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Old 25th May 2020, 10:21 AM   #1
yflyer
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Default A Hundred and Sixteen and Counting! A Trip through My Trip Reports since 2012

As we sit out the last remaining days of Singapore's Circuit Breaker, and the COVID-19 lockdown equivalent in many other countries, I have been at home reflecting on past travels, and a way of life, much of it spent in the air, that now seems so distant.

I have not been on a plane for months. A car ride to the supermarket to pick up groceries is now an adventure to look forward to. I have been out running, but there are only so many routes available in my neighbourhood in the upper east coast of Singapore, and believe me, I think I have run them all.

I have written quite a few TR's on SQTalk, but exactly how many was something I only discovered yesterday, when I used the comprehensive vBulletin search function on this forum to list them.

Turns out that to date, I have posted 116 Trip Reports. Wow. Who would have guessed. I knew I had posted quite a few, but I had no idea I had crossed the century mark some time in the last year or so!

So during this pause in travels, I thought I would take a look back through the years at the TR's posted, starting with number one...

But first, what was the moment of inception? Why did I start?

My interest in flying and in cabin products probably started as early as 1980, when I first flew JAL and a whole series of US carriers, including United Airlines, and several now defunct domestic US airlines (Eastern, Western etc) to Japan and the USA, and domestically within the USA. I experienced the delights of economy class seating and catering on a whole range of aircraft types, including the DC-10, 747 classic, 727, 737 and even the DC-8 and DC-9. Back in Singapore after the trip, thoughts of seat designs and meals were already starting to swirl.

I've been following SQTalk since the forum started in 2006...reading the posts, and enjoying the amazing TR's from StarG, SQflyergirl, UMD, Kyo, 9V-SIA, CGK, nickbot, DeltaFlyingProf, taipeiflyer, LukeGT, Carfield, KeithMEL, Leroy and Bubba, Lobster and so many others.

More recently I've been gripped by SQueeze's amazing journeys to far flung destinations, and ycp81's frequent getaways have also made for an interesting read. And who can forget Soarbeyond's A Holiday Romance?

Finally in November 2012, I felt I had something worthwhile to contribute to the forum, in the form of a TR on the then-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

I have to confess to being at least a little concerned and worried when I posted that first TR. Would anyone read it? Would there be a torrent of criticism? Who were the folks who read SQTalk anyway?

I was pleasantly surprised at the warm and positive feedback from that first TR, and since that time I've also become acquainted with some of the members and founders of SQTalk -- all wonderful people, with many remarkable individuals, from a very diverse set of backgrounds and nationalities!

That first TR was then followed by another, and then another...

And now here we are in 2020, 9 years later with 116 trips reports and counting...

To anyone who has clicked on any of these TR's, thanks for reading! It's been a pleasure writing them, and reading your feedback and comments...

Here is a run-through of these TR's, starting with TR number one!

An index of all 116 TR's can also be found here.

Last edited by yflyer; 22nd August 2020 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 25th May 2020, 11:00 AM   #2
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1. JAL Dreamliner Singapore-Tokyo (Nov 2012)

This is the one that started it all. I had to make a short business trip to the USA, and flew on a combination of JAL and AA. This TR focused on the JAL 787 Dreamliner Economy class experience from Singapore to Narita. Some brief coverage of the JAL Sakura Lounge in NRT as well, on my return leg. Looking back at this TR, I realize that my style of TR coverage on planes hasn't changed all that much over the years, even if the TR's have become much longer!



2. Air France AF256 (CDG-SIN) A380 in Y (Dec 2012)

Not long after the first TR, I headed to Paris on Air France, and I took the opportunity to do a TR on the A380 Y experience on AF. It was a good trip, and I enjoyed my flights too, but I didn't have such flattering comments about the Y cabin ambience on AF's A380 compared to other carriers. I summed it up as follows:" ...the guy who designed the AF Y cabin must have been an ex submarine designer...."



