Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

Posts Tagged ‘Singapore Airlines

And it’s a wrap!

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Image courtesy of Singapore Airlines

So here’s the wrap of 2009 (travel wise).

A little premature seeing that there is a little over 2 weeks of 2009 to go, but I don’t have any foreseeable flights in these weeks – so here goes.

Actual distance flown

2008: 57,948 miles (93,249km, 2.33 times around the earth along the equator)

2009: 84,976 miles (136,755km, 3.41 times around the earth along the equator)

Variance: +46.64%

Time spent on-board flights

2008: 127hrs, 19 mins

2009: 201hrs, 50mins

Variance: +59%

Number of flights

2008: 47

2009: 64

Variance: +36.17%

Countries visited

2008: 12

2009: 16

Variance: +33.33%

Airlines flown

2008: 6

LOT Polish Airlines (LO), Lufthansa (LH), Malaysia Airlines (MH), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK), SilkAir (MI), Singapore Airlines (SQ)

2009: 13

Air Asia (AK), Berjaya Air (J8), British Midlands (BD)Croatia Airlines (OU), Firefly (FY), Indonesia Air Asia (QZ), Lufthansa (LH), Malaysia Airlines (MH), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK), Silk Air (MI), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Swiss International Airlines (LX), Thai Airways (TG), Turkish Airlines (TK)

Variance: +116.67%

Longest Flight (distance)

2008: 6,394 miles, 11hrs 56mins, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 6,539 miles, 13hrs 45mins, Singapore (SIN) – Amsterdam (AMS)

Variance: +2.27%

Longest Flight (duration)

2008: 11hrs 56mins, 6,394 miles, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 13hrs 45mins, 6,539 miles, Singapore (SIN) – Amsterdam (AMS)

Variance: +13.83%

Shortest Flight (distance)

2008: 139 miles, 45mins, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 142 miles, 45mins, Copenhagen (CPH) – Gothenburg (GOT)

Variance: +2.16%

Shortest Flight (duration)

2008: 45mins, 139 miles, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 45mins, 142 miles, Copenhagen (CPH) – Gothenburg (GOT)

Variance: 0%

Fastest Flight

2008: 536 mph, 6,394 miles, 11hrs 56mins, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 551 mph, 5,597 miles, 10hrs 10mins, Frankfurt (FRA) – Bangkok (BKK)

Variance: +2.80%

Slowest Flight

2008: 185 mph, 139 miles, 45mins, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 162 mph, 162 miles, 1hr, Munich (MUC) – Zurich (ZRH)

Variance: -12.43%

Average Flight (distance & duration)

2008: 1,233 miles, 2hrs 43mins

2009: 1,328 miles, 3hrs 9mins

Airlines frequent flier membership

2008: MH Enrich Blue, KL Flying Blue, SQ Krisflyer Elite Silver (Star Alliance Gold)

2009: MH Enrich Blue, KL Flying Blue, OZ Asiana Diamond (Star Alliance Gold), SQ Krisflyer Elite Gold (Star Alliance Gold)

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Krisflyer – Singapore Airlines…

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Getting a little desperate, aren’t we? 🙂

Dear Mr. Lee,

Your current Elite Gold membership year is nearing its end and we would like to offer you a special opportunity to renew your Elite membership early.

Simply take an eligible flight in any class of travel on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir from 1 November 2009 until the end of your current membership year in December 2009 and renew your KrisFlyer Elite Gold status for another membership year.

Although KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership renewal requires at least 50,000 Elite miles to be earned during your membership year, we are extending this exclusive opportunity to you in appreciation of your support for Singapore Airlines.

As part of your Elite Gold membership benefits, you will enjoy 25% tier bonus on the actual miles flown, access to hundreds of lounges worldwide, priority check-in, extra baggage allowance, priority reservation waitlisting and priority airport standby.

Please do remember to quote your KrisFlyer membership number when you make your flight reservation and present your membership card at the check-in counter every time you travel.

We look forward to welcoming you to another year of KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership.

Yours Sincerely,

Eileen Hia
Manager Loyalty Marketing
Singapore Airlines

Written by Leo

30 October 2009 at 17:49

Asiana Club Diamond

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Received a nice package from Asiana Airlines on my recent “status upgrade” on their frequent flier programme.

So, I’m officially a “Diamond” status member (with all the benefits of Star Alliance Gold) till February 2013! This means, priority luggage, priority boarding and most important of all, lounge access till 2013! I love this programme.

Besides the new card, there were two nice luggage tags, a nice calf leather passport holder and a 50% discount on miles redemption voucher. What this means is that instead of the usual 75,000 miles (roundtrip economy-business upgrade, Southeast Asia-Europe) required, an upgrade to the fabulous Asiana Business Class now only costs 37,500 miles! So guess which airline I’ll be flying with on my next long-haul trip? 🙂

Best thing is, I’ve not even flown a single flight with them 🙂

So Singapore Airlines, go screw yourself with your stupid Krisflyer programme.

Oh by the way, an upgrade to the Lagoon Villa at the Sheraton Grande Laguna, Phuket was obtained for my upcoming vacation! Not bad for a free stay huh?

The superb 88-square-metre Lagoon Villas offer a world of amenities for an unforgettable experience. The outdoor rain shower, sunken Jacuzzi tub, and exclusive access to the Grande Villa Pool and magical Peace & Tranquility area underscore the coveted privacy of these two-storey havens.

