|Quoting Directorguy (Reply 16):|
Smashing trip report well done. But I thought that the SKL T3 lounge had independent shower rooms, non?
And re. shower rooms at SKL T3
, they are independent, but someone had a sleepy day at work while designing the cubicles which means that each door has about 1cm gap that you can definitely see inside the room. Quite disconcerting - more so for the person who would be looking inside my room, than for me!
I guess so long as US carriers continue to fill their cabins with upgrades, they're never going to have the same level of F product that Asian/European airlines do, simply because the cabin does not pay for itself!
I also realised just now that I never posted the return portion of the trip... so here it is!
OZ721 ICN-HKG 20APR08
I reached the airport roughly 2 hours before departure, at around 7am and made my way to the First Class counter. Before I reached it, a service agent asked me where I was travelling to, and which class I was travelling, to which I replied Hong Kong in First Class. Why, of course!
Once I reached the desk, I did the usual routine – interestingly, they had already pre-printed the lounge invitation and my e-ticket receipt and put it inside a ticket sleeve alongside a blank boarding pass, so that they only had one thing to print. I guess it’s supposed to make you feel more special, but unless they go the whole way and phoned me ahead to ask me how many pieces of baggage I was carrying so that they meet me at the kerbside, tag my bags and take them straight away, the whole “seamless check-in experience” seemed like just an attempt rather than anything too meaningful. Oh well, at least they tried! I chose seat 1K because… well, just because! The flight wasn’t too full, I was told, so the seat next to me should be free.
I had to tell the check-in agent who was all smiles (must have been something on my face
) not to print my next boarding pass on SQ HKG
(it’s such a tiny thing, but I wanted it on the proper SQ
stock not the Asiana one!), and also tag my bags through to my SIN
flight tomorrow as well. All was done very quickly and I was on my way armed with a lounge invitation for the First Class section.
The queues for the x-ray were suspiciously short this morning – must be the fact that in order to reach there for 7am, you really have to wake up at something hideous in the morning – 5am in my case. Very short too, was the immigration queues which normally takes 5-10 minutes. It was so amazingly quick that I was in front of the Asiana Lounge before I knew it.
A quick note: Of course, having used it before, I know that the Silver Kris F lounge at ICN
is a very nice one and, in all likelihood, I would probably prefer it to the Asiana one, but I couldn’t quite face walking across the terminal just to use a different lounge when really, all I wanted to do was sit down with a tea and catch up with some emails and so on. As I was only going to stay for about 40 minutes, it didn’t really make any difference.
Once in the lounge, I gave my invitation to the lounge receptionist who called the lift and I made my way to the first floor. Once there, I walked through the small corridor to the First Class lounge, which had another receptionist who had been expecting me. She asked me whether I wanted anything to drink, and she seemed momentarily not sure what to do when I told her “I’ll just get something for myself in a few minutes; that’s no problem for me”.
Sat down and logged into the free wireless at the lounge, I brought myself a bottle of cold tea and caught up on emails etc. Then I thought, “1K might not be so great because I’ll end up staring at a wall”, so I went to change the seat at the reception which was done without any problems.
After about 45 minutes it was almost 8:15am, and I left the lounge to change some money and have a quick look at the duty free. Then, at 8:30am I made my way to the gate which had a long queue for the Y-class boarding door but empty for the F and C-class boarding door. When I gave my boarding pass to the gate agent, another person came up next to me and said “Oh, there you are! I was meant to escort you from the lounge to the gate but you left already so I came to the gate!” She then escorted me the very short distance between the boarding gate and the aircraft doors, and handed me over to the cabin crew.
In the cabin
I knew the equipment was 747-400 Combi with the old F seats so I knew what to expect, but now having seen the future (i.e. SQ
77W), it did feel like a bit of a throwback to the previous era. There was plenty of space so that wasn’t the issue; but the pairs of seats with the potential to sit next to a stranger on a long-haul flight in First Class were. The cabin was otherwise quite neutrally decorated and spacious (well, with only 12 seats in the nose section you’d hope it was).
