Hello and welcome to my first ever flight report! After reading numerous flight reports from this great website, I decided to jump in and write some. Please do leave a comment, telling me what's good and bad, so I can adjust some aspects in future reports I am currently residing in Singapore, therefore it's pretty easy to travel from there, and taking a plane is necessary.
So here's the routing: SIN to MEL: 23/10/2014 QF36 A330-300 (That's what you're about to read) MEL to AYQ: 24/10/2014 JQ664 A320 ASP to CNS: 27/10/2014 QF1948 717-200 CNS to BNE: 01/11/2014 QF799 737-800 BNE to SIN: 01/11/2014 QF51 A330-300
I'll be uploading those reports as I write them, which might take a bit of time.
Note: all the times in this review are Singapore time, unless otherwise specified.
So here we are at the Singapore Changi Airport. The reason I am saying we is that I am travelling with my family, i.e. my parents and my brother. With our flight taking off at 21:05, we arrived at the airport at around 19:30, leaving plenty of time for bag drop and a bit of shopping in the duty-free area. Changi, in my opinion, is a great airport. It hasn't been named best airport in the world numerous times for no reasons. It is clean, service is efficient and of quality, immigration is fast, so is security.
Changi Terminal 1 main hall:
There was no queue at all at the bag drop counter, so in a matter of minutes I had my boarding pass, reading to go through immigration.
Qantas bag drop, pretty empty as you can see:
My boarding pass for tonight's flight:
Looking at the screen I did get slightly scared when seeing the 21:00 flight to Melbourne was cancelled, hopefully it wasn't mine, which was right under on the TV screens.
Information screen (QF36 is displayed as code-share with BA under BA7402) :
Since I live in Singapore I can go through the automated clearance at immigration, which literally takes seconds. By that time it was 20:00, so we had at least 20 minutes before boarding would open, enough time for a stop at Times Travel, the bookseller.
Changi Terminal 1:
We then made our way to Gate 18, which is the second to last gate in the C wing.
Our gate for tonight: C18:
One thing that I have only experienced at Changi Airport is the fact that security screenings are right at the gate. So no long queues right before or after immigration, but smaller ones at each gate. Quite a smart way of easing the flow of passengers in my opinion.
Here is the information on tonight's bird:
Name: Freycinet Peninsula (which is actually located in Tasmania) Registration: VH-QPB Type: A330-303 Delivery year: 2003 S/N: 0558
Boarding was supposed to start at 20:20, but Business Class/OneWorld Elite passengers were only called at 20:30, while the rest (including me) boarded at 20:40 Upon boarding, a pretty comfy pillow and blanket were awaiting on my seat. Qantas' magazine and inflight duty-free as well as safety card and air-sickness bag were in the seat pocket.
Seat pocket magazines:
View from seat 40K (apologies for the awful quality, night-time doesn't provide great pictures):
While my boarding pass gave me seat 40J, I managed to swap seats with my neighbour, which happened to be my brother, in order to get the window seat. Seat pitch was fine, and overall the seat is quite comfortable for a 7 hour flight
One truly great thing about the A330 is the seat configuration in Economy: 2-4-2. Meaning: wherever you are seating, you're no further than a seat away from the aisle. Compared to a 777 for instance, you don't have to climb over 2 sleeping passengers if you have a window seat, but only 1, which is always great. Sure, less training at gymnastics, but less chance to wake up your poor neighbour should you bump into him while trying to climb over the armrest while having to go to the bathroom. Less embarrassment.
After the door was closed (boarding was through a single door: 2L), flight attendants came around handing out headsets and menus.
During push-back, the Captain came on PA, apologising for the delay, and announcing a take-off to the north, followed by a left (yes left, right would have been more direct…) heading to the South-East for Australia. Flight time was being shorter than usual, 6 hours and 50 minutes, because of a lack of headwind. Therefore, despite a delayed takeoff, we should arrive on schedule.
Flight attendants then proceeded to safety demonstrations, which took place both live and on screen. Talking about screens, these ones were the smallest I have ever seen on an aircraft. I could seriously cover it all with one hand. Not really a problem for a red-eye flight, but more so on a day flight.
Live safety demonstrations…
…as well as on screen
Since it was dark outside, I couldn't take any good pictures of the planes on the ramp. The only one that might be worth sharing is one showing 2 SQ A330s and a Scoot 777 on the far left.
