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Another Manic Month for Kiwi

Another Manic Month for Kiwi

Old Dec 21, 05, 1:18 pm
  #1  
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Another Manic Month for Kiwi

Index to my trip reports

If you like this report, you may be interested in some of my other trip reports.
  1. AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report
  2. Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different
  3. Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back
  4. 7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight
  5. Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing
  6. a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe
  7. Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights
  8. Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights
  9. Mini Tour of NZ - over 100 domestic flights in New Zealand covering all domestic routes (ongoing)
  10. Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe
  11. Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island
  12. Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - criss-crossing the globe, but this time mainly on One World
  13. A Warm Embrace of the Tropics - short trips to the tropical South Pacific
  14. Singapore (SQ) new first and business class, plus a medley of 12 F & C SQ flights - name says it all really
  15. Across the Globe in 4 Continents - around the world on star alliance, including some unusual flights
  16. Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Sampler - a sampling of Qantas flights, domestic and international, in economy and business (ongoing)
  17. Around the World in Under 60 Hours - around the world in a weekend
  18. The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours - what a contrast, Asia and Qantas' new first class lounges
  19. Fast on the ground and in the air - it must be Shanghai – a flying visit to Shanghai + Maglev
  20. It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure & Pain: 4 wacky weeks 2 RTW C, inaugural longhaul Y – mostly One World
  21. Back and forth across the Pacific on a variety of airlines in a selection of classes - 16 crossings of the Pacific plus some other related flights
  22. It isn't every day that you witness a hijacking attempt + NZ's forgotten 4th island - a visit to Chatham Islands coincides with New Zealand's first hijacking attempt
  23. There and back - first day Air NZ flies to Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
  24. A Run Around (part of) The Axis of Evil: A Perfect *A RTW in C? - Axis of Evil 0 US Immigration 1
  25. Wellington to Auckland by train - self-explanatory title
  26. A mad couple of days flying, including domestic international flights - a double longhaul inaugural, domestic international shuttle and domestic leg of an international flight
  27. Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline - featuring new QF First on A380 special flight, "you have to get off now", and 105th different current route with NZ
  28. One World Revolutions - Around Mostly the Southern Hemisphere - mostly Southern Hemisphere and mostly on One World on a mix of products
  29. Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y – starting with EK First on A380 and ending with Qantas economy, with a lot of travel mostly on *A in between
  30. An FTer flies to a Do (or Why take the nonstop when you can fly 10 flights instead?) - combining an FT Do with an aerial tour of northern Queensland
  31. The Ultimate Qantas Flight - short report on the ultimate flight
  32. Premium Flying Across the Ditch (Between New Zealand and Australia) - experiencing the forward cabins on Trans-Tasman flights (ongoing)
  33. 5 Boeings Straight to the Airbus Do - FTer feasts in first, business & economy - my journey to & from the *A / Airbus Mega Do
  34. NZ route oddities & One World turns by night (redeye special) - an odd collection of flight routes & schedules around the world
  35. From my first low cost redeye to a first class trifecta - an insane fortnight - some firsts of all types
  36. G'day, kia orana - it's another inaugural flight in Air New Zealand business class - a day & night tripping around the South Pacific on Air NZ
  37. A Feast of First Class Flying on British Airways, Qantas and Emirates - long distance in style
  38. A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business - a quick longhaul trip featuring some old and new products
  39. Star Alliance tres primo, and tres biz - a trio of first and business on Star Alliance
  40. A few flights to end 2011 - a quick trip around the world + more
  41. Five Continents in 3 Days and Some Other Mad Trips in 2012 - a selection of my 2012 travels
  42. Sky Team madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business – mostly Sky Team
  43. Off to Star megado on Oneworld - mostly business incl brand new AA 787
  44. A Glutton for Punishment: red eye, new world's longest flight & more, in comfort?

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 5:09 pm Reason: Update index of my TRs
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Old Dec 21, 05, 1:34 pm
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A previous month of madness (as documented in the Big DO DOs (a Kiwi Flyer's month of madness) trip report) had me meet lots of great FTers and see some interesting parts of the world.

I now resume a month later, for the next manic month. I'll skip over the few longhaul trips in between and start with the next noteworthy trip. So begins another manic month for Kiwi.

==============

A FLY AWAY WEEKEND

Several months ago I came across a great business fare to Seoul, Korea on Singapore Airlines. With using up a lot of miles on my previous trip I took the opportunity to recoup some of those miles very quickly and in comfort.

