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Old 31st May 2020, 06:29 PM   #16
yflyer
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44. A Cold Spring in Summer: Taipei via Jetstar, Kavalan Whisky in Yilan (June 2015)

In June 2015, the family and I headed to Taiwan for a family vacation. We flew there on LCC Jetstar...



...and had a great time exploring Taipei and Yilan, on the eastern coast of Taiwan.



And as bonus, the Kavalan Whisky Distillery was nearby...a great opportunity to sample and buy a few bottles of award winning single malt whisky!



45. SQ A380 Economy to Shanghai (May 2015)

In May 2015, Mrs yflyer and I headed to Shanghai to attend the wedding of a close friend.



We flew SQ Economy on the A380 both ways...



...and stayed at one of our favourite hotels, the Grand Hyatt Shanghai...



As you would guess from previous TR’s, we also ate a few interesting things…



46. SQ Economy to Bangkok - New and Old Y (July 2015)

A short business trip to Bangkok presented the opportunity to compare and contrast SQ's new(er) Y and one of their "classic" older ones...

How old? My return flight was 9V-SRJ, a 13+ year old Boeing 777-200 series first delivered in 2001. This was another exercise in nostalgia.

"Jeez…are they still operating this bird?" I wrote then...

All that said, I am sure we all have fond memories of cabins like these...




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Old 31st May 2020, 06:31 PM   #17
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47. Qatar Airways A350: SIN-DOH in Economy, Inaugural A350 Service DOH-DXB (August 2015)

This was a TR of firsts... my first on an A350, operated by Qatar Airways. This was also my first inaugural and water cannon salute: An unexpected one, as I did not realize that my DOH-DXB sector was QR's first A350 service from Qatar to Dubai.



48. Qatar Airways: A350 Business Class DOH-SIN, 787 Economy DXB-DOH, Al Mourjan J Lounge

Be prepared to be wowed in this TR. I certainly was! I flew DXB-DOH-SIN on Qatar Airways, first on their 787 in Y from DXB to DOH, then J on the DOH-SIN sector.

In DOH, I was op-uped to Business class for my DOH-SIN sector, which gave me the opportunity to check out one of the most impressive lounges I have ever encountered, the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge in DOH.



My flight in QR's A350 J was superb as well, closer to an F experience than J...





A very memorable flight indeed!


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Old 6th June 2020, 01:46 PM   #18
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49. Lufthansa A380 Premium Economy to Frankfurt and Munich

Premium Economy Class is now offered by many airlines, but this was not always the case. With EVA and Qantas among the early pioneers of PEY, in recent years, many other airlines have also started offering PEY cabin products, SQ included.

In September 2015, I had the opportunity to check out Lufthansa new Premium Economy product, first launched on LH 747-8i's in December 2014, before being rolled out on their A380's at the end of April 2015.





This TR was also memorable for another reason: On the very same flight was another TR writer who posted his TR on another website.

I did not know this, but this was spotted by ever-attentive icn.sg, who wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by icn.sg View Post
Looks like you had a fellow trip reporter on your flight.

http://flight-report.com/en/report-11521.html
icn.sg only realized this when he read the TR, and noticed passengers were wearing the same shirts in both reports!

As I wrote then:

“Thanks for sharing the link, icn.sg! Two TR's on the same flight, in the same cabin, what are the odds of that!
Not only was this the same flight, I am actually in the TR ! The hunter has become the hunted...”

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Old 6th June 2020, 01:53 PM   #19
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50. SG50 Fireworks and Flypasts - A Staycation at the Marina Bay Sands (August 2015)

The trip report was a staycation to celebrate SG50, coincidentally also my 50th TR...

On 9 August, 2015, Singapore's 50th National Day, I stayed at the Marina Bay Sands: the perfect spot to watch the SG50 National Day festivities, and the fireworks that evening...


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Old 6th June 2020, 02:27 PM   #20
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51. SQ Premium Economy from Singapore to London (October 2015)

I finally got to sample SIA's new A380 Premium Economy product in October 2015...



As I wrote then...

"SQ launched Premium Economy earlier this year, in August 2015. Every new SQ product launch is an event. When one of the best airlines in the sky today introduces something new, the whole world will be watching.

"While premium economy is not as glamorous as Suites, First or Business Class, it is a product that offers something beyond just getting you from point A to point B. SQ has always excelled in delivering a memorable travel experience, whether in the back or the front of the plane, so the buzz and excitement in the travel community when SQ announced premium economy was quite palpable.

