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OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:21 pm

Welcome to my latest trip report. As some of you may know I have taken a month off work and been travelling around the globe   It will take some time for me to write all the reports but I want to start with this one. SQ recently announced that the Athens route would go SIN-IST-ATH-IST-SIN and to my luck they sell tickets on the ATH-IST sector.

I decided during my time in Athens to take advantage of this new route as I have never flown SQ. I was scheduled to fly to Istanbul anyway so what better way to travel.


I booked my seat and then all I had to do was await the day of departure.  

I got up at 6am and left for the airport. I am only a 10 mins walk from the Airport bus so it was fairly easy for me. Ticket for the bus now costs EUR5 where is used to be EUR3.20 ! Still for a 45mins express service its not bad.

On the way to the bus stop.

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DATE: 12/DEC/2011
AIRLINE: SINGAPORE AIRLINES
ROUTE: ATHENS - ISTANBUL
CLASS: BUSINESS
SEAT: 16K
AIRCRAFT: B777-212ER
REG: 9V - SVM


I checked in at the SQ Gold/J desk and was greeted by a very friendly agent. SQ are handled by Olympic Handling and thus also use the Olympic Air lounges. I was advised the boarding time and also the location of the lounge. I know this off by heart and was happy to use it as its the best lounge in ATH in my opinion. Second is the Aegean lounge. Ironically A3 use the OA lounge for their LHR flights as they have no non schengen lounge. OA has two one in each sector.

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I entered the lounge and was greeted by a friendly lounge agent. I handed in my invitation and was
welcomed into the lounge.

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The lounge has a good free wifi service and also 4 PCs and the ability to print free also.

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Soon it was time to leave the pleasant lounge. I always enjoy my time here. I was invited to use the
fast track service so cleared security in no time at all.

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My ride to IST  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/120.jpg

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Soon it was time to board the flight. Around 100 passengers waiting to board. About 20 business class
passengers. Star Gold/J class were invited to board first. I was welcomed into the cabin by a friendly FA
and directed to my seat. The FA saw me taking lots of photos and asked if this was my first time with SQ  
I said yes it was and she said I was very welcome and if there was anything at all I needed not to hesitate to ask.
She also asked if I was going to SIN and I said no just IST sadly .

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I was offered a drink and I opted for the juice which was very refreshing. The chief FA came to
my seat and greeted me by name and said if there was anything at all I needed just to ask.
I have to say I was impressed with the personal touch by both of them within 10 mins of entering the cabin.

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A menu was in each seat so I took a look. To my surprise we were to be offered a meal on this short sector of around
an hour. I expected just drinks so this was a bonus.

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Some lovely options if your going the whole way .

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These will get to IST before us . TK runs a shuttle service between ATH and IST these days.

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Nice headphones .

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Hot towels handed out another nice touch
 
User avatar
OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:23 pm

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A trolley came down the aisles with a wide selection of Greek/Turkish and English papers.

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This is all the IFE that I need today  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/182.jpg



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Olympic Panda  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/188.jpg

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Shortly after the safety demo I was asked what I would like to drink after take off. Champagne maybe?
Oh ok if you insist  

We made our way to the runway to take off. Some nice weather for good photos .

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Olympic Air clear to land  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/226.jpg

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Olympic Airlines A340's not clear to go anywhere still !

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After take off crew were released for their duties and as promised a glass of very tasty champagne  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/245.jpg

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User avatar
OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:27 pm

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/251.jpg

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The meal was served and nicely presented.

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Thats nice cups you got there SQ .

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The meal was perfect for the flight time and tasted very good. I was offered more champagne but
declined. One was enough for me. I did take some coffee though which was very good.

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A quick visit to the bathroom and nicely laid out and clean.

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A quick look at the Y class section and looks quite nice also .

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As soon as I got back to my seat more hot towels. WOW this is only a 1 hour flight. What service.

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I had to try out the bed and I have to say even though it is the old product its very comfortable.

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We were getting closed to IST and soon it was time to get ready for landing. The chief FA came to each
passenger and greeted them by name. ''Hi Mr OA260 , I trust everything was ok for you . Im getting off in
Istanbul so will say goodbye to you here''. He didnt seem to realise I was also lol... I wonder what the crew
rotations are for this flight?

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We had a smooth landing and went past the cargo area seeing the new A330's .

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Soon it was time to disembark and thank the crew for a short but wonderful flight.

