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Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:43 am

Singapore Airlines Business Class: Penang International (PEN) to Frankfurt am Main (FRA) via Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
Part II


Sometimes one has to travel for all the wrong reasons: to attend a funeral of a close relative for instance. This kind of journey is, before it has even begun, surely condemned to be full of grief and despair, because how can one be expected to find joy in such dark times. Unfortunately, I found myself in such a situation not too long ago. Thank god my journey was on Singapore Airlines.

This is Part II of this trip report. Part I can be found here.

Introduction

Booking last minute tickets, especially with a legacy carrier and in Business Class, is something that is never recommended. However, sometimes one has little choice and the need to fly overwhelms the steep price of the ticket. As they say, when you gotta go, you gotta go. There are many ways to travel from South East Asia to Europe. There is Malaysia Airlines, who offer great service and relatively cheap ticket prices, and Lufthansa who are notorious for their German efficiency. Thai International Airlines and Singapore Airlines are the other two airlines who fly directly to Frankfurt am Main (FRA) from their respective hubs in Bangkok and Singapore.

However, one could also use one of the Middle Eastern carriers, such as Emirates, Qatar Airways or Etihad. These offer even cheaper ticket prices, but one has to change aircraft along the way. When time is of the essence and a little comfort is needed along the way, the choice boils down to Singapore and Malaysia Airlines. Personally, the choice between these two superb airlines was decided by the fact that Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance. Period.

So let the flying begin: two flights, three airports and a travel time of more than 20 hours in total. This trip report tells the story of my flights from Penang to Frankfurt.



General Flight Overview

Airline: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Flight number: SQ 26
Origin: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
Destination: Frankfurt am Main International Airport (FRA)
Distance: 6391 miles
Scheduled departure time: 23:50
Scheduled flight time: 12 hour 40 minutes
Class of Travel: Business Class
Seat: 24K
Aircraft: 747-412
Registration: 9V-SPL

Departure Airport

After exploring Terminals 1 and 2, it was time to see what the new flagship of Changi Airport, Terminal 3, had to offer. As I came to the end of Terminal 1, the difference between the new and the old became very apparent; the new structure was modern, with long wide moving walkways stretched as far as the eye could see.


The transition between Terminal 1 and the gleaming Terminal 3.


The vast expanse of concourse B in Terminal 3.


The new Terminal 3 has to be one of the most impressive airport buildings in the world. From the modern art deco ceiling to the massive check-in and immigration halls, one visit to this amazing place is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone.


Some of the contemporary art in Terminal 3 at SIN.


The older Terminal 2…


…and the new Terminal 3.


As I continued to walk towards the shopping area, the ceiling grew higher and the structure became increasingly striking. It was obvious that the new terminal still had a lot of spare capacity, because many of the departure gates were not being used.


The layout of Singapore Changi Airport.


The massive and empty immigration hall in Terminal 3.


All of the shops, restaurants and airline lounges are located in the center of the new terminal building. The combination of the astonishing structure and great variety of shops made for an amazing shopping experience. I just could not resist.


The wonderful shopping area in Terminal 3 at SIN.


The brilliant combination of great metal architecture with soft wooden colors and flora to decorate the areas.


After some serious window shopping, it was time to retreat to the new Singapore Airlines Silver Kris lounge. This new lounge is located on the second floor at the end of the shopping atrium. From the outside, one would never guess that this is one of the best airline lounges in the world. The large ‘Silver Kris’ sign is the only hint of what can be found inside.


The view from the second floor in Terminal 3.


This way to the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris lounge.


The unassuming outside of the Silver Kris lounge.


At the entrance to the Silver Kris lounge, I was welcomed by three(!) Singapore girls. They were extremely friendly and asked me about my destination and the reason for my journey. After a little chat with the Singapore girls, I proceeded onwards into the large Business Class section of the lounge.


The trendy entrance to the new Silver Kris lounge.


The doorway to the Business Class section of the lounge.


Personally, I have been to many lounges around the world, but as soon as I entered the new Silver Kris lounge I knew that this was going to be something special. The Terminal 3 lounge is so big that it took me a few minutes to explore all of its nooks and crannies. Everything from the modern showers to the soft leather seats and the massive buffet area were a sight to behold.


The color changing pillars in the Silver Kris lounge.


The smart layout of the lounge divides an otherwise massive area into smaller, quieter segments. This creates a more peaceful atmosphere and a greater sense of privacy. Furthermore, the dark wooden panels, plush seats and soft carpet also make the main seating area feel more like a comfortable living room than a busy airport lounge.


The main seating area in the Silver Kris lounge.


The dark wooden panels, soft seats and table lamps in the seating area.


The small seating section near the entrance of the lounge.


Another area in which the new Silver Kris lounge excels is its multimedia offerings. Firstly, there is fast free wireless internet, and power points are available at every seat. Secondly, there are massive flat screen televisions showing the latest news and sports throughout the lounge. Flight information screens are also available to thankfully replace those annoying boarding announcements. Finally, the computer and business center is also impressive. There are numerous iMacs and PCs available, as well as several laptop bays.


One of the massive flat screen TVs in the Singapore Airlines lounge.


The notable new Business center with an abundance of computers.


One of the most impressive aspects of the Silver Kris lounge is the food and beverage section. The hot and cold food assortment reminds me more of a five-star buffet than airline lounge food. There was something for everyone, from Indian curry to French cheese. I also liked the little coffee and cookie section.  Smile Sadly, after my substantial double meal on SQ195 I could barely stand the sight of food, let alone eat something. A pity really.  Sad


A view of the large buffet area in the Silver Kris lounge.


The hot and cold food buffet with the large beverage selection in the background.


The small coffee and cookies section the in Silver Kris lounge.


The old Silver Kris lounge was often very crowded during the evening European flight bank, but this was not the case with the new lounge in Terminal 3. There were many spare seats on hand, and I soon found a nice place by the window overlooking the concourse below.


My seat in the new Silver Kris lounge in Terminal 3.


The view down to the main concourse from my seat.


After relaxing in the wonderful lounge for a little more than an hour, it was time to head for SQ26. I was sad that I had to leave this peaceful haven and board a long 12 hour flight, but I could not wait to come back in three days time.  Smile Once I finished my Champaign and paid a visit to the modern toilets, I was good to go.

Overall, my experience in the new Silver Kris lounge was very positive. I think the only thing that was missing was some natural light, but this was also a problem in the old long in Terminal 2.


My glass of bubbly in the lounge.


The neat new ‘wave sensitive’ toilet flushing system.


It was now 23:00 and Terminal 3 was very busy. There were waves of passengers walking in all directions, which was probably because both departures and arrivals use the same concourse. My gate for SQ26 today was Gate A17, which was located at the furthest end of concourse A. In order to reduce the long walking distances in Terminal 3, there is a Skytrain shuttle from the main shopping atrium to gates A15-A21. However, as I was going to be sitting down for the next 12 hours, I decided to take the 10 minute walk instead.


