Qantasclub
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SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:26 pm

The Return:

Thanks for your comments everyone on my previous trip report, which can be found here:
SQ First MEL-SIN(Suites)-FRA-JFK:The Gold Standard (by Qantasclub Nov 2 2010 in Trip Reports)

It ’s good to know that the embarrassment of taking photos of everything/meals etc on board is at least appreciated by anetters!!
After a week in Chicago, it was time to head home. Chicago is a great city. I loved the wide tree lined streets and public spaces. Had some great meals including several lobster dinners (see below).
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/97ef6168.jpg
Lobster roll http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/f5d4587e.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/24bba8f3.jpg
The best pecan pie I have had in my life…EVER at Topolobampo.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/fa3db709.jpg
I’ve got to say though: it is painfully and impossibly difficult to find a DECENT CUP OF COFFEE in this town! The options were often between Starbucks or more commonly, burnt percolated drip coffee….it drove me insane!!!
My jetblue connection from ORD-JFK was hardly worth mentioning. I spent a night in manhatten catching up with my cousin.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/dc62f01c.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/873f5766.jpg
Veal Tongue Tacos
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/b1e62b21.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/151d25c6.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/f4d548ed.jpg
The next day, we went to Six flags in Jersey to ride on the tallest fastest coaster in the world…Kingdaka. INCREDIBLE ride. Have a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN8nv4tVFuA Made me feel old, at 38. At 4pm, with my eyeballs stuck to the back of my cranial vault from all the G forces, we headed back to manhatten so I could catch my cab to JFK.
The rain was pretty heavy that afternoon and OMG….the traffic jam from manhatten to JFK was something else….no less than 1 hour 15 mins solid it took door to door…bumper to bumper. I fell asleep 3 times and pretty much completely ran out of small talk fuel with the driver. I’m sure he didn’t appreciate my snoring in the back seat. Finally arrived and my heart started to skip a beat with excitement again, as I approached the long return journey at the pointy end of the best airline in the world.


SQ 25
JFK-FRA-SIN
June 9 2010
Check in at terminal 4 was smooth….for first class. For everyone else, it was pretty much chaos..queues..security checks…crowds. My bags were taken care off at the desk and my seat confirmed (2A) all the way to Singapore.
As far as JFK terminals go, Terminal 4 is reasonably decent.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/7f9028be.jpg
I checked out the virgin clubhouse on the upper floor.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/7fe4e6b5.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/669df545.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/413fa849.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/ed334678.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/2c928ea1.jpg
It was a nice enough place. The lounge dragon hesitated a bit before letting me through into the clubhouse (perhaps a reflection of how the relationship between SQ and VS has turned out?)
The lounge is full of cool furniture and had all sort of quirkisms people have come to associate with VS. I have never flown them, so I can’t comment on their product, but something about the airline really irritates me…..they seem to try SOOO hard to be ‘different’…often just for the sake of it.
It was a very wet evening. 2 swiss birds and a virgin.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/90b4032b.jpg
The security queues were horrendous…the premium line was just as, if not longer than the standard line, due to crew after crew pushing in. It took a solid 45 mins to clear….unacceptable. Times like this I really miss Changi, and even MEL has much smoother operations at the gate.
The gate area was completely packed…..I was certain this was a near 100% full flight for SQ 25. I couldn’t wait to get on board.
Was greeted by name by the leading stewardess once again and welcomed to my seat, 2A. As there were only 3 passengers in F tonight, I decided to try 2F for take off as it offered a unique perspective of being able to look across both the left and right panel of windows simultaneously as the nose of the aircraft tapered forward.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/7a3a89a5.jpg
Dom or Krug was offered immediately as well as amenities, pyjamas, newspapers, menus…everything like clockwork, exactly as expected.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/7ce56391.jpg
The captain announced that because of the weather, there was a long queue for take off, and we were something like 15th in line or something like that. Doors closed and we left the gate 15 mins late. What followed was the longest taxi I have ever experienced in my life…we joined a long line of planes…it took at least 1 and a half hours before we lined up for take off. (what a waste of fuel!). Eventually, the 744 rattled it’s way down a wet runway towards the night sky for our transatlantic run to Frankfurt.
The evening meal service followed…once again, a superb dining experience..i enjoyed every course immensely.
Caviar again…I asked for seconds..”certainly, Dr ….” (I could have had a third helping, but exercised some self control.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/397caaa7.jpg
New England Clam chowder with a shard of cheesey, crunchy toast. Yum. Just what I felt like on this wet, dark and chilly evening.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/106a4fb5.jpg
Roasted maine Lobster with lobster sauce, fava beans, corn kernels and chanterelle mushrooms. My 12th Lobster on this trip so far and it was nearly the best version so far. Sublime.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/5136ccb8.jpg
Dessert was a warm caramelised plum tart with ginger ice-cream and raspberry coulis. Amazing and the perfect way to round of an excellent meal.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/07e0ad12.jpg
Got up to change into my pyjamas and upon my return, everything was cleared away and my bed fully made, with duvet, thick fluffy pillows……I slept like a babe all the way to Frankfurt…I declined continental breakfast, preferring to sleep through with a strong coffee just before landing. This german woman behind me woke up around 30 mins before landing and asked for breakfast (!!); in typical SQ style, several crew members worked together without fuss, hurried and rushed to serve her a quick one tray continental breakfast with coffee and juice, clearing the table, just as the captain announced “cabin crew to landing stations”….again, yet another example of how nothing is too much trouble for the crew…they were so polite and gracious about it too….bravo.