Are you on the exempt list ? Not me I must pay the GBP10 , Greek passports pay nothing though.

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An Iranian visitor.

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Soon after paying my GBP10 and getting my little sticker then going to the passport control I was
free to enter   I made my way to the Havas bus which connects IST to Taksim for TRY10 each way .

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The bus was modern and comfortable. Some views along the way :

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User avatar
OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:31 pm

Soon I arrived at Taksim and made my way to the Richmond Hotel which is my choice of hotel
in Istanbul. Its about a 10 mins walk down Istikal Cad.

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Hmmm food .

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I checked in and the front desk manager greeted me. Arrr Mr OA260 you are back to stay with us
again, welcome. You have been upgraded to our executive floor   Nice ... One reason why I stick
with the Richmond is the service is always top notch.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/321.jpg



Lovely room cant complain about that .

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Soon it was time to meet my friend and head out for the day . In the evening we went to a nice restaurant
for dinner .

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Followed by a non traditional Starbucks lol... Still the Sour Cherry chocolate cake was amazing !

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/SQ/342.jpg

So thats the end of this report. I have to say SQ excelled on this short flight. I didnt expect so much for
such a short flight. Im happy to add SQ to my flown list. I want to have flown all Star Carriers by end of 2012  

More from Istanbul on my return TR so stay tuned  

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments as usual.

Kinds Regards

OA260/Philip  
 
GVAJFKflyer
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:21 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:45 pm

Great report ! Thanks for sharing. It's always nice to read about somewhat "unusual" routes. I was also most impressed by your account of SQ's service on this short flight. Plus, it's official: I must visit Istanbul !

Best

GVAJFKflyer
 
SloAir
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:15 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:51 pm

Hi Philip,

wonderful report   I was afraid we would have to wait a bit for this SQ report due to you're little backlog, but a very nice surprise, thanks for sharing.

I had an equally good fifth freedom flight with SQ on the MUC-MAN rout and I was very impressed. Service and kindness of the crew is something special, I just love (almost) everything about Singapore after my recent trip over there.

Nice to see some pictures of Istanbul, another place that impressed me this year   My hotel was also just a few minutes away from Taksim, so some familiar sights for me.

I look forward to the rest of you reports, specially the TK flights! And the one from one very special island airport of course  

Blaž
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photophil
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:52 pm

Greetings from Philip to Philip  

that looks really impressive for such a short flight ... I just hope I will sometimes go abord SQ ...

thanks for sharing ...

PHILIP
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gpbcroppers63
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:54 pm

Hey Philip,

Great first TR in this series. Looking forward to the rest of them. I'm glad you enjoyed SQ. They do look really good on a 1-hour flight. I'd love to try them out. Maybe next year.

I love your pictures of the OA lounge too. It's such a nice lounge. Your pics of Istanbul are fab as well. I must go back there for longer at some point.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
On the way to the bus stop

I remember that square from my quick overnight in June. Nice to see it again by night although the Christmas market looks a little out of place. Lol!!

Thanks again for this great account of your SQ trip. Get moving with the rest of the TRs!  
According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:04 pm

Looks nice a good short flight from SQ. Back in 2003 I flew SIN-DXB with SQ, with the plane continuing to IST. They've changed it all around now I see. Interesting to see they using the old spacebeds on such a long flight.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-FNC-PDL-TER-LIS-LUX-LHR-MUC-BRN,BSL-LHR
 
Luxair747SP
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:04 pm

Hi Phil,

thanks for putting this report up so quick.
What a nice evening read and very good pictures.
Since I flew SQ for the first time, they impress me with their great service.
Even on your short sector they provided it top-notch.
The food also looks fine for this length of sector.

Thanks a lot for sharing and Im looking forward to your other reports.

Cheers
Johannes
My blog about travelling in Moscow & Russia:
https://russiainanutshell.wordpress.com
 
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OA260
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:08 pm

Quoting GVAJFKflyer (Reply 4):
Great report ! Thanks for sharing. It's always nice to read about somewhat "unusual" routes. I was also most impressed by your account of SQ's service on this short flight. Plus, it's official: I must visit Istanbul !

Many thanks for the reply Im glad you liked it. Yes Istanbul is my favourite city next to Athens. I feel at home there and have some very good friends.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 5):
wonderful report I was afraid we would have to wait a bit for this SQ report due to you're little backlog, but a very nice surprise, thanks for sharing.

