tengu
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World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Wed May 09, 2007 1:59 pm

Singapore - Newark
SQ022
A340-500
9529 miles
19 April, dep 10.50am, arr 5.35pm

I'd been looking forward to this flight for months - a chance to take the World's longest commercial flight, SQ22 from Singapore to Newark. A scheduled flight time of over 18 hours!

The flight was the start of a 5 week holiday to the US, the Caribbean (for the World Cup of Cricket) and Europe. The thought of 18 hours sitting in Y was pretty scary, so we looked around for good deals in J, and ended up with a RTW ticket in Raffles class.

I left Beijing for Singapore at 00.05 on Thursday morning on SQ821 (777-200ER, 2789 miles). J was 100% loading, with a 2-3-2 configuration. The flight was pretty uneventful, apart from being given a total of seven face cloths during the 6 hour flight. I had a quick Pipers champagne on departure, and was given the choice of a meal either straight after departure or 1 1/2 hours before arrival. I chose the arrival option, and quickly dropped off to sleep. A moment later I was being gently shaken awake by the FA and discovered I had been sleeping for 4 hours. I gulped down the American breakfast (chicken sausage, omelet, baked tomato and black coffee), and before too long we had landed safely at Changi at exactly 6am.

By 6.30am I was in the Silver Kris. The lounge was quiet upon arrival, but the flow of passengers gradually increased from 7am onwards. I tried out the showers, logged on the Internet, and had a quick bite before heading to gate E27 for SQ22 at 10.00am.

We passed through security quickly (complete with zipper-lock plastic bags with our liquids/aerosols/gels). At 10.20 we boarded and found our seats. I was 22D. I had tried to book 14C two weeks ago (which according to Seatguru.com was the best seat) but the only seats left were in the last row! As it turned out, the last row had the least passing traffic and we were able to stand up and stretch without getting in the way of the other passengers, but they were closest to the engines so probably a lot noisier than up the front. J was a 2-2-2 configuration with 100% loading, 62 pax, and 50% loading in Y. There were 14 FAs, and a total of four pilots. The FAs in our cabin (Sunny (Chief Steward), Rachel and Nur) were all very friendly and helpful throughout the long flight.

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10.30am I ordered a champagne and selected a couple of newspapers. The seat was very comfortable with various settings (it wasn't a completely flat bed, but close enough. I know some people find the slight downward incline uncomfortable but I thought it was fine).

10.50am Pushback.

11.00am We lumbered down the runway for exactly 60 seconds building up speed before rotation- I'm not sure how close to the end of the runway we were.

11.30am turned on the IFE - a huge selection of 80 different movies and 20 television shows. I started an episode of CSI Miami. The FAs brought around the drink cart (I asked for a diet coke) and snacks - consisting of chicken and beef satays and mixed peanuts.

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12.15pm FA started taking orders for lunch. I chose the main event - beef in black pepper sauce. A few minutes later, the FA came back and said they had run out of beef - one of the casualties of being in the last row! She offered either beef rendang from Y, or another option from the lunch menu. I went with the Thai-style red curry duck. She assured me I would be given first pick from the dinner menu.

12.30pm I didn't want to sleep too early, so started an episode of Friends (the one where Rachel considers moving out of Joey's apartment).

The duck was spot-on - very tender and accompanied by fragrant rice. Watched an episode of Jericho, which I'd never seen before

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2.00pm The cabin lights were turned down. I reclined the seat all the way back and dozed off. The hooded seat provided a bit of privacy from the other passengers

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5.00pm woke up and turned on the IFE. Watched Udon - a Japanese drama about udon noodle houses in Shikoku.

7.20pm The cabin lights were slowly turned up, and the pre-dinner drink cart came around offering refreshments. I had a French Riesling.

8.00pm Orders were taken for dinner - this time I chose the grilled beef fillet - it was a bit pink and underdone, so I only ate around the edges

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9.00pm Back to the IFE - I selected another movie, Holiday - a Cameron Diaz comedy I' d been wanting to see for a while.

10.45pm I had another look at the newspapers and walked around J and Y cabins. I had a chat with Sunny and he showed me some photos he' d taken of planes taking off close to Changi airport. He said the FAs were returning to Singapore on the Sunday flight.

1.00am I decided to kill some more time by watching another movie - a Japanese comedy called 'Free and Easy 17' about a bumbling company employee who spent more time fishing than working

2.45am I walked down to the back of the plane and stood around in the snack area - an open space stocked with bananas, biscuits, chips and water. The FAs announced early in the flight that passengers were free to help themselves to snacks, but not to gather in groups. I chatted to one of the FAs resting near the galley, and found the 'corpse cupboard'. The FA said it hadn't been called into use yet. It actually looked a bit hard to use - about 1 m off ground and only about 50 x 40 x 200 cm (just a guess of the dimensions). I'm not sure how some of the more portly passengers would fit in. It had a trolley mechanism similar to those in ambulances - the trolley was rolled in feet first. There was a plastic bag inside that I assume would be used to wrap up the body before putting it into the cupboard.

