Welcome to my very first Trip Report!
I am a medical student from the University of the Philippines and a member of three international organizations. The opportunities and my responsibilities in these medical organizations include attending conferences and participating in exchange programs and bike tours. These activities give me reason to foster my passion for aviation, travelling and photography.
One disclaimer. I am a huge fan of SQ
! This TR
will cover a very common route for me, and I will not be talking about it in my future unless something out of the ordinary happens. SQ
offers four daily SIN
flights. Currently, three of them are 772 and one is 333. Unfortunately, when I was looking for flights for April, 333 is no longer listed, and flight times have slightly changed. I usually take the afternoon 333 MNL
departure and the evening 772 MNL
arrival to get the best of both worlds. It just so happens that the route is not as high yield as SQ
would want because of the various competitors including 5J
, 3K, PR
Enough of the introductions! It begins!
Date: 20 January 2012
Route: Manila (MNL
) to Singapore (SIN
Aircraft: Airbus 330-343E
Terminal and Gate: Terminal 1, Gate 4
Flight Time: 3 hrs, 10 mins
Cabin Load: Y 95-99%, J 40-50%
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
currently has four terminals: T1 serves as the major hub for all but one international airlines; T2
is exclusively for domestic and international PR
is the hub for 5J
and most recently NH
; and the Domestic Terminal caters to the rest of the local low cost carriers. T1 has been consistent in being one of the ten worst airports in the world; however, in 2011 the Philippine blogosphere was alarmed by NAIA T1’s ranking as number 1 worst airport in the world rated by sleepinginairports.net. Various Filipino architects including Kenneth Copunbue, Layug and Pineda sent an integrated design for the new T1; however, the government turned them down. I am not certain what the next step would be; the only certain thing is that NAIA T1 is in a very, very bad shape.
I took the cab from the condo unit to the airport. The ride itself was uneventful and quick, except for the congestion inside the airport premises.
This mandatory ocular inspection of car compartments and trunks always baffles me. Aren’t there any other hiding places?
Main façade of T1
Most of the passengers are overseas Filipino workers, and they know their way in the airport. The queue for the initial security scan before entering the check-in hall was long, but it was moving. Travelers who book their flights online need to pay the Philippine travel tax separately. It costs around PhP 1620 or 38 USD.
Old school FIDS, don’t you think?
That’s the whole expanse of the check-in halls. Very small for a primary international hub. The influx of passenger was due to the scheduled departure of Middle Eastern airlines: EK
. Add to that the afternoon departure of CX
. Good thing there was no line for SQ
. I got myself checked in in 2 minutes, and my return boarding pass was even issued. The SQ
ground staff is very courteous and efficient. They even have agents amongst the crowd to tell SQ
passengers which lane to walk to.
The next step is to pay the terminal fee of PhP 750 or 18 USD; then one has to get his/her passport stamped in the Immigration and one more security scan is needed before being airside. The whole thing took me some 20 minutes.
Dining options in T1 are very limited. To your left are some 5-6 coffee shops and stores; to your right is Duty Free shop, and ahead are some souvenir shops.
Again, very old school
beside our jet and the control tower near T2
on the background
Wait for the day when I am rich enough and/or will have earned enough miles to be invited. SV
arriving from JED
usually uses Gates 4 and 6 alongside EK
that would take me to SIN
One has to pass one last manual bag check to be able to enter the boarding gate.
Boarding began at around 16:35.
departing soon to DXB
Seat pitch and comfort are sufficient, good even. At around 16:50, hot towel service began. As always, every SS
had that reassuring smile. Menus were also distributed
Pushback was at 17:10
The plane taxied for some five more minutes. And at 17:16, those engines roared to the sky.
Good bye, Manila!
All the hassle associated with flying (security checks, long queues, etc) is eased by this view!
girls and boys sprang into action. Once we reached 40,000 ft, drinks service began. Nuts and headphones were also distributed. Singapore Sling for me, please! I had another one before meal service began.
I pre-booked the seafood meal; hence, this was served first. Metal cutlery! The salad consists of thin mango slices with kani bits; it was good, but a tad too sour for me. The seafood dish is buttered salmon and boiled potatoes and steamed beans and carrot. This is one good meal: the salmon was very fresh, and the sauce has just that melt in your mouth goodness to it. The fruitcake was just okay. I had two more Singapore sling and a can of Coke light after this.
