Having been wanting to visit the famous Angkor Wat for a long time but held back due to the ridiculously high airfares for such a short flight, it was a surprise when Silkair had a very enticing airfare promotion a couple pf months back of just S$176 return inclusive of taxes to Siem Reap from Singapore. Booked the tickets immediately for me and my friend as the price was even cheaper than Jetstar! Who says budget airlines always offer the lowest prices. It pays to shop around. As it was my friend's birthday, I tried my luck and called Silkair's reservation office to order a birthday cake and what a pleasant surprise we had!more details in my report.
20 January 2010
Singapore (SIN) - Danang (DAD) - Siem Reap (REP)
Silkair operates most of its Siem Reap flights as a 3 sector flight, either non-stop or via Danang/Phnom Penh. This flight would be SIN
. I performed the online check-in before the flight and was successful in obtaining a window and aisle seat for both of us, praying the middle seat will be left empty as the flight was not full. We arrived at Changi Terminal 2 about 2 hrs before the flight and proceeded to the check-in desks to get our boarding passes as well as checked-in our luggage. There were no queues as it was non-peak during that time. Terminal 2 currently is more of a Silkair land as Silkair has taken over quite a number of regional flights from SQ
FID at Terminal 2. Mostly regional flights operated by MI
codeshared with SQ
Through the efficient immigration and into Terminal 2 transit hall to get a quick bite. Our gate was F32 and the plane had just arrived from Phuket and was being serviced. There were more MI
planes and SQ
planes parked at the gates!
Our A320 being serviced.
An announcement was made about half an hour before the STD for passengers to proceed to the gate for immediate boarding. However when we reached the gate, boarding had not begun and will only commence 10 minutes later!! Changi is a bit "too efficient" in this aspect of boarding passengers.
Our A320 (9V-SLF) with another smaller sister A319 being towed to the gate.
Boarding was orderly and done by row numbers from the rear of the plane. As the load was light, boarding was finished very quickly. The Silkair girls seemed to be in high spirits as they welcomed all passengers onboard during the boarding process. Proceeded to our seats and I was surprised with the generous seat pitch!! The legroom was more than sufficient for a flight of this length and my 180cm frame was definitely very comfortable in it.
Generous seat pitch. Supposed to be 32" but felt more like 33".
At the gate.
Boarding was completed very quickly and the crew came down the aisle offering newspapers and immigration forms. They also confirmed that a birthday cake was loaded for my friend. However no hot towels were given out (I do miss the SQ
hot towels now..). The flight time to Danang was announced by the captain to be 2hr20min. The purser, Felicia, then made the welcome announcement as well as introducing the rest of the crew members. There were a total of 6 cabin crew on the A320, 2(including purser) serving in business class and 4 serving in economy. Safety video was then shown on the overhead drop-down LCD
Safety video being shown. It was very similar to the old SQ
We were then pushed back and had a very quick taxi to Rwy02C for takeoff. Wow, the pilot was really rushing as we basically gunned down the taxiway!
Taxi to the runway
Turning onto the runway and we were off!
Climbing to 38000ft.
Lets have a look at the seat pocket contents. We have the inflight magazine (Silkwinds), duty-free (Skyshop) and the safety card.
The cabin crew then disappeared into the galley to prepare the meals. The overhead LCD
screens then came down to show the only inflight entertainment, silent TV
shows consisting of Tom&Jerry cartoons and Just for Laughs comedies. Lunch would be served on our flight. About half hour after takeoff, the crew came down the aisle with 2 meal carts. The choices for lunch were either chichken curry with rice or fish with pasta in tomato based sauce. There was also a fruit appetizer and a cup of water on the tray. Drinks, coffee/tea were served with the meal. Initially I chose the chicken while my friend went for the fish. The chicken curry was very good but the fish option was disappointing. My friend then requested for an extra chicken curry casserole and was given one my the crew, who also cheekily remarked that the extra casserole was my friend's birthday present, lol.