The Skytrain shuttle station at transfer A.


The crowded main terminal as I started my little walk to the gate.


As I neared my gate, the crowds subsided and the long walk to gate A17 became a little more pleasant. Gates A16 to A20 were in a combined departures hall and they shared a common security area. This would turn out to result in a real bottleneck.


A view down the never ending concourse A in Terminal 3.


The combined departures hall for gates A16 to A20.


When I arrived at the security area, I was greeted by three massive queues. As it turned out, there were only three security counters for a 777 to AMS and my 747 to FRA and JFK. I counted more than 50 passengers in each line, and as the security checks were very thorough, progress was very slow. In addition, there were no separate lines for premium passengers like there used to be in Terminal 2.  Sad I was unimpressed.


The gate for SQ26 to FRA and JFK today: Gate A17.


The long queue at the security screening area.


Three screening gates were just not enough for two large widebodies.


After standing in line for 20 minutes, I finally made it through security. Just as I was about to sit down in the waiting hall, boarding was called. Luckily, I was already standing and I was one of the first passengers to board. First and Business Class passengers were called first, but the usual rush towards the gate occurred nonetheless. I was onboard SQ26 at 23:35, 15 minutes before scheduled departure.


The wide and empty new jetway at gate A17.


Welcome onboard Singapore Airlines flight SQ26 to Frankfurt and New York.


Aircraft

Singapore Airlines was once the largest operator of the Boeing 747-400 in the world, operating 42 aircraft. However, today only 15 of the newest 747s remain in the fleet. Most of the 28 sold airframes were replaced by the Boeing 777-300ERs and A380s. Singapore Airlines uses the Boeing 747-400 exclusively on long haul flights to Europe, America and Australia. The aircraft are configured in the traditional three class configuration with 12 First Class, 50 Business Class and 313 Economy Class seats. One of the two daily flights to Frankfurt is flown by the 747-400 and the other by a newer 777-300ER.

My aircraft today, 9V-SPL, was once one of the most recognizable aircraft in the world; it used to carry the famous Tropical livery. Sadly, after the crash of its similarly colored sister ship, 9V-SPK, in Taipei, 9V-SPL’s color scheme was changed back to the standard Singapore Airlines livery. Even though this aircraft is more than ten years old, the cabin was still in very good shape. Everything was clean and the seats were as good as new. The Business Class on all Singapore Airlines 747-400s is configured with the famous purple SpaceBed seats in a 2-3-2 configuration on the main deck and the 2-2 confirmation on the upper deck. Personally, these are still some of my favorite Business Class seats, because they offer good legroom, recline and storage.

9V-SPL in the Tropical livery:


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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Craig Murray



9V-SPL in the standard Singapore Airlines livery:


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Photo © Mark H
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Photo © Brian Bartlett



This 747-412 had its maiden flight in January 1997. The aircraft is owned by Singapore Airlines and the first flight in Singapore Airlines colors was also in January 1997. 9V-SPL flew in the Tropical livery from September 1998 until November 2000.


9V-SPL standing at the gate in Frankfurt.


Flight


My boarding pass for SQ26 from SIN to FRA.


As I stepped onboard SQ26, I was welcomed by the in-flight supervisor and a Singapore girl. Both crew members were very friendly and genuine, making me feel very welcome on this long flight. The Singapore girl checked my boarding pass and then took me to my seat on the last row of the main Business Class cabin, 24K. As I sat down, the Singapore girl addressed me by my last name and wished me a pleasant flight.  Smile At my seat, a pillow, a blanket and the menu were already waiting for me.


The Business Class cabin on the main deck of this 747-400.


My seat on SQ26 today: 24K.


As I stored my luggage, the chief steward came over to welcome me onboard. Just in case you were counting, this was the third flight attendant to greet me. He asked me about the reasons for my journey and expressed his sincere condolences. When I told him that I was flying back in two days time, he smiled and told me that I would see him again on the return flight as well.  Smile Personally, I did not mind this at all. In fact, as I would later experience on both of these flights, this chief steward was probably one of the best flight attendants I had ever seen.


A forward view of the Business Class cabin on the main deck.


The cabin filled up very slowly during boarding.


Soon after, one of the Singapore girls came around to serve pre-departure drinks. I chose a fruit cocktail. By now, it was pouring down with rain outside and the crew had to shut the door 2L as the jetway was leaking. This made the already slow boarding process take even longer and soon the scheduled departure time slipped away. Funnily enough, all male Singapore Airlines flight attendants on flights scheduled past midnight on this day would have to wear the new uniform. As we were still at the gate by 00:10, I joked with the chief steward that it was about time he changed his clothes.  Smile


My pre-departure drink on SQ26: a fruit cocktail.


The pouring rain outside as SQ26 was boarding.


The closed door 2L after the jetway was leaking in the heavy rain.


More than 30 minutes after the scheduled time of departure, boarding had finally been completed. As the in-flight supervisor welcomed everyone onboard, one of the Singapore girls came around to take orders for post-departure drinks. I ordered some Champagne.


One of the Singapore girls coming around to order post-departure drinks.


SQ26 was finally pushed back at 00:25, 35 minutes after scheduled departure. As the aircraft finally began to taxi to runway 20C, I made myself comfortable in my SpaceBed. Personally, the old Singapore Airlines long haul Business Class seat is one of my all time favorites. I even prefer them to the new Business Class seats, because the old seats recline into the flat position whereas the new ones have to be made into the bed. The legroom is also more than sufficient and the cushioning is very comfortable.

Overall, the SpaceBeds are a really nice place to be.


My legroom on SQ26 from SIN to FRA.


The seat in front of me on this 747-400.


The load on SQ26 today was 100% in all Classes. How Singapore Airlines managed to achieve this on a normal Sunday evening flight was beyond me, but I was glad that the route was doing very well. Maybe it will even see an A380 upgrade soon.  Smile

As our aircraft neared runway 20C, it became clear that the departure time would slip once again as there was quite a queue of widebodies waiting in line for takeoff.


Runway 2L/20R as SQ26 was pushed back from gate A17.


A Cebu Pacific Air taking off from runway 20C.


Finally, at 00:45, 55 minutes after scheduled departure, SQ26 was finally cleared for takeoff from runway 20C. Slowly, the very heavy 747-400 crawled into position and the PW-4056 engines spooled to life. The takeoff roll began very leisurely as the engines struggled to get this beast moving. The aircraft gradually began to pick up speed, and after what seemed like an eternity, SQ26 lifted off Singapore Changi Airport.


The Singapore Changi terminal complex as SQ26 waited for takeoff clearance.


A view down runway 20C before departure.


The initial climb was very slow as the heavy load of the aircraft made the engines work for their money. Many passengers wasted little time reclining their seats as soon as possible. I would say that more than half the people in the main Business Class cabin chose not to eat dinner but slept instead. In the mean time, there were some beautiful views of Singapore below.


