planesjoey
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:38 pm

To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:12 am



Hey everyone!

Welcome to my 7th trip report on Airliners.net. I am a big tennis fan and had the opportunity to visit Melbourne Park for the first time, my second Grand Slam tournament after Wimbledon. Enjoy!

Introduction

The planning for this trip started in mid-2010. I realised that I still had a one-way Business Class ticket that had to be used by Feb 2011. This presented an opportunity for me to travel to Melbourne to watch the Australian Open! One problem still remained though - the departure leg. All three SQ flights to Melbourne for that weekend were sold out in J and Y!

I considered a few airlines, Emirates J, Qantas Premium Economy, BA WTP and even AirAsia X, but settled on Jetstar due to the price. The Jetstar flight was a mere S$1100 (US$862) one-way and would earn me Qantas status credits at the same level as Qantas Business Class. I also have been wanting to try out the Qantas Business Lounge in Singapore.

On the day of the departure at about 5pm, just as I was leaving my house for Changi Airport, I got a text from Jetstar. The flight that was supposed to leave at 2050 was delayed. The new scheduled departure time was 0300.



This would mean I would miss the morning session of the Australian Open!!!

Departure Airport

In the 16 short years of my life I have never been to Changi Airport at such an ungodly hour of the morning. I arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 0130 for the 0300 flight.



Sounds of hacking and drilling resounded off the walls of Terminal One as construction was in full swing. I proceeded to the departure level.





New interior



This picture reminds me of CDG T1



The Jetstar check-in desks are in the section of Terminal 1 that hasn't been renovated yet - the place for the riff-raff. While Cathay, Qantas and Emirates all enjoy the sparking new section.



Only one check-in counter is open. All the poles and tape have been removed. The monitor above the counter is blank.
A tired CIAS agent mans the counter.

The check-in process is quick and efficient. The sequence number on my boarding pass is 292 (out of 303 pax). Apparently most of the people on the flight didn't get the memo. The check-in agent informed me that the Qantas Lounge was closed and that we were to proceed to the Skyview Lounge. Shucks.



Immigration was fast thanks to the automated clearance. Once through Immigration, I proceeded to the Skyview Lounge.





















The lounge is full. People are sleeping everywhere and anywhere. The lady manning the counter is MIA, so I walk in and sit down. The cleaner tells me to show her my boarding pass. Or at least thats as much as I guessed from her hand signals. She tells me to wait in the lounge while she calls the staff.

The lounge is devoid of any food except for some nuts. Drinks are available, but the selection is limited. At that point I probably would have given an arm and a leg to be on SQ. Its 2am and most of the people in the lounge are starting to leave eager to board early in the hope that the flight would leave early.

Just as I am about to leave, the lounge attendant appears. I give her my boarding pass and she looks and giggles. She takes down the details and I promptly leave.





Terminal 1 starting to look like Terminal 3



I arrived at the gate, which is literally at the opposite end of the Terminal. At the gate there is a long line at security. Red eyes, flakes of dried saliva at the corners of their mouths, crumpled clothes, wailing children. This was going to be a long wait.

After proceeding through security, boarding is called for passengers seated in the last few rows and StarClass passengers. Manners were thrown out the window. There was gnashing of teeth and wailing.



I managed to get through. Eventually.



At the fork in the aerobridge, I take the one on the left and start to pray that the worst is over.



Flight
Route: Singapore (SIN) – Melbourne-Tullamarine (MEL)
Flight: JQ8
Carrier: Jetstar (JQ)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200 (332)
Scheduled Flying Time: 6h 55m
Scheduled Departure Time (actual): 2050 (0326+1)
Scheduled Arrival Time (actual): 0655+1 (1308+1)
Seat: 3J (StarClass)

I was greeted by the purser and shown to my seat.



Legroom

The seats weren't flash, but after the events of the past few hours, I wasn't expecting much.



Cabin





Seat controls





There were chilled bottles of water at everyone's seat along with the amenity kit pack and the headphones.





The amenity kits greatly exceeded my expectations. The contents were much better that those on SQ. In fact, SQ doesn't give amenity kits to Business passengers - just socks and eyeshades!



