Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again

Discussion in 'Trip Reports and Trip Photos' started by Kiwi Flyer, Sep 19, 2006.

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  1. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    It's almost time for another trip. There's a lot of travel coming up on several airlines, many aircraft types (big and small) and of varying comfort levels.

    As well as my first One World round the world (after several Star Alliance ones), I have a wacky 31 days of travel, so I'll add in the other trips in this report for free just for you.

    In the meantime, sit back and relax. At the request of some readers, here are the links to previous trip reports.

    Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - this report!

    Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island

    Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe

    Mini Tour of NZ - lots of domestic flights in New Zealand

    Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights

    Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights

    a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe

    Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing

    7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight

    Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back

    Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different

    AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report


    Index to this trip report

    I'll put an index for this report here so those interested in particular flights or destinations can jump straight ahead.
     

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    INTRO

    If all goes according to plan I will fly over 108,000 miles in 46 flights in 31 days. That's roughly equivalent to circling the planet every week at a ground speed of 145 miles per hour (based on shortest distances)!

    Given the complexity of my itineraries I expect there will be some changes needed - time will tell.

    The travel includes a round the world (RTW) and a mixture of long-haul and short-haul side trips.


    PLANNING

    I have wanted to visit South America for quite some time. Only 2 airlines fly directly across the South Pacific to South America - LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas. Given the lengthy flights involved, naturally I wanted to fly business class if possible. When I got around to checking the fares last year I found the direct flights were just as expensive as flying indirectly via USA (LAX and DFW on QF/AA or SYD, LAX and IAD on NZ/UA). Furthermore the fare was about the same as a round the world fare.

    That sealed it for me - a round the world it will be to get effectively a free side trip to europe and of course a lot more mileage.

    So the next question was which round the world product. Star Alliance round the world's (CRWSTARx) are distance based and so the large detour through USA would eat up a large proportion of the maximum 39,000 miles allowed leaving less options for the rest of the ticket. On the other hand, One World Explorer (DONEx) is continent based and so no mileage restriction. Thus, my decision to try my first one world round the world.

    Working through a draft itinerary I realised consecutive weekends in Europe and South America would work best for me, freeing up the interim to visit North America. If I wanted I could have skipped North America to save a continent but opted for the slightly more expensive DONE5.

    I wont reveal the routing just yet. My planning consisted of using various online tools, timetables and spreadsheets to optimise the combination of places I wanted/needed to go, my tight timeframe (just 2 weeks for the RTW), and wanting to maximise miles and status earning. In general a DONE4 provides the best bang (miles or status earning) per buck. Note that the best routing to maximise miles varies according to class of RTW (economy, business and first) as well as which frequent flyer program (FFP) is being credited. Since I am crediting to Qantas Frequent Flyer, this meant for example finding 2-class AA domestic flights that are over 1200 miles. Unfortunately for me, the timing I could do this trip fell in between seasons for DFW-ANC and LAX-SJU flights, both favourites of the regular xONEx'ers (eg see here, and here) over on the One World forum. In my planning I found out that I could transit the country of origin on a through flight number - this may be of help to someone else.

    It wasn't until after I had ticketed, that on re-reading the One World Explorer rules posted on Flyer Talk more carefully that I realised I had left a significant amount of mileage on the table by returning directly from South America to South West Pacific. Their is an exception to the cannot revisit a continent for North America in transit to/from South America. So I changed my ticket to get some extra mileage, slightly disappointed I didn't have an extra day available to maximise the benefit by flying via JFK and SYD. I saved US$125 on the reissue thanks to FT since the rules had omitted the usual reroute change fee - my travel agent hadn't picked up this omission and wanted to charge me until I asked them to query with an airline and got the green light for nil change fee. Thanks FT ^

    The other trips were much simpler to plan so I wont belabour them here.
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Oops - the software won't allow me to edit the opening post, so there will be no index.
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Auckland to Singapore (AKL-SIN) Raffles (Business) Class on SQ 747

    Finally I get finish the last minute meetings and emails and head for the airport. As we drive through light traffic I ponder that cabs are a bit like the airlines - quick to raise fares when petrol rose in price but so far no drop despite petrol being a third cheaper than the peak. At least cabs include the basic cost of fuel in the tariff and not as a surcharge.

    On arrival I see check in for Singapore Airlines is busy, as are the other check in desks. Still, it isn't as busy as I'd expected given start of school holidays. Check in is completed quickly as I know the drill - NZ$25 cash for departure fee, use the immigration at the far left of check in and express lane upstairs, SQ uses the NZ lounge, etc. For the first time as far as I can recall I cannot get return boarding passes from SQ. Oh well it is only a minor inconvenience getting them along the way.

    No queue at the special immigration. Arriving in the express lane upstairs I am thankful for this service - the regular lines snake out into the landside part of the terminal and must take at least 40 minutes to get through. Even the express lane takes a few minutes. The woman in front looked like she would set off the WTMD so I checked the other ones along the way and nabbed an empty one. I don't understand why people flock like lemmings to join the queue for the WTMD right in front of the immigration officer that just dealt with them when others have no queue at all. My gain this time as sure enough she did set off the alarm - far too much jewellery left on as well as metal on belts and shoes.

