Here is the second part of the trip report!
July 15, 2006
0950 1500 Airbus A330-200 A6-EAA
After an evening at Hilton Colombo, I took the hotel courtesy car for the hour ride back to the airport. Traffic at Colombo is pretty crazy, but I guess it can be worst… but the driver does not seem to stop horning for more than few seconds.
As expected, security was very tight at Colombo Airport with a check point for cars and trucks outside the airport perimeter, but they pretty much wave our car along. Then entering the departure hall requires an x-ray of all your bags and the security guard checking all documents and tickets. After passing through various corridors and more passport checks, I arrived at the unimpressive departure hall. I arrived a bit early and the counter was not going to open till 7:30am. There is no directory to check-in counters, but you can ask the two UL
agents at the information desk. However, F/J line was not clearly designated and obviously some UL
agents directed their friends to the F/J line. The agent was very nice and immediately gave me the two boarding passes, but I had to remind her to give me a first class lounge pass for the second segment. I am grateful that EK
F/J passengers can use the much nicer UL
business class lounge, which models against Emirates’ own F/J lounge.
Passing the immigration counter is no problem, and soon I am at the UL
lounge. A hot breakfast buffet including scrambled egg, various breakfast meats, vegetables, curry, and breakfast breads are available, as well as a cold bar featuring salad, sandwiches, and various pastries. There is an open alcoholic, non-alcoholic, tea/coffee bar. There is free wireless Internet, and also computers. I like the open window with a view of the new pier.
Our aircraft arrived late from Dubai this morning, and our new departure time is 10:45am. The flight finally landed around 9:56am, and parked at gate A10 a few minutes later. EK
552 is a circle flight from Dubai to Colombo, and then onto Male, and then back to Dubai. Many passengers are continuing onto Male, and only two passengers are going to Dubai from Colombo in business class. Boarding began at 10:30am, and after aboard, orange or apple juice was offered, as well as newspapers, headsets, and hot towel. No menu is offered, but I did some menu scavenging after people deplaned from Male, and got a copy of the original Dubai to Colombo to Male menu, and yes, amenity kit is passed out on the overnight Colombo to Dubai flight. We pushed back at 10:50am and taxied towards R/W22, and took off after an UL
’s A320 landed. We lifted off at 11:04am. Flying time was an hour and seven minutes with a cruising attitude of 36,000feet.
Six minutes later, seat belt sign was turned off, and a nice cold meal was served. A cart rolled out at each aisle and the cold meal was offered for those who wanted it. Then a second F/A offered wines and champagne, and other beverages are on demand. Tea and coffee was offered a bit later. The cold meal is pretty nice, and the breadbasket features regular rolls and multigrain twist rolls. The fruit selection includes pineapple, kiwi, grapes, cantaloupe, and orange.
Here is the wine list and menu transcript!
Charles Elner Cuvee de Reserve Brut
Pascal Joliver Pouilly Fume Vintage 2004
Tamas Estate Chardonnay Central Coast, California Vintage 2003
Chateau Potensac Medoc vintage 1996
Torbreck Estate Barossa Valley Old Vines Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre Vintage 2004
Chairman’s Late Bottled Vintage Port Vintage 1997
Assorted Fruit of seasonal Fruits
Salmon and Leek Quiche served with smoked chicken, orange segments, celeriac and apple salad
Fine layers of chocolate cake with raspberry jam
The personal television system is turned on for folks from Dubai to finish up their movies. Hot towels were passed out at 11:42am. Descent began a minute later. We landed at the beautiful Male airport’s R/W18 at 11:41am (Male is half an hour behind from Colombo). The apron features a Bahrain’s Boeing 747SP and a Royal Jordanian’s A340 with the engines covered with red protective cover. There are basically two parking spots maximum. I don’t think the airport can handle more than two commercial flights at the same time.
Dubai bound passengers are asked to remain on board and I took various pictures of the cabin. There is no change of crew, as they told me that it is cheaper to put the crew up at Colombo than the much more expensive Male. There is also no catering at Male, but the clean up crew did show up and tidy up the cabin. Fresh blankets were replaced, but pillows were not replaced. But strangely, the headrests were all replaced with fresh ones.
