On My Way To Singapore And SQ636 Trip Report
Another Singapore Airlines A380 Inaugural Flight to Nagoya and Narita!
Looking back in time, this trip was going to be more complex and eventful than for the other SQA380 inaugural flights. My tickets were a mix of a a full fare paid ticket for the A380 flights combined with a Star Alliance Frequent Flyer Miles award ticket for the rest of the trip.
This 6 days new flying adventure started on Sunday May 18 in the early afternoon at the busy Nice Cote d’Azur airport (NCE
). I was already in Nice in the morning so I took the direct bus from the city’s central bus station to the airport. There was not much road traffic. The bus ride went without any problem.
As I got to the airport I went to the Austrian Airlines check-in counter situated in the same area with Swiss and Lufthansa in Terminal 1. I had my travel bag checked all the way to Singapore along with a box of goodies for the friend I was going to meet at Narita during my layover. I was handed two boarding passes for my flights with Austrian Airlines and an invitation to the airlines lounge.
My first flight of the day was OS426 to Vienna. Hello Austrian Airlines with their flight attendants in bright red uniforms!
After check-in I took the escalator and proceeded through security and immigration and then to the lounge. Margaret, a lady friend from Monte Carlo happened to be there with her husband. They were on their way to Amman, Jordan via Frankfurt. I did not have much time to be in the lounge. I had a quick mini-lunch with a cup of coffee.
I said goodbye, wished her a good trip and went downstairs to the assigned gate area.
Boarding time was at 1.55 PM
from Gate A10 on the lower level. Things were starting to look real. The aircraft was a Fokker 100 regional jet operated by Tyrolean Airways. We were taken to the aircraft by bus as it was parked in a remote stand. We boarded the aircraft through the stairs.
The flight was fairly full, pushback and take off were on time.
My assigned seat for this flight: 9D.
Beverages and a hot meal were served during the flight. I did not take the food. I just had a cup of coffee. The flight was nice and smooth
until we got closer to Vienna and we started to feel some turbulence. As we were on approach and descent to the airport, the turbulence started getting stronger. The small Fokker100 turned into a mover and shaker machine, some kind of Viennese waltz. I was happy to be on the ground. I was in good spirits and during landing and taxiing I was humming the tune of Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube.
Welcome to Vienna!
We were lucky to land before things would actually get worse.
The sky was black. There was a serious thunderstorm coming in. When I got off the little Fokker jet and after we got bussed to the terminal, I noticed this painted OS
aircraft on the apron.
This was an Airbus A321 Reg OE-LBC
Die McDonald’s Fussball Eskorte Euro 2008 Official Sponsor. Maybe some of you A.netters already got to see it.
I like these painted aircrafts. They are different. I am always happy to see them on my trips. They break the monotony on the airport tarmacs.
My next flight OS565 was going to take me to Zurich. Scheduled boarding time was 5.00 PM
from Gate A07. I had some time to kill. My first stop was going to be the Austrian Airlines Business Lounge.
A nice place with plenty of space, nice interior design, good lighting, partial tarmac views, good food, drinks and pastries too!
After leaving the lounge and before heading to the boarding gate my second stop was going to be the Duty Free shopping area for a chocolate - and especially Mozart Kugeln – chase and shopping spree. There are various stores that are selling these with prices that can vary from one store to the other. This was my only chance as I was not coming back through Vienna so I took it. One pack was not enough. I bought me two boxes of Mozart Kugeln not Mirabel but the Victor Schmidt ones, less known and just as delicious.
After I got this taken care of, I headed to the gate. Before reaching the gate, I had to go through another security screening. I was lucky there was no line so it went fairly fast. I suddenly heard the word "Concorde"! The agent actually saw my diecast Concorde model through the X-Ray machine. I had a few Concorde items and wearables in my carry-on bag that I had planned to use on the SIA
A380 first flight to Narita.
When I got to the gate I learned that the flight to Zurich was delayed. They had closed the airport because of thunderstorms. I was not surprised after I had seen the bad weather and black sky when we landed. The new boarding time was 5.40 PM
I was not worried as my Singapore Airlines flight from Zurich to Singapore was leaving much later in the evening. The storm went away.
We boarded the plane not too much later than the new boarding time. The aircraft for this flight was an Airbus A-319. It was very full. Flying time was about 1 hour 25.
Again there was hot food and drinks served on the flight. I had plenty in the lounge so I did not want to have anything, not even water. I find Austrian Airlines has nice and efficient intra-Europe flights with very good on board service.
After landing in Zurich I headed to the Swiss-Lufthansa Senator Lounge upstairs. I had no time for the Long Bar this time. I stayed in the lounge. One section was closed for refurbishing. I took a glass of fresh grapefruit juice, some yummy vegetable soup with bread ending with coffee to stay awake and a piece of the fabled Zurich Swiss Lounge cake. Their coffee is good too.
This was going to be my dinner before boarding the flight to Singapore. Again there would be no other Zurich stop on this trip so before I headed to the boarding gate I decided to make another chocolate stop. This time it was at the nearby Lindt store in the Duty Free area where I bought me a big pack of the always delicious little multi coloured wrapped chocolates that come in a variety of flavours.
I was in a hurry. I had to go to a totally different area of the airport to board the flight to Singapore. Flight SQ341 was leaving from Gate E46 on the opposite side of the airport. Departure time 10.05 PM
. This one would be an on-time departure and a fairly empty flight. Aircraft was a B-777-300ER. Boarding was easy and quick.
My assigned seat was 38G. I had no idea that I would be out for an unexpected surprise during the flight. My assigned seat was in fact two seats with a window.
This was very convenient. I had the feeling that this night flight was going to be a very nice flight and it turned out to be true.
Nice cabin, nice colours, plenty of legroom. Nothing but good vibes on board this plane.
I knew I was in good company. So I turned my two Economy seats into my temporary Sky Suite with an armada of pillows and blankets to make the flight comfortable.
I had a nice time chatting with the cabin crew and they gave me all that I wanted to eat... only I did not get much sleep.
Singapore Girls... and Boys!
Sky map (global)
Sky map (detailed)
Seat with a built-in monitor, tablet, seat pocket, safety card and all kinds of things!
My two friends on this flight
After we were about two-thirds through the flight the Cabin Master came to find me. He told me to get my bags and follow him. He took some of my carry on and brought me right up front to First Class. He set me up in one of the empty Sky Suites. I had never seen these before. It was a big surprise and a real treat at the same time.
Singapore Airlines: a great way to fly!!
I was really pleased. This Sky Suite all in different shades of brown with beautiful mahagony wood framing was big enough for two like me, it was so wide and roomy.
My huge new seat!
First Class SkySuites B-777-300ER
First Class traveller across from me
Singapore Girl with blue kebaya assigned to the First Class cabin
Singapore Girl in green kebaya sitting in front of the aircraft - landing announcements
So this is how I landed in Singapore... in style!
Estimated landing time was a little after 4.00 PM
we were going to Terminal 3. It was the next day in Singapore, an on-time arrival. Just enough time to take the last pictures and it was time to leave the aircraft. I had much more waiting ahead of me. The next flight on my list was going to be the SIA
A380 first ever commercial flight to Japan. This would be about midnight. Again I had a lot of time to kill before this new inaugural experience.
This ends Part 1 of my trip report: On My Way To Singapore And SQ636
This long trip report will be in several parts. I will post Part 2 as soon as it is ready.
I will ask you to be patient as there is a lot more to come!