Essex Express-UK December 2021

andye

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Carriages at midnight. Back to the Marks Tey, where there were still some functions going on. White stilettoes seem to have disappeared from the Essex wardrobe but otherwise the combination of glam and tipsiness remain. Bar didn't stay open for much longer so had a couple of duty-free G&T's with sister & brother-in-law in our room. Maximising time together
 
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andye

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Met up for buffet breakfast which was so-so (small plates so not quite as atherogenic as it looks 😉)
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Then off to the bride's family house for a post-wedding catch-up. Groom's family quite posh so felt that I shouldn't have been wearing black shoes 😉
Bride's father is my older cousin who I have always looked up to. He lived with my grandparents and my late father in his childhood and it was great to hear his stories of what great fun he was over tea and light lunch
 
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andye

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We said our goodbyes and went off to LHR. Yesterday's troubled covid tests had come back negative (after an anxiety-inducing spell in my spam folder). Stopped off in Uxbridge for a Marks & Spencer fix. Should have filled up with petrol there as my memory of a station closer to LHR was faulty. Empty tank meant a pretty hefty surcharge but otherwise all fine with Budget drop-off.
 

andye

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Return flights were with SQ (a bit of a saga, documented elsewhere, but had eventually snagged Advantage Jx2)

Check-in process quite easy with test certs etc though hadn't filled in AU passenger declaration form yet. It says should be done 72 hours prior but we had no problem doing it late

Went to the SQ lounge. It's not one of their best but UA and AC are both currently shut. No champagne but good gin. QR codes for food service for all but some wrapped cheese and biscuits, fruit etc
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Shouldn't be ungrateful. Over the tannoy heard that flights from UK would need to transit in a holding area. Boarding passes said access to Silver Kris but sounded ominous..
 
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andye

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777 for the LHR-SIN leg which many will be familiar with. Middle seats are quite distant for a couple. Very wide seat which turns over to a bed which I find difficult to time as I have a tendency to drop off mid-film. Found the need to look up the menu via QR code rather than paper menu a bit bothersome but screen-shotted. 20211212_202640.jpg 20211212_202846.jpg 20211212_211155.jpg 20211212_214557.jpg 20211212_220448.jpg 20211212_222252.jpg 20211213_131531.jpg 20211213_134830.jpg Champagne was Piper Vintage and good.
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andye

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We arrived at SIN and yes we were given green bracelets and were confined to a holding area for the next 7 hours. Plenty of space but very limited food and drink offerings available to order as well as vending machines. Did feel that SQ could have set up an area for premium customers with some freebies. Got by with books and dozes
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andye

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We had A380 SIN-SYD. Somewhere our seat selection had been stuffed up but the cabin crew managed to get us together. Middle seats very good (the divider comes right down) for couples (as good as Qatar bar the footwell placement IMO).
Asked if would like to eat after departure or before arrival. A good flight 20211214_002727.jpg 20211214_015838.jpg 20211214_003216.jpg 20211214_020833.jpg 20211214_002611.jpg 20211214_002559.jpg 20211214_133142.jpg
 
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andye

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And so back to Sydney. Apart from no Toblerones :0 in duty-free all very smooth. There was an announcement about NSW restrictions on the plane and we were given a pamphlet. T1 busier than when departed but some shops open. The taxi rank had not been demolished as I had thought on departure, just moved a bit. Beautiful blue skies after 3 days of grey

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MelMel

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We arrived at SIN and yes we were given green bracelets and were confined to a holding area for the next 7 hours. Plenty of space but very limited food and drink offerings available to order as well as vending machines. Did feel that SQ could have set up an area for premium customers with some freebies. Got by with books and dozes
View attachment 267625 View attachment 267626 View attachment 267627

Was this area just for J passengers or everyone? Did you have to pay for ordered food? Thanks
 

andye

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We had 72 hours of isolation at home. PPE hugs not the same but we ate well and played games with the children at a very safe distance (we were keen for them not to miss last 2 days of school). We are lucky with space and mrsandye is a stickler but not sure how compliant most can be 20211215_183426.jpg
 

VPS

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It's wonderful to see someone travelling again and glad that apart from a few glitches it all went well.

I think you were lucky you weren't going this week - I don't think it would be quite so easy going
 

rginoz

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Everyone. No benefits at all for J or status so all paid food and drink. Only some countries are subject to it and I'm pretty sure it started after we were away
I enjoyed your trip report very much. It's worth making an effort to attend significant events with living relatives.
 

kelvedon

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Thanks for the nice trip report, I really enjoyed it.
Re : your black shoes, I remember my grandfather, who was a stickler for dressing correctly, would say “ never brown in town “ but I didn’t know the reverse was true ! 😂
 
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andye

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I enjoyed your trip report very much. It's worth making an effort to attend significant events with living relatives.
Thank you and agree entirely. Auntie V was briefly admitted to hospital after our return. Not with covid and thankfully better very quickly but it does reinforce the need to seize the day if one possibly can
 
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andye

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Thanks for the nice trip report, I really enjoyed it.
Re : your black shoes, I remember my grandfather, who was a stickler for dressing correctly, would say “ never brown in town “ but I didn’t know the reverse was true ! 😂
I'm not sure it is but I think I was intimidated by the plethora of tweed sports jackets 😀
 

ellen10

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I enjoyed reading your trip report and all things flying. Your family time sounded wonderful and a really lovely experience, well worth the effort and stresses at a few times.
 

andye

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Despite CX rebooking our QR flights into J, they didn't credit to BA (did get VA credit for the SYD-MEl leg though)
We didn't catch covid and went back to work after iso. Children did pick it up after Christmas so ended up at home again
Did later discover we could have entered the Al-safwa at DOH but not directed there as had BA not QR number on BP (unnecessarily as above)
 
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