Jakarta (CGK) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Malaysia Airlines MH 710 (9M-MMF) Airbus A330-300
Flight Time: 1.35hrs
Cruise: 40,000 ft
Seat: Gold Club (Business) 8K
Woke up to the news that GA200 crashed in Jogjakarta. Upon further information form the news, it was actually PK-GZC, the very same aircraft which took me back to Jakarta from Surabaya just a little over a week ago. Eerie it really was! Well, after I gotten over the initial shock, I managed to finish off some packing and then left for the airport. Arrived at around 0945am. Check in at the MH counter was fast, although the guy before me left his passport at the counter, and being the nice guy I am, I shouted (tried to call out to him in a loud voice, but no respond hence the shouting!)at him to come back to get his passport
I managed to get my seat which was 8K with me also managing to keep the aisle seat next to me empty (you never have enough seat pockets for my bose headset, magazines and ipod!) Its going to be a nice light load to KUL. I really hope my flight today is an A333, as mentioned by 9M-MAR as I am really sick for being in B737's. I decided to do some spotting from the smoking lounge at the foodcourt as the lounge in CGK is really nothing worthwhile mentioning and the smoking lounge at the foodcourt also gives good views of the tarmac.
A Garuda B733 with Valuair A320 taxiing for take off in the background
As promised by 9M-MAR, its indeed an A333, I was actually talking to him on the phone while the a/c taxiied in
As usual, I was greeted by the very friendly MH f/a's and quickly settled into my seat 8K.
My Seat & Leg room
There were 4 f/a's serving in J, so with only about 9 pax in J, it was definitely a great passenger to f/a ratio, almost as in F! The meal for today was light food:
Marinated Garoupa & Avocado
Beef Rendang (again)
Szechuan Chicken (again)
Gratinated Penne Pasta
Mocca Cream Cake (again)
Don't get me wrong with my 'agains' the Szechuan chicken is really yummy!! The 'agains' probably resulted from my many CGK-KUL-CGK runs!!
It was basically another uneventful flight with extremely polite and great service (as usual) from the MH in flight crew. ANd the highlight was probably me finally being able to buy the 1/400 scale models of the MH B744 (AN experience redefined) and B772 (Freedom of Space), these 2 items are usually sold out.
Managed to hit a little bird upon landing (the blood spot is on the lower left engine cowling)
Service:8/10, Food:7.5/10, Aircraft:6/10 (needs interior refurbishing)
7 March 2007
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Bangkok (BKK)
Thai Airways TG 418 (HS-TJC) Boeing 777-200
Flight time: 1.50hrs
Seat: Royal Silk (Business) 12K
After my early afternoon arrival into Kuala lumpur, I managed to squeeze in a quick meeting in downtown and then spent the rest of the afternoon with some of my friends meeting up for coffe before they dropped my off at the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Train Station for me to catch the KLIA express train to the airport. I realised in the late afternoon I misplaced an envelope with 1000 euros!! I had it when I left Jakarta, but really do not know what happened to it, now that really soured my mood! Hence I did not take any pics of the train and also airport pics in KUL.
Aircraft for the day HS-TJC
Photo © Terry Figg
Retrofit Seats onboard TG's B772's
In seems to be a really full flight, for one, J is 95% full and from what I can see, 100% in Y. Not surprising as many people take this flight for their inward connections in BKK. I was still not in the mood to eat due to my $$$ mishap but I did manage to take down the menu for the flight:
Apricot Salmon & Peruski Salad
Roast Lamb w/ Tomato Tarragon Sauce
Stir Fried Chicken w/ ginko & mushroom
Stir fried fish balls w/ peppercorn sauce
Chinese Water chestnut in coconut jelly
At least the AVOD on this flight is all new, I didn't want to watch any movies, as I wanted to save them for my long haul sectors coming up on my next leg in around 3 hrs time. So I ended up watching some sitcoms instead.
This service is actually better than the average regional J service by TG as many of you already heard my complain that TG's regional J service is much worse than their long haul service.
