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Old May 15, 12, 2:07 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SLB
Programs: AA, UA, DL, HH G
Posts: 231
A Trip of Firsts (FCO-LHR-SIN-HKG-BKK-FCO | BA C, QF F, CX C, TG F)

Introduction

I recently got into the points game, and ended up with about 80k points on UA and AA, each. I've always wanted to go to Asia, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do it, and to do it in style. Because of different reasons, I decided to hire Ben, a.k.a. Lucky, from Points Pros to help me with the booking, and his first proposal, visiting Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, was approved with some minor tweaks. This would be a Trip of Firsts, and not necessarily because it would feature different F products, but because I would get to do some things for the first time.

Just to mention some:
  • First time to Asia (And not the last one, because I already have a trip to Japan planned for later this year)
  • First valuable redemption (I had already redeemed miles with MX for domestic flights, but paying for taxes that almost equated the price of the ticket)
  • First time flying QF, CX, and TG
  • First time flying in long-haul premium cabins (I have previously flown on CO's F domestic product and C EWR-MEX)
  • First time flying solo (I usually travel with at least a friend, or to meet someone at the destination, but this was not the case)
  • First time on an A380, or even on a B747
  • First time flying intra-European C (And probably the last one, since I didn't find it worth paying for)
  • First time using my new Canon S100 camera
  • and some other firsts which I don't remember right now.

So, the route ended up being this:

Map FCO - LHR - SIN - HKG - BKK - FCO by desquiliano, on Flickr

And the flights, these:

FCO - LHR - SIN -HKG by desquiliano, on Flickr


HKG - BKK - FCO by desquiliano, on Flickr

I ended up taking about 2k pictures, so this will be a mainly graphical report. And also because I have forgotten some details. But don't worry, I won't publish every single picture. Although, if you want to see them, you are welcome to visit these sets on Flickr.
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Old May 16, 12, 3:06 am   #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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My First Flight in Intra-European C

My First Flight in Intra-European C

I book my flights in December. By April the wait had been quite long and I was really excited. I usually wait till the last minute to pack, but this time I had already packed before I went to bed the night before.

I left for the airport about three and a half hours before my flight. I usually don't go to the airport this early, and I didn't do it this time because of the excitement, but because I was able to get a free ride with a group going to France. These group of friends had an earlier flight, and instead of paying 40 for a cab on my own, I thought it would be wiser to get a free ride and just wait for my flight at the lounge.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 001 by desquiliano, on Flickr

I went to the Club Europe checkin counter right away, but I was told I needed to wait about 20 minutes before I could checkin. I just went for a shoert walk and came back a little later, but this time I tried a different counter, and I was able to check in. Well, I had already done it online, but I needed to drop my luggage. But there was a problem, or at least that's what it looked like. Apparently she wasn't able to check my luggage, since I had not specified that when I checked-in online the night before. A quick call to a supervisor, and my luggage was on its way to Singapore via London.

I went through security using the premium lane, and in a few minutes I was already enjoying my first glass of coke in the lounge and enjoying the view.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 005 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 002 by desquiliano, on Flickr

I'll be flying on one of these when I go the Japan in a few months (SU)

Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 006 by desquiliano, on Flickr

I even saw a twin brother of the b747 that would bring me back to Rome a week later

Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 007 by desquiliano, on Flickr

At the indicated time on our boarding pass, we were told that check in was about to start, and I left for the gate. The boarding process was nothing special. The only difference is that I didn't have to walk all the way to the back

Flight Info
British Airways 547
FCO - LHR
April 8, 2012 15:20
Airbus A320-200 (G-TTOE)
Seat 2F


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 010 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 011 by desquiliano, on Flickr

The meal offered was tea service, with a couple open-faced sandwiches. At this time I was really hungry, because all I had eaten were a couple of mini sandwiches from the lounge, so I really enjoyed the meal.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 015 by desquiliano, on Flickr

My faithful IFE, my iPhone, sharing space with an article about one of my destinations on this trip.

Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 016 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 021 by desquiliano, on Flickr

After an uneventful flight, we landed in time. I took the shuttle to T3, and went straight to the transfer counters to retrieve the boarding pass for my next flight. I was then directed to the Galleries First Lounge, where I had a relaxing time.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 023 by desquiliano, on Flickr

I had been looking forward to this visit, so I could try the famous BA Burger, but unfortunately I felt I needed to eat something lighter and ended up eating the Club Salad. So, if anyone here is going to be in LHR T5 on the morning on June 16 and would like to help me try the burger by guesting me into the lounge, just PM me.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 024 by desquiliano, on Flickr
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Old May 16, 12, 9:38 pm   #3
 
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Looking forward to the rest of the TR.
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Old May 17, 12, 9:42 am   #4
 