At 12:15pm, boarding resumed and J class had a lighter load, and I had two seats for myself. Door was closed at 12:31pm, and at 12:39pm, the engine began running and taxied towards R/W18. We took off at 12:45pm. Flying time is three hours and thirty-three minutes, with a cruising attitude of 38,000feet.
Seat belt sign was turned off at 1:10pm, and the F/As swung into action. A more layout lunch was served. First, the beverage trolley rolled out with a bowl of mixed nuts, which had a more exotic mix. Then appetizer tray was rolled out with salad. Then entrée was rolled out, followed by the dessert cart with fruit, cheese, and sweets, and the dessert cart rolled out twice for those who wanted a second helping.
Fresh cut fruit with a hint of masala spices
Something different from the usual green salad, but the fruit salad was a bit more challenging for me.
Salad of Scallops and Prawns marinated in lime and ginger, served with fine green beans
Marinated Beef Salad
Marinated beef and vegetable salad with Asian spices
I chose the seafood appetizer, which was not disappointing. The shrimps and scallops were fresh and delicious, and there were a few slices of papaya used as garnish.
Grilled Seer Fish served with garlic butter and tomato concasse, accompanied with red peppers, broccoli and tagliarelle noodles
I chose the fish, which was a bit tougher than I think. It was just okay.
Peppered Beef served with dhal curry and vegetable fried rice
Roasted Lamb Loin served with rosemary sauce, accompanied with carrot batons, green zucchini and Parisienne potatoes
Bread and Butter Pudding
Traditional bread and butter pudding, served with cinnamon flavored vanilla sauce
Orange Cheese Cake
Light orange flavored cheesecake, served on chocolate mirror
The dessert was really nice, as the F/A served the bread and butter budding from a full tray. They sliced it in front of you, and then vanilla sauce was added individually.
Selection of International cheeses, offered with crudités, grapes and crackers
Blue, Cheddar, Camembert, and Emmental cheese
Selection of Seasonal Fruits
Pineapple, kiwi, papaya, orange, and grapes
Beverage & Chocolates
A box of Godiva chocolates was offered, with cup of tea/coffee.
For the rest of the flight, the F/As refilled water glasses and it was uneventful with some passengers sleeping and watching TV
. Descent soon began at 2:54pm Dubai local time, and hot towel was offered again. We landed at very hot Dubai International Airport at 3:18pm, and those passengers with closed connections were asked not to worry. There were two closed flights – one to London, and one to Munich. The London flight was cutting rather closed, but I think they were fine. We parked at bay F14/Gate 27.
July 16, 2006
0250 1720 Airbus A340-500 A6-ERJ
As my visit to Dubai International Airport, I was amazed by the size of it, and how spacious the terminal was. There were a number of shops and restaurants along the way. The transit process was straightforward, and there were lots of tall palm trees. I was amazed by the duty free shops complex occupying the basement. I have never seen so many cigarette brands. There are also lots of Filipino workers. However, as a plane spotter, the window was not too helpful and could not see many planes. Anyway, they are mostly Emirates with a few other airlines. I headed toward the Emirates First Class Lounge, which was not as large as I expected, but at the late afternoon hours, it was not too busy. I headed towards the buffet and had a bowl of really good sweet corn soup. Other hot items offered were pasta, sauces, Chicken satay, curry, tuna fish cake, and rice, and then there are lots of bread, fruits, sandwiches, and pastries. There was a full alcoholic and non-alcoholic bar. Vodka was properly chilled. There was also a second level of sitting area, as well as two business centers with five computers. However complimentary wireless and the computers have rather unstable connections. I rated the food as below CX
at their respective home bases, but EK
scores higher in terms of sitting area with lots of comfortable sofa. In terms of food, CX
has the best food for sure. However the best feature of Emirates is the hotel guestroom, which features a queen sized double bed, a TV
, and a toilet with shower stall. It is like a hotel and the agent set up a room for me, and I managed to get a good six hours of sleep there and had a nice shower afterward. So I am fully adjusted to Osaka time, as I only took a short nap after the snack and felt well rested till later that night in Osaka.