3. Beijing via Hong Kong (CX/KA in Economy): Three Lounges, Two Dragons, and a Duck

Apart from covering off the inflight experience on CX and KA, this was also my first TR lounge hop, where I explored several of Cathay's amazing lounges in HKG, including The Wing, The Pier and The Cabin. For SQ KF Gold or PPS Club members who have only been to SQ's Lounge in Hong Kong (Which if they followed the CX naming convention, would probably be called "The Cave"), experiencing the CX lounges in HKG would be quite a revelation.

This was also the first TR where I posted pics of food: a very memorable Beijing Duck at Da Dong restaurant, which I would return to over and over again on subsequent trips.



4. QF A380 SIN-MEL-SIN in Y

A last minute business trip in early 2013 gave me the opportunity to fly Qantas's A380 to Melbourne. This was just after Qantas announced that they would be moving their hub from SIN to DXB for a period of 5 years. We all know now that it was a mistake to do so, and QF moved their Kangaroo Route hub back to Singapore after that 5 year period. This was my first TR where I mentioned a run, and included a snapshot of the Yarra river, but there was no route or distance measured: just a mention of a run, followed by dinner at Movida Next Door. Nothing quite like the a long run to work up the appetite!



5 - 7. SIN-LHR-BCN-LHR-SIN on QF Premium Economy and BA Y...and Nancy Bird Walton (Feb 2013)

My next TR was the first of my many TR's covering Barcelona. This was a 3 part report (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). As part of my work, I often have to travel to Barcelona at the end of February to attend a large trade show, MWC (Mobile World Congress). This has been a great source of material for TR's as there are many different ways to fly to Barcelona, and this great city has wonderful food as well, not to mention running routes, and the potential for misadventure...(More on that coming up in later TRs!).

It was also significant that on these trips, one of the A380's I flew was VH-OQA, Nancy Bird Walton, which was the aircraft operating QF32 that fateful day in 2010. To this day, when I fly on QF's A380's I will always check the rego of the aircraft, just to see if I am flying on this very special aircraft, now back in service.

QF's Premium Economy also sets the standard that other airlines' PEY products simply cannot match. To this day, I consider QF's PEY to be the best in the industry.



8. Seoul Food and ICN-SIN on SQ Y (March 2013 and March 2014)

This was my first TR coverage of SQ -- still my favourite airline. This one involved an ICN-SIN sector, and coverage of the then-new SQ Lounge in ICN.

Lots of mouthwatering pics of Korean food in this TR, including delicious BBQ that caused fellow SQTalker Carbonman to remark: "I had to hold on to my heart as I looked at the pics from your Korean BBQ. "



For those with the patience to read to the end of the TR, and continue to read the comments, there were even more culinary delights...I followed up the initial TR with another mini-TR in the same thread, from a year later, in 2014, about a separate trip that Mrs yflyer and I did, which contained even more food...

Also covered, was Mrs yflyer's extended outing to the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula in search of plum blossoms....



Jump straight into that mini-TR from March 2014 here...

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Old 25th May 2020, 11:24 AM   #3
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An absolute delight reading your past trip reports! Thank you for bringing us joy and reminding us of the pleasures of flying and travelling amidst this trying period
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Old 25th May 2020, 01:44 PM   #4
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An absolute delight reading your past trip reports! Thank you for bringing us joy and reminding us of the pleasures of flying and travelling amidst this trying period
Thank you very much for reading these, and all your feedback and comments, FSJZ!
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Old 25th May 2020, 02:19 PM   #5
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116!
It has been a pleasure reading your TRs! Thank you for sharing it with us. I've learnt a lot from reading them.

I look forward to another 116++++
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Old 25th May 2020, 03:07 PM   #6
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116!
It has been a pleasure reading your TRs! Thank you for sharing it with us. I've learnt a lot from reading them.

I look forward to another 116++++
Thanks for reading them, 9V-JKL! here's hoping for a quick resumption of international air travel!
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Old 25th May 2020, 03:09 PM   #7
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9. Die Die MAS try! SIN-KUL-SIN in Y on MH's new 737-800s (March 2013)

I set myself a challenge here: how to do an interesting TR around one of the shortest flights out of Singapore: SIN-KUL...

What made this flight interesting was the fact that it was flown on one of the new 738's with the modern Boeing Sky Interior( BSI). I also got to check out the MAS Regional Golden Lounge in KUL.



