FLIGHT EK405
CLASS OF SERVICE Economy
SEAT NUMBER 36G
AIRCRAFT Boeing 777-300ER
TAKEOFF 14-04-23 6 p.m.
VIEWS 8515
LANDING AT 11:50 p.m.
tn92
The 10th May 2014

Photo review of Emirates flight from Melbourne to Singapore in Economy

Flight Out
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Singapore (SIN) to Melbourne (MEL), Emirates EK404, http://flight-report.com/en/report-6882.html

Flight Back
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Melbourne (MEL) to Singapore (SIN), Emirates EK405, This FR


Hello! Welcome to the flight report of my April 2014 Melbourne Trip’s return flight.

Melbourne Airport is about 50km away from where I stay when I visit Melbourne and there are quite a few ways to get to the airport. Usually, I will choose the most economical way, travelling by public buses and metro for the whole journey – and this will take extremely long. Alternatively, it is also possible to travel to the city by train before transferring to the SkyBus, which I have mentioned about in my previous flight report.


photo 000 Banner

My 7th Flight with Emirates – Trying the Special Meal for the First Time


This report was completed on 11 May 2014, in Taipei, Taiwan.
Note: All the time stated in this report are UTC+10:00 (Before Take Off) and UTC+08:00 (After Take Off).


Emirates EK405
Aircraft Registration: A6-ECR
Origin: Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport (MEL)
Destination: Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)
Date: Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Boarding Time: 1700h (UTC+10:00)
ETD: 1800h (UTC+10:00)
ATD: 1800h (UTC+10:00)
ETA: 2350h (UTC+08:00)
ATA: 2330h (UTC+08:00)
Estimated Duration: 07:50
Actual Duration: 07:30

Note
For my previous reports, I stated the ATD and ATA as the actual time of take off and touch down. However, from this report onwards I will amend this to be the time taken from gate to gate.


1340h (UTC+10:00)
Status: Left Clayton
03:20 to Boarding Time
04:20 to ETD


This time, however, I did not choose any of the methods (i.e. by public transports all the way, or transferring to SkyBus in the city) above to get to the airport. I picked the fastest method, which also happens to be one of the more expensive one. AUD25 – from Clayton, where I stay in Melbourne, through to Melbourne Airport in about an hour; well worth the money!

If you happen to be visiting areas outside of Melbourne’s city area when you visit Victoria, Australia, do remember to check out the suburban buses. These are buses that will take you (almost) directly to your final destination and most of the time, the ticket fares are very reasonable (I believe).

The bus I took was “Airport Bus Dandenong”.

photo 003 Dandenong Bus Timetable

And there are many other choices heading to different destinations to and fro Melbourne Airport.

photo 005 Timetables for Buses

I was scheduled to depart from Clayton (a suburb in Melbourne) on a 1345h bus. It came slightly late at about 1350h.

photo 001 Dandenong Bus Arrives 1350h

Most of the suburban buses use small- to medium-sized vehicles because of the relatively small demand. For this one that I took, it was a Mercedes Sprinter.

photo 002 Onboard Dandenong Bus 1353h

1452h
Status: Arrived at Melbourne Airport
01:12 from Leaving Clayton
02:08 to Boarding Time
03:08 to ETD


The entire journey took about 1h 2mins – a relatively quick one as the bus continued picking up passengers along the way before turning on to the freeway after the city to head direct to the airport. If you compare this to the duration of 2h 30mins or more, travelling by public buses and metro to Melbourne Airport, it really does seem much, much faster!

photo 004 Arrived at Melbourne Airport 1452h

Before entering the terminal, let me show you where to find these suburban buses – it isn’t exactly easy to find them if you are arriving into Melbourne for the first time. Once you head out of the terminal, follow the signs that say “Direct Buses”. After you hit a crossing, get over to the other side of the road and just continue walking towards the bays for “Direct Buses”. Then, you would have to search through all the buses and somehow try and “recognise” which is the one you are looking for. And the last thing to do before you set off comfortably – locate the driver and buy a ticket from him. Make sure you ASK and CONFIRM your destination with him / her. Personally, I found the entire layout rather confusing.

photo 006 Boarding Bay for Buses

If I am not wrong, it’s easier to find your way if you exit from Terminal 1 – Qantas and Jetstar’s Domestic Terminal.

photo 007 Qantas Domestic Terminal

Alright, let’s head inside.

photo 008 Qantas Domestic Terminal Security Checks 1456h

I haven’t been to Tiger’s Terminal before. However, the departure halls for the other two domestic terminals used by the Qantas Group and Virgin Australia / REX are extremely spacious. This is quite a huge contrast with the International departures’ terminal.