"But SQ has probably been feeling the pressure as well. They were late to launch premium economy: Eva, Qantas, BA have had it for some time now, and many other airlines, including Cathay and Lufthansa have recently launched PEY offerings. Is SQ’s offering the equal of these existing products? Can SQ go one better?

'And to complicate things further, regular economy on SQ is already excellent. How much more can a great Y product be enhanced without cannibalising the business class cabin?

"Just how comfortable is SQ Premium Economy, and how is it different from regular Economy?"



In this TR I examined SQ's new PEY in detail, and offered an opinion on how I thought it compared with other airlines' PEY products.

Also in this TR, I had my first look into the F section of the Changi T3 SilverKris Lounge, courtesy of a friend of mine. This was an instance of the real and virtual worlds intersecting, and since that time my friend has occasionally featured in other TR's as well.

As I wrote then...

"...And in an example of how the online world and the real world sometimes intersect in unexpected ways, I first got to know my friend several months back through Mrs yflyer. My friend is an expert in his field of work, and a highly respected member of his profession. When we were introduced, and got round to talking about hobbies and interests, it turned out that he was quite an aviation/travel enthusiast as well, and had been so since he was quite young.

"He is a regular reader of travel forums, including SQTalk. When I mentioned that I went by the handle yflyer on SQTalk his eyes widened in disbelief…”you’re that guy who likes to go running...”. My friend, if you are reading this, thank you very much for giving me a peek into the F Lounge. It was great to meet up!"

52. A Plane, a Train, and a Run: SQ A380 Economy CDG-SIN, KL 737 LHR-AMS, Thalys etc

After arriving in London on SQ PEY (Covered in the previous trip report), I headed from London to Amsterdam on KLM, which offered me a rare glimpse of the LHR Skyteam Lounge. I caught the Thalys high speed rain from Amsterdam to Paris, and while in Paris headed out for a memorable early morning run through the heart of this romantic city...



I returned to Singapore on SQ335 CDG-SIN in A380 Y, which departed from CDG's iconic Terminal 1...




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Old 6th June 2020, 02:29 PM   #21
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53. SIN-HND-NRT-LAX on SQ 777 Economy and SQ A380 Business Class (October 2015)



Readers on SQTalk will no doubt encounter the posts of the esteemed SQflyergirl...in October 2015, purely by chance, my travel itinerary and hers intersected briefly at Narita Airport. This was a rare opportunity to actually meet a non-Singapore based SQTalker in person, and I jumped at the chance for a first-time meet and greet.

However, the time window available to meet was really short, and as things turned out, not everything went according to plan. Did we actually manage to meet? Read the TR to find out!

This TR also covers the SQ A380 Business Class experience on the NRT-LAX sector...





...where I sampled SQ's Japanese style “Hanakoireki” dinner service...



54. A Room with A View: LAX Stopover and AA 738 LAX-SFO



On a recent trip to Tokyo and the USA, I spent a day in LAX as a pit stop enroute to SFO. I write LAX, not LA, because I didn’t really spend time in LA proper this time round, just the area around LAX and Manhattan Beach…

I had just a few hours in LA / LAX. How would I spend my time? Earlier, I had asked the folks on SQTalk for food recommendations. The Alibi Room and In-N-Out Burger came up as recommendations. I visited both. I also went for a run along Manhattan Beach, just as the sun was setting along the beautiful Californian coast.



This time round, I stayed at the Residence Inn Marriott at LAX / Century Boulevard. Airport hotels are usually drab, unexciting affairs. My stay at the Residence Inn was anything but! If you are an aviation enthusiast, it is likely that you would enjoy a stay here. And even if you are not, the rooms and facilities here are a cut above what you would expect.

Finally, I flew American Airlines on a very new and well equipped 738 from LAX to SFO – and was very impressed with the AA product on this short sector!

55. Uber, Gitane and SQ1 SFO-SIN in New Economy Class (77WN)

I was back on familiar ground, in San Francisco, for the 3rd part of my trip (Previous segments covered in TR Nos. 53 and 54 above).



As usual I headed for a run across the Golden Gate Bridge, and dined at the wonderful Spanish-inspired restaurant Gitane, now sadly closed, before heading home on SQ1 SFO-SIN via HKG in Economy.