Hey I couldnt keep you waiting so I had to prioritise them and this made it to no.1  
Quoting SloAir (Reply 5):
I look forward to the rest of you reports, specially the TK flights! And the one from one very special island airport of course

Indeed I need to get uploading and writing .   Thanks for the reply and I hope you will like the rest.

Quoting photophil (Reply 6):
Greetings from Philip to Philip

LOL... You know the origin of your name from the Greek . Filos = Friend and Ippos = horse so means friend of horses.You probably know that  
Quoting photophil (Reply 6):
I just hope I will sometimes go abord SQ ...

Im sure you will especially with these 5th Freedom opportunities to try .

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 7):
I'm glad you enjoyed SQ. They do look really good on a 1-hour flight. I'd love to try them out. Maybe next year.

Yes you should especially on the new products.

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 7):

I love your pictures of the OA lounge too. It's such a nice lounge.

Indeed its so nice and relaxing in there.

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 7):
I remember that square from my quick overnight in June. Nice to see it again by night although the Christmas market looks a little out of place. Lol!!

LOL... its mostly for the kids and rides etc... still makes the place charming at this time of year.

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 7):
Get moving with the rest of the TRs!

I will I promise . Still trying to enjoy my vacation time LOL...
 
reifel
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:13 pm

Great, I didn't heard about this route. It's on my list now   The food in Istanbul looks sooooo good!
 
The777Man
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:46 am

Hi Philip!

Thanks for an excellent report with very nice pictures !

Great choice to try SQ in J. Seats look a bit old but service seem very good and the sandwich looks great!

Which Star Alliance carriers are you missing ? ET just joined yesterday.

Looking forward to the rest of your reports, especially the ones on TK.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
ca228
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:05 am

Great report. Couple of questions:

1) was there a crew change in IST, or did the same crew continue to Singapore?
2) were there any Asian passengers on your sector? From the photos, it doesn't look like there were many in Y or J.

Thanks for sharing
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:22 am

Philip,

Great report. I totally forgot that SQ even operates this IST-ATH leg ... they seem to be the new airline with 1-stop random 5th freedom flights! Great networking planning department I must say.

The service on ground at ATH, and on board SQ looks great. Other airlines should talk about the food service in proper plates on such as short flight!

Surprised that they are sending such a old J product all the way to ATH. Is the ATH-SIN (and ATH-Australia?) markets that low yielding in J?

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
infinit
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:29 am

Wonderful TR with lots of pictures, thanks for the effort. Being the visual person I am, I love TRs with lots of pics. This would be the perfect route for me as I'd love to visit both Athens and Istanbul. Both cultures appeal to me greatly. I've always had an avid interest in Greek mythology ever since I came across books on it in school. And your pictures of Istanbul sure look alluring.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
A trolley came down the aisles with a wide selection of Greek/Turkish and English papers.

Just to point out, that paper, the Sunday Times isn't English as in from the UK, its Singaporean.
 
tcm
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:33 am

Thank you very much for another great report Philip. Even though some complain about slipping standards and robotic crew; I still think SQ is one of the best in terms of cabin service. The "spacebed" is similar to what TK offers to SIN on their A330-200s and A340s. TK's new A333s have a superior hard product but SQ is still miles ahead in terms of soft product. So I'd say on ATH-IST-SIN SQ offers the best in terms of quality/price. Anyway I wish you all the best on your month long Odyssey ( without any trouble)  
 
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OA260
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:43 am

Quoting reifel (Reply 11):

Yes it certainly is a nice route to try.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):

The product certainly is older but comfortable all the same. I have to say I love the B777 , forgotten how nice it is.ET and NZ NH SN are missing so need to get those done  
Quoting ca228 (Reply 13):

I'm not sure as I got off right away. Maybe just the head FA was getting off.

There were very few Asian passengers maybe around 10. It's not really the season so not a surprise. Most were Greeks and business traffic. I heard a guy in J class heading to SIN for some business deal. He was on his mobile at the gate.
The Greeks were mostly Australia bound which again is no surprise.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 14):

Thanks for the reply. I can understand why SQ use their older product to ATH and IST as from what I hear it's not one of their most important routes. I guess the product will change in time but not a priority right now. Greece - OZ were always low yields thats why OA never made it work. OA kept OZ purely due to political and diaspora reasons. This was not sustainable as we saw.

Quoting infinit (Reply 15):

Thanks for the reply you would love Greece and Turkey in that case. A trip to both would give you a great experience and to see the historical sites.