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My First Time on the Big Bird (QF's A380 F)

My First Time on the Big Bird (QF's A380 F)

I don't know how guys who travel all the time by themselves can handle it, but after a couple hours in the Galleries First Lounge I was already bored. As soon as the gate for our flight appeared on the screen I headed there.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 025 by desquiliano, on Flickr

I had already seen the A380, but I've never been this close. Whether you like this plane or nor, you can't deny that there is some excitement before you board a plane for the first time.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 029 by desquiliano, on Flickr

Flight Info
Qantas 2
LHR - SIN
April 8, 2012 21:30
Airbus A380-800 (VH-OQF)
Seat 2A

At the appointed time we were called for boarding. I was one of the first people to make it to the plane. In fact, I believe I was the first person on the F cabin.

I was greeted at the gate, escorted to my seat, and immediately asked what I wanted to drink. This will be disappointing for most of you, but I went with water. I was given an amenity kit, although one for the wrong gender, and pajamas. I later asked the FA to change the amenity kit for the right one, which he kindly did. In no time I was already wearing my pajamas and enjoying my comfortable seat.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 030 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 033 by desquiliano, on Flickr

This flight was on Easter Sunday, so all passengers were given an Easter Bunny. Unfortunately I left mine on the plane.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 032 by desquiliano, on Flickr

Our departure was slightly delayed because they couldn't move one of the jet bridges, but waiting in such a comfortable seat was not a problem.

At some point the purser came to introduce herself, and ask if there was anything she could do for me. I told her I wanted to visit the cockpit, and she told me she would let me know with the FA if that was going to be possible.

Something worth mentioning is that every time I interacted with the FA or the purser they would call me by name, which I appreciate specially because I have an uncommon and hard to pronounce last name.

Once we were on the air the meal service started.

This was the menu.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 054 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 055 by desquiliano, on Flickr

I started with the salmon. Then I chose the lasagna. I tried the cheese afterwards, and concluded with the millefeuille.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 036 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 037 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 038 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 039 by desquiliano, on Flickr

My meal seemed to be synchronized with the movie I was watching, and so, after they both were over I decided to go to bed. I slept for about 4 hours. Then I woke up and waited for breakfast while watching another movie.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 043 by desquiliano, on Flickr

Woohoo! I'm already in Asia!


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 045 by desquiliano, on Flickr

This was the menu for breakfast. I chose the pancakes.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 056 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 049 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 050 by desquiliano, on Flickr

After breakfast I got ready for landing, and watched a couple episodes of Futurama.

I'm a Mac guy, so I had to take a picture of this.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 058 by desquiliano, on Flickr

What a beautiful view as we land


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 062 by desquiliano, on Flickr

Just as promised, as I was leaving the plane, the FA asked me if I was still interested in visiting the cockpit. I said yes, and here is the picture.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 066 by desquiliano, on Flickr

It was time to say goodbye to the A380. I will hopefully fly it again when I go to Australia. Not that I'm already planning a trip, though, but who knows, it might just happen.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 068 by desquiliano, on Flickr
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Old May 17, 12, 11:08 am   #5
 
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Very nice that you got a chance to sit in the cockpit. Never hurts to ask, and I will be sure to ask next time I'm traveling.
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Old May 18, 12, 9:55 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by isaifan View Post
Very nice that you got a chance to sit in the cockpit. Never hurts to ask, and I will be sure to ask next time I'm traveling.
Yes, it was awesome. I regret not having done it on the B747 as well.
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Old May 18, 12, 10:53 am   #7
 
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Nice job. Looking forward to the remaining parts of this report.
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Old May 18, 12, 7:13 pm   #8
 
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Great TR thus far!
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Old May 18, 12, 7:49 pm   #9
 
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WOW, great report so far, thanks for sharing!! great pictures!
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Old May 19, 12, 1:57 pm   #10
 
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My First Time in Asia

My First Time in Asia

I can't believe it! I'm in Asia! A childhood dream had finally come true. Well, at this state, several dreams had come true, but this is one that I thought very distant.

When all the flights had been booked, I needed to find a hotel for my overnight layover in Singapore. I had accrued 50k hhonors points, so I was going to stay at one of their two properties, the Hilton or the Conrad. They were bot 40k for a night, so I decided to go with the Conrad, mainly because of its location.

So, after I went through all the immigration formalities at SIN, I headed out and looked for the ground transportation stand. I had already read that one of the easiest and cheapest options to head to the city was to take a shared shuttle, so that's what I did.

