I always try to take advantage of my leave days to take a trip to my motherland at least once a year, and this year's August - September time period was the perfect time for me to do just that. Not much was going on in my work (in construction field) and NFL wouldn't be kicking off until 10th of Sep, so I figured why not take a two-week off from work to visit my friends and families back in Korea.
It was in fact last year (2014) September when I booked the flights to and from the West Coast to Korea. I needed to hit up three cities in one trip this time; Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo. After a month-long research, I came to the conclusion that Singapore Airlines provided the best prices with the best cancellation policy ($20 - $50 per change plus difference in fare).
I decided to book the outbound flight with SQ 001 from San Francisco to Hong Kong on August 20th and inbound flight with SQ 012 from Tokyo/Narita to Los Angeles on September 6th. I booked the HKG-ICN-NRT segments with my remaining mileage on Korean Air (trip reports to follow).
I arrived at SFO International Terminal at around 9PM. Plenty of time to spare!
There was also a Cathay Pacific flight, scheduled to depart 15 minutes before mine, bound for Hong Kong.
When I arrived, the Cathay Pacific counters were already open. The international terminal at that time was busy with Manila-bound passengers (with Philippines Airlines) and Sydney-bound passengers (with United).
International Terminal backside.
The counters opened around 9:45PM. I was able to utilize the online check-in line, since I was able to check-in through my mobile device. Otherwise, I would've had to wait for about 30 minutes.
Right after check-in.
And the boarding pass for tonight's flight! I assigned myself into row 43, which is 2-3-2 configuration as opposed to 3-3-3 on rest of the rows. For me to use the restroom, I only had to go through one person, not two.
Toward the security checkpoint (G-gates). A-gates are located to the opposed side of the terminal and there's a separate security checkpoint to access the A-gates.
At 10PM at night, the terminal felt very empty. I don't think any other flights were leaving from the G-concourse other than SQ 001.
A Sydney-bound flight was pushing back when I arrived.
Arrived at my gate, G96!
The plane had already arrived from HKG since 9PM. SQ's livery surely does look good on B77W.
Waiting area for G96. Waiting area for G98 was on the opposite side.
One more close-up of this beauty.
Gate G96 Desk
At around 11:30PM the SQ flight attendants started to pass by.
While waiting by the gate, I spotted some young athletic guys and girls (about 30-40 of them). When I spotted the Arena logo on their clothes and bags, I knew they were headed for Singapore for FINA World Junior Championships competitions. I saw that the SQ ground staff also realized this; they wrote a nice message on the screen wishing them luck.
The US FINA Jr Championships Team lining up to board. Most of them would be boarding at the last economy section.
My boarding group, since I was somewhat in the front section of the economy class, was number 4. I boarded the plane at around 12:50AM.
Business class section of the SQ B77W. They recently have been retrofitting their fleet with new F, J, and Y products.
I was pleased to find that the Economy Class seats have also been retrofitted. They look a lot more comfortable then the previous ones. The AVOD screens are a lot bigger, which is a plus.
The headphones were already on the seats.
Welcome message on the AVOD screen
View towards Terminal 3
I settled in and started watching The Wedding Ringer.
Around this time, the captain announced that the flight would only take about 12 hours, arriving into HKG about one hour earlier than expected.
The revamped KrisWorld Entertainment System.
Passengers, mostly Hong Kong-bound passengers, settling in. There were many bound for India also.
Push back was on time at 1:15AM.
Take Off commenced at about 1:30AM.
Check out that wing flex!
Flying into night clouds or fogs above the Pacific.
Lights were turned off for the duration of the take-off until right before the late-dinner service commenced.
At the safe cruising altitude, the Menu were passed out.