Yes I saw it was a local paper although I didn't read much of it as the flight was too short lol...  
 
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eurowings
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:04 pm

Hi Philp,

Absolutely brilliant report on a very interesting route - I really enjoyed reading this one.

I've flown on a SQ fifth freedom service on MAN-MUC (with the new product on the 77W) and I was rather impressed with the service in economy. Judging from what the crew said, the crew on these flights work the fifth freedom segment between two long haul flights, so on this route they would operate SIN-IST, with a layover, followed by IST-ATH-IST and then another layover, before returning to SIN.

Thanks!
EuroWings
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
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OA260
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:33 pm

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 18):

Many thanks for your reply and also for the information about the crew rotations that
Certainly makes sense and I was wondering what way they worked it.
 
akhmad
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:37 pm

Hi Philip,

I was pleasantly surprised when your SQ’s fifth freedom adventure popped up so quickly. It must have been the great way to fly to IST from ATH.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
all I had to do was await the day of departure.  

I can feel your excitement built up.  


Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
On the way to the bus stop.

Nice to know how Athens is decorated during Christmastime.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
the Olympic Air lounges

Nicely appointed lounge with extensive F&B offering. Hey, has the lounge been renovated recently?

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
My ride to IST  

What a sunbathing beauty!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
The FA saw me taking lots of photos and asked if this was my first time with SQ  
I said yes it was and she said I was very welcome and if there was anything at all I needed not to hesitate to ask.
Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
Champagne maybe?
Oh ok if you insist  

Truly SQ touch.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
I was offered a drink and I opted for the juice which was very refreshing

Served by a good looking FA.   


Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
A menu was in each seat

I did not know that Istanbul is still called Constantinople in Greek.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
TK runs a shuttle service between ATH and IST these days

SQ must be a welcome alternative, then?

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
''Hi Mr OA260 , I trust everything was ok for you . Im getting off in
Istanbul so will say goodbye to you here''. He didnt seem to realise I was also lol...

Did you tell him about your visit?

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Are you on the exempt list ? Not me I must pay the GBP10

Nope, just like you.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Some views along the way :

Ah, last year spring memories.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 3):
Richmond Hotel which is my choice of hotel
in Istanbul.

I can understand why. I assume you have written some recommendations as well on TripAdvisor.   


Quoting OA260 (Reply 3):
Still the Sour Cherry chocolate cake was amazing !

So appropriate for Turkey.


Thanks again for sharing this excellent report along with many beautiful pictures.

I am going back to bed now. I feel shivery again.   

Best wishes,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
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sultanils
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:40 pm

Hi Philip,

I' glad you have been able to have a taste of SQ on this flight. I'm amazed these are all December pics, the weather down there is certainly much better that it is in mainland Europe, so enjoy your time there as much as you can. Istanbul is a marvellous city, I've been there 3 years ago and I loved every bit of it.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
The FA saw me taking lots of photos and asked if this was my first time with SQ  
I said yes it was and she said I was very welcome and if there was anything at all I needed not to hesitate to ask.

That's a nice way to be welcomed!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Olympic Airlines A340's not clear to go anywhere still !

How long are they already there?

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Its about a 10 mins walk down Istikal Cad.

That's the shopping street going down all the way, right?

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
chepos
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:56 pm

Great trip report. It's amazing that the f/a saw you take pictures and made nothing of it, had you been in the US they would have asked you to put the camera way or they would call security,
Quite an elaborate meal serive for such a short flight btw.

Regards,

Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
LH4532
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:39 pm

Hello Philip ,

Your TR is a good thing to read in the evening . I still remember my many flights with SQ when I was little . The last flight I had with SQ is many years ago , I believe since 2002 . You sure know how to write great Trip Reports . Keep up the good work   . I am very looking forward to your other TR´s .

Hope all is well .


Daniel ( LH4532 )
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:04 pm

Hola Philip!

Great to see one of your holiday reports, great to see SQ is having 5th freedom rights on the route ATH-IST... I only wish we had the same opportunity here between BCN and MXP.

The service for such a short flight looks great, really nice to see the amount of food served and that they are using proper tableware... amazing nowadays...

It is a real pre-Christmas' present... great!

Salut!

Looking forward to reading your great holidays adventure in the Caribbean.

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
 
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OA260
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:14 pm

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
Looks nice a good short flight from SQ. Back in 2003 I flew SIN-DXB with SQ, with the plane continuing to IST. They've changed it all around now I see. Interesting to see they using the old spacebeds on such a long flight.