So after a busy week I headed out to Auckland airport for a quick mileage run. If I have the time I usually take the airbus, preferring it to the cost of a taxi or parking at the airport. They generally run every 20 minutes and, as I get on at one of the last stops on its route in the central city, are only a little slower than a cab. Unfortunately today it was not to be - after waiting 30 minutes the first bus past when straight by

After a moment to think about it, realise I will be cutting it fine to check in before it closes if I wait for the next bus, so reluctantly hail a cab. The cab is parked very nearby and the driver explained he often parks there so as to pick up people whom the bus misses The traffic is good so make check in before it closes, although my boarding pass has a sequence number in the high 200s. Singapore Airlines had earlier this year changed ground agent and it seems they are still not totally familiar with the system as once again I hope there will be no problem printing boarding pass (with my correct FF # entered) and once again there are problems and cant get the right FF # in the system.

At least the premium lines let you pay for the departure tax at check in, saving a visit to the bank. In NZ the departure tax cannot be prepaid (unless you make special arrangement with your TA). So there is a constant reminder of how much departure tax is incurred, each and every time leave the country. I keep thinking by now I must have personally paid for all the immigration, customs and quarantine facilities given the number of overseas trips. But I suppose the reality is the taxes at other places is a lot more (NZ departure tax is NZ$25) but the cost is hidden except at time of purchase of tickets.

With not long to go until boarding time, and wanting to freshen up in the lounge, I decide to let the miles go to the wrong FFP. Fortunately the difference in earning power is not great and I certainly dont need the miles from this trip to requalify.

After a short detour to the premium immigration agent at the far end of the check-in closest to the domestic terminals, its upstairs through the precleared lane and security. Upstairs again to the Air New Zealand lounge where the lady on the front desk pleasantly reminds me the flight will be boarding soon, and welcomes me back I have a quick freshen up and then its back to the gate area to board.

The pier separation project is still not totally finished but each time I go through I see more changes. This time the escalators down to gates 1 through 4 are now in place but not yet being used. The flight normally runs from gate 6 but today it is using gate 5 instead, which is an open area shared with gate 7 by the base of an escalator. This area is too small for a 747 full load of passengers, even with the Air Tahiti Nui flight leaving from gate 7 having just closed.

Boarding starts about a minute after I arrive, and within a few moments I am settled into my upper deck exit row seat, with today's newspaper and a drink in hand. Ahhh that feels good. The 10 1/2 hour flight passes quickly. I dont have the menu to hand, but its the same as the one posted in my previous trip report for AKL-SIN.

The flight path is unusual for this route, with a very northerly path crossing the Australian coastline to the north of Cairns. This means get a good view along the length of the Great Barrier Reef as we fly almost parallel to the coast for a considerable distance. After cutting across the base of York Peninsula we cross the Gulf of Carpentaria and fly north of Darwin. Somewhere over Indonesia we head more directly to the west. In my experience the usual routing (westbound) is to pass near Brisbane, Uluru and Broome. However, I have also had southerly routings over Tasmania and Adelaide. I guess the jetstream happened to be a lot further north today than is usual.

As with the past several flights through Singapore there is a long taxi on arrival - seems only one runway is operating again. Arrival gate is F60 - which is the furthest one from the lounge. I seem to get that gate, or a nearby one, very often for the flights to/from New Zealand. Still it is good to stretch the legs and work up a thirst In the first Silver Kris lounge I have some Dom and check my emails and some messages on FT before heading out for the redeye to Seoul.

At the gate I get the magical beep and rejection of the boarding pass. I think I know what is coming and work hard to supress a smile. Then the agent hands me a new boarding pass for an F suite. Thanks very much and woohoo. In over a hundred flights on Singapore Airlines, this is my first operational upgrade. As with many european, asian and pacific airlines, Singapore Airlines will not upgrade unless they absolutely have to - preferring to preserve the front cabins for those who have paid for them. This is, it seems, a big contrast to us-based airlines who freely upgrade based on status or fare.