    So I arrive at the nice NZ lounge maybe 15 minutes after reaching the airport. The lounge is packed and I soon find out the reason why - an NZ flight to Sydney was first delayed and then cancelled. A minor change since I last visited was the installation of soft drink dispenser replacing the cans. Of course the fridge is reduced by 1/3 to make room for it. (Don't worry mad_atta there are still plenty of wines ;) .)

    The flight is called rather early. Too early I think so I am in no hurry finishing off some emails and freshening up before heading to the gate. By the time I get to the gate boarding has only just started and I head straight on. I had been checking availability the past week and it was showing as very full - generally F2 A2 and lots of zeroes. But SQ is very good at managing loads and so no op-up. It doesn't matter since I have my favourite upper deck exit row seat to settle in to.

    I unwind from the rush of the past week with a pre-departure drink. Doors are closed on schedule - yup totally full flight - but we take a while to push back and so by the time we begin takeoff roll it is 30 minutes after scheduled departure. The captain is very chatty - taking a few minutes to do his speil (and same again prior to landing in Singapore).

    The food, drink and service are good as always; however the flight was marred by a few cockroaches being seen around my and my seatmates seats. They have no spray to knock out any other crawling around and can only tell us to look out for them :( If they had empty seats I'm sure we would have been moved but we had to spend the last several hours of the flight with a slightly creepy feeling. :td: I've never seen any inspect onboard a flight before other than the odd fly (especially Australian domestic flights) or mosquito.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    AKL-SIN Raffles Menu

    LIGHT MEAL MENU

    A Savoury Note

    Seared tuna loin with mizuna and seaweed salad
    Sesame soya dressing

    The Main Event

    Beef noodle soup
    Egg noodles soup garnished with beef fillet and vegetables

    Panfried blue eye cod fillet in white wine sauce, roasted vegetables and potatoes

    Indonesian curry chicken, spicy vegetables and steamed rice

    A Sweet Note

    Ice cream

    A Connoisseur's Choice

    Gourmet coffee
    Selection of tea


    SNACK MENU

    Fancy a snack?
    Simply take your pick from our range of delectable snacks and make your selection known to our cabin crew.

    Noodles

    Fish ball broth with kway teow or bee hoon noodles

    Vegetarian and non-vegetarian instant noodles

    Sandwiches

    Focaccia sandwich with smoked chicken

    Snacks

    Roasted mixed nuts

    Kjeldsens cookies

    Fruit bar

    Arnotts pizza

    Cadbury chocolate bar

    Potato chips

    Bananas


    DINNER MENU

    To Nibble On

    Satay
    With onion, cucumber and spicy peanut sauce

    A Savoury Note

    Salad of feta cheese, tomato, olives with marinated prawns and mesclun
    Balsamic coriander dressing
    Honey mustard lime dressing


    The Main Event

    Pan roasted beef fillet with bourgnignonne sauce, sauteed mushrooms with bacon and potato mash

    Braised hapuku fillet with Oriental XO sauce, seasonal vegetables and egg noodles

    Seared chicken in herb jus, roasted vegetables in olive oil and polenta

    Lamb curry Madras, spicy vegetables and pilaff rice

    A Sweet Note

    Passion fruit creme brulee

    The Cheese Board

    Gourmet cheese with garnishes

    Fruit

    A selection of fresh fruit

    A Connoisseur's Choice

    Gourmet coffee
    Selection of tea
    and pralines


    BEVERAGES MENU

    Special cocktail

    Golden Spice

    Cocktails

    Singapore Sling
    Silver Kris Sling
    Gin Fizz
    Cloud Nine
    Screwdriver
    Bloody Mary
    Daiquiri
    Red or White Wine Cooler

    Aperitifs

    Campari
    Dry Vermouth

    Non-alcoholic cocktails

    Citrus Royale
    Tropical Sparkle
    Orange Cooler
    Fruit Spritzer
    Sunrise Surprise

    Spirits

    Cognac XO Otard
    Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky
    Johnnie Walker Black Label
    Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
    Gordon's Dry Gin
    Smirnoff Red Label Vodka
    Bacardi Carta Blanca

    Liqueurs

    Cointreau
    Tia Maria
    Baileys Original Irish Cream

    Beer

    International Selection

    Stout

    Guinness Stout

    Champagne

    Piper Heidsieck 1999

    White Wines

    2004 St Clair Marlborough Sauvignon
    Rheingau Riesling Kabinett 2004 Weinhas Ress

    Red Wines

    2003 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Merlot
    Chateau Cissac 1998 Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc

    Port

    Dow 2001 Late Bottled Vintage Port

    Tea selection

    Pure Ceylon Tea
    Earl Grey
    Darjeeling
    Camomile
    Decaffeinated Tea
    Japanese Green Tea
    Oolong