Yes cant complain really and although the old product I still wouldnt hesitate to fly them all the way to SIN  
Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 9):
thanks for putting this report up so quick.

Thanks for the reply Johannes.  
Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 9):
Since I flew SQ for the first time, they impress me with their great service.
Even on your short sector they provided it top-notch.

Yes for a one hour flight they gave a full service something very impressive for sure.

Quoting tcm (Reply 16):
Thank you very much for another great report Philip.

Hi and thanks for the reply.   Im glad you liked it. Some more Turkish themed TRs coming up also for you  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
I was pleasantly surprised when your SQ’s fifth freedom adventure popped up so quickly. It must have been the great way to fly to IST from ATH.

Hey Suryo , thanks for the reply. Wanted to get this up soon as it was a special flight for me and something new.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Nice to know how Athens is decorated during Christmastime.

Yes we can still afford the lights and decorations despite what you read in NON Aviation   haha....

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Nicely appointed lounge with extensive F&B offering. Hey, has the lounge been renovated recently?

Yes I love the OA lounge and no its not been renovated so it has aged very well for 10 years old this year !

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Served by a good looking FA.


Cute I agree but not my type  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
SQ must be a welcome alternative, then?

Yes OA A3 TK and SQ a nice mix on a short route.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Did you tell him about your visit?

No I didnt explain to him actually the conversation was short but sweet  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
I am going back to bed now. I feel shivery again.

Oh are you sick ?? Hope you get better soon.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 21):
I'm amazed these are all December pics, the weather down there is certainly much better that it is in mainland Europe, so enjoy your time there as much as you can.

Hey Nils , Yes its like Spring down here. Today was 17c and tomorrow is 19c and Sunny . ( As you saw from the pic I posted ) I will freeze next week when I have to come back lol...

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 21):
How long are they already there?

They are there two years now as Olympic Air is celebrating 2 Years now.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 21):
That's the shopping street going down all the way, right?

Yes correct all the shops / cafes/ restaurants are there and its a lovely place to stroll day or night.

Quoting chepos (Reply 22):
Great trip report. It's amazing that the f/a saw you take pictures and made nothing of it, had you been in the US they would have asked you to put the camera way or they would call security,

Hey thanks for the reply. I was in SJU a few weeks ago and enjoyed it . I took lots of pics also and survived LOL.. I was very discreet though.  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 23):
The last flight I had with SQ is many years ago , I believe since 2002 . You sure know how to write great Trip Reports . Keep up the good work . I am very looking forward to your other TR´s .

Hope all is well .

Hi Daniel , many thanks for the compliment much appreciated. I promise to get the back log up soon and I hope you will enjoy those also .  
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 24):
Hola Philip!

Hola Roger   Great to hear from you .

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 24):
I only wish we had the same opportunity here between BCN and MXP.

Who knows what will happen in future. Maybe more 5th Freedoms will be popular with more airlines. We can hope.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 24):
and that they are using proper tableware... amazing nowadays...

Indeed designer tableware is always nice to see.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 24):
Looking forward to reading your great holidays adventure in the Caribbean.

Yes I will spend some time getting those just right as they are quite large in terms of photos  
 
deltamartin
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:38 pm

Hi Philip!

Great report, I really enjoyed reading about your flight with SQ.
SQ sure seems like a great airline, I would love to try them some day.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
I decided during my time in Athens to take advantage of this new route as I have never flown SQ.

Good decision.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Lovely room cant complain about that .

Wow, looks really nice.

Martin
 
MSS658
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:54 am

Hi Philip

Nice trip report, SQ sure seems to be a good way to travel down to IST from ATH (even being a 50min hop).
The old product still looks comfortable (even for a long haul report)

Looking forward to more  

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:56 am

Hi Phil,

great report about this new short SQ route! Even its old J Class cabin looks nice - and the catering looks good as usual.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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OA260
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:19 pm

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 26):
Hi Philip!

Great report,

Thanks for the reply. Yes in future if I fly ATH-IST I will certainly try to get on it again .

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 27):
Nice trip report, SQ sure seems to be a good way to travel down to IST from ATH (even being a 50min hop).
The old product still looks comfortable (even for a long haul report)

Looking forward to more

Hey Marc glad you enjoyed it . Another report for the return to follow soon  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 28):
great report about this new short SQ route! Even its old J Class cabin looks nice - and the catering looks good as usual.