10. J flyer for a day! (But only one way...) SIN-SYD-SIN on SQ 77W J and A380 Y (April 2013)

Thus far, all my TR's had been around economy class travel.

As I wrote in the TR:

"I am convinced that the companies I have worked for over the years have each had a business rule embedded within company policy: Job Level eligibility for Business Class Travel = yflyer's current Job Level + 1.

I am forever on the wrong side of a wave of cost cutting and travel cutbacks which keeps J travel perpetually out of reach. Once in a while I break through the barrier, and for a fleeting moment, get to enjoy pre-flight drinks, the occasional satay, and horizontal, rather than vertical sleep. Then the next round of travel budget cuts happens."

On this occasion, I dug into my stash of frequent flyer miles to upgrade to Business Class on an SQ flight to Sydney -- and enjoyed every minute of it!



11. The Good, the Bad, and the Spicy. Beijing to Chongqing on Air China in Y (April 2013)

Next, I headed to China. Beijing and Chongqing were on the itinerary, although this trip focused on the domestic experience on Air China, on their 738 from PEK to CKG and back. CA is a Star Ailiance member, and as Star Gold, I was quite wowed by the experience, at least in terms of their lounges, and cabin service as well as ground handling service. As for catering, let's just say that Air China domestic catering is very much geared towards the domestic traveller. Unusual catering aside, I thought Air China set very high standards, especially for frequent flyers and Star Gold members.



12. Burj Khalifa and a Burger to Die For - SIN-DXB-LHR-SIN on SQ and BA (May 2013)

In May 2013, my work brought me to Dubai and London, where I got there on SQ J, then flew BA Premium Economy to London, before returning on SQ Y.



My flight to Dubai was in SQ's refitted 773. From there, it was a rare opportunity to fly BA's 744 in their old PEY product, before spending some time in London.

In London I sampled a delicious burger at Byron's and made the mistake of posting about it without actually posting a picture of the burger, where I incurred the wrath of HUGE AL...

That was some unfinished business, so when I headed back to London again in September that year, I headed back to Byron for another supremely satisfying burger, and this time posted a full BR (Burger Report :-) ) including picture!

13. A Taste of Chongqing Hot Pot: SIN-CKG on Silkair in Y (May 2013)

I spent a fair bit of time in the Chinese city of Chongqing in 2013. Apart from the stunning scenery and cityscape in this bustling metropolis, I found the food in Chongqing quite outstanding as well. I was there for work, but I would definitely want to return to Chongqing on holiday, to sample more of the fiery spicy/numbing cuisine, washed down with cold beer, and also to check out the sights and history.





14. Five Days Barefoot: Conrad Rangali Maldives (June 2013)

It was then time for a holiday report, where, for our 18th wedding anniversary, Mrs yflyer and our two girls spent 5 glorious days at that heaven on earth, the Conrad Rangali Maldives.

These were an amazing five days, where we dined at the underwater restaurant, Ithaa, and enjoyed the many delights that the Conrad had to offer. Other highlights included an idyllic overwater villa, and the Sea Otter seaplane ride from the resort back to Male for our flight home.



15. A different kind of Paradise - Biryani in Hyderabad via MI, SQ and AI

In my line of work, I head to India on a very frequent basis. While I love visiting any of the cities in India, one of my favourites has to be Hyderabad, where some of the most delicious biryani's in the world can be had. There's biryani, and there's Hyderabadi dum biryani. While in Hyderabad, I sampled some of the best, at a restaurant called Paradise.



16. London and Toronto on BA's 77W and 787 Dreamliner (September and November 2013, Feb 2014)

Nothing makes frequent flyers happier than the "beep of joy" when the gate agent scans your boarding pass...while the beep can happen for various reasons, one good reason is because you have been upgraded to a higher class of service.

At that point in time, I was Oneworld Emerald, one of their higher FF tiers, and on my trip to London and Toronto on BA, I was upgraded on both sectors: on Singapore to London on their 77W service, and then again from London to Toronto, which was one of the first sectors to be operated by BA's 787 Dreamliner.



