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BNE
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2000 9:37 pm

A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:16 pm

Sometimes a rare event happens in your part of the world. Singapore Airlines had selected Singapore to Sydney as their first A380 route, which was the inaugural route for the A380. There had been a lot of speculation on when the first flight would be; how would you get tickets. Thanks to the members of www.airliners.net I was able to keep up to date with all the news and how to purchase tickets for the inaugural flights.

Singapore Airlines were auctioning off the first 2 flights. The first flight was from Singapore to Sydney on the 25 October and the return from Sydney to Singapore on the 26 October. All seats were available by auction from www.ebay.com with the proceeds of the flights US$2 million going to 3 charities.

I flew on the inaugural A380 flight from Sydney to Singapore. I chose the return flight as it allowed a weekend in Singapore, and a return on first revenue SQ A380 flight, the one anyone could buy. The SYD-SIN flight cost me US$1009.00, I had heard that some passengers were able to get seats for less than US$600.00

After winning the auction for the flight from Sydney to Singapore I was contacted by Singapore Airlines in Australia about 2 weeks after winning the bid to discuss other flights I may need. I asked for the price on the SQ221 from Singapore to Sydney on the 28 October. $399 was the price in economy and business class was available for AUD $ 1450.00.

I think I will take business.:D Currently you can’t buy business for much less than $2,000 one way.

After I got confirmed on the SQ flights from Sydney to Singapore and return I booked some flights with Qantas to get me to Sydney.

Date: 26 October 2007
Route: BNE-SYD
Flight Number: QF525
Aircraft Type: 767-338
Registration: VH-OGL


I left worked soon after 11:00am for the 20 minute drive to the airport. Check in was quick and I went to the lounge to get a snack. I had selected the midday departure as lunch was being served on this service, and it should have left me with over 2 hours to change terminals and check in.

It should have been over 2 hours but then just before boarding a 20 minute delay was announced. You don’t want a delay just before you are trying to catch a connecting flight on a different airline. You might remember my previous trip.

The flight was operated by VH-OGL which had been decorated in support of the Australia Rugby team at the world cup. The in-flight radio channels made mention of the Rugby World Cup; it was just a pity that the Wallabies didn’t make it to the final.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/b2a369191a57559f0f24711667ffe438f2c79f2c.JPG

There were 2 lunch choices on to day’s flight; I had a chicken in a cranberry roll, something that you might buy from McDonalds. The McDonalds one is actually better.

I arrived at Sydney airport at 1:57pm which only left me 2 hours to change terminals; check in and clear security and immigration. Qantas operate a transfer shuttle bus which transfer passengers that are connecting from Qantas domestic services to Qantas international flights. With not much time I thought I would ask if I could get the Qantas shuttle bus. Everyone else was getting their boarding passes scanned before going downstairs to the bus. I had no boarding pass. They asked me, if baggage had been checked in, I didn’t have any. They asked for an itinerary and showed them my SQ A380 reservation.

Thanks Qantas I was allowed on the bus.  Silly

Date: 26 October 2007
Route: SYD-SIN
Flight Number: SQ380
Aircraft Type: 380-841
Registration: 9V-SKA
Seat: 44C


I guess there were some a.net members on the same flight some nice pictures were taken SQ380 SYD-SIN (Inaugural A380 Flight) (by Tsentsan Oct 27 2007 in Trip Reports) and that we would have the similar experiences.

Passengers on the SQ380 inaugural flight from Sydney were given some privileges. Apart from a dedicated check-in, drop off points were also cordoned off for the passengers

Check-in at 12:30pm was said to be a little slow but when I turned up at 2:30pm I was straight to a check in agent. I guess I was a little late, securing sequence 461 out of 471 seats. Not every seat was full so there is a good chance I was last to check in. The early check-in was to facilitate a welcome function that SIA had put together at gate 57.

A corner of the terminal at Gate 57 was cordoned off for the SIA function. Folks from all classes on this flight mingled with champagne and nibbles.

Unfortunately, an afternoon thunderstorm soon came and halted all ground work on the aircraft, delaying our departure.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/e8026f21155cf0e2743682edcfacf816757b8cb1.JPG
The weather was looking a bit grey outside.

The plane was 2 years late so a further delay of 2 hours was not that bad. It gave me a chance to look around the airport. In a way the delayed departed allowed for more chatting with passengers. Everyone was buzzing with excitement. Maybe free alcohol gives everyone a buzz.

The departure time was delayed time and time again, Boarding of the aircraft finally commenced at 1710 hrs.