    Gourmet Coffees

    Brazil Santos Bourbon
    Colombian Supremo
    Kenyan AA Kilimanjaro

    Specialty Coffees

    Brewed Coffee
    Cafe Royal
    Espresso
    Cappuccino
    Decaffeinated Coffee
    Mocha

    Other Beverages

    Chocolate
    Milo

    Mineral Water

    Carbonated mineral water
    Non-carbonated mineral water

    Fruit Juices

    Apple
    Orange
    Pineapple
    Tomato

    Soft Drinks

    A range of regular or low-calorie drinks is available

    Iced Drinks

    Iced Tea
    Iced Coffee
    Iced Mocha
    Iced Chocolate
    Iced Milo
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Auckland to Singapore (AKL-SIN) Raffles (Business) Class on SQ 747 continued

    I noticed the perfumes in the Raffles toilets onboard had changed to L`Occitane.

    I spent the flight alternating between watching some movies, catching up on papers and looking at the scenery unfold out the window. The Australian outback, for example, has lots of interesting landforms clearly visible in cloudless skies. Here there is a desolate-looking plain, there a dried up river system, well eroded stumps of hills that may once have been a great mountain range, etc. As we head northwest the view is partially obscured by increasing haze and cumulus build ups. The volcanic peaks of Indonesia piercing through the murk while the lowlands are invisible and left to the imagination.

    Once the sun has set and the skies darkened I return to the screen. Unusually I miscalculate when the krisworld system is going to be turned off and so miss the last 10 minutes of the program I was watching. We land at a rainy Singapore and have the expected long taxi around half the terminal complex before pulling up at F58.  It is amazing how often this flight ends up at the far end of the terminal from the lounge (or gate for onward flight). Still, the exercise is good and I'm soon in the Silver Kris Lounge getting my onward boarding pass. Again they won't issue return boarding pass, saying the policy has changed. I need to remember this in future for tight turnarounds and connections on SQ.

    Boarding pass issued I head into the first class side and check up on FT, emails, make another booking and drink some Dom Perignon (not necessarily in that order ;) ). I notice that the printer has gone and so no way to print out stuff from the computer terminals unless you have your own :td:

    The 3 hour connection passes quickly and so it is off back to F pier for boarding the next flight.
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Singapore to Tokyo Narita (SIN-NRT) Raffles (Business) Class on SQ 747

    As usual in Singapore the screens show final call and gate closing ridiculously early, so as usual I ignore them and head out from the lounge 20 minutes before scheduled departure - giving me 10 minutes to traverse the terminal before the gate closes. As I approach the gate there is a long queue down the pier - due to only one WTMD being in operation. Fortuitously, the second one opens just as I reach the entrance, meaning I am quickly through.

    Boarding has not yet started (but commences in another minute or so). Since the flight is very full (again checking availability it had been showing all zeroes, even for paid full F, for several days) the gate lounge is full and I can see we wont be pushing back on time.

    I settle in to my upper deck exit row seat once more. Boarding is surprisingly quick and doors close only a few minutes late. But we have missed our slot so sit near the gate for 20 minutes. In contrast to the earlier flight the captain's announcement is much briefer although warns there may be some turbulence close to Japan due to Super Typhoon Yagi which is churning out to sea.

    By now I'm very tired and struggle to stay awake long enough to tell the FA I want my meal as breakfast not supper. It seems most other passengers prefer this too. For on these short red-eye flights there is a single meal with the choice of being served shortly after take off or about 90 minutes before arrival.

    I get a deep short sleep and get woken up for my book the cook breakfast. For those unfamiliar with Singapore Airlines, first and business class passengers have the option of pre-ordering a special meal (called BTC aka book the cook) - only available from certain cities. Generally these meals are a bit better than the regular meals and there is a wider selection. Naturally Singapore is one origin for BTC, but so far Auckland is not.

    While having breakfast I finish off the last of the program I missed on the prior flight, and figure I have just enough time to watch a short movie. Again I was wrong and missed the last 10 minutes of that one too. There is no view outside due to a solid sheet of cloud. However the sun is reflecting nicely off the engines below and behind me. The expected turbulence does not eventuate and several coffees later we are flying low over green fields and villages on approach to Narita.

    Since the opening of the southern part of the terminal back in July, the taxi for SQ is much shorter (it used to use the furtherst gates on the furthest satellite).
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    SIN-NRT Raffles Menu

    MENU

    To allow you a longer period of undisturbed rest, please let us know your preference for the following meal service options:

    - To be served your meal soon after take-off
    OR
    - To be served your meal about 2 hours before arrival

    To Start With

    A choice of apple, tomato, freshly squeezed orange juice or soya bean milk

    The Main Event

    Chicken basil mayonnaise in croissant served with potato chips

    Dim sum
    Steamed rice sheet cake with char siew, pork siew mai and prawn har kow

    American Breakfast
    Fruit yoghurt
    Spinach omelette with chicken sausage, roasted roma tomato, hash brown potatoes
    Bread selection with preserves


    Continental Breakfast
    Assorted bread with preserves

    Your meal will be served with a selection of sliced fresh fruits


    A Connoisseur's Choice

    Gourmet coffee
    Selection of tea


    HANAGOYOMI MENU

    "Finding the change of the four seasons in a flower and translating it into cuisine."