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The corpse cupboard is the middle one just to the right of the telephone.


5.10am Prepare for arrival. Headsets were collected, seats uprighted, and a lot of passengers moved to the bathrooms to change back into business attire.

5.35am (5.35pm New York time) We landed with a bit of a bump in Newark (I'm not sure which runway), and were at the gate and disembarked by 5.50am. After all the warnings I'd heard about how un-user-friendly US airports can be, I was surprised at how smooth and quick the immigration/luggage collection/customs procedures were. We arrived at the Newark Marriott by 7.00am/pm and headed straight for the pool and gym to get ready for the flight to Miami the next day. After 19 ½ hours on a plane, it was a bit disorienting being back on land - the hotel room felt like it was lurching around for a couple of hours before we got used to being back on stable ground.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my trip report. My next flight is JFK - FRA on SQ25 tomorrow night - I'll write something up if it turns out to be an interesting flight.
 
EK20
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Wed May 09, 2007 2:11 pm

Nice report. Not sure it's the world's longest flight though - we are visiting SYD this year and the flying time is around 21 hours.
 
KLM685
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Wed May 09, 2007 3:06 pm

Great trip report! And very interesting to see the corpse cupboard. Looks like a not friendly place to be but probably good enough for it's needs. Do you actually think you could fit in there ( I suppose you're an average size adult) or did it looked too small?

Quoting EK20 (Reply 1):
Not sure it's the world's longest flight though - we are visiting SYD this year and the flying time is around 21 hours.

21 hours including the stop in BKK, SIN, HKG, etc... EWR-SIN is the longest flight in the world.


Alonso
KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
 
5YKQW
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Wed May 09, 2007 3:20 pm

Hi,
Only 45 minute hops for me from Nairobi to Mombasa in KQs 737s or Nairobi to Kisumu in Saab 340s. A beer is all I'd get not a 5 course meal. Great pics and story.

5YKQW
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Wed May 09, 2007 3:58 pm

Great report. I would like to take this flight someday, but I would be in Y. That would be OK because the Y seats on this flight are like Domestic F seats in the US. The food wouldn't be as good as the stuff you pictured though. Those look like full meals, especially the first one.
I love ASO!
 
Markhkg
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Wed May 09, 2007 5:08 pm

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
The corpse cupboard is the middle one just to the right of the telephone.

Well, at least it's fully lie-flat.

(Sorry, I had to say it.)

 Smile
Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Wed May 09, 2007 5:31 pm

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
The FAs announced early in the flight that passengers were free to help themselves to snacks, but not to gather in groups.

Wonder what is the reason for this strange rule? If I walk to the snack area and I see 5-6 other passengers standing there on their own, am i supposed to turn back as we are not supposed to gather in groups?
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
pilotdude09
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Thu May 10, 2007 2:26 am

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
the hotel room felt like it was lurching around for a couple of hours before we got used to being back on stable ground.

I had the same when i flew to the USA, pretty much flew over 24 hours to get there with transit stops but my lurching lasted for a couple of days.....strange!

Cool report!  Smile
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
DALCE
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Thu May 10, 2007 2:33 am

Great trip report! The SQ 345 seems a comfortable ride for such a long time! I can imagine being stuck in Y for such a long time would be quite unconfortable. Also great pictures!
I still pity the day SQ introduced their SIN-EWR non stop as eversince AMS is served by SQ with 772 only. The SIN-EWR flight operated by 744 stopped by at AMS, and I had the pleasure to fly them on SQ22 / SQ23 AMS-EWR-AMS,although in Y.
Thank you for sharing, and i'm looking forward for the other segments of your trip!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 6):
Wonder what is the reason for this strange rule?

that's easy, security regulations implemented probably after 9/11.
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Thu May 10, 2007 3:09 am

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 6):
Wonder what is the reason for this strange rule?

It is a rule for flights going inbound (read again: inbound) to the US only. TSA requires it. We make the same announcements.
You can't cure stupid
 
albird87
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Thu May 10, 2007 4:15 am

Quoting DALCE (Reply 8):
can imagine being stuck in Y for such a long time would be quite unconfortable.

That flight doesnt have Y in it. It has a special Y+ which looks very nice and comfortable to travel in as well.

I have to say i regulary do the MIA-LHR-MIA routes and 9 hours is enough to be on a plane so i dont think i could do the 15+ hours for that flight!!
 
plunaaircanada
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Thu May 10, 2007 5:14 pm

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 5):
Well, at least it's fully lie-flat.

(Sorry, I had to say it.)


 Big grin
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Sketty222
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Thu May 10, 2007 7:27 pm

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 5):
Well, at least it's fully lie-flat.