FRA was exactly as it was from my previous report. Ugh.
Here are the meals on the FRA-SIN leg:
Having spent a week in the US, I was craving for some Asian food, as reflected in my choices for this leg.
I moved to seat 3A just for a different perspective again.
More caviar.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/401ed22f.jpg
Tom Yum soup..this was HOT!!
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/9c467044.jpg
Salad of red oak, frisee and coral lettuces with endive, toasted walnuts and cranberries, with a creamy tarragon dressing …ok, I’m not really a salad kinda guy, but this was delicious!
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/e924295d.jpg
Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice (Siew Kai Fun)…I was skeptical whether this would taste authentic, ex FRA, but it was fine. Succulent Chicken.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/be832fa4.jpg
Cheesecake with Rasberry coulis and sorbet. Yum.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/5f41cee9.jpg

Mid Flight snack of fishball noodles…I’m sure there’s loads of MSG in this as the soup is just so tasty!! I love how the crew serve this with fresh cut chilli sauce.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/afd8b94b.jpg

Nasi Lemak for breakfast…again, superb and very authentic, down to the sambal.
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/ed49781b.jpg

http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/810e856a.jpg
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/dd3acefe.jpg

Because of the delays out of JFK (the crew told me it happens very often on SQ 25), we arrived an hour late into SIN.
I spent a day in spore before boarding the late red eye flight SQ 237 back home to Melbourne (sorry, no R class!). So tired, I didn’t’ manage to take any pics.

I love coming home to the crisp, fresh air and the wide open spaces of Melbourne after being overseas.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the rushed ending….it’s late!

Cheers,

Qantasclub
Long Haul is the only way to go
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:19 am

Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
It was a very wet evening. 2 swiss birds and a virgin.

Darling, darling, darling... I have been told I am irreverent with my writings but it looks like you are heading in that direction too.  
Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
New England Clam chowder with a shard of cheesey, crunchy toast. Yum. Just what I felt like on this wet, dark and chilly evening.

Call me a clam-chowder-slut, I can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between. I LOVE clam chowder!

http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n559/lionellim7/Sq%20first%20ASCO%202010/be832fa4.jpg
Ditch the damn rice, I'll just have the chicken, thank you! It looks absolutely mouthwatering. Did you know there's no such thing as Hainanese chicken rice in Hainan? Hehehehe...
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
AA737-823
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:05 pm

Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
FRA was exactly as it was from my previous report. Ugh.