Because of my recently gains Gold status, I got upgraded to a business room with a great view of the city. I also received the traditional rubber duck and teddy bear, along with some chocolates and fruit.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 078 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 076 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 074 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 075 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 077 by desquiliano, on Flickr

After settling in in my room I decided to go out for a walk and to get something to eat. I had read about different hawker centers, and decided to try Makansutra's Gluttons Bay. I was a little tired, and I didn't feel like having a heavy meal, even though I had already planned to try the famous chill crab and satay, so I just ate a lemon chicken, which was delicious.

After my light dinner I went towards the Merlion to take some pictures. I even took a bay/river cruise to appreciate the beauty of this city from a different angle.

After a while I headed back to the hotel where I had a good night sleep. I guess that even though I had a ben on board, it is still not the same as sleeping on a real one.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 088 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 091 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 093 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 095 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 103 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 120 by desquiliano, on Flickr

The next morning I decided to stop by Oscar's, one of the restaurants at the hotel, for breakfast. After a delicious meal I headed out for a walk into town. It is not a secret that I'm studying to be a Catholic priest, and whenever I travel I like visiting Catholic churches, so that's what I did that morning. I only had a few hours, though, because I needed to head to the airport to catch my flight to HKG.


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 191 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 193 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 195 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 214 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 246 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Singapore) - 251 by desquiliano, on Flickr
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Old May 19, 12, 2:03 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimgotkp View Post
Looking forward to the rest of the TR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avkillick View Post
Nice job. Looking forward to the remaining parts of this report.
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaman View Post
Great TR thus far!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SethLevy View Post
WOW, great report so far, thanks for sharing!! great pictures!
Thank you all for your comments.
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Old May 19, 12, 5:13 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Heading to HKG, Macau and Singapore in September so have enjoyed this so far. Keep it coming.
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Old May 20, 12, 4:09 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by apodo77 View Post
Heading to HKG, Macau and Singapore in September so have enjoyed this so far. Keep it coming.
Thanks for your comment. I don't claim to be an expert in those places, but if there's anything I can help you with, just PM me.
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Old May 20, 12, 9:35 am   #14
 
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My First Flight on CX

My First Flight on CX

Shortly after noon I checked out of the hotel and took a cab to the airport. My flight was not till 4pm, but I wanted to visit the lounge, and hopefully even visit the Hard Rock Cafe at the airport. Unfortunately I found out that it was in a different terminal after I had already cleared exit immigration.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 001 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 002 by desquiliano, on Flickr

Check in was easy, immigration formalities were a breeze, and just a few minutes after my arrival I was airside.

I headed to the lounge and had lunch there. In fair honesty, that lounge was rather disappointing. The food options were limited, and the view partially blocked. I did use their internet, though, to call my family.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 003 by desquiliano, on Flickr

After a while, and before that made the boarding announcement I decided to walk towards the gate. I saw they had already allowed people into the secure area, so just went in, so I could do some plane spotting.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 005 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 013 by desquiliano, on Flickr

Flight Info
Cathay Pacific 734
SIN - HKG
April 10, 2012 16:05
Boeing 777-200 (B-HND)
Seat 14K

A few minutes later and the gate area was packed. It looked like this was going to be a full flight. A few minutes before boarding time there were already two long lines, one for Y, and one for C, and they were both long. It was confirmed, this flight was definitely full.

The boarding call was made after a short delay. There seemed to be a race towards the plane, and there was no pre boarding for C or elite members. Well, it was announced, but nobody cared.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 014 by desquiliano, on Flickr

Once we were on board we had to wait for a while because there was a storm above us.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 016 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 019 by desquiliano, on Flickr

By the time we took off we had been delayed for about an hour. Menus were handed out, and drink orders were taken.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 026 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 027 by desquiliano, on Flickr

I generally don't order sweet drinks, but since I don't know when I'll be able to fly CX on a premium cabin I decided to try one of their signature cocktails, the Pacific Sunrise.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 028 by desquiliano, on Flickr

As for the meal, I was tempted to order the beef tenderloin, but I thought this would be my last chance to try some Singaporean cuisine on this trip, and ordered the laksa instead. All I can say is that it was delicious.


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 031 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 034 by desquiliano, on Flickr


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 035 by desquiliano, on Flickr

After the meal I just finished watching the movie I had started earlier, and then just followed our route on the map. Shortly after we were getting ready for landing.

And I was in Hong Kong!


Easter Break 2012 (Hong Kong 1) - 041 by desquiliano, on Flickr
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Last edited by MrDplus; May 20, 12 at 12:09 pm.
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Old May 20, 12, 11:54 am   #15
 
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Enjoying the report

"Flight Info
Cathay Pacific 734
SIN - HKG
April 10, 2012 16:05
Airbus A380-800 (VH-OQF)
Seat 14 K"

Shouldn't that be A330-300?
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