View of the seat and the legroom. It goes 180 flat, and was decently comfortable for sleeping an hour or so. But definitely old school!
Air-tube earphone system :eek:
You could almost see forward when landing, although the on-screen displays on NH
are much better!
Overview of the cabin when leaving the flight
Once I sat down, I was offered a pair of slippers and also the headphones. The headphones were the Sennheiser PX100 which is: 1. not noise-cancelling, and 2. an open design which lets all the noise in. I wasn’t planning to watch anything on this flight so they remained in the plastic wrapper until they were handed back. And the slippers… well, they were very nicely made and would probably last 10 times longer than most of the other airlines’ offerings, but they were the most hideous shade of red (think hooker rather than vintage wine) so I didn’t keep them.
Then I was asked for my choice of pre-departure drink, and I chose some chrysanthemum tea alongside some warmed nuts. The nuts were another point worth noting since, although they were nicely warmed
, they consisted mostly of peanuts… I was expecting anything other
than peanuts especially as I’m not a big fan.
As I waited for the doors to shut, it became apparent that there was only going to be one other passenger in F today, which should theoretically make the service flawless. But if I can just use this moment to express my thoughts about the service, I must say I prefer SQ
’s style over OZ
. The flight attendants on OZ
were perfectly pleasant and professional, but it was a bit too “Korean” – i.e. deferential to a fault and a little too uptight. I thought it could possibly be because the passengers in F that they are used to seeing were the Korean high-ranking directors and government officials, in which case they would probably prefer the servile style of the flight attendants. Me – well, I felt I was on the wrong side of 40 to enjoy it, and preferred the flight attendants that are perfectly composed but also more jokey, more engaging and more interesting. Some posters have commented before that they thought they would enjoy the service more if they spoke Korean – hmm. I spoke to them in Korean and didn’t really feel any difference. Maybe it’s just down to personal preference.
Soon enough we pulled away from the gate and headed towards the runway. Because the seat was in the nose section, I was able to get a better view towards the runway due to the curvature of the cabin. One thing I had forgotten about the flights in 747 is just how loudly you feel the landing gear pull up once you ‘rein the air – well, it almost made me jump!
The seatbelt sign was switched off and menus were handed out. Sadly no lobster on this Brunch meal sector, although the return segment had it – my hopes of comparing the two lobsters on OZ
Here is the menu:
Egg Custard with Abalone, Prawn and Salmon Roe
Prosciutto Ham with Mixed Salad
Served with French Dressing
Stewed Beef with Pastry
Served with Phyllo Pastry Topping
Accompanied by Anna Potato and Vegetables
Deep Fried Prawn
Served with Oriental Sauce
Accompanied by Fried Rice and Vegetables
Korean ‘Abalone Porridge’
A Famous Korean Healthy Porridge
Accompanied by Assorted Side Dishes & Watery Plain Kimchi
Selection of Cheese & Fresh Fruit
Opera Cake with Vanilla Sauce
Coffee & Tea
*We are pleased to offer hot Ramen upon your request
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1998
Champagne de Castellane Commodore 1998
Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2004
Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim 2004
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Grand Cru Classe, Graves 2004
Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 2004
Blandy’s 10 Years Old Malmsey Madeira
Port Sandeman 20 Years Old Tawny Porto
Jackson-Triggs Vidal VQA Ice Wine 2006
Cognac & Liqueurs
Baileys Irish Cream
Medium Dry Sherry Sandeman
Scotch Whisky Johnnie Walker Blue
Bourbon Whiskey Jack Daniel
Canadian Whisky Canadian Club
Koean Traditional Liquors
“Hwarang” Made from rice and herbs
“Mae Chuy Soon” Made from plum
I chose to drink the Taittenger Comte de Champagne with the meal, feeling slightly guilty that I was dipping into the sauce even before 10am
It was actually very good, and I almost even preferred it to the Krug although there are so many variables that you can’t really make a comparison. The appetizer of steamed egg custard with seafood came inside an egg shell (so you could imagine there wasn’t a lot in there!) The taste was fine – very subtle but pleasant. Then the salad came, which had quite a strongly flavoured sauce (with a slight kick of chilli) but the vegetables were very fresh and the ham and melon were decent too. Also came the bread selection, and I chose a hard roll which tasted good and warmed just right. Then came the most disappointing part of the meal: the main course. I chose the fried prawns expecting a jumbo prawn (maybe 15cm?) but the dish, as can be seen in the photo, contained three rather anaemic prawns that you would expect in Y. The side of the fried rice was also pretty bland. But as I was so hungry (how is this possible? I had a full Korean breakfast before leaving home!) nothing was left on the plate. Once that was cleared away, I had a top-up of the Taittinger
and the fruit and cheese was served – well, I declined the cheese but the fruit (which I forgot to take a photo of) was fresh. Then finally, the dessert of the Opera Cake was served, and here the taste was very good. I also asked for jasmine tea with the cake, both of which were quickly finished.