Thanks for the reply. Yes the short hops on the longhaul metal are a great way to see the product without having the 10+ hour flight  
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:45 pm

Hi Phil,

Great stuff in your usual photo rich style. That's a great fifth freedom route by SQ. The business class service looks impeccable and very good for such a short hop, but then again nothing more expected from them! Very nice of them to have the menu in both Greek and Turkish, quite impressive actually.

I've only flown with the Singapore Girl once, that was the very short hop SIN-KUL and was really impressed as they managed to do a drinks service in economy on that 777-200 during the half an hour flight. There was even First class (but no business) who got some sort of meal...

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
SQ recently announced that the Athens route would go SIN-IST-ATH-IST-SIN and to my luck they sell tickets on the ATH-IST sector.

Interesting, I had no idea they were doing this until you posted about it. Still a very nice fifth freedom route although I'd really loved something like MAD-IST-SIN just to have a much longer sector  
Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
I got up at 6am and left for the airport. I am only a 10 mins walk from the Airport bus so it was fairly easy for me. Ticket for the bus now costs EUR5 where is used to be EUR3.20 ! Still for a 45mins express service its not bad.

I always thought that bus was a great bargain, especially when compared to the train. Did they raise the train prices as well?

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
On the way to the bus stop.

Interesting to see that Christmas market thingy - the news coverage one nowadays gets of Greece isn't exactly very positive so you tend to think things are really grim down there. Good to see some kind of business as usual mentality still thriving.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Olympic Airlines A340's not clear to go anywhere still !

What is this midfield terminal at ATH anyway? I was wondering about it when I was there back in January. Judging from those OA A340s parked there it isn't exactly seeing very heavy usage? How do you access it, is there an underground walkway or people mover or are there airside shuttle buses?
 
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aerdingus
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:58 pm

Hi Philip

I would love to do a hop like this! IST looks beautiful & is somewhere I would be interested in seeing. Thanks for sharing!  
2016: BHX GLA KIR LCY LGW MUC VIE BA EI FR LH OS A320 A321 ATR 42 ATR 72 B738 E190 E195
 
ba319-131
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:24 am

Hi Philip,

Great report and pictures, must say this is an interesting route/airline combo, if I found the time I'd like to give it a go too, short flight, big plane, high quality airline, what more can you ask?

Like the pix of Istambul, food looks great! - off there for a long weekend next year, looking forward to it.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
The meal was served and nicely presented

- Nice presentation as you say, though I feel underwhelmed by it, slices of meat with what looks like quite a bit of fat around the edges, I might be fussy, not my cup of tea.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
I want to have flown all Star Carriers by end of 2012

- How many have you to go?

Cheers

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
717Flyer
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RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:51 pm

Hi Philip,

Thanks for this great report - nicely spiced with many nice pictures!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
SQ recently announced that the Athens route would go SIN-IST-ATH-IST-SIN and to my luck they sell tickets on the ATH-IST sector.

Interesting, I wasn't aware they had other 5th freedom flights in Europe other than MAN-MUC. Looking at flights to Istanbul, I noticed that Air Moldova used to operate LCA-IST(-KIV) flights. Apparently they have stopped those flights now and only offer direct flights KIV-IST.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
I am only a 10 mins walk from the Airport bus so it was fairly easy for me.

That's comfortable! The best way for me is to take a bus, then a commuter train and then yet another bus. The total travel time isn't much over 1 hour though, so I can't complain.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
I got up at 6am and left for the airport. I am only a 10 mins walk from the Airport bus so it was fairly easy for me. Ticket for the bus now costs EUR5 where is used to be EUR3.20 ! Still for a 45mins express service its not bad.

That seems like a great price! With my student discount I can travel to the airport for 1,70 EUR in HEL so I can't complain, but that is no express service that I am taking. On the other hand the "Finnair City Bus" is a complete rip-off at 6,20 EUR as you basically get to the completely same place with the local bus instead!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
The FA saw me taking lots of photos and asked if this was my first time with SQ

Well, SQ really is quite different so it was only appropriate action from the FA to welcome you to the Singapore experience! I'm hoping to get to fly on them some day  
Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
TK runs a shuttle service between ATH and IST these days.

Did you look at the TK fares before booking with SQ? Even though it's clear you went for the more interesting choice!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
As soon as I got back to my seat more hot towels. WOW this is only a 1 hour flight. What service.

Very impressive! Do you happen to know what service was offered in economy class? Drinks?