    An array of nine appetisers and entrees together with miso soup, served in Japanese style.

    Sakizuke
    Grilled fish cake, shredded burdock and carrot

    Kuchitori
    "Dashi" flavoured egg omelette, spinach with sesame seeds

    Aemono
    Vegetables with beancurd paste, conger eel and vegetables with sesame dressing

    Yakimono
    Grilled white miso flavoured salmon trout

    Takiawase
    Simmered pumpkin, taro, carrot, green beans

    Owan
    Miso soup

    Gohan
    Grilled soya glaced rice ball, grilled seaweed with rice ball

    Kounomono
    Assorted pickles

    Mizumono
    Assorted fresh fruit

    Ocha
    Green tea


    BEVERAGES MENU

    Special cocktail

    Golden Spice

    Cocktails

    Singapore Sling
    Silver Kris Sling
    Gin Fizz
    Cloud Nine
    Screwdriver
    Bloody Mary
    Daiquiri
    Red or White Wine Cooler

    Aperitifs

    Campari
    Dry Vermouth

    Non-alcoholic cocktails

    Citrus Royale
    Tropical Sparkle
    Orange Cooler
    Fruit Spritzer
    Sunrise Surprise

    Spirits

    Cognac XO Otard
    Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky
    Johnnie Walker Black Label
    Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
    Gordon's Dry Gin
    Smirnoff Red Label Vodka
    Bacardi Carta Blanca
    Premium Ginjo Sake Tamanohikari

    Liqueurs

    Cointreau
    Tia Maria
    Baileys Original Irish Cream

    Beer

    International Selection

    Stout

    Guinness Stout

    Champagne

    Piper Heidsieck 1999

    White Wines

    Rheingau Riesling Kabinett 2004 Weinhas Ress
    Montagny 1er Cru 2004

    Red Wines

    Chateau Cissac 1998 Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc
    Serrata Belguardo 2003 Igt Maremma Toscana

    Port

    Dow 2001 Late Bottled Vintage Port

    Tea selection

    Pure Ceylon Tea
    Earl Grey
    Darjeeling
    Camomile
    Decaffeinated Tea
    Japanese Green Tea
    Oolong

    Gourmet Coffees

    Brazil Santos Bourbon
    Colombian Supremo
    Kenyan AA Kilimanjaro

    Specialty Coffees

    Brewed Coffee
    Cafe Royal
    Espresso
    Cappuccino
    Decaffeinated Coffee
    Mocha

    Other Beverages

    Chocolate
    Milo

    Mineral Water

    Carbonated mineral water
    Non-carbonated mineral water

    Fruit Juices

    Apple
    Orange
    Pineapple
    Tomato

    Soft Drinks

    A range of regular or low-calorie drinks is available

    Cold Japanese Oolong Tea

    Iced Drinks

    Iced Tea
    Iced Coffee
    Iced Mocha
    Iced Chocolate
    Iced Milo
     
  9. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,762
    243
    Canberra / London
    Hey Kiwi, good luck!

    Must admit I'm a bit surprised you've gone for a OW ticket rather than *A (and I've read your reasons why).

    I'll be interested to see your final analysis at the end of the day. I just can't imagine that even amassing all those points in the QF FF scheme comes even close in terms of benefits to what you would have received in the LH, SQ or UA FF schemes (even with somewhat fewer miles).

    Look forward to your report on this!

    :)
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    The simplest routing that includes 2 of the 4 places I especially wanted to visit would be about 37000 miles on *A, maximum allowed 39000 miles. One place I want to go to I cannot get to on *A and the other isn't possible without going over on miles.
     
  11. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Tokyo Narita to Singapore (NRT-SIN) Raffles (Business) Class on SQ 747

    After a brief security check I head to the NH F lounge. No that is not a misprint, thanks to my status and flying SQ Raffles I have access to F lounge. *Gold only has access to business lounge unless flying in first.

    Even the though lounge is new I've been here before on a previous trip, but am still astounded at the ratio of lounge staff to pax - even more than Lufthansa's famous first class terminal at FRA it seems. At this early hour the lounge is fairly empty so I grab a nice shower to freshen up. I get given a L'Occitane amenity kit for the shower room, which is also stocked with comb, brush, hairdryer, etc. Others have posted the amenity kits are not always offered.

    I while away the transit posting on FT, drinking a nice iced tea and <to be continued ... meeting up with FTer now>
     
  12. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Tokyo Narita to Singapore (NRT-SIN) Raffles (Business) Class on SQ 747 continued

    Apologies for the interruption.

    Boarding is well underway when I am called from the lounge. I head down to the gate, pick up an SQ printed timetable (these are much better than the ones available from SQ's SIN lounge since only a few pages thick as opposed to a fat book) at the desk and board. It is another very full flight (was showing all zeroes for several days).