Here’s Terminal 1 used by Qantas and Jetstar…

photo 009 Qantas Domestic Terminal Interior

… And Terminal 3 – where Virgin Australia and REX’s flights depart and arrive.

photo 016 Virgin Australia Domestic Terminal

1457h
After looking around the airport for five minutes, I walked towards the international terminal via the link-way between T1 and T2.

photo 010 Towards T2 1457h

The following two photos clearly show how the check-in area of T2 is much less spacious than the domestic terminals.

photo 011 Melbourne T2 Check In Counters

photo 012 Melbourne T2 Check In Counters

1459h
Status: Checking In
01:19 from Leaving Clayton
02:01 to Boarding Time
03:01 to ETD


At Melbourne Airport, check-in counters are labelled by English alphabet. This will be my fourth time travelling by EK405 – check-in is always at Area G and boarding will be at Gate 11 always. This is the benefit of travelling many times on a same flight – I don’t really need to check the screens to know where I should head.

photo 013 Check-In Counter for EK405 1459h

photo 014 Priority Counter

1523h
Status: Cleared Departure Formalities
01:43 from Leaving Clayton
01:37 to Boarding Time
02:37 to ETD


As I arrived very early the counters (it probably just opened), I was done with check-in very quickly and was already preparing for security screening and immigration clearance.

Let’s see… Am I right that EK405 is departing from Gate 11 once again?

photo 015 Done with Check In (Departure Info) 1502h

Bingo!

After immigration clearance, departing passengers will be greeted with an entire area of duty free shops – a section that I will usually give it a miss.

photo 017 Duty Free Shops Airside 1523h

photo 018 Duty Free Shops

The departure information screens at Melbourne Airport are one of the aspects at the airport that I like. The screens are big and the font and colour used for the words are very clear and tidy. However, it does seem like the “current time” on the screens aren’t exactly synchronised?

Also, if you observe the departing flights clearly – you’d realise Melbourne’s Terminal 2 isn’t a really busy terminal. Even with all the departing flights for the rest of the day displayed on the screen, there aren’t enough flights to fill up both screens.

photo 019 What is Wrong with the Time

photo 020 Airside - Not a Busy Airport

1525h
Finding my way to some restaurant where I can have a quick snack and continue my revision for the upcoming examination at university. (Definitely not a nice way to travel… But I have no choice and I’ve to bring along all my textbooks and revision materials.)

photo 021 Airside 1525h

Eventually, I settled down at Hungry Jacks and took a seat overseeing the apron area of Terminal 3 – the land of Virgin Australia.

photo 022 Land of VA

These white aircrafts were definitely a distraction to my revision. Haha! I am guessing that this should be VA277 departing for a short hop to Canberra.

photo 023 Departing VA
Virgin Australia / VH-ZPB / ERJ190-100

“Rivals Meet…”

photo 024 Rivals Meet

Finally, as I was trying hard to focus on my textbooks and notes… SQ228 operated by an A380 appeared! If you read the previous report of my flight from Singapore to Melbourne, an A380 also taxied passed me – I’ll definitely find a chance to fly to Melbourne with SIA!

photo 025 Hi SIA

photo 026 Will Fly Back with You One Day

Let’s have one last photo of the apron before I really begin to focus on my revision. Melbourne Airport definitely did not look very busy.

photo 027 Definitely Not A Busy Afternoon

1645h
Status: Walking to Gate
03:05 from Leaving Clayton
00:15 to Boarding Time
01:15 to ETD


15 minutes to the stipulated boarding time, I decided to make my way to the gate – despite knowing that boarding will most probably NOT commence on time. Doesn’t matter… I shall just chill at the boarding lounge while waiting for boarding to commence.

I managed to snap a photo of my aircraft while it was taxiing to the gate. If only I reached the gate a little later, I probably won’t be able to take this photo because there seemed to be no possible angle where I can take a proper photo of the aircraft after that! (This is the same photograph as the one I posted at the start of this report.)

photo 028 The Aircraft EK405 1653h

With about 5 minutes to spare before the boarding time (provided that the gate actually opens on time), I arrived at the gate and wondered around a little before I sat down and waited.

photo 029 Arrived at Gate 11 1654h

It is commendable that seats are abundant at Melbourne Airport for passengers! They are almost everywhere.

photo 030 Lots of Seats are Available

As the sun was setting, it was basically not a very good timing for taking photos because of the bad lighting. I wasn’t really in the mood either, I guess! (I was returning to Singapore, and examinations were beginning in two days…)

photo 031 Bad Lighting

I still tried to take some more pictures despite half of the aircraft being blocked by the bridge.

photo 032 Trying to Avoid Sunlight

But I guess I gave up after a while…

photo 033 Failed...