Takeoff



Seat recline



Sleeptime? Sadly, no. The crew seemed to have other things in mind. They woke up passengers and asked them if they wanted to eat!!!



Although, the scrambled eggs were delicious! After the meals were cleared I drifted into a deep sleep, roughly at 4 am!

The crew turned on the lights about 2.5 hours prior to landing to serve lunch. Passengers had barely time to wake up before the crew were eagerly leaning over them asking them if they wanted the chicken or the beef.

I asked for the beef with pasta, and once again, the food didn't disappoint.






Head rests and reading lights


IFE


Adelaide from FL300


PSU

At about 1230 Melbourne time, the pilot came on the PA system and said that we would be beginning our descent into Melbourne shortly.



Cabin shortly before descent





The flight touched terra firma at 1308 local time. We taxied to the gate and disembarked shortly after.







Arrival Airport

Immigration was fast and efficient. There were only a handful of flights arriving at that time. I proceeded to the baggage claim hall where there was a crowd of Jetstar passengers looking lost. None of the monitors had shown a Jetstar flight, I presume due to the delay. After about 10 minutes of waiting around, there was an announcement over the PA system telling passengers to proceed to carousel 5. It was another 20 minutes before the bags were out.

Rating
Booking System & Call Centre 8/10
Check-in 9/10
Lounge (if applicable) 5/10
Boarding 5/10
Flight Punctuality 0/10
Aircraft 7/10
Product 8/10
Service 8/10
Food 9/10
IFE (if applicable) 3/5
Amenities 5/5
-------------------------------------------------------------
Total Score 67%

Destination

I've been to Melbourne many times and I love the city. The trams make Melbourne unique and the city is clean and green. It's a short ride on the tram from my hotel to Melbourne Park, and I arrive in time for the evening session.

The first match I watched was Samantha Stosur, the local Australian favourite and Petra Kvitova


Kvitova

Kvitova defeated Stosur in straight sets in front of a stunned home crowd. The match immediately following this was Bernard Tomic verses Rafael Nadal, the world number one. Bernard Tomic, an Australian was cheered on by the crowd. He played excellently but lost to the World number one in straight sets.


Nadal and Tomic

On the second day, I watched the eventual Chinese finalist, Li Na versus Victoria Azarenka and the former world number one, winner of 16 Grand Slam singles titles, Roger Federer versus Tommy Robredo.



In the evening session, I witnessed a major upset, Maria Sharapova getting knocked out by Andrea Petkovic. This was followed by an exciting match between Andy Roddick and Stanislas Wawrinka.

After an extremely exhausting and tiring weekend of tennis and Jetstar, I was looking forward to the highlight of my trip, the return flight on SQ Business Class. I was also excited to be flying the Boeing 747-400. SQ is in the process of retiring the classic aircraft, which now only operates flights between Singapore and New York (JFK) via Frankfurt. The 747 would be withdrawn from the Melbourne route on the 30th of January 2011.

Departure Airport
Melbourne Airport is roughly 30 minutes by taxi from the CBD. The airport is aging and is in the process of being upgraded. The taxi drops me off outside the airport and I walk into the terminal.









I check-in at the First Class counter. The ground staff checks me in quickly and hands me the departure card, express card and the boarding pass. I am reminded that even though I am a Business Class passengers, I am not allowed to go to the Silver Kris Lounge. UNACCOMPANIED PASSENGERS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE SKL OR ANY LOUNGE IN MELBOURNE ACCORDING TO VICTORIA LAW DUE TO THE AVAILABILITY OF ALCOHOL IN THE LOUNGE. NO COMPENSATION WAS OFFERED BY SQ. I have flown out of Melbourne as an unaccompanied minor and have been very irritated by this policy many times. So if you're planning to send you're child alone do note that they will have to wander around the terminal aimlessly for a while.





Security and immigration was fast and efficient thanks to the express card. The immigration was extremely friendly and I was through in less than 3 minutes.







The newer part of Melbourne Terminal 2



SKL at the lower level.

Having nothing to do, I went to the gate and talked to the ground staff for a while. As an accompanied minor, I was allowed to board first, with the wheelchair passengers as well as with the passengers requiring assistance.



