Allow me to introduce myself. I am a long time lurker on this site, and really enjoy reading trip reports. I’m a UK citizen living in Australia for last 4 years. I will apologise now for no photos. My wife thinks I’m odd enough rocking up to Brisbane airport Acacia Avenue viewing area hours before collecting someone to get a bit of spotting in, and identifying the Emirates A380 at 9pm as it passes over most evenings. The idea of getting my phone out and taking pictures of the hot towels, menu, inflight map, my knees showing legroom, toilets and meals would be a step too far for her. So, if they say a picture paints a thousand words, here comes 1500 words!
I can trace my aviation interest back to when I was about 8 when my Dad used to travel a lot, and he used to get the British Airways Junior Jet Club book signed by the pilot. Earliest flight memory was LHR to LAX as a child with industrial action at Heathrow causing check in issues, the old plastic tube headphones, and Mum making sandwiches because I didn’t think I would like the onboard food. At age 18 I spent 3 months in USA, working in Myrtle Beach, SC as a student, then had an unlimited standby ticket with Delta for a month, travelling all around USA. That may have to be another trip report at some stage…
6 years ago we successfully applied for Australian visas, and we are now on our 4th trip on the Kangaroo Route. First trip was MAN-AUH-SIN-BNE with Etihad. Huge journey with the kids. Youngest randomly woke up at some stage shrieking. Had to cover his mouth to stop whole plane waking up. Didn’t like AUH. Remote stands, very busy. Second trip, our actual migration. MAN-LHR-KUL-BNE with Malaysian. Flight sandwiched by MH350 and MH17….Bags got stuck in Heathrow for 5 days. Next up Cathay via HKG. Youngest son sick on HKG-LHR leg. Well taken care of, wife and son put into spare Business class seat on 777. An emergency (Booked at 0730, airborne at 1030) trip on my own on QF/BA combo, via HKG out and SIN back. Really impressed with Qantas food, IFE. Upstairs, back of A380 with BA also really good. Last year SQ via a few days in Singapore. Loved the stopover there, and the SQ service.
Have chosen SQ for this trip. Reasons? Great selection of flights from BNE (4 per day). Convenient connections to UK, pleasant stopover, good IFE, good food, good service. Announcements in single language. Why is this important? Travelling for 24 hours every little helps. If every announcement is in 2 languages it really starts to grate after a while.
So, that’s the intro, what about this trip. Well, the Marmite mentioned is the fact that on this trip I need to stock up on Marmite. Yes, Australia has the filth they call Vegemite, but I can stock up on UK essentials with our generous 30 kg baggage allowance. Other delicacies to include Branston Pickle. Yes, I know I can buy all this here in Oz, but so much cheaper in UKFriday 29 July 1800 departure BNE-SIN
The day starts with my last day at work in central Brisbane, dash back to the beautiful Samford Valley then off we go. Coincidentally, this is a special day, as 4 years ago we arrived to settle here, and in the morning I submitted my citizenship application. The journey back to UK starts with the drive to the international terminal, through the airport tunnel, and past the worlds biggest sandpit that will be the new runway. This is a massive feat of engineering, with 5 million cubic metres (strange measurement American readers may have to look up on Google) of sand being used as a base. BNE will have the best runway system in Australia apparently. Check out the factsheets here https://bne.com.au/corporate/projects/brisbanes-new-runway/fact-sheets
Park up at Valet parking (book early enough and cheaper than regular long stay)- again this is another level of stress reduced in the whole airport performance) and off we go to check in. No need to fill in departure cards any longer, snake through the duty free, and await our 16 year old 772 ER to Singapore.
Returned on one of these “refurbished” planes last year, and was a little underwhelmed by IFE. Departure due at 6pm. Hot towels and menus distributed. Pushed back on time, took off from runway 01 (L to be added soon to account for future new parallel runway)
Have chosen not to watch a great deal on this flight, to save viewing for my first experience on Singapore’s A359. As we have 3 flights on this plane this month, I don’t want to use up all my viewing too soon. I will however be trying out my new noise-cancelling headphones. These are Aldi’s (again, I’ll direct US readers to Google for this one) own brand, costing $35. I’m not sure that I’ve seen these tested on ausbt.com, but not being able to afford sitting at the pointy end, these will have to do once wheels up…
Drinks distributed efficiently, a Tiger for me, and a Singapore Sling for Mrs. Not quite the same as the Raffles Hotel cocktail, but free and OK! Service and food excellent, even in economy. Hot towels straight after take-off and before second meal service, menu booklets distributed, metal cutlery all as standard. The older 777 seemed very noisy, even in our seats over the wing, and with noise cancelling headphones
Landed into Terminal 3 at Changi, had already filled in arrival card, and the usual efficient passing through Immigration. Staying at Crowne Plaza for 24 hrs. With late arrival time we have booked 2 nights. Straight to the big comfy bed, seeing as it is 1230am local time. Great hotel, literally minutes from immigration, lovely pool. Only do this as my son really suffers with sickness/anxiousness on the second hop of the journey.1 JULY 0225 BNE-SIN
So after a good sleep, a laze by the pool, and a buffet dinner, we get a few hours sleep in before walking from the Crowne Plaza, through immigration and into the lounge- I really like the security process here with security for the gate, and not en masse- keeps it less stressful in my view. On board a 6 month old A359, first time on this type. Economy in 3-3-3 layout. Seats comfortable enough, and at 6’1” enough legroom, even when person in front fully reclined, and with IFE box on floor by seat. I did notice how incredibly narrow the armrests are on this plane, about 1”. Not a problem when a family of 3 travelling, but wouldn’t want it next to a stranger! We were in seats 43ABC, a small cabin between Premium economy and the toilets. It seemed however this was the dumping ground for the shrieking children…There was an avgeek on front of me, and he asked the attendant to fill in his travel log, which I think she did, so 42B, if you are reading this…!
Another on time take-off from Changi, and although the service was OK, it didn’t seem as smooth as the previous journey- perhaps the time of night, maybe less experienced cabin crew? Loads of nibbles at the back of the plane to help self to. Crew responded to requests from seated passengers, but I prefer to get up and have a wander. Big difference was the quietness of the plane- significantly different to the 777, even down the back when noise usually seems to get louder and louder. So, what about those pesky kids? Well, one set was the typical mum who couldn’t/wouldn’t say no to the girl, who, with headphones on , decided to make all kinds of animal noises, shouting out etc, kicking my wife’s seat etc. I’m surprised Mrs didn’t kick off…Secondly a German family who were trying to tell their kids what to do, and all we had was shrieks of NEIN, NEIN, NEIN from the kids. I know they had just been dumped out of the World Cup, but still…Interestingly their journey was…DPS-SIN-MAN-IAH (the continuation of this flight)-MCO. The long way round, but saved a lot of money, apparently…
IFE excellent, watched The Commuter, the new Jumanji, Last Jedi, We’re the Millers and a few episodes of the excellent Get Shorty. Good clear responsive system.
The other big surprise, apart from the quietness, was the awesome braking performance of this plane on landing. Unprepared the first time round we were thrown forward in our seats big time- same for the other flights on this type on the return.
On time into a bright and sunny Manchester T2, surprisingly efficient process through immigration and baggage reclaim, then on our way. The efficiency surprised me a little, particularly after a lot of negative posts on airlinequality website. On the return I don’t think I have ever been processed as quickly through security- you really needed your wits about you!
Thanks for reading- already thinking about next years options!