You know, I flew through Frankfurt this past June. As a Star Gold passenger, I was allowed access to the Terraces Lounge. Nice enough, but the rest of my Frankfurt experience seems to have mirrored both of yours (I've just read your outbound trip report as well). The best word I can use to describe it is "chaotic," followed by "Atypical." The boarding process was completely chaotic, rivaling even a Northwest Airlines 747-400 boarding experience in Detroit- "All rows, all passengers." As far as 'atypical,' there was no indication of the oft-lauded "German efficiency" or what have you. Gate agents shouting, security guards grabbing, flight crews pushing...
Not impressed with Frankfurt.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
Darling, darling, darling... I have been told I am irreverent with my writings but it looks like you are heading in that direction too.

Judging by the rest of your post, I'm inclined to agree with the former comment, and disagree with the latter.
 
chopchop767
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:08 pm

Thanks for posting the return flight. Chicago is a great city, especially in terms of culinary skills and diversity.

The service with SQ, again looks absolutely wonderful. It's a shame that the experience at jfk is always such a nightmare. Last summer I was flying from jfk to ack, not only was the flight six hours delayed, ut when we finally did depart, we sat on the taxi way for a good hour and half. I recall the first officer declaring that we were 35th in line. Sheesh! Terrible.

I agree completely with your take on Virgin. While some of their marketing is good, like the 007 themed commercial, I find their brand mostly obnoxious.

Finally, I've never been to Melbourne, only Perth, but hopefully one day I'll be able to take in those crisp winds.

Again, thank you kindly for sharing...
this year: nap, lgw, fra, dub, fco, add, jib, muc, iad, sea, dca, bos, cdg, ist, bah, prg, ord, hsv, cmn
 
palmjet
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:56 pm

Great part II of your report and thanks for the pics. Looks like you had a nice flight(s) back. Great stuff.

I don't share your views about Virgin however. They have always been different - right from the start in 1984. What you see today is pretty much they way they have pitched themselves in the marketplace from day 1 but I guess if it's only been relatively recently that you've been exposed to their operations, it might seem strange or come across as obnoxious.

I find their approach refreshingly different. It would be boring if all airlines operated the same way, although I accept they are not to everyone's taste.

Also, sorry to be picky, but it's spelt "Manhattan" not Manhatten !

Thanks again.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
docpepz
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:37 pm

Very nice trip report once again. You had Asian breakfast. Were you a Singaporean once upon a time? Because most Westerners I know would vomit at the thought of Rice/Chilli for breakfast! You've made me homesick AGAIN. I pine for chicken rice and nasi lemak now! Like the Changi Village Nasi Lemak which people queue hours for....
 
jmy007
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:27 pm

Excellent Report(s) Thanks for sharing:

Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
I’ve got to say though: it is painfully and impossibly difficult to find a DECENT CUP OF COFFEE in this town! The options were often between Starbucks or more commonly, burnt percolated drip coffee….it drove me insane!!!

I'll have to say, I felt the exact same way when I was in Australia! Couldn't find a good cup of percolated coffee. It was all the fancy espresso, latte stuff. I just wanted the straight coffee with a little cream and sugar. to each his own  
Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
 
ba319-131
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:51 pm

Nice report and pictures, don't think I've read the 1st report yet!

Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
The security queues were horrendous…the premium line was just as, if not longer than the standard line, due to crew after crew pushing in. It took a solid 45 mins to clear….unacceptable

- Can be typical JFK, I hate the none airside lounges, restricts your time to relax.

Rgds

Mark
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beeweel15
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:09 am

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 7):
- Can be typical JFK, I hate the none airside lounges, restricts your time to relax.

Nearly all the terminals have airside lounges.
 
MSS658
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:47 am

Thanks for sharing your'e return journey as well. I like the meal pics.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
Julian773
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:46 am

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
It was a very wet evening. 2 swiss birds and a virgin.

Darling, darling, darling... I have been told I am irreverent with my writings but it looks like you are heading in that direction too.

Haha, didnt even notice that till I read your post hilarios.

Great TR, I really enjoyed reading that.

Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
I love coming home to the crisp, fresh air and the wide open spaces of Melbourne after being overseas.

Yeah, I think the same when I arrive at home in MEL.

Thanks for sharing,

Julian
 
SIN7
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:49 am

Thanks for the TR and the really nice pics.
Really make me wanna make another trip to New York again.

Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice (Siew Kai Fun)…I was skeptical whether this would taste authentic, ex FRA, but it was fine. Succulent Chicken.

The dish looked really good. From the pic the rice is perfectly cooked with rice grains separated and not broken. It’s an awesome feat! Even it’s from FRA, it looks even better than some stalls selling mediocre chicken rice.
 
infinit
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:19 pm

Once again, another amazing TR. There's just nothing quite like SQ. Probably the only Singaporean company that's way on top of their industry. Something feels missing when I'm flying anything but them!

I'd ask about the service again. Supposedly robotic some say but from my limited experience, they've been perfect- very personal, and they really go above and beyond. That's my experience at least. Usually a good deal of my time on board is spent chatting with them.

How were the cabin crew?
 
beowulf
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:09 am

Quoting Qantasclub (Thread starter):
I’ve got to say though: it is painfully and impossibly difficult to find a DECENT CUP OF COFFEE in this town!

Naa, should be easy: Go to Meinl - good coffee, good cakes, and ok Viennese food. http://www.meinl.com/northamerica/home.html
 
Qantasclub
Topic Author
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RE: SQ First : The Return JFK-FRA-SIN-MEL

Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:05 am

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
Call me a clam-chowder-slut, I can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between. I LOVE clam chowder!

The best is when they serve it in a sourdough bread bowl in the US on a cold day....wahh.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
Ditch the damn rice, I'll just have the chicken, thank you! It looks absolutely mouthwatering. Did you know there's no such thing as Hainanese chicken rice in Hainan? Hehehehe...

Isn't that interesting? Like in Melbourne, Singapore noodles is a very popular dish (fried mee hoon with curry powder-horrible) and in Singapore, there's no such thing!! lol.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 2):
You know, I flew through Frankfurt this past June. As a Star Gold passenger, I was allowed access to the Terraces Lounge. Nice enough, but the rest of my Frankfurt experience seems to have mirrored both of yours (I've just read your outbound trip report as well). The best word I can use to describe it is "chaotic," followed by "Atypical." The boarding process was completely chaotic, rivaling even a Northwest Airlines 747-400 boarding experience in Detroit- "All rows, all passengers." As far as 'atypical,' there was no indication of the oft-lauded "German efficiency" or what have you. Gate agents shouting, security guards grabbing, flight crews pushing...
Not impressed with Frankfurt

Completely agree. No sense of order whatsoever. Unusual for Germany?

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4):
I don't share your views about Virgin however. They have always been different - right from the start in 1984. What you see today is pretty much they way they have pitched themselves in the marketplace from day 1 but I guess if it's only been relatively recently that you've been exposed to their operations, it might seem strange or come across as obnoxious.

Perhaps..I've never flown them, but would love to try one day. V Australia seems to be struggling to find a place ex Aus...I wonder how deep their pockets are.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4):
Also, sorry to be picky, but it's spelt "Manhattan" not Manhatten !

Sorry! of course

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 5):
Very nice trip report once again. You had Asian breakfast. Were you a Singaporean once upon a time? Because most Westerners I know would vomit at the thought of Rice/Chilli for breakfast! You've made me homesick AGAIN. I pine for chicken rice and nasi lemak now! Like the Changi Village Nasi Lemak which people queue hours for....

Yes, I grew up in Spore and moved to Australia after primary 6.

Quoting Julian773 (Reply 10):
Yeah, I think the same when I arrive at home in MEL.

The first thing i love to do when I get home is drink tap water straight from the tap....it's the best water in the world.

Quoting infinit (Reply 12):
I'd ask about the service again. Supposedly robotic some say but from my limited experience, they've been perfect- very personal, and they really go above and beyond. That's my experience at least. Usually a good deal of my time on board is spent chatting with them.

How were the cabin crew?

I really couldn't fault them at all. I have flown SQ in all classes and in fact, when I travel with the kids, we fly economy and even then, the crew have always shown the same level of warmth, friendliness and fantastic service (VERY helpful when you travel with young kids!! y ou need alot of patience)
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