    Again I have the upper deck exit row seat, in fact the same seat I had on the same aircraft only a few hours earlier. The overhead bin nearest my seat has a pillow and blanket inside which I move aside to see if my carry on will fit - as it happens it wont since another oddly-shaped carryon is underneath the pillow & blanket. But the jerk sitting on the other side yelled at me to put those back - they're his and they have to be in that bin, nowhere else will do. I noticed during the flight he never touched either pillow or blanket in the bin. What an idiot.

    While settling in the captain apologises for the lack of aircon - apparently the APU isn't working and external power isn't coping with this warm Tokyo day. We have a small delay in pushing back waiting for ATC clearance and then roar into the sky.

    I don't know why, but somehow during the turnaround the IFE on my seat stopped working properly. I had "VID" (ie airshow plus movies) but not "INT" (interactive including tv programs, games, etc). They rebooted my seat but this didn't fix the problem. A bit annoying but it did mean I read a lot more than I normally would on an SQ flight and at least I could still watch movies.

    Our flight path was further east and much closer to the typhoon than on the way up, thus there was a lot more turbulence for the couple of hours. The view consisted of nothing but clouds almost right until touchdown.

    The service, while generally good, was off the usual very high SQ standards. For example, no offer of sake with the hangoyomi, missed drinks rounds, didn't come back with hot towel if away from seat during their pass through, assume you want dressing on the salad instead of asking, etc.

    We had strong tailwinds all the way and so looked to be arriving quite early when we banked just off SIN followed by an announcement that due to a tall ship(?) passing just in front of the runway we have to hold until it clears the area. So we spent the next 30 minutes going around in circles gradually descending through the thick tropical air. Eventually we straightened up and land a little behind schedule. A short taxi this time to our gate at the end of E pier. We stop short of the gate for 5 minutes to allow another a/c to clear the area.

    Since once again I was unable to get an onward boarding pass at Narita my first stop is check in desk inside the lounge.
     
  13. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    NRT-SIN Raffles Menu

    LUNCH MENU

    To Nibble On

    Satay
    With onion, cucumber and spicy peanut sauce

    A Savoury Note

    Atlantic smoked salmon garnished with tomato and cucumber salad[/b]

    The Main Event

    Sauteed veal with braised leek and carrots. Boulangere potatoes.

    Stir fried chicken in black peppercorn sauce served with seasonal vegetables and fried rice

    Spaghetti pasta with assorted mushroom bolognese, shaved parmesan cheese

    A Sweet Note

    Haagen Dazs macadamia ice cream with chocolate sauce

    The Cheese Board

    Gourmet cheese with garnishes

    Fruit

    A selection of fresh fruit

    A Connoisseur`s Choice

    Gourmet coffee
    Selection of tea
    and pralines


    HANAGOYOMI MENU

    "Finding the change of the four seasons in a flower and translating it into cuisine."

    An array of nine appetisers and entrees together with miso soup, served in Japanese style.

    Ha-Sun
    Salmon with pine nut, shrimp paste with shiitake, sweet potato, mukago

    Kuchitori
    Horned turban, seaweed shrimp

    Yakimono
    Grilled pacific saury, eringi mushroom, pickled ginger

    Aemono
    Straw mushroom and yamakurage vegetable in peanut dressing

    Sunomono
    Marinated persimmon, radish and carrot

    Takiawase
    Simmered beancurd skin, carrot, green beans

    Gohan
    Grilled mackerel sushi
    Steamed rice with assorted mushrooms
    Steamed rice with hijiki seaweed


    Tome-Wan
    Miso soup

    Men
    Cold buckwheat noodles

    Mizugashi
    Haagen Dazs macadamia ice cream with chocolate sauce

    Ocha
    Green tea


    BEVERAGES MENU

    Special cocktail

    Golden Spice

    Cocktails

    Singapore Sling
    Silver Kris Sling
    Gin Fizz
    Cloud Nine
    Screwdriver
    Bloody Mary
    Daiquiri
    Red or White Wine Cooler

    Aperitifs

    Campari
    Dry Vermouth

    Non-alcoholic cocktails

    Citrus Royale
    Tropical Sparkle
    Orange Cooler
    Fruit Spritzer
    Sunrise Surprise

    Spirits

    Cognac XO Otard
    Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky
    Johnnie Walker Black Label
    Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
    Gordon's Dry Gin
    Smirnoff Red Label Vodka
    Bacardi Carta Blanca
    Premium Ginjo Sake Tamanohikari

    Liqueurs

    Cointreau
    Tia Maria
    Baileys Original Irish Cream

    Beer

    International Selection

    Stout

    Guinness Stout

    Champagne

    Piper Heidsieck 1999

    White Wines

    Rheingau Riesling Kabinett 2004 Weinhas Ress
    Montagny 1er Cru 2004

    Red Wines

    Chateau Cissac 1998 Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc
    Serrata Belguardo 2003 Igt Maremma Toscana

    Port

    Dow 2001 Late Bottled Vintage Port

    Tea selection

    Pure Ceylon Tea
    Earl Grey
    Darjeeling
    Camomile
    Decaffeinated Tea
    Japanese Green Tea
    Oolong