After I checked out from my room, I grabbed a few snacks at the lounge, as only a light meal was offered after takeoff. I had a few bowls of the soup, which was delicious, as well as the Irish lamb stew with bowtie pasta. The screen was a bit slow in listing the gate for the Osaka flight, and for some strange reasons, when the gate number showed up, it was also showing last call. Unfortunately, Dubai International Airport also followed the same “lying” strategy as Singapore Changi International Airport. They listed final call, but boarding had not even started. Since we used a bus gate at 40, it was quite a hike to the gate, and it was a bit nerve wrecking, when the screen showed “Final Call.” Now I know! Boarding did not begin till 2:15am. Of course, there was a long walk to the bottom, and then waited for the bus. The agent tried to find out all the F/J passengers, but could not do it. There should be a separate F and J bus. Of course, I wanted to take pictures, but an agent politely informed me that photo was not allowed.
Once on board, Robert, a very sweet Eastern European F/A, and Miyako, a great Japanese F/A, who speaks perfect English, welcomed the five passengers in the F cabin today. The suites were amazing, but unfortunately, I could not take many pictures due to the late night nature. I really like the grey leather seats and they are well padded and comfortable. There were also lots of mirrors used, and many compartments to store small items. Unfortunately the main problem was the lack of storage bins, and all the overhead bins were removed. Therefore the F/As had to store the roller on bags separately at empty seats. I can imagine major problems on a JFK
flight with full F cabin. The divider was amazing, but then I did not know if I should close it during meals or not. For snacks, I left it open, but for breakfast, I closed the door after the F/A served each course, and then reopened them when I am done with that previous course, so they can serve the next course. Amenities are plentiful with slippers, an amenity kit, and a pajama offered immediately, and there is another “travel well” kit located near the mirror, as long as a stationary set and a pen. Of course, pre-takeoff beverage was offered, but Dom was served after takeoff, as well as a cup of Arabic coffee and a piece of Arabic sweet (nuts and dried fruit). Newspapers are offered as well. F/As were very attentive throughout the flight.
Door was closed at 2:56am, as we pushed back from Bay T5
at 3:02am. Following a number of Emirates’ late night flight, we took off from R/W30R at 3:15am. Dubai looked pretty impressive from the window. Flying time was nine hours and eight minutes, with an initial attitude of 33,000feet, and then heading towards Gwadar, passing Peshawar, before climbing to 37,000feet and then 37,500feet. Then we flew pass Sahache, Urumqi, and turned SE
towards Kalgan, and turned south towards Beijing, and Tientsin and turned west towards Incheon, South Korean, and straight into Osaka.
Seat belt sign was turned off at 3:24am, and Donny, the purser, made his round around first class passengers passing out the menu and telling each passenger that everything was a la carte and please used the service bell at anytime. Also, they can also set up each bed with mattresses. Then the Japanese F/A came around and asked for our beverage and what did we want for snack. I ordered Dom Perignon, of course, and then the assorted sushi plate, grilled chicken salad, and the amazing petit fours. Everything was set up properly and linen was always used, even for the tea service. Robert refilled my Dom Perignon frequently, and then he came around with a snack basket to each passenger, that contained items that I should not eat, which include Toblerone, Mars, Toggi, Kit Kat, Snickers, Bounty chocolate bars, a pack of dried mango, Pringles chips, and a small case of tic tac mints. The bar was set up with a bottle of Evian water, Perrier, 7-UP
, Pepsi, mango juice, and a glass. Due to the dim light, the picture did not come out properly. The sushi plate was pretty good, as plane sushi came, and then the salad was fresh. The petit fours were just amazing with a nice pecan tart, a chocolate crispy tart, a chocolate coconut roll, a strawberry & Marzipan tart, and a fruit and Marzipan tart. I can have another plate, but I stopped myself. Then I have a cup of hot lemon tea, which was served in an individual silver pot.
Here is the wine list and menu transcript!