I’m not sure whether it’s the fact that this flight was a Brunch flight rather than Lunch, or whether the short-haul meal service is considerably less elaborate than the long-haul, but I came away feeling distinctly underwhelmed with the food overall. Most of the courses were the quality you might expect in a good C-class meal, and the main course really wouldn’t have looked out of place in Y
Maybe I was already permanently spoilt by SQ
… this could well be a curse for life!
Having finished the 2nd meal of the morning, there was roughly two hours left of the flight and I decided to catch up on my lack of sleep from the 5am start. By now, all the window shades were pulled down and the cabin lights were dimmed. I’ve experienced these recline-flat seats before when I flew NH
in F ages ago, and these were just fine for the brief nap I was going to have. In fact, I slept like a log until just before they switched all the cabin lights back on, feeling pretty refreshed and much better. After that, it was a very uneventful final 30 minutes with the flight attendants getting ready for landing and me briefly making a start on the trip report.
When we landed, we taxied to the gate which was right next to a Korean Air 747-400 which made me wonder whether the same flight on KE
would have been a better experience. It’s really difficult to put a finger on it, but there was just nothing special about the flight – the service style was a bit stiff, the food was very unremarkable, and most crucially, I was comparing this flight to the amazing experience on SIN
. It was going to be very, very difficult to beat that.
SQ865 HKG-SIN 20APR08 (Booked)
SQ873 HKG-SIN 20APR08 (Switched)
Headless chickens in a zoo…
While I was in the queue for the passport control, I managed to log onto the Singapore Airlines website on my iPod Touch using the free wireless and found out to my absolutely horror that the equipment had changed to 777-300 (non-ER). This was exactly what I had feared all along, as the 747 flights seemingly have a tendency to suddenly be swapped with a B777-300 which, while it is probably fine for a short run such as HKG
, is really quite unacceptable for a longer run such as SIN
. In any case, I knew that I would have to think about what I want to do about this development when I reached the check-in desk to have my boarding pass issued.
After clearing immigration and customs, I made my way to the departures level and found the SQ
check-in desks quickly enough. There was one person in front of me so I expected to wait no more than 5 minutes – this was not to be, since this person ended up taking more than 10 minutes. There was an overall feeling of chaos around the check-in areas, with service agents running around, passengers waiting around, passengers visibly being agitated by the waiting time and service agents feeling flustered.
Once it was my turn at the First Class desk, I made the decision to take the later SQ873 flight and just spend more time in Hong Kong. I knew they would most likely not have a problem with me switching the flight especially as the equipment was, quite frankly, severely downgraded on my originally booked SQ865. What also convinced me to switch was the fact that there were only two other passengers booked on this flight whereas the SQ865 was almost full in the SkySuites so the flight had almost 12 passengers, and I thought the service would be better on the quieter flight.
