grecomark
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:06 pm

It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:56 am



Welcome to my very first Trip Report!

An Introduction
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-MNL-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, 3P and TT.

Enough of the introductions! It begins!

Date: 20 January 2012
Route: Manila (MNL) to Singapore (SIN)
Flight: SQ 919
Aircraft: Airbus 330-343E
Terminal and Gate: Terminal 1, Gate 4
ETD: 17:10
ETA: 20:45
Flight Time: 3 hrs, 10 mins
Class: Y
Seat: 51K
Registration: 9V-STI
Cabin Load: Y 95-99%, J 40-50%

Ninoy Aquino International Airport

MNL currently has four terminals: T1 serves as the major hub for all but one international airlines; T2 is exclusively for domestic and international PR flights; T3 is the hub for 5J, 3P 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, EY, QR. 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

KU 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
SQ usually uses Gates 4 and 6 alongside EK.

Finally! 9V-STI 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.

EK departing soon to DXB

The Flight


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.

CX and EK

SV, RJ and QR

Good bye, Manila!

All the hassle associated with flying (security checks, long queues, etc) is eased by this view!


The SQ 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)
Flight: SQ 919
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Terminal and Gate: Terminal 2, Gate F50
ETD: 17:00
ETA: 20:30
Flight Time: 3 hrs, 10 mins
Class: Y
Seat: 47A
Registration: 9V-SRI
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.

9V-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.

The Flight



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.




LH 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

RP-C8610 arriving from Manila

QF whale! With Star Alliance members in the SQ yard

At about 17:30, drinks service began. Mixed nuts were also served. Guess what my choice was.


Singapore Sling!

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-SRI!

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]
 
MH017
Posts: 1473
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:28 am

SV, RJ and QR ?

I only see QR, SV, GF and EY  

Great TR; reminds me of the frequent use of NAIA in the 80's; not much has changed ever since  

1st time to see Mandala with a Tiger tail; guess it's leased to Mandala (and not a Mandala plane leased to Tiger) ?

Looking forward to your next TR !!!

Cheers,

MH017
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:32 am

Hi

Great first TR. Thanks for sharing!
It was pretty well illustrated. I like the quality of the pictures in your report.
777 seems to be a bit dated


Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
debonair
Posts: 2708
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:41 am

Quoting MH017 (Reply 1):
1st time to see Mandala with a Tiger tail;

Very, very strange... Mandala went in January 2011 bankrupt. So whats going on?!
 
Akiestar
Posts: 820
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 6:51 am

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:43 am

Hello, kababayan, and welcome to A.Net! 

This is a nice report on a flight I only flew once (but with 77Es only), and the picture quality is great.  
Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
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 agree that NAIA can use work, but I disagree wholeheartedly with the hype coming from media and the blogosphere that NAIA is the worst airport in the world. There are far worse airports out there than this one, believe me.

The Cobonpue/Layug/Pineda proposal was turned down by Mar Roxas because he wants to focus first on structural improvements to the terminal before embarking on aesthetic improvements. But the terminal is much better now than it was a very, very long time ago, and the MIAA is also embarking on some aesthetic improvements: notably, the removal of the arrival hall escalators (although those would be very helpful to people returning up to departures).

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
This mandatory ocular inspection of car compartments and trunks always baffles me. Aren’t there any other hiding places?

I believe they also check under the car for bombs and the like.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
At about 17:30, drinks service began. Mixed nuts were also served. Guess what my choice was.

It's a good thing you got a picture of the crew: SQ does ask passengers sometimes to not take pictures of the crew.
 
grecomark
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:06 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:30 pm

Quoting MH017 (Reply 1):
Quoting MH017 (Reply 1):

SV, RJ and QR ?

I only see QR, SV, GF and EY  

My bad! You're right. Thanks for the correction!

Glad you liked the pictures.
 
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817Dreamliiner
Posts: 3228
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:12 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:50 pm

Great trip report and nice pics as well!   
Please let me know... If you know this is the end of the world, Let me know... If you know the truth...
 
grecomark
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:06 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting Akiestar (Reply 4):
I agree that NAIA can use work, but I disagree wholeheartedly with the hype coming from media and the blogosphere that NAIA is the worst airport in the world. There are far worse airports out there than this one, believe me.

Kababayan! Salamat!

The tone of my statement above aimed at being an objective one. I was merely telling them how the blogosphere reacted. And yes! I've been to worse.  