Dom Perignon Vintage 1998
Chateau Fuisse Pouilly Fuisse Vieilles Vignes vintage 2001
Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Vintage 2003
Chateau La Luviere Pessac-Leognan Vintage 2003
Chateau Lynch Bages Pauillac Vintage 1996
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz Vintage 2002
Domaine des Perdrix Nuits-St-Georges, 1er Cru Aux Perdrix vintage 2001
Croft Vintage 1998
05/06 – FC/LH/EB – Ver1
A selection of sandwiches including smoked salmon on kraftkorn bread, chicken tikka on French bread, grilled vegetables on white ciabatta and beef pastrami on rye bread
Furikake Roast Salmon
Furikake Roast Salmon, served with linguine noodles, ginger relish, sautéed asparagus, and cherry tomatoes
Baked Cheese Souffle
Baked homemade cheese soufflé, served with a tangy plum tomato stew
Seasonal Greens with Grilled Chicken
Fresh seasonal greens, topped with grilled chicken, tomato, cucumber and eggs, served with olive oil
Selection of Assorted Sushi
Selection of sushi, which include kappa maki, California maki, unagi, ebi, smoked salmon, and saba sushi accompanied by ginger pickles, soy sauce, and wasabi
Selection of petit fours
Fresh Seasonal fruit
A limited selection of cup noodles is available throughout the flight
Fresh Fruit Juices
Fresh Seasonal Fruits
Natural or Fruit
Selection of Seasonal Fruit
Sakizuke consisting of chicken wing, bamboo shoot, yam, dried tofu with okura, prawn, and lotus root
Simmer dish with egg custard and sticky mushroom sauce
Hiramasa No Teriyaki
King fish with teriyaki sauce accompanied by seasonal vegetables and rice with Japanese herbs
Fine soba noodles with nori, wasabi, chives, and dried bonita flakes
Served with grilled beef tenderloin, roasted plum tomato, sautéed spinach, and hash brown potatoes
Served with assorted mushrooms and green asparagus, plum tomato with herbs and chive potato cakes
Poached Paprika Egg
Topped with tomato hollandaise, served on a bed of smoked fish hash
Throughout the flight, I watched Kath and Kim, Simpsons, and Family Guy on the ICE network, and also took a short nap after the snack. I stayed awake for most of the flight, as I was in Japan. The F/A always asked if I need anything, when I used the bathroom. The bathroom was really nice and featured a window like most premium cabin these days. It was well stocked with toothbrush sets, shaving sets, and other stuff. It was well lit and the F/A always cleaned up whenever a passenger used the facility.
Most passengers began to wake up about three quarter into the journey, and I did not have breakfast till ninety minutes prior to arrival. I chose a western breakfast with fresh fruit and yogurt to start, followed by mixed grill. The fresh fruit plate featured mango, peach, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, and grapes, and the fruit yogurt is strawberry flavored. The individual breadbasket contained a croissant, Danish, mini Kaiser roll, white and wheat toasts, and the entrée came later with a piece of beef tenderloin, grilled chicken breast, 2 veal sausages, mushrooms, potato cake, and tomato. A perfect cup of tea ended the fabulous meal.
Descent soon began at 4:44pm Osaka local time, and pilot signaled the F/As to prepare the cabin at 5pm, and the F/As passed out another round of hot towels. Donny once again went around the cabin and thanked us for riding with Emirates. We landed on R/W24 at 5:23pm, and parked at gate 27 six minutes later. We arrived at a really good hour, as there was no one at immigration. The airport was quiet, and I was able to exit immigration and custom (I have no bag) in ten minutes. I headed over to Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport shortly after.
Emirates First Class is definitely a wonderful experience and the service definitely matched up very well against CX
. The seat itself really made CX
seats looked tired, and the amenity kits offered were amazing, as well as the PJ
. The slippers were the terry cloth kind. However, I think it will be nice if EK
can use duvet blanket, as well as adding some more storage space. Food wise – it is always the tricky part especially a 3am departure time. Most passengers did go straight to bed, and a dinner would be wasted. One can easily make a dinner out from the snack menu. However, I can use a bowl of noodle soup or a hearty soup too, and cup noodles seem a bit lame for first class. However, I think a full lunch should be served prior to arrival, as it was a 5pm arrival time. Breakfast was a bit lame, or maybe a brunch with a few more lunch offerings. The service was really good though. The F/As were polite and helpful. It is a good experience and I am already looking forward to the return flight. I only hope that their flights can be at least daytime for one of the directions. These redeye flights did not allow me to enjoy the food that much.
1330 1725 Boeing 777-200ER 9V
-SRH (Two-class regional configuration)
After a nice evening at Kansai, I headed to the observation deck the next morning. Unfortunately, rain once again dampened the mood, but I managed to take a few pictures of my favorite Finnair’s MD
-11 before rushing back for the 11am bus. The Vietnam Airlines’ Boeing 777 was also quite a sight and all the plane enthusiasts rushed out to greet the VN
’s 772 too. It was always a good feeling to see so many people, who love planes as much as me. The US crowd was smaller, and not many airports had a great facility like Kansai. The morning was definitely a good time to visit and saw all those European bound planes taking off.
