My first time ever posting here. Hope everyone enjoys.
This is my most epic trip ever in my life. In 2 weeks, we passed 9 countries, overflew 5 continents, crossed the equator 7 times, and travelled 40,000 miles or 1.6 times the earth’s circumference. And we flew with all *A members in Latin America
Because of the length of the journey, I have to divide this report into a few parts:
Part 1: CGK
Part 2: GRU
Part 3: HAV
Part 4: BOG
First and SQ
My original plan was a crazy multi-day travel without having a bed on ground for 3 nights. It goes like this:
Segment 1: CGK
arriving in SIN
in the evening to connect to SQ
Segment 2: SIN
arriving in GRU
Segment 3: GRU
at 430am arriving in PTY
Segment 4: PTY
at 3pm arriving in HAV
in the early evening.
Yup, very masochistic indeed even though we would be on First Class most of the way and we would be able to get shower in BCN
Closer to the date, I realized I had some expiring Leading Hotel vouchers. And I am not getting younger and will not want to fall ill in my travels. So we redeemed a free night in Sao Paulo at the Emiliano to have a good restful night. The next afternoon, we flew on to Panama and decided to have another night stop there because Havana hotels, which we could have reached the same night, would have cost a lot more than Panama hotels and we expect Havana hotel to be of much lower standard with poor roaming and internet connectivity. So the outbound trip got stretched but we have no regrets despite the daily shuttles to airports. The journey was smooth, seamless, enjoyable, and memorable.
Flight: SQ 955
Journey started at a quiet CGK
at about 8am. Singapore Airlines operates out of Terminal 2D
as are most international airlines.
Check-in area at that hour on a Wednesday was pretty much empty. It was a really peaceful place.
I was so relieved considering that the preceding 2 hours were of great stress due to flooded streets. I thought I wouldn't be able to reach the airport on that day.
Check-in was smooth and an escort from the airport company (not SIA
) was assigned to bring me towards the left end of the terminal building. He escorted me through all the way to the Pura Indah lounge. There is a dedicated immigration counter for premium passengers to the left of SQ
's check-in zone. I am not sure if this is only for Singapore Airlines passengers.
There is only apparently one counter here. I wonder how it works during peak hour when there are definitely more than 1 or 2 passengers.
Once you get your passport stamped, the lounge is just around the corner. This is the Premier lounge. For SQ
First pax, the lounge is the Pura Indah lounge across the Premier lounge. So I trekked through the lounge, went out to the common area and then reported to the Pura Indah.
The Pura Indah lounge was quiet. For that day, there were only me and another person. It's a rather basic First Class lounge.
Food was rather insipid too, mostly refined flour and fried items.
Actually, after this I decided to go to Starbucks nearby to get 2 free cups of coffee (thanks ANZ!)
Boarding was on time and the flight carrying us today was the refurbished 777-300 9V
I was seated at 1K and the other pax was seated at 1A. The check-in agent initially assigned him to 2A and he was complaining for a good 15 minutes to the LS
and the ground staff about how upset he was for not being assigned 1A. Come on, there were only 2 of us. We could easily have had a musical chair game. Even if I had had his favourite 1A, I wouldn’t have mind swapping. What a first world problem.
The F seat is beginning to age now but I must say it is aging gracefully.
IFE screens are huge and mounted on the horizontal top, they are like real home TVs, which is the distinguishing mark from J.
I settled down comfortably and just had a glass of water since this was in the morning and I wanted to keep my body ready for the possible series of booze on the long long journey that night and the night after that etc.
Menu was then distributed and order taken.
As is usually the case on this sector, I would go with Indonesian favourites.
Flight left the gate on time at 920 am and it was a long taxi way to the end of the runway beyond T3
. Along the way, we passed an SV
777 and a LionAir 747, both bound for Saudi Arabia that late morning.
We were number 5 or 6 that morning. Not that bad but still quite a long trek before take-off since we had to take turns with landing aircrafts.
The flight was short, sweet and wonderful. The LS
was friendly and appeared quite genuine. Meal was served half an hour into the flight. The opor chicken was tender and was very flavourful. I loved it. But the rice was very dry.
Dessert was served in a bowl. I always find this the most disappointing presentation-wise for SQ
. Come on SQ
, desserts look more impressive on plates! To me, the whole tray looks like a J tray.
The rest of the flight was uneventful and we were landing in Singapore at a very fine noontime.
We docked at Terminal 3 and it was then a rather ordinary day for me in Singapore.