The switch itself was not the problem, but I found out that the process of actually moving me to the next flight can be, in the overall atmosphere of general chaos. It took roughly 15 minutes for the check-in agent to establish that she will not be able to give me my boarding pass straight away, as she could not track down the correct people who will offload my luggage from (or avoid it going onto) the SQ865. What made the process worse was that she didn’t quite manage the “swan on water” poise (i.e. elegant and composed on the outside, swimming madly under water) and instead managed to convey every bit of her own confusion and impatience. After the 15 minutes, she then asked me whether I could perhaps go away for 20 minutes and wait for her to sort it out in the meantime – well, I knew I wanted to take the later flight, and the friend I was meeting in HK
didn’t mind waiting, so I waited on the bench just next to the desks typing some more of my trip report while she tried to resolve the situation. After the suggested 20 minutes (in fact, more like 30) I went back to the desk where she was now no longer there – I found her sitting at the Oversized Luggage counter helping someone else. That’s fine, I thought, although I was beginning to be mindful of the delay to my lunch with my friend. After a while, she realised I was waiting and went back and forth to the F/C desk, and after involving two other check-in agents, she managed to sort out everything… or so I thought.
She pressed “Print BP
” and every time, the BP
came out blank. She went to the next desk, and the BP
was blank again. After trying this a few times, they (now a team of 3) decided the boarding pass would have to be hand-written. Ugh. Another few minutes trying to locate the older BP
stock which is easier to write on. Half way through writing the new BP
, yet another one of the colleagues came back triumphantly with the boarding pass for 2A. Finally! But no boarding pass for tomorrow’s connecting flight to LHR
. The whole process took an hour and 15 minutes, which was really an hour too long. And having experienced the “moved flight, no bag” incident on the SIN
leg, I wanted to make sure my bag would be loaded – I was asked to check at the desk when I return for my flight later in the day, whether the bag had been loaded or not.
Brief break in Hong Kong
So I finally went into town on the Airport Express (probably one of the nicest airport shuttle trains I’ve found, perhaps except the Shanghai Maglev just for the sheer cool factor!) and met my friend. We had a fairly unremarkable lunch at the poolside restaurant at the Grand Hyatt, had a fantastic mango dessert at the IFC mall, had a drink in a bar also at IFC with a nice view, and it was already time to head back to the Airport Express station after talking more or less non-stop for 4 hours. Oh, and continuing my reliance on alcohol for the day, a glass of Chardonnay and Chianti respectively were consumed during the afternoon.
Making my way through the airport
Once back at Chep Lap Kok, I made my way to the SQ
desks again and approached a Business Class desk (mostly because the agent there seemed nicer) and asked about my bag. She told me it was going to be loaded and told me not to worry. But she couldn’t get through to the catering department so she couldn’t tell me whether my BTC lobster will be available or not – it seemed that I was going to be without any
lobster at this rate!
Immigration and security were both relatively quiet, and I made the choice yet again to visit an inferior lounge based purely on convenience of location. I could have gone to the Virgin Clubhouse (and with a couple of hours to spare, I would have done) but it was only an hour until boarding time when I reached the Silver Kris lounge so there just wasn’t enough time to go all the way on the SkyTrain and visit the CH
. Next time, I guess!
The sorry excuse of a lounge that is the SKL HKG
The SKL at HKG
has got to be the single most substandard Silver Kris lounge I have visited so far, although that’s really only from a small sample of LHR
. I was actually quite surprised just how poor the lounge was considering there are 5-6 flights a day. There was no view of any sort, the seating area was very generic and boring, the food offering consisted of some small nibble snacks and a particularly appetizingly described “Fried Oily Vegetable Noodles” (!) and the state of the toilet was just inexcusable. Oh, and since the toilet acted as a connecting corridor between the Business and First sections with no-one to keep watch, more and more people seemed to drift into the First section over time. Good thing that the only two things I wanted to achieve from that lounge was charging my laptop briefly and getting a bottle of water, because I don’t think it could have coped with anything more challenging.
