Another manic month for kiwi

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Kiwi Flyer

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Yada Yada said:
Kiwi Flyer said:
DO RUN RUN

Serfty PM'd to advise you won't be able to join us tomorrow (Fri) in SIN b/c of your short transit. Sorry to hear that. :(

Anyway, I hope that the "DO" is lots of fun, and that the rain stops! I was out at dinner last night at Beerwerkz and it litterally p!ssed down for quite a while. It's dry tonight so maybe it will begin to fine up. :wink:

Sorry I cant join you guys for dinner. My meeting just finished and I have another flight to catch. Yes it has been dry today - hope it lasts.

Serfty - see you tomorrow.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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JohnK said:
Kiwi Flyer said:
While there they hand me a birthday card from the airport crew which is a nice touch ^
My family forgets my birthday and you get a birthday card from airport crew. :roll: Priceless. :)

Well I have flown SQ a lot. There'll also be a pressie waiting for me when I get back.
 

JohnK

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Well I have flown SQ a lot. There'll also be a pressie waiting for me when I get back.
And I suppose you know the birthdates of all the pretty SQ flight attendants. :roll:
 

oz_mark

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JohnK said:
Kiwi Flyer said:
Well I have flown SQ a lot. There'll also be a pressie waiting for me when I get back.
And I suppose you know the birthdates of all the pretty SQ flight attendants. :roll:

Am I detecting just the faintest hint of jealousy?
 

JohnK

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oz_mark said:
johnk said:
And I suppose you know the birthdates of all the pretty SQ flight attendants. :roll:

Am I detecting just the faintest hint of jealousy?
There is jealousy there but I wouldn't describe it as faint. :(
 

Yada Yada

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Sorry I cant join you guys for dinner. My meeting just finished and I have another flight to catch. Yes it has been dry today - hope it lasts.

Never mind. Hopefully we can catch up in Oz sometime in 2006.

Just got back from dinner with serfty and mrs serfty. We went to Mezza9 at the Hyatt. Great night - good food and good company. Fun to finally meet someone from AFF/FT. :D
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sure enough the departure is delayed. At the gate I am paged to collect boarding passes for the return flights some 60-odd hours hence! So much for the 48 hour check in limit!

The usual head winds arent as strong as normal and so we make up time en route to arrive on time. I sleep a little but got woken up by the general noise when breakfast is served about 75 minutes from Singapore.

SUPPER menu

A Savoury Note

Mesclun with smoked seafood, asparagus and tomato

The Main Event

Baked salmon trout with pesto crust, sauteed shimeji mushrooms, artichoke barigoule and roasted fingerling potatoes

Stir fried chicken with macadamia nuts, selected vegetables and fragrant rice

Stewed lamb in port wine and herbs with sauteed vegetables and polenta

The Cheese Board

Gourmet cheese with garnishes

A Sweet Note

Ice cream

A Connoisseur's Choice

Gourmet coffee

Selection of tea


BREAKFAST menu

A Fresh Start

A choice of apple, tomato or freshly squeezed orange

Fresh fruit

A Healthy Note

Choice of cereals or yoghurt

The Main Event

Seaweed kway teow

Herbed chicken breast with warm salad of mushrooms, tomato and potatoes

Egg frittata with vegetables, grilled tomato, spinach and chicken sausage

From the Bakery

Assorted breakfast rolls

Butter - Fruit preserve

A Connoisseur's Choice

Gourmet coffee

Selection of tea

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)
 

Kiwi Flyer

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I have enough time to freshen up in the lounge. I look out for CGK who is on the next 2 flights with me, but dont see. When its time to board I head out to the gate and meet up with CGK there.

We take the Singapore 773 to Jakarta. Drink some champagne and coffee to awaken properly and talk, eat and drink the whole flight (not necessarily in that order ;) ). Then its the turnaround procedure with which I am becoming so familiar. As usual, we have the same crew on the way back.

I dont have a copy of the menu, but there's an indonesian, another asian and a western choice (omelette); as well as book the cook of course. The menu is different each way.

Back at Singapore I run into an old friend and have a brief chat before her flight, and then join some great FT friends for lunch (none for me thanks!), talking, etc.