While BA's J configuration, with its alternating forward/backward seats, is one of these you-either-love-it-or-hate-it configurations, I quite enjoyed the J experience on BA.

In Toronto, apart from a jog around the city, I also watched my first ever baseball game: a match between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. I found the whole baseball experience to be quite enjoyable, not just because of the game action, but because of the hot dogs, beer and great F&B which were all part of the baseball game experience.

As an appendix, I was back in London in November 2013, where I checked out Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food, and the BA LHR T5 F Lounge.

Then in February 2014, I added a segment on BA Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) on BA16 to London.

17. Cathay Pacific's 77W from SFO-SIN and "The Wing" First Class Lounge in HKG (September 2013)

On this trip I checked out CX's 77W from SFO-SIN, first in Y on the SFO-HKG sector, then in J on the 3+ hour HKG-SIN hop, thanks to a last minute op-up. While in transit, I was also wowed by the F section of CX's "The Wing" First Class Lounge, which was one of the most luxurious and stylish F lounges I had visited to date.



18. On QF's first 744 VH-OJA to Sydney, and the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney (October 2013)

Nostalgia seems to be a frequent theme in my TR's, especially nostalgia for types such as the 744, which are fast fading from airline fleets. The subject of this flight was VH-OJA, the very first 744 delivered to Qantas in 1989. Despite a dated cabin product, there was no denying the charisma of the Queen of the Skies.



This TR also featured the QF Singapore Lounge, and also showcased the outstanding catering and facilities in the QF First Class Lounge in Sydney.

19. CX 744 Y SIN-HKG: An evolutionary dead end in Y seat design

In this TR, I described my encounter with an admirable, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempt by CX to improve on the economy class seating experience. One of the most annoying things about flying in economy has to be having the person in front of you recline his or her seat. For years, airlines have been trying to design a seat that allows the person in front to recline without impacting the space of the person behind. Here was an attempt by CX. Kudo's to CX for trying, even if ultimately the result failed to satisfy...

20. SQ Y SIN-HKG-SIN on 77W / 777 Refitted

I was back in Hong Kong again not long after that, but this time I flew there on SQ in Y. Some pictures of the pre-renovation HKG SilverKris Lounge, which I described, even way back then, as "boring".

21. Adelaide, Barossa Valley and Kangaroo Island

While many of my TR's revolved around business trips, it was always a pleasure to switch gears and instead to a vacation TR, and in this case, the inspiration was Adelaide...which I really found to be a wonderful place to visit. Lots of food and scenery in this TR, along with the Qantas domestic 737 experience on the ADL-SYD sector, and QF's A330 from SYD to SIN.


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Old 25th May 2020, 03:39 PM   #8
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Omg, this is going to be epic !

hooray
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Old 27th May 2020, 10:28 AM   #9
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Omg, this is going to be epic !

hooray
Thanks for reading, SQueeze!
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Old 27th May 2020, 09:35 PM   #10
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22. JAL 787 Dreamliner Flight JL001 SFO-HND, and a Run across the Golden Gate Bridge (May 2014)



While I had gone on runs on previous trips, and mentioned these runs, this TR was the first where the run became one of the focal points of the TR, where I included a detailed run report.

This run, across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, has become one of my standard activities every time I head to SF. Indeed, I would recommend a run across the Golden Gate Bridge to every visitor to San Francisco.



This trip was also memorable because of the extended transit stop I made in Haneda. I flew SIN-HND in JAL's 767, arriving in the morning. I would then fly HND-SFO in the evening on JAL's 787 Dreamliner, but before that I would spend effectively an entire day in the JAL Sakura Lounge in Haneda, observing the ebb and flow of passenger traffic during the day. This was a wonderful lounge, beautifully decorated, with excellent catering as well. It was productive for me: apart from morning and evening peaks, the lounge was quiet: a great place to work.

In terms of flights, the hlghlight was JAL's spacious 8-abreast Dreamliner Y cabin. While most other carriers, including SQ, have now gone for 9-abreast 3-3-3 in their 787's, JAL has stuck to a 2-4-2 layout, which makes their 787 economy class feel much more spacious and open than other airlines' cabins.

