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Old 1st August 2007, 11:10 PM   #1
taipeiflyer
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Default TPE-LAX inaugural 777-300ER flight

After much delay, I have finally been able to write a proper trip report for my flight on the inaugural 777-300ER from Taipei to LA. The experience was wonderful- the most difficult part was getting to the airport- I had done A LOT of shopping while in town, and had three large Tumis, two carry-ons, and 5 shopping bags that I was somehow able to fit into my gf's mini cooper. For those who don't know, Taiwan Taoyuan Airport is about 35 minutes from downtown Taipei, where i live. I ended up arriving at the airport about 1 hr. 45 mins before my scheduled departure. Before checking in, I had to head to the tax refund counter, to receive my tax refund on all of my purchases. The lady was perhaps the most strict inpector I have ever encountered, forcing me to show even the tiniest and most inexpensive items (most of the inspectors just have you take out the big-ticket items and then you are on your way). After literally 30 minutes in line, I was finally able to proceed to the first class check-in for SQ28.

There were several banners everywhere in the terminal highlighting the inaugural flight, as well as large bouquets of flowers. I do enjoy Taiwan's airport very much- even if it is rather spartan in terms of its decor. For me, I have experienced so much joy just flying into TPE and having so many good memories in Taiwan that begin the moment I step off a plane, so I will always have a love for the airport, although I am rather disgusted by the President's decision to change the name from Chang Kai-Shek Airport to Taiwan Taoyuan Airport (no one outside of Taiwan even knows where Taoyuan is!). I was the only one in line, and was greeted by two very kind and smiling check-in agents. As the first was issuing my ticket, the other presented me with a SQ model airplane of the 777-300ER as a commemorative momento for first class passengers. After receiving my boarding pass, I stopped and took a bunch of pictures in front of the banners, and kissed my significant other goodbye before being escorted by one of the check-in agents thru immigration and onward to the lounge. The F lounge is the same as the C lounge, but less crowded (meaning 3 people as opposed to 6 people). There is very little in the way of food, but it does offer internet, so I can always jump online and get my SQTalk fix. I usually just eat some dumpling, drink some water, and maybe have a couple pieces of cheese, and this time was no different.

While relaxing in the lounge, I was approached by the lounge supervisor and asked if I would please do the honor of cutting the cake that was awaiting passengers at the gate. So, at around 10:30, I was again escorted towards the gate, where there was another security check that I was able to bypass, and went into the gate waiting area, where several of SQ management from both Taiwan and Singapore were present. As there were only three passengers in first (myself and another couple, whose two sons were flying in C), there was a lot of individual attention being paid to me and the other couple, which was very embarrassing for me, as I try to be rather unassuming and blend in with the crowd, which is already difficult in Taiwan on aco**** of my skin color. Our names were called out over the speaker, and a lot of glad-handing was done between myself and the GM of Singapore Airline and the V.P. of Singapore Air Taiwan. After about fifteen minutes of chatting and shaking hands, they asked me to cut a rather large cake. My face was already red from having the spotlight on me for the previous fifteen minutes, so I asked the couple that was flying in First if they would please cut the cake. They too, seemed rather shy, and so I resorted to asking the couple's teenage boys if they wanted to cut the cake, to which they were more than happy to oblige.

After the cake was cut, a huge buffet was laid out for all passengers. Satay, chinese boiled chicken, several tofu dishes, fruits, cheeses and other assorted delights were all on hand for everyone to sample from (in addition to the cake). I only had a slice of the cake, and let everyone else enjoy the hors d'oeuvres, knowing that a delicious meal awaited me, and my rather small appetite. While I was waiting to board the flight, a young boy no older than 6 approached me and asked what was in the SQ bag I was holding. I told him that it was a model airplane of the plane we would be flying on. His eyes literally doubled in size in wonder and awe, and I presented him with the model plane and wished him a lifetime of love for aviation. He went hopping and skipping back to his parents ready to share his new gift for all to see, which brought a big smile to my face.

Flight departure time was scheduled for 10:55 pm, but everyone was enjoying the pre-boarding festivities so much that we didn't even end up boarding until about 11:20. However, boarding proceeded quickly, and at about 11:40 the plane was ready for takeo-off. By this time, I had already changed into my pajamas, gotten comfy, read some of the in-flight literature and downed a couple glasses of krug, and was eagerly anticipating getting in the sky so that I could commence round number 3. The LS was both beautiful and kind- recently promoted and very attentive and engaging. I was seated in 1A, and she would always stop by to smile, top off my krug, and just engage in regular conversation, including asking me where I recommend she shop, as she had not been back to LA in quite awhile.

Service was impeccable as always, including a hearty serving of caviar. I BTC and had the lobster, which I really enjoyed. After dinner, my bed was turned down and being the insomniac that I am, I watched 3 movies before getting 3 hours of sleep. I had the scrambled eggs for breakfast, as well as a mocha, and watched another movie before landing at LAX. As we were landing, the pilot came on and said that fire trucks were situated on the runway to shower the plane as a token of blessing, which was pretty cool.

