docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:18 pm

I had to go to Sao Paulo and Dallas for work, so chose SQ for SIN-GRU and IAH-SIN, AA GRU-DFW and CO DFW-IAH.

7 Dec
SQ68, SIN-BCN-GRU
Departure at 23:40 local

Arrived in SIN T3, and it was really busy at 10.30pm. What was meant to a flight mostly for SIA's longhaul flights, it now has airlines like Garuda Indonesia, China Eastern, Sri Lankan Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, and Saudi Arabian. There was a Haj flight leaving at the same time as mine, so there were throngs of pilgrims and their families near security clearance to immigration. So much for premium longhaul terminal.

Anyway, no denying that SIN T3 is one of the most beautiful airport terminals in the world. I did not visit the lounge since I've been there many times and the SQ lounges in their home base must be the worst of any major airline's home base lounge. There is usually a mediocre selection of hot food, buffet style much akin to a cafeteria. No open bar for business class. No menu on demand even for the First Class lounge.

I had a walk around the terminal which was bustling with people at that time of the night.





Boarded the plane from Gate B2 20 minutes before departure. My seat was in the front section of Business Class on the 77W which is almost like First Class - there are only 2 rows and 8 seats in this section, much like First Class which has 2 rows of 8 seats as well.

Once I seated myself, a stewardess greeted me "Good evening Mr Docpepz, welcome aboard, could I please offer you a selection of newspapers? "

She then proceeded to offer me some magazines, followed by a welcome drink. Hot towels were given out soon after.

Captain came on to say that the flight time to Barcelona this evening would be 13h30min, which was unusually long.

We pushed back on time at 2340, and before long we took off in the northeasterly direction towards Malaysia



The supper menu for this evening wasn't very comprehensive. There was the choice of a starter, 3 mains, followed by cheese and fruits. No dessert was offered. SIA has not offered a proper dessert for all supper flights in premium cabins for many years now, with the excuse that most pax prefer to sleep. Well I think if people pay JCL or PCL, they should offer pax the choice whether or not they wish to have dessert, and not make the choice for them.



Starter: Cajun Spiced Prawns. It was excellent



Main: Seabass with Mussels. It was top restaurant quality


After this main, which was really filling and had a very generous serving of seabass and mussels, I was actually quite stuffed and skipped cheese, fruits and everything else after. Maybe SQ is right and nobody wants to stuff themselves at what was already 1am.

Meal service was quick and finished about 1.5 hours into the flight, just after we passed Penang, Malaysia




I fell asleep and woke up about 7 hours later over Iran



But hey, there was still over 5 hours left of the flight, and I decided to watch some of the DVDs I brought along with me. Time seems to past faster when you watch episode after episode of a drama or comedy series.

2 hours before landing in Barcelona, breakfast was served



Fruit starter


Muesli



Main course of noodles with beef brisket and leafy greens




The service on this flight was excellent. The crew were attentive, personable and charming. The stewardess serving my area was especially flirty as well. When offering me croissants, she gave me 2 without me asking and I said "oh i really only need one". She responded "Mr Docpepz, surely you won't reject anything I offer you?" Haha. Charming indeed!



Nearly there!



We landed in Barcelona 13 hours 30 minutes after takeoff from SIN, at 0630 local time. It was pitch dark, and it was pitch dark throughout the entire flight as it would be at this time of the year.

After a short taxi, we disembarked at the terminal, and I had to take a rather long walk through many corners to get to security clearance. There was an employee from Servisair (I think?) holding up a placard for SIA pax transitting through to GRU. From her list, I saw that only 33 pax were continuing the journey on to GRU.

As I was in transit from a non Schengen country to another non Schengen country, we could not access the main shopping area of the terminal which was a pity. However, the sole lounge at the non Schengen area of the terminal gave us an excellent view of the shopping area





The lounge itself was dismal. Showers cost EUR10. Wireless internet was not free. So I wondered what the point of this lounge was if you couldn't surf the net or have a shower for free.

Interior of the lounge was fine



About 90 mins later, it was time to reboard the aircraft again. The load was 5/8 in F, 25/42 in J and Y was 80%. Since 90% of the pax were new pax who boarded in Barcelona, they were all Spanish and Brazilians. Announcements on the flight were only in English, but it seems most pax could get by with basic English and some pointing/gesturing.

Menus were in English and Spanish, but nothing was in Portugeuse.

Our plane in BCN: 9V-SWE



We pushed back on time at 8.20am for the 10h35min flight to Sao Paulo

Some shots from our taxi in BCN:







Takeoff:





East Coast of Spain



The first meal of this flight was "Brunch". The only difference between "Brunch" and "Breakfast" on SQ JCL is Brunch has dessert and Breakfast doesn't. I'm not fond of airline breakfasts and it was a pity two of four meals were going to be breakfast meals on this flight.