I checked in around noon and the check-in counters were very quiet, as this flight was not particularly busy. J class cabin was about 1/3 full. I asked for an aisle seat with a blocked window, and the agent just could not that that idea across. But 12D was to avoid at all costs. Yes, you got unlimited legroom, but you have no seat pocket and nowhere to place your bag in front of you. I went to the Silver Kris lounge, which was surprisingly nice with window overlooking our aircraft. The food selections include hot dim sum (shrimp dumpling), cup noodles, instant porridges, sandwiches, and various snacks, with a full self served alcoholic and non-alcoholic bar. There is also free wireless service.
Boarding began at 1:02pm at gate 41 and Irene immediately welcomed me aboard and addressed me by my last name. SQ
F/As are absolutely the best in the world and the service is just second to none. You are addressed by your last name immediately and the F/As always want to provide the best service available. We had a casual conversation about the weather… Who said SQ
F/As were robotic? The load was obviously very light on this short segment and I asked about a pair of seat in the back. Irene talked to Doreen, the pursuer, and told me that 15 and 16AC were opened on this leg to Bangkok. I moved to 16A immediately. Four F/As serving us up front were excellent, not to mention a cute Singaporean Boy. Door was closed at 1:22pm, and pushed back at 1:29pm, and headed towards R/W24. We took off at 1:43pm.
Flying time was four hours and fifty-eight minutes. We climbed to 11,582m and then passing Miyazaki, before climbing up to 11,887m and crossing the beautiful Okinawan Islands and then head towards Tianan, before taking a more SW
direction towards Danang, Vietnam, and climbing up to 12,192m.
Service began immediately with the famous Singaporean satays – beef and chicken with cucumber and onion. Then the Japanese F/As passed out the menus and took our entrée orders. I decided to give the Japanese meal a try. The only disadvantage was that the Japanese was all served in one course, and the portion could be a bit small for a big boy like me. (But I had some food at the airport before, so I was fine). Here is the wine list and menu transcript:
Piper Heidsieck 1999
Rheingau Riesling Kabinett 2004 Weinhaus Ress
Montagny 1er Cru 2002
Chateau Cissac 1998 Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc
Serrata Belguardo 2003 igt maremme Toscana
Dow 2001 late bottled vintage port
To Nibble on…
Satay with onion, cucumber, and spicy peanut sauce
A Savory Note
Marinated Prawns garnished with tomato and cucumber salad, cocktail dressing
The Main Event
Coq Au Vin
French style stewed chicken in red wine, seasonal vegetables and sautéed potato
Sweet and sour salmon served with assorted vegetables and fried rice
Spaghetti pasta with assorted mushroom “Bolognese,” shaved Parmesan cheese
“Finding the change of the four seasons in a flower and translating it into cuisine”
An array of nine appetizers and entrees together with miso soup, served in Japanese style
Tilefish rolled with cucumber, river shrimps, lady finger, baby abalone
Simmered octopus, grilled shishito peppers
Grilled semi dried flounder, sweet potato cake, pickled lotus root
Sesame curd with bonito flakes flavored jelly, wasabi
Grilled eel and cucumber salad
Simmered Prawn, Japanese yam, green beans
Sea eel sushi
Ginger flavored steamed rice
Steamed glutinous rice with green soya beans
The Cheese Board
Gourmet Cheese with garnishes
A Sweet Note
Haagen Dazs rum and raisin ice cream with grapes and yuzu
A selection of fresh fruit
A connoisseur’s Choice
Selection of tea and pralines
The Japanese meal was quite nice though and I saw the galley F/A plating the meal, which was not easy because some of the boxes had to be filled by F/A (hot items). My favorite was the Takiawase, sea eel sushi, and the steamed glutinous rice with green soya beans, and the tofu. The cheese plate was not attractive, so I went by a few pieces of fruits, which include banana, peach, orange, grapes, and apples. The ice cream was nice of course, and a cup of tea ended my meal, not to mention a nice piece of chocolate truffle.