(Sorry, I had to say it.)

 laughing 
There's flying and then there's flying
 
SASDC8
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Thu May 10, 2007 8:35 pm

Nice report and great pics  Smile The food on SQ sure looks great, I will definately have to give them a try soon...

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
11.00am We lumbered down the runway for exactly 60 seconds building up speed before rotation- I'm not sure how close to the end of the runway we were.

Flew with OS from BKK - VIE in April and we used 57 seconds getting airborne with their 777-200, so I am actually quite impressed with "only" 60 seconds on a 340 with enough fuel for 19 hours of flight.

Stein
2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
 
buck3y3nut
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri May 11, 2007 12:52 am

excellent trip report... how was the World Cup? I bet it was all worth it seeing Australia win it again 3rd time in a row. Poor India though, lots of expectations and didn't even make it to the knock-out stages.
 
tbear815
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri May 11, 2007 6:44 am

I did 15:30 once LAX/HKG - that was quite enough - and I love to fly.......
 
BFS
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri May 11, 2007 8:21 am

Nice trip report - I can't imagine how it must feel to spend 18 hours on an aircraft - even spending 10.5 hours on a LGW-IAH leaves me feeling exhausted and my lips dry and agonisingly cracked.

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 9):
It is a rule for flights going inbound (read again: inbound) to the US only. TSA requires it. We make the same announcements.

I've never heard this regulation, and I fly to the US 4 times a month as cabin crew. Sounds like a good idea, even if only from the point of view that it keeps noise down in the cabin when people are trying to sleep (and also stops congestion around the galleys, which is also a bonus!)
 
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OA260
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri May 11, 2007 6:03 pm

Hey nice TR , you would have to be not too big to get into the corpse compartment.

Nice food and J class .

Thanks

OA260
 
Markhkg
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboar

Fri May 11, 2007 6:38 pm

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 6):
Wonder what is the reason for this strange rule?

Besides security, some carriers have this rule simply because they are concerned about a sudden decompression. The galleys simply do not have enough oxygen masks for large groups of pax who might be there; there are like 2 over the jumpseat and two in the lav but that's it in the area.

PS
Useful unconsciousness at 40,000 ft is like 15 seconds so you might not be able to make it back to your seat in time to get the mask on.
Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
 
deltagator
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri May 11, 2007 7:14 pm

Decent report. I've flown this flight a few times in both directions in Raffles and Exec Economy. Being in the back isn't as bad as you would think. Of course knowing what the front is like makes sitting in the back suck. In either cabin they take damn good care of you. The key to this flight is sleeping, sleeping, and more sleeping.

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
I walked down to the back of the plane and stood around in the snack area

Why did you go to the snack area for the Y+ folks? There is one for Raffles up towards the front of the plane and they have better munchies up there.

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
We passed through security quickly (complete with zipper-lock plastic bags with our liquids/aerosols/gels).

Ah yes, the good old ziploc bags. Somewhere Osama is laughing his ass off in a cave watching us go through security with our little bags of stuff. I will give the Changi staff credit though because they move a lot of people through those security checkpoints in short time.

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
We lumbered down the runway for exactly 60 seconds building up speed before rotation- I'm not sure how close to the end of the runway we were.

It uses a ton of that runway. Leaving Newark on the return flight we've gotten into the red light section towards the end of the runway before the wheels left the ground.

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
After all the warnings I'd heard about how un-user-friendly US airports can be, I was surprised at how smooth and quick the immigration/luggage collection/customs procedures were.

No more so than what I've experienced in other countries. I've flown through EWR a few times on international flights nd the ICE folks there have been great every time and not the stereotypical Yankee peckerwood.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
star_world
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri May 11, 2007 10:23 pm

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 9):
It is a rule for flights going inbound (read again: inbound) to the US only. TSA requires it. We make the same announcements.

The amusing part of this is that all the international (non US) airlines that make the announcement know just how ridiculous it is. I've heard the announcement made a few times on both SQ and VS flights where the announcement went along the lines of "for reasons known best to them, the US government has requested that we tell you not to congregate in groups" - no actual instruction not to do it  Smile
 
EK773
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri May 11, 2007 10:52 pm

Similar announcements are made on EK flights to JFK .. for passengers not to congregate in groups and to stay within your ticket class cabin.
 
deltagator
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Sat May 12, 2007 2:27 am

Quoting Star_world (Reply 20):
I've heard the announcement made a few times on both SQ and VS flights where the announcement went along the lines of "for reasons known best to them, the US government has requested that we tell you not to congregate in groups" - no actual instruction not to do it

I always chuckle when I hear it on a foreign carrier. While folks in the US are a bit paranoid given 9/11 and I understand the underlying reason behind it I still think it is a dumb rule. As if the terrorists wouldn't have worked out the details of the plan and who would be where at what time within the plane to cause a ruckus.