An artistic shot of the numerous boats anchored around Singapore.


Many passengers chose to sleep straight after takeoff.


When the seatbelt sign was finally turned off more than 15 minutes after liftoff, the cabin service started instantly. Firstly, headsets were handed out to all passengers and the in-flight supervisor announced some additional flight information. The eye covers and socks were then distributed, but there was no real amenity kit. If there was any weak link in the superb Singapore Airlines experience, the lack of a desent amenity kit would have to be it.

Not long after, one of the Singapore girls brought my Champaign to my seat.


The Singapore Airlines Business Class headset.


The Business Class eye covers and socks.


My glass of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve.


I now decided to see what the Singapore Airlines IFE system, KrisWorld, had to offer. Even though I like the new system on the SQ A380 and 777-300ER, the ‘old’ KrisWorld on this 747-400 was still impressive. The choice of movies was excellent. However, there was just far too much on offer for this 12 hour flight. The only aspect in which the IFE system did not excel was the size of the screen. While 10.4 inches is not bad, the new 15.4 inch screens are superior.


Welcome to KrisWorld.


One page of the excellent movie selection on this 747-400.


The flight path of SQ26 as it climbed out of SIN.


The chief steward then came around to take orders for dinner. Once again, just as in my previous Singapore Airlines flight, he remembered all orders without writing them down.

“Sorry to disturb you Mr. Globetraveller. May I take your order for supper please.”
“I am torn between the braised beef cheek and the salmon spaghetti. What would recommend? ”
“I would recommend the braised beef. However, if you do not like it, I will get you the spaghetti as well.”
“Alright, I will try the beef then. Thank you”
“Certainly Mr. Globetraveller”

Oh dear, it was like flight SQ195 all over again. Not that I was complaining of course.  Smile


The nice front cover of the menu on my flight to Frankfurt.


The choices for supper after takeoff from Singapore.


The smell of delicious food soon filled the cabin, and after having more than five hours to recover from my indulgence on SQ195, I was actually hungry again.  Smile After a short wait, my supper tray was served. At first, I was a little upset that trays were being used on this long haul flight, but the delicious food would soon make me forget all about the tray.  Smile


My supper tray with the savory note, garlic bread, Diet Coke, Water and white wine.


The savory note was magnificent. The prawns were succulent and fresh, and the honey mustard dressing complimented the avocado tartar perfectly. In addition, the lettuce was crunchy and the tomatoes were sweet and juicy. This was one of the best appetizers I have ever had on an aircraft; I was pleasantly surprised.


The outstanding Tian of avocado tartar with prawns.


The fresh, hot garlic bread accompanying my appetizer.


There was also a constant flow of red and white wine. I had white wine with my starter and then switched to red for my main course. Both wines were excellent. As soon as I finished my appetizer, my plate was cleared and the main course was served. The entire supper service was very smooth and the different courses just seemed to flow into each other. I think this was largely due to the splendid crew.

The main course was on par with the excellent quality that had been set by the appetizer. The beef was juicy and tender, and the red wine sauce was delicious. It was another wonderful dish.


My main course: braised beef cheek in red wine.


While I was finishing my main course, SQ26 was just passing by Penang, where I had started my journey ten hours earlier. Most passengers had now chosen to sleep and only one or two people chose to stay up for the remainder of the meal service. After I finished the main event, my plate was promptly collected.

“Did you enjoy the beef I recommended Mr. Globetraveller?”
“I certainly did, thank you very much.”
“I am glad. Can I get you anything else?”
“Well, I was wondering, do you have anything sweet other than the fruits on the menu?”
“Mmmm. I am sure I can find something especially for you Mr. Globetraveller.”
“Thank you, I would really appreciate it.”


Once again, I was flying over the place my journey started.


The chief steward soon came back to ask me if I wanted to have some cheese before my dessert. I could not refuse. Sure enough, a few seconds later, he came around with the cheese and fruit cart. I chose a variety of cheeses.


My cheese plate with crackers and grapes.


While I was munching away on my cheese, I decided to browse through the hundreds of television programs on KrisWorld. There was just so much to watch, but in the end, I settled on an episode of Top Gear.


My choice of television show as the supper service was coming to an end.


True to his word, the chief steward brought me a piece of cheesecake with grapes after I had finished my cheese. When considering that this dish was not even on the menu, it was well presented and quite tasty.


The small piece of cheesecake was the perfect closure to the meal service.


I was the last passenger to have their tray table cleared. By now, SQ26 was about two hours into the flight. Unfortunately, after eating so much food and drinking a lot of wine, I was extremely tired. In fact, I do not even remember reclining my seat and falling asleep. I was out like a light.

I woke up about an hour later, feeling a little dizzy and confused. Maybe it was the alcohol. At my seat, I found a bottle of Singapore Airlines branded mineral water. As I had to use the toilet, I climbed over the person sitting next to me and headed for the bathroom.


The Singapore Airlines branded water left at my seat.


My SpaceBed in the fully reclined position.


As I was on the way back to my seat, I passed by the well stocked snack bar. Sadly however, I was still full from my big meal before, so I had to give the snacks a pass. I then chatted to the chief steward in the galley about his work on Singapore Airlines. It turned out that he had been working for the airline for a little more than 20 years and he will probably soon become an in-flight supervisor. In my opinion, I think he deserves the promotion. The chief steward also told me that I should select seat 20K on my return flight, as the seat next to me would be the supplementary pilot seat. I thanked him for the recommendation and went back to my seat to sleep.  Smile


The Business class toilet on this Singapore Airlines 747-400.


The well stocked snack bar parked next to door 2L.


The position of SQ26 as I fell back to sleep.


One of the reasons I sit on the right side of the aircraft when I fly from Asia to Europe in the evening, is because the sun rises for more than an hour on from the East. This always makes for some amazing pictures and today was no different. This was the sight I was welcomed by when I woke up more than five hours later.


The first sight of the sun rising in the East.


Soon the entire sky lit up in brilliant fashion. It was a sight to behold.


One of the Singapore girls noticed that I had woken up and she swiftly came over to see if I needed anything. Once again, I was very impressed by the attentiveness of the cabin crew. They were always there when one needed them. As the sun slowly cleared the horizon, the views outside became increasingly amazing.


The outline of the two starboard PW-4056 engines against the rising sun.


The multicolored sky as the sun rose above the horizon.


By now, most other passengers were slowly beginning to wake up and I headed to the bathroom once again. After another little chat with the chief steward, I decided to watch a couple more television shows until breakfast was served.


The stairs heading to the upper deck of this 747-400.


The main deck of the Business Class cabin seven hours into the flight.


The two port side engines over the Caspian Sea.


In the end, I decided to watch the movie ‘Street Kings’. While the film was not particularly entertaining, it lasted until the beginning of the breakfast service.