Service:7/10, Food:Did not eat, Aircraft: 8/10
8 March 2007
Bangkok (BKK) - Madrid (MAD)
Thai AIrways TG948 (HS-TGP) Boeing 747-400 old c/s but retrofit interior
Flight time: 12.25hrs
Cruise: 38,000 ft
Seat: Royal First (First) 1K
After being picked up form the gate by the TG F agent, I was then ferried to the F lounge by golf cart. This is my first time in the new F lounge in BKK as all my previous trips into the new BKK airport were done in J hence didn't have the opportunity to use the F lounge. I decided to fisrt use the showers as the lat time I took a shower was before I left home in Jakarta.
The shower room in TG's F lounge at BKK
They even have a nice smoking room in the F lounge! In the J lounge no smoking lounge and last time the agent told me it was due to airtport rules? What a load of crap!
After my shower I wanted to look for my colleagues that flew in from CGK, but they were held out at the Lois Taven lounge right at the other end of the terminal, so I just called them and said I will see them onboad the aircraft. I was really too tired to walk as many of you who have been to the new BKK airport knows what I mean! So that meant me spending the rest of my time hanging out at the F lounge, having a few drinks and also calling up the wife and mother!
Private room I was in at the F lounge, looking out into the common area where the bar is
Again, the F lounge is probably one of the best I have been to in my life, and I am comparing it against SQ in SIN and CX in HKG. At about 2345, a ground agent picked me and 3 other F passengers up and whisked us away again my golf cart to the gate where our aircraft was waiting.
Aircraft for this sector was HS-TGP probably my 5th time on this aircraft, 2nd time round aboard after the retrofit interior
Photo © Max Teuber
Well, there is not much I can say about service on F, it is definitely great and you definitely are treated like a king. Once I settled into my favourite seat 1K on F, I got my drink and started fiddling with the menu and stuff, and then i GOT THE SHOCK OF MY LIFE, the AVOD on this aircraft has yet to be upgraded!! aarrrghhh exact same shows as in Feb when I flew to LAX in J. Strange, the B772 flight from KUL to BKK had the new AVOD but not this aircraft. After a quick complain to the extremely apologetic f/a, I took pics of the cabin. At least I got my laptop and several DVD's with me.
Seat 1A across the aisle
Nice Menu Cover (no more wine list now, some stupid interim government rule in Thailand regarding alcohol)
F Amenity kit and seat controls
Menu for the Flight
King prawn medallion
Garden Salad w/ Balsamic sauce
Seared sea scallops w/ sundried tomato & fresh basil pesto
Braised lamb in red wine w/ shallot
Prawn Curry "Pa-Naeng"
Stir fried pork fillet ginger w/ onion
Assorted breads w/ butter
Assorted thai sweets
Fresh fruits & Cheese
Appetizer w/ some caviar (interesting as Tg actually already removed Caviar from F service)
Had the pork for my main course, nice taste but a little tough
I was already full after the main course, therefore I decided not to have any dessert but insteda reclined my seat mid-way and watched a movie on my laptop. After that I managed to sleep most of the way and woke up with around 2 hours before scheduled landing.
Plain & Fruit yoghurts
Italian Brasil Fritata filled w/ lobster and herb tomato sauce
Pancake stuffed w/ cream asparagus
Cold cuts platter
Yellow noodle soup w/ fish & shrimp balls
No Complains about legroom
After breakfast, I washed up and changed out of the pyjamas they gave me onboard and then killed time by watching some documentaries on AVOD. There was certianly a lot of bad terbulance during the flight, but being the seasoned traveller I was, I slept through it !! Service in F was everything I expected and more!!