I said goodbye to the crew, thanked them for a wonderful experience, and wished the other couple in first a wonderful time in LA before de-planing. Immigration took a rather long time, and when I finally got thru, I saw two of my bags already on the belt, with the third just coming off the belt. I was waiting on the other side grabbing the two bags that were already on the belt, when I looked up and saw that the just offloaded one had suddenly vanished. Looking around rather frantically for one of my Tumi G4 Worldwide Trip suitcases, I asked for the assistance of an SQ staff member after I was unable to successfully locate it on my own. After about 20 minutes, it was located at the check-thru area, where the person had attempted to unsuccessfully check it thru to a connecting flight. I was finally on my way after another great SQ experience.
Bags are packed


dedicated to StarG- two worldwide travelers and large wheeled duffle


boarding pass


777-300ER model airplane


SQ Banner for Inaugural Flight



Lounge snack


Boarding Gate Banner


Me and General Manager of SQ Taiwan

Last edited by taipeiflyer; 1st August 2007 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 1st August 2007, 11:15 PM   #2
KeithMEL
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Thanks for the lovely read, taipeiflyer.

That's a lot of bags...
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Old 1st August 2007, 11:16 PM   #3
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Excellent report - many thanks taipeiflyer Are you sure you're not a travelling Tumi showroom?

Just a tip, if you enclose the image URLs between " [IMG] and [/IMG] " (without the quotes!) then they will appear within the text rather than as links
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Old 1st August 2007, 11:23 PM   #4
taipeiflyer
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thanks nickbot! i did this but it didn't work. can someone please edit to fix this... not sure what i did wrong.

Last edited by taipeiflyer; 1st August 2007 at 11:53 PM..
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Old 1st August 2007, 11:24 PM   #5
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I think the problem is that you copied and pasted the top link out of the three available in photobucket,...let me check (can't edit your post myself, but back in a moment...)

Back...

Yes, that's your problem. In photobucket there is a list of three links under every photo, the top one being "Share URL" and the middle one being "URL Link" - you need to substitute your links for the second (middle) link and they should work fine

Read the report in detail now,...it was most kind of you to give away your plane model - sounds like he really appreciated it

Last edited by nickbot; 1st August 2007 at 11:38 PM..
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Old 1st August 2007, 11:34 PM   #6
taipeiflyer
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Cutting the cake


Chef serving cake


Banquet for passengers


TV


Lots of storage space


Amenity Kit and Pyjamas


First glass of Krug


Several glasses of Krug later



First class menu


Caviar


Last edited by taipeiflyer; 2nd August 2007 at 12:07 AM..
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Old 1st August 2007, 11:38 PM   #7
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wow impressive report and flight! is there really that much to shop in taiwan? in any case, sounds like u had a great time both pre-flight and inflight!

i'm looking forward to my next C-class experience to Sydney on Tuesday night! Can't quite afford First, Cheers!
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Old 2nd August 2007, 12:05 AM   #8
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Great pics taipeiflyer

Sorry for the confusing PMs trying to "help" you get them sorted he he
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Old 2nd August 2007, 12:11 AM   #9
taipeiflyer
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Pumpkin soup


BTC Lobster


Fruit Appetizer


Fire engines commemorating the event at LAX
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Old 2nd August 2007, 12:25 AM   #10
taipeiflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickbot View Post
Excellent report - many thanks taipeiflyer Are you sure you're not a travelling Tumi showroom?

Just a tip, if you enclose the image URLs between " [IMG] and [/IMG] " (without the quotes!) then they will appear within the text rather than as links
Thank you SOOOOOO much Nickbot. I was ready to give up, but your guidance got me thru it. Many, many thanks!
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Old 2nd August 2007, 12:57 AM   #11
taipeiflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesq View Post
wow impressive report and flight! is there really that much to shop in taiwan? in any case, sounds like u had a great time both pre-flight and inflight!

i'm looking forward to my next C-class experience to Sydney on Tuesday night! Can't quite afford First, Cheers!
hope you have a wonderful flight IloveSQ! As for shopping in Taiwan- it has a wonderful selection of shopping, and much better sales than HK and Japan (my two favorite shopping destinations in Asia).
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Old 2nd August 2007, 03:01 AM   #12
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Sounds like you had a great time taipeiflyer!

Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures.

Nice set of luggage!
Worldwide traveller? You mean those are 32"?
A bit too big for me - knowing me I would pack it more to more than 32kg per per pc. That's why I stick to the 26" versions.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 04:03 AM   #13
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Thanks for sharing, taipeiflyer. Looks like it was a blast.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 06:59 AM   #14
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Great reports! It shows SQ TPE loves taipeiflyer!

Note: Not happy to see the caviar served in combination like SQ15/16. Why for long haul SQ do not go back to the traditional way of serving caviar with its rings and bells!

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Old 2nd August 2007, 09:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGK View Post
Great reports! It shows SQ TPE loves taipeiflyer!

Note: Not happy to see the caviar served in combination like SQ15/16. Why for long haul SQ do not go back to the traditional way of serving caviar with its rings and bells!
Lovely report......that was quite a lot of shopping you did ........

Note to CGK: Which airline still does the "bells and whistles" caviar service? For plated, I thought NH did a good job.....for "a la carte"?
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