Later I make some changes to flights and freshen up before heading out to the gate for yet another flight.

Back to Jakarta again. Have some more Dom (what the heck!) and a nice dinner - although I leave much of it, not because its not nice but because with so many flights with yummy food I'm in grave danger of overeating. Unlike the earlier flights there is a bit of turbulence - especially near Jakarta where the weather is much worse than Singapore. In one particularly big bump I manage to spill food on my shirt :(

When we are on approach I think someone hit the wrong button or keyed the wrong info in somewhere as flight path showed time to go at about 10 minutes suddenly increased to 2 hours and 10 minutes! Even closer to landing, while in the middle of thunderstorm with lightning flashing all around every few seconds, we pull out and circle Jakarta to land from the other direction. As a result we end up arriving nearly 30 minutes late. Oh oh, I have a tight connection for the return flight at only 50 minutes scheduled time.

Well of course the return flight is also late leaving. With such a short turnaround in the schedule for the aircraft it is difficult to make up any lost time, and the torrential rain is also slowing down the ground work.

The return flight is bumpy, I have some more drink (to settle nerves so it must be medicinal :p ). We arrive late back in Singapore of course, not helped by a very long taxi around about 3/4 of the terminals. We pull up at the gate about 25 minutes late. There are a lot of connecting passengers so a Singapore agent is at the end of the airbridge with a big sign listing all the connecting gates. We are at F60 (yup that one right at the end of terminal 2) and my heart sinks when I see the next flight leaves from gate E11 - virtually as far away as it is possible to be within the terminal :(

Seeing by now I have about 10 minutes before the gate closes, and Singapore is enforcing this strictly these days, I run and run. I can confirm it takes 6 minutes at a fast jog to go from F60 to E11. So I make it with a few minutes to spare. I see CGK at the gate.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Summary update

Map

39 flights
71,509 flown miles

Aircraft 747, 777, A319, Beaver, Dash 8, Beechcraft 1900C, 757, MD80, 737, ARJ, Fokker 70

Airlines Singapore, Air Canada, Harbour Air, Pacific Coastal, American, Lufthansa, Air France (and Regional)
 

Kiwi Flyer

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My sixth international flight departing on the same calendar day starts off with a surprise. An op-up to Singapore first sky suite ^^^^ This is my second one in just 5 weeks. But before you claim Singapore is softening up (op-ups are indeed an extremely rare occurrence - see the op-up thread in the Singapore forum for example), consider this - in the past 3 months I have had 42 flights on Singapore so 2/42 is hardly handing them out freely (and none for me from more than 60 flights before this).
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sorry about the break. Where was I? Oh yeah relaxing on a sky suite sipping some Dom and yakking with CGK.

The last time I flew F on a sky suite on Singapore I was so tired I slept the whole red eye and missed out on enjoying the experience. I was determined not to sleep this one away as well. But tiredness eventually prevailed and I got an hour or so of sleep before breakfast.

I will post the menu when I get a chance to.

In Japan the weather was very cloudy and misty. As we descended past some high cloud there was a nice view of the low cloud and mist far below and the rising sun peeking through the gap between the low and high cloud. Closer to landing the mist provided a surreal view of the landscape below, with the early morning light providing a light glow but yet not fully penetrating the mist. We did almost a complete loop of Narita at about 40 miles out, negating the fast flight time. The bushy small hills were more visible than the buildings or farmland and thus contrasted with the mist. The whole scene made me think of a cross between a washy watercolour and groggy eye vision after a long sleep!

On arrival at Tokyo it was the familiar walk to transfer security and into the deserted terminal. We saw the Singapore to Tokyo via Bangkok 777 flight arrive - it was quite late today. The terminal doesnt really come to life until 8am, so we got some light exercise wandering to the far end of the terminal and back. While browsing the information computer I had to laugh at one of the Japan Airlines flights. Where many other flights showed comments of codeshare, on time or rescheduled, the JL flight to Jakarta was by bus according to the comments! (I am sure they meant it was a bus gate but that is not how it read in english.)