The Boeing 747 in the Star Alliance livery. I simply love Boeing 747's perhaps it is because my first flight when I was 6 weeks old was on an SQ 747 to London! But there is still something very exciting about flying the Queen of the Skies that I don't feel when flying the A380 or any of the other boring twinjets for that matter. The elegance. The distinct upper deck and nose cone. To me, it still is one of the most beautiful planes in the sky. This would be my 4th time flying the 747 on SQ the other 3 times being in 1995 - SQ Raffles Class to London; 2000 - SQ First Class to Jakarta; 2006 - SQ Raffles Class to Paris CDG.









The distinct smell of jet fuel hits me as I walk closer to the aircraft



Flight
Route: Melbourne-Tullamarine (MEL) – Singapore (SIN)
Flight: SQ228
Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400 (744)
Scheduled Flying Time: 6h 55m
Scheduled Departure Time (actual): 1645 (1642)
Scheduled Arrival Time (actual): 2140 (2126)
Seat: 18K (Business Class)

The In-Flight Supervisor greeted me at door 2L (Door 1L was not being used as there was only 1 aerobridge) and showed me upstairs.





The upper deck of the 744, completely empty. I love the curvature of the roof!




Legroom


Storage bins by the side


PSU


Seat controls and IFE controls


Magazines and other stuff


Flight Map


Reflection in the glass

Gradually the flight filled up. The upper deck was about 80% full. The crew began serving pre-takeoff drinks and distributing newspapers


A small reminder of Raffles Class!


OH MY! Did they actually use the word 'gay' on the front page of a Singaporean newspaper!!!


Luggage bins


The older version of the safety video rolled


We pushed back early and were on our way!



Within minutes, the aircraft taxied onto the active. The low rumble of the engines turned into a scream as the 747 hurtled down the runway. After about 50 seconds, the aircraft rotated and gently left the ground.







The crew stuffed my socks and eyeshades into the holder, which broke as she did.










Footrest raised






Post-takeoff drinks and snacks


Antipasto




Garlic bread


Main course - pork




The other option - chicken rice


Dessert


Upper deck, after the meal

In desperate need of sleep, I set the seat to recline fully. Many people have complained about the "SpaceBed" comparing it to sleeping on a slide. I find it more comfortable when the seat isn't fully flat. Nevertheless, I drift to sleep comfortably.

The cabin lights were turned on in time for a light snack. The crew came around distributing hot towels. I chose the roti prata, a local Singaporean delicacy eaten with curry.





The prata by no means could compare to the real thing but it was a nice touch.




IFE system


side compartment


headrest







At about 2100 Singapore time, the pilot came on the PA system and announced that we would be commencing our descent.

15 minutes later the glimmering lights of the Indonesian island of Batam, south of Singapore came into view.





The aircraft skirted along the east coast of Singapore, with the Singaporean CBD coming into view on the port side. The aircraft gently descended and touched the runway 02R. The aircraft taxied to the gate where I disembarked quickly stealing a quick glance at one of the most distinct and beautiful aircraft of all time.



I made it through immigration quickly and went to collect my bag, which came out quickly.





Rating
Booking System & Call Centre 9/10
Check-in 9/10
Lounge (if applicable) 010
Boarding 8/10
Flight Punctuality 10/10
Aircraft 9/10
Product 7/10
Service 8/10
Food 7/10
IFE (if applicable) 4/5
Amenities 3/5
-------------------------------------------------------------
Total Score 74%

Thanks for reading!!
Have a look at some of my other trip reports:
1. MLE-SIN in SQ Business
2. To Rome in SQ Business and LH
3. The Great Australian Trip Part 1 - SQ
4. The iPhone Trip Report
5. Zurich-Singapore SQ Business
6. Singapore-Bangkok CX Business

Cheers,
Joel
Aircraft flown: 313,319,320,321,332,333,343,345,380,717,732,733,734,737,73H,743,744,762,763,772,773,77W,AB4,
 
ojas
Posts: 1190
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:54 pm

I enjoyed your well constructed TR,

Quoting planesjoey (Thread starter):
I chose the roti prata, a local Singaporean delicacy eaten with curry.

Roti/Paratha and curry is an Indian delicacy, not Singaporean.