The entertainment system unfortunately was the older kind with no on demand function, but power ports were installed. The F/As made their rounds and I had my glass of water refilled. The F/A also passed out packets of mixed nuts as we got closer to Bangkok. Descent soon began at 4:13pm Bangkok time (two hours behind from Tokyo), and we landed on R/W21L at 4:41pm. Unlike CX
, we had to leave the aircraft with all our belongings on this layover. It has to do with increased security alert mandated by Singaporean government. I headed towards the lounge, which was quite busy. With a not-so-attractive menu for the onward flight, I had a cup noodle, lots of dim sums, and a ham and cheese sandwich. In terms of plane-spotting, I saw a number of interesting planes, including a Biman Bangladesh’s Airbus A310, Royal Jordanian’s A340 JY
744 G-CIVT, QF744 OH
-OJT, NH772’s JA707A, CX
, and Ethiad’s brand new Boeing 777-300ER A6-ETE.
1830 2155 Boeing 777-200ER 9V
Boarding resumed at 5:50pm at gate 51, and the flight was much fuller this time. I returned to my original seat, 12D, even though Doreen made the Osaka staff to send a telefex to Bangkok to request a seat change. Thankfully 12E remained empty, and with a fuller load and a long layover time, menus and headsets were already placed at each seat pocket. Irene immediately came with a fresh copy of the day’s Strait Times, but for this leg, she helped out in the back. Door was closed at 6:23pm and pushed back shortly after. We took off from R/W21R at 6:39pm.
Flying time was a short two hours and a minute, and we cruised at 11,277m. Beverage and mixed nuts were served first, followed by dinner. Everything was served in a single tray, as time was shorter this time. The food was a bit weaker, but not as bad as CX
. The appetizer was still very questionable, and I only ate the fresh greens, but the fruit was fine with rose apple, papaya, melon, and pineapple. I had the special Georg Blanc’s entrée, which was excellent. Even SQ
used a casserole dish for entrée on this short flight, it was still significantly larger than CX
one. The beef was tender, and the vegetables were not overcooked. Good job, SQ
! Here is the transcript:
A savory note
Thai style fried fish and roasted peanut salad
The Main Event
“Meurette” style stewed beef cheek served with baby vegetables and sautéed potato
*Exclusively created by Georges Blanc, Vonnas
Pan fried garoupa served with creamy light mustard sauce, selected vegetables and buttered potato
Thai style fried sliced chicken with string bean in chilli paste served with steamed rice
A Sweet Note
Fresh fruit selection
Bread basket featured some really nice soft bread, garlic bread crackers and dark rolls. After dinner, tea/coffee was offered, and soon descent began at 9:07pm Singaporean time. We landed on R/W2L at 9:40pm, which meant a long taxi to our gate, F56, which would go to Perth later that evening. Unfortunately, I had to report that the hated SQ
’s Boeing 747-400 9V
-SMT was once again schedule on the SIN
redeye run. SIN
was fairly busy at night with lots of flights to most SQ
destinations. But the immigration was relatively quiet and got out quickly. However, I had to head to terminal one to pick up my stored bags. Thankfully I managed to catch the 10:30pm shuttle to the Le Meridien Changi Village, which was renovated, but service was still lacking.
1100 1445 Boeing 777-200ER 9V
The next morning, I took the 9am shuttle to the airport, and then checked in my bags. I received my boarding pass to HKG
the day before. I guess my layover was too short to count as a real stop. The Raffles Class counter was fully staffed and I found an empty counter fairly quickly. Just to note for those folks on the A340-500 flights to LAX
, you have a separate check-in even in J. 9V
was used on that day’s flight to Newark. The new renovated terminal two was very impressive with lots of glass structure, and a much better improvement from the terminal one. I headed over to the Silver Kris lounge, and the offerings were definitely lacking compared to F. The breakfast food was okay with some mini warmed breakfast breads, sliced cheese, fruit plate, some fried kway teow, curry dish, plain omelet and hot cakes. I sort of wishing for the fried carrot cakes. There is wireless, but also lots of Ethernet set up stations, which proved to have a speedier connection. I did some emailing and then waited till 10:25pm before heading to the gate. Of course, the board showed final call, but of course, most passengers were still waiting in line.