    Gourmet Coffees

    Brazil Santos Bourbon
    Colombian Supremo
    Kenyan AA Kilimanjaro

    Specialty Coffees

    Brewed Coffee
    Cafe Royal
    Espresso
    Cappuccino
    Decaffeinated Coffee
    Mocha

    Other Beverages

    Chocolate
    Milo

    Mineral Water

    Carbonated mineral water
    Non-carbonated mineral water

    Fruit Juices

    Apple
    Orange
    Pineapple
    Tomato

    Soft Drinks

    A range of regular or low-calorie drinks is available

    Cold Japanese Oolong Tea

    Iced Drinks

    Iced Tea
    Iced Coffee
    Iced Mocha
    Iced Chocolate
    Iced Milo
     
  14. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Singapore to Auckland (SIN-AKL) Raffles (Business) Class on SQ 747

    I notice I will be on the same aircraft and same seat again (that's 3 flights in a row). Again I check some emails and FT, drink some Dom and freshen up. derpelikan joins me for a while - he'd been trying to get on the same flight from Tokyo but was unable and thus took the longer option via Bangkok (still on SQ).

    I headed for the gate slightly early for me, arriving a full 30 minutes before scheduled departure - which I was soon to regret. Again a queue out the door for security, but this time stupidly across the pier instead of down it - blocking the way for anyone heading to or from the gate past this one. Boarding has already started - as is often the case it starts early for SQ flights to New Zealand - but so far only for first, business, PPS and *Gold passengers. As I often do when on the upper deck and boarding is through 2 airbridges I mentally tossed a coin as to which way would be easiest. Left and through door 1L then through zone B to get to stairs (with a possible wait by door 2L to cross paths), or right and through door 2L and straight up the stairs. I chose right but should have chosen left since there was a long queue here in the hot airbridge. 5 minutes later and I'm onboard and up the stairs - it is sweltering inside, well over 30 C. It seems the APU hasnt been fixed and so the a/c has heated up badly during the few hours it sat parked here.

    To compound the discomfort we pushed back late due to traffic congestion and so I had an unpleasant hour until the air cooled sufficiently to be comfortable.

    Someone must have reset the IFE for my seat during the stop since it was now working ^ I had my BTC meal and then quickly fell into a deep sleep only to walk up with bright sun streaming in the windows 6 hours later. Yup the FAs forgot to pull down the blinds. Shortly after I awoke they went around closing most of the blinds, but left some hard to reach ones open! Service was again uncharacteristically poor. Here are some more examples, missed drink service, no drink top-ups (or even asking if we wanted top-up), forgot which coffee type I had requested (in just a few seconds!), forgot (or misremembered) I don't have milk with my coffee, rubbish left on the armrest for most of the flight (still uncleared by the time we landed), at breakfast forgot to ask if I wanted any yoghurt, another missed hot towel (just skipped a couple of rows), etc.

    Breakfast was served a couple of hours prior to landing.

    It was a fine spring day in Auckland with scattered cloud and so great views of the hills, harbours and city which we circled to land from the east. Immigration and customs were surprisingly empty for what is normally a busy time of day, and so my plane to exit time (with no checked bags) was an excellent 5 minutes even though we got the gate at the end of the pier.
     
  15. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    SIN-AKL Raffles Menu


    DINNER MENU

    A Savoury Note

    Mesclun with seared tandoori prawns and salad of pineapple and cucumber
    Balsamic and extra virgin olive oil dressing
    Yoghurt dressing


    The Main Event

    Panroasted Muscovy duck with black cherry-jus, broccolini and celeriac puree

    Scallops in dill and saffron sauce with roasted vegetables and new potatoes

    Kaeng kaew wan noeu
    Thai style beef in green curry with vegetables and steamed rice

    Braised lamb shank in port wine with roasted vegetables, shallots and sundried tomatoes

    A Sweet Note

    Ben & Jerry ice cream
    Choice of Cherry Garcia or Chocolate chip cookie dough

    The Cheese Board

    Gourmet cheese with garnishes

    Fruit

    A selection of fresh fruit

    A Connoisseur's Choice

    Gourmet coffee
    Selection of tea
    and pralines


    SNACK MENU

    Fancy a snack?
    Simply take your pick from our range of delectable snacks and make your selection known to our cabin crew.

    Noodles

    Fish ball broth with kway teow or bee hoon noodles

    Vegetarian and non-vegetarian instant noodles

    Sandwiches

    Chicken satay in plain ciabatta

    Beef pastrami with gherkins in focaccia bun

    Mozzarella with roast capsicum in onion ciabatta

    Snacks

    Roasted mixed nuts

    Toblerone

    Famous Amos chocolate chip

    Real McCoy potato chips "Smokey BBQ"

    Kjeldsens cookies

    Bananas


    BEFORE TOUCH-DOWN MENU

    Your Breakfast Choice

    This convenient breakfast option lets you enjoy all the sleep you want, uninterrupted. Please inform our crew of your choice before lights out - if they do not receive your selection, you will be awakened in time for The Complete Breakfast.