Thanks for sharing.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
CXB77L
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:18 pm

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:07 pm

It's a shame to hear that you weren't allowed in the lounge, but that's hardly SQ's fault, is it? You gave them 0/10 for lounge, and took that into account in your overall score of 74%. Should've been 74/90, not 74/100.

It's a very nice trip report, and I'm glad you got the opportunity to fly on the upper deck of an SQ 744 before they're phased out. It's a shame that SQ never upgraded their 744 interior to current 77W/A380 standards. Upper deck J with the current seats would mean a very private 1-1 layout.
Boeing 777 fanboy
 
planemad1
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:01 am

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:40 pm

I love those Jetstar eyeshades!
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1772
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:07 pm

It is great to see more of these reports, going beyond the trip reports. I am quite envious right now that you got to fly the SQ 744 Star Alliance. That Jetstar Amenity kit is quite nice. It is a pity you were not able to access the Silver Kris Lounge. I flew SQ in 1988 and 2000, and definitely look forward to flying them again in the not so distant future. Thanks for sharing
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
jmy007
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 2:18 am

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:31 pm

Great report!

Quoting ojas (Reply 1):
Roti/Paratha and curry is an Indian delicacy, not Singaporean.

Thanks for sharing.

The menu pictured gave the impression that it is Singaporean delicacy.
Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
 
sq_ek_freak
Posts: 1180
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 4:48 pm

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:03 pm

Quoting ojas (Reply 1):
Roti/Paratha and curry is an Indian delicacy, not Singaporean.

It is actually a Singaporean delicacy, very heavily inspired by Indian cuisine (no doubt because of the large population of Indians in Singapore). Notice that its Prata, not Paratha - a local customization. There are a few differences in taste of the dish as well.
Keep Discovering
 
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kurt
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:04 am

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:36 pm

Great report!

Did you get an explanation regarding your 6-hour delay ex-SIN? I kind of like the pre-renovation look of Terminal 1 - it's sort of unstylish in a stylish way.

Interesting that Jetstar served breakfast followed by lunch after the delay. I'm assuming that had the flight been on time the lunch would have been served first (as dinner), followed by breakfast.
 
planesjoey
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:38 pm

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:34 pm

Hey everyone!

Thanks for reading!

Quoting ojas (Reply 1):
Roti/Paratha and curry is an Indian delicacy, not Singaporean.

Hmmm not so sure about that! I better go check first!

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 2):
Should've been 74/90, not 74/100.

Well SQ did not compensate for the lounge, as any airline should in such an instance, or provide alternatives at least.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 2):
It's a very nice trip report, and I'm glad you got the opportunity to fly on the upper deck of an SQ 744 before they're phased out. It's a shame that SQ never upgraded their 744 interior to current 77W/A380 standards. Upper deck J with the current seats would mean a very private 1-1 layout.

True! That would have been really nice. Perhaps SQ will consider the 747-8I as a 77W replacement in the future

Quoting kurt (Reply 7):
Did you get an explanation regarding your 6-hour delay ex-SIN? I kind of like the pre-renovation look of Terminal 1 - it's sort of unstylish in a stylish way.

The pilot was very vague about this simply blaming the delay on "technical difficulties" which caused the delay in Melbourne

Cheers!
Joel
Aircraft flown: 313,319,320,321,332,333,343,345,380,717,732,733,734,737,73H,743,744,762,763,772,773,77W,AB4,
 
docpepz
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RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:21 am

Very nice report.

Were the Jetstar cabin crew from Singapore or Australia?

Also I think Prata is a Singaporean dish, which is a local version of the Indian version. I have been in South and North India and cannot find the same version as the Singaporean one.

I think out of Singapore, SQ shouldn't get their overseas caterers to make Singaporean food, because they simply can't do it. I think satay is still shipped out of SIN because no other station can create the satay to SQ's standards.

I'm a bit surprised about the laws prohibiting people under 18 who are not accompanied by an adult to enter the lounge. Having lived in Australia for some years before, and being a regular visitor, I think the rules and regulations in Australia are far more punishing than SIN - The alcohol rules, the myriad of fines on the Melbourne tram for even putting your foot on the seats (I had a friend fined $150 for that), the speed cameras everywhere etc.