Regards,
717Flyer
 
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OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:19 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 30):
Very nice of them to have the menu in both Greek and Turkish, quite impressive actually.

Yes i thought that also , all these small touches make a big difference especially if its your language .

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 30):
Did they raise the train prices as well?

Not too much an integrated ticket for Bus/Tram/Metro for unlimited journeys for 90mins is still only EUR1.40 so still
great value.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 30):
Interesting to see that Christmas market thingy - the news coverage one nowadays gets of Greece isn't exactly very positive so you tend to think things are really grim down there. Good to see some kind of business as usual mentality still thriving.

Indeed its actually a lovely time to visit Greece. 17-19c Sunny here the last days and not too busy. Ideal sightseeing weather and spotting weather   Some good bargains in the flea markets ans shops. I was at Syntagma Square yesterday ( the one that all the news media like to show the riots ) People were strolling around , live bands were playing and stalls selling roasted chesnuts/popcorn etc... was a normal day   People are going back to basics spending time with family , doing things they used to do before they became obsessed with money and such . I think every cloud has a silver lining !

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 30):
What is this midfield terminal at ATH anyway? I was wondering about it when I was there back in January. Judging from those OA A340s parked there it isn't exactly seeing very heavy usage? How do you access it, is there an underground walkway or people mover or are there airside shuttle buses?

As far as I know you get bused to it. Not in much use at the moment except for the OA Aircraft but is always good to have for future even if it will be some years down the line. ATH was built to service the needs for decades so during peak seasons its good to know there are no shortage of gates etc...

An aerial view here also :

http://www.aia.gr/listing.asp?pageid...1&langid=2&photogallery_category=3

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 31):
I would love to do a hop like this! IST looks beautiful & is somewhere I would be interested in seeing. Thanks for sharing!

Hey you need to look at the DUB-IST service ! Lots of good fares this Winter  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 32):
Hi Philip,

Hey Mark ,

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 32):
Nice presentation as you say, though I feel underwhelmed by it, slices of meat with what looks like quite a bit of fat around the edges, I might be fussy, not my cup of tea.

It actually tasted better then it looked . For an hour it was good , I wouldnt expect it on a two hour though. If I had a choice Id maybe like some tiger prawns with salad and chilli dip.  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 32):
How many have you to go?

Around 4-5 I think   I might make it  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 33):
Thanks for this great report - nicely spiced with many nice pictures!

Hey thanks for the reply Im glad you liked it .

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 33):
Air Moldova used to operate LCA-IST(-KIV) flights.

Never knew that. It would have made an interesting trip for sure.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 33):
Did you look at the TK fares before booking with SQ? Even though it's clear you went for the more interesting choice!

I looked at them all and then SQ announced their service so it was a no brainer . lol...

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 33):
Very impressive! Do you happen to know what service was offered in economy class? Drinks?

I dont know what they got in Y . Maybe someone else might know? I only saw drinks carts when I went to take a look so maybe they got a snack and drinks.
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:46 pm

Hey, Phil,

what a great idea to catch SQ on these short hop between ATH and IST.
Really good service, looks nice.
Also the pictures from Istanbul, well done.
Looking for more, you know.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
LXM83
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 12:48 am

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:02 am

Hello OA260

Nice way to travel between ATH and IST!
Thanks for sharing it here.

Best regards
LXM83
 
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OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:27 am

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 35):

Hey Markus many thanks . I'm going to have to get writing now for the rest  
Quoting LXM83 (Reply 36):

Thanks for the reply I'm glad you liked it  
 
infodesk
Posts: 1462
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:56 pm

Hi Philip,

Wow! That's all I can say! What fantastic service on a one hour flight. I bet you can search long and hard to find something that comes close. SQ really know how to please the passengers.

Some nice photos of the blue Aegean on a dark December evening was just what I needed - not to mention seeing JTR on the departure board at Athens........

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Are you on the exempt list ? Not me I must pay the GBP10 , Greek passports pay nothing though.

I can find absolutely no logic to that list whatsoever.

Looking forward to some of your Carribean reports.

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
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shamrock604
Posts: 2113
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:27 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:33 pm

What a nice way to introduce SQ to your "flown with" list!

Just a shame you did not get to sample the new cabin product.

I still maintain though that the only way to really experience SQ is on a good, long, nasty long hauler on the A380 or 773...... SQ really make it fly by, and you really appreciate the small touches in their service which make it more bearable.

