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Old 18th October 2018, 05:01 PM   #16
yflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQ025 View Post
Thanks Yflyer. I really enjoy reading your trip reports.

Having flown myself on PEY with SQ, LH and AC, I found QFs PEY product quite impressive, especially if compared to what SQ is offering.

What is puzzling me that only SQ choose to locate the washrooms in the Y cabin, but all others having washrooms either exclusively for the PEY cabin or shared with the J cabin. I personally would rate SQ Premium Economy rather Economy Plus, the overall package is underwhelming especially if you consider how expensive they are marketing it. The bubbly in a plastic cap is not helping it.
Thanks for reading, SQ025!

When it comes to SQ PEY catering, I agree that there is room for improvement. Compared to QF PEY catering, the difference is night and day, with QF catering far superior. The plastic cups that SQ uses in PEY are especially disappointing, since not long ago real glasses for SQ Y pax were standard.

At least on the recent SQ22 SIN-EWR inaugural, some reviews/blogs have stated that PEY pax were served champagne from real glasses as well. On that SQ ultra-long range flight, the PEY mains were on large casseroles, rather than the regular Y casseroles. SQ should consider rolling that out on all their PEY flights, and not just ULH.

Last edited by yflyer; 20th October 2018 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 20th October 2018, 12:45 PM   #17
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Continuing with the TR…

My flight QF1 from Singapore to Sydney landed just after 5am in the morning. I was initlally a little confused about how flights could land so early in the morning in Sydney, as I thought a 6am curfew was in place at SYD, but it turns out that in recent years, international flights from a just a few airlines, namely QF, BA and SQ, have been allowed to land between 5am and 6am, the so-called shoulder period, before the curfew is lifted at 6am...thumbs up.

With the automated passport readers and automated immigration checks with facial recognition (Available to quite a few nationalities, including Singapore citizens), I was through immigration without any delay, and since I had no checked luggage, was out past customs checks very quickly as well.

I caught the train from Sydney Airport to the city, and was at St James station in downtown Sydney before 7am.

I checked into the Sheraton on the Park. I had not prebooked a room from the previous night, and it was really early to check in, but thankfully a room was available for me right away. I think SPG Platinum status helped with that and I was grateful. The trade-off for the early check-in was that I could not be upgraded to a higher category room as they were not yet available so early in the morning, but that was fine with me (Upgraded rooms don't mean much to me when I am travelling alone, although I do appreciate it when I am travelling with the spouse and/or kids.).

My room was very new and stylishly decorated, with a great view of the park and of the water in the distance...



This was a lovely room, in dark wood tones...



...and state-of-the-art connectivity and technology.



The bathroom…



With separate shower stall and large tub…



I headed to the Lounge on the top floor for breakfast…



This is one of the nicest SPG lounges I have visited, with a striking design, lots of natural light, and good catering for breakfast.

In the evening, during happy hour, there was a wide selection of complimentary wines and liquor available in the lounge.

The selection of snacks and canapes in the evening was very impressive as well...







This was one of those lounges where there was a very real risk of eating way too much, and not having enough space to head out for dinner later...

Last edited by yflyer; 20th October 2018 at 02:09 PM..
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Old 20th October 2018, 02:42 PM   #18
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On this trip to Sydney, I finally had the opportunity to dine again at the Glass Brasserie, not far from the Sheraton.

On a previous trip to Sydney, the Glass Brasserie was closed for renovations, and opened only the week after I left. On this trip, I was, happily, able to dine there not once, but twice...

The Glass Brasserie is one of Luke Mangan's restaurants...it is located in an elegant, high ceilinged space on the 2nd floor of the Hilton Sidney.



The Glass Brasserie has been around for quite a few years, and menu had not changed all that much over that time, but for me that was a good thing, since many of my favourite dishes were still there, such as the Kingfish sashimi, with ginger, eschallots and Persian feta...



I was sorely tempted to go for a seat at the Chef's Table at dinner time...



This offered a mouthwatering selection of dishes at A$145 a person...



...but I just couldn't bring myself to partake of this feast without my usual partner in crime, Mrs yflyer...

So I decided on an a la carte lunch instead...

A glass of Tullock Hunter Valley Semillon to start...



...this was chosen from a very varied selection of wines by the glass...



My starter...the Kingfish sashimi...



This must be one of Luke Mangan's signature creations, an inspired combination of thinly sliced fish drizzled with a ginger and eschallot oil, with bits of feta cheese...a divine dish which I just could not get enough of...

Then, as I wasn't that hungry, for my "main" I ordered another starter, the Moreton Bay bugs...



...this was hot and savoury, and reminded me a little of Black Pepper Crab...

Last edited by yflyer; 20th October 2018 at 03:04 PM..
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Old 20th October 2018, 02:43 PM   #19
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I headed back to the Glass Brasserie for dinner that night, and this time began with a glass of Manzanilla sherry...



...and a soft shelled crab bun as a starter...



My main was the Barramundi...



...which I accompanied with a glass of Yering Station "Luke Mangan" Pinot Noir, again from a very interesting list of red wines by the glass...