    The Complete Breakfast

    Take your pick of the Main Event from our scrumptious selections.
    Served earliest 2.5 hours prior to arrival

    Continental Breakfast

    Delight in this simple yet wholesome meal.
    Served earliest 1.5 hours prior to arrival

    A Fresh Start

    A choice of apple, tomato or freshly squeezed orange juice

    Fresh fruit

    A Healthy Note

    Choice of cereals or yoghurt
    Cornflakes with milk or Birchermuesli
    Plain or fruit yoghurt


    The Main Event

    Braised egg noodles with shredded pork in spicy sauce and leafy vegetables

    Panfried beef fillet and veal sausage with jus, roma tomato, button mushrooms and roesti potatoes

    Poached eggs with macedoine of vegetables and chicken sausage

    From the Bakery

    Assorted breakfast rolls
    Butter - Fruit preserve

    A Connoisseur's Choice

    Gourmet coffee
    Selection of tea


    BEVERAGES MENU

    Special cocktail

    Golden Spice

    Cocktails

    Singapore Sling
    Silver Kris Sling
    Gin Fizz
    Cloud Nine
    Screwdriver
    Bloody Mary
    Daiquiri
    Red or White Wine Cooler

    Aperitifs

    Campari
    Dry Vermouth

    Non-alcoholic cocktails

    Citrus Royale
    Tropical Sparkle
    Orange Cooler
    Fruit Spritzer
    Sunrise Surprise

    Spirits

    Cognac XO Otard
    Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky
    Johnnie Walker Black Label
    Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
    Gordon's Dry Gin
    Smirnoff Red Label Vodka
    Bacardi Carta Blanca

    Liqueurs

    Cointreau
    Tia Maria
    Baileys Original Irish Cream

    Beer

    International Selection

    Stout

    Guinness Stout

    Champagne

    Piper Heidsieck 1999

    White Wines

    2004 St Clair Marlborough Sauvignon
    Rheingau Riesling Kabinett 2004 Weinhas Ress

    Red Wines

    2003 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Merlot
    Chateau Cissac 1998 Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc

    Port

    Dow 2001 Late Bottled Vintage Port

    Tea selection

    Pure Ceylon Tea
    Earl Grey
    Darjeeling
    Camomile
    Decaffeinated Tea
    Japanese Green Tea
    Oolong

    Gourmet Coffees

    Brazil Santos Bourbon
    Colombian Supremo
    Kenyan AA Kilimanjaro

    Specialty Coffees

    Brewed Coffee
    Cafe Royal
    Espresso
    Cappuccino
    Decaffeinated Coffee
    Mocha

    Other Beverages

    Chocolate
    Milo

    Mineral Water

    Carbonated mineral water
    Non-carbonated mineral water

    Fruit Juices

    Apple
    Orange
    Pineapple
    Tomato

    Soft Drinks

    A range of regular or low-calorie drinks is available

    Iced Drinks

    Iced Tea
    Iced Coffee
    Iced Mocha
    Iced Chocolate
    Iced Milo
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Summary days 1-2

    • map
    • 17,098 flown miles
    • 4 flights
    • 1 a/c type
      • 747-400
    • 1 airline
      • SQ
    • 3 countries
      • New Zealand
      • Singapore
      • Japan
    • 3 airports (number of transfers)
      • 2 SIN
      • 1 AKL, NRT
     
  17. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Next instalment isn't far away. In the meantime I hope the weather forecast is incorrect. Fog delay on the first leg of multi-day flying is not good.
     
  18. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) Business Class on Qantas 767

    The couple of days in between trips was hectic with the usual flurry of meetings and reports due. So it came as no surprise to find myself starting to pack at midnight for the flight really early next morning.

    My packing took longer than usual since the recently relaxed UK baggage rules allowed a modest carry-on but no second bag or separate personal items. Fitting all my gear plus goodies into 2 small carry-ons isn't a problem for me, even on trips of 2-3 weeks. However getting it down to a single bag is that much harder.

    I toyed with the idea of staying up (after all I have plenty of long flights to catch up on sleep) but decided to at least try to get a couple hours sleep). I hardly slept a wink - possibly subconsciously thinking through all the things for work and for the trip that I'd need to do in the morning. So I get up before my alarm went off and finished getting ready. One look out the window confirms last night's weather forecast is accurate - it is foggy.

    In Auckland fog tends to form in the wee hours of the morning, thicken around dawn and either lift quickly or hang around for several hours. Due to the terrain it can be patchy - just because it is thick in the central city doesn't necessarily mean it is near the airport.

    Barely awake I head back out to the airport like so many early mornings before. This is a transition time, with small signs of awakening for the day ahead (eg streets being cleaned) as well as some stubbornly clinging to the night like the fog wrapped around the lamp-posts, in the bars and clubs remaining open. There are few people out and little traffic as we zoom through the fog across the isthmus to the airport.

