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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SQ1 flight from SFO to HK

Not having travelled on SIA for a while, I was pleasantly surprised at the service when compared to other airlines on international flights. Many US based carriers now charge for alcoholic beverages served during the flight. Beer, wine, and other spirits are offered free on the flight, as well as a little pack with a pair of light slippers (sockettes) and a disposable toothbrush with a tiny tube of toothpaste. Also in the restrooms, in the amenities drawers, are individual packs of disposable shavers and shaving cream, and of combs so that weary travellers can freshen themselves before leaving the plane.

As usual, the food was good, but note that on Singapore airlines there is a wide variety of special meals available, to accomodate all diets to accomodate regligious, medical, allergy, and personal dietary restrictions. In fact the number of special meals put together outnumber the number of regular meals - and it is remarkable how the special meals manage to find their correct destination in the friendly skies. And if you are traveling on Business or First Class, it appears you can preorder your meals ahead of time.

And of course, the flight attendants are all well groomed, easy on the eyes, solicitious of the comfort of the passengers, and pleasant and friendly to talk to.

In-flight entertainment is certainly plenitful, and multiple movies and TV on demand programs. Entertainment is plentiful, and for comparison, we will compare side by side the enternatinment programs on SIA and UA (on which another of our cohorts travelled) to illustrate the variety of entertainment. What is most impressive is the number of movies and TV programs on demand, which ire truly on demand so that it is possible to watch what is going on or pausing at any time, rather than waiting for the 2 hour or so cycle on which each program starts individually.

I stayed on the the aircraft while in transit, and found myself, in the company of the pretty and friendly flight attendants, many of whom took the excellent service as a given. They are not above doing the unpleasant job of cleaning the lavatories when required, and found it inconceivable that on such long flights on other airlines this was not done. I confirmed that alcoholic drinks were served at no charge on the flight.

As I write this, I find a lot of activity going on with the ground staff cleaning the plane. This is in addition to the flight attendants coming around and collecting papers and wrapping before the customers deplaned. The ground cleaning crew drag large plastic garbage bags behind them, and go from seat to seat cleaning them, and doing whatever else is necessary to refresh them, loading and unloading all the meal packs in boxes.and running. Blankets are plentyful, and in sealed clean plastic bags to show they are fresh, and replace the used blankets. The ground crew removes any of old blankets, and replaces them with new blankets, and wipes tray tables, and vacuum the floor.

The flight attendant stay in the plane as long as any passengers stay on board. A ground staff came in to check my boarding pass and passport to make sure they accounted for me, and tagged with the green sticker saying "transit". This is differnt from other situations where transit passengers leave the plane with all their belongings and go through security all over again coming on to the plane. Passengers were told they could leave their carryon baggage on the plane, carrying only their valuables with them. I chose to stay on board to avoid the inconvenience of the security checkpoints and lining up again to board.

written on wed morning Jul 30, 2008 in the plane in Hong Kong during transit and posted later .. the post date and time is approximately when it was written.

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