Firstly, one of the Singapore girls came around to distribute some fresh orange juice. I gladly took a glass and returned to finish my movie. Soon after, the chief steward came to take orders for breakfast. Once again, he remembered all of the orders without writing them down. More often than not, I think omelettes do not taste good in the sky, so I ordered the grilled chicken breast as my main event.


My glass of orange juice at the beginning of the breakfast service.


The breakfast selection before touch-down in Frankfurt am Main.


With a little more than two hours until the expected time of arrival in Frankfurt, the breakfast tray was served. It contained a plate of fresh fruits, still water and some more orange juice. Soon after, the chief steward came around with a basket of breads and pastries. I chose a raisin cinnamon swirl.


The breakfast tray on SQ26.


The fresh fruits were very juicy and sweet. I also liked that they were nicely chilled, because this made them more refreshing in my opinion. The raisin cinnamon swirl was also delicious. It was warmed slightly before it was served, making it especially soft and tasty. It was another flawless start to the meal service.


The chilled fresh fruits on SQ26.


My scrumptious warm raisin cinnamon swirl. I ended up having a second serving.  Smile


Not long after I had finished my fresh fruits, my grilled chicken breast was served by one of the Singapore girls. It was huge. Nevertheless, I was up to the challenge. Just as all the other food I had on SQ26 so far, this meal was top notch. The chicken was tender and moist, and the sautéed mushrooms were very tasty. I also liked the roesti potatoes that accompanied the chicken. I was impressed once again.


The main course of my breakfast: Grilled chicken breast.


With less than one hour until SQ26’s expected arrival at Frankfurt, the breakfast trays were collected and the usual toilet rush occurred. Several Economy Class passengers tried to use the Business Class toilets and the cabin crew had a really hard time trying to tell him that this was not allowed in a nice manner. However, the passengers were persistent and decided to use the bathrooms anyway. The friendly Australian businessman sitting next to me also watched the events unfold in the galley behind us. After a while, he decided to give the flight attendants a hand: he basically told the passengers to piss off.


The never ending blanket of clouds covering Eastern Europe.


The Business class cabin on the main deck as SQ26 was nearing Frankfurt.


At 5:40 German time, 40 minutes before expected arrival, the captain made a very long and informative announcement about Frankfurt and our arrival. It turned out, that we had managed to make up for the long delay in Singapore as SQ26 was expected to land ten minutes early. The cabin was then prepared for landing and headsets, menus and blankets were collected. Thankfully, as we entered German airspace, the weather improved and I could see the land below.


My first glimpse of Germany from above.


A small town situated next to the highway as SQ26 descended into FRA.


By now, more than 11 hours of flight time had passed, but I still felt comfortable in my seat. I could have even stayed on all the way to New York, and maybe even all the way back as well. If the main propose of the ‘Business’ Class is to ensure that businessmen arrive at their destination feeling relaxed and ready for work, then Singapore Airlines excels in achieving just that. I was full of energy, having just been pampered by the fantastic crew for half a day, but I did not really want to leave the aircraft. It was just such a nice place to be.


My seat after more than 11 hours of flying. It was still very comfortable.


As we lost attitude, the speedbrakes were deployed.


The seatbelt sign was then turned on and SQ26 made a series of sharp turns to line up with runway 25R. The cabin crew then came around to make one more final check of the cabin before they returned to their seats.


One of several steep turns as the aircraft lined up with runway 25R.


Hanau Air force Base in the German countryside.


A very symmetrical highway interchange as SQ26 neared Frankfurt.


During the descent, the countryside below slowly began to give way to the cities surrounding Frankfurt. It was not long before the flaps were extended and the landing gear was deployed.


The long 747-400 wing with flaps extended.


The city of Hanau just outside Frankfurt.


It was a beautiful summer’s morning in Germany and I knew that the approach to runway 25R would take me right past Frankfurt’s city center. The views were spectacular.


The first glimpse of the Frankfurt skyline.


The Frankfurt city center from another angle.


The two PW-4056 engines against the Frankfurt skyline in the background.


The final approach into Frankfurt was as smooth as silk with no turbulence whatsoever. In fact, the entire flight had been quite smooth, even though there is often some very choppy air over the Indian subcontinent at this time of the year.


Two British Aerospace 146 aircrafts at the far side of the airport perimeter.


After spending 11 hours and 35 minutes in the air, SQ26 touched down softly on runway 25R at 6:20. As the captain had said earlier, the flight landed 10 minutes ahead of schedule. The reverse thrusters were barely deployed as the 747-400 slowed down to taxiing speed.


The terminal building in FRA as SQ26 was about to touchdown.


Touchdown, as my superb flight comes to an end.


The barely used reverse thrusters on the 747-400.


Singapore Airlines flight 26 landed in the middle of the morning rush hour in Frankfurt and the airport was brimming with activity. Aircraft were landing in close succession and the taxiways were very busy indeed. It was quite a sight.


A Lufthansa 737-500 being pulled to a remote stand.


An Austrian Airlines Airbus A321-100 in the Euro 2008 livery.


A Tarom Airlines 737-300 from Bucharest.


Once the aircraft cleared the runway, it began to make its way back to the terminal at the other end of the airport. As SQ26 taxied along, I was able to witness three landings and one takeoff on runway 25R. There was a lot going on.


The opposite side of the airfield in the brilliant summer weather.


A Lufthansa Airbus A321 landing on runway 25R.


Another Lufthansa aircraft landing on runway 25R. This time, it was an A340-300.


Thankfully, SQ26 managed to taxi through all this controlled chaos swiftly, and within less than 10 minutes, we had arrived at the gate. The doors were opened soon after, and everyone began disembarking the aircraft.


Yet another Lufthansa aircraft landing, this time on runway 25L.


An American Airlines 777 waiting for us to taxi by.


I gathered my belongings and proceeded towards the forward galley. On my way out, I made sure I said goodbye to the delightful crew.

“Thank you for the wonderful flight. The entire product, from the service to the food, was stunning. I am very impressed.”
Chief Steward: “Thank you Mr. Globetraveller, it was our pleasure to make your trip back home as enjoyable as possible.”
In-flight supervisor: “Thank you for choosing Singapore Airlines Mr. Globetraveller. I am glad you were satisfied with the service and I look forward to seeing you back here in two days.”
“I was definitely more than just satisfied. Enjoy your time in Germany.”
Chief Steward: “See you soon. Goodbye.”

I then shook their hands and continued on to the terminal building. For the first time in a long time, I was actually sad to leave an aircraft after the flight.


My neighbor at the gate: a United Airlines 777.


Arrival Airport

Frankfurt am Main International Airport (FRA) is one of the busiest airports in Europe. It handles in excess of 50 million passengers every year, making it the eighth busiest airport in the world.

I always find myself wanting when I arrive at the airport of my destination after departing from Singapore. Today was no different as I walked through the cold, steel corridors in Frankfurt. As many things in Germany, FRA was built with industrious efficiently to carry out the job it was designed for. However, this leaves little room for pleasantries such as plants and decorative art. While I think Frankfurt is still nicer than some of the other European hubs, it just cannot compete with many of the amazing airports in Asia.


