FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 (long)
Old Jun 30, 04, 9:30 pm
Kiwi Flyer
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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At EWR - an eventful few hours, part I
28 June pm (EWR timezone)

We landed in EWR still on the 28th thanks to gaining a day crossing the international date line. For the taxi to the gate we had a police escort and a water cannon shower from 2 fire-trucks by the entrance to the general gate area. There were lots of people wathcing, both on the apron and also on various roofs/observation decks. We were towed into the last gate - a tight fit.

Before disembarking we (the double inaugural passengers) were paged and directed to ground staff. Wonder what this is about? There was a welcome committee lining both sides of the airbridge so hard to stop to talk to ground staff. The person I spoke to had no idea about the paging, but an official (airport? or security? I think rather than SQ but I could be wrong) kindly went away to find out. Meanwhile most of the other passengers stream past. By now I am thinking - boy are those queues going to be bad, and what is this all about? The man comes back and directs me to a certain customs & immigration desk. So I still had no idea what the page was about and hope there is no problem.

On entering the customs and immigration hall I see a sea of people but the particular desk I was directed to was one of the roped off ones. Someone (who I was later to find out was the SQ station manager) invited me under the rope. At the desk I was asked for my aircrew pass, and it dawned on me that I had been cleared to use the crew line (okay so I was a little slow on the uptake!). I agreed with the man that I was very lucky to have had this arranged for me.

I could see him thinking I was mad when I answered the 3 standard questions with "I am transitting only", "4 hours", "back to SIN". (The 3 standard questions being "what is the purpose of this visit to the US of A?", "how long are you staying here?", "where is your next destination?")
I dont know what effect SQ pulling strings had, but it was far and away my easiest entry or exit to/from the US I have ever had.

A big ^ to SQ for arranging this. So while doing the short circuit through baggage claim and up to check-in I was feeling quite happy (no tiredness kicking in yet ).

Check-in was reasonably quick. The agent raised my hopes of getting boarding passes for all remaining flights (surely not - I have never got more than the next 24 hours worth of departures before). Doh - get back boarding pass to SIN and on to BKK but nothing else as the subsequent flights indeed do depart more than 24 hours away.

I was invited to the SQ reception downstairs (in a corner of the terminal) and also given a invitation card for the SAS lounge. No mention of the Virgin lounge (before security) which I could also use, perhaps they are worried about passengers getting to the gate too late?
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