More drama (-lite) at the gate…
30 minutes to go until flight departure, I went to the gate which was no. 16 today. The gate was an absolute zoo and the pre-boarding seemed almost finished, so I was keen to avoid the rush but thought it might be a good idea to check whether the bag had in fact made the flight. Surprise surprise, no it had not. The gate agent told me to wait around if I want to make sure my bag was loaded, and also told me there were now a total of 6 passengers in F now. I waited for another 10 minutes while everyone boarded the aircraft, then checked again. This time, 3 different gate agents all seemed to know which bag I was talking about, and told me it was loaded now. So I made my way to the dreaded 777-200.
On the monstrosity… I mean, the 772
I was the last passenger to boarding in the 12-seat F cabin, and thankfully the adjacent seat remained free. The cabin crew for F consisted of the IFS, LSS and LS
. Immediately, I realised I didn’t like the LSS as much as the one on SQ16, but then again her predecessor was a hard act to follow to say the least. This LSS was less refined, less smiley and lacked warmth, although she remained professional throughout. The IFS on the other hand was a welcome change from the previous flight where I felt the IFS did very little and seemed just bossy – this one was much more talkative, much warmer and seemed genuinely pleased to be serving the passengers. And because the FS
served the right hand side of the cabin mainly, I didn’t get to speak to him until later on in the flight, and he turned out to be very charming and chatty.
The view of the SQ
Another view of the SQ
777-200... How I wished it was a 747-400!
Picture of the seat - it's no Sky Suite, I tell you!
Legroom was okay if you were in the middle two seats, but sitting in 2A, it would be impossible to climb out if both 1C and 2C were fully reclined. Not good in F.
Legroom (and my favourite slippers from the 77W flight)
Picture of the seat fully reclined
The non-AVOD screen which was pretty scratched up. I only used it for the air-show.
Now, the seat – well, just as the seats on OZ
were from the previous generation, so were these. There was no in-seat power, the IFE system was pre-Wisemen 3000 (so no AVOD) and the screen quality was… well, what can I say, after using the 23-inch HDTV screen on the 77W? It was just simply depressing! My seat 2A was pretty decent for legroom, although my perception would have altered considerably
if 1A was occupied, as I was to find out later on in the flight. Basically, 2A and 2K are total disasters if both 1A and 2B (or 1K and 2J
) are occupied, because the row 1 seats recline too much and there’s no room to get out. And moreover, it’s different to Y-class because you can recline quite far back with the legrest up, so it would be a lot of hassle for the row 2 aisle passengers to move out for you. Row 1 is also not great because row 2 passengers end up looking into your sleeping space and can even potentially drop stuff on top of your face if they’re not careful. So, in conclusion, the only desirable seats are row 2 aisle seats unless it’s a very quiet flight with lots of free seats. I could definitely see that people would be majorly hacked off if they were expecting the 744 (or worse, a 77W) on a long-ish flight like FRA
and end up with this regional configuration.
In terms of the seat itself, it was really getting on a bit and felt like it’s just about holding up. The table on the non-hinged end would always hover about 1cm above the resting place on the centre armrest so it always wobbles if you exert force on it. The electronic controls are nice and, unlike the 77W, the legrest actually extends to a useful length (probably the only positive point for the 772!)
The menu and the headset were handed out. I also received a pair of the sockettes (the slippers that resemble a pair of socks) and the eye shades – the eye shades were the upgraded version that have been around with the 77W. Drink orders, as well as orders for the meal, were taken and the IFS gave me the good news that my lobster managed to be loaded in time.
I made a concerted decision to eat and drink a healthy amount (so, not very healthy then!) so that I can easily fall asleep when I reached Singapore at the transit hotel. So I made a good start of it by opting for a glass of Dom before take-off. The IFS came round with the bottle and poured me a glass, which I savoured until the cabin was being readied for take-off. After turning off all the cabin lights (which made looking outside very easy), we taxied to the runway and took off.
