Just returned from a trip to Bangkok with 2 of my friends on SQ. SQ was having a special promotion airfare of only $150 return (excluding taxes), which was even cheaper than the budget carriers AirAsia ($160) and Valuair($199). However, our outbound flight has to be on SQ880, which is the last flight of the day to Bangkok, while there is no restriction on the return flight. However as I booked my tickets quite late, I could only get SQ63 for the return flight as cheap tickets (V class) for the other flights were already taken.
Singapore - Bangkok
STD: 2255 ATD: 2315
STA: 0020 ATD: 0007
Departure Gate : F42
Arrival Gate : 51
Estimated Flying Time: 1H 55M
We met at Changi at around 2115 for our flight. Check-in was swift as there were only a few passengers checking and I have also done a phone check-in. We were travelling on an E-ticket and so only the credit card was needed for check-in. We were allocated seats 58A,B,C but were able to spread out later on as the flight was very empty. We proceeded through immigration after checking-in. On this day, passengers on flights to Bangkok were subjected to additional security screening as there was a bomb hoax earlier in the day on flight SQ 62 bound for Bangkok. Proceeded to the duty-free area for some window-shopping before proceeding to the gate. Had a glimpse of the "Spiderman" performance which was being held in Changi airport for a few days.
We reached the gate about 30min before departure time. Saw that the flight would be very empty as I counted only about 50 passengers in the holding room. Also, the holding room is fitted with 2 internet stations for passengers to surf the net with. The aircraft today would be 9V-SRL, which I knew would be equipped with the WISEMAN3000 entertainment system
. WISEMAN3000 on B777s is only available on aircrafts with registration above SQI, SRJ, SYF and all SV*. Shortly after, boarding commenced. I was welcomed at the door by a chief stewardess and a Korean flight stewardess (this flight is continuing to Seoul). We were led to our seats by another flight stewardess. Now, thats a good start. The crew on this flight were very friendly. When a few passengers behind me were taking photos, one steward passing by offered to take a photo for the whole group. Then the leading stewardess came along and joked to the group that the photos taken by the steward always "have no heads, only your bodies will be visible".
Boarding completed soon and hot towels, headsets were distributed. As this flight is continuing to Seoul, pillows and blankets are available on every seat. All this while, advertisements on SQ's non-stop flight to New York was shown on the entertainment system. This flight was really empty as I estimated less than 100 passengers out of 323 seats. Soon we pushed back and the safety video was shown. The safety video is the new version, which is longer and much more detailed than the older one. Also, towards at the ending of the safety video, the aircraft flypass will correspond to the plane you are flying in, which is a B772 on this flight (a B744 is shown on the return flight). We then taxied to runway 20L, lights dimmed and had a rolling takeoff. Our route will take us south on the runway heading before making a left turn back towards the airport, north towards Mersing and along the eastern coast of Malaysia, across the sea towards and over Pattaya before descending to Bangkok. Shortly after takeoff, the lights came on again. Menus were distributed immediately. Due to cost cutting, menus are only available on Bangkok flights that continue to or originate from Osaka and Seoul and not available on the turnaround flights. The menu is as follows:
Light meal from Singapore to Bangkok
Roast chicken with romaine lettuce and creamy garlic dressing
Pan fried salmon served with basil pesto butter, ragout of white beans and vegetables
Chinese style roast chicken served with chilli sauce, braised vegetables and chicken rice
Cream caramel custard
From the bakery
Roll and butter
For those of you who are interested in the menu for the Bangkok to Seoul sector, here it is:
Refreshment from Bangkok to Seoul
An assortment of snacks will be offered
(Any one has any idea what it is?)
Breakfast from Bangkok to Seoul
Fried rice with Chinese pork sausages and honeyed glace pork
Chive omelette served with veal sausage, roasted tomato and hash brown potato
From the bakery
Assorted breakfast rolls
Butter Fruit preserve
The menu is also available in both Thai and Korean. The light meal was served swiftly after the distribution of menus. Being adventurous, I tried the salmon, which was so-so, but the appetizer and dessert was great. My friends said that the chicken was nice. Better stick to asian meals on SQ. Overall the meal was definitely not light for a light meal. More like dinner to me. Also, I noticed that the WISEMAN3000 entertainment has been upgraded. It now offers 60 movies, 70+ TV programs, 205 CD albums and the standard assortment of games etc. Superb!! Alas, as the flight was only 1H 55min, I could not even finish a movie. The crew were very generous with the drinks today (I had refills for 3 times). The flight was slightly turbulent initially but became smoother later on. We flew at 39000ft today. Very quickly, the flight soon come to an end. We descended soon after overflying Pattaya and approached Bangkok from the east. As the skies were very clear, we had a superb view of midnight Bangkok. We were immediately cleared for landing on runway 21L. Just before we make a left turn to line up with the runway, I could spot the airport and the 2 runways from the plane. Landing was smooth with idle reverse. As we landed on 21L, we had to roll to the end of the runway before exiting and taxi to the gate. Saw lots of aircraft on the remote stands, including another SQ B772 which is nightstopping. Held for a while to allow a Korean Air B773 to push back before parking at gate 51. Disembark the aircraft to cheerful thanks from the crew. Most of the passengers are disembarking in Bangkok, with only a handful continuing to Seoul (most people will take the nonstop flight from Singapore, which departs half an hour later). Overall, this flight is great, with the light passenger load and extremely friendly crew. Only wished that the flight could be longer to take full advantage of Krisworld.