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Old 6th June 2020, 02:56 PM   #22
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56. CX A340 Business Class to Hong Kong (November 2015)

I will miss the A340. While not the most fuel-efficient (Or speedy) aircraft out there, I will miss the quiet cabin, and the comfort, not to mention the memories of flying on the ULH A345 variant on the SIN-EWR sector years ago.

In this TR, I got to check out Business Class on Cathay's A340 to Hong Kong...






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Old 6th June 2020, 03:13 PM   #23
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57. Planes, Thrills and Meals: SQ to Kansai, Osaka , Kyoto and Universal Studios Japan (November 2015)

Some time in the 2nd half of 2015, the different stakeholders in our family of four reached a consensus on where we would go for an end-of-year holiday. I think we all had different reasons to head to Osaka.

Mrs yflyer was clearly going for the cuisine, the shopping scene, and the culture (Probably in that order…). Our two girls voted yes because of the opportunity to visit Universal Studios Japan, located on the outskirts of Osaka, with its recent Harry Potter extension.

Me? All of the reasons above applied to some extent too, but also I did it for KIX…

While I visit Tokyo on a fairly regular basis, I have never been to that marvel of architecture and engineering, Kansai International Airport, a stunning airport built on a man-made island off Osaka Bay. This would be great opportunity to make an aviation pilgrimage to this remarkable structure.



So Osaka and Kyoto it was, and we headed there on SQ at the end of November...



We spent two days in Osaka at the start...



...then headed to Kyoto for 4 nights...



...where we ate omu-rice prepared by celebrated chef Motokichi Yukimura...



...and other delights, including lunch at Arashimaya restaurant Temra Matsu...



...before returning to Osaka to visit Universal Studios Japan (USJ) and explore the city and its attractions for the remainder of the trip.



A long TR, and as usual, best not to read this on an empty stomach!

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Old 6th June 2020, 03:36 PM   #24
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58. British Airways A380 Y SIN-LHR-SIN on BA12/BA11 (January 2016)

I finally had the opportunity to fly BA's A380 from SIN to LHR and back again in late January 2016, as part of a trip to the UK and North America.

At the time, BA flew to LHR from SIN twice a day, with BA16/15 operated by a 77W, and BA12/11 operated by the A380 on some days of operation.

I had flown BA's 77W to London several times in Y, PEY and J and was very happy with the experience. I was keen to compare the experience on BA's A380.



Also some brief coverage of Gordon Ramsey's restaurant, Plane Food, in LHR T5.

59. LHR-BOS-ORD-SAN-LHR on BA and AA: Snow, Lobsters and Aircraft Carriers (Jan 2016)

From London, I headed to Boston on BA 777 Economy...



...just as a major snow storm was going to hit the Eastern Seaboard of the USA...



The snow storm did hit, which presented me with the opportunity to head out for a sub-zero -5 degree run through Boston the next morning...



That run really worked up an appetite, so my next stop was a lobster lunch at Legal Seafood...



I was then off to Chicago for a day, before heading to sunny San Diego. The contrast in weather could not have been more extreme!



A long run along the San Diego waterfront gave me a glimpse of the floating museum/aircraft carrier USS Midway.



I did not have time to visit the USS Midway museum that first trip, but a few months later, in August 2016, I made a return visit and this time had the opportunity to visit this carrier attraction -- lots of pics in this TR.

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Old 6th June 2020, 03:43 PM   #25
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60. JAL to Tokyo in Y: Ramen, Whale and a Run around the Imperial Palace (February 2016)

Hot on the heels of a very enjoyable vacation to Osaka and Kyoto the previous December, I headed to Tokyo for a short work trip in early February 2016.

This time, I flew to Tokyo in JAL economy class, on their 767, which was fitted with their newest Business Class and Economy Class products (Some pics of J as well, although I did not fly J...)



On this trip, for some unknown reason (OK…maybe for known reasons…), my colleagues and friends there figured out that I was quite keen on food, so they brought me to a few interesting places to eat...



I also checked out a wonderful running route: around the Tokyo Imperial Palace...





And on my return flight NRT-SIN, the best Y breakfast I had ever encountered...


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Old 6th June 2020, 03:48 PM   #26
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61. Emirates SIN-DXB-BCN in Y: Paella, Xuxo & FC Barcelona vs Sevilla@Camp Nou (Part I) (February 2016)

By now, regulars on SQTalk will know the essential elements of a yflyer TR: Photos of peanuts, pictures of economy class seats from at least three different angles, economy class meals recounted blow-by-blow with almost the same reverence accorded to degustation menus in Michelin-starred restaurants...a run around the city regardless of weather conditions...and the endless b*tching about 10-abreast 777’s and 9-abreast 787’s.

