Summary of a *A RTW in C

Old Jul 18, 08, 4:26 am
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Summary of a *A RTW in C

I have just concluded an RTW with the following routing: TRD-CPH-BKK-CTU(Chengdu, China)-SIN-SYD-AKL-NLK(Norfolk Island)-AKL-LAX-LHR-STO-TRD. A short summary of the trip follows:
1. segment: TRD-CPH-BKK was with SK. The CPH-BKK trip in the A340 was OK but not more. The 'lazy-z' configuration of their 'sleeper seats' makes me crazy, not lazy. In particular, the lack of a foot rest on the sloping seat is a major annoyance. I wish they had put in a flat bed seat, or at least a flat, slightly inclined seat like e.g. the old SQ C seats when they refurbished their fleet some time ago.
2. segment: BKK-CTU on TG. 3h in a an old A340 (?). OK service, nice food
3.segment: CTU-SIN-SYD. This was slightly complicated by cancellations, first of the TG service CTU-BKK-SIN, which was replaced by an Air China flight to SIN which again was cancelled. In the end we were routed through HKG on AC with a connection to SIN on UA. The only hitch that remained after this re-routing was to convince the check-in in CTU that our bags could be checked further than to HKG. After some discussion, we managed to get them checked through all the way to SYD (the SIN stopover was less than 24 h). The CA flight on an A320 was uneventful, apart from the approach to HKG which took us straight over Kowloon at dusk. An impressive sight!
UA from HKG to SIN on an old 747 was again uneventful, but I am glad I did not cross the Pacific on UA! Seats and service is really not comparable to the other carriers used on this trip.
The main bummer of the trip occurred in SIN: We were waitlisted for SQ221 SIN-SYD on the A380, but on arrival in SIN we were told that the flight was cancelled, but that we could get an earlier flight on a 747. After six h in the transit hotel in terminal 3 at Changi, we were in the air again, heading for Sydney. The 747 cabin was of the old type, but the seats are still quite comfortable, and the service on SQ is as always impeccable.
Apropos the cancelled A380: On departure from SYD 3 days later I noted a 380 parked off the tarmac, apparently idle and no visible activity outside of the plane. Does SQ have a problem with the A380s, or do they just rest them in Botany Bay??
4.segment: SYD-AKL-NLK on NZ metal. Standard C service from SYD to AKL, but from AKL NZ used the all-economy approach they do for domestic flights. Since the flight time is <2 h, this does not really matter, although you could feel a little peeved having paid for C all the way, but not getting it.
5.segment: NLK-AKL-LAX-LHR on NZ. We did the AKL-LHR trip in one go on NZ flight 2, and arrived in London feeling quite rested and fit for fight (we went to the Tate gallery and afterwards saw the Merry wives of Windsor in the Globe the day after we landed!), thanks to the flat bed seats on the NZ flight. The service is also very friendly and laid-back (in comparison to e.g. SQ); the only disappointment being the mismatch between the thick booklet presenting the wine cellar and the actual offerings available on the flight.
NZ has just moved from terminal 3 to terminal 1 on Heathrow, which may be a slight improvement, but there are literally miles to walk before you get out.
Segment 6: LHR-STO-TRD on SK. One surprise here: check-in at Terminal 3 is a nightmare, even on a Sunday afternoon, but you dont have to remove the laptop from your bag anymore!
About lounges: we did not spend a lot of time in lounges on this trip, but the NZ lounges both in SYD and AKL are very good; spacious and with good selections of food and wines. The WiFi in AKL would not let me log on, and according to girl at the service desk "this happens sometimes, and I have no clues as to why and how it can be fixed!"

Last edited by Rolf; Jul 18, 08 at 7:03 am
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Old Jul 18, 08, 6:59 am
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Sounds like a great trip. You should write a trip report and post it over at the trip report forum.

SQ normally has no problems with the A380 but still a plane can go technical and they have in the past. So it is possible, that one was canceled because of a defect here in SYD. The good thing is, you have saved yourself hundreds of $$$ in surcharges for this flight.

BTW, I find the SQ service to be everything, but not impeccable.
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Old Jul 22, 08, 3:32 pm
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How much????????
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Old Jul 23, 08, 3:50 am
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Re: how much?

There was no mention of any surcharge for the A380 when I booked the trip. In fact, we had confirmed seats on the SIN-SYD leg on A380 when I first booked (and payed) for the tickets, but we had to change dates, hence the waitlisting.
The RTW ticket was priced at the standard *A rates for <29000 miles (even though the re-routing through HKG broke the mileage limit, we were not charged any extra bacause this was a non-voluntary re-routing)
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