05 August 2010 Silkair MI 127 Mataram Lombok (AMI) - Singapore (SIN) A319 9V-SBG Economy Class
After a really relaxing holiday with a spa session by the beach just before departing to the airport, I literally had to drag myself to the airport for the flight home. The taxi driver had initially dropped us at the larger domestic terminal (there were no signages of stating which terminal was domestic or international) but upon entering the terminal we realised that all the flights shown on the FID display were domestic and the Silkair counter was no where to be found. It was only when we asked that the security guys informed that our Silkair flight would be departing from the building further down the road, about 50m away. So we had to drag ourselves over to the international terminal for check-in. Just like arrival, the check-in area was just like a small room with 3 desks opened for Silkair. The other airline using the terminal is Merpati, with their daily flight to Kuala Lumpur via Surabaya.
We were apparently one of the last few pax to check-in. A view of the check-in room. Departure tax payment and sole immigration counter was just beside, right of the photo.
After clearing immigration, one can either hang out at the small cafe, 3 shops or this open-air pavilion.
If you decided to clear through security, you will end up at the gatehold room which consists of rows of metal benches and a toilet, with view of the tarmac.
My boarding pass stub.
This evening, the airport was slightly busier, with another Merpati B733 on the tarmac. The flight was departing to Kuala Lumpur via Surabaya and was delayed for 2hrs. Our A319 had also arrived from Singapore. Wow, I had seen the other international departure!
Merpati B733 taxiing to the runway.
Soon, boarding call was announced and we had a nice stroll across the tarmac to our A319 aircraft. Pax, including me, were posing for pictures in front of the plane with no interference from the ground staff, unlike in Singapore where eagle-eyed security officers would remind you that photo taking is not allowed once you whip out your camera on the tarmac while boarding at the budget terminal.
Walking to our plane, with passengers posing for photos. So nice!
Climbing up the stairs.
This A319, 9V-SBG, was fitted with new business and economy seats. The economy seats were supposed to be slim-line seats fitted with adjustable headrests, which equates to harder and more uncomfortable seats but an additional row of seats. This is true as I find the seats more comfortable and with more seatpitch on the older aircraft. Crew were equally friendly this evening, with a total of 7 cabin crew (!!) onboard. I then realised that 2 of them were trainee crew on their training flight. So we had a whopping 5 cabin crew in economy today! Our flight was 100% full in economy but business class was almost empty.
Definitely tighter seat pitch. Seats were also hard and slightly uncomfortable.
Surprisingly, no boarding music was played this time round. After all pax had boarded, doors were immediately closed and engines were started. There was no need for pushback and the pilot just taxied and turned towards the runway. Flight time was announced to be 2hr30min at 36000ft. Safety video was also played.
Safety video playing.
The taxi to the runway was so short that the safety video was still playing while we were holding on the runway itself. After the video has ended, cabin crew walked through the cabin for a last inspection and switching on the reading lights for passengers who were reading before the cabin was dimmed. All this while, we were holding on the runway!
Dimmed cabin but the reading lights were very bright!
After the cabin was secured, we blasted down the runway. The takeoff was very powerful!
After seatbelt signs were switched off, crew issued immigration forms and a round of WBJ. Screens also came down and showed silent programmes.
Cabin after takeoff.
Again after about 45min of cruise, dinner service commenced. There were a choice of Chicken with pasta or Spicy fish with rice. As we were seated at the second last row and the carts started from the front, the crew had ran out of the chicken when they reached us. So unwillingly, we had to settle for the fish even though the chicken option looked much more appetizing.
Fried fish with spicy sauce and rice. Again offered with fruits. Had a 7-up to go along. The meal was ok, nothing to shout about.
After trays were cleared, I made a trip to the lavatories. The lavatories on this newer aircraft were fitted with wooden laminated flooring!
Amenities in the toilet. The only amenities were soap, tissues and sanitary pads…
As it was my birthday, my friend had arranged with Silkair to request a birthday cake, which was presented by the crew towards the end of the flight. As we were descending shortly, the crew packed the cake for me to take away at the end of the flight.
Strawberry cheese cake, compliments of Silkair. It was big!
Landing into Changi Rwy 20R.
Taxiing pass a BA B744 at T1.
Parked at T2 Gate E11.
Mataram-Lombok Island - AMI
Singapore - SIN
Silkair offers a decent product for its regional flights but I may hesitate to fly them on longer range flights due to lack of entertainment and amenities. If there were able to install proper IFE similar to Garuda on their B738NGs, it would definitely improve their product offerings. However with Silkair's low cost base, I don't see this happening in the near future.
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