All the while I was re-watching Coldplay Live in Glastonbury 2011. I also watched this in my outbound flight last December. I was post-exam; hence, sleep has been calling on to me the whole day. I fell asleep at this point.
I was woken up by the friendly SS
somewhere over here, telling me that we were on final approach. We arrived at around 20:37 and taxied our way to Changi Terminal 3. Well, you folks already know how kick-ass Changi is, especially T3
. I rushed to the shuttle bus for my hotel and met some friends along the way before getting some shuteye.
After two days of meetings and watching Wicked and drinks, it was time to go home.
Date: 22 January 2012
Route: Singapore (SIN
) to Manila (MNL
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Terminal and Gate: Terminal 2, Gate F50
Flight Time: 3 hrs, 10 mins
Cabin Load: Y 30-40%, J 10%
I stayed in Mandarin Orchard Hotel; hence, I just took the MRT
at Sommerset Station to Changi Airport. The trip was a little over 30 minutes.
I only had less than an hour to boarding when I went airside. I just dropped by The Cocoa Tree to get some sweets and rushed to my gate.
-SRI in half-Star Alliance livery!
Boarding was called just a minute after I entered the gate. They first called the Busines Clas, PPS Club Members and KrisFlyer Gold cardholders to board. After a few minutes boarding by row began, but they immediately asked everyone to board.
Seat pitch and comfort were really good.
At around 16:45, hot towel service began.
Headphones and menu were also distributed.
Spot for the SQ
in full white Star Alliance livery!
Pushback was at 16:55. Land of SQs!
It took another 5 minutes of taxiing.
whale, D-AIMF, which I also saw last month
The captain explained that we would be delayed for 10-15 minutes due to traffic.
This is my first time to see this! With KL
on the background
-C8610 arriving from Manila
whale! With Star Alliance members in the SQ
At about 17:30, drinks service began. Mixed nuts were also served. Guess what my choice was.
There was another round of drinks before meals were served. In the mean time, I visited the lavatory.
Comb, toothbrush and facial tissue were also available.
I pre-booked a gluten-free meal. The rise crispies served as the dinner roll. It was perfect with the butter. The salad consisted of lettuce, cucumber and bell pepper with an Asian dressing. I only had the cucumber. The main was cream dory in red sauce with mashed potatoes and boiled broccoli and peas. The sauce was perfection. It hit the right taste notes and reminded me of the red sauce in my favorite Italian restaurant in Manila. My tastebuds were celebrating when I had it with the very creamy mashed potatoes. The fish itself was such a let down. It was in no way fresh and had that very distinct fishy taste. The broccoli was good, but the boiled peas was disgusting. The highlight of the me was the pear in sugar syrup. It was not too sweet, but had strong cinnamon flavor. Of course I had it with another glass of Singapore Sling.
Some 15 minutes later, ice cream was served. I also asked for a can of Coke Light.
The PTV is just awful.
Another round of drinks!
The cabin lights were dimmed, and I was ready to take a nap.
Old school remote control
I woke up with 30 minutes to go. Water service began. The SS
on my area even asked me if I wanted a glass of Singapore Sling. I couldn't say no. :P Throughout the service, those prominent smiles were ever present. The little things count!
It's great that they use the curtains for partitions between the cabins.
Things you need to enter the Philippines: passport, arrival card, customs declaration sheet and your onward ticket if you are not a Filipino citizen.
The whole experience was great that I did not want it to end. We arrived at around 20:14 and taxied towards T1 for 3-4 minutes.
Back to NAIA T1
Thank you, 9V
It was a rush to the immigration lanes because the queue can be quite long especially in busy hours. Good thing our flight was the only one that arrived at the period. Cleared immigration in 5 minutes.
There are just about 6 baggage carousels in T1.
The ground staff was ever present to assist.
Customs declaration. So where is the "No Goods to Declare"? If you cannot read it, there are three main lanes: Goods to Declare, Express Lane (equal to or less than 2 pieces of baggage) and OFW Lange.
In conclusion, it was another great flight experience with SQ
Oh. And I also bought an A380 model from the KrisShop.
See my next TR
on March for my trip to ACC
Please do leave your comments, commendations, suggestions, etc!
I do hope you enjoyed reading this TR
and now know more about NAIA. Cheers!
[Edited 2012-01-23 22:56:49]