Service:10/10, Food:8.5/10, Aircraft:8/10 (you can never fault a B744, especially with new seats)
8 March 2007
Madrid (MAD) - Valencia (VLC)
Spanair JK6332 A320 (EC-ILH) Star Alliance logojet
Flight time: 45mins
Seat: Economy 18C
After meeting up with my colleagues on the ground and a quick immigration clearence, we proceeded to pick up our bags. As usual, my colleagues bags who were travelling in Y, came out 20 mins after waiting at the carousel, whereas mine that was in F, came out a full 1 hr later!! Great efficiency huh!! Now there was not much time left, so we took a nice long and quick long walk to our JK flight in terminal 2. As I was a Star Gold member, I got to use the J check in but had to wait another 20 mins till my colleagues finished checking in. The only thing I wasn't very happy about was that I had to check my hand luggage in as it was 1.5kg above the limit allowed for cabin bags (5kgs), there goes my nice 2 month old Tumi!!
Check in Area at MAD terminal 2
Our Aircraft, EC-ILH
Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
Leg room was really rediculous on this flight, barely 29" in Y. It was actually a very full flight, but JK is behaving more as a LCC. No drinks were even served on the flight not even water!! You actually have to purchase them. Really bad for a full fare airline. Service wise, not much interaction between passengers and crew. But upon landing, it got extremely bumpy, the worst I have ever experience on an aircraft (that from someone who flies more than 400,000miles each year) the A320 was really being tossed like a yo-yo and during the 1st landing attempt the pilot had to abort at 2000ft and he mentioned on the intercom that it was almost at the maximum operating landing limit the A320 can take, that was how bad it was. On the second attempt, we made it, but still bad and the pilot really did a good job of getting us on the ground. He also mentioned that a Dash 8 and an MD80 before us had to divert airports. My colleagues started joking that if this was in Indonesia, the pilot would:
a) keep trying to land until he crashed coz he ran out of fuel
b) still land the aircraft, but the wheels won't be the first thing touching the ground!!
A sick sarcastic joke, YES. But do I agree with my collagues, almost also a YES!! Thats what I think about the sad thing we call aviation in Indonesia.
As inflight service vice there was almost nothing, on the next few segments in JK, I shall not report anything about the inflight service or hapennings as there was virtually none at all!!
Managed to take a snap of the tail of our A320 from the baggae claim at VLC
Service: A joke, Food: What food?!! or Drinks for that matter, Aircraft:8/10, Pilot: 10/10 !!!!!!
11 March 2007
Valencia (VLC) - Barcelona (BCN)
Spanair JK6723 Boeing717 (EC-HNY) Operated by Aebal
Seat: Economy 12A
Spent 3 days in Valencia for my conference. Had a nice time as we managed to spend time looking at the sights of Valencia, the harbour (where we were invited guests of the BMW Oracle Racing team) and also the famous architecture marvels of the L'Oceanographic and its surroundings.
Valencia in Pictures
We were given private transportation to the airport and we arrived with 1.5 hours to spare. We checked in pretty quick and I had time to look around the airport
Check in area of Spanair
Curbside and Interior of Valencia airport
Did some spotting from the foodcourt on the 2nd floor
We were then bussed to our aircraft which was a Boeing 717. For some reason I love riding in this aircraft and I am always excited when I get aboard one of these. Maybe its due to the fact its a pretty rare aircraft. A pity, they should have sold more of these babies
Seat pitch slightly better than A320
Nothing really to mention here. Only windows were really badly scratched up.
Service: Non existent, Food: what food??!! Aircraft:7.5/10
13 March 2007
Barcelona (BCN) - Madrid (MAD)
Spanair JK431 (EC-HHP) MD82
Flight time: 50 mins
Seat: Economy 8C
Felt good to spend 24hrs of R & R in Barcelona. We lef the hotel in the wee hours and there was no traffic so we reached the airport with almost 2 hrs to spare. I like the airport at Barcelona as it has a nice layout and pleasent to walk around at the airside area, the only problem was there are now no more smoking areas!! AARRGHH!!!
Sights of Barcelona
Spanair check in area at Barcelona
Our MD82 takig us to Madrid
Another uneventful flight and with non existenet service. But please don't get me wrong, the f/a were polite its just no onboard service existed!!