Fruit Appetiser



Muesli:



Udon noodles with prawns, scallops and fish slices - Very nice



Lemon Panna Cotta - Tasted interesting, not quite what I expected it to be. It was hard while Panna Cotta should be soft, almost jelly like no?













Off the West Coast of Africa



2.5 hours before landing, lunch was served. This was a full lunch service by SQ's standards and included satay to start with





Satay:



Starter: antipasto


Main: Thai red curry with rice and tofu. The portions of meat were very generous. It wasn't too bad actually, considering it was made in Barcelona



Dessert: Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream - Very rich and excellent



To end: Cappucinno. I was too full for cheese, fruit and pralines.



We had to circle for about 45 minutes before landing due to storms over GRU. We made 2 aborted landings and visibility was just horrendous.

15min before landing in GRU:



Nearly there....



Just before landing:



Taxiing in GRU





Parked in GRU next to an Alitalia 767!



Disembarked at 5pm after 27h30min of travelling. Walked towards immigration and was surprised to find no one there. I've experienced horrible queues at GRU before, but perhaps 5pm isn't a peak arrival time?

So there ends my trip report. Good on SQ for making BCN-GRU work - Anecdotally this flight operates full most of the time, despite the fact that SIA's branding is probably weak to non existent in both Spain and Brazil, and no Spanish or Portugeuse speaking crew are on board, and looking at the low number of pax actually starting in SIN and ending in GRU, they depend very heavily on fifth freedom traffic here.
 
B747forever
Posts: 12855
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:54 pm

Hello!

Nice trip report you have been writing. Really enjoyed to read it and look at the pictures.

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
Disembarked at 5pm after 27h30min of travelling

Phew, that was one long trip! Must have felt great to finally arrive. Though the return is also really long flying via DME.


Looking forward to the next part.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
gabrielchew
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Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:15 pm

NIce report, thanks!

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
The supper menu for this evening wasn't very comprehensive. There was the choice of a starter, 3 mains, followed by cheese and fruits. No dessert was offered. SIA has not offered a proper dessert for all supper flights in premium cabins for many years now, with the excuse that most pax prefer to sleep. Well I think if people pay JCL or PCL, they should offer pax the choice whether or not they wish to have dessert, and not make the choice for them.

I completely agree - they should offer some dessert.

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
The lounge itself was dismal. Showers cost EUR10. Wireless internet was not free. So I wondered what the point of this lounge was if you couldn't surf the net or have a shower for free.

Doesn't sound like a very good lounge, although the seats look comfy
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:13 pm

Hello,

Excellent TR!

Will we get to look forward to a report on GRU-DFW and IAH-SIN? Im flying DFW-GRU-DFW next month and would love to see it if you take any pictures.
It is what it is...
 
MSS658
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:15 pm

Hi

Nice and appetizing report you've got there
Thanks for sharing! We don't see to many reports of SQ in GRU

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
MIAspotter
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:57 pm

Excellent report! nice to have an insight into the SQ BCN ops, as a BCN resident I feel a little bit of proudness when I see the SQ 777 parked in the terminal.

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
Anyway, no denying that SIN T3 is one of the most beautiful airport terminals in the world.

Indeed, and the whole experience is so relaxed and stress free, I love Changi.

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
Disembarked at 5pm after 27h30min of travelling

Oh well, at least it was 27:30 of wonderful SQ Business class and not Economy! when I came off my SIN-HKG-DOH-BCN flight a month ago I was truly a ¨Walking Dead¨   

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
byronicle6
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:41 am

Thanks for the great trip report, and pictures !!!
Really enjoyed reading it
Would love to try J on SQ someday, but for now it's Y
Travel is my thing
 
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Coal
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:58 am

Hey Man!

Long time no see! Very nice TR. Lucky you get to go to GRU and in J! Are you still with CIAS?

I'm back in Singapore after a short stint in Shanghai, we should hit up Myra sometime, this Indian-Mexican restaurant right on the approach path of the 02s.

Cheers
Coal
Nxt Flts: MI RGN-SIN | SQ SIN-RGN-SIN | CX SIN-HKG-PVG | SQ PVG-SIN
 
docpepz
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:03 am

Quoting Coal (Reply 7):

Long time no see! Very nice TR. Lucky you get to go to GRU and in J! Are you still with CIAS?

Haha I never was with CIAS. Indian-Mexican restaurant? That sounds weird. Wait I think I've seen it before but I forgot where, but remember going "What a bizzare combination". Isn't it at Changi Village?

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 3):
Will we get to look forward to a report on GRU-DFW and IAH-SIN? Im flying DFW-GRU-DFW next month and would love to see it if you take any pictures.