One of the many narrow, cold and unwelcoming corridors at FRA.


I now had a little more than an hour to catch my onward train from the Long Distance train station at FRA. Sadly, the inside of the terminal was just as busy as the airfield when SQ26 landed. There were about 10 flights departing in short succession and passengers were running everywhere. I missed Singapore.


Notice the uncovered cables on the ceiling. They have been like this for years.


Thankfully, the lines at passport control were very short and I was outside concourse A within 10 minutes. However, when I arrived at the baggage hall, none of the bags were there yet. Slowly, the other passengers were trickling in, but still the luggage did not arrive. Finally, more than half an hour after SQ26 had pulled up to the gate, the first bags were finally arriving.


The short queue at immigration in FRA.


The luggage information screen in the baggage hall.


When my bag finally came, I only had 15 minutes left to catch my train. I rushed through the arrivals hall and down to the Railway travel center. The queues were massive and I was genuinely happy that I had printed my train ticket before my flight.


The enormous queue all the way out of the Railway Travel Center.


The long walkways connecting the Long distance train station to the airport terminals.


My Intercity Express would leave FRA from Track 4 today.


By the time I had finally reached the long distance train station, my ICE train had already arrived. I think Frankfurt airport excels in the way it is connected to the Deutsche Bahn network. The long and short distance train stations are well signposted and easy to walk to. Furthermore, trains arrive in regular intervals and they travel to every corner of Germany in an efficient manner.


The ICE departure board in the long distance train station.


My train today: ICE 525.


I caught my ICE with just moments to spare and after another one and a half hours on the train, I had finally arrived at my destination.


The inside of my ICE train. It was like a very small premium economy cabin.


The beautiful main train station in Frankfurt am Main.



Overall Impression

Well, after such a spectacular flight, there is little to say. My flight on SQ26 reminded me once again why Singapore Airlines is undoubtedly one of the greatest airlines in the world. It just amazes me how an airline is able to provide such a high quality product in a consistent manner. However, I am not saying that the Singapore Airlines is perfect. For instance, I thought the lack of a proper amenity kit was a bit of a letdown and that the boarding procedure at Changi airport was not handled very well. In addition, the PTV screens could use a little upgrade to make the KrisWorld entertainment system even more amazing. There is always room for improvement, but I find myself having to be exceedingly picky in order to find any major faults in the Singapore Airlines product. After my flight on SQ26, I would recommend flying Singapore Airlines between SIN and FRA without hesitation. There are a lot of good airlines around, but there are less than a handful of great carriers; Singapore Airlines is definitely one of them.


(2.0) Booking & Reservation: 9.0
(1.0) Check-in: 9.5
(1.0) Airline Airport Facilities: 9.5
(0.5) Boarding: 5.0
(2.0) Seat: 9.0
(1.0) Entertainment System: 8.0
(2.0) Crew: 10.0
(2.0) Food and Beverages: 10.0
(0.5) Amenity kits and other freebies: 4.0
(0.5) Arrival: 9.5
(1.0) On-time performance: 9.0

Overall weighted score: 8.94

Thank you for taking the time to read the final part of this trip report. I hope that I will find the time to post the return trip, which was two days later, very soon. As always, any comments and opinions are welcome and much appreciated.

If you liked this report, you may also be interested in my recent six part trip report from Penang to Muscat.

PEN to MCT via KUL and DXB with EK and MH:
1. Penang - Kuala Lumpur, 2. Kuala Lumpur - Dubai, 3. Dubai - Muscat.
MCT to PEN via DXB, SIN and KUL with EK and MH:
1. Muscat - Dubai, 2. Dubai - Singapore - Kuala Lumpur, 3. Kuala Lumpur - Penang
As always, safe flying.

Best regards,
Globetraveller
 
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vivekman2006
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:53 am

Excellent, excellent trip report Globetraveller!!!

After all these years, SQ still manages to deliver the exceptional customer service that it is known for.

- Vivek
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:09 am

Excellent report as usual.SQ is a good airline but some of there routes ie. DXB-SIN or CAI-SIN have there regional planes with terrible seats in J very little choice in food.The only great thing they have on all there flights is the crew.Service on board is top notch.
Are we to expect a tr on your flight back?Hope so.
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
gjunnar
Posts: 171
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:02 am

Definitely one of the best trip reports ever. Very well written indeed. Great pictures too. I'm sorry the trip was for such a sad cause.
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:23 am



Quoting Vivekman2006 (Reply 1):
Excellent, excellent trip report Globetraveller!!!

Thank you Vivekman 2006, I am glad that you enjoyed the report.

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Reply 1):
After all these years, SQ still manages to deliver the exceptional customer service that it is known for.

Yes, they definitely do. I find it very impressive how SQ manages to deliver such excellent service without being patchy like Emirates for example.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 2):
SQ is a good airline but some of there routes ie. DXB-SIN or CAI-SIN have there regional planes with terrible seats in J very little choice in food.

Yes, this is true. I flew the SIN-DXB route not too long ago, and it was really not that great. However, with the introduction of the new A330-300s, this may soon change.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 2):
Are we to expect a tr on your flight back?Hope so.

I hope so too... It might take a little while though.

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 3):
Definitely one of the best trip reports ever.

Thank you for Gjunnar. There are a lot of great trip reports on Airliners.net, so your comment is very kind.

Globetraveller
 
Genius12
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:27 am

A most enjoyable trip report, with some excellent pictures. Thanks.  Smile
 
Qantasistheway
Posts: 278
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:59 am

Thank You for posting the second part of your, as always, great trip report. I too feel the lack of proper amenity kits on SQ and even more so when comparing to QF, BA or VS for example. However this seems to be the only missing link in a chain of near perfection.

Thanks Again!
 
Bentley55
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:35 pm

Excellent Trip Report... Based on your TR, it is obvious that SQ is truly a great airline and among the best in the world. I cant wait for CO to join Star Alliance so that I can fly on them!!

Thanks.
 
buck3y3nut
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:08 pm



Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
I settled on an episode of Top Gear.

Ah... One of my favorite TV shows. Although here in the US, they always air old episodes from 2005. I still watch the re-runs because it's just so awesome...

What a fantastic trip report. I enjoyed part 1 as well as part 2. Thanks for writing & sharing this wonderful trip report.
 
Globetraveller
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:30 pm



Quoting Genius12 (Reply 5):
A most enjoyable trip report, with some excellent pictures.

Thank you Genius12. I am glad you liked it.

Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 6):
However this seems to be the only missing link in a chain of near perfection.

I agree. The amenity kit was the only major fault in the superb SQ package, especially when compared the nice EK amenity kit I received on one of my recent flights.

Quoting Bentley55 (Reply 7):
I cant wait for CO to join Star Alliance so that I can fly on them!!