Once onboard, I was escorted to my seat, 11K, and my neighbor soon moved to 11F, as the load was relatively light in J. All the usual beverages were offered including orange juice, champagne, and Welcome Drink, Golden Spice. Socks and eyeshades were offered again, with newspapers (include HK
papers), noise-canceling headsets, and hot towels. Door was closed at 10:55am, and we took off from R/W20C at 11:07am. Things were fairly quiet at SIN
this morning. Flying time was three hours and twenty-six minutes with a cruising attitude of 11,582m. We flew past Tioman and the headed straight to Hong Kong.
No satays on this flight… only SQ
2 the continuing flight to SFO
has the satays. Mixed nuts were offered with our first beverage. Then dinner began with appetizer, and then entrée, followed by cheese and fruit plate, and then dessert, and then tea/coffee/praline.
[L1] 88-1.1 07 RC
A Savory Note
Prawn and somen salad
Marinated prawns with white wheat noodles salad topped with mache, salmon roes and yuzu dressing
A nice cool salad to start… prawns were fresh and I liked the yuzu dressing!
The Main Event
Stuffed Chicken with spinach and pinenuts in cress sauce, carrots and buttered tagliatelle with mushroom
*Exclusively created by Georges Blanc, Vonnas
Wok fried marinated pork chop with Chinese barbecue sauce served with braised beancurd and vegetables, steamed rice
Seared salmon trout served with cilantro pesto butter, vine ripened cherry tomato and olive oil flavored potato
Papardella pasta with vegetables in basil pesto, roasted vine ripened cherry tomato, asparagus
*Specially created meatless dish
I ordered the Book the Cook, and the Singaporean Chicken Rice was excellent, as the chicken was tender and moist, and the rice was wonderfully flavored. Three sauces were provided (served in first class ramekins curiously) – dark soy sauce, ginger & garlic sauce, and chili sauce.
The Cheese Board
Gourmet Cheese with garnishes
I had the cheese plate, which featured Camembert (but pre-packaged President’s kind), white Cheddar, and goat cheese flavored with herb, walnuts, dried apricots, and grapes.
A Sweet Note
Cherry ice cream with chunky chocolate and whole cherry served with vanilla sauce and tuile
A selection of fresh fruit
Great ice cream, and the fruit basket featured banana, apple, oranges, and peaches.
A Connoisseur’s Choice
WISEMEN 3000 was nice and I watched some short subjects, and then did some duty free shopping, including buying the A380 model. I also noticed a new blanket was used by SQ
, which was softer and a nice color.
We began descent at 2:03pm, and we landed on R/W25R at 2:33pm, and parked at gate 24 at 2:42pm. I was a bit disappointed that the F/A forgot to bring my Raffles Class’ writing pads I requested, but I guess there was always a second time.
Well here is the end of my July report!
Northwest was a fine carrier, if you set your expectation right. Intra-Asian flights continued to be better than the over-water segment. Food wise – Northwest tried hard and the snack basket on the NRT
segment was nice, and most of the snacks could be reused, so no wastage and people who were hungry could get a substantial bite. I am fine with WBC seat, but then the AVOD entertainment was good, but some more short subjects should be added.
Emirates is an amazing experience, and Dubai International Airport is great. Not sure if they have the cheapest price, but good enough for me. The EK
lounges are great and the guestrooms at F lounge are nice. Now on my return, I have a much longer layover. I wonder what I should do… 5am to 11pm… should I join a tour?
Cathay Pacific is fine, but ex-BKK
food is a disappointment. It can do better, and SQ
scores a bit higher in terms of food. The service though is good as usual. SIN
-CMB is definitely a nicer flight than BKK
-CMB. However the regional J seats at the Boeing 777-300s are getting tired looking, and the new regional seat is just awful. I think CX
should stick with the lounge chair design and just update the seats with electronic seat control, better seat padding, and AVOD. 45 inches of legroom is acceptable on these short flights, but I think CX
should not these regional planes on these long flights to Middle East, and Australia.
Singapore Airlines is amazing in any aspect, and food wise, it is second to none. Only ANA’s international long haul food can match up with SQ
(but then ANA’s short and medium haul J food was not that good). The regional seat at the two-class Boeing 777-200ER was actually not too bad, and reclines seemed to be a bit better than the three-class regional configuration with a bit more recline. The only thing is the lack of AVOD PTV, but I guess as the next wave of Boeing 777s and 787s arrived, it will be changed.
The next report will be in mid-August, as I will head for Europe and my first ride on the new J bed of Finnair and VLM’s Fokker 50.
Thanks for reading,