Taxi spotting (once again sorry for the quality):
After 10 minutes of taxi and hold, we lined up on runway 20C and immediately the two General Electric engines roared to full power for fairly short roll. We took off at 21:25 instead of the scheduled 21:05 Climb was quick, with the seatbelt sign off no more than 5 minutes after take-off.
Now let me say 2 words: air vents. When flying to Europe, I take 777s. In these planes, you're either boiling hot or freezing cold, depending on the chief steward's mood, there are very few in between. So on this flight, having air vents to regulate temperature individually almost seemed like a luxury. A pleasant luxury.
Air vents are pretty rare on long-haul flights nowadays:
Qantas' IFE lacks a bit of content. Pretty poor selection of movies, TV series were all right. Since QF offers IFE gate to gate, many passengers were watching movies even before we left the ground, while I preferred enjoying the climb and the view of Singapore at night out the window. I decided to watch some episodes of The Closer while waiting for dinner.
The Closer provided a bit of entertainment while waiting for dinner:
One issue i had with the IFE was the location of the command: in the armrest. That considerably reduces the size of it. On the plus side however is the fact that the audio plug is on the side of the armrest, so you don't have to unplug your headset when someone climbs over you heading to the aisle.
The odd and uncomfortable location of the remote:
Around 20 minutes after take-off, flight attendants handed out immigration forms and water bottles.
Water bottle and immigration cards:
Half an hour later, dinner service began, unfortunately starting from the front. Being seated at the second to last row, I was only served 22:45, that is 30 minutes after the first rows were served. When my turn arrived, I opted for the Linguine.
Meal tray with main course visible:
Now, I wasn't expecting much from Qantas catering-wise. I was surprised. In both good and bad. The starter, that's in my opinion, was awful. There was such a strong aftertaste that I didn't finish it.
Starter: Bamee Noodle Salad:
The main course was quite good actually, the feta cheese was a nice touch and the Linguine were nicely cooked.
Main Course: Linguine with creamed tomato sauce, olives and feta cheese:
Now dessert: I am still unsure about it. There was a bizarre aftertaste which had me confused about wether it was good or not…
Dessert: Coconut pudding with tapioca and palm sugar:
Two very nice touches with dinner: a proper glass made of glass, and a little Toblerone.
Glass and Toblerone:
After the trays were taken away, I heading to the bathroom for a little brush for the night. The toilets were quite dirty, with a sticky floor. When i returned a few hours later, it had been cleaned.
QF's A333's toilets:
By 23:30, so 2 hours after take-off, lights were turned off in the cabin, allowing passengers to sleep. So did I. I woke up after 3 hours of sleep, by that time we were almost above Adelaide, with just under an hour and half to go.
Our location when I woke up:
Twenty minutes after I woke up, lights went back on and breakfast service began. Not a very elaborate meal tray, but it gets the job done: croissant, yogurt, orange juice, and of course a coffee. Who would survive without it anyways?
I quite like QF's cups:
The sun was rising while we were having breakfast. Pretty nice to see a sunrise at 37000 feet.
Sunrise at 37000 ft:
Descent started 20 minutes prior to landing, with the captain coming on PA, announcing that our arrival was delayed by 20 minutes because of the weather down under. We touched down at 7:15 local time (4:15 in Singapore). Descent:
Right after touch down:
I tried to get some photos of planes at the ramp, but the weather really wasn't into it. I'll still share some of them:
Many Virgin Australia 737-800s:
A380 from Emirates and Jetstar's 787 Dreamliner:
Royal Brunei's 787 Dreamliner
Taxi was quick, we got to our gate, and disembarkment was smooth and efficient.
Our A333 after 7 hours of flight:
Just a little word about the crew: great. The male flight attendant that took care of our aisle was humorous, efficient and friendly. When boarding, the crew welcomes the passenger by their name. It was the first time I witnessed this in Y. The whole crew was cheerful, professional and polite. They made this flight really enjoyable.
We then made our way to the conveyor belt to pick up our luggage, in order to check them back in for the following flight, which's report I will write as soon as possible.
Luggage conveyor belt:
Thank you for reading, and once again all comments are welcomed and much appreciated!
Singapore - SIN
Melbourne - MEL
The IFE and catering on this flight were average, as expected. The cabin comfort wasn't exceptional but fair. Late departure and delayed arrival take the On-time performance grade down. However, the crew was extraordinary, and thanks to them this flight was an enjoyable one.
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