Eventually the lounge is opened and so we make use of the facilities. I grab some more copies of the printed Singapore timetable. I like the ones available at the NRT silver kris lounge as they are very small compared to the one available from SIN which is a thick book. I had given all mine away previously so nice to replenish. I also grabbed a New Zealand entry card to save time later. I'm not sure why but NRT silver kris lounge is the only place I have seen NZ entry cards (other than being handed out at a gate or onboard). It is quite a detour to take Singapore NRT to Singapore to Auckland or Christchurch, when Air New Zealand flies direct.

Unfortunately the rumours of the demise of green tea Fauchon ice cream are true. That was my favourite flavour.

The lounge fills up and it looks like the return flight will also be full (as is the case). We managed to get seats together (in business class this time) in the bulkhead row. I convinced (not too difficult) CGK to try the Hanagoyomi which I prefer to both the western menu, and also to the Kyo Kaiseki offered in first class. Its as yummy as I remembered it.

While waiting for connexion to get working properly, we play some interactive games of tetris. The FAs were fantastic on this flight - and reminded me of why it is so nice to be able to fly Singapore. Not only did they keep our glasses fill and seem to be able to read my mind when I wanted something, but they took care to avoid blocking the view of the screens while we were playing games!

We also had a fast flight back to Singapore and a short taxi on arrival (for a nice change). Rapidly through Singapore immigration and arrive at the Conrad with enough time to check in before heading out to SIN DO dinner. I had expected I would miss the shared ride to dinner as the flight wasnt due to arrive until 6pm.

Dinner was great. Nice food and plenty of Tiger beers, but even nicer was catching up with so many FT friends - both old and new.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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SIN DO AND THE LAST FLIGHT

To get a taste of SIN DO take a read of the linked thread.

Early the next day I wake up groggy from lack of sleep, check out and head back to the airport. Although I had already checked in (60+ hours early - see the earlier post - and yet somehow NOT sequence number 1 on the boarding pass), somewhere along the way my boarding pass had gotten quite ripped. Security and immigration took a close look but decided the 2 parts lined up reasonably well and so let me through. I got the boarding pass reissued in the lounge.

After checking some emails I met up with zvezda who had just returned from an overnight turnaround and CGK who was heading out on yet another turnaround on his epic run.

I decided to head out for the gate a little earlier than my usual 15-20 minutes before departure as the last few times I have flown to AKL the gate screening doesnt have enough screeners. On the way I noticed the departure screens list the flight as boarding and remark to CGK that is premature - it is never this early. When I arrive at the gate, to my surprise not only are both xray machines being operated but boarding has indeed started already. So I'm very quickly on board.

The flight is full, as expected this time of the year. We push back early so I wonder if the hurry to get away means the tail winds arent as strong as normal and therefore need to make up time, or maybe the late arrival into and departure from Auckland a few days ago cost them plenty of $? As we taxi to the runway I see CGK's aircraft to Bangkok is late pushing back.

For about the fourth or fifth time in recent flying, I swapped seats so a couple could sit together. So much for pre-selecting the best seat.

I manage to get some much needed sleep and indeed miss breakfast. Later I force myself awake so that I dont have too much trouble sleeping tonight after arriving around midnight. The flight is quite bumpy with many patches of moderate to high turbulence. In one I had just gotten a coffee and yet to take a sip when I lost most of the contents into the saucer and all over the tray table, myself and the floor.

CGK (I think) had arranged with Singapore to have a birthday cake for me after dinner. SQ doesnt provide one automatically (for last year I flew on my birthday and got nothing). The chocolate cake was quite nice and enjoyed by myself and fellow nearby passengers.