    Since I have a bit of time in hand I ask to be dropped off at domestic terminal to give myself an excuse to stretch the legs in the walk over to the international terminal. An airport vehicle throws a beam into the murk like an orange lighthouse light. Normally the walk gives an opportunity to observe several aircraft and a different angle on tarmac operations - not today. A single tail fin is seen hazily.

    I head inside to the Qantas premium check in facility. It is a quiet haven from the bulging queues outside. Despite the early hour this is a busy period at the airport with several long haul arrivals plus a bank of flights to Australia and the south pacific. I get the next 3 boarding passes and complete immigration formalities. Given one of my destinations today I had expected a few questions on the contents of my carry-on (re the limitations), but perhaps my bleary not yet awake look was misinterpreted by the agent as a weary heard it all before look?

    Upstairs and using the pre-cleared lane to bypass another huge queue at immigration. All the WTMD stations were in operation so I easily found one without a queue and heading to the shops. Due to no liquids rule later in my trip I was not picking up duty free drink - which is a shame as there are some nice wines and spirits I would have loved to bring with me. No, I am heading for that essential supply, Berocca, since I discovered a couple hours earlier that I had run out.

    Next stop the lounge. It always feels strange to me when I use the Qantas lounge in the international terminal since I use the Air NZ lounge opposite so much more often. Especially in my not really awake state I have to force myself not to turn left at the top of the escalator. I have a brief chat with the lounge bouncer who normally works the domestic lounge before entering and turning left for the OW Emerald lounge (it is really an F lounge but the only one world F service in Auckland is LAN's service Santiago-Auckland-Sydney-Auckland-Santiago.
     
  19. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) Business Class on Qantas 767 continued

    I have enough time to print out some stuff I'd run out of time for yesterday, fire off a few emails and check out a couple of things. Our gate was gate 1 which is the closest gate to the lounge, but due to the way the corridors are constructed it is a good 5 minute walk away - first down the escalator, along a corridor, turn right to head down the pier, then left then right past several shops, then up an escalator (or stairs or lift if you prefer), then right at the top then left, then past several more shops before turning 180 degrees back towards to base of the pier, down an escalator, past gate lounge 3 to finally get to the gate. What a stupid design!

    Boarding started a while ago so there is no queue - straight to my seat where I settle in with a pre-departure drink (water). We push back on time. It is still foggy, but apart from some flights being a bit late seems to not be thick enough to cause disruptions.

    After a short taxi we take off and moments later break through into the clear skies above. The location of the steel mill is made obvious beneath the blanket of fog by the presence of a big steam plume rising above the cloud sheet. We follow the coastline for a bit before turning west for Sydney.

    Breakfast is a choice of tomato and mushroom omelette or french toast, plus fruit pieces in syrup (yuk - I much prefer plated fruit), apple or orange juice, water, tea, coffee, toast. In other words fairly blah. I try to get some sleep but only manage to doze a little.

    Despite the usual headwinds we approach Sydney ahead of schedule (just how much padding is there?), with the view I can never tire of as we sweep past the sea cliffs and over the sheltered waterways of Botany Bay to land. We then sat in a holding pen on the tarmac for 15 minutes waiting for the aircraft to clear our gate. Later I checked the schedules and saw that flight had a scheduled departure only 5 minutes before our scheduled arrival so no wonder we had to wait!

    When I made the booking I had intended to clear immigration and head into the city to do some shopping, since my connection was long enough to do so. However the carry on restrictions have put paid to that and so I headed for transit desk, popped my bag in the xray machine and without even breaking stride was on my way to the temporary Qantas lounge (the regular ones currently undergoing renovations). As usual I had courtesly let someone stay ahead of me to get to transfer security, in order that they would be picked for the "random" explosives test - not that I have anything to hide.

    This was my first visit to Sydney on One World since the F lounge renovations started and so I was interested to check out the temporary lounge (follow the signs for gates 24-29). The bouncer was busy on the phone and uninterested in checking cards or BPs so I head downstairs. It is old and tatty looking. Even on this bright sunny day half the lounge is dank and gloomy. The food on offer is poor (some cheese & crackers and fruit only). I hope the refurbishment is completed soon.
     
  20. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Sydney to Singapore (SYD-SIN) Business Class on QF 747

    I grab a shower to freshen up. It is amazing how much a simple shower can awaken the body and refresh the spirit.

    Early afternoon the Veuve Clicquot promotion means free samples (reasonably generous sized compared with the earlier Krug promotion from what I've been told). Not that this is the reason for my transit!
    (Okay you can stop laughing now.) The food however remains poor.

    Now why do I have this longish transfer? When I planned my DONE5 itinerary I had hoped to fly through Johannesburg, in order to get a view (albeit from a distance) of Antarctica once again (see great circle route and my Antarctic flight seeing). While I could get a seat on Qantas flight SYD-JNB on the right date, I could only waitlist for the 2 onward flight choices. After a few months waiting and a price increase imminent I decided to switch routing to Singapore. Flights to Singapore leave much later than the flight to Johannesburg. From reports all over FT I see that flights between South Africa and Europe tend to be heavily sold in business and first class, so next time I will plan further ahead.
     
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