I had a speeding ticket from the Singapore traffic police last year. Well it was a letter saying something like "You were driving 14km over the limit at such and such expressway. However this time, we will not impose a fine just this once. Please help spread the message of road safety". I was like wtf, you bothered to send me a letter but you don't want to fine me that is SO SWEET.
 
nqyguy
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RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:49 am

Nice one, good to see something from far far away. What's with the Qantas logo on the IFE screens on JetStar?
 
ba319-131
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:17 pm

Nice report and pictures,thanks for sharing.

Quoting planesjoey (Thread starter):
the scrambled eggs were delicious

- Good as they look like slop!

Interesting law that stops you going into the lounge, guess is is a good idea though.

Rgds

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
 
a1ring23
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RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:07 pm

Decent report Joel.

Have to get myself on one of the classic 744's before they are all phased out.

And also decent pics, I'm assuming you're using your iPhone 4? If so, awesome quality, never realised the quality of pics they take!

Food on JQ suprised me, better than some of QF's offerings it seems.

And lol with regards to the Australian Alcohol Laws, pretty stupid IMO. I wonder if you could have walked to the entry and asked for some food and (non-alcoholic) drink from the lounge.

Cheers,
Pete
Where's the accelerometer on this thing?
 
TN486
Posts: 558
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:08 am

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:06 pm

Quoting NQYGuy (Reply 10):
What's with the Qantas logo on the IFE screens on JetStar

in its previous life it was an A330 op by QF, as are all the JQ A330's
remember the t shirt "I own an airline"on the front - "qantas" on the back
 
profcalvin
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:34 am

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:36 am

Great report! enjoyed it

I ran into the exact same (very annoying) problem in YYZ when i was going to tokyo this summer. They wouldn't let me into the lounge because I was under 18. You could make the excuse that it's the law, but one of the reasons we pay so much for the ticket is lounge access. Major airlines like SIngapore (and Air Canada in my case), i think, should make at least some kind of compensation for passengers like us.

Quoting planesjoey (Reply 8):
Well SQ did not compensate for the lounge, as any airline should in such an instance, or provide alternatives at least.

exactly...

cheers!  
 
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CARST
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RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:23 pm

Very good TR. Liked the photos. I don't understand how they could not compensate you for not allowing you in the lounge. I assume you payed full price and SQ knew before that they should not let customers under 18 pay full price if these customers can not use all included features.
 
planesjoey
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:38 pm

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:08 pm

Thanks again for reading and commenting!

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 9):
Were the Jetstar cabin crew from Singapore or Australia?

The cabin crew were from Singapore

Quoting CARST (Reply 15):
I don't understand how they could not compensate you for not allowing you in the lounge. I assume you payed full price and SQ knew before that they should not let customers under 18 pay full price if these customers can not use all included features.

Exactly! And the ground staff firmly reiterated the point at Check-In. I presume there have been people who have made a fuss before. I was quite disappointed with Singapore Airlines. Since they know this happens they definitely should provide an alternatives. When I was travelling a couple of years ago, the SKL was being renovated and SQ provided a $20 voucher for passengers to spend in the airport. Perhaps they should consider something like that? They probably don't really care since Unaccompanied Minors don't pull much weight in the aviation world.

Thanks for reading!
Joel
Aircraft flown: 313,319,320,321,332,333,343,345,380,717,732,733,734,737,73H,743,744,762,763,772,773,77W,AB4,
 
nethkt
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:37 pm

Joel,
Really enjoy the trip report, knowing that you are just 16 years old amazed me much.
Nice way to go for the 'Happy slam'. Are you a Rodge's fan? I'm Rafa's and JJ's.

Maybe I should go with you for the AUSOPEN 2012!.

Thanks a lot for the report.

Quoting ojas (Reply 1):
Roti/Paratha and curry is an Indian delicacy, not Singaporean.

==CLASSIC==  
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
AJ
Posts: 2298
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 3:54 pm

RE: To The Australian Open: Jetstar Starclass And SQ J

Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 am

Quoting TN486 (Reply 13):

in its previous life it was an A330 op by QF, as are all the JQ A330's

Not quite true, VH-EBE, EBF and the soon to be operational EBQ have never seen Qantas mainline service.

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