Aug 28, 2012

Project Squeeze Miles 2012 - (6) SQ 618 (SIN - KIX)

Date:  09th August 2012
Airlines:  Singapore Airlines
Flight:  SQ 618
Route:  SIN - KIX (Singapore - Osaka Kansai)
Aircraft type:  Airbus A380-800
Registration:  9V-SKK

And here comes the highly expected part of the trip, the A380-800 40th Anniversary flight for SQ's Singapore to Osaka route. I have been expecting lots of commemorative souvenir for every passenger, and probably a reception in the boarding gate area. 

However, to my disappointment, all I have got was a SGD40 inflight duty free discount voucher for purchases over SGD250, and a "reception" at the bridge by a security personnel who said photographing in sterile area was not permitted and requested the photo be deleted with her witness (the second photo trouble in my trip), what a nice incident to begin the "day" with (after 12 midnight). The airport should make all glasses opaque if taking a photograph of an aircraft is a "security threat".

I have selected my seat when I booked my ticket, 12K which is the second row of business class seat on the upper deck (the first row is without windows). I was welcomed onboard with a cabin crew telling me there was "something wrong" with the system and in fact seat 12K had been occupied, I was given a choice to take 11K (which has no windows), or any other seat I want in the back in this relatively empty flight. I have taken seat 20K with a view of the engines in front of the wing, but soon after I settled, there were a couple happen to be sitting at 20D and 20F, so for their privacy (and actually my own), I moved myself back to 27K, the last row of the Business Class, with view behind the wings. A cabin crew jokingly said I had already started playing musical chair before the flight started, I told him no matter how I play musical chair, I will not move myself further behind (into Economy class).

A second thought about my original seat assignment, rather than "something wrong with the system", it was probably due to a passenger who picked 11K found his seat being inferior (no windows and narrower due to curvature of aircraft at nose section) and decided to take my seat instead.

The seat is very wide, as wide as First Class seat of Cathay Pacific, so wide that it has to add a leather cushion as a "hand rest" , the only minus is that the head and foot part goes narrower when the seat is in bed mode, but afterall it is a Business Class seat and it is understood that it has to be slightly inferior. Such Business Class seat could beat many First Classes of other airlines, and recently SQ have announced they are already in the progress of designing new seats. I wonder what more they could improve.

I have stuffed myself full at the Silverkris lounge so I am in no hurry for a flight meal, which they offer either after takeoff or 2 hours before arrival. Probably because the flight was quite empty, and I had been "troubled" to select an alternate seat, with addition to I am the only passenger at the back of the Business class cabin, the crew was very kind and attentive. A cabin crew saw me taking photos of Rilakkuma, and she offered a stuffed toy of unknown name to photograph with.

I was very happy with the darkness of the cabin that there was almost no reflection on the window from the cabin when I attempt to photograph stars in the sky, and in fact apart from stars, I managed to capture lightning in a distant.

For the breakfast, I opt for the Japanese meal, or Hanakoireki, it consists of 6 separate items on the menu but in fact it is served in one single bento box, slightly disappointed with it.

After the breakfast, I had a casual chat with a very nice cabin crew, and we chatted everything from my Rilakkuma and my love on travelling to Japan, to Cathay Pacific being a major rival for Singapore Airlines, to me she is definitely one of the best cabin crews I have ever interacted with.

The flight was welcomed by water cannon at Osaka Kansai International Airport as it is the first SQ A380 visit to the airport, however all passengers on the upper deck would have to disembark at the lower deck as there is no air bridge specialized for the A380.

Looking down at the boarding area, there was an reception for passengers flying from Osaka to Singapore, I felt it was so unfair as it should be offered both way. Should I have known it beforehand I would have taken the KIX-SIN sector on this day instead.