I thought the Barramundi was good...



...this was tasty, but as I ate I couldn't help thinking that the fish lacked that last degree of moistness that would have elevated this from a good to a great dish...not sure if it was the fish or overly long cooking time that was to blame...

Things were back up to usual lofty standards for dessert...



A wonderful Bailey's bread and butter pudding, with chocolate pieces and ice cream...



A very enjoyable dinner (And earlier lunch), and even after these two meals, there are still many dishes on the menu I would like to try and/or reacquaint myself with...

The Glass Brasserie continues to be one of my go-to restaurants in Sydney...

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Old 20th October 2018, 03:19 PM   #20
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On a previous trip to Sydney, I noticed that there was a pedestrian footpath along the Sydney Harbour Bridge...I resolved to make a run across the bridge part of my running route on the next occasion that I had sufficient time for an extended run in Sydney, that opportunity arose on the day of my departure from Sydney.

QF1 was a 3.55pm departure, which meant I had the luxury of a late morning run before heading to the airport.

It was a cool cloudy day when I headed out from the Sheraton, first running north through the CBD...



...towards the The Rocks...



Once you got to The Rocks, the route to the Bridge was quite well signposted...



Up to the Bridge via stairs...





Great views as I emerged on top of the stairs...

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Old 20th October 2018, 03:36 PM   #21
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From the stairs, a passage led to the Bridge itself, which, at just over 1km in length, was quite easily runnable or walkable...



I encountered quite a few other pedestrians and joggers crossing the Bridge on foot..





And up on the Bridge, I could see people taking part in the Bridge Climb, a very popular attraction in Sydney...



As expected, there were great views from the Bridge, but the high fence all along the way made the experience a little less memorable than some other Bridges, where fencing either did not exist, or was a lot lower...



The far end of the Bridge, with the buildings of North Sydney visible in the distance...



I turned round and headed back the way I came...



...and passed midway to snap a few pictures...



Close to the Rocks' side of the Bridge, I paused at the Pylon Lookout...



...this was a set of stairs leading up to the top of the pylon...as I was still not particularly exhausted at this point, I decided to head up the stairs...

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Old 20th October 2018, 03:36 PM   #22
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It turns out this was a paid attraction...



As I jogged past the ticketing counter at the museum level, a voice called out to me...

"Sir, you need a ticket to go up..."...

Whoops!

I thought the ticket was just for the museum, but no, you need to pay to take the stairs right to the top too. Fortunately, on these runs, I did carry cash, ID and credit cards, stuffed into a small ziplock bag in my shorts pocket (I only buy running shorts with a zippered pocket, for exactly this reason)...I paid for my ticket and continued up the stairs to the top, by this point jogging up a lot slower than when I first started up the stairs...



The sign at the entrance said "200 Steps to the Top"...I wasn't counting, but my legs were definitely feeling the fatigue as I neared the lookout point...

I finally reached the top...by then I was sweating like a pig, but the view was worth the physical exertion...



This was a pretty good spot for a good look around, at the Opera House...

...and Circular Quay...



as well as the Harbour Bridge itself...



...must be fun to be walking up the bridge arch itself...



I headed back down, and found my way to Circular Quay...



...via the Nurses Walk...





...I was now back on familiar territory...



...from here it would be possible to run all the way to the Opera house and then the Royal Botanic Gardens and back to the Sheraton, or do the route in reverse as well, now that I knew the way from Circular Quay to the Bridge, via the Nurses Walk (Not intuitive unless you knew the exact route beforehand...).

But I had plane to catch so rather than take an extended route back to the Sheraton via the Opera House and the Botanic Gardens, I headed directly back to the Sheraton, for a total distance of just under 8km that day.



A very pleasant late morning run that ended back at the hotel after 12pm...

Back at the Sheraton, I showered, checked out then headed to the airport for my flight QF1 back to Singapore...

Last edited by yflyer; 20th October 2018 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 20th October 2018, 04:28 PM   #23
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The QF International check-in area was fairly empty when I was there in the early afternoon...



Manned check-in counters available for QF and Oneworld frequent flyers...



Outgoing immigration was very quick as well, on account of the automated facial recognition system now available. Security queues were minimal as well.

I was in the airside area in almost no time...

I headed past the numerous duty free shops towards the airside restaurants in search of lunch, and stumbled open The Bistro, by Wolfgang Puck...



This restaurant is a fairly recent entrant to SYD, having opened in 2016. And right next door is Heineken House, whose drinks are available at The Bistro. Bistro snacks are also served at the Heineken House.



I opted to have lunch at The Bistro, which has great tarmac views, as well as views of the Sydney skyline in the far distance...



The menu...



Beverages...



I could not resist starting with a Mojito...



...this was as good as any I have had...

For my main, I opted for the prawn pasta...



..which was very well done as well...great pasta texture (Al dente...not overly soft)...and prawns with a lot of bounce...

A very satisfying lunch, a cut above regular airport fare, with nice views to go along with the meal -- my seat had great views of the tarmac and runway...

