Thanks for taking the time to have a look at my report!
Before I start, I'd like to apologise for the quality of some of the pictures.
Heathrow Airport, UK to Dubai, UAE and Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Wednesday 2 August 2007
Departure Airport LHR
Arrival Airport DXB
Scheduled Departure Time 09:40AM
Actual Departure Time 10:24AM
Aircraft Boeing 767-33A/ER Registered V8-RBH
Airline Royal Brunei Airlines
This was my first trip abroad as an unaccompanied minor. I was dead excited and wished every day away so it would come quicker, and it finally did. Its quite nerve racking travelling on your own and leaving your family but I must say they look after you well and I could certainly get used to fast-tracking through security lanes, priority boarding and free upgrades to Business Class! I don't really know where to start. We left home at about 05:30am and got to Heathrow by around 7am. Arrived at terminal three after a short ride in the lift and walk to the terminal. We went to check where I was supposed to get checked in on the departure screens and followed the signs. I think it was Zone E as far as I can remember. Check-in was very quick but we were fairly early and there were only minor queues at the check-in desks. After check-in we were told to return to the Aviance pax services desk by 8:40am. It was now 8am, so we did some shopping. I bought a book for the journey, and also a bottle of water which was very silly of me - shortly after I bought it I remembered you can't take liquids through security anymore! Shop cashiers should be told to let anyone who buys a drink pre-departures know if they forget! Anyway, we went to get a bite to eat at some place which I can't remember, but it was really nice. I had a fry-up.
We returned to the Aviance desk where a guy was ready to "assist" me to the gate. An elderly Bruneian couple who didn't speak/read much English were also escorted. So we went upstairs to the security part where I said my goodbyes
(this is when I started to get a bit nervous - it was actually happening!) and the guy, who might I add was very quick, took us through all the security queues. I couldn't help but smile as people stared as we walked past. Hehe. Anyway, we got to the gate and we were the only ones here (me and the elderly couple). The guy told us to wait here and left another woman in charge. I quickly bought a water from the drinks machine and the gate room started to fill up with pax. We were then taken to the aircraft and greeted by some lovely, cheerful flight attendants. One girl particularly stood out for me. As soon as I walked into the Economy section I heard somebody say (in an oriental accent) "Hiya! You alriiigght?!" and it was this really friendly F/A! This made me smile, and I said "I'm great thanks." She pointed to my seat, which was 33A, a window seat, but somehow I still managed to sit in the wrong place - I got comfy in 32A, though it wasn't long before I realised. A friendly Australian lady said "I think this is my seat!" I just apologised and she said not to worry. So I moved to my assigned seat, which was next to a young Scottish girl. Early twenties I think. She seemed a but grumpy at first but somehow we got talking. She asked if it was my first time flying alone and I acknowledged. Turns out her parents lived in Brunei, her dad worked on the oil refinaries (spelling mistake?). She'd been travelling with BI
to Brunei once a year since 2003. It was nice to chat to someone who's spent time in Brunei like me. I lived there for two years. Ok, I should have said at the start - this is the reason I was visiting Brunei, to stay with friends out there. I moved there in 2000 and returned in 2002 and have been wanting to visit ever since, but never had a chance. It was too expensive for us all to go, and I've been going on about it for five years so my folks let me go! Where was I...okay, so we were chatting etc and had about 15mins wait once everyone was on-board. The plane was full to the brim with pax on their way to the Middle East, Australia/New Zealand, Brunei and other parts of Asia. Engines were started up and we began to taxi, behind a few other planes and eventually got to the runway which was 27R I think. Well it was the runway nearest to the maints bit of Heathrow. Were sitting by the runway for about 10mins, watching plane after plane take off/land before us. Most notably a 9W
A330 which was very loud - could even hear it from inside our 763. We then got on the runway and sat there for about a minute before the PW4056s spooled up and we were speeding down the runway in no time. My parents watched the take-off and apparently we "shot up like a rocket!"
It was a grey day, cloudy and almost immediately after take-off we banked left which made for a nice view of LHR
, as we positioned onto our route to DXB
The Entertainment system (SkyShow) started up as soon as we were in the air and I had a quick wizz through the channels & had a look at the movies on offer but I was happily occupied with my book at the moment!
The crew handed out amenity kits which consisted of toothbrush/toothpaste, blindfold, bedsocks and other things...
The "Muhibah" in-flight magazine was a very informative, well set-out magazine. I read that they won a few awards
for "Muhibah." There was also a SkyShow guide which told you how to operate the IFE and what movies were on offer.
Sorry for the bad quality, but it gives you an idea!
Around 30mins after we took to the air, we were given a delicious baguette, forgot what filling it was, but was really nice. Can't have been pork though as BI
is a Muslim airline. A Banana, slice of cake and a drink was also offered, which were all very welcome!
I took a trip to the toilet, and they were all occupied but I was only waiting a few minutes before a little chinese lady popped out of the loo.
