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Doubling Down 5 Continent RTW Marathon (EY/SQ/NH/LH F, LA/RJ/LO/OU/SW/SA J +Others)

Doubling Down 5 Continent RTW Marathon (EY/SQ/NH/LH F, LA/RJ/LO/OU/SW/SA J +Others)

Old Oct 31, 13, 10:11 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by AhogZ View Post
Great! I am more than happy to subscribe to the epic story ahead....
Thanks AhogZ, hope you'll enjoy the rest of the report as well

Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
That refurbished regional 772 looks amazing. Way better than CX's regional J.
Great pics. Any WiFi? As I sit in 5E on my PIT-LAX 738 with WiFi.
I agree, its a great way to fly down to SIN from HKG.
SQ usually run either this refurbished regional J, the old skybed spacebed J, or their present Long Haul J
It's 60 seat pitch if I'm not mistaken, they do run them on 3.5 hr ride like HKG to 7-8 hr rides like DXB and KIX. Not sure if they go quite as far as IST
I agree, this SQ refurbished J beats the hell out of the 90's and 00's CX regional J. By looking at the picture, I would think it will beat the newest version as well, but I haven't tried it.

Sadly no wifi

Originally Posted by maortega15 View Post
Are we talking about CX's old regional J or the newly released regional J?!

And Short Hair Francis, no offence but I assume you've gained a few pounds and your cholesterol levels went up a few notches from all that eating on your long-haul SQ flight!
Old Regional J, haven't had a chance to fly the newly released one yet.
That being said, I was really disappointed when I saw the newly released one, by photo, I didn't think it holds up against the TG and SQ regional J.

And no offense taken
I don't eat that much when I'm on the ground but I was maintaining 30K BIS of flying a month earlier in the year tho

Originally Posted by SFore View Post
Way better than the SQ regional J I just took DPS-SIN, it still had a projector on it!

SFore, you my friend need to try out the old 90's version of CX regional J.
I'll otherwise post those pics in Part 10
I've done that older SQ regional J alot lately on alot of RGN flight especially, she's old but she treats you fair at least.
Vs. the old CX one, she's usually a cranky one
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Old Oct 31, 13, 10:19 pm
  #32  
 
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WOW! this is gonna be an epic report! thanks so much for sharing!
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:41 am
  #33  
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Always a fan of your TRs Francis.

As a fellow glutton, I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the damage you do on NH F!
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Old Nov 1, 13, 7:07 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by bertuzzi View Post
WOW! this is gonna be an epic report! thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks for reading bertuzzi, I'm hoping it will be an epic one as well

Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post
Always a fan of your TRs Francis.

As a fellow glutton, I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the damage you do on NH F!
Thanks very much, glad to hear I have TR fans
NH F, wow, that is a ways down the list, might have to wait Awhile... for that part to be uploaded
Strangely, I can't eat nearly as much these days, must be hitting the wrong side of 20 @:-)

Some of my earlier reports I was in far better shape where the whole catering disappeared.


Will have another part up in a couple hours again, hoping to keep up this 1 section per day kinda thing in the short term
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Old Nov 1, 13, 12:00 pm
  #35  
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Part 3 – Thai Airways New Regional Business, HKG – BKK – CMB


After sitting and working in HKG for 3 weeks, it was time for another trip, this time to DOH, and AUH by taking advantage of 2 (23 hr 59 mins connections) on an ex-CMB F ticket.
Add a 30 hour turnaround time in JFK to connect to my return legs RJ Y ticket to earn yet more AA miles and for EXP requalification and that makes a good 6 day trip.


May 17, 2013 – Friday
TG 639 HKG – BKK 7:05pm – 8:45pm (333/J)
TG 307 BKK – CMB 10:25pm – 0:15am(+1)[May 18] (333/J)

Another 7am – 4pm shift for work, so that means waking at 4am at home as usual.
Unluckily, something was keeping me in the office close to 5pm today, so I had rather minimal lounge time today. Boarding started at 6:35pm, I was slightly late today in getting to the boarding gate.
However, today was not the day to board super early for the flight. I had gotten some heads-up from my HKG contact there were significant Air Traffic Holds for HKG due to surrounding t-storms in the South China Sea.