I think the reaction stems from the fact that NAIA has been constantly on those rankings. If one would make a comparison of NAIA with most of the major airports in our neighboring countries, we do seem to have been left behind. The government still aims at function over design, and yes, restoration and construction operations have begun early last year. One good news: the toilet I used to visit near Gate 6 has been refitted and looks very, very clean. It even has an assigned personnel. Still, it's a long way to go. The new campaigns of DOT would be even greater in conjunction with these improvements in NAIA because the airport is the first and last thing that travelers see when they visit a country.

Quoting Akiestar (Reply 4):
I believe they also check under the car for bombs and the like.

The SHOULD also check under the car for bombs, but the last time they did that to our vehicle was almost 2 years ago. Actually whenever I would be in a private vehicle, they do not even check the compartments; the windows are just pulled down, and we would be allowed to pass.

Thanks for the comments! And I've been having a great time here in A.net. Hopefully, there would be more Filipinos posting TRs here. Oh. And more posts on PRs too.
 
grecomark
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:06 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:04 pm

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 2):
Great first TR. Thanks for sharing!
It was pretty well illustrated. I like the quality of the pictures in your report.
777 seems to be a bit dated

Thanks, Marc!

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 6):
Great trip report and nice pics as well!   

Thank you!
 
grecomark
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:06 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 6):

Great trip report and nice pics as well!   

Thank you! Now I realize how much work is put into making these TRs. But really, it's awesome to share such experiences!
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:12 pm

Hi!

Many thanks for the trip report. Looks like you had a great time on Singapore airlines. Good luck with the medical studies.

Many thanks,

Pierre
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1200
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:50 pm

Hey Grecomark!

As a fellow Pinoy, I'm always glad to see TRs about MNL and such.

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
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

I would be flying on SQ this summer from JFK-FRA-SIN-MNL an back, I was hoping that I would get the A330 on the SIN-MNL-SIN legs but it looks like it's all 772s this summer (although my SIN-MNL is scheduled as 777-200ER)

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
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.

Ahh, good old Manila!

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
This mandatory ocular inspection of car compartments and trunks always baffles me. Aren’t there any other hiding places?

Tell me about it..

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
Old school FIDS, don’t you think?

I love those! It really adds some character to the terminal. Also, it looks like DL's flight to NGO/DTW is heavily delayed!

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
EK departing soon to DXB

Nice catch! I was torn apart between flying on EK or SQ this summer (EK was around $1200 while SQ was around $1500) but your TR definitely shows that I made the right decision!

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
SV, RJ and QR

That's a lot of Middle-Eastern carriers! Nice to see EY still occupying the same gate as before. I remember my first international flight, it was on an EY 77W back in '07  
Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
Some 15 minutes later, ice cream was served. I also asked for a can of Coke Light.

Wow, they don't stop feeding you, don't they?

Quoting grecomark (Thread starter):
Another round of drinks!

Impressive

Once again, brilliant trip report. I'm definitely hyped up about my trip this summer to the Philippines on SQ. Looking forward for more!

Mabuhay!

JetBlue777
It's a cultural thing.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5926
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:53 pm

Hi Grecomark!

Thanks for a great report with great pictures !

Looks like SQ is providing great service again and the meals look really good!

Looking forward to your next report!

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
 
grecomark
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:06 pm

RE: It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class

Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:26 pm

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 10):
Many thanks for the trip report. Looks like you had a great time on Singapore airlines. Good luck with the medical studies.

Thanks! I really did have an awesome time with them, as always, at least on this route. They are doing it right!

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 11):
I would be flying on SQ this summer from JFK-FRA-SIN-MNL an back, I was hoping that I would get the A330 on the SIN-MNL-SIN legs but it looks like it's all 772s this summer (although my SIN-MNL is scheduled as 777-200ER)

I amount of (low-cost) competitors is affecting SQ. I'm just afraid that the next step after changing to 772s would be decreasing the number of flights. I hope I'm wrong here. You'll be on A380 on JFK-FRA-SIN, right? SQ is the only choice. At least for me! HAHA.

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 11):
Wow, they don't stop feeding you, don't they?

HAHA. Perhaps, the cabin load is a factor too. I've been to some previous SQ flights with full load on all cabins, and they do not have as many drinks service. Good thing I'm with someone whose sister is an SQ girl and who lives with 3 other SQ girls whenever she's in SIN
Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 11):
Once again, brilliant trip report. I'm definitely hyped up about my trip this summer to the Philippines on SQ. Looking forward for more!

Hopefully you'll have an awesome time the way I did.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Thanks for a great report with great pictures !

Looks like SQ is providing great service again and the meals look really good!

Looking forward to your next report!

Thank you! I haven't booked it yet, but my next TR would be to ACC.
Probably MNL-DXB on EK and DXB-ADD-ACC on ET.
Cheers!

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