No Service, No Food, Aircraft:6/10
13 March 2007
Madrid (MAD) - Bangkok (BKK)
Thai Airways TG949 (HS-TGW) Boeing 747-400 Star Alliance logojet
Flight Time: 11hrs 5 mins
Seat: Royal First (First) 1K (again)
We landed w/ plenty of time to spare, but had a looonnnggg walk to the international terminal. There was already huge lines at the TG check-in, and they also had a baggage conveyor malfunction so that took more time to solve. I was checked-in quickly but my colleagues in the Y lines were not moving, so I told the friendly agent at the F desk that checked me in on whether she could assist me me and help to check my 3 colleagues in. The nice lady said yes. My colleagues were happy, I was happy, but a lot of angry staring faces from the people lining up in Y :P
Thai check in at MAdrid
I claimed my tax refund after immigration> The flight today was departing form the new wing, so at least it was a nice change, although the downside was all the shops were on the older wing (wehre the cash tax refund counters were).
My flight today was operated by HS-TGW which is also my first time aboard this TG B744 in Star Alliance colours
Across the tarmac
Finally, smoking area in Madrid
Thats now twice I am on a star alliance logojet on this trip, not bad huh!! Friendly f/a's greeted me and took me to my seat. Nice to be back on a proper airline with proper service. Only bad thing, AVOD still had the old programs. We had a dealyed departure due to some airconditioning problem which took time to fix, which meant a dealy upon landing in Bangkok, here goes my mad dash again in BKK!! IN flight catering was really good this time round!!
Just taken after take off
Mini short pastry tartlets
Grilled lamb skewers
Thai crab cakes
Cured duck ham, Swordfish paupiette
King prawns w/ basil pesto sauce
Tomato & ginger soup
Chicken in red curry
Stir fried prawns w/ garlic and pepper
Poached Sole rolls
Grilled beef fillet w/ deep fried rosemary
Assorted cheese tray and fruits
San Marcos Cake w/ chocolate sauce
Long way to go !!
Fresh Fruit on papaya boat
Scrambled Eggs w/ tomato, sausage & bacon
soft boiled rice w/ garnitures
Love that legroom
Another great F experience in TG!
Service:10/10, Food:9/10, Aircraft:8/10
14 March 2007
Bangkok (BKK) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Thai Airways TG415 (HS-TEH) Airbus A330-300 New c/s
Flight time: 1.50hrs
Seat: Royal Silk (Business) 12K
After the late arrival, it was another mad dash for me. Although I was ferried by a golf cart ehehehehhe .....now I am just hoping my bags make the connection, my colleagues who are going direct to CGK only had 10 mins to their departure so in their mind they kissed goodbye to their bags already!
Tarmac action at BKK
Saw this A333 on the way in, it was actually my aircraft taking me to KUL
I was one of the last pax to baord the aircraft. This flight is entirely full. I was soo tired by then I did not take and pics of the a/c or food as I slept all the way to Kuala Lumpur. But one bright note was the crew on this flight was extremely cheerful!!
Service:8.5/10, Food: did not eat, Aircraft:8.5/10
14 March 2007
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Jakarta (CGK)
Malaysia Airlines MH721 Boeing 737-400
Flight time: 2.00hrs
Seat: Golden Club (Business) 1A
I was standing at the baggage claim crossing my fingers my luggage made the flight. And there is was, bag number 20 out of the aircraft. Thank you Thai !!! After that I checkin at the Mh counter and then went into the nice Golden Club lounge, although I really liked it, the new lounge at BKK really surpasses the Golden Lounge at KUL.
Entrance to the Golden Lounge
Looking down into airside at satelite C
A survey at the MH Lounge
The Golden Lounge
An Air Mauritius A340, taken from the smoking room at the Lounge
My aircraft to CGK
As you guys can imagine, I was pretty dead by the time I got onto the aircraft so I didn't eat but as usual I have to mention the great service provided my MH. Really made my day everytime I am aboard MH!!
Hope you guys enjoyed this TR. I will be going on my next trip to Guangzhou and HongKong all on MH in J in 2 weeks time. SO I will post it when I get back.
[Edited 2007-04-03 05:32:44]