Check-in and Preflight
Silkair operates from the comfort of Terminal 2 in SIN
, opened in 1991. A quick walk to the check-in row and I was being directed to a check-in counter after waiting for less than a minute – There were no queues at all! Approaching the counter, I passed my passport to the check-in agent.
Agent: Where are you traveling to today?
Me: Kota Kinabalu.
Agent: I see you did an internet check-in, right?
Me: Yes, I did.
Agent: Here’s your boarding pass.
There was no smile at all from the agent. Probably she has not gotten over her boyfriend that just dumped her last night and is here checking in a guy who refuses to pay for his ticket and insists on redeeming an award ticket for such a short flight and reducing revenue for the airline.
Since there was nothing much to do landside, I went airside immediately and walked to my gate, admiring the beauty of the wonderful pieces of engineering that is on the apron.
Beautiful indoor garden right after passing immigration
Beautiful interior of Terminal 2 at SIN, despite being 19 years old!
I gave a very positive feedback about Changi at this kiosk, they deserve it!
9V-SBE, Silkair's 5th Airbus A319-100
What's better than surfing a.net on a free internet kiosk?
On the way to my gate
These definitely helps you get to your gate faster
Passing gate F31, now serving a MI flight to KUL. But why is this gate so special?
It was the gate for the world's first A380 flight to Sydney!
Neighbouring gate, serving another MI flight to PEN
Upon reaching my gate, the door was not opened yet. I was really there too early! Sat down and surfed the web on my iPhone and visited the restroom and when I came back it was opened. After passing security, guess what was the first thing I did? In typical a.netter style, spot the registration!
9V-SBG slated to operate my flight today. Delivered on 5th March 2010, that makes it just a little more than 7 months old.
My boarding pass
I continued using the free internet kiosks that are available in the boarding gate and at around 8.35am boarding was called. Business Class passengers, Star Alliance Gold and PPS Gold members were called to board first, followed by passengers in rows 15-25 and lastly rows 5-14.
Boarding - MI392 on 16th Oct 2010
As I was seated in row 5, I was the last group to be called. However, it did not take more than 3 minutes in between each group due to the light load of the flight.
A small jam at the jetway
I settled down into my seat at 5F, a bulkhead row. The first thing that greeted me was a woman with her baby. This has got me thinking, "Will this be the worst flight ever with a wailing baby?" I tried to calm myself down as I settled down into my seat, admiring the new interior cabin design of this 7 month old aircraft. It is certainly a major plus from the dull blue seats on the rest of the fleet! To add icing to the cake, the bulkhead row has at least 36 inches of seat pitch, definitely more than enough for a 2 hour flight.
The seat also come with adjustable headrests that can be moved further up if you are a taller than the average person (like me) and it also features the adjustable "wings" by the side of your head which prevents your head from rolling all over when sleeping. A funny thing was that I had 2 tray tables to myself; 1 on the seat in front of me and the other in the armrest.
Should you get this configuration of MI
's A319, row 11 is the best row as it has great legroom and reclines like normal. (There is only 1 emergency exit row on MI
Adjustable headrest and "wings"
Tray table on the seat in front...
... And another in the armrest!
View across the aisle
Taxi & Takeoff
View Large View Medium
Photo © Frikkie Bekker-Airteamimages
Bulkhead design, I have to say that this is a wonderful design!
View out of my seat
Shortly after boarding has been completed, we pushed back for the short hop to BKI
. The safety video was shown on the overhead LCD
screens, complete with sign language. Seeing that other carriers are slowly adding PTVs to their narrowbody fleet, I definitely hope MI
would do the same one day, although it might be years later before we start seeing PTVs on MI
We taxied towards runway 20C for takeoff. Being the peak hour, there were lots of planes awaiting to takeoff too. Although not being able to see any from my seat, I was able to witness them taxiing onto the runway and rolling up those wonderful engines before rotating off.
Air India Airbus A321
Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER
Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-300
Silkair Airbus A319-100. I was lucky to be able to capture the beacon lights! This is also 9V-SBE that I spotted on the way to my gate.
Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300
We lined up on runway 20C and started a powerful takeoff row. I was practically pushed onto my seat due to the great acceleration. It felt wonderful! Using less than half of the runway, 9V
-SBG lifted off Singapore soil and headed off to BKI
SQ planes parked at a remote stand
Cabin view shortly after takeoff
After the seatbelt sign was turned off, a flight stewardess named Nadia approached the lady beside me and asked if she wants her bassinet to be set up. She agreed and immediately turned to me to ask if I needed a visit to the restroom as I will not be able to move out of the seat once the bassinet is being set up. I agreed and went to the restroom but upon returning the bassinet has already been set up. A very apologetic Nadia looked up at me...
Nadia: Sorry sir, I don't think it's possible for you to get in now. Would you like to change seats?
Me: Are there any other seats with extra legroom?
Nadia: Yes sir, how about the emergency exit row seats?
Me: Sure, is there a window seat?
Nadia: Yes sir, there is a window seat available at the emergency exit row.
Me: Alright, I shall move over now.
Nadia: Thank you sir, let me redirect you to your seat.
I sat down comfortably in the emergency exit row, with my seat number changed to 11A. Besides having an emergency exit row, I had the whole row of 3 seats to myself, wonderful! This means more space and no need to trouble others when trying to walk around the aircraft.
Legroom in my new seat
Wonderful view out there too!
Doesn't the wing look great from this angle?
My view across the aircraft
While waiting for breakfast; Making notes for my TR
...And take more shots of the wing!
Food - Breakfast
Breakfast was served around 45 minutes after takeoff. Choices for the day were Scrambled Eggs with Mushroom and Fried Black Carrot Cake. Not wanting a normal affair onboard a flight, I went for the Scrambled Eggs option. It did not disappoint me. The eggs were creamy, soft and of course tasty. Besides that, the sausage was succulent and juicy too. A small negative would be the potatoes that were just average.
Best breakfast that I got served onboard throughout my flights
A cup of tea to go and help with digestion after breakfast
IFE on this flight consisted of overhead LCD
screens. The featured show today was "America's Funniest Home Videos" but it seems like no one was watching it since most of the passengers preferred to sleep.
Approach & Landing
Borneo is famous for it's natural sceneries so naturally I am looking out for any of them that we might happen to fly pass. As we descended further, I was excited knowing that I am going to step foot on Borneo for the first time in my life.
About to start descent
Wonderful view out of the window
Quick photo before descending
Photo taken when cabin is ready for landing
An outlying island, I wonder what is in there?
Performing a slight left turn to line up with the runway
Viola! A smooth touchdown!
BKI Control Tower
First view of BKI Terminal 1
We turned off the runway and taxied in the direction of Terminal 2 which made me wonder if MI
has switched operations to Terminal 2. It turned out that they did not and we are doing a backtrack on the runway to turn into the direction of Terminal 1. The apron for Terminal 2 was completely empty while there were only 2 MH
Boeing 737-400 at Terminal 1.
Docked at gate 2A.
Cabin after almost all passengers has disembarked
Our gate, complete with coordinates and docking system
I waited patiently for all the passengers to alight the plane before going up to the front and ask Nadia for permission to visit the cockpit. After checking with the captain, I was given the green light and I proceeded up front. This is the very first time that I'm entering a cockpit of a real airplane and needless to say, I was very excited and my heart was thumping like crazy. I asked for permission to take some photos in the cockpit but the captain did not allow it. I was fine though; Getting to visit the cockpit is good enough!
From my small chat with the captain, I got to know that he is an Indonesian and previously worked for Tiger Airways. Joking that he does not need further training since TR
operate the same type of aircraft, he explained to me that some training was still required. After which, he asked if I was a Malaysian and I said that I'm a Singaporean to which he asked if I was coming to climb Mount Kinabalu. I explained that I will be in Kota Kinabalu for just 3 hours before going back to Singapore. He doesn't seem surprised at all, I guess it is because pilots do that often for a flight of this length.
After a handshake with the captain, I proceeded on my way to immigration, my face still gleaming with a huge smile. I have completed what I always wanted to do but had no courage to do so. The great feeling of satisfaction! Cleared immigration fast and headed out to landside of Terminal 1, interested to see what BKI
has to offer.[Edited 2010-10-17 03:44:07][Edited 2010-10-17 03:48:14]
[Edited 2010-10-17 04:19:11]