Bangkok - Singapore
STD: 1115 ATD: 1120
STA: 1435 ATD: 1427
Departure Gate : 36
Arrival Gate : F54
Estimated Flying Time: 1H 50M
After 4 enjoyable nights in Bangkok with lots of shopping and eating, it was time to return home L. Arrived at Don Muang international airport at 0920 for check-in. Check-in was swift again as most passengers have not arrived yet. Went through immigration after paying the 500baht airport tax. Did some last minute shopping in the duty free shops (which isnt that cheap compared to downtown) before proceeding to the gate area. The gate areas of the older wings have been upgraded and are now more pleasant. Boarding have not started yet and I went plane spotting. The gate area offers a spectacular view of the runway, with planes taking off and landing only hundreds of meters away. Our plane is 9V-SMQ, which is one of the oldest SQ B744 still in service and is not equipped with spacebeds in Raffles class and WISEMAN3000 entertainment system. From what I know, this plane is used exclusively only for short haul routes like Bangkok and Jakarta.
Boarding commenced soon by rows and was very orderly. Newspapers were available in the aerobridge just before the doorway. Greeted by a leading and flight steward at the door. Further greetings by the other crew members as we proceeded to our seats at 55H, J, K. The seating on the B744s really sucks, in my opinion. They are really cramped, narrower and less pitch than the B777s. The stewardess serving my aisle is an Indonesian flight stewardess, who is efficient but lacked smiles. The plane filled up quickly and it was almost a full flight. No room to space out L. During the boarding process, some passengers (Koreans, I think) were talking really loudly as if they wanted the whole plane to know of their presence. On the seats were pillows but no blankets. However, the stewardess offered blankets to anyone who wants them. Hot towels were given and the new safety video was shown. Doors were closed and we pushed back on time. We taxied to runway 21R for takeoff. Hold short for a One-two-go B757 to takeoff and a Thai MD11 to land before it is our turn. Had a short takeoff run due to the light load and climbed steeply into the Bangkok skies. Our route takes us south of Bangkok to the sea and skirting the Malaysia eastern coast, before flying out towards Tioman island and starting our descend to Singapore.
Shortly after takeoff, the seatbelt signs went off and headsets were distributed. No menus were offered, as mentioned earlier. As this is the old Krisworld system, no AVOD for me, but first and raffles do have AVOD, but a smaller selection than the WISEMAN3000 system. To add the disappointment, the audio did not work in my seat and so I played the games without any sound. Meals were served immediately. This is my self-constructed menu:
Lunch from Bangkok to Singapore
Ham with lettuce, garlic bread and creamy garlic dressing
Chicken with spicy thai sauce, mashed potatoes and assorted vegetables
Stir-fried fish with rice and vegetables
Thai sticky-rice dessert
From the bakery
Roll and butter
The portion of the lunch is exactly the same as the light meal offered from the previous flight. I had the chicken, which was good even though a bit too spicy, but my friend said the fish totally sucked. However the appetizer and dessert were great. It took a while before we were served our meal due to the full load but luckily choices of meals were still available. Drink refills were offered twice. One of my friends was asked to fill in a survey form and it seems that the crew today gave out a lot of survey forms to the passengers. We flew at 37000ft today and it was rather smooth the whole way other than some patches of turbulence here and there. The service provided today was efficient but not overly friendly and personal, maybe due to the full load and short flight time. However the service by one leading stewardess (who looks kind of Eurasian) was excellent. Very soon we descended into Singapore. We flew in a holding pattern for one round before making our approach into Changi. We landed on runway 20L. The landing was one of the smoothest I had ever experienced and only idle reverse was used. This must have ranked among one of the top 5 smooothest landing I have experienced, and the smooth landing is also rare for a B747. Kudos to the pilot. We exited by the first high speed exit and had a short taxi to gate F54. This flight is not as good as the outbound flight due to the heavy load, crappy seats and entertainment on the B744s and a quite average crew. However, one cannot have too much expectations on such a short flight and on such cheap tickets too. Thanks for reading and any comments are welcomed.