After a few minutes, we reached cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign was turned off. Then warm nuts were served (and unlike the tacky mix on OZ
, these were high quality cashews and macadamia nuts) alongside my order of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. I couldn’t believe that I was hungry for my fourth large meal of the day, but I was – so I ended up finishing all the nuts. Then the LSS came round to set the tables and the meal service started.
from Hong Kong to Singapore
Baked scallop with chilli veloute on a bed of sautéed mushrooms
Tian of lobster with avocado and lotus root
Chilli mango coulis and basil oil
Cream of spinach with roasted herb green asparagus
Butter lettuce heart with baby cress and cherry tomato
Balsamic and virgin olive oil dressing
Thousand Island dressing
Grilled fillet of beef in peppercorn sauce with vegetables and potatoes
Grilled Japanese style eel with pickles, miso soup and steamed rice
Chicken and abalone noodle soup
Egg noodles in rich chicken broth garnished with poached chicken, sliced abalone and vegetables
Eggplant parmigiana with tomato sauce, basil oil, wild rocket and shaved parmesan cheese
Book The Cook - Lobster Thermidor
Warm dark chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, raspberry coulis
Selection of cheese with garnishes
A selection of fresh fruit
from the bakery
with a choice of extra virgin olive oil or butter
Freshly brewed coffee
Espresso or cappuccino
Selection of tea
Soya Bean Milk
To end on a sweet note
Specially prepared meatless selection
shi quan shi mei (十全食美)
- “a complete and perfect Chinese culinary experience”
cold xiao chi
Scallop with pomelo salad
Chicken with cold noodle salad
Spring roll with “ma lan” root
Roast beef with chilli oil
cuisine from the wok
Sweet and sour prawn
Steamed chicken with flower mushroom
Wok fried pork with ginger and spring onion
Leafy greens in oyster sauce
from the paddyfield
Choice of steamed rice or porridge
Cantonese pork broth with beancurd, gingko nuts and barley
a sweet note
Warm almond delight with sesame dumplings
selection of Chinese teas
Pi Lo Chun, Jasmine, Oolong, Tie Guan Yin, Long Jing
Exclusively created by Yeung Koon Yat of Forum Restaurant, Hong Kong
Macallan 12 years old Single Malt Whisky
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
Bombay Sapphire Gin
Smirnoff Red Label Vodka
Premium Ginjo Sake Tamanohikari
(Available on flights to and from Japan
Baileys Original Irish Cream
A traditional Japanese fruit liqueur enjoyed straight or on the rocks
(Available on flights to and from North Asia)
Dom Pérignon 2000
Krug Grande Cuvée
Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfche
Riesling Kabinett2005 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Beaune Du Chateau Premier Cru 2006 Bouchard Pere Et Fils
Meursault Les Clous 2005 Bouchard Pere et Fils
Chianti Classico 2001 Castello Di Brolio
Chateau Leoville-Poyferre 1999 Saint-Julien
Dow’s20 Year Old Tawny Port Portugal
(Tea and Coffee selections omitted)
No satay, so we went straight to the starters – I had chosen the baked scallops and, considering the inflight meal aspect, it was not too bad (but the sauce turned a bit stodgy as it normally does). It was quickly gobbled down with my 2nd glass of Dom. Then the salad came, and unfortunately the balsamic dressing that I had chosen was a bit overpowering, and the lettuce was not at its freshest (and not a patch on the SIN
segment). The next course was the soup which was quite enjoyable if a bit salty, and there were batons of asparagus at the bottom which I didn’t know was there. I didn’t finish it though, as I knew I had to leave room for the famous lobster thermidor which came next, alongside my glass of Meursault which was very good indeed. The lobster? Hmm. I wouldn’t say it was particularly memorable save for the novelty factor of having it in-flight, but it looked better than the other options in the menu so I was glad to have ordered it in advance. The side vegetables were quite fresh but a bit undercooked, the mashed potato was a fairly standard issue, and the lobster itself was not bad but there was too much sauce and too much salt. I seem to remember this from my last flights in Raffles when I ordered the same dish ex-SIN
– maybe it’s catered to a different taste.