But something unexpected happens when Mrs yflyer joins him on a trip. Unexciting salaryman suddenly transforms into amateur foodie and camera-toting tourist…yflyer suddenly remembers how to enjoy himself, and actually steps out of the hotel to look around and *gasp* do some sightseeing…

I had a work trip planned for Barcelona in late February, and this time schedules worked out for Mrs yflyer to tag along. A few days of vacation time tacked on to either end of the business itinerary, and this became something resembling a holiday.



We flew Emirates to Barcelona via Dubai in Economy. Mrs yflyer returned to Singapore on the same routing 9 days later, however I continued my trip for a few days longer, on Air Berlin (A Oneworld member) to Munich, via Dusseldorf, and returned to Singapore from Munich, again via Dubai on Emirates.

In Barcelona, I brought Mrs yflyer to a few favourite eating outlets that I had raved about on previous trips there, but ended up eating at quite a few new places as well, with many new places either sniffed out by Mrs yflyer or recommended by friends and relatives.



The highlight of this trip was watching FC Barcelona, one of the world's best known football teams, play at Camp Nou, the stadium which is their home ground, as they played Sevilla FC in an exciting La Liga football match on the evening of 28 February.



62. Emirates MUC-DXB-SIN & Air Berlin BCN-DUS-MUC: Strong Beer & Schweinshaxe (Part II)

After Barcelona, I headed to Munich via Dusseldorf on Air Berlin, and spent a few days there before flying home, MUC-DXB-SIN, on Emirates.

This side trip to Germany was for work but while there, why not indulge in their local specialities, not least the Schweinshaxe, or roasted pork knuckle, which I would seek out on this trip, based on CarbonMan’s recommendation.



Why did I fly to Munich via Dusseldorf? Simple. It was one of the cheapest options available. There was a long transit stop in Dusseldorf (Which probably contributed to the rock bottom fare), but this gave me the opportunity to head into the city, my first time there, for a quick recce and a meal. I would also get to check out Air Berlin, a member of Oneworld, which I had never flown before.

I know colleagues who try to choose the shortest connection possible when connecting. To save time, you know. For them, any additional minute beyond MCT is time wasted. These are the same folks who complain like mad when they miss their connections.

I welcome long transit stops -- the longer the better! All that buffer time gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

On this occasion, the long transit stop in Dusseldorf also meant that I could leave the airport and head into the city to look around. Perfect.


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Old 6th June 2020, 03:59 PM   #27
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63. SQ318/319 New Business & Economy Class to London and LHR T2 SilverKris Lounge (April 2016)

In April 2016, I finally got to try SQ’s new business class on the 77WN (i.e. 777-300ER with the latest cabin products), on SQ318 to London. I flew there on 9V-SWU and returned to Singapore on SQ319 in Y, coincidentally also on 9V-SWU, which was the aircraft that launched these new cabin products in late 2013.



While in London, I dined at two restaurants, each with a fairly unique, and daring, take on traditional English cuisine: The Jugged Hare and St John. I also sampled modern Peruvian cuisine at Andina, at their restaurant in Shoreditch.

To keep accounts in order from the perspective of calories and cholesterol, on the last day of my trip, I headed outdoors, on a clear and sunny day, for a mid-day run along the River Thames.



I also got to check out the new SQ Lounge in Heathrow T2 before flying home.



It was great to fly on SQ again, on one of their newest products and on their flagship LHR route. Looking back, the SIA experience did not disappoint. But as Flyerfly wrote in his recent, and excellent, TR on SQ on the same sector, “Expectation is a b*tch”. With SQ’s exalted reputation, it is not enough to be good, or even very good. One expects them to be a “Great Way to Fly”.

How did they fare on this occasion? Read the TR to find out!
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Old 6th June 2020, 04:15 PM   #28
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64. More Tokyo Dining: Jidori Chicken, Izakaya and a run to the Tokyo Skytree (March/April 2016)

It was back to Tokyo on JAL in March and April 2016, for more food, including some outstanding Izakaya fare, and Jidori chicken...



Coverage as well of the Westin Tokyo, and a long run through Tokyo to the SkyTree...