I've barely recovered from that pleasant shock when I step on board only to be greeted from a friend and FTer who is working the flight. Its a shame all this is happening on a redeye as I'd like to catch up properly, and also to savour the experience of F. But after a few glasses of dom I succumb to sleep and wake up a couple of hours later just in time for breakfast.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 5:09 pm Reason: well spotted Man Flyer!
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Old Dec 21, 05, 3:45 pm
  #3  
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He was on duty for your flight, wasn't he? Seems you had better luck in your flight plan to coincide with his duty! How many Dom?
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Old Dec 21, 05, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
This area is too small for a 747 full load of passengers, even with the Air Tahiti Nui flight leaving from gate 7 having just closed.
Oh God NZ$47 million and they managed to screw it up completely. Why am I not surprised?
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Old Dec 22, 05, 3:49 pm
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I'm not sure why gate 7 was used - I dont recall ever leaving from that gate on 747 before.

However the usual gate for SQ is gate 6 and the gate lounge is also poorly designed. SQ has a separate BP reader for first, raffles and *G pax - but it is impossible to get to without joining the regular queue as the aisle between seats is too narrow for 2 lines.
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Old Dec 22, 05, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
[In the first Silver Kris lounge I have some Krug
Did they have a rogue bottle on then ?.
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Old Dec 22, 05, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
Singapore Airlines had earlier this year changed ground agent and it seems they are still not totally familiar with the system as once again I hope there will be no problem printing boarding pass (with my correct FF # entered) and once again there are problems and cant get the right FF # in the system.
Same problem in Sydney as well. They changed handling agents in October and in November the Check In folk were fairly new and inexperienced and had no idea how to enter my FF account. Ended up sending the BPs to AP.
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Old Dec 22, 05, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by MAN Flyer
Did they have a rogue bottle on then ?.
Well spotted and fixed. It was definitely Dom.
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Old Dec 22, 05, 6:55 pm
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A FLY AWAY WEEKEND continued

We arrive to a frigid Incheon, but thankfully the terminal is warm. I walk past the immigration counters to the transit security point and then wander the terminal to stretch my legs and browse the duty free.

When I made the booking I had in mind to take a side trip to Khaborovsk in Russia, however on later reflection decided against it for a number of reasons. The flight back from Khaborovsk would have a tight connection to my booked return flight from Seoul, and given it is a wintery -20C in Khaborovsk at this time of year I didnt want to risk misconnection due to delays.

If you are thinking the name Khaborovsk sounds familiar, it was recently in the news as being downstream of Harbin, China and affected by the recent spill in the ?? River.

Another reason for not taking the side trip was the hassle of a Russian visa meant it was not worth entering Russia for such a short time, and so I would be stuck airside until the return flight.

So some weeks ago I put in a request to change my return flight from Seoul to earlier in the day. However I was only waitlisted with all flights showing as full (and overbooked in both economy and raffles). The waitlist hadnt cleared by the time I left Singapore but I decided to take my chances while enjoying the facilities of the airport, including the very nice Singapore first class lounge.

After making a few circuits of the airside part of the terminal I headed into the lounge and asked if the waitlist had cleared. Not yet - need to see how many no shows there are. While I'm waiting I have a shower to freshen up and a nice cup of coffee so that I'm ready for the next flight back to Singapore if I manage to make it on. A few minutes after boarding commenced I get the message that there weren't enough no shows. I mentally flipped a coin as to leave the airport and head into Incheon city or Seoul, or stay in the lounge. The very cold day outside and not enough warm clothing decided the issue.

I thought about catching up on some sleep but I can never get a deep sleep in an airport lounge - too conscious of possibility of missing the flight I guess. So instead I grab a nice hot asian breakfast, hop onto the computer and while away the hours. I also managed to catch up on reading several big documents for work that I had been putting off (a few hundred pages each of heavy going material tends to do that to me!).

Soon enough it was almost time for my flight so I leave the lounge a little early in order to walk another few circuits of the airport. The flight back was fairly uneventful. I wasnt feeling hungry so skipped dinner and managed to snooze a little. Back to the lounge at Singapore where I checked email and surfed FT, waiting for NCRBILL to arrive on his mileage run. Not too much later I get a PM and turn around and there he is. Hmmm maybe I need to get a few more FT tags as he didnt see them.

We chat for a while before he heads into the city to sleep. Me I decide to stay in the lounge (its open 24 hours) since by now it is past 2am and my flight is fairly early tomorrow. I take a walk around the nearly shut down terminals to stretch the legs, have a shower and grab one of the sleeperette rooms. An hour later of unsuccessful dozing I give up and get back into the main lounge. One of the fellow overnighters is snoring very loudly.

