For those of you who have waited, here is my 1st trip report. This is is of my pilgrimage to LA
& Vegas during the X'Mas and New Years holidays. Of more than 50 flights I take a year, I can generally say only the december ones are for pleasure, hence me being more relaxed and able to observe more during the trip.
SInce I am based in Jakarta for work, my first destination will be back home to Perth via Kuala Lumpur. I routed my flights CGK
with various airlines but a majority of the long haul with TG
21 Dec '06: At the airport
After the spending half a day at the office, I headed home to pick my wife and the luggage up and also arranged from the maid to stay at my in laws. As usual for Jakarta there was the crazy traffic-packed trip to Soekarno Hatta airport. My flight KL810 was due to depart at 1910 and I pre booked seats 1A & 1B. I got the shock of my life when I reached the check-in as there were unusually long queues for both Y & J which is abnormal even for a full flight. Although there was only 4 people in front of me in the business class check-in in took my 50 mins b4 I reached the counter and alas..I was told that due to a technical problem the flight was delayed by 11 hrs!! It was due to depart only at around 0600 the next day. That was a no go for me and although they offered me a hotel room I said it was nto acceptable as I have a 0940 MH
flight to PER
in the morning. After confirming with the manager, my agent then proceeded to bring me to the EK
check-in so that I can take the flight EK347 to KUL
leaving at 2200.
This definitely came as a surprise to me as I thought they would transfer me to the MH
flight to KUL
. But I am not to complain as I had always heard great things about EK
and so this really turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
After checking in, I proceeded thru immigration and met my friend and his wife a kids at starbucks as they were also departing but by JAL to Tokyo for their holidays.
Soon enough, boarding call was made and i proceeded to wards my gate for my first ever EK
Flight time: 1hr 35min
Todays flight was operated by a B773 and it was in immaculate condition, friendly FA
's greeted me when I got on board and let me and the wife to seats 4A & 4B. Did not manage to get the rego of a/c and a pic of it due to the lousy glass and lighting conditions at CGK
seat and Legroom
famous ICE system
Getting ready to fly over Sumatra, and a bumpy ride it was!!
Crusing was at 36000ft and overall was a very smooth flight except for air pockets over Sumatra. Meal served was light meal:
Marinated Prawn & BBQ Chicken
Chinese Style Beef Ribs w/ steamed rice and boiled Vegs
Bagar Ayam (Malay Dish)
I took the beef and so did the wife
After an uneventful flight, we arrived in KUL
5 mins ahead of schedule. Overall, I was pleasently surprised at the level of service given to us by the crew, I will definitely fly them again and I love that outside view camera too.
Overall Service: 10/10, A/C Condition: 9/10, Food: 8/10
Crusie Altitude: 37000ft
After spending the night at the Pan Pacific KLIA hotel, I check-in at KUL
at around 0750. Check-in was a breeze and was assigned my pre-requeted seats 11J & 11K which were the on the rear of the upper-deck. It was starting to be a pleasent day until I realised that the checkin agent forgot to return me my enrich cards!! By the time I was already at the gate so I couldn't be bothered. B4
boarding, we entered the MH
Golden Longe and had a smoke and a few drinks b4 I proceeded to the book store and duty free to load up on my cigarettes. On the way to the gate, I managed to snap a pic of my a/c, there she is, 'Labuan' ready to take me home to Perth.
This a/c had the new retrofit seats and the flight was around 80% full in J and about the same load for Y and 50% for F.
The new J seats on MH
Spotted MH772 with 'Freedom of Space' getting ready to depart just in front of us
In addition the following were ahead of the MH772, and they were CX
After a slight ground delay "due to the usual missing passengers" we took off after a short taxi. Service on board was what you would expect from MH
. Courteous, polite and extremely helpful and they are always on their toes to serve passengers.
Meal for the day was breakfast:
Fruit Yoghurt, Fresh cut sesonal fruits, baked breads from the oven
Malaysian Nasi Lemak
Grilled chicken thigh w/ herb butter
Baked Panna Cotta
Just crossed Indonesia (where I was just 18 hrs ago!!) going south to down under
This was probably one of the smoothest flight I have ever been on in my life with hardly any turbulence (usually this will mean a very bumpy flight in the near future)
On approach to PER
, over the midlands area
We landed around 20 mins late due to the late departure but I am not complaning as the SQ
rush b4 us has already cleared thru immigration means it took me a short time to go thru immigration, grab my bags and meet my mum and head on home.
