Trip report BNE-SIN-KUL-SIN-BNE in economy

QF51 BNE-SIN

A full flight, at least near me. WP welcome was limited to a greeting by name when handing out the Singapore travel document. The salmon and bean salad seems a constant on the Qantas menu, for which I am very grateful. There was no hot chocolate. DAMN YOU, JOYCE.

They insisted on the window shades closing, and the aeroplane being plunged into darkness, in spite of there only being a two hour difference between BNE and SIN, and it being a daytime flight. Not quite sure why.

The end-of-flight dim sum are, as ever, very good - even if it always seems a miracle that the sauce doesn’t go all over my lap.

JetStar QF5187 SIN-KUL

The first time in a JetStar Asia flight. First time flying JetStar in economy. Was expecting the worst. But, it was a decent plane with plenty of leg room, and a first for me - a WP welcome while still on the ground, with a flight attendant coming over to me, greeting me by name, and giving my entire row a cake and a bottle of water. Then she wandered five rows further forward and did the same. (She gave the rest out when in the air.) Once more - a decent nofrills service with JetStar.

At KUL, made the discovery that half the gates for the KL Ekspress train accept PayWave/PayPass contactless payment. This is a very good thing.

MH 605 KUL-SIN

At KL Sentral, made the discovery that not only do half the gates for the KL Ekspress train take PayWave, they also take Google Pay. This is also a very good thing.

I arrived early, because MH emailed me a day before and told me that there were systems problems at KLIA and that every passenger was being checked in manually. Arrive four hours before your flight, they said. I arrived 3h30 before, and there were no problems: there was a super special area for check-in, only slightly made worse by the man on duty telling me that I it was “for priority passengers only”, until I got out my WP card. They gave me a special ticket to get through security quickly, which was good. I’d not have known of the issues.

Less good was a lounge - and much of the airport - without any working wifi, so my intention to work for a bit was partially foiled. The lounge (the “Golden Lounge”) was large, airy, and empty. The chicken won ton soup, made for me, was very good. Weirdly, a young Malaysian sat right next to me to slurp his noodles, in spite of having almost the entire lounge to choose from.

The flight was a smaller plane than the JetStar one; and no WP welcome. Food was some peanuts, a mysterious cake with black specks, and some water. My knees were jammed against the seat in front for the 50 minute flight. JetStar was preferable. Who knew?

QF52 SIN-BNE

The QF SIN lounge has completed its extension work, and is much less crowded and a better place to be. My suspicion is that it’ll get even nicer once the First Lounge opens in November. I did some work in the corner, and then found a little bite to eat.

Wandering onto the plane, a little old Indian lady was in my seat, 25A, clutching her boarding pass which clearly said 39B, and blinking at me uncomprehendingly. She slowly gathered her things after I politely corrected her of her seating error, and I bade her a hearty farewell, climbing into the still-warm seat with the already opened blanket. No Platinum Phantom next to me on this trip, though, nor any other I’ve taken recently; even though the plane had empty seats. In fact, three empty seats on the middle row behind me.

I wondered whether it was socially acceptable to say to the Asian lady next to me: “if you want a bit more space, there are three seats free just there.” Would she welcome this news and rush headlong to the spare seats, giving both me and her a bit of much-needed space? Or would she think I was really rude, telling her that I didn’t want her sitting next to me? Would she see me as a friendly man who got us both extra space, or as a massive racist? I sit paralysed with social anxiety, and elect, in the end, not to tell her. Unlike a large Arabic gentleman neighbour a few flights ago, she seems to know how her elbows work, her legs fit under the seat in front, and I’m presuming the occasional whiffs of fart are someone else, so she seems not worth potentially upsetting.

Anyway, just for the record, Qantas - Platinum Phantoms (or Gold Ghosts) are the best bit of having status. They cost you nothing, are dead easy to do, and I miss them. When you’ve finished reinstating hot chocolate on BNE-SIN, Joyce, please sort out these shadow seats next to us, as a little secret benefit for your frequent flyers.

The WP welcome came with the landing cards. Perhaps now’s my chance - I could ask the FA whether my neighbour is able to sit in the seats behind us if she wanted a little extra space. That would be a little less capable of being misconstrued. I look behind us. Someone is now sitting in the seats. Sigh.

Anyway, as ever, the Singapore-catered food is not that good; the moving map didn’t work, but otherwise a relatively uneventful flight back to Brisbane, landing just after sunrise at 6am.