Meal service with silent TV
programmes shown on the overhead screens.
The awful fish with pasta
and the very good chicken curry with rice. I had a white wine to go along. Wines were served in small bottles.
Cruising at 38000ft
Lunch service was completed within half an hour and all meal trays were then collected, afterwhich duty free sales were offered. I bought a A320 diecast model and also got 2 packs of playing cards as souvenir. The crew then retreated back into their galley for their break though one can request for drinks by pressing the call button.
Now for the pleasant surprise. Just before we start our descend into Danang, all the crew including the purser approached our row. The purser wished my friend a happy birthday and then offered the crew to sing a happy birthday song for him! Following that, all 6 crew really did sang "Happy Birthday" and wished my friend a great birthday!! Wow, you would never see that happening on SQ
!!! The birthday cake was then presented to my friend and 2nd surprise, the cake was a 15cm diameter blackforest cake! It was much bigger than the birthday cakes SQ
give out onboard! 3rd surprise, one of the crew went back to the galley and returned with 2 cups of specially prepared cocktails, which was sort of a pineapple juice with cherry syrup and a cherry in it. We never expected all these on Silkair!! Way to go, Silkair! The purser then offered to pack the cake for us and would hand it to us when we reached Siem Reap.
My friend's birthday cake, compliments of Silkair!
Landing into Danang. Weather was bad. Interestingly, the post-landing welcome announcement would be in the local language of the arrival city followed by English.
Taxiing to the gate. We were the only aircraft at the airport.
All transit passengers were required to stay onboard while those whose final destination was Danang disembarked via stairs and bussed to the terminal. The crew then did a headcount of the remaining passengers after which a couple of cleaners boarded the aircraft to clean and dispose of the trash. No catering was done at the airport.
Cabin during the transit stop.
Another view of the generous seat pitch.
A Jetstar Pacific B737-400 arrived soon after and parked beside us.
Followed by the arrival of an VN
A330-200. Wow, never did I expect a
A330 flying into Danang! Must be peak hour at the airport with 3 arrival flights! Lol.
The transit stop was 45min and soon a new batch of passengers started boarding.
The flight filled up quite significantly but luckily our middle seat remained empty. Interestingly there were quite a number of businessmen in suits boarding in Danang and seated in Business Class. Silkair also had rights to fly passengers from Danang to Siem Reap, which might also explain the higher pax load on this sector. Same welcome announcements as usual and flight time to Siem Reap was approximately 1hr.
No push back was needed. We just taxied right out from our stand. A new terminal is currently being constructed.
Taxiing to the runway. We took off in the opposite direction from landing.
Climbing to our cruising altitude of 35000ft.
On this short sector, the same set of crew would be serving a cold refreshment consisting of a jackfruit danish from a basket and a pre-cupped orange juice. No hot drinks were offered.
Cold refreshment service
Jackfruit danish and orange juice.
Service was very efficient and completed within 15min. Me and my friend then proceeded to the galley to have our photos taken with the crew. All of them were more than willing to obliged. They even got their purser to come up from business class to have the photos taken together. What a great set of crew!
Not long after, we started our descent into Siem Reap.
The weather in Siem Reap was also not very good due to a low depression over the South China Sea. In fact according to the locals, it was the first time it rained in the month as it was supposed to be the dry season.
Touchdown!! Welcome to Siem Reap!
Similarly, the welcome was announced in the local Khmer language followed by English. At Siem Reap, all transit passengers to Singapore are required to disembark due to security reasons. We were bussed to the arrival terminal where it was a mess as all passengers have to show their boarding passes to the authorities to filter out the transit passengers. The transit pax would then be guided to the departure hall.
This was a great flight with a superb set of crew. It was a refreshing change from the normal SQ
flights with the more relaxed attitudes of the crew. The birthday song choir was also definitely unexpected! Not to mention the creamy blackforest birthday cake! What a wonderful way to fly!! My first Silkair flight and it greatly surpassed my expectations!
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81