Sydney’s Gate 57 has 3 aerobridges set up for the A380. Passengers were sorted according to: Suites first class main deck; Economy main deck and a third for both business class and economy class on the upper deck.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/5a836af51b48579c020e767c683ce436a070dc2e.JPG

On this charity flight, a matte black laptop bag was placed on every seat that had a passenger. This bag contained the items that SQ has provided to commemorate the flight. Inside the computer case was an SQ A380 model with the words “Worlds First A380 flight SQ380 Sydney to Singapore 26 October 2007 as well as a luggage tag commemorating the flight. Included was some pens donated by Rolls Royce, a 2008 desk calendar and a special edition of the KrisWorld in-flight magazine. The only thing that it was missing was the A380 safety card, but they were to be found in the seat pockets.

My seat 44C was an exit row. I guess purchasing a business class for the return journey gave me a good shot at getting an exit row, as the person also in my row was returning in business class.

As everybody settled down in their seats, the cabin crew started their rounds with hot towels. This crew was the same as that which operated the inaugural flight into Sydney, and they recognized a few of the passengers which came up on that flight. The crew on this flight were very relaxed and enjoyed mingling around, chatting with the passengers.

The PTV system used on the A380 is similar to that found on the 77W. The PTV system is accompanied by an input jack for your laptop or DVD player, USB port as well as an Ethernet port. I don’t really think the PTVs and their accessories got much of a work out due to the party onboard.

Captain Robert Ting came on the PA system to welcome everybody onboard, and introduce the other pilots – DY A380 Chief Pilot - Claude Lelaie and an Airbus test pilot. He also gave his thanks to ExxonMobil who donated the jet fuel for the flight both directions.

Push back soon came and went. It seemed so smooth to the passengers, while in fact, pushback was asked for and cancelled twice. A British Airways Boeing 747-436 was to our right. The line up on 34L to the north was smooth, and takeoff power was applied without the holding. Our takeoff roll saw us pass a number of Qantas and Virgin Blue aircraft, which were holding on 25 and taxiing around. A gentle rotation saw us lift off after passing the Sydney Control Tower. Applause was heard all round. It was a great feeling. Does it fly I guess so.

Noise wise, this aircraft is really quiet on takeoff! At take off thrust, all you hear is quiet sound of air rushing by, no noise or groans whatsoever from the engine. You could hear folks on board saying ‘That’s very quiet.’  listen 

We climbed through the cloudy Sydney evening en route to our cruising altitude of FL340. Step climbs were given en route and we finally cruised at FL400.

Once the seat belt signs were turned off, the party really began. Passengers started getting up and walking around, discovering the plane. There was lots of taking pictures and videos and generally having fun. The crews were pretty relaxed, allowing everybody to take pictures of anything and everything.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/c4f264713c56c066745635e6472ff5be33a3fb8c.JPG

The seats are a tan colour, and yes I was on the flight. Picture to prove it; plus the boarding pass; the credit card bill and maybe some Air NZ Airpoints.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/30e16a1c560a7569e72fbd69dcf6d3a55b9bbbf4.pjpg

Upstairs the colours are a grey and blue.
http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/25726db1f553b05a7ee6e8e568310259cd13656e.JPG

The aisles are slightly wider in Economy (lower deck). Lower deck economy reminds me of a 747 due to the 3-4-3 seating while upstairs is more like a A330/340; with 2-4-2 seating.


I guess the most unique feature of this aircraft is the spiral staircase at the rear of the aircraft.
http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/8531621a52027d69ef87494b42cca3f19cea1824.JPG


Business class was a whole new world; something I would get to try properly on my return journey.
http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/02f1661a53027664e19d5a2c5ba32b6aec217729.JPG

Since this is the inaugural flight, passengers received a certificate of flight. Premium passengers received theirs mounted, while Economy class passengers received ours in a plastic clear folder. Each certificate was individually handed to passengers by the cabin crew. Mine is now framed and hanging on the wall.

Meals were soon served. Being the charity and inaugural flight, our meals were specially catered for. Australian Chef Matthew Moran, winner of “Two Chef’s Hats’” and Singaporean Chef Sam Leong, 3 time winner of the ‘Asian Ethnic Chef’ award, provided the fillings for Economy class. The Australian selection featured Citrus Cured Salmon and Pan-Roasted Beef Steak, while the Asian selection featured Tiger Prawns and Stewed Canton Duck.

