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London to Brisbane

Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:37 pm
by Junglejames
So, shall we call this Part 1 of a fairly boring little report? Hey, it will point some problems out though!!
London to Dubai- 11th June, 2040hrs

Not many people around Heathrow T2, and despite only being about 1800 when I arrived, not many flights left to depart either. It made a nice change though.

Well where do we start. Whats the only decent thing about Emirates?
Ah, well thats easy. The A380.
Of course, an A380 with only about 80 people in economy (I doubt it was that many) is even better! I hope she had some freight in her belly, otherwise you'd struggle to pay for all the drink the beast wanted. Sorry, not a beast. The new Queen of the Skies.
If it wasn't for the fact it was an A380 though, well, as per usual, Emirates are nothing to write home about, although the toilet was quite smart!!

An infotainment system which took up 5mins of my time at the beginning of the flight telling me how amazing it is. Well tell you what, if you are so amazing, let me use it, and stop showing unnecessary adverts about yourself. As per usual though, it wasn't that amazing. Not being touch screen, it was slower to work around than most systems. At least the screen was a good size though.
Food which was your normal average airline stuff.
All bog standard, apart from the aircraft!

Unfortunately, all too soon I was jolted by, well, a landing which doesn't go on my list of smoothest landings.

Now for 13.5hrs in Dubai Airport. I supposedly have a baggage transfer booked. I wonder if this will work. First though, lets find the transfer desk. I need tickets printed out for my Singapore Airlines legs.
I am staying within T3 at Dubai, so hopefully it should be easy enough, or so I thought.
Follow connections. Ask about picking up my next tickets. Told to go through Security, down to the gates, and head to gate B18 where there is a connections desk. What seemed like a long treck later, I find it. But oh, this is Emirates only!

For Singapore Airlines, I need to head downstairs, through security, and look out for connections downstairs. By now I am getting a bit peeved. Needless to say, I got lost. Turns out I had to go the wrong way through security, and into some large connections hall, with a small desk. I have no idea how you would usually get here after arriving on a flight. There is another entrance to the area, which didnt involve going the wrong way through security, but I don't know where it came from.
Anyway, nobody here can help at the present time regards my baggage. I wanted to check everything was in hand, and it would be retrieved and dealt with despite only having a label to Dubai. Afterall, that's what I had been led to believe. There should be no need for me to retrieve it.
I was told to come back at 1230 when Singapore Airlines staff will be there. Grrrrr.
So I now have to go back the right way through security, and back up towards the gates to where the transit hotel was. Thankfully I had a room booked.
But still, 3 times through security so far. Twice in the right direction, and once against the flow of traffic.

So the only good thing about this airport stay so far. I have been booked into an Executive Room. Very nice! Don't expect a short walk to the room though. The hotel seems to cover most of T3!! Still, the room made up for this.

A brief shut eye later, and I head back to the general connection desk (all airlines but Emirates).
Back downstairs, and back the wrong way through security. I find a large bunch of passengers at the desk, who seemed to be together, and were taking a long time.
Thankfully I was spotted by the woman whom I spoke to a few hours previous and she took me in hand. The staff dealing with Singapore Airlines knew nothing about the baggage transfer. Oh heck. What is going to happen to my bags!!
But my friendly helper searched the computer system to find where my hold baggage was. She then arranged for it to be retagged to Brisbane. So, I hope it is all sorted, but I am not convinced!!!! First time I have utilised this baggage transfer service.

Now, how about picking up tickets for my Singapore flights? Oh no, the staff to do this aren't here yet. I have to come back at 1630. Is this some sort of joke?
Why can Dubai not have a simple transfer desk where you can do everything, in one go, there and then? Preferably say a side lounge soon after you get off your first flight. Instead I seem to have explored all of T3, going the wrong way through security, up and down elevators and escalators.
So back to the transit hotel (through security again!!)
Lunch is in order.

It is just about time right now, to go back and see if I can pick my tickets up. But so far one thing stands out. If transiting Dubai with a change of airlines, and a long time at the airport, then well, Dubai is a nightmare. An absolute nightmare.
I could not have done this without being directed by staff more than once. Signage is rubbish, and the general transit system is woeful if you aren't doing a simple Emirates to Emirates transit. I mean, I could sort of understand it if i was changing terminals. But I'm not.

Right, lets see if I can pick up some tickets for my next flights!!

Re: London to Brisbane

Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:10 pm
by Junglejames
I've never known it take so long to collect tickets for a flight!

I think I have also worked out where I initially went wrong this morning. When you get off an arriving flight, don't follow the 'connections' signs.
Head for baggage reclaim, and eventually you will pass the 'all other airlines' connection desk.

Still, signage is awful here, and the fact you can't pick up your tickets until 4hrs before your flight. The connections desk should be able to do it all, there and then. As it is, I am up and down all day.

Well, less than 2hrs until my flight to Singapore now. Which I have been told should be quite empty. Supposedly the same flight last week was pretty empty.

Not really recommended for anything but the most simple of connections.

Re: London to Brisbane

Posted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:06 pm
by Junglejames
Well my final legs were a bit of a surprise. What has happened to Singapore Airlines?

A350-900 for both legs:
Dubai to Singapore
Singapore to Brisbane.

The aircraft looked quite new. I'm not sure when Singapore started receiving A350s, and this was my first Singapore A350s. But boy, I was not entering a Singapore Airlines aircraft was I?
Seats looked cheap, and my initial impressions when i first got onboard, was that this was more like a 787. ie the seats looked horrible and narrow.
It just turned out that the design of the seats means the seat back is narrow. The seat base is OK though, and when sat down it was adequate. Initial impressions count for a lot though.
But- Well, don't compare it to an A380. It's like night and day.

It just all seemed cheap. Seat design. Seat cover. Nothing onboard stood out.
Food was probably a step below my Emirates flight. Overall service was as well.

I always had Singapore Airlines as my standout airline. Well now it is definitely more what my standout aircraft is, with preferred airlines that utilise them.
No airline really stands out as far as service goes now.
In simple terms, if your required journey does not involve an A380, then seriously consider if you should be taking it!! Unless it is Concorde of course, but I'm guessing that is unlikely!!

From Dubai to Singapore, they were only utilising half the economy section. Seemingly if the flights are going to be empty enough, they prefer to leave their full clean and sanitisation until they get back to Singapore. So outward they utilise one half of the aircraft, then coming back they utilise the other half. Which is all well and good, but considering these fun times we face, you would think it is better off trying to seperate passengers as much as possible. I suppose you have to weigh this up against cost though.
There was still plenty of space though. Another 3 seats all to myself.

The transit experience at Singapore is interesting during these fun times. Transit passengers are herded into a transit pen. Then onward flights called out as and when it is time.
I'm not convinced of the need to completely seperate transit passengers from everyone else, as we have just spent 7hrs cooped up together in half an A350.

Singapore to Brisbane was nice and empty. Both halves of the economy class seemed to be utilised on this flight, although most passengers were in the forward section.

A few things this journey highlighted:
-It really doesn't make much difference what airline you use now. Check the aircraft first. Airline second.
-I expected the Singapore A350s to be my preferred A350s. But no, that award still goes to British Airways I think.
-Dubai Airport impresses me even less than it did before (transit hotel executive rooms excepted). I was never a big fan of it. Now it drops further.

Re: London to Brisbane

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:19 am
by QF93
How was Brisbane hotel quarantine?