Before too long the lounge stirs into life, slowly filling with pax for the early morning flights and staff put out the huge breakfast spread. I manage to catch up with MAN Flyer who had a few minor dramas to deal with.

I head out to the gate (yup a high F50s number again) and run into the queue for gate screening along the pier by the next door gate. Clearly not enough agents doing the screening and an on time departure is looking unlikely. The flight is very full and we do eventually leave somewhat late. Fortunately the tail winds are very strong and so we make up time enroute.

By now I've seen all the December movies/shows I want to see (yes even with all the hundreds of channels), and so I spend the flight dozing, reading, drinking and eating of course. I always enjoy flying SQ down to Auckland. I dont know if its my imagination but the service is always good, and the FAs are generally in good spirits with a short layover in Auckland to look forward to - plus the flight time is not as long as other long hauls eg to/from Europe or North America.

We land on time at Auckland. With this flight scheduled to arrive around the same time as the evening Australia flights, it always seems to be hit or miss as to whether or not there will be a big queue at immigration. Tonight we strike it lucky and I'm through immigration, customs and agriculture quarantine x-ray, and out the door in about 5 minutes flat. The airbus has stopped running by this time of night, so jump into a cab back home.

Traffic is almost non-existant and the trip into town is quick. I get my gear sorted for work the next day and grab a deep sleep in no time at all.

Next up the start of an around the world.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Dec 22, 05 at 7:20 pm
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Old Dec 31, 05, 5:25 pm
  #10  
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ACROSS THE PACIFIC THE LONG WAY

The end of the year is a great time for travelling as work pressures fade for a couple of weeks at least. As with the previous few years I was again in search of a possible white Christmas but in my heart I know it will not be one - the past few Christmasses I have managed to miss the snow by a few miles each time.

So it was just a week after the short trip to Seoul that I was again making my way to the airport. But being the last few work days of the year it was not without the usual few minor dramas and doubts as to whether or not I'd actually get away. After some frantic days I manage to pack in the wee hours of the morning before putting in a 3/4 day at work and head for the airbus to the airport.

This time I time it better and only wait 15 minutes. Being one of the last shopping days before Christmas I expected traffic to be heavy, and it is, but we still make good time. Arriving at the airport and it is the expected zoo. Thankfully SQ now uses premium immigration at the far left hand end of the check in area thus bypassing the main queues, and my status allows me to bypass the long check in lines too. A change since the previous trip in that luggage is no longer pre-screened before the check in area. It seems the behind the scenes full screening of all international baggage is now online just in time for the busiest travel weeks of the year (at least in this part of the world).

Despite having an overnight stop in SIN I manage to get my onward boarding passes for the next day ^ One less thing to slow me down tomorrow.

Somehow my exit row seating request got lost but managed to snag an upper deck aisle seat. I settle in and am convinced (yeah that was hard) to have a 2nd glass of pre-departure champagne. Literally as we begin to push back I get asked if I want a better seat. Woohoo another upgrade on SQ in short succession after years of no op-ups!! I follow the IFS back and take my new seat ...

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Dec 31, 05 at 5:38 pm
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Old Dec 31, 05, 5:54 pm
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... also in Raffles. No op up this time (you didn't really expect I'd get 2 op-ups in a month on SQ?), but rather a move to seats with more space to spread out.

The flight to SIN passes quickly. Again a fairly northerly routing across Australia. For those who like to keep score the satay was nice but I declined seconds. The food was also the usual good stuff - sorry no menu this time.

We arrive on time at SIN, and thanks to no bags and fast exit through door 2L (unlike some other airlines, on SQ it is often quicker to exit from the rear of upstairs cabin than the main business cabin downstairs thanks to the strict policy of exiting in order of cabin enforced by the FAs).

For a change I am leaving SIN airport and head to immigration which is the busiest I have ever seen in Singapore. I guess I should have expected it being one the last days before Christmas but it seemed strange to have to wait in line. Never mind, in typical Singaporean efficiency I am through in 10 minutes and rush to the taxi line which takes longer, snaking as it does past the roped off zig-zags.

The cab ride to hotel is quick, as is the check in at the Conrad. Get a nice upgrade and for once arrive early enough to grab a drink in the lounge before it closes for the night. The teddy bear is decked out for the season but otherwise the amenities are as normal for Conrad.

