It seems strange that while I haven’t posted on my return trip from Italy, I have begun on my next trip, but thanks to a strong need to fly, a pitiful camera and a malfunctioning laptop, I have arrived here.
On this trip, I traveled on 4 flights, visited 3 cities, took 2 weeks and traversed 1 country; perhaps with the widest variety of plant and animal species, climate and people in the world – Australia.
I travel to Perth at least 4 times every year on Singapore Airlines to visit my grandparents, who reside there. Perth, to put it in a polite way, is mundane, having been there so many times. I am only posting this trip report for the sake of the wholeness of the entire trip from start to finish.
Singapore Airlines recently changed the aircraft on the Perth route to the Airbus A330-300 from their ageing Boeing 777-200ER’s, which was as loud as anything and failed to meet the expected standard of Singapore Airlines, who stake claim on the highest honor in commercial aviation – Best in the World. I beg to differ.
I was on the last Boeing 777-200ER flight to Perth in April ’09 (SQ216, 30th April) in Business Class with much satisfaction, yet with a tinge of sadness (purely sentimental) for the countless number of hours I spent on those planes. On the return flight, I was on the A330 and was impressed with the significant difference except for one thing; the greenish-gray and blue seats in the first cabin. Can’t SQ be cool like Virgin?
Well, anyway, the A330 was a significant improvement, but can anything satisfy this spoilt SQ traveler? We shall see…
Singapore Changi Airport is one that I have visited close to a thousand times and I am always impressed with the high quality of service at Changi Airport.
We arrived at Door 4, and walked to the Business Class check-in counter, with my KrisFlyer Gold privileges, which I will soon have to let go of with a heavy heart for a KrisFlyer Silver Check-in as usual was smooth and fast and I was on my way.
The privilege of using the lounge was not an option with 30 minutes to spare after clearing Immigration. The KrisFlyer Gold lounge really isn’t anything spectacular. Its crowded, busy and not worth the hassle of being cross-examined by an SQ ground staff.
Today’s departure gate was Gate A18, which seems to be the ones used on Perth flights and it the furthest away and not to mention, is a cluster gate. Alongside us, was an SQ 744 bound for LAX via Narita. Such beautiful planes they are, unlike the dumpy 388.
Airline: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Route: Singapore (SIN) – Perth (PER)
ETD (ATD): 0930 (0923)
ETA (ATA): 1435 (1411)
I was greeted at Door 2L by the In-Flight Supervisor, who showed me to my seat.
Beside us was also an Airbus A340-500, bound for Newark. SQ recently announced that it would resume daily flights to Newark from February 2010. On a previous flight, I was talking to the IFS and he said that SQ could not operate the A380 to New York because it already operates one Airbus on that route. Is this true?
The crew went through their usual pre-takeoff routine handing out hot towels and menus, while offering passengers reading material.
The aircraft taxied to 02L and thundered down the runway for 1½minutes before rotating and lifting off into the blue morning sky.
At 1000, the crew began coming around to serve passengers with special meal requests. At 1020, the meal proper began.
I opted for the chicken and it was decent.
I watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and 2 Family Guy episodes on KrisWorld, which I found extremely user-friendly and easy to use.
My other source of IFE! Look at my dirty screen.
Somewhere over the Indian Ocean
A U S T R A L I A
At 1340, the Captain announced we would be beginning our initial descent into Perth. Not long after, the plane began to dip gently closer to terra firma. It was a typical summer day in Perth, cloudless blue sky with gentle winds.
The Swan River meandered beneath us as we made our approach from the north. On final, crosswinds made the pilot fight to bring the aircraft onto the ground. Spoilers were deployed and so were reverse thrusters. We taxied across the active to the International Terminal. The Qantas flight from Singapore, supposed to arrive at 1405, was nowhere to be seen.
Perth Airport was built in the 1980’s with minor renovations since, giving the airport its ‘old’ look. We literally ran to the Immigration, which to our surprise was empty with all the counters open. We were stunned. Never before, had there been so many counters. Especially when you arrive on SQ225, at 0600; nobody is there.
We went through Immigration and claimed our bags with ease. I am used to being interrogated by AQIS staff, but this time, she smile and told us politely we could go through. Near, the exit, I saw a little sign notifying passengers that Fox was recording a show, Border Security that day.
Then, we drove off and arrived in my grandparents house in the Vines in about 30 minutes.
Booking System & Call Centre 8/10
Lounge (if applicable) -/10
Flight Punctuality 10/10
IFE (if applicable) 9/10
Total Score 92%