Thai Airways International Airbus 330-300


*4th flight, 13585 Miles flown since Apr 28
Thai Airways International 639
Hong Kong to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Scheduled - 7:05pm – 8:45pm, 2 hr 40 mins flight
Delayed Departure – 6:59pm Door Close/7:50pm Pushback, HKG ATC Hold at Gate
Delayed Arrival – 9:35pm
Business Class, Seat 16B
Food – Dinner
Equipment – Airbus 330-300 (36J/263Y Refurbished)





Thai Airways International Airbus 330-300 Refurbished Business Class Cabin


*Cabin, Seat Pic are recycled from Another album

Thai Airways International Airbus 330-300 Refurbished Business Class Seat




Cabin was about 80% full including a seat partner in 16A, so no double J seats today.
Doors were closed by 6:59pm, but with the previous heads-up given to me earlier, we are now in queue for take-off, ATC Hold at gate was for 1 Hour.
Maybe I’m used to the US/Canada way of doing things and have ATC hold all lined up on the taxiway, but apparently that’s not how it works at HKG.

In the meanwhile, the FA decided to start beverage service in the cabin during the hold


And just around 7:40pm, we slowly left the gate toward runways 7R.

2 hours 25 Minutes flight time to Bangkok tonight.


And at 8pm we finally took off for Bangkok, and after flying through some severe weather for the 1st 20 Minutes of the flight, the meal service began.


TG 639 Dinner

Appetizer
Salmon Gravlax

Main Course
Braised Beef Stew with Grainy Mustard and Tarragon Brown Sauce, mashed potatoes, Green Peas, Roasted Pumpkin, Yellow Zucchini

Stir-Fried Seafood with Shiitake and Carrot in Preserved Chilli Bean Paste with Egg Fried Rice and Pak Choy

Deep Fried Marinated Pork with Sweet and Sour Sauce on Steamed Rice with Braised Pak Choy, Shiitake, Carrot

Chicken Curry “Kiew-Wan” on Steamed Rice

Breads
Assorted Bread, Crackers, Butter

Finale
Cheese/Fresh Fruit Plate

Raspberry Mousse Cake

Tea, Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino


Similar to other TG flight, you fly TG
because 1) easy award space/cheap, 2) get you where to go, 3)The Massage/Golf Ride
You however don’t fly TG for its food, because it’s nothing special and it showed yet again.


Appetizer Tray


Appetizer, Salmon Gravlax


Main Course, went with the Stewed Beef Stew, was ok


Fruit and Cheese Plate


Dessert, Strawberry Mousse Cake


The entire service took just around 1 hr 10 minutes, off for about 30 minutes of sleep in the meanwhile zzz….

And just around 9pm Bangkok time, we started the descent into Suvarnabhumi

Landing at 9:27pm, great less than an hour connection, now where we parking.

No no no, not a bloody outer bay position, rats, I hate short connections

639 finally parked at 9:35pm, and with a slow airstair parking, took another couple minutes.


9:53pm, Shuttle took you back to the Central immigration area which is great if you were entering Bangkok, but sucks if you are connecting, lucky I didn’t get the worst gate tonight, Colombo flight was departing out of C3.
With lots of running and luckily with no line at transit security, finally made it to the gate at 10:04pm, 21 mins prior to departure

*5th flight, 15071 Miles flown since Apr 28
Thai Airways International 307
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Colombo
Scheduled - 10:25pm – 0:15am(+1) [May 18], 3 hr 20 min flight
Delayed Departure – 10:26pm, Awaiting Connecting Pax
On Time Arrival – 0:05am(+1)
Business Class, Seat 16B>12K
Food – Dinner
Equipment – Airbus 330-300 (36J/263Y Refurbished)




Luckily I wasn’t the last guy, but I might try another flight connection next time, this one is too tight.

I had a seat partner in 16A again but with the empty seat pair at 12H/12K, I shifted over around door close with the permission of the FA.



Part 3 Continues Below

Last edited by Short hair Francis; May 7, 14 at 9:37 am
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Old Nov 1, 13, 12:01 pm
  #36  
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Welcome drink, Thai Iced Tea, really need a soothing drink after running


Door Closed at 10:26pm after waiting for some last minutes pax and flight time tonight was 2 Hours 55 Minutes


A very short taxi to the Runway and I’m off to a Sri Lanka
You know how hard is it for SHF to miss a plane meal, apparently it’s on the scale of “SHF passing out like a dead fish” scale, and I finally missed one here.
After waking up at 4am HKG time for work, and now being 10:45pm BKK, 11:45pm HKG, body completely breaks down and I slept the entire way to Colombo on the slanted seat.
That being said, the menu is below.

TG 307 Dinner

Appetizer
Marinated US Scallop with Pomery Mustard Dressing
Chicken and Pomelo Salad

Main Course
Pan Fried Prawns with Black Pepper Sauce with Steamed Potatoes and Italian Parsley, Roasted Vegetables

Chicken Yellow Curry on Steamed Thai Hom Mali Rice

Gosht Do Pyaza (Braised Lamb with Spices)
Jeera Pulao (Basmati Rice with Herbs)
Aloo Matter (Potatoes and Green Peas Cooked with Cumin and Ginger)

Breads
Assorted Bread, Crackers, Butter

Finale
Cheese/Fresh Fruit Plate

Bread and Butter Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Tea, Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino

And just around 11:40pm CMB, 1:10am BKK, we started our descent into Colombo, and it’s very dark outside with no photo opportunities.