If you're all nice I will!!

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 5):

Excellent report! nice to have an insight into the SQ BCN ops, as a BCN resident I feel a little bit of proudness when I see the SQ 777 parked in the terminal.

And even more proud knowing that SQ ditched Madrid for BCN? :P I still wonder how they make BCN work because no other East Asian airline flies there. But good on them I guess.
 
IBERIA747
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:33 am

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 8):
And even more proud knowing that SQ ditched Madrid for BCN? :

Well...in my case, being Spanish and living in Madrid, I can only feel glad to see that SQ still serves my country. No matter if it is MAD or BCN. In any case, we still have Thai, Emirates and Korean Air (among others) in MAD.

Not sure about MIAspotter's feelings on this "proudness" particular subject, given the fact that he's not from Spain even though he lives in Barcelona (not sure if he's from Venezuela or Colombia).

Now about your report, I truly enjoyed it. I had been waiting for someone to post a report about SQ's ops in Barcelona so, thank you very much for the nice report.
¡¡VIVA ESPAÑA!!
 
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Coal
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:52 am

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 8):
Haha I never was with CIAS. Indian-Mexican restaurant? That sounds weird. Wait I think I've seen it before but I forgot where, but remember going "What a bizzare combination". Isn't it at Changi Village?

Ah, I thought it was CIAS?

Yeah, that restaurant is not at Changi Village (that would be the 20s) but it's at ECP Carpark F.

Cheers
Coal
Nxt Flts: MI RGN-SIN | SQ SIN-RGN-SIN | CX SIN-HKG-PVG | SQ PVG-SIN
 
MIAspotter
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:09 am

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 8):
I still wonder how they make BCN work because no other East Asian airline flies there.

Not really East Asian or South East Asian, but there is also QR and rumour has it EK soon as well... (offering connections etc.) also PIA.

Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 9):
Well...in my case, being Spanish and living in Madrid, I can only feel glad to see that SQ still serves my country. No matter if it is MAD or BCN. In any case, we still have Thai, Emirates and Korean Air (among others) in MAD.

Qatar in Madrid  do you get the 777 in MAD or the A330? I saw a QR 777 the last time I was in Madrid.

Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 9):
Not sure about MIAspotter's feelings on this "proudness" particular subject, given the fact that he's not from Spain even though he lives in Barcelona (not sure if he's from Venezuela or Colombia).

Silly proudness at seeing such an exotic carrier at your ¨Home Airport¨ only.  

MIAspotter
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
lychemsa
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:35 am

Fascinating to read about this route. Thanks.
 
nethkt
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:48 pm

This is one ultra long flight. But I'm sure SQ Business class doesn't make it too long!!
I love the pitch dark flight over 12 hours. And when the moon and stars are shining, it's priceless to look out of the window!

Thank you for sharing your long journey. I hope to be on this longest one-stop SQ B77W flight soon!

net-hkt
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:02 pm

Thanks for sharing the report. An interesting insight into the longest Singapore Airlines routes and what seems to be a truly premium in-air Business Class experience.

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
She responded "Mr Docpepz, surely you won't reject anything I offer you?"

 
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
debonair
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:14 pm

Nice TR...

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
The lounge itself was dismal. Showers cost EUR10. Wireless internet was not free. So I wondered what the point of this lounge was if you couldn't surf the net or have a shower for free.

Was it the Pau Casals V.I.P. Lounge? Strange to see, that SQ is not using any STAR ALLIANCE LOUNGE (like SALA VIP by Spanair)- maybe those lounges are all SCHENGEN?! AFAIK, showers are foc, and 10€ is charged for towels and soap.

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 8):
And even more proud knowing that SQ ditched Madrid for BCN? :P I still wonder how they make BCN work because no other East Asian airline flies there. But good on them I guess.

Well, very, very easy to tell! MAD would have been direct competition by IB on the sector, on top, TAM is using as *A-member as well MAD for flights to Brazil AND Spanair is offering great *A-connection flights from/to their BCN-hub!
 
RvXKaz
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:55 am

Hi Docpepz,

Really cool TR detailing great insights into SQ's SIN-BCN-GRU route! The catering throughout the long flight didn't look bad at all! Though only 33 passengers continued to GRU from SIN, its great to know that there's alot of 5th freedom passengers to boost up the load factor.

I think you have an excellent suggestion about having Portuguese in addition to Spanish and English in the menus since a good number of pax are Brazilian. I am surprised as well they didn't have inflight announcements in Spanish/Portuguese as well considering the passenger profile. This is quite odd considering they have announcements in German for flights to Germany and likewise, French for their CDG route. Were the announcements on your SIN-BCN sector only in English as well?