Hehehe... I see we have an avid CO fan here. I am sure you will enjoy the Singapore Airlines experience.

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 8):
I still watch the re-runs because it's just so awesome...

I see I am not alone. Hehehe... I could watch Top Gear all day.

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 8):
Thanks for writing & sharing this wonderful trip report.

I am happy to hear that you liked it Buck3y3nut.

Globetraveller
 
ba319-131
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:39 pm

Great report and pictures, really good job, thanks.

Despite the seating in Business being the old style, the service and still relative comfort of these seats makes SQ a good choice.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Overall, my experience in the new Silver Kris lounge was very positive. I think the only thing that was missing was some natural light

- Shame it lacks apron views, I always think it's nice to be able to see the outside.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
When I arrived at the security area, I was greeted by three massive queues. As it turned out, there were only three security counters for a 777 to AMS and my 747 to FRA and JFK. I counted more than 50 passengers in each line, and as the security checks were very thorough, progress was very slow. In addition, there were no separate lines for premium passengers like there used to be in Terminal 2. I was unimpressed.

- Wow, quite unlike SIN from my visits and transist through.

Regards

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
nicholaschee
Posts: 225
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:34 am

Great follow up to Part 1!

The SpaceBeds may be dated when compared to the likes of the New Business Class but the high standards of service makes up for it.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):

When I arrived at the security area, I was greeted by three massive queues. As it turned out, there were only three security counters for a 777 to AMS and my 747 to FRA and JFK. I counted more than 50 passengers in each line, and as the security checks were very thorough, progress was very slow. In addition, there were no separate lines for premium passengers like there used to be in Terminal 2. Sad I was unimpressed.

You are not alone. I was pretty appalled to see the long queues when I flew SIN-SYD last month. No priority line of F/J passengers. It took me 35 mins from leaving the SKL to get on board the aircraft, 25 mins was spent queueing!
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:18 am

What a fantastic follow up to Part 1, and a nifty set of photographs to match!

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The aircraft are configured in the traditional three class configuration with 12 First Class, 50 Business Class and 313 Economy Class seats.

It never ceases to amaze me how OLD and DATED this product is already! I never really got to try out the Spacebed because I went from the old-Ultimo, then flirted around with the regional Ultimo-lites... and straight into the JCL on the 77W!

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Firstly, headsets were handed out to all passengers and the in-flight supervisor announced some additional flight information. The eye covers and socks were then distributed, but there was no real amenity kit. If there was any weak link in the superb Singapore Airlines experience, the lack of a desent amenity kit would have to be it.

All I can say is that the amenity packs were removed during the drastic cost cutting measures and never implemented again. I remember those days not only you would receive an amenity pack, but as JCL passengers you would also receive a "gift" towards the end of the flight! Gone are those days of extravagance.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
"Certainly Mr. Globetraveller”

In case you didn't know... As part of their training, the FAs (oops... I mean stewards and stewardesses) are not allowed to use words like "Yes", "Sure", "No worries", "OK", "Ya...", "Yeah sure" when agreeing to a passenger's requests. An endorsed "Certainly Sir / Mdm" is strictly adhered to and if heard otherwise by a senior, some serious reprimands do follow.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
In addition, the PTV screens could use a little upgrade to make the KrisWorld entertainment system even more amazing.

Which is seen on the A380 and 77W already as we speak! And it is a marvel to use, might I add! I think the new Krisworld is much more user-friendly compared to the old "WISEMAN" because I was going through it effortlessly in a very short time.

Why did you choose to sit on the lower deck of the 747? Personally, I prefer the upper deck for that exclusive feel and I somehow feel it is more peaceful up there.

Should we be expecting 2 more reports for the return sectors?

Cheers
Ryan
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:40 am



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 10):
Great report and pictures, really good job, thanks.

Thank you BA319-131, it was my pleasure.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 10):
Shame it lacks apron views, I always think it's nice to be able to see the outside.

I agree. It is a pity that they did not include some nice large apron windows in their design. However, it is a very nice lounge nevertheless.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 10):
Wow, quite unlike SIN from my visits and transist through.



Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 11):
You are not alone. I was pretty appalled to see the long queues when I flew SIN-SYD last month. No priority line of F/J passengers. It took me 35 mins from leaving the SKL to get on board the aircraft, 25 mins was spent queueing!

I was quite surprised too. This never used to happen in the old Terminal, but I hope SQ will do something to rectify this issue soon. I mean, SIN is their home airport after all.

Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 11):
The SpaceBeds may be dated when compared to the likes of the New Business Class but the high standards of service makes up for it.

Well, even if the SpaceBeds are not the newest seats on the block, I still really like them. In my opinion, SQ should strap a new IFE screen to the back of the old seats and I would be happy.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
What a fantastic follow up to Part 1, and a nifty set of photographs to match!

Thank you Ryanair!!!. I am glad you liked it.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
I never really got to try out the Spacebed because I went from the old-Ultimo, then flirted around with the regional Ultimo-lites... and straight into the JCL on the 77W!

Wow, you must have had several years not flying long haul Business Class between the old Ulyimo seats and the brand new ones then. You should give them a try before they disappear, because they are still some of my favourite seats.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
An endorsed "Certainly Sir / Mdm" is strictly adhered to and if heard otherwise by a senior, some serious reprimands do follow.

I am not surprised, because 'certainly' is very polite. However, at the end of the return flight, I sat down with the chief steward and talked about his job while he sat in the supplementary pilot seat next to me during heavy turbulence. At this time, even a senior used every day language.  Smile I guess it just depends how you respond and talk to the crew.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
Why did you choose to sit on the lower deck of the 747? Personally, I prefer the upper deck for that exclusive feel and I somehow feel it is more peaceful up there.

Well, there are two reasons for this. Firstly, since I booked my ticket two days before the flight, only 24K was available on the starboard side of the aircraft. Secondly, I like the views of the engines from this seat.  Smile Nonetheless, on the way back from FRA to SIN I sat in the upper deck.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
Should we be expecting 2 more reports for the return sectors?

I hope so. It might take a little while though.

Globetraveller
 
StefanPAD
Posts: 279
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part

Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:11 am

What an awesome TR and so many pics again. It took me a time to read it, but every minute was a real treat to me.

Do you remember the arrival gate at FRA? You mentioned concourse A, but the corridor with the cables on the ceiling looks like concourse C, which is even more conventional for SQ.

Looking forward to your return flights.

Cheers, Stefan
 
nicholaschee
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:55 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:54 pm



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 13):
I was quite surprised too. This never used to happen in the old Terminal, but I hope SQ will do something to rectify this issue soon. I mean, SIN is their home airport after all.

I sent a "letter of complaint" to CAAS. Not even an automated reply.  Sad

Perhaps they are still waiting for feedback from hundreds of other priority passengers before they decide to take any action.
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:14 pm



Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 14):
What an awesome TR and so many pics again. It took me a time to read it, but every minute was a real treat to me.

