First of all the little background story… It was time to give up my carefree life and get things complicated! Yes!! I got married recently and this series covers our honeymoon journey. I fell in love with my fiancee many years ago and then with Bali during my last visit. So we decided it as our ultimate destination… with a little avgeek twist in our itinerary.
The carrier of choice was same as my last trip but except for the last flight all flights were different in some aspect. For this first segment, it was the main flight of SQ to Colombo as opposed to the daytime SilkAir flight. This red eye flight is preferred by many as it will be dawn when the flight lands in SIN thus giving easy connections to fly further east. It was same for us too!
We arrived at the airport around 9.45 in the evening and it was too early as check in opens only 3 hrs before the scheduled departure time.
Usual midnight rush has already begun!
As I mentioned earlier, taking off from CMB and flying east at this hour is convenient for many passengers. This is strategy is well used by the carriers in South East Asian region as well as home carrier UL (who has few codeshare partners in the east). The three hour window starts at 10.55 pm with AK46 to KUL, then followed by OD, MH, CX, SQ and TG, with UL flights also operating in between and ending the rush with UL306 to SIN at 01.50 am. After that is the rush for flights from middle east which will only end when the dawn breaks.
We cleared the first two hurdles in to the terminal by going through the passport check and then the security check by the Air Force personnel. I believe this practice started during the war time and still continuing for whatever the reason.
In to the small walkway with banks and boutique shops.
Before the check-in area there is another security check. But we are still too early to clear that.
Split-flap FIDS which I never miss to take a snap when passing this place.
Not so elegant TV screen showing that our check-in desks are oepn a bit earlier than expected.
SQ check-in surrounded by portraits of charming Singapore Girls.
We joined the queue of the only open J class check-in desk behind a Singaporean family… Seconds later another check-in desk opened and we were summoned to it. Check-in took only few seconds and we were handed over our boarding passes.
We walked out of the check-in desk and then only realized that the passes were printed on wrong stock… just plain boring white paper. We didn't mind it and just try to proceed for immigration. But wait again… the gentleman checked us in came walking to us, apologizing and taking our boarding passes back and reprinted on J class stock :) It is human nature to make mistakes, but the effort he made to correct it immediately (even though it was no matter for us) should be appreciated.
Immigration at CMB is getting slower and slower by the day it seems. It took good 5 to 10 mins to clear the border.
Our gate is already assigned and it is located next to the lounge.
Duty free area on the first floor.
Transfer desks of SriLankan Airlines.
Only god knows whether this will be built or when it will be built!!!
MH178 to Kuala Lumpur, which I used for my first foreign trip!
The lone pier at this airport.
Araliya, the business class contract lounge for foreign carriers sans EK.
Our BPs were checked and stamped before we were let into the lounge.
Rush hour means lounge is crowded too…
The food station with few choices of hot and cold food.
My pre-departure meal.
We managed to find seating with a view of the apron.
One of four departures to KUL at midnight.
Some sweets followed by a coffee.
Not much action on this side of the airport.
Inbound flight is early tonight.
An-32 in the background?
CX flight was delayed making the lounge more crowded. Another section of the lounge was opened for the guests.
Since the inbound flight arrived early we expected an on-time departure. We left the lounge 45 mins prior to the departure time.
Before boarding was the final security check. We were let into the boarding lounge and the dedicated premium passenger section.
Members of the A330 family, 4R-ALA of UL and 9V-STW of SQ.
Boarding was called soon, with priorities respected.
Old habits never die…
The load was around 75% in the J class but Y seemed full.
I managed to talk with flight attendant Chang while other passengers board. We talked about different types of aircraft SQ operates and he indicated that this flight would soon be operated using 787-10.
Pre-departure drinks and hot towels were offered in the meantime. I chose SQ special welcome drink (mix of different fruit juices) while Mrs. chose OJ.
A full menu was presented for this four hour flight.
Standard SQ headphones.
Push back was right on time…
Another visitor from the ASEAN bloc.
Latest version of the SQ safety video played while taxiing.
Off we go… 2mins past the scheduled departure time.
Post departure drinks were offered. Me with the usual choice and my wife choosing Hot Chocolate.
The IFE selection was in top notch as always. Tried to watch Deadpool 2 but somehow it was unsuccessful (I was distracted).
Menu for the supper.
Appetiser was fine.
Main Course : We both went with Chicken. It was tender and tasted good. Veges accompanied well.
Carrot cake was perfectly done, not too sweet.
Meal service was over but the linens were not taken away!?
I did mention Chang that we are on our honeymoon trip, and he has a little surprise. He presented a second dessert to share between two of us. It was made by himself using choco brownie, watermelon jelly and chips. What a creative lad… Cheers to him for going an extra mile to treat us!
We still had more than 2 hours of flight. So it was time for a nap. We were flying at a relatively low cruising altitude of 31,000 ft!
I woke up as we were closing on the island of Sumatra.
I was curious to taste the SQ's own version of Singapore Sling, so I ordered one. They call it "SilverKris Sling" and it has a quite a citrus flavour compared to the original.
Over Sumatra and thunderstorms were visible in the distance. I guess they are pretty common in this region.
We are already approaching dawn.
Cabin lights were turned on and everyone was stretching their arms to get ready for the early landing.
Descent begins… we are well ahead of the scheduled arrival time.
Approaching SIN from the south side (Runway 02C) with the view of numerous ships visiting ports of Singapore.
A little island. Belongs to Indonesia?
Touchdown! exactly half an hour earlier than the schedule!
It was a misty morning… can hardly see out of the window.
Taxi time was minimum compared to SIN standards and we docked to a F gate in T2 in quick time.
We thanked the crew before deplaning, especially flight attendant Chang and leading stewardess Catherine for the wonderful service and making our honeymoon trip even special.
I guess this is the first time I'm seeing a jet of a Yankee airline!!!
As we landed early we had ample time to visit the lounge and get refreshed. On to the long but colourful concourses of SIN.
This brings us to the end of this segment and stay tuned for the second episode…
Colombo - CMB
Singapore - SIN
Exceeded our expectations. Ground services were good. Lounge is average as usual. But the flight was enjoyable. Cabin was comfortable enough for the length of flight. Food was fine enough for a red eye and IFE was decent. Cabin crew was exceptional and they were genuinely happy to serve us! Greatly reflected their status in the industry.
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