23. Emirates A380 to Dubai, the DXB F Lounge, and a glimpse of Islamabad

My next work trip took me to Islamabad in Pakistan. There are several ways to get to Islamabad by air. My preferred route was via DXB, although this involved some backtracking. The perk? While in transit, I would get to experience the much-vaunted Emirates First Class Lounge in DXB's dedicated A380 terminal.

The EK F Lounge in the DXB A380 terminal must be one of the most unique F lounges in the world. It occupies an entire level in the terminal, and has direct access to the aircraft boarding gates. The F&B in this lounge was exceptional as well, with a sit-down menu, comprising both International and Middle-Eastern selections, and some very fine wines and cheeses.





I also spent several days in Islamabad, where I stayed at both the Islamabad Marriott and the Serena Hotel, before heading back to Singapore via DXB. The Marriott Islamabad had previously been in the news for the wrong reasons, it had been targeted in 2 different terrorist bombings, and must have been the most fortified and secure hotel I had ever stayed in.



The Serena, on the other hand, was the epitome of luxury, although the security presence there was evident too.

Both these hotels were close to the Islamabad Red Zone, where the government and military buildings were located. To the north, the scenic and beautiful Margalla hills. While here, I asked the hotel staff if it was safe to go out for a run, or go up the hills. Yes, they said, it was. But I decided against it on trip and stayed indoors throughout, only leaving the hotels for meetings when accompanied. A trip which I will remember fondly because it gave me a glimpse into a country and culture quite different from my own, and also because of the great food and hospitality from my friends and colleagues there.

24. p.s. I love you: UA's Revamped Premium Service JFK-SFO in Y (June 2014)

I flew from New York to San Francisco on United's transcontinental Premium Service, dubbed P.S. Operated by a Boeing 757 (Always nice to be on one of those), this was a nice step up from UA's regular domestic service.

25. Two Parks and a River – PART 1: Singapore Airlines A380 to Frankfurt and New York (June 2014)

In this TR, I flew on SQ26 SIN-FRA-JFK, breaking my journey in FRA for a side trip to Munich. Lots of local food and beer, as well as a couple of wonderful runs in this TR, complete with route maps: the first was through the English Garden in Munich.



There are many ways to get from FRA to the city centre -- one of the more unusual ways is to cover the 12km distance on foot! My second run was a long run from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) all the way to the Frankfurt City Center -- all planned on the internet without any prior route recce!



I ended my run in FRA at an outdoor restaurant, eating sausages while watching the 2014 World Cup Match between Holland and Spain on the restaurant TV.



26. Two Parks and a River – PART 2: NY & SFO-SIN on SQ15 (77W in Y)

In this continuation of the previous TR, I spent a few days in New York City, where I did a run through Central Park.



At the end of my run, I encountered the Naked Cowboy...



It was on this trip that I discovered the delights of Shake Shack's burgers and hot dogs (Thanks for the recommendation, kelvgoh!). I spent the evening at a concert with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Lincoln Center. My next stop was San Francisco, where I spent a few days before flying home via ICN on SQ15.

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Old 30th May 2020, 11:26 AM   #11
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27. Short and Shorter: Intra-Asia on SQ Economy (MNL, BKK, KUL)

A three-in-one TR here, with short trips on a range of old and new SQ aircraft to Manila, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur covered.

28. On SilkAir's New 737-800 to Kuala Lumpur (MI322 SIN-KUL)

The Silkair brand will be disappearing soon, as the fleet is merged into Singapore Airlines, so let us take a look back at Silkair's 737-800. This was a flight on a brand new Boeing 738, with the Boeing Sky Interior (BSI) and streaming wifi inflight entertainment.





As an added bonus, this TR also continued with a post-flight write-up covering the Aloft KL hotel, and dinner at KL's famous Jalan Alor.



29. SIN-PEK in J on SQ's 777-300 Refitted (73A) Regional Business Class (August 2014)

"It has been a long day in the office. Back in my hotel, my last conference call for the day has ended. How to destress? Why, write a TR of course. But this is a weekday and time isn't on my side.