Overall this flight was what I had expected from MH
, great service, great product and even greater FA
's. Thats why I always fly them back to PER
and even for regional trips.
Overall Service: 10/10, A/C Condition: 7.5/10, Food: 7/10
TG998 (A330) Old c/s
ATD:1830 (Delay due to late arrival of a/c)
Cruising altitude: 34000ft
After 4 days back home relaxing, spending time with my dog, eating and medical checkup, we left for PER
with my mum along for the trip. I did an online check in the night before and got seats 12J & 12K for my self and my mum 1 row in front. Check in was smooth and was soon wlaking around the duty free area airside. Did some observations which included:
going to SIN
Malaysian Government Private Jet (Ok, I am bad at recognising the private jets!!)
B772 9M-MRP going to KUL
Garuda B738 PK
-GEC going to CGK
ANd last but not least, my a/c A330, HS
We killed time in the Qantas club lounge and although there was a delay, boarding came soon enough. Load in both J & Y is almost 100% and soon enough I settled in my seat 12K.
Old seats on the A330
Pre t/o drink and legroom
Nothing really interesting to watch on the IFE, how I wish they use the new config a/c on the PER
route which is actually quote long, almost 7hrs!!
Hot Savoury: Chicken Satay
Salad: Mixed salad w/ lemon vinigrette dressing
1st Course: Roast peppered beed, Smoked salmon & dill
Perch Curry "che chee" with steamed Thai Hom Rice
Grill chicken thigh w/ tomato olive sauce
Prok medallion w/ mushroom sauce
Braised 5-spice beef w/ egg fried rice(which I had)
Assorted bread, cheese tray & fruits were also on the menu
Strawberry Sponge Cake
Flight was normal with the occasional bumps, however food did nto taste that great and the FA
's could have smiled a bit more. Thats the thing with TG
even in J or F, you can get great FA
's 1 flight and lousy ones the next. FA
are above TG
We landed without much fanfare and I was actually a little excited as this is my first time to Sunavarbhumi Airport. I was also a little skeptical due to the numurous negative comments I have heard about this airport. Although its already almost 4 mths since it opened, i am hoping most of the bugs were fixed.
But the TG
A330 certainly needed AVOD and the new seats, it seemd to take forever b4 we arrived, and I even twisted my back trying to roll around and sleep!
3 things though did come into mind with regard to the new BKK
1st: BLOODY CRAZY WALKING DISTANCE TO
IMMIGRATION!!! Lack of signs!!
2nd: Had to wait 40mins for luggage
3rd: Really tight arrivals waiting area
We took the AOT
limousine to our given hotel by TG
which was the Royal Orchid Sheraton. Check in was quick although I got the Starwood Preferred Guest Floor whereas my mum didn't as she didn't have a SPG
Both rooms were actually almost similar with the only difference being my room had slightly newer finishings. I slept within 1 hr of checking in!
TG794 (A345) HS
Flight Time: 13 hrs 20 mins
Cruising Altitude: 39000ft
After spending most of the day walking around near the hotel and getting my back fixed at a massage place, we headed towards the airport. ANd 1st thing which came to mind was that the check-in area is definitely much better than the arrivals (although I was in the TG
premium checkin and did not see the other airline checkin)
Check in was quick and as usual got my preassigned seats 14A and 14B with my mum again on the aisle next to us. After about 10 mins spent at the counter, we went thru the immigration counter which was also quick (in contrast to reports)
Royak Silk Check In
We walked around the duty free then had a bite to eat at one of the restaurant and managed to hook up with my friend and his wife who will be joining us on our holiday, they just arrived on the connecting TG
flight from CGK
. After the meal, we walked around a little bit more and then we went to the Royal Silk lounge which was the biggest J lounge I have seen in my life....but it was a challenge to find seats !!!
Airside at BKK
One of the concourses
Time flew and we started to commence boarding. There was also a secondary check for liquids just b4 we entered the gate. Believe it or not this is actually my 1st flight on TG
A345 as the previous yr i took NZ
. For once, all passengers were on board the a/c early which resulted in an early pushback and subsequent take off. We seemed to use the entire runway but would have expected that as this a/c must be full of fuel and cargo and passengers!!
The cabinof the A345 is nice....inflight it is quiet too and I love that window in the lav!
J seats are the same as MH
albeit colour and IFE on MH
is in the centre armrest
Just b4 push back
SriLankan A332 next to us
IFE w/ AVOD
Across the Pacific anyone??