After all that, I was getting quite full but I was curious what the fruit plate consisted of. The fruit plates on airlines such as NH
tend to be elaborately pre-prepared (unpeeled, sliced and decorated) but I was a bit taken aback when the IFS set the small plate and knives, then brought a basket of… fruits! It only had whole fruits that were unprepared, so either I was going to get my hands dirty unpeeling them etc, or I was just going to eat everything. In any case, I chose just an apple but the IFS also suggested I try the Chinese apple – certainly unique but not quite sweet enough. I declined the cheese because I really only had room for the dessert. By now my 2nd glass of Meursault was finished and I decided to try the Saint-Julien with the dessert course of vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate fondant. It was probably the best course of the meal overall – everything just worked. Once the dessert was finished, there was roughly 1h10m of the flight remaining.
One difference I really noticed comparing the meal service on the 77W to non-77W is the size/design of the plates. Because the 77W plates are bigger and more of an open design, it allows a much better presentation of the food and makes them look much less like an inflight meal. For example, the rack of lamb on SIN
would have looked fine even if it was presented on the ground, whereas all the dishes on the772 looked like inflight meals.
Another thing I noticed during the meal service was that the LSS was starting to warm up to me. She was smiling more, less in a hurry and generally more pleasant as the flight went on. But I still preferred the IFS and the LS
– they were much more personable.
After everything was done and cleaned away, I didn’t want to fall asleep prematurely so I went to talk to the FS
in the galley while buying some aeroplane models from Krisshop. We had a good chat, talking about future plans, my travel patterns, him not having been on an A380 yet, etc. He actually said he was going to leave quite soon so he wasn’t going to get to train on the A380 which was a shame. After a while it got quite busy in the galley so I went back to my seat and worked on the trip report for a bit.
When things seemed to quieten down a bit towards the end of the flight with about 15 minutes to go before seatbelt signs being switched on, I also had a chat with the IFS about the Suites on the A380 and F on the 77W amongst other things. He really seemed nice and also enthusiastic about his job and the flight which, again, was good to see and a sharp comparison to the IFS on SQ16. I thanked him and the FS
for the great flight.
Then it was time to prepare to land and the usual routine of collecting headsets and so on took place. I discovered that someone had taken my menu while I was in the toilet, so I had to ask the IFS for them just as the seatbelt sign came on, and he said he would bring it to my seat. We landed after a spectacular night cityscape over Singapore and taxied to our gate in Terminal 3.
As the seatbelt sign was turned off, I reminded the IFS that I wanted to take the menus which he brought. On my way out once the doors opened, I wished the crew well and made my way to the airport transit hotel at T3
Overall, I must say this flight was so much better than the OZ
flight, but not as good as the 77W flight. The seats and the entertainment systems were all a bit of a let-down but luckily I was on this aircraft for 3 hours, not 13. The crew were a mixed blessing – a much better IFS than my previous flight, LSS who was not as good, and the LS
was good for both flights. I preferred the food on the SIN
flight (perhaps it’s natural given that SIN
is the hub) but both SQ
flights were still better than the Asiana flight although, to OZ
’s defence, the OZ
flight was a brunch flight and the menu for the return sector HKG
looked much better (lobster offered).
I had a realisation on the SQ
: On my way from LHR
, I flew the two newest and latest aircraft, the A380 from London to Singapore and the 777-300ER from Singapore to Seoul. On the way back, I flew an ancient 747-400 Combi on ICN
, an old 777-200 for HKG
, and will be flying a (no doubt ancient) 747-400 on SIN
. It has been effectively a contrast of the “old and new” of air travel I suppose, and the difference was more than I expected.