Thankfully this one will probably write itself. Let's see how far I can get, putting together a TR on-the-fly, say in a 30 minute timebox. It is now 10pm in Beijing. The clock is ticking!"

I wrote this TR not long after the flight itself, while still in my hotel in Beijing! This is a straight flight report, covering the SQ SilverKris Lounge in T3, and flight SQ806 SIN-PEK in Business Class.

30. An Unexpected Journey: Dubai and Kuwait on SQ J/Y and EK Y (September 2014)

“There is a client I would like you to meet in Kuwait. Would you like to go there?”

“Yes, sure” I replied, “but let me check the visa requirements first.”

I was about to head to Dubai on SQ. I had planned four days there for work from Monday to Thursday, and possibly Friday as a free day (They have their weekends on Fri/Sat in Dubai), but those plans went out the window, now that I had to fit in a side trip to Kuwait.

I had never been to Kuwait. In fact, Kuwait had been off the radar for me for a while, since the Iraqi invasion in 1990, and Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1991.

While Iraq, Syria and Lebanon have been in the news recently, Kuwait has stayed out of the “limelight” in recent years, which is probably not a bad thing.



Work aside, I was interested in visiting just to get a sense of what this country was about, and to see if there were any trace at all of the Iraqi invasion 24 years ago, if only in the memories and recollections of the people I would meet.



31. SQ @ Manila Airport Terminal 3 and Lounge One Fourteen

Less of a trip report than a lounge report, covering the SQ move from T1 to T3 in MNL, and the temporary SQ lounge there, with a side visit to that much loved Filipino institution, Jollibee, thrown in as a bonus...

32. Steak, Bed and Breakfast on SQ16 ICN-SFO (Seat 11K)

A rare business class experience for me, on the ICN-SFO leg of SQ16, sitting (and sleeping) in seat 11K.





33. SQ318 SIN-LHR in New Y (77WN), Terminal 2, The Shard, and Perfect Fish & Chips (October 2014)

This is one of my favourite TR's, covering SQ's new 2013 Y product in the 77WN on the SIN-LHR sector.



With much of this flight flown in day time, there were great views out the window, including a flight over Iran, where we overflew Teheran Airport.



I spent several wonderful days in London as well, enjoying food, the music scene, as well as long run, in beautiful weather, through the city.



The TR ended with coverage of LHR T2...



...including a wonderful fish & chips meal at Heston Blumenthal's Perfectionists' Cafe...


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Old 30th May 2020, 11:43 AM   #12
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34. CX New Regional J to HKG (November 2014)

An unexpected op-up on an otherwise routine SIN-HKG sector gave me the opportunity to cover Cathay Pacific's new regional business class product.



35. Ten Days in Tasmania (Nov-Dec 2014)

“We don't get a signal around here”, the slightly bemused waitress replied, when I asked her if there was anywhere on the premises where I could go stand to get a cellphone signal. Not Telstra, not Optus, not Vodafone…no cell phone coverage. Period.

We were far inland in Tasmania, in Pyengana, on the way to the Bay of Fires, after spending 3 days in Launceston. On the long drive through scenic forests and winding hill roads, we had stopped at the Pyengana Dairy Company for lunch at their picturesque farm and café, set amid rolling hills and pastures where a very large number of dairy cows were grazing.

The kids were outside watching the cows. Mrs yflyer turn her gaze up from her bowl of zucchini soup, jaw frozen for an instant, as the waitress’s words sank in, then decided that this was not a concern for the moment. She continued sipping her soup, occasionally taking a bite of the accompanying warm toast with improbably thick slabs of rich butter layered on top. Only a dairy farm would be so generous with butter….

Wonderful food and hospitality, but no connectivity. Needless to say the café didn’t have free wifi either, although free tastings of their award winning cheeses more than made up for this shortcoming.

The lack of connectivity at that moment was an issue for me in one way, though...Google Maps on the iPhone requires an internet connection to set the initial route. Once set, you are fine if there is no cellular coverage, but you need internet at the start to set the destination. Abstinence from Youtube, Facebook, Twitter for a short while is not a bad thing – IT detox has its benefits – but in practical terms I needed Google Maps to provide driving directions to drive to Binalong Bay, just south of the Bay of Fires.