I had the Australian meal the Pan-Roasted beef steak tasted great, with probably a few too many mushrooms. Both meal choices for dessert were Movenpick Ice cream and chocolate.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/bf81681456037764e7d0417f14974dc6ab0c6dbf.JPG

Marie (MadamConcorde from a.net) also had her own cake on board as it was her birthday.

We could go around the whole plane and across the different classes without too much difficulty.

First class was dam big; These 4 people were having a bit of a party.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/f5916d1c5a0b7564e8f116e148e95bc674ef5e80.JPG

I spoke to Sam a.net user N178UA who got a seat in first class and he showed me around all the features of first class. Lots of nocks and crannies to leave your stuff behind when you de-board the aircraft.  Wink

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/7e916d17570c7a62ecec3f8bf43bedfe8c1127a0.JPG

The double bed in first class, the one you really don’t get to try out properly.

I am not sure if this is permanent, but there is no seat 47D in Economy. Therefore, 48D have ample legroom to stretch out. Lucky for Ants to get 48D.

There was a snack service about 2 hours out of Singapore.

Contemporary Delights by Matthew Moran; Asian Flavours by Sam Leong, Prawns and wok-fried udon noodles in black pepper sauce, or Our Signature Fare; Chcicken satay served with spicy peanut sauce and nasi goring fried rice, which I had.

The flight had its own printed menu with “The Worlds First A380 Flight SQ380 Sydney Singapore 26 October 2007”, as there is no way I would have remembered the meal details.

All too soon, it was time for the descent into Singapore, it was near midnight in Sydney and 2:00am in Sydney but many of us were still hyped with being on the A380.

Captain Ting came back on the PA system to inform us of our planned approach into Singapore, as well as the fact that we will be the first passengers to experience an A380 autoland. Touchdown was a greaser. Everybody showed their appreciation for the smooth landing by applauding the computers.

A slow taxi on EP and we were soon docked at F31, the same gate where SQ380 departed the day before.

All the aerobridges (Believe its 3??) were used to unload the passengers this time round. A Malay percussion crew welcomed the passengers to Singapore and SIA management was on hand to greet the passengers and handing out beautiful flower leis to all the passengers and cabin crew.

Immigration and customs was quick as per Singapore’s standards. I didn’t have baggage so I can’t confirm, although I heard 15 minutes was long by Singapore standards.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
JoeCattoli
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:06 am

RE: A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:43 pm

Very interesting, It was quite some time I was thinkin no one is uploeading a new A380 report on A.net..

Ciao
Joe
 
HKGKaiTak
Posts: 971
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 9:48 am

RE: A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:18 pm

Thanks for sharing your A380 inaugural flight experience with us BNE. Every TR I read of that flight makes me wonder what a party it must've been on board!!!

Quoting JoeCattoli (Reply 1):
It was quite some time I was thinkin no one is uploeading a new A380 report on A.net..

Don't worry Joe, I'll upload the TR of my second A380 flight soon enough!
4 Engines 4 LongHaul
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:00 am

Hi,

Just wanted to say many thanks for the report, was a good chance to see both the A380 and the Singapore Airlines product.

Quoting BNE (Thread starter):
I had the Australian meal the Pan-Roasted beef steak tasted great, with probably a few too many mushrooms. Both meal choices for dessert were Movenpick Ice cream and chocolate.

Wow, that steak looks great (could be a business class meal). If that's normal for Singapore Airlines then their product must still be on pretty good form(!)

Pierre
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11623
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:51 am

A wonderful trip report. Kudos!
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
ag92
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:23 pm

RE: A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:51 am



Quoting BNE (Thread starter):
The seats are a tan colour, and yes I was on the flight. Picture to prove it; plus the boarding pass; the credit card bill and maybe some Air NZ Airpoints.

Thats me who is turning around with the noise cancelling headphones (in the shirt)

Excellent trip report, hopefully my one will be up soon
 
dimoko
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:44 pm

RE: A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:11 pm



Quoting BNE (Thread starter):
Everybody showed their appreciation for the smooth landing by applauding the computers.

always good for a computers self esteem!

great report!! must have been an amazing experience.
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
 
B747forever
Posts: 13861
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: A380 SYD-SIN Inaugural Flight + Return SIN-SYD

Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:51 pm

Great TR

The pics are really good.

Quoting JoeCattoli (Reply 1):
It was quite some time I was thinkin no one is uploeading a new A380 report on A.net..

Think the reason is that it is just 1 A380 in service!!!



Thank you for sharing

B747forever
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