At Melbourne Airport, Emirates conduct boarding by zones as well. They will call for passengers seated at specific zones to move to a separate area first, before being finally allowing them to board – I must say that it is a really complicated, confusing and “kind-of-redundant” system. However, they have always managed to prove the efficiency of this system by completing the boarding of an entire 777 in less than twenty minutes! It has always been successful, so far.

After your zone has been called out, this is where you will wait. Subsequently, they will open the gate at the escalator (look at the centre right of the photo) where passengers can finally head downstairs for boarding via the aerobridge.

photo 035 Awaiting to Board

My boarding pass.

photo 034 Boarding Pass

1725h
Status: Gate Opens / Boarding
03:45 from Leaving Clayton
00:25 after Stipulated Boarding Time
00:35 to ETD


Finally, after a wait of about 25 minutes, boarding began. I am guessing that Emirates schedules boarding time to be an hour before the ETD so that passengers will make their way to the gates earlier thinking that boarding has commenced – giving everyone more than enough buffer duration to accommodate the “real latecomers”. Well, that’s just my guess. But, no matter what the true intention is, they seem to always leave on time from Melbourne, which is the most important point – good job Emirates!

No announcements were made for first, business and platinum/gold/silver members. So, I just took the initiative to ask if I could board first. And of course, the answer was a yes. (Sorry for the blurred image, there were a lot of people behind and I was walking.)

photo 036 Gate Didnt Open at 5pm 1726h

I headed straight to my seat – 36G, and the welcome screens were shown on the individual IFEs.

photo 037 Welcome Aboard Screen 1732h

photo 037a Welcome Aboard Screen II

Since I boarded relatively early, I just spent the rest of the time on the ground snapping pictures.

People were boarding relatively quickly, after having waited for about 40 minutes (suppose most of them arrived at the gate on time).

photo 038 Boarding Ongoing 1732h

Pillow, blanket and earpiece were provided on every seat.

photo 039 Seats

And as usual, I stuck with my habit of taking an aisle seat – for the convenience.

photo 040 By The Window

As the boarding process approached its final stage, I suddenly thought of checking out if there will be anyone beside me. Using my iPhone, I accessed Emirates’ website to “manage my booking” from my aircraft…

photo 043 Knowing There is an Empty Seat 1741h

Awesome! At 1741h, before boarding was completed, I already knew that I have an empty seat beside me.

For this flight, the 4.9 years old A6-ECR flew both sectors – MEL-SIN and SIN-DXB.

photo 041 Aircraft is A6-ECR

And as usual, the air show was extremely nice, informative and easy-to-use!

photo 042 Really Like Emirates Airshow

1758h
Hot towels were distributed 2 minutes before ETD, after boarding was completed.

photo 045 Giving Out Hot Towel I

photo 047 III

photo 048 Dark Lighting 1758h

1800h
Status: Push Back
04:20 from Leaving Clayton
07:50 to ETA


This is the estimated flight path for EK405.

photo 044 Estimated Flight Path (Emirates Fly to Colombo)

1619h (UTC+08:00)
Status: Take Off
04:39 from Leaving Clayton
00:19 from ATD
07:31 to ETA


The aircraft taxied for quite a while before taking off 19 minutes after push back. I watched the take off on the air show and by the time, it was dark outside already so the view was pretty awesome – only before the aircraft left the ground; after that, it was just darkness everywhere.

1719h
Snacks were given out approximately an hour later. Emirates distributes “Savoury Biscuits” instead of peanuts, and the biscuits are nice!

photo 050 Snack and Drink 1719h

And then, the menu was given out very soon after. Oh no… “Beef and Mushroom Stew” and “Thai Chicken Curry” both sounded super awesome.

photo 051a Menu

photo 051b Menu II

However, as I have mentioned in my previous report, I decided to try the special meals on Emirates flights for this trip and thus ordered for a seafood meal on my flight out, and an oriental vegetarian meal on my flight back. Therefore, I didn’t have to pick from the menu on this flight – I had to make do with anything they gave me.