Thank you StefanPAD. I agree with you, it takes ages to read. I proof read it once or twice and it felt like an eternity by the I had checked it all.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 14):
Do you remember the arrival gate at FRA? You mentioned concourse A, but the corridor with the cables on the ceiling looks like concourse C, which is even more conventional for SQ.

I do not remember what gate I arrived at in FRA. When did I mention concourse A in FRA? I departed from concourse A in SIN, but I never wrote anything about my arrival gate in FRA. However, looking at the pictures, I agree with you. I must have arrived in concourse C.

Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 15):
I sent a "letter of complaint" to CAAS. Not even an automated reply.

Mmmm... This sounds very odd for Singapore standards. Maybe they did not receive it. I am going to be flying though Singapore on a MAN-SIN-PEN run in September, so maybe I can deliver your message for you.  Smile

Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 15):
Perhaps they are still waiting for feedback from hundreds of other priority passengers before they decide to take any action.

Well, if it happens to me again, I assure you that I will be one of those passengers complaining.

Globetraveller
 
StefanPAD
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:15 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:56 pm



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 16):
When did I mention concourse A in FRA? I departed from concourse A in SIN, but I never wrote anything about my arrival gate in FRA.



Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Thankfully, the lines at passport control were very short and I was outside concourse A within 10 minutes

Never mind  Wink
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:18 am



Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Thankfully, the lines at passport control were very short and I was outside concourse A within 10 minutes.



Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 17):
Never mind

Ooops, I did not see that. I told you these trip reports are just too long.  Smile Thank you for spotting that though; it must have been a spelling/typing mistake.

Globetraveller
 
SASDC8
Posts: 530
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:31 pm

Thank you so much for two superb reports  Smile Great photography and an enjoyable read as well Big grin

SQ really seems fantastic except from the lack of an amenity kit, which I think is totally unforgiving.

Food and Service SQ style seems truly exceptional Big grin

Cheers
Stein
2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
 
KFly
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun May 23, 2004 8:07 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:54 pm

Excellent trip report, I thorough enjoyed it.

To those who kept harping about the lack of amenity kit on SQ J class, seriously, if you're a frequent flyer, how many of those kits do you want/need? I have often see unused kits left behind on the seats after a SQ flight.

Anything you want in the kit is readily available in the J class lavatory or just ask the FAs. Unless you're a amenity kit collector, who must have an amenity kit on every flight you take, then I have nothing more to say Big grin

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 19):
SQ really seems fantastic except from the lack of an amenity kit, which I think is totally unforgiving.

K
Yes, I love to have some warm nuts.
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:03 pm



Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 19):
Great photography and an enjoyable read as well

Thank you very much SASDC8. I am pleased to know you liked it.

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 19):
SQ really seems fantastic except from the lack of an amenity kit, which I think is totally unforgiving.

While I don't think it is unforgiving, it is a little dissapointing. Even a small amenity kit would have been sufficient, but leaving it out altogether seems a little unlike the Singapore Airlines experience.

Quoting KFly (Reply 20):
Excellent trip report, I thorough enjoyed it.

Thank you KFly.

Quoting KFly (Reply 20):
To those who kept harping about the lack of amenity kit on SQ J class, seriously, if you're a frequent flyer, how many of those kits do you want/need?

While this is true, there are some people who are not frequent flyers and who might want the amenity kit. We all know that Singapore Airlines is often not the cheapest airline out there, so they should really provide a service that cheaper airlines also provide. This is especially true if you have a look at my amenity kit on my recent flight between KUL and DXB on Emirates in Business. Even though the flight was only 6 hours, the amenity kit was superb. The trip report can be found here.

Globetraveller
 
Xx787xX
Posts: 43
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:22 pm

Great Report, is it just me or does all airplane food have shrimp in it. Big grin
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11621
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:21 pm

A marvellous trip report GlobeTraveller and wonderful to read !

Warm Kudos on your scriptural efforts !
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
Milesdependent
Posts: 626
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2001 5:27 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:14 pm

Wow. One of the best and most comprehensive reports I've read on here in months. Congratulations - what a wonderful report.

I did this exact flight about 4 weeks before you and it brought back many great memories. I was on the upper deck exit row. Unfortunately having just flown up from SYD, I was exhausted and slept the entire flight.

I like to consider myself a pretty experienced traveller. Have flown around 700k miles through around 150 airports (40 of the top 50 airports in the world at last count) in dozens of countries. But..... FRA confused the hell outta me. I got completely lost when I landed there, and wound up entirely in the wrong section. What a disaster. Just as well my bag was through-checked as I didn't end up anywhere near the baggage hall....
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:32 pm



Quoting Xx787xX (Reply 22):
Great Report, is it just me or does all airplane food have shrimp in it.

Thank you Xx787xX. It seems that a lot of airline food has shrimp, I agree.

Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 23):
A marvellous trip report GlobeTraveller and wonderful to read !

Thank you Singapore_Air. It is good to know that you enjoyed it.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 24):
Wow. One of the best and most comprehensive reports I've read on here in months. Congratulations - what a wonderful report.

There are a lot of great TRs on Airlines.net, so thank you for this generous comment.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 24):
I did this exact flight about 4 weeks before you and it brought back many great memories. I was on the upper deck exit row.

Wow, its a small world. I guess you had one of the best seats in the house! I also usually prefer the upper deck, which is why I sat in seat 20K on the return journey.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 24):
But..... FRA confused the hell outta me. I got completely lost when I landed there, and wound up entirely in the wrong section.

I agree, Frankfurt has an awful lot of little corners and the layout is quite confusing. In addition, SQ26 arrives in a weird Gate as it soon goes onwards to New York. Usually, if you arrive at one of the main gates, like B24 for example, then it is much easier.

Globetraveller
 
nicholaschee
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:55 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:41 am



Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 15):
I sent a "letter of complaint" to CAAS. Not even an automated reply. Sad

Perhaps they are still waiting for feedback from hundreds of other priority passengers before they decide to take any action.



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 16):
Mmmm... This sounds very odd for Singapore standards. Maybe they did not receive it. I am going to be flying though Singapore on a MAN-SIN-PEN run in September, so maybe I can deliver your message for you. Smile

Just an update.

Finally got a reply from CAAS after a long wait. In the reply, it was said that the airline should be the one making arrangments for a priority line. Some changes will also be implemented soon to improve the flow of passengers clearing security.
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
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RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:04 pm



Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 26):
Just an update.

Finally got a reply from CAAS after a long wait. In the reply, it was said that the airline should be the one making arrangments for a priority line. Some changes will also be implemented soon to improve the flow of passengers clearing security.

As usual, everyone is blaming someone else. However, if this is the case, I wonder why Singapore Airlines has not managed to get its act together in their sparkling new terminal. In my opinion, this is a step in the wrong direction compared to Terminal 2. Well, like I said before, I will see how things are going soon when I fly through SIN again in early September with SQ.