Oh well…it would be back to first principles as far as navigation was concerned. I had a paper map of Tasmania, and the road signs so far were good. And there was a cached map of major roads on Google Maps, on my iPhone, that could still be used.

We eventually got to the next town, near Binalong Bay, where cell coverage was restored, where we paused for a few minutes to enjoy the view of the sea and the orange-red rocks by the sea, before continuing our drive to Freycinet National Park.

By that point, we were about a third of the way through our vacation to Tasmania. This trip would take us from Launceston to Freycinet (via the Tamar Valley wine route and Pyengana) and on to Hobart and Bruny Island. On this trip, our rental SUV would log 1114km…we picked the car up from Launceston Airport, and returned it in Hobart Airport 10 days later.



36. Mini TR: My MAS 737 had Eyebrows... (January 2015)

A couple of short flights to and from Kuala Lumpur, on MAS 737's: one new, and one so old she still sported "eyebrows"...



37. BA Club Europe - Short Haul "J" LGW-BCN (Feb 2015)

If you are ever tempted to try flying business class on short-haul flights within Europe, think again! This TR covers what airlines in Europe try to pass off as "Business Class" on their intra-Europe sectors...

38. To London and Barcelona via DXB on EK/QF A380 Y (Feb 2015)

I began this trip to LHR and BCN with a Changi Airport Lounge hop...



...before flying on an EK A380 to DXB, and then Qantas' A380 from DXB to LHR.



Coverage as well of the Emirates Business Class Lounge in the DXB A380 Terminal on my return sector to Singapore.



39. More Seoul Food: SQ J to ICN and Dining in Korea (March 2015)

Mrs yflyer finds Korea fascinating. She weeps over their television dramas. She relishes the shopping and fashion scene in Seoul. And Korean cuisine intrigues her.



When I mentioned that I would be going to Seoul for work during the term one school holiday week in Singapore, and suggested she tag along, she immediately agreed.

The run-up to the term one school break was unexpectedly stressful. This was only term one…very early in the academic year, but our children were sitting for important exams at the end of 2015, and the added pressure was taking its toll (Despite our parenting style being fairly laid back…). Yes, the education system here does that to students -- and parents too. Mrs yflyer was feeling the strain. The fact that I was overseas at work for long stretches at a time did not help either. A short getaway for Mrs yflyer and I looked to be just the thing to get everything back on an even keel.

Mrs yflyer and I were looking forward to some time together in Seoul. I think the kids needed a break from us too…

But a week or so before the trip, Murphy’s law came into effect: The business meeting in Seoul was postponed to the week after the holiday. What about our trip together? The thing about expectations is that once set, they are difficult to reset. She and I needed a break.

And this is where that stash of hotel points and air miles came in handy. Miraculously, business saver redemptions for two on SQ16/15 to and from Seoul were available. We booked these just days before the trip. At the very last minute, Hyatt Gold Passport redemption availability for a 4 night stay at the Park Hyatt Seoul opened up as well.

So I would head to Seoul myself for a work trip later in the month, but before that Mrs yflyer and I would fly to Seoul for a short getaway (Yes a real holiday, not a work/vacation combo) during the school holiday week.

I made the necessary bookings, and broke the news to Mrs yflyer…“You know all those places you wanted to try? Go book the restaurants now! I’ve sorted out the flights and the hotel. The rest is up to you!”



Mrs yflyer did her usual, thorough, research and put an ambitious eating plan together…”We have 8 meal slots, but 9 places I want to try” was her challenge.

In the event, only two restaurant reservations were needed – a couple of emails from Mrs yflyer to the concierge desk at the Park Hyatt and we had lunch dates at Jung Sik Dang and Soigne. The other meals we had planned were at walk-in casual dining restaurants, street food or in wholesale markets, such as the Noryangjin Wholesale Fish Market, Majang Wholesale Meat Market, or at Dongdaemun. We would also try an evening walking tour of Korean street food (And drink, as it would turn out…).





While I have enjoyed dining in Seoul in the past, this trip took the exploration of the Korean food scene to a new level. In Singapore we have a lot of variety in our cuisine as well, but the flavours and atmosphere in Korea are just so different from Singapore. It was both refreshing and eye opening. And I think we could learn a few things from the dining scene in Seoul.