Finally parked at the gate at 0:05am CMB, or a whopping 2:35am HKG
Now where is my bed for night, oh right, I don’t have one tonight.
I’m sleeping in the airport and yet I buy ex-CMB First Class tickets.


Next Part
Part 4 – Qatar Airways Regional Business Class CMB - DOH
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Old Nov 2, 13, 6:41 am
  #37  
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Yikes, I'd have been sweating with that tight a connection at BKK. I assume missing that one would have made you miss your xCMB flight?

Originally Posted by Short hair Francis View Post
Finally parked at the gate at 0:05am CMB, or a whopping 2:35am HKG
Now where is my bed for night, oh right, I don’t have one tonight.
I’m sleeping in the airport and yet I buy ex-CMB First Class tickets.
Well, there are worse places to sleep. Jr. and I slept in the Lotus Lounge last time we were there. Can't beat the price.
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Old Nov 2, 13, 9:50 am
  #38  
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Yikes, I'd have been sweating with that tight a connection at BKK. I assume missing that one would have made you miss your xCMB flight?



Well, there are worse places to sleep. Jr. and I slept in the Lotus Lounge last time we were there. Can't beat the price.
By far was sweating big time on that connection! 50 Minutes but parked at an outer bay, definitely a risky way to get to CMB.
I only had either that flight or the CX "Direct" flight via SIN to choose that day but the CX left HKG at 4:35pm, also impossible to make despite the office being nearby at the airport

Good question, I probably would've miss my original CMB - DOH and lost some of my "connection" time in DOH.
CMB - DOH does runs 3x a day, really just depends when was the next BKK-CMB.

i thought your CMB connection was only for like 4 hours???
Mine was a 9 hour night turn

Will get the next part up in an hour or 2
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Old Nov 2, 13, 11:30 am
  #39  
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Part 4 – Qatar Airways Regional Business Class CMB – DOH


With the last minute ex-CMB ticket booked 2 days prior to the start of the trip, I didn’t prepare most of my hotels or anything else in great detail and it showed later in the next couple section of the report.
With no hotel for this 9 Hour overnight connection, I decided to try my luck at the Airside Airport hotel.
6 Hours for 50 US dollar, not bad, they did want one of my more pristine bills though.
0:30 – 6:30, pretty good timing to check-in for my Qatar flight.

Serendiva Airport Hotel




May 18, 2013 – Saturday
QR 301 CMB – DOH 9:25am – 11:45am (321/J)


Checked out at 6:20am, prior to coming to Sri Lanka, I previously did an ETA online for 1 day transit.
However, it took a little bit of extra time to explain why I was entering Sri Lanka for 45 Minutes.

And I apologies for not getting the necessary photos, in arrival areas like Australia or the UK, you can buy duty-free items like alcohol, sweets and perfumes.
In Sri Lanka, you buy washing machines and fridges instead.

Wonder if they just get twine and tie it to the top of the car on the way home???


The exit area after baggage claim had a Sri Lankan National and a foreigner line, as weird as things go, the foreigner line was completely unguarded while the other has at least 5 customs agents

Colombo Bandaranaike Airport




This is by far the most amount of security to the plane I’ve ever faced.
3 Stages of metal detectors, 1 right at the terminal curb, 1 inside the terminal before the check-in desk, plus another 1 at the gate.

Qatar Airways Check-In


And after the initial 2 stages of security, plus check-in, I’m back airside.


You may take a photo of the Airport Buddha, but don’t turn your back to it


And you might not take a photo of the apron from the general area but you can take one from the lounges?!?



Another weird rule indeed???...

Qatar with its numerous amount of Contract lounge uses the “Araliya Lounge” in CMB

Colombo Araliya Lounge








The lounge has a good amount of offering including western offering such as eggs, and sausage as well as local choices. After a nice breakfast with sweets, drinks, I decided to head to the gate 14.
Crap, where is my boarding pass, since I couldn’t find it, I went back to the transfer desk for some help. As check-in was already closed, they made due with a couple phone calls and a hand-written boarding pass.