An all too short sleep and its back to the airport. No breakfast at the lounge (not yet open) but never mind the SQ lounge breakfast is actually pretty good (and then there is the flight as well). Having boarding pass already means I skip straight to immigration, and quickly through and back to my second home the SIN Silver Kris Lounge. I grab breakfast and check out my emails. For once no FTers around (at least that I can tell).

Then its off to the gate for my flight to Seoul (yes again!). I have arranged my RTW to maximise (or close to it) the number of PPS sectors I earn, while also visiting places I want to visit. This means taking the first flight of the day to ICN and then changing planes to the flight to Vancouver, instead of taking the direct one-stop service from SIN. This gets me an extra 1.25 PPS sectors for a minimal cost in miles used up

Due to not getting much sleep this week I doze most of the flight, but awake to have some more satay. Since there is no Dr Loosen Reisling (despite being on the menu), which I am partial too, I have some champagne (and also water lest you think I am a total lush!) instead.

What a difference a week or so makes. Last time to Seoul it was below freezing but no snow. Just recently South Korea had the biggest snowfall in decades and the entire countryside was blanketed with snow. And yes still well below freezing. So on deplaning I am quickly up the airbridge into the heated terminal. At the transfer screening station there is a small delay as a few fellow pax obviously unused to the realities of airline travel today take an eternity to put their many bags onto the xray machine and take off coats, jewellry etc. I dont mind. Not sure if its the drink or just I am zoned out now being on holiday. Once through I make a beeline for the great SQ lounge and grab a shower while the lounge is still quiet. Thoroughly refreshed I while away the remaining minutes til boarding.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Dec 31, 05 at 6:10 pm
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Old Dec 31, 05, 6:26 pm
  #12  
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RAINY VANCOUVER

Back out to the gate for another full flight. Singapore Airlines has a special menu for Christmas eve and Christmas day which is in effect for this flight - has one main and one dessert in the Christmas spirit. I will post it shortly.

Sorry I have to go. My meal has just been served.

Thanks to CGK for typing this up.

Originally Posted by CGK
Thank you Kiwi Flyer ^ for saving this special menu for Christmas Eve flights. If I am not mistaken, this menu is also for Christmas Day flightsThe cover was different then the usual "Siri Si Wanita Asia." This one is a gift wrapped in a gold color on a tray.


singapore >> seoul

lunch menu

To Nibble On...
Satay
With onion, cucumber and spicy peanut sauce

A Savoury Note
Assorted Asian appetiser
Tandoori chicken with cucumber raita, roasted duck with archar and Thai style chicken with glass noodles

The Main Event
:-: Roasted stuffed chicken with forest mushroom served with port wine jus, sautéed spinach and buttered potatio

Seared salmon trout served with cilantro pesto butter, vine ripened cherry tomato and olive oil flavoured potato

Wok fried beef in black peppercorn sauce served with braised beancurd and vegetables, fried rice

The Cheese Board

Gourmet cheese with garnishes

A Sweet Note
A selection of fresh fruit

Ben & Jerry’s chunky monkey ice cream
Banana and walnut ice cream garnished with chocolate sauce and tuile

A Connoisseur's Choice
Gourmet coffee
Selection of tea
and pralines


:-: Exclusively created by Georges Blanc, Vonnas



seoul >> san francisco

dinner menu

To Nibble On...
Satay
With onion, cucumber and spicy peanut sauce

A Savoury Note
Prawn and mango salad with cocktail dressing

The Main Event
Christmas Tom turkey with herbed bread stuffing, green beans, candied chestnuts and pumpkin-mash

Sauteed prawns and scallops served with creamy shiitake mushroom sauce, buttered green peas and pappardelle pasta

Stir fried sweet and sour beef with sesame, selected vegetables and fried rice

Go Chu Jang Yang Nyeom Sang Seon Goo I
Korean style seabass with hot spicy sauce, mixed vegetables and steamed
rice


The Cheese Board
Gourmet cheese with garnishes

A Sweet Note
A selection of fresh fruit

Yuletide log cake with vanilla sauce for festive season

A Connoisseur's Choice
Gourmet coffee
Selection of tea
and pralines


seoul >> san francisco

before touch-down menu

A Fresh Start
A choice of apple, tomato and freshly squeezed orange

Fresh fruit

A Healthy Note
Choice of cereals
Cornflakes with milk or yoghurt

The Main Event
Braised egg noodles with char siew, mushrooms and leafy greens

Chinese style fried rice with crabmeat, shrimp and eggs

Scrambled egg with sautéed assorted mushrooms, chicken sausage, roasted tomato and roesti potato