Wine Red - Blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon White - Chardonnay White - Riesling
Aperitifs - Campari - Dry Vermouth
Spirits - Johnnie Walker Red Label Whisky - Jim Beam Black Label Bourbon - Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac - Beefeater Gin - Smirnoff Red Label Vodka - Bacardi Superior Rum
Liqueurs - Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge - Bailey's Original Irish Cream
Beer - International Selection - Stout
Soft Drinks - Coke - Coke Light/Coke Zero - 7-Up - Ginger Ale - Soda Water - Bitter Lemon
Cocktails - Singapore Sling (Enjoy this 1915 classic - a concoction of dry gin, Dom Benedictine, orange liqueur, and cherry brandy, shaken with lime and pineapple juice, a dash of Angostura bitters, and Grenadine.) - Alspritzer - Screwdriver - Bloody Mary - Dry Martini
Mocktails - Fruit Spritzer - Orange Cooler
Fruit Juices - Orange - Apple - Pineapple - Tomato
Coffee and Tea - Coffee - Black Tea - Jasmine Tea - Oolong Tea - Pu-Erh Tea - Sencha Green Tea - Peppermint Tea (naturally caffeine-free)
Other Beverages - Soya Bean Milk (Sweetened/Unsweetened) ——————————————————————–
Supper Choices (International Selection)
Appetiser - Smoked Turkey with Potato Salad
Main Course - Baked Fish Fillet Veracruz Style with buttered vegetables, pasta and caper tomato sauce or - Stir-fried Sliced Pork in Oriental Black Pepper Sauce with Chinese vegetables and steamed rice
Dessert - Strawberry Cobbler
From the Bakery - Bread Roll and Spread
Hot Beverage - Coffee - Tea - Chinese Tea
Supper Choices (Indian Selection)
Appetiser - Aloo Mutter Chaat (Potato and green peas salad with aromatic spices)
Main Course - Aloo Korma, Moong Dal Palak, Sabzi Pulao (Potatoes in cashew gravy, green gram spinah stew and vegetable rice)
Snacks - Assorted Nuts - Hershey's Cookies and Cream Bar - Original Sun Chips - Milano Cookies - Fresh Fruit
Fruit - Seasonal Fresh Fruit
Main Course - Stir-fried Egg Noodles with chicken, Chinese chives and cabbage or - Poached eggs with Hollandaise Sauce (Pan fried pork sausage, tomato and roasted potatoes) or - South Indian Breakfast Combination (Rice pancake with potato, onion lentil dumpling, lentil tamarind stew and coconut chutney)
From the Bakery - Bread Roll and Spread
Hot Beverage - Coffee - Tea
Followed by the same menu in Chinese (Cantonese)
Drink services commenced shortly after the menu was passed out.
I ordered the famous Singapore Sling. It's a must-have drink on SQ flights.
The dinner service commenced not too long after the drinks services.
I ordered the Fish Fillet Veracruz Style. Along with it, I ordered another Singapore Sling.
The taste was great for this meal. The only thing bad about this meal was that the pasta was a bit slippery. I try not to be sloppy when I eat, especially in-flight, but I couldn't help it but drop some sauce on myself (my fault). I don't blame SQ for it though. Fantastic meal overall.
As I finished eating, the movie Wedding Ringer had ended. I started sleeping at around 2 hours into the flight.
Completely dark interior.
I woke up a little before halfway through the flight.
I decided to watch Chef & My Fridge (???? ???). It's basically a show where chefs compete each other in order to impress the celebrities whose fridges are basically taken in-tact from their houses to the show. It's gotten very popular in Korea this year.
I had one of the delectables items off of the menu directly from the flight attendant. I asked him for a savoury sandwich. He passed me a cold sandwich which was labeled CHIX (for chicken).
The inside filling of the chicken sandwich, which was pretty good.
I slept couple hours more and woke up somewhere south of Japan.
As the plane was passing over Okinawa, the breakfast services had commenced. As always the flight attendants started with the special meals.
My AVOD system had some trouble for 10 minutes and the system was automatically restarted. Other than that, there were no problems with the entertainment system. I like the fact that it troubleshoots itself.
I had couple of my friends stationed on that island the day I flew over it.
I chose the poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce.
The meal looked good overall. The taste was even better.
Along with the poached eggs were pork sausage, sautéed potatoes, and tomato. The Hollandaise sauce was one of the best I've tasted. Overall, it was the most impressive breakfast meal I've had on an airplane.
The plane made some series of slight turns as it passed over Taiwan.
Overview of Taichung.
One of the young competitors for the FINA World JR Championships gave me some USA Swimming pins. I had briefly talked with her sometime during the flight asking about the competition.
In time for 5AM landing at HKG!
It was cloudy outside, so I didn't get a chance to catch the HK skyline. The airport expressway is visible below.
Our plane landed into Runway 25L at around 5AM Hong Kong time (2PM SF time). The North Satellite Terminal is visible in picture above.
Our plane arrived at Gate 15. To the left (Gate 16) was the CX flight which had arrived from SIN.
Last shot of the plane before heading toward immigration.
The immigration checkpoint at HKG.
Even at 5:30AM, the airport seemed to be busy with mostly international arrivals from Southeast Asia and China.
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