1753h
Status: Cruising – Meal Service Begin
06:13 from Leaving Clayton
01:53 from ATD
05:57 to ETA


Very quickly after snacks were given out, I received my special meal – to be frank, I was looking forward to it because catering on Emirates have always been rather decent.

However, my first impression of the meal… Weren’t exactly that good.

photo 052 Oriental Vegetarian Meal 1753h

The starters were okay! Quite nice actually, but I am not sure what it is.

photo 053b Starters

Here’s the main course, with some vegetables, bean curd and mushrooms. Some parts of the rice were overcooked and thus extremely dry. No good.

photo 053a Main Course

And then, the dessert. (Oh really? Dessert?)

photo 054 Dessert

Well… It wasn’t exactly that bad. But, I was seriously craving for some proper cakes, or something equivalent.

Alright, it was my own choice. Let’s just finish up the bread and let them clear the tray.

photo 055 Bread

Akin to all other Emirates flights, drinks came after the meal service and were not served simultaneously. It doesn’t matter however because I preferred the water after finishing the sultanas and dried apricots…

After the meal, I have to say that the flight was rather uneventful (for myself) because I was just busy reading my textbooks and notes.

Allow me to “steal” some photos from my previous report so as to show you the lavatory.

photo 073) Lavatory

photo 074) Lavatory

photo 075) Cups are Available

photo 076) And Power Point

1946h
Status: Cruising
08:06 from Leaving Clayton
03:46 from ATD
04:04 to ETA


We were about half way into the flight when I looked at the air show again – the aircraft was about to leave Australia.

photo 056 Leaving Australian Territory Soon 1946h

At this time, the lights in the cabin were already dimmed. (See the stars?)

photo 058 Cabin Lights Dimmed 2112h

With the cabin lights dimmed, I could only rely on my overhead lighting to continue reading my chapters. The light wasn't exactly 100% helpful, making it rather tiring for my eyes, but I had to finish whatever I got to read. Sigh.

photo 057 Problem with Lighting 2006h

2113h
Looking around the cabin, it’s about 2113h in Singapore and 2313h in Melbourne. Many people on-board were just watching movies or also reading.

photo 059 Cabin Lights Dimmed

Another 1000 miles or so to Singapore…

photo 060 Position 2113h

2140h
Status: Cruising – Supper Service
10:00 from Leaving Clayton
05:40 from ATD
02:10 to ETA


When supper was served, I decided that I would go with a non-vegetarian choice instead. Thus, I picked the beef & onion pie, which tasted great! Especially since I felt very hungry even after the meal. I haven’t tried to ask for cup noodles on Emirates before even though I know they're available. Maybe I should try it one day!

photo 061 Supper 2140h

photo 062 Beef Pie

2213h
Now, it’s almost time for arrival and most people seemed to be awake.

photo 063 Everyone Seems Awake 2213h

2306h
Status: Descending – Landing Preparation
11:26 from Leaving Clayton
07:26 from ATD
00:44 to ETA


Initial descend began quite a while before the ETA because we were scheduled to land earlier.

photo 064 Preparing for Landing 2306h

The aircraft crossed Bintan Island, before turning left towards Batam, and finally turning right to line up with Changi Airport’s runway for its final approach. (Both Bintan and Batam are popular holiday destinations for Singapore!)

photo 064a Final Approach Route
Credits: http://www.flightradar24.com/

2325h
Status: Touch Down
11:45 from Leaving Clayton
07:25 from ATD
00:25 to ETA


The aircraft touched down 25 minutes before scheduled arrival time and took just a few minutes to taxi to the gate. By 2330h, we were already at the gate preparing to disembark the aircraft.

photo 065 At the Gate 2327h

photo 066 Disembarking 2329h

I departed from Gate C20 last week and arrived back at the same gate again! Looks like Emirates flights are frequently scheduled at this extremely convenient gate!

photo 067 Its C20 Again 2339h

2340h
Status: Clearing Arrival Formalities
12:00 from Leaving Clayton
00:10 from ATA


Why do I say that C20 is an “extremely convenient gate”? Well… It took me just a 1-minute walk from the gate to the arrival immigration counters!

photo 068 Heading for Arrival Hall

photo 069 Just a One Minute Walk 2340h

2343h
Status: Baggage Collection
12:03 from Leaving Clayton
00:13 from ATA


Just a recap – last week when I flew to Melbourne from Singapore, I reached the baggage carousel 1h 4mins after the Actual Time of Arrival; today, it took me just 13 minutes. Security and immigration efficiency at Changi Airport will again get 10 marks from me!