65. BA Y to Europe - Runs, Floods, War and Wine (May/June 2016)



This TR holds many happy memories for me...apart from great flights on BA, as well as a taste of their enhanced Y meal service, I enjoyed several memorable runs through Rome and Paris, as well as lunch with an old friend at Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant in London, before a visit to the Imperial War Museum.

I would recommend a sightseeing run through Rome as a perfect way to see many of the city's attractions...



Likewise, Paris is an eminently runnable city, with a lot you can cover in an hour or two on foot...



On this occasion though, water levels were high, with the almost overflowing Seine threatening the priceless art works in the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay...



Black wine glasses at Gordon Ramsay's Maze meant only one thing: A lunch time game where our wines were served blind, and we were expected, by our gregarious sommelier, to guess what we were drinking!



66. SQ A350 Economy / Premium Economy to Jakarta (July 2016)

Some TR’s write themselves. This TR, my first on SQ's new A350, was one of them.

In mid 2016, I was booked to fly AMS-SIN on SQ’s new A350. At the last moment, my plans (and my planes) changed, and I had to switch to flying CDG-SIN instead on a very comfortable SQ A380. But the whalejet has been around for a while, and in SQ’s fleet at the time, the Airbus A350-900 was the svelte, young debutante…

As a consolation prize, I had to head to Jakarta a short while later, so I booked myself on SQ956, a 9.25am departure to Jakarta in Economy class operated by an A350. This was just one and a half hours of flying time – not nearly enough to get to know the latest addition to SQ’s fleet, but good enough to get a sense of the A350 experience.



And as a bonus, when I checked in online and picked a seat, there was, miraculously, a Premium Economy seat open for selection. This was a PEY cabin probably sold as Y. I would get to fly in the A350 PEY cabin!


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Old 6th June 2020, 04:36 PM   #29
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67. A Stroll in Shanghai, A Run in Macau (July 2016)

In July 2016, I flew SQ’s A380 service to Shanghai, before flying Air Macau’s A321 from Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport to their home base, Macau International Airport (MFM), whose runway is built on reclaimed land off the island of Taipa.

In Shanghai, I stayed at Le Royal Meridien, a hotel with very good views of Pudong and the Bund, ideally located along Nanjing Road, a bustling pedestrian thoroughfare.



In Macau, I spent a couple of days at the Sheraton Grand, one of many hotels along the Cotai Strip.



I did not set foot into the casinos in Macau, but on the last day of my stay in, I went on a run from the Cotai Strip, on the island of Taipa, across the Governador Nobre de Carvalho bridge, to the historic city centre of Macau and the Macau Peninsula, where you could still get a glimpse of old town and architecture.



I returned to Singapore via HKG, first on a high speed ferry to Chek Lap Kok, then on SQ back to SIN on a refitted 772.



I’ve covered SQ’s A380 service to Shanghai before, so just some highlights of the flight in this TR, with most of the coverage here dedicated to the flights, sights and sounds of Macau.

68. BA 747 Cabin Refresh and Boston in Summer (June 2016)

In this TR, I got to check out one of BA's 744 with a refreshed interior, on a flight from LHR to BOS...



The last time I was in Boston, it was winter. The city was very different in summer...




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Old 6th June 2020, 04:51 PM   #30
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69. Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, Half Moon Bay and the Original Hooters (SQ/VS/B6/DL/UA) (August 2016)

There is a first time for everything. While I do a fair bit of travelling for both work and leisure, and try to select different hotels and airlines on each trip just to keep things interesting, there are quite a few gaps on my "To Try" list of airlines, hotels and destinations.

On this trip, I managed a few firsts: my first flight on 3 different airlines, Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue and Delta -- all airlines I have heard so much about, but have never managed to fly.

I started my trip on SIA's A380 SIN-LHR service in Economy.

While in transit in London, I visited the flagship Virgin Clubhouse in London Heathrow, and was bowled over by what I saw.



From there, it was Virgin Atlantic flight VS11, an A340-600 service to Boston...



In the US, I visited several places for the first time, among them Tampa and Clearwater Beach in Florida. This was named the best beach in America by TripAdvisor in 2016, and was the location of the original Hooters Restaurant.

I was also wowed by the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay, CA, a stunning resort hotel nestled along the Pacific Coast not far from San Francisco.



I also spent a very pleasant Saturday afternoon cycling through the parks and beltway not far from downtown Atlanta.

Just highlights of the SQ sectors bookending this TR, as I have covered these in detail in other TRs, with most of the write-up focused on the sectors in between.

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