Just after take off, Bangkok in the night
Food time !!
King Prawn Medallions w/ Ceaser dressing, Bouquet of tender greens w/ italian dressing
Panfried Snow fish w/ thyme buerre blanc sauce & saffron rice
Pork sparerib w/ black bean sauce & steam thai hom mali rice w/ sauted taiwan cabbage (which I had)
Stir fried tab tin w/ thai herbs & thai hom mali rice
Fillet of beed w/ fresh green peppercorn sauce, potatoes au gratin, carrot & spinich (which the mrs had)
Assorted breads, butter, and cheese and fruit platter
Marjolaine w/ orange sauce, blueberry & raspberry
Snacks were avail on request which were:
Instant Noodles w/ ganiture
Shrimp Wonton Soup
After the meal, I played around with the AVOD, watched a classic rerun of King Soloman's Mines and then slept for around 8 hrs !! After I woke up, I walked around the a/c and saw the premium econ and econ cabins and also at the same time visited my friend (who was in a deep sleep) in Y. After stretching a little and using the lav, it was time for the 2nd serving
Fresh Fruits & Yoghurt
Pan-cake with w/ maple syrup and chicken sausage
Stir fried flat rice noodles w/ egg, seafood in dark soy sauce & tawanese cabbage (which both of us had)
Iri tamago on cabbage w/ japanese sushi rice
Rolls, Croissant & Danish w/ Butter
After the meal, I played around w the IFE and slept again when I woke up, it was only 3.5 hrs to go...
3rd Meal Serving!! I am getting tired of eating now
we had neither as I was getting too full now !!
Somewhere over the ocean and crossing the international dateline
On approach to LAX
After waiting to be towed to our gates after EVA Air B773er we started the usual LAX
marathon to immigration, took us ONLY 50mins to get to the immigration officer and then its off to get our baggage and waiting for my friend in the arrivals area (as he was in Y he cmae out only 5 mins after me from the a/c but when we got into immigration a 747 load of passengers were wedged between me and my friend. Think it was a KAL flight. That slight difference meant me waiting 40 mins at the arrivals area!! During the wait, I sent my mum to the Hilton LAX
shuttle bus as she will be heading straight to Vegas the next morning whereas I will drive up around 4 days later. When my friend got out, we headed to Hertz to grab our car and then drove to our hotel which was HIlton Pasadena. Was pretty hungry, but being X'mas nite, most fast foods were clsoed, but we found a Carl's Jr and had supper there....the Black Angus burger was FANTASTIC.
We drove up to Vegas after a couple of days shopping, meeting up with more friends who were also LA
for the holidays. Also made the trip down to Anaheim and managed to do California Adventure and also Universal Studios.
After 3.5 hrs of driving thru the mad new years rush into Vegas we arrived at the Wynn Las Vegas where I met up with my mum for supper.
View of the Strip from my room
On 31st Dec, my friends and I took the Grand Canyon tour, meaning travelling by a Twotter!!, Squirrel and Pontoon Boat
Hendersen Airport in the morning sun, Grumman Goose in the background
Waiting Lounge of Scenic Airlines
My first ride on a Twotter!! (land based eheh been on the seaplane one b4 in Vancouver)
There she is waiting for us
Flying over Hoover Dam
Hualapai Passenger terminal atop the Grand Canyon
Don't forget the tickets!!
Getting to the Squirrel for the trip down the canyon
The Canyon was graet as it has been more than 20 years ( I was 10 then) since I was there, toobad the skywalk was nto open yet, can't wait till it does sometimes this year
Took a snap of the safety card on the way back on the Twotter
Soon enough, my holiday came to an end and after spending a ton of money to the US economy, not forgetting the 'generous donation'i made to the Wynn Casino, its time for the long drive back to LA
and the long flight home.
5 Jan 2007
TG795 (A345) HS
ATD:2303 (Take off was at 2359!!!)
Did the smart thing and dropping my mum and wife off at the terminal to check in the bags and I went to Hertz to return the car, true enough, when I arrived at the terminal it was just about our turn to check in as it took ages for the baggage security check. Tom Bradley was packed of ppl especially on all the asian flights departing including MH
. To make matters worse, all airline lunges were clsoed for renvoation so everyone was squeezed into 1 temporary one behind the food court. Sorry about the quality of the pics from here on as I had to use my backup digicamera as the orignal one ran out of batt!!
The Lounge full of everyone travelling on ALL
premium class on ALL
international flights !!!!!!!!