And for any plane-lav lovers...
No window in the toilet unfortunately - always thought that was quite a cool thing to have, a nice view whilst on the loo!
The toilets were nice and clean, smelt nice so no major complaints. I just wish the flush on plane toilets wasn't so loud. It used to frighten me as a little kid, lol. I was surprised how long our full meal took. Apparently we were having "lunch" which I assumed was 12pm or something like that, but it wasn't served until about 1730 just over two hours before landing. In the end I put it down to different time zones or something.
Might I add that the crew came round every 30mins offering drinks, which was a nice touch.
Arrival into DXB
I would have put in my pictures, but they were pretty bad, so I figured you'd be better off without. I don't have a clue what time we landed, but I know it was pretty much on-time. About 15mins before landing, a short movie on Dubai which told you about entry formalities etc and attractions was shown, which was nice. The video also stated that pax who were continuing onto Brunei and other destinations should only take their important possessions off the plane i.e. wallet, mobile phone, ipods, jewellry etc. Landing was nice and smooth and we now faced a grueling (spelling mistake?) taxi to the gate, which seemed like forever. Thankfully we weren't on a remote stand, which was surprising because DXB
is so busy at this time. I had to wait until everyone else was off before I could leave the plane. The
Dnata employee was waiting on the airbridge for me and they crew said bye and enjoy the rest of the journey as the
crew changes in DXB
. I was taken through security, and they are a nuisance in Dubai, it seems to take forever because you have to be hand searched if you set the beeper off (sorry! I dunno what it's called!) which I did, and it turned out to be my mobile phone. Annoying lol, they kept sending me back through. I then got taken to the special services area at DXB
and had to wait. But I needed to call my parents so they let me go to the duty free store so I could buy a phone box voucher thingy.
Wednesday 2 August 2007
Departure Airport DXB
Arrival Airport BWN
Scheduled Departure Time 21:05AM
Actual Departure Time 21:35AM
Aircraft Boeing 767-33A/ER Registered V8-RBH
Airline Royal Brunei Airlines
I then returned to the special services area and we were very late, the flight leaves at 9:05pm and we got to the gate at 8:55pm! Because of me most probaby.
Pushback shortly followed. The aircraft was BAKING so it was great to have the engines started up and the aircon running. Taxi to the runway was fairly quick, but we were waiting to line-up because of a landing TG
A330 and PK
A310. We waited on the runway for about 3 mins, which seemed like 3 hours! Take-off and climbout was uneventful, we
were offered drinks, a samosa type thing, which was delicious, slice of cake and... an apple. The cake wasn't all very nice, and I didn't feel like an apple! I listened to my iPod for the best of an hour, then I spent a couple of hours watching the looped non-AVOD channels. Had a listen to the multiple AVOD radio stations and then slept for
around three hours, and woke to this...
Sunrise over Thailand.
There was about 2h50 left of the flight, and I managed to squeeze in a movie, which the name of has completely gone out of my head - it was nothing special though. I wished I had chose Shrek The Third or Spiderman 3, ahh well, that gave me something to do on the way home 18 days later!
My breakfast arrived whilst I watching the movie, which was lovely - watching a movie while I'm eating. Bliss, if you've been stuck in a Boeing 767 for 17 hours! I'm not complaining, though! I went for Singapore noodles. Quite spicy! They give you funny stuff for breakfast. I suppose it's different cultures though.
Our descent was announced by the captain a short while before landing, and as we approached the coast of Brunei I
recognised it straight away. Words can't describe the excitement I was feeling! Anyway, as we began our final approach into Brunei International, I was a bag of nerves - I was around 45mins from seeing people I haven't seen for five years. A very weird feeling. Magical, though. We touched down at exactly 9:40am, talk about timing! The chief hostie then gave announcements in Malay and English explaining we have arrived in Negara Brunei Darussalam etc etc! We parked at the gate, where I could see a sistership A320 and a Boeing 767. On the taxi, I noticed a Nepal 757 and BI
A319 in maintenance. The rest of the fleet must have been in the air at this time, in Frankfurt, Singapore, Brisbane etc... LOL I'm just using examples. Trying to look proffessional! =P
I was met on arrival by an RBA representitive, who was very friendly and we had a good old natter. She was pleased to here that I was in Brunei on holiday, and she said they always like to see tourists who aren't just transitting through the airport on their way to other places. The baggage claim seemed to take ages and my bag was one of the last to come through. Saw the scottish girl again, and she said to enjoy my trip. I said the same, of course.I then went through the arrivals area and met up with my friend & his family, and my nerves were gone as soon as I saw them. I was so releived, nobody had changed a bit.
Part two coming soon.
I have more pictures which I will put in the next part, thanks for bearing with me and putting up with the bad
But let me know what you think of this one!
Thanks for reading!
[Edited 2008-02-13 09:51:43]