Thanks for the update though.  Smile

Globetraveller
 
LH431
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:29 am

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:59 pm



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
I could watch Top Gear all day.

Absolutely! Top gear is very cool and entertaining.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
All I can say is that the amenity packs were removed during the drastic cost cutting measures and never implemented again. I remember those days not only you would receive an amenity pack, but as JCL passengers you would also receive a "gift" towards the end of the flight! Gone are those days of extravagance.

Does somebody know if they changed their minds while introducing "Travel in a new light" on 380/7W regarding those amenity kits? Or is it the widest seat in Biz Class, the biggest show in the sky and still socks&eye mask only?  Smile

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 25):
I agree, Frankfurt has an awful lot of little corners and the layout is quite confusing. In addition, SQ26 arrives in a weird Gate as it soon goes onwards to New York. Usually, if you arrive at one of the main gates, like B24 for example, then it is much easier.

One of the problems are the non-stops renovations going on in the T1 in Frankfurt in my opinion. Every time there is something under construcion. With alot of (stupid) security rules need to be implemented it is a zoo for years!
There is a better way to fly
 
intothinair
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 3:05 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part

Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:45 am

Congratulations, another excellent trip report. I must say, the pictures were also very good

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Some of the contemporary art in Terminal 3 at SIN.

Impressive

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The massive and empty immigration hall in Terminal 3.

Now that is what I call empty, brings back memories of KLIA...

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The brilliant combination of great metal architecture with soft wooden colors and flora to decorate the areas.

Beautiful

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The neat new ‘wave sensitive’ toilet flushing system.

Haha, I can only imagine how someone came up with this idea, nice touch but isn't this just a bit over the top.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
When I arrived at the security area, I was greeted by three massive queues. As it turned out, there were only three security counters for a 777 to AMS and my 747 to FRA and JFK. I counted more than 50 passengers in each line, and as the security checks were very thorough, progress was very slow. In addition, there were no separate lines for premium passengers like there used to be in Terminal 2.

This looks like a definite letdown, unusual for SIN standards.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The outstanding Tian of avocado tartar with prawns

Now that looks delicious

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
My main course: braised beef cheek in red wine.

That also

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The small piece of cheesecake was the perfect closure to the meal service.

The shape of it looks like it could have been taken from the economy class dessert, especially as you said it was not on the menu, just a thought.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
One of the reasons I sit on the right side of the aircraft when I fly from Asia to Europe in the evening, is because the sun rises for more than an hour on from the East. This always makes for some amazing pictures and today was no different. This was the sight I was welcomed by when I woke up more than five hours later.

This is the precise reason why every single time I fly back from Asia to Europe I sit on the right side of the plane, in fact ever since I moved to Asia in 1999, I have never sat on the left side of the aeroplane on a long haul flight to Europe.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The outline of the two starboard PW-4056 engines against the rising sun.

Beautiful picture

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The main course of my breakfast: Grilled chicken breast.

Interesting choice for breakfast, looks delicious

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
After a while, he decided to give the flight attendants a hand: he basically told the passengers to piss off.

haha, nice one

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Singapore Airlines flight 26 landed in the middle of the morning rush hour in Frankfurt and the airport was brimming with activity. Aircraft were landing in close succession and the taxiways were very busy indeed. It was quite a sight.

Typical Monday morning rush hour.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Thankfully, the lines at passport control were very short and I was outside concourse A within 10 minutes.

Yes, with an EU passport I have never had to wait more than 10 minutes at FRA passport control, one of the brighter sides of FRA airport.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Finally, more than half an hour after SQ26 had pulled up to the gate, the first bags were finally arriving.

Typical for FRA

regards, intothinair
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:36 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:03 am



Quoting LH431 (Reply 28):
Does somebody know if they changed their minds while introducing "Travel in a new light" on 380/7W regarding those amenity kits? Or is it the widest seat in Biz Class, the biggest show in the sky and still socks&eye mask only?

I agree with you. SQ charge a premium for the Business Class on the 77W and A380 and I would have thought they would have reintroduced the amenity kits for this product. Then again SQ is, like all airlines (other than Alitalia  Smile) just a business.

Quoting LH431 (Reply 28):
One of the problems are the non-stops renovations going on in the T1 in Frankfurt in my opinion. Every time there is something under construcion. With alot of (stupid) security rules need to be implemented it is a zoo for years!

This is again true. There always seems to be construction at FRA in both Terminals. I wonder if they will ever really finish it, but I guess at least it is always different everytime one arrives.

Quoting Intothinair (Reply 29):
Congratulations, another excellent trip report. I must say, the pictures were also very good

Thank you Intothinair. I am glad the trip report meets your high standards!

Quoting Intothinair (Reply 29):
Now that is what I call empty, brings back memories of KLIA...

Hehehe... Very true... However, it is a lot nicer than KLIA. Trust me, I have been there four times now and I still look forward to the Terminal every time!

Quoting Intothinair (Reply 29):
The shape of it looks like it could have been taken from the economy class dessert, especially as you said it was not on the menu, just a thought.

I think it was taken from the Economy Class desert, but I don't really mind. It tasted good and it was nicely presented, which is all that really matters to me.  Smile

Globetraveller
 
ronerone
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:25 pm

Ok. This is my 3rd or 4th time reading this TR  Smile

Your pictures are perfection my friend! And so it your writing style. Well done sir!

Regards,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:24 am



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 30):
agree with you. SQ charge a premium for the Business Class on the 77W and A380 and I would have thought they would have reintroduced the amenity kits for this product. Then again SQ is, like all airlines (other than Alitalia ) just a business.

From what I know, SQ deliberated long and hard about this (Numerous papers were written to management and surveys were conducted) and n the end they decided against it.

The long and short of it is most frequent travellers don't care for amenity kits. Up in First where they give those Ferragamo amenity kits, cabin crew and cleaning staff regularly find the bottles of perfume and lotions thrown on the floor, untouched. So they didn't introduce those kits into JCL because

Everything you need is stocked in the lavatories anyway - Ensures you use only what you need and is much less wasteful than giving you a symphony of toiletries where you only the toothbrush.

One thing that SQ should have done long ago was to change the suppliers they use for the toothbrush, toothpaste and shavers. The shavers were lethal and would ensure about 10 scars on your face after using them! I'm quite sure they came from some cheap Chinese factory. Thankfully though, they're changed them recently and even the YCL toothbrush and shaver is quite flash.
 
Globetraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 353
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:36 pm

RE: Singapore Airlines Business: PEN-SIN-FRA (Part 2)

Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:02 pm



Quoting Ronerone (Reply 31):
Ok. This is my 3rd or 4th time reading this TR

Wow! That is probably more times than I have read my own trip report!!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 31):
Your pictures are perfection my friend! And so it your writing style. Well done sir!

Thank you so much Roni. You are the TR expert, so this means a lot coming from you.

The return trip is now finally up and it can be found here.

Globetraveller

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