photo 070 Belt 14 2343h

Duty free shops can be seen even at the baggage carousel area!

photo 071 Duty Free Shop 2344h

These are the ways that you can get to town from Changi Airport.

photo 072 Getting to The City

Hmmm… You see here that two Qantas flights were using Belt 14 that night. But, one of them is actually EK405.

photo 073 Qantas Flight from Penang

And… Is there even a Qantas flight from Penang to Singapore? Well it’s actually a Qantas codeshare flight operated by Jetstar Asia – be very careful if you happen to book yourself onto such codeshare flights because ALL the LCC rules apply regardless of whether your air ticket reflects a QF or EK flight number!

A view of the baggage carousel area.

photo 074 Luggage Coming 2347h

2358h
Status: Flight Completed / Setting Off for Home
12:18 from Leaving Clayton
00:28 from ATA


Less than 30 minutes after arriving in Singapore on EK405, I am on my way back home! Getting my bottle refilled before that; my throat always feels dry when flying so I make it a point to drink enough water!

photo 075 Got My Bag 2358h

Flight Statistics
Flights travelling between Singapore and Melbourne have quite a direct route as seen below. The only time a flight from Melbourne back to Singapore took me slightly more than 8 hours (YES, 8 hours) was on a Jetstar flight that made some significant detour while cruising in Indonesian airspace because of congestion.

photo 076a Quite a Direct Route
Credits: http://www.flightradar24.com/

photo 076b Route
Credits: http://www.flightradar24.com/

The actual time of touch down was 2325h and we were at the gate at 2330h. I still find this pretty amazing. (FlightAware’s timing probably isn’t every accurate given that it did not have coverage for the final section of the flight.)

photo 077 Flight Stats
Credits: http://www.flightaware.com/


Thank you for reading the report of my return trip from Melbourne to Singapore! See you around! (:

- End of Report for Emirates EK405 -



Upcoming Reports…

9 May 2014: Malaysia MH602, SIN-KUL (A Short Route on Malaysia Airlines for the First Time)
Coming Soon…

Verdict

Emirates 

Cabin 9.0
Cabin crew 8.0
Entertainment 10.0
meal/catering 4.0
TOTAL 7.8/10

Melbourne - MEL 

Efficiency 7.5
Access 8.5
Services 7.5
Cleanliness 10.0
TOTAL 8.4/10

Singapore - SIN 

Efficiency 10.0
Access 7.0
Services 9.0
Cleanliness 10.0
TOTAL 9.0/10

Conclusion

Thank you for reading my 3rd report on Flight-Report!

The cabin comfort for Emirates is rated rather high on this flight because of the empty seat! (: Temperature of the cabin was also set at an appropriate level, which I found to be pretty comfortable. The cabin crew on this leg of the flight were nice and friendly! It was a good effort by the crew member who greeted every passenger by our last name. The vegetarian meal was terrible. (Never trying it again.) Entertainment is great! There were huge varieties to choose from, and basically, if you ever used Emirates' IFE, called ICE, you'd know how it felt like to be spoilt for choices. Lastly, I am deducting 0.5 mark for on-time performance because of the very inaccurate boarding time; I can accept if gate opens 10-15 minutes later, but 30 minutes is just a little bit too long. However, as I have said, it is very commendable how the flight always departs on-time despite only having about 20 minutes to get everyone on-board.

At Melbourne Airport, departure formalities were much better than those you go through during arrival. There will still be queues, though, if you are not as early as I was. I believe I will rate the accessibility of the airport by how I actually travelled there this time - and, with a direct bus, how bad can it get? (Well, maybe the price?) Food choices within the airport were however rather limited, but Hungry Jacks provided a great view of the apron area, which was great!

Allow me to summarise some of the timings that I have stated above:
- 10 minutes from ATA, clearing arrival formalities
- 13 minutes from ATA, arrived at baggage carousel area
- 28 minutes from ATA, heading home!

So... You can't say I am biased when I rate 10/10 for Changi's security/immigration efficiency, yeah? However, as for the accessibility of the airport - arriving on such a late-night flight means that your only option available is the taxi (unless someone else can fetch you). This is unlike SkyBus in Melbourne, which operates 24 hours a day. The abundance of duty-free shop at Changi gives it its high rating for services and activities.

That's all for now, thank you for reading and see you next time! (:

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