I notice that Thai Red Curry is a popular choice as a Business class meal on SQ, seeing it offered as an option on a number of TRs here, any idea why it is?

It must have been pretty exciting with the 2 aborted landings in GRU! How did you feel about it?

Anyway, thanks so much for your insights into this very interesting flight! I hope you have had an excellent trip to Brazil!

Cheers,
RvXKaz
They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
 
davidca
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:23 am

Great report on what looks like as pleasant a method as exists for making a trip as long as yours.

SIN's T3 is indeed probably the world's best airport building. Great shopping, great food concessions--absolutely everything is made convenient and comfortable for passengers whether they're arriving, departing, or just connecting through. The only thing I don't care for is the at-gate security procedure which makes it impossible to bring bottles of water on board. SQ's crews are usually good about doing water runs during flight, but I like to have my own supply rather than to have to wait/bother the cabin crew for it.

I'm surprised that SQ hasn't bothered to staff the flight with a Spanish or Portuguese speaker. It strikes me as somewhat disrespectful to fly to a country without making any effort to provide service on board in that country's language.
 
docpepz
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:53 am

Quoting davidCA (Reply 17):
I'm surprised that SQ hasn't bothered to staff the flight with a Spanish or Portuguese speaker. It strikes me as somewhat disrespectful to fly to a country without making any effort to provide service on board in that country's language.

Well SQ doesn't have Thai speaking crew to Thailand - they sometimes have Malay speaking and Indonesian speaking crew to Malaysia and Indonesia, but it's not always the case. All flights to/through China, HK and Taiwan have mandarin speaking crew hired from either China or Taiwan. All flights to/through Japan and Korea have Japanese and Korean speaking crew hired from Japan and Korea. All flights to/through Germany and France have some German and French speaking crew - they are SIN-based crew who take language courses. To North India they have Hindi speaking crew but to South India there aren't any crew who speak the south indian languages.

All other flights only have annoucements in English.

I asked one of the cabin crew if she found the BCN/GRU, Italy or Russia flights a problem with language. She said it's not really a problem even to Moscow or Rome, but to her the most challenging flights personally for language is China, because she does not speak Chinese.
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:29 pm

Hola Docpepz!

Very interesting Trip Report as it covers such a long flight, I cannot imagine flying for almost 24 hours on the same plane. Nonetheless your experience on board seemed to be optimal and both service and seat looked awesome.

BCN airport is really beautiful but the comments about your lounge stay are really a shame; how can they charge you 10€ for using the shower, or do not offer you free wifi? Hands down on that.      

My only complaint would be not offering Spanish or Portuguese language on board, as you commented.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
 
abrelosojos
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:36 am

Quoting Coal (Reply 10):
Ah, I thought it was CIAS?

= There is a Indo-Mexican restaurant in Singapore. Can one of you provide me a link? A dear Mexican-Indian couple moved there, and would think it is a riot!

Anyways, thanks for the great SQ report - it is a LONG flight, but it seems like you were kept fed most of the time (one dessert notwithstanding). Pretty impressive network planning SQ has been coming up with these days.

Saludos,
A.

PS: Congrats as I believe this is the first review of their OPS, and the first review of a SQ new 5th freedom I believe?

[Edited 2011-12-17 21:37:05]
Live, and let live.
 
docpepz
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:19 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
PS: Congrats as I believe this is the first review of their OPS, and the first review of a SQ new 5th freedom I believe?

I think one of our friends did an excellent report on the most recent SQ fifth freedom flight from IST to ATH, and with much greater detail than my 27h30min flight  

I ended up flying home from LAX and did AA DFW-GRU in F, US DFW-PHX-LAX in Y and the SQ nonstop to SIN from LAX in J. I know I owe all of you trip reports, I'll do one of the above if I have the time. Though seriously my trip reports belong more in a food blog than an airline forum!
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:22 pm

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 21):
AA DFW-GRU in F

As you know, I would love to see pics of this one!  
It is what it is...
 
SIN7
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:47 am

Hi Docpepz,
Sure it was a super long flight. Thanks for the pics.

Quoting Docpepz (Thread starter):
Meal service was quick and finished about 1.5 hours into the flight, just after we passed Penang, Malaysia

If I'm not wrong, most meal sevice seems to start almost always over Penang on most carriers.
Food above Penang, awesome food just below it . . . street food paradise!

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 21):
Though seriously my trip reports belong more in a food blog than an airline forum!

That's alright! I for one am enjoying it. Click more . . .
 
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groobster
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RE: SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class

Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:58 am

Great trip report and an interesting routing, certainly one I wouldn't have immediately considered.

But I have to say, for all the plaudits Changi gets, I absolutely hate their carpet designs!
Next flights: MAN-DXB-BKK-DXB-MAN

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