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Since I was staying at the Mulia Senayan (you can find the review I wrote on my stay here) it was just a matter of hopping in a taxi to the airport. But when to leave?! This was a Sunday so would the traffic be bad or terrible? Since I don’t have lounge access I didn’t really want to leave the Mulia too early — after all, lounging in the Mulia sounds certainly much more appealing than trying to find somewhere to sit at the airport. At the same time, I didn’t want to miss my flight entirely. Rather than risk it, I thought leaving slightly earlier would make more sense, and that I would get to the airport at least 2 hours before my flight.
In the meantime I went to Senayan City to get some late lunch. I had already had a late breakfast so getting lunch a bit later made sense. Unfortunately I seem to have forgotten how much I had eaten for breakfast and probably had eyes bigger than my belly…. but when you are presented with such a wide variety of delicious looking food, I couldn’t restrain myself
As a newbie with this kind of layout, the main lady was kind enough to point me at the food I was looking for. I had tempe, chicken liver satay, kang kong and kerop. I thought it was all pretty good. I could barely eat the satay though — the liver was so rich. After having a buffet breakfast it was just too much for me!
After spending a couple of hours wandering around Senayan City I headed back to the hotel for an hour. The traffic seemed reasonably clear so I thought I would relax in the reception which has some nice chairs… and of course I fell asleep … yes .. that’s right. In. The. Reception!
And by the time I woke up it was time to head to the airport.
As I mentioned earlier, I had already established that there were three reasonably reliable taxi operators, and since I was pretty sure I could cope with the journey back to the airport without the hotel car service. So instead I took the SilverBird option. The Silver Birds are Mercedes and from what I remember, pretty reasonably priced. The main difference between the BlueBird and SilverBird is that the Mulia has the SilverBirds on call 24/7. So if you need to get somewhere, you just ask for a SilverBird and within a minute or two one will make it’s way to the reception. However, you have to pay for that privilege, which is a minimum fee of IDR50k (about US$3.75) – which is nothing really. If cost really is an issue, and you still want to take a cab, you can choose the BlueBird which is the cheaper cousin of the SilverBird, and sit under the BlueBird umbrella.
Of course you have to pay for the tolls on the way to the airport, but again the cost is very very low for visitors.
On my way into the airport, I got to see these three birds – SQ, EK and QR. The Singapore Airlines plane looks like a B777 which was the prior flight (let me know if I am wrong).
You will need Gate 1 for Singapore Airlines
As soon as you get through the entrance you will need to go through an initial security screen.
Here they check your ticket and scan your luggage. This was nice and quick, but I can imagine if it were a week day and there were a lot more people, that this would definitely become a choke point and lead to massive queues.
And when you are through you make your way to the left hand side to where the Singapore Airlines check in desks are situated. Interestingly (for geeks), there are some “normal” desks with a conveyor for checked in luggage and to the far left there are SQ desks but without conveyors — yes geeky but I thought it weird that SQ would put up with that, when there were more desks available which had conveyors, being a premium airline and all.
When I got to the desk it turned out that the incoming flight was running pretty late so they were still trying to check in people for that flight.
Then, rather annoyingly immigration is at the other end of the airport. So you have to make a bit of trip to get all the way over. Fortunately when I got there, there wasn’t a huge queue and actually no one at the APEC lane, including a immigration officer. The officer was standing in another booth and came over as soon as he saw me join the queue. Unfortunately I think he had just come on duty and hadn’t brought any of his stamps and needed to go the office. As he walked past me I looked behind and saw a queue now forming at the APEC line. Ironic that I think the normal immigration queues were much faster!!! Anyway, once he got back it was a matter of a few quick chops of the stamp and I was on my way and on my way to find some small souvenirs from the shops.
Speaking of shops. There are quite a number of shops but they are basically all variations on a theme. Really really poor offering.
I still had my lounge access from my Citibank card — Priority Pass. But did I want to use it up here? I decided that I would reserve it for my flights later this year. As I didn’t have lounge access, I made my way to the gate after going to the shops and saw the Esplanade Lounge that is used by SQ at Jakarta airport.
Since I didn’t have lounge access and I’m not a good blagger, I didn’t try to get in and take photos.
After taking this and having people staring at this weirdo taking a photo and then not going in, I made my way to the gate – which was D2.
Bear in mind that the gate doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to follow the signs quite closely. There is a travelator on the right hand side but that will take you beyond D2! Fortunately I worked that out before I stepped on, as I saw a family who got on and then have to walk all the way back round.
There is a security check at this stage, but there were a number of xray machines (if I remember correctly) and it only took a minute or two.
Also for information there are no shops to speak of once you go through this xray so do your shopping beforehand. What limited shopping there is!
The actual waiting lounges are actually two the left once you make it through security, jutting out, almost like little islands for each gate.
Sorry the picture isn’t very clear. Sometimes panoramas come out blurry, maybe it’s the speed I am taking it. Any suggestions?
The advantage of having these island like promontories meant you can get a decent view of the tarmac. Right next door was an Emirates (I’m assuming a 777 but please feel free to correct me)
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a full body shot of the a350 like one can do at most Changi gates. Here the jet bridge really got in the way. How annoying. And when I got to Singapore it was too dark to take a photo. Darn!
Here is the nose and back end of the A350, but I did manage to get a good picture of the winglet. I am astounded that such a simple piece of technology is able to save them so much — apparently reducing fuel burn by up to 4%!
Estimated duration: 1hr 50mins
Scheduled Departure: 18:05
Actual Departure: 18:23
Scheduled Arrival: 20:55
Actual Arrival: 20:47
Plane registration: 9V-SMB
Delivered in April 2016.
So the plane on this leg was also the Airbus A350-900, compared with the B777 for my outbound journey. For those of you that didn’t read/don’t want to read, the summary is that I am very excited about introduction about the A350-900 ULR and really want to get on the inaugural flight …. in 2018! HAHA!!!
I took quite a number of photos of the new business class, but I thought that this one photo really show it well. Really, really elegant. I liked the older style business class (the ones that are with the A380) but they are good for size. As they say size doesn’t matter, and in this case they have really made good use of the space. I also the like the colours. Although I was a big fan of the A380 business class colour scheme, the light colours seem to show age more easily as they can stain and so on.
There were actually people in Premium Economy so I decided not to take too many photos. Here is the one photo that shows the space reasonably well.
I don’t do this for a living so I can only afford economy class travel … yes awwww I hear you say.
Unfortunately the seat photo was really blurred so I’m glad at least one of these photos came out reasonably well. I really like the new layout. The tv is really clear and the control very convenient in the seat back — much easier to deal with than when travelling on the older planes. Also you can tell this is made for the e-generation — lots and lots of ports!!! Love it!
And as usual I ordered a special meal. For this leg of the journey I pre-ordered a hindu non-vegetarian meal – for the unintiated what this actually means is spicy meal with no possibility of serving beef. As you will already know, I don’t really eat beef so this is a good option for me.
Once again, the irony of leaving after the scheduled departure time, and arriving before the scheduled arrival time.
What is there to say about Changi? Quick and efficient. I was out and in a cab within 30mins of landing with a couple of cans of Guinness from duty free….
Thanks SQ for a great flight!!!!
Watch out for my trip to Bangkok which is coming next!!!
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