Quoting EK773 (Reply 21):
for passengers not to congregate in groups

I got fussed at once on a transcon flight because I was waiting by the bathroom. Explaining that since I was sitting at the back of the F cabin I got up when it became free and someone beat me to it thus the reason why I was waiting was semi well received. The stewardess realized how assinine the enforcement of the rule was.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
airnewzealand
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Sat May 12, 2007 9:09 am

We say it on Qantas too...


"The United States Transport administration requires us to make to following announcement for USA bound flights. Congregating in groups near Lavatories, Galleys and doors is forbidden at all times throughout the flight. We thankyou for your co-operation."

But Cabin Crew donot make the announement. The Flight Deck crew do.

Cheers and nice report!

Reminds me of when we do our LAX-MEL which regularly get to 15hrs 30mins!!! ARGH!!
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Sat May 12, 2007 10:15 am

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 19):
It uses a ton of that runway. Leaving Newark on the return flight we've gotten into the red light section towards the end of the runway before the wheels left the ground.

The "red lights" you are referring to are the end-of-runway lights. U might have flown over it at a low level while taking off but definitely not the wheels rolling over it because that would have meant imminent disaster. I have had a similar occurance taking off on a SQ 747-400 from a small little country town airport in Rockhampton, Queensland Australia. The 747 took up the ENTIRE length of the runway which normally only sees CRJs and Avro jets. I have actually taken some snapshots from the ROK control tower of a SQ 747 taking off and rotating just before the runway ends... scary stuff.
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deltagator
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Sat May 12, 2007 11:12 am

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 24):
The "red lights" you are referring to are the end-of-runway lights. U might have flown over it at a low level while taking off but definitely not the wheels rolling over it because that would have meant imminent disaster.

No, but thank you for trying to correct me on something that doesn't need correcting. The red lights I am referring to are not the end of runway lights that mark the end of the pavement. I understand that crossing over those are bad. The ones I am talking about are where the white runway lights begin to turn orange or red as you get close to the end of the runway.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
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Coal
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Sat May 12, 2007 8:05 pm

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
not to gather in groups.

Isn't that unconstitutional? Last I checked we are allowed to assemble.

In any case, do you mind my asking how much you paid for it? I'm going back to the US on a personal trip and plan on taking that flight. Idea was to go in Y+ on the way there and upgrade to Raffles on the return. But if I get a good deal I might save my miles for something else.

Cheers
Coal
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ag92
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Sun May 13, 2007 2:36 am

A great report by the way
I was told that the corpse cupboard was removed because a pilot had publicly shown it on youtube. It came in the local newspaper here in SIngapore

Quoting DALCE (Reply 8):
I can imagine being stuck in Y for such a long time would be quite unconfortable.

I know a few people who have travelled in Y+ and AFAIK they are excellent seats. My brother is coming soon on the LAX - SIN and he enjoys that flight alot. He says that he will never travel SQ on any other plane to US if it isnt the A345

Regards
Ag92
 
SA7700
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Sun May 13, 2007 7:53 pm

Great trip report Tengu.

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
SQ821 (777-200ER, 2789 miles). J was 100% loading, with a 2-3-2 configuration.

Are you sure this was a 772ER? The J-class configuration on the SQ 772ER is 2-2-2, whilst it is 2-3-2 on the non-ER SQ 772's.

Anyway, congrats again with the trip report.  Smile


Rgds

SA7700
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WN230
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Mon May 14, 2007 1:34 pm

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
chatted to one of the FAs resting near the galley, and found the 'corpse cupboard'. The FA said it hadn't been called into use yet. It actually looked a bit hard to use - about 1 m off ground and only about 50 x 40 x 200 cm (just a guess of the dimensions). I'm not sure how some of the more portly passengers would fit in. It had a trolley mechanism similar to those in ambulances - the trolley was rolled in feet first. There was a plastic bag inside that I assume would be used to wrap up the body before putting it into the cupboard.

That is just freakin wierd.
But the rest of the report was fun to read and i loved the pics.

Wn230
Judas Priest North American tour in '08 . . . cannot wait!!!
 
BigTom
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Mon May 14, 2007 6:27 pm

Great report and nice pics. The A345 looks good, and I really want to fly it on this route. I'm flying to NY later this year but will probably fly EK DXB-JFK on thier 77Ws.

Cheers
 
jafa39
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RE: World's Longest Flight (and The Corpse Cupboard)

Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:13 pm

Quoting Tengu (Thread starter):
grilled beef fillet - it was a bit pink and underdone,

Mrs Jafa would consider that a trifle overdone  Smile

I have done London to Auckland a few times now, via both LAX and HKG, each has a 12 hour leg, how you manage the other 6 hours is beyond me, you are made of sterner stuff than me!!
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