From the Bakery
Assorted breakfast rolls
Butter - Fruit preserve

A Connoisseur's Choice
Gourmet coffee
Selection of tea



@:-) Exclusively created by Matthew Moran of Aria Restaurant, Sydney

SQ16A/B SIN-ICN-SFO (L/D/HB) 10-12 RC

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Dec 31, 05 at 6:56 pm
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Old Jan 2, 06, 7:10 am
  #13  
 
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As always,a pleasure to read...hmm, maybe you'll bump into another FTer (me) next year around XMas time.

It a good idea to travel around festive time given the minimal/zero work pressures (bar last minute ones of course).
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Old Jan 3, 06, 6:56 am
  #14  
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I forgot to mention before that for a change there are no ads before the movies or programs on Kris World. This seems to have been a recent change and I'm not sure if its temporary or permanent change. Anyway it threw me the first time I noticed it as I am so used to fast-forwarding (about 4 minutes for movies and 3 for programs) but now there is no need.

On this overnight flight from Seoul to Vancouver I doze a little but dont sleep much. We have some very strong tailwinds - well in excess of 200kmh and so the flight time is shorter than scheduled. I had hoped to see the mountains along the coast as we head southeast along the canadian coastline, and had selected a seat on the left hand side of the aircraft specifically with this in mind, however thick clouds obscured the views until the last minutes of final approach. We had a short delay taxiing into the gate, and while we were waiting I thought how the poor weather sea and mountains reminded me a little of Wellington.

On the way to immigration we pass some totem poles and other native art, as well as a waterfall. The sound of running water is not what you want to hear while standing around waiting in a big queue! If you can try to finagle yourself into the right hand line. As the far right hand officer is dedicated to international transfer passengers, of which there seems to be few, essentially the right hand arrival line moves twice as fast as the others

After a few cursory questions I am through, change some money and get a ride to the hotel. The Hilton metrotown doesnt really have convenient transfers from/to the airport - it can be done but requires taking the bus to downtown (transfer at airport station) and then skytrain to metrotown, or bus to eastern Burnaby (also transfer at airport station) and then skytrain.

I get a nice room upgrade to a suite but, as reported in previous years, the exec lounge is closed for christmas-new year period, reopening January 9th. Once checked in I head out into the rain for a walk through Central and Deer Lake parks before it gets too dark (around 4pm) followed by last minute shopping.

I also took a few trips downtown to wander around exploring, check out the lights etc at Stanley Park.

A few days later its an early start to head back out to the airport for a short trip to Edmonton. I left it a little late to leave and so I checked in right at closing, and have no time for a visit to the lounge. Straight out to the gate and onto the Air Canada A319, an aircraft I would get familiar with over the next few days.

I notice the layout of the business class cabin is not uniform - that is the seat pitch seems to vary with each row and differs on both sides of the cabin (there being 4 rows on the DF side and only 3 on the AC side). I am not sure if it is just this particular aircraft, but 4DF in particular seems to have very small pitch and I would be very disappointed to get what is essentially a wide economy seat if I had those seats. The service is very so-so, as is pathetic attempt at breakfast that is served.

The flight passes surprisingly quickly. Unfortunately the poor weather on the west coast meant the mountains were totally obscured and the flight was a little choppy, we only reached clear air on approach to Edmonton with the vastness of the canadian prairie before us. The unseasonably warm weather (around 16C the previous few days) had melted all the snow, at least that I could see - and so if it wasnt for the fresh 0C air it could have been australia for all I knew.

I popped upstairs to the Maple Leaf lounge where I got checked in for the return flight, and checked some messages and look into something for this afternoon. Afterwards I wandered around the airport vicinity before the return flight. Same aircraft type but different seat. Yup sure feels like a different pitch, and I also noticed the seatbelt length was considerably different! A light meal is served on this flight and again no view so I settle into a book, which I'd brought with me but had yet to start reading until now.

This time I'm staying out by the airport (another early flight tomorrow) so it doesnt take long to get checked in once landed and I'm soon heading into the city centre.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jan 3, 06 at 7:16 am
Kiwi Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 3, 06, 5:20 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Kiwiflyer I love reading your travel writing, but I have to say- they make me tired just reading them. It's just such a number of long haul segments.
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