Reader Alert : Graphic, occasionally explicit, images coming up of both the raw and the cooked. Not always pretty, but all delicious…

Last edited by yflyer; 11th July 2020 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 30th May 2020, 03:10 PM   #13
icn.sg
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Default Congratulations!

Dear yflyer

Your TRs are one of the reasons I keep coming back to SQTalk. As much as I enjoy reading everyone's TR, I can relate best to yours.

You offer me a glimpse into the Y products of the non-*Alliance carriers, which I seldom fly on. Your coverage of lounges, Y cabin products, service and meals are EXACTLY what I look out for in a TR, as well as on all my flights. I take the exact type of photos on every single flight that I have been on.

Even though I don't reply to every single TR of yours, rest assured that I have read and enjoyed every one of them!

Congratulations on hitting the 116th mark, and I eagerly look forward to you hitting your 200th! I hope this comes soon despite the current travel bans.
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Old 31st May 2020, 04:40 PM   #14
yflyer
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Join Date: 12-May-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icn.sg View Post
Dear yflyer

Your TRs are one of the reasons I keep coming back to SQTalk. As much as I enjoy reading everyone's TR, I can relate best to yours.

You offer me a glimpse into the Y products of the non-*Alliance carriers, which I seldom fly on. Your coverage of lounges, Y cabin products, service and meals are EXACTLY what I look out for in a TR, as well as on all my flights. I take the exact type of photos on every single flight that I have been on.

Even though I don't reply to every single TR of yours, rest assured that I have read and enjoyed every one of them!

Congratulations on hitting the 116th mark, and I eagerly look forward to you hitting your 200th! I hope this comes soon despite the current travel bans.
Thank you very much for your note, and your kind words, icn.sg! I appreciate your comments and inputs to these TR's over the years as well!

Last edited by yflyer; 31st May 2020 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 31st May 2020, 05:17 PM   #15
yflyer
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Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
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40. Lisbon to Heathrow on TAP in Y (November 2014)

On this short trip to Lisbon, where I spent less than 24 hours, I saw almost nothing. It would only be 5 years later, when I returned to Lisbon in 2019, that I got to experience what a wonderful city Lisbon was. Nevertheless, it was quite interesting to read this TR and see how the lounge and flight experience on TAP had changed (For the better!) between 2014 and 2019. What didn't change was the quality of those delicious Portuguese egg tarts, which I gorged on in both 2014 and 2019!

41. Dragonair J from Bengaluru to Hong Kong (April 2015)

This TR began with me reminiscing about my first trip to Bangalore in 1996, when international air travel to India was just opening up in the early years of the IT boom. Things could not have been more different by the time of this trip in April of 2015: there was now a large modern airport terminal, and much better flight connectivity to global destinations. On this flight I was op-uped to J and got to experience Dragonair A330 business class on this red-eye flight...



Did I sleep well? Read the TR to find out!

42-43. Qantas A380 Business Class DXB-LHR, Shorthaul in Europe, Dubai and Riyadh (Parts I & II)

A two part TR: Part I and Part II.

In this TR, I checked out Qantas A380 Business Class from Dubai to London...



...before catching the Eurostar train under the English Channel to Brussels...



...and then a short flight from Brussels to Rome (In a plane, not a rocket...)



BRU-FCO was on budget carrier Vueling, which had the least generous seat pitch of any airline I had ever encountered...



From Rome, it was back to LHR (On BA this time!), and then QF A380 J again to DXB...



I spent some time in Dubai...



...before heading to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Emirates...



It was hot while I was in Riyadh, up to 43 degrees C...





It wasn't just the heat we had to contend with in Riyadh: this was a dry / liquor-free country where alcohol was forbidden.

The airport departure experience was chaotic...



...but we eventually boarded our EK flight back to DXB, where I returned to my hotel, the Marriott Marquis Dubai, just in time to have a drink in the top floor bar before they closed: my first drink in a few days!


Last edited by yflyer; 1st June 2020 at 06:03 PM..
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