Having said that, I found the service on this flight to be a little "off" and not the usual Singapore high standards. Dont get me wrong - I have had far worse service on other airlines but it was below what I have come to expect from Singapore. For example

not shown to seat on boarding, and no offer to lift bags into overhead bin (which I refuse anyway)

I missed the mid-flight snack due to a toilet stop but they didnt check after if I wanted one

during the turbulence mentioned above, they helped me clean up the coffee spill, but when it subsided a few minutes later forgot to ask if I wanted to try again with a coffee

was one of the last to have meal order taken (due to seating position) and they'd run out of my prefered choice (the one asian meal option), all that was left was chilean seabass (which I refuse due to being a threatened species) and a bland chicken and mashed potato - I did ask for and got extra satay though which helped make up for it

slow to ask for drink refills

We arrived into Auckland a few minutes early - which in reality means we had a slow flight as normally strong tailwinds make for very early arrival. I see the Air New Zealand 767 from Sydney has arrived a few minutes ahead of us and brace myself for a queue at immigration (particularly as not so quick out of the aircraft due to being in a different seat). However I am a fast walker and so race past lots of people to find a deserted immigration and am on the drive home within 5 minutes ^
 
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Kiwi Flyer

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SUMMARY

And so another manic month comes to an end.

Map

42 flights
83,381 flown miles

Aircraft 747, 777, A319, Beaver, Dash 8, Beechcraft 1900C, 757, MD80, 737, ARJ, Fokker 70

Airlines Singapore, Air Canada, Harbour Air, Pacific Coastal, American, Lufthansa, Air France (and Regional)


In the past 3 months I have flown an incredible (to me anyway) 175,000 miles on many different airlines and to many countries. I think its time for a wee break from travel, but it probably wont be long before I'll be back in the air. Until next time ....


PS I will add some more menus (as new posts so they are easy to find) within the next few days.
 

JohnK

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Excellent trip report Kiwi Flyer. :)

Where do you get the energy to do all this flying :?:
 

Kiwi Flyer

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You've read it already :shock:

The first few times I got sore arms. But then I found drink anaethetises quite nicely.
 

BlacKnox

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Superb TR KiwiFlyer :!:

I'm not surprised about the snow in SEL. Japan has had it's biggest ever (?) snowfall this season with over 100 people dying in various accidents (falling off the roof clearing snow/ trapped in buildings etc). Living in SPK where snow is on the ground for 5 months a year, I'm over the white christmas thing - prefer to head to the beach :D .

Sad to hear about the ice-cream in NRT. Have you ever tried Hagen Das green tea flavor :?: A poor comparison I suspect but if you ever get withdrawal symptoms, perhaps a worthwhile alternative :idea:
 

Kiwi Flyer

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The NRT lounge only stocks Fauchon. While the SIN lounge does have haagen daz, it is only a couple of flavours - neither being green tea.

Actually someone reported on FT today that green tea Fauchon was left off an order recently so there is a chance it will come back.

The mochi served after lunch is similar in any case.
 

serfty

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Yada Yada said:
... Just got back from dinner with serfty and mrs serfty. We went to Mezza9 at the Hyatt. Great night - good food and good company. Fun to finally meet someone from AFF/FT. :D
Yeah Yada Yada,

A really good night; I hope you road trip to KL went smoothly. Flew on a seeming rocket last night back to Oz; Skyshow was indicating ground speeds of over 1000kmph for much of the time.

Quite tired now; I have really overdrawn my "sleepbank" and I am paying it back with much interest. :?

We caught up with Kiwi Flyer on Saturday Night at the FT SIN DO; much Tiger Beer Quaffed!

Kiwi Flyer said:
... After checking some emails I met up with zvezda who had just returned from an overnight turnaround ...
The guy zvezda referred to by Kiwi Flyer, actually flew to Columbo, Sri Lanka and back after the Saturday Night DO; he was back in time for the lunch at Singapore's Newton Food Centre. :shock: .

There really are some hardcore flyers out there....
 

Kiwi Flyer

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some of us were still drinking the night away after you left :oops:

we had a very slow flight back, but on other times I have seen speeds well over 1100 kph over australia and tasman sea!!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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BlacKnox said:
I'm not surprised about the snow in SEL. Japan has had it's biggest ever (?) snowfall this season with over 100 people dying in various accidents (falling off the roof clearing snow/ trapped in buildings etc). Living in SPK where snow is on the ground for 5 months a year, I'm over the white christmas thing - prefer to head to the beach :D .

So maybe I should try for north-east asia for a white christmas then? May have more luck than north america and northern europe...
 
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