So, i'd ensure that you do try to sample them again!  
 
lukeyboy95
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:56 pm

Great report Philip.... although it seemed like more of a teaser than a taster... especially seeing that menu!

SQ do a bunch of nice 5th freedoms, though this was one I was not aware of.

Was the lounge as disappointing as it looked, or where you just not near the extensive hot-food/ booze selection?

Thanks!

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
nethkt
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:00 am

A complete 5 Stars trip report. Love it so much.
SQ is still SQ no matter what. A truly industry leader where other airlines just try to keep up.
Thanks to their strong economy and powerful government.

Many thanks for sharing and keep up these good works! I really admire them.
net-hkt
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
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OA260
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:17 am

Quoting infodesk (Reply 38):
Wow! That's all I can say! What fantastic service on a one hour flight. I bet you can search long and hard to find something that comes close. SQ really know how to please the passengers.

Hi Hannah thanks for the reply. Indeed a really good 60mins experience for sure .

Quoting infodesk (Reply 38):
I can find absolutely no logic to that list whatsoever.

Indeed totally random  
Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 39):
What a nice way to introduce SQ to your "flown with" list!

Just a shame you did not get to sample the new cabin product.

Indeed but there is as you say a incentive to fly them again soon  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 40):
Was the lounge as disappointing as it looked, or where you just not near the extensive hot-food/ booze selection?

Not at all its the best lounge in terms of food and ambience at ATH IMHO. I didnt take pics of the drinks offering and the food changes as to the time of day ranging from hot and cold . In my other reports I have covered the OA lounge more extensively.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 41):
A complete 5 Stars trip report. Love it so much.
SQ is still SQ no matter what. A truly industry leader where other airlines just try to keep up.
Thanks to their strong economy and powerful government.

Hi thanks for the kind words much appreciated and your right SQ did create a 5 star impression even on the old product.
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:42 pm

Excellent report Philip! Thanks.

Nice to see 5th freedom tickets available, how widely is it known amongs the Greek and Turkish populations about this option?

Service seems top notch on SG, a shame I've yet to sample them, but sadly it will be a while before I head back to Asia at all - even ATH or IST is a bit far at the moment. I do remember my visit to those two cities fondly though, plenty of delicious gyros and baklava! We took the train between them though, however I understand that the connection is no longer an option  

Thanks again,

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
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OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:32 am

Quoting signol (Reply 43):
Excellent report Philip! Thanks.

Hey thanks alot  
Quoting signol (Reply 43):
but sadly it will be a while before I head back to Asia at all - even ATH or IST is a bit far at the moment.

Thats a shame but Im sure you will make it sometime and you will enjoy it more because you have been waiting for it .

Quoting signol (Reply 43):
We took the train between them though, however I understand that the connection is no longer an option  

That sounds like a cool trip I would have loved to have taken . Maybe in future it will return !
 
gpbcroppers63
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:17 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
I will I promise . Still trying to enjoy my vacation time LOL...

You've been back ages and only put 1 more report up. Get moving. I want to read more!!   
According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
 
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OA260
Topic Author
Posts: 21319
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:46 am

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 45):
You've been back ages and only put 1 more report up. Get moving. I want to read more!!   

But the lot are up now LOL... 

---

So for anyone wanting to see the whole series in order here it is :

LH--DUB-MIA Business Class On The A380+Tech Issues (by OA260 Jan 19 2012 in Trip Reports)

American Airlines B757 J Class MIA 2 The Caribbean (by OA260 Jan 26 2012 in Trip Reports)

SXM Spotting A Dream Fulfilled+ Air Canada J Class (by OA260 Jan 31 2012 in Trip Reports)

Türk Hava Yolları-B77W New J Class +New IST Lounge (by OA260 Jan 11 2012 in Trip Reports)

Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class (by OA260 Dec 14 2011 in Trip Reports)

Olympic AIR-ΟΛYMΠIAKH Celebrate2 YearsA319/IST-ATH (by OA260 Dec 31 2011 in Trip Reports)

British Airways B767-Lounges+ Swissport Disgrace!. (by OA260 Feb 7 2012 in Trip Reports)

Scandinavian Take Me Home-MD80 ATH-CPH-DUB J Class (by OA260 Feb 12 2012 in Trip Reports)
 
fabianbrimfield
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:44 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines New 5th Freedom ATH-IST J Class

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:22 am

Great pics and nice TR. I like the look of the old J in SQ's 777. Catering looks got for a short hop.

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