I headed to the gate soon after that, as it was almost time to board...
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Old 20th October 2018, 04:52 PM   #24
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My seat was in the mini economy cabin on the upper deck of A380 rego VH-OQH, operating QF1 that day.

VH-OQH, was one of the newer Qantas A380's. That said, none of the QF A380's are actually that new, since they were all delivered between 2008 and 2011.

Named "Reginald Ansett", this was the 8th of 12 Qantas A380's to be delivered, in February 2011.

I boarded through the upper deck door, and first strolled through the Business Class cabin, laid out 2-2-2.



A very long seat that reclines fully flat...





Next, the Premium Economy Cabin, which I flew on my previous outbound sector...



And finally, the small upper deck Economy cabin, with just 30 seats in 5 rows...



The last two rows in the middle block have an unusual 3-abreast layout with a partition on the left side D seats...



...which means the last row left side "aisle" seat 36D isn't an aisle seat at all, since it is blocked by a partition...something to note when selecting seats on this aircraft type.

On the positive side, the 2nd last row is an emex row, with a lot of legroom...



...and the 1st row bulkhead on the upper deck has decent legroom too...



Attractive designed by Marc Newson...



These are very comfortable seats with good recline...



Window seats on the upper deck have access to a side storage compartment...

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Old 20th October 2018, 04:57 PM   #25
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Pillow, blanket, menu and headphones already on each seat...



Headphones were the headband variety (These were ok, but as always, for good sound quality, best to use your own headphones with an airline adapter)...



The pillow, in a soft white cloth pillow case, and thick blanket, were of high quality...just what Y passengers would need on a long flight, especially if they were going all the way through to London...



I was in the bulkhead seat. For these seats, the IFE slides out of the armrest with a push of a button.





The IFE system itself was the same as on my outbound flight, a widescreen touchscreen system with a very good selection of movies, TV and music. The selection was not as wide as what SQ offers in Krisworld, but was still fairly impressive.



Movies...



Radio...



One feature of the IFE I did appreciate: A tailcam view!



One bathroom for Y pax on the upper deck...


Last edited by yflyer; 20th October 2018 at 05:41 PM..
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Old 20th October 2018, 05:09 PM   #26
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I headed down the rear stairs for a look at the main deck Y cabin...



Standard 10-abreast layout, with very wide, comfortable seats (By Y standards...)



Seatback IFE screens. The QF Y seat on the A380 is notable for its use of carbon fiber seat backs...



...with the woven pattern of the carbon fibre just visible on the seatbacks in the photo below.



The fabric colour scheme in the cabins on the main deck alternates between dark red and a shade of green...

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Old 20th October 2018, 05:26 PM   #27
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Back in my seat in the upper deck Y cabin, I was handed a bottle of water...



Takeoff on Runway 16R...



Flight time to Singapore today was 8 hours 23 minutes...



Today's menu...



Beverages...



3 choices of main course for the main meal, plus a hot snack prior to arrival...



Y pax could pre-select their choice of main online before the flight...

I picked the beef blade steak...

The meal as served...for Y pax, QF no longer serves trays or appetisers, just a large main course on a plus-sized casserole, along with a hot garlic bread rolll and dessert...a very original approach to Y meal service which I quite like...





The beef blade steak was actually pretty good...



I was offered wine from a fairly large selection of mini-bottles...I chose this Red...



Dessert was fine too...

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Old 20th October 2018, 05:36 PM   #28
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Fairly cloudy over much of Australia that day...



The clouds and overall haziness meant that there wasn't that much to see out the window on this flight...



I watched parts of Solo: A Star Wars Story...



...with Director Ron Howard doing a decent job of keeping the Star Wars faith alive, with a believable story of the origins of the young Han Solo, Chewbecca, and Lando Calrissian, not to mention the Millenium Falcon...



A Star Wars movie would not be complete without at least one jump to Hyperspace...





I thought this movie was one of the better additions to the Star Wars movie saga...

Another movie I watched onboard was the 1982 film, The Year of Living Dangerously, directed by Peter Weir, a romance set in turbulent times in Indonesia in 1965, starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver, with both of them looking very young and fresh-faced...



...and featuring an incredible performance by Linda Hunt which won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress: the first Academy award ever awarded for an actor playing a character in a film of the opposite sex...



A very evocative and powerful movie which I was quite gripped by...

Last edited by yflyer; 20th October 2018 at 05:54 PM..
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Old 20th October 2018, 05:45 PM   #29
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A midflight ice cream snack...



Somewhere over Queensland, approaching Northern Territories the sun started to set...





Fairly pleasant ambience in the upper deck Y cabin...



Snack selection laid out in the rear galley of the upper deck...

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Old 20th October 2018, 05:59 PM   #30
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Towards the end of the flight, a hot snack was served...

There were two options: Mushroom Pizza or Steamed Buns...

I opted for the Steamed Buns...



These were 3 Chinese dim sum-style meat-filled buns...



...which I found quite satisfying...



An hour to go before a late night arrival into Singapore...



Final approach on Runway 02C on a very clear evening...



On the ground in Singapore...

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