Surprisingly, security was relatively quick, in under 10 mins i think and by the time we reached the gate it was also already boarding time so we got to our seats pretty quick, seats this time were 16J & K. This time however, was the total opposite from the BKK
-LAx flight. A passenger was missing, resulting in offloading of his luggage, which meant uslosing our departure slot, dealys b4 pushback, long taxi due to traffic and in what seems like years, we finally took off really late. But schedule still shoes me making my 0855 conenction to KUL
Food time !!!
Brochette Chicken with sesame crusted beef wellington on toast & peach sauce
Smoked Salmon timbale, flying fish roe, sundried tomato, prwan w/ cocktail sauce, mixed green salad w/ ceaser dressing
Grilled lamb loin w/ garlic cream sauce, sauteed rosemary potatoes, mix veges
steamed chicken w/ garlic soy sauce, stemaed thai hom mali rice in chicken broth (what I chose)
Beef w/ Bourgugonne, Steamed potato parsley, mix veges
Stir fried seafood w/ garlic & pepper, steamed thai hom mali rice
Assorted Rolls, Butter, Cheese Tray & Fruits
Believe it or not, I was so tired, I slept all the way thru, did not watch anything on the IFE. Missed all other meals (hence no pics) but when I woke up, I did order the instant noodles as mentioned on my inbound flight to PAX
SOmewhere over China
The flight actually took over 18 hrs due to the fact of delays, and really strong headwinds, I know all of us are going to miss our connections, my mum to PER
, me to KUL
, my friend direct to CGK
. But not wanting to stress out, I decided to play some trivia, I joined halfway, but managed to kick but (bert is me!!) the trick is, once I won a question, I kept picking Aviation Category..and ...ta daaaa I won !!!
Approach into BKK
As I thought so, this is actually my A333 flight to KUL
, saw it on the taxi to my gate
Overall, the flight was good, this time we good really friendly staff, only the meals weren't that great
Overall Service: 8/10 A/C Condition:10/10, Food: 6/10
WHen we arrived, a regiment of TG
staff were waiting for all the passengers who missed connections. An agent took me to MH
counter to get on board the MH
B724 to KUL
, after getting boarding passses, I asked about my luggage they told me in would be automatically transfered on the MH
flight with the orignal TG
flight...yeah right!! Nothing I can do, but I still dont trust thsi new airport's baggage handling ability!!
After that I managed to find my mum and she got transfered to the TG
flight to SIn and then connecting via SQ
. My friend also headed to SIn on the TG
flight but then its a GA
connection for him to CGK
After saying our goodbuys, me and the mrs wakled to the gate and got onboard the B734, its getting old but still in great condition
7 Jan 2007
As usual, the MH
hospitality greeted us on board and immedietly greeted us and showed us to our seats 1A and 1 B. We only had water for pre take off, we were really getting dead tired now !!
Seats in J on MH
785 to KUL
B773 next to us going to HKG
Mango & cottage Cheese Salas
Pan Seared Chicken (what we had)
Fish Curry Kapitan
Creamrosa Strawberry Cake
ANother uneventful flight into KUL
, now the worrying about my baggage starts. But with reagards to the flight, its just what I have gotten acustomed to MH
. Great FA
, Great Service, Great everything, only thing was the food was not that good this time round
Overall Service: 9/10, A/C Condition: 7/10, Food: 4/10
To my great surprise, my bags not only made the fligth but were also first on the conveyer belt, after picking them up is off to check in for my return leg to CGK
7 Jan 2007
KL809 (B744 Combi- PH
-BFK, City of Karachi)
'City of Karachi" waiting for us
By the time I got on board, I was realkly tired, even forgot which seat number I was in, only reember upper deck, 2nd row in business and also forgot to take down ETD and ETA times !!
Check out that legroom!!
Meal: (sorry I also forgot to write it down !!!)
One thing I really like KLM and why I always fly them for my CGK
-KUl and vice versa legs, it that they actually do have a genuine warmth to the service and although the inflight product is old, its in good condition, also love the litle house they give out which many airlines already stopped giving out souveniers for their premium passengers.
All in all, my holiday ended in a flash, hope you guys enjoyed my first trip report. I am actually flying on 1st feb again routing CGK
all in J on MH
,TG,OZ(1st time) and AA
. This time its for a conference plus a couple of days on the side in LA
Will post a report of that when I am back !!..Please feel free to give me any comments about my 1st trip report!!