Firstly some background! My trip actually started in DUB with BD but I have left out this part of the TR as I thought it was long enough anyway and I had booked the DUB-LHR flights separately so it seemed to make sense! I have also only done a TR on one half of the trip, obviously I came home but it was pretty much the same again in reverse and I didn't want to bore anyone. I took this trip for two reasons, to visit my sister in MEL and to get to see the last continent on Earth (I'm excluding Antarctica here)! Anyway onwards and upwards....
LHR-SIN SQ 319 (B744)
Saturday 29th March 2008
STD 18.15 ACT 18.35
STA 14.55 ACA 15.05
I had arrived in LHR at about 1.30 for a 6.15 flight due to a change in flight times from BD from Dublin, but I spent some time wandering around the shops in T3 before heading to TGI's for some lunch. At about 5.30 I headed down to the gate and saw my ride to SIN
I had previously flown with SQ on my trip to Vietnam in 2006 but all of those flights were on B777s so this was my first SQ jumbo flight! I had previously heard that their 747s were starting to show their age and I'm sorry to say that there is some truth in that. While the plane was still comfortable and the crew were still at their fantastic best, it was just starting to look a little too dated
The flight was almost totally full, there was only one free seat in Y with a lot of families flying out to SIN at the start of English half-term. Shortly after take-off we were given out hot towels followed by drinks. I had a Tiger as is the tradition on SQ. Dinner took a while to be served on the 747 and was not helped by some heavy turbulence on the way out of Europe. The choices for dinner were;
* Beef fillet & rosemary sauce with sauteed potatoes
* Stir fry pork with ginger & steamed rice
* Indian tandoori chicken with almond pilaff rice
I went for the beef and very nice it was too, but the smoked salmon & potato salad was a little odd!
Once dinner was finished I watched some TV on Krisworld and started to watch "National Treasure 2" but soon fell asleep and the next I remember we were being served lunch about 90minutes outside of SIN. Lunch was a choice of Braised egg noodles or Vegetable fritatta which I declined both of, neither were something I fancied in front of me after being asleep for 8 hours! After waking up properly and filling out my Singapore immigration card we were soon descending into SIN
This was my 3rd time visiting SIN and I have to say it is a place I love. It is so cosmopolitan but equally very Asian in parts and to top it all it has an ok airport! We arrived into the new T3 and parked next to some other SQ birds to end the first part of my journey.
SIN-SYD SQ 221 A380
1st April 2008
ETD 20.35 ACT 21.15
ETA 06.55 ACA 06.50
This was the one I was really looking forward to (what a shock!). I had checked in for the flight at the downtown SQ office earlier that morning when collecting my Australian ETA visa.
Once I had checked in I headed to Raffles hotels for a Singapore Sling, it was my birthday after all (by the way I have no idea who the nut in the background is!!)
We headed out to the airport for about 6pm and wandered around the new T3. I have to say it is fantastic, even better than T2 was, so bright and airy but the only negative I will say is that the choice of food is not the greatest once you're airside. But the huge windows overlooking the runways allows for some excellent photo opportunities
I was a bit worried about how boarding was going to be on the giant A380 but it was a dream. Everyone was called by zone and for once everyone stuck to it. For some reason things in Singapore generally tend to go like that. I had specifically booked through the UK SQ website so I could book particular seats which you cant do through the Irish one from some reason. I wanted that seat upstairs!! We boarded and the first impressions were fantastic.
We were welcomed onboard and given out hot towels as usual but I had only just got seated when a Singapore girl came over to me and wished me a happy birthday, a lovely touch I thought. The A380 is so much more spacious than the 747 I had flown out on with more leg room and those compartments next to the window are great too
Our takeoff was delayed by about 40minutes due to a passenger not turning up and their baggage having to be taken out of the massive hold. But at just after 9pm we left the gate. The first thing to be said is that anything you have heard about the A380 being really quiet is right. It was almost silent, especially compared to the roar from the 747. Even when we were at V1 you could speak at a normal level and be heard. It really was everything it was it was meant to be so far. We took off into the now-set Singapore sky and I settled down to some Father Ted before dinner.
The screens on the A380 are vastly superior to the tiny box on the 744, so much easier to watch. Once we were at our cruising altitude dinner was served. On this flight there was a choice of;
* Ragout of chicken with mushroom served with fresh pasta
* Thai style beef in Masaman curry with steamed rice
I went for the chicken but again there was a seafood salad, this time with cold mussels and lobster (it was gross)
The flight to SYD was only roughly 7hours long and I wanted to go exploring before we landed so I decided to get a nap. About 2 hours later I woke up and went to check out this giant, and the flight team were more than happy to let us look around
No sooner had I taken my seat again than perhaps the most embarrassing moment of my life happened. At roughly 2am somewhere over the Pacific 4 Singapore girls appeared with a cake and champagne singing "happy birthday" at the top of their voices. Looking back on it, it was a fantastic gesture but at the time i wanted to jump out that emergency exit
We were now over Australia and the sun was beginning to rise
Not long after a continental breakfast was served which was a fruit salad and some croissants which was enough for such a short flight. A short time later we started our descent, out over Sydney harbour and into Kingsford Smith
SYD-AYQ QF726 B738
5th April 2008
ETD 08.30 ATD 08.25
ETA 11.15 ACA 11.10
This was my first time flying QF and I was really looking forward to it. The only downside was the 737 which is an aircraft I simply dont like, and it does something to my ears which no other aircraft does. Anyway we arrived in SYD about 7am for our domestic flight and after a serious cup of coffee I took some quick pictures before boarding began
The thing that struck me about pre-flight was that at no stage was I asked for any kind of ID! I checked in for the flight using one of the QF kiosks and was given seat 29A. That was fine but going through security I wasn't asked for ID and even boarding the aircraft I wasn't, it was just a case of present your boarding pass. However, as I was boarding my seat was changed to 13E (my friend was in F), an emergency exit seat which was fantastic, more leg room
We boarded the 737 and took off on time. The changed seat was great and allowed me to stretch out to catch some sleep on the flight
The overhead screens showed "The Kite Runner" which I didn't really watch and we were offered a sandwich and a drink. To be honest I didn't really expect anything for a flight of under 3 hours, I thought it would be similar to most intra-European flights or domestic US
Our flight took us out over the red centre of Australia and we came into AYQ with Uluru to the left of the aircraft (tip for anyone flying this route in future!!). We landed in AYQ slightly ahead of schedule, next to a QF 717 just landed from Alice Springs
This marks the end of my trip report, I hope you enjoy, just be kind!
[Edited 2008-05-18 10:22:18]