of those ‘new’ chip cards) during the last 9 months, and I had no where to get the old card number as my Danish bank was closed for Christmas and we didn’t have time go back and find it. I must admit that I got a bit nervous when the supervisor told me there was no way the could check us in with the last four digits, as they where required by the system  scared  Luckily a visit to the Singapore office solved the problem. They were able to print a paper ticket for us, and they even did that without any extra fees. Holiday saved and we were on our way  relieved 

Lesson learned. They always say bring the credit card you used to pay with. They ‘never’ check but bring it anyway  alert 


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Date: 24th December 2005
Flight number: SQ323
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Aircraft: 9V-SVB, B777-212(ER) (c/n 28525/353)
Scheduled/Actual time of departure (AMS): 1150L/1236L
Scheduled/Actual time of arrival (SIN): 0720+L/0718+L
Scheduled/Actual flying time: 12:30/11:52


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We completed boarding a little late, as we had to wait for a few passengers. They also had problems with the last four credit card digits, but with 45mins delay we were on your way. Taxied out for departure on Kaagbaan (RWY24). On the take run we passed the Martin Air cargo platform where there as usual (in that period) was an Antonov An-124 parked. At the time we reached the spotters parking we where already airborne.


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Don’t remember all the details from the flight anymore, but a few things where rather special. First of all, the entire plane was Christmas decorated and the crew was walking around with red Christmas hats (‘nissehuer’ in Danish, don’t know the English word). It was also announced that we would have a special Christmas dinner, though I would say only the idea was special, plane food is plane food no matter is the call is Christmas turkey  Yeah sure


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This was also the longest flight I have ever been on (CPH-BKK was the record before), so I was not unhappy to find my own screen with a wide selection of possibilities in front of my seat. Normally I am not really into those small screens, but I must admit I liked the (on-demand) movie selection and the small quizzes! Most of the time was spent making holiday plans and sleeping though.


MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Michael Flebbe



Anyway after almost twelve hours flight we arrived Singapore where we had a two day stopover. Hotel were booked with SQ’s Stopover program at a very decent price, and included a lot of free tickets and discount coupons for attractions around the city. Having been there before we didn’t use a lot of them though. Most of the time was spent looking for camera equipment, but I was not impressed by the price. Most things were available cheaper on-line in the States than in the shops in Singapore.

After enjoying Singapore it was finally off to Auckland, New Zealand. This time the check-in went without any problems, and I had a look around the airport. Even though it was already dark I logged a number of new frames, including local carriers Silk Air and Tiger.

We also had time to watch a bit of CNN. The stories about the Tsunami were just coming in and several hundred people were reported killed. It was only after we arrived New Zealand we found out how big it was and how close we were  boggled 

Anyway we finally found our plane and off we were.

Date: 26th December 2005
Flight number: SQ285
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Aircraft: 9V-SPP, B747-412 (c/n 28029/1276)
Scheduled/Actual time of departure (AMS): 2100L/????L
Scheduled/Actual time of arrival (SIN): 1150+L/1245+L
Scheduled/Actual flying time: 09:50/??:??

We departed the dark Changi Airport, and were quickly asleep. This time we were on Singapore Star Alliance Jumbo. Inside, this plane was also Christmas decorated, but the crew lots the hats  Smile


MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Michael Flebbe
MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Michael Flebbe



This flight was a bit shorter than the last one, and indeed it seemed to go very fast. Before we knew it the firs sign of New Zealand were seen in the horizon.


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Photo © Michael Flebbe



We were lucky enough to fly past the airport, before we turned around for landing on Rynway 23L.


MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Michael Flebbe



After some hassle with immigration (worse than in the US) we could finally start our holiday, but first I needed to have a look around AKL. Nice bits, as EK A345 and B773, were seen together with many local airliners.


MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Michael Flebbe



Well that was about it. The flight back was with Singapore Airlines as well. Flying out of Christchurch via Singapore to Amsterdam. The hole flight in the same aircraft  grumpy 


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Photo © Michael Flebbe



We also had quite a few flights planed in New Zealand. Most were unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather, including Mount Cook PC-6, Milford Sounds BN.2, Airsafaris Nomad. Only our two scheduled flights were operated.

First an Air Nelson Saab 340 brought us from Napier to Christchurch on the first day of the new year


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After that an ATR-72 from Mount Cock Airline, took us from Queenstown back to Christchurch


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Finally I can only recommend New Zealand as travel destination. Fantastic nature, fantastic people. Also Singapore Airlines can be recommended, the service was outstanding  bigthumbsup 

All the best, Michael
It takes courage to push things forward . . (Mo Mowlam)
 
ZK-NBT
Posts: 4928
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 5:42 pm

RE: AMS-SIN-AKL On SQ B772 And B744 (w/pics)

Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:33 pm

Nice report!

I'm glad you enjoyed NZ! Were the flights full?

Yes AKL Airport is a bit of a problem, especially in peak times like late morning when SQ285 arrives, around the same time as all the other Asian Heavies.

[Edited 2005-08-23 11:35:18]
 
christao17
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

RE: AMS-SIN-AKL On SQ B772 And B744 (w/pics)

Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:05 pm

Fantastic trip report and great photos. The Christmas hats make for a striking contrast with the SQ flight attendants' colourful uniforms!
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
SOU146
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:46 am

RE: AMS-SIN-AKL On SQ B772 And B744 (w/pics)

Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:50 am

Great report.

I shall be travelling LHR-KUL-AKL on MH next February.

I'm also planning very similar flights to you whilst over there (Milford Sounds BN2A, AirSafaris Nomad), I just hope mine wont be cancelled either. It's a shame you didn't get the opportunity to do them.

I am flying QF AKL - ZQN, can you tell me what the approach into Queenstown was like, I hear it's pretty spectacular..? - Thanks.
 
LAN340
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:07 pm

RE: AMS-SIN-AKL On SQ B772 And B744 (w/pics)

Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:22 am

Great report...but you're not due to fly until December  Wink

Check your dates
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canberra
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 8:32 pm

RE: AMS-SIN-AKL On SQ B772 And B744 (w/pics)

Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:00 pm

First of all thanks for all your comments, always nice to see some of you are actually read it  bouncy 

Quoting SOU146 (Reply 3):
I am flying QF AKL - ZQN, can you tell me what the approach into Queenstown was like, I hear it's pretty spectacular..?

We didn't fly into ZQN, only out. That was also quite nice despite of the weather. The arriving airliners was really crawling though the mountains, so I quite sure it's pretty spectacular  biggrin 

Quoting LAN340 (Reply 4):
Great report...but you're not due to fly until December

Don't you just hate when you can't edit it anymore  grumpy  Anyway it was of course 24th and 26th December 2004  checkmark 

/Michael
It takes courage to push things forward . . (Mo Mowlam)
 
9V-SVA
Posts: 1747
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 3:54 pm

RE: AMS-SIN-AKL On SQ B772 And B744 (w/pics)

Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:07 pm

Great trip report! Reminded me of my own trip to NZ in late November 2004. Sure is a lovely place.

For your reading interest, my trip report can be found at http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/52710/6/.
9V-SVA | B772ER

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