Qatar Airways Airbus 321-200


*6th flight, 17317 Miles flown since Apr 28
Qatar Airways 301
Colombo to Doha
Scheduled - 9:25am – 11:45am, 4 hr 50 min flight
Actual Departure – 9:12am
On Time Arrival – 11:29am
Business Class, Seat 2C>3A
Food – Breakfast
Equipment – Airbus 321-200 (12J/165Y Config)





Part 4 Continues Below

Last edited by Short hair Francis; May 7, 14 at 9:37 am
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Old Nov 2, 13, 11:32 am
  #40  
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Qatar Airways Airbus 321-200 Business Class Cabin



Qatar Airways Airbus 321-200 Business Class Seat







Bulkhead wasn’t as forgiving


Seats were exactly the same as the new Regional seats being put on the TK Airbus 321s. And overall comfortable 45 seat pitch for 3-4 hrs flight.

Open Bar Pre-Departure Beverage


Cool Down Towel prior to departure


For today’s flight, we had a load of 3/12 in J, a couple in 2D/F and I originally in 2C.
I decided to have more privacy later with the switch to 3A.
Door closed 10 mins ahead of schedule.

Uh oh, the overhead is still open while we’re taxiing to the runway


4 Hours 35 Minutes Flying time to Doha


And as we taxied out to the runway, we came up upon a sight of 5 Sri Lankan Fighter jets taking off.









Part 4 Continues Below
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Old Nov 2, 13, 11:33 am
  #41  
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Our turn, bye bye Colombo





Qatar Airways Dining Menu



QR 301 Breakfast

To Revive
Wood Apple Smoothie

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

To Commence
Selection of Seasonal Fresh Fruits
Fruit Yoghurt

Breakfast Plate of Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Cheese with onion, olive, and capers salsa

Breakfast Plate of Emmental and Cream Cheese with Orange, Fennel, and Date Salad

To Follow
Paprika Omelette
Chicken Galette, Roasted Potatoes, Mushroom, and Leek Stew

Vermicelli Upma
Coconut Pepper Chicken and Vegetable Stew

Cinnamon and Raisin French Toast
Forest Berry Compote and Grilled Pineapple

Bread Basket
Plain Croissant, Almond Muffin, Peach Danish, Brown and White Toast

Relax & Rewind
Cappuccino, Espresso, Café Latte, Macchiato, American, Decaffeinated

Ceylon, Ceylon Spice Chai, Chamomile, Decaffeinated, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Jasmine, Mint, Oolong, Rooibos, Sencha Green


My very big beef with the menu, I know I’m flying out of Sri Lanka but did 2 out of 3 main choice have to be spicy

Starter Drink


Starter Tray


Fruit Bowl


Breakfast Plate of Smoked Salmon


Bread Basket


French Toast


Cold Towel to finish the service


3 Hours to go


With the short sleeping time, I decided to recline and catch some extra snooze while the cabin was darkened and the other 2 J passengers watched a movie.

1 Hour to go, inside the Gulf


The FAs went into the cabin to inquire for additional drinks prior to landing


Who know what airport is this? Was above UAE at the time


And just after 11am Doha time, we started or descent into Doha.


Part 4 Continues Below
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Old Nov 2, 13, 11:34 am
  #42  
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Finally coming into Doha









Plane Door opens, and the hot winds comes rushing into the cabin, what await me in the 1st Trip to the Middle East.


Next Part
Part 5 – First Vacation in the Persian Gulf, Doha, Qatar

Last edited by Short hair Francis; Nov 2, 13 at 11:45 am
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Old Nov 2, 13, 1:38 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by Short hair Francis View Post
After 7 hours, I finally woke up, still long ways to go, 8 1/2 more hours to go inflight
the worst feeling in the world! enjoying reading these - thank you.
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Old Nov 2, 13, 1:49 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by Short hair Francis View Post

Who know what airport is this? Was above UAE at the time

Took a look on google maps and found the air port you flew over. Its the "Al Dhafra Air Base" located on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi.

The trip report is awesome so far! Cant wait for more!

Last edited by bardnon; Nov 2, 13 at 3:47 pm
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:37 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
the worst feeling in the world! enjoying reading these - thank you.
Haha riphamilton, I can top that one for sure, one worst feeling in the world, you just got to sleep 20 mins ago and the FA wakes you up to prepare for landing on a 6 hour Eastbound TATL flight


Originally Posted by bardnon View Post
Took a look on google maps and found the air port you flew over. Its the "Al Dhafra Air Base" located on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi.

Originally Posted by Short hair Francis View Post
Who know what airport is this? Was above UAE at the time
The trip report is awesome so far! Cant wait for more!
Thanks, bardnon, on lease to the US and France Air Force.
Oh we're in the spy vs. spy era anyway thanks to the NSA

Glad to hear the TR is coming well, been wondering where were the comments, both good and bad
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