Guests of the Lagoon Villas enjoy complimentary à la carte breakfast at the acclaimed Puccini restaurant or the legendary breakfast buffet at the Birds of Paradise restaurant, a refreshing selection of lemongrass tea, iced tea, mineral water, fresh tropical fruit, and cooling towel service at the Grande Villa Pool, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the Grande Villa garden every evening.

In addition to the sweeping living area with modern wet bar, comfortable sofa bed, plush armchair with ottoman, coffee table, and cooling marble floors, each villa enjoys a stellar Bose entertainment centre, a 25-inch flat screen television with satellite channels, and direct dial telephones. With one-touch service, all of our guests’ needs are met promptly with the push of a button.

In the upstairs loft-style bedroom, a signature Luxury Collection king bed, dressed in sumptuous cotton linens and light duvet, stands on a floor of polished parquet. A wall of picture windows frames tranquil water views. A pure cotton bathrobe and slippers, lavish AQUA toiletries in both the deluxe bathroom and powder room, and an additional indoor shower further enhance the villa’s comforts.

Enjoy a daily delivery of warm buttery croissants along with an international newspaper. Fresh fruit and pure spring water are replenished daily. Fresh flowers welcome guests upon arrival, while each night, the delightful “Essentially Yours” turn-down service infuses the bedroom with the soothing fragrance of natural essential oils.

Road trip! Europe in February…

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So it’s that time of the year again, the first of my (foreseeable) many trips to Europe in 2009.

I’m quite excited, it’s been quite some time since I flew long haul – unfortunately it will still be winter in these cities.  New cities I will be visiting this time around will be Athens, Istanbul and Zagreb.

I’ll be flying the TK (Turkish Airlines) and OU (Croatia Airlines) for the first time.  Wish me luck!  And I’m not flying Singapore Airlines this time round due to their prohibitively expensive airfares.

Lifting off on 6 February and back about 17 days after, here’s what’s in store…

TG418 KUL (Kuala Lumpur)/BKK (Bangkok) 2100/2205

TG920 BKK (Bangkok)/FRA (Frankfurt) 2340/0530+1

LH3380 FRA (Frankfurt)/ATH (Athens) 0920/1305

TK1846 ATH (Athens)/IST (Istanbul) 1055/1210

TK1449 IST (Istanbul)/ZAG (Zagreb) 1400/1505

OU410 ZAG (Zagreb)/FRA (Frankfurt) 0655/0830

LH3244 FRA (Frankfurt)/RIX (Riga) 1100/1410

LH3245 RIX (Riga)/FRA (Frankfurt) 1440/1555

TG923 FRA (Frankfurt)/BKK (Bangkok) 2055/1305+1

TG417 BKK (Bangkok)/KUL (Kuala Lumpur) 1640/1950

what this year has brought…

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Okay so here’s a recap of this year’s travels so far. I’ve done a total of 55 flights, and a little over 95 nights in hotel rooms, wasted almost 2 weeks of my year on board aircraft’s developing DVT (deep vein thrombosis – economy class syndrome hehe); and a little over 5 days in airports transiting. Travelled across 3 continents and a thousand time zones, stretched my mental sanity and physical fitness to the limit with the legendary whole month of March spent in frigid wintery Europe. The passport is now left with a few pages – which is due for renewal only in 2010.

Also flew Scandinavian Airlines (SK) for the first time. I think that the aircraft livery of SK is quintessentially Scandinavian – minimalist clean lines, almost Ikea but I like the simplicity. But the interior leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, if you’re flying intra Europe in economy (which I always do), you have to buy your snacks and drinks (big BOO BOO compared to LOT Polish or Lufthansa).

The boarding passes

The boarding passes

On the good side, I’m a little over 1k miles shy of re-qualifying for the Krisflyer Elite Gold frequent flyer (lounge access, priority check-in, priority tags on baggage and that most important extra 20kg baggage allowance – that should be taken care off with my Bali trip), and about 7 stays shy of the SPG Platinum (which enables club floor access and automatic suite upgrades in Starwood hotels).

SPG Gold

SPG Gold

I think that this year would be the last year that I travel to Ukraine (since I stopped going to Moscow and middle east last year). Next year will see me travelling to new destinations – Turkey, Italy, and possibly more to Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Netherlands.

How did I achieve all this? Try a year on year increase of sales about US$ 350,000 🙂

My favourites remain as follows.

Airlines:
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Lufthansa
3. LOT Polish Air

Aircraft:
1. LOT Embraer E170
2. Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER
3. Lufthansa Airbus A300-600

Hotels:
1. Le Meridien – Budapest, Hungary
2. The Ritz Carlton – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Hotel Monika Centrum – Riga, Latvia

Airports:
1. Kuala Lumpur International (YES! believe it!)
2. Singapore Changi International
3. Riga International

Restaurants:
1. Li Yen – The Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur
2. KaDeWe Champagne, Oyster and Caviar Bar – Berlin

Is Singapore really better than us?

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In response to Tony Fernandes’ blog post on the matter, here’s my two cents’ worth…

Well you have to define “us” when you compare – to compare SQ to AK is like comparing luscious seville oranges to Sunkist navel oranges.  I assume that you are talking about MH in my explanation below.

I would say the quintessential reason why SQ has excelled and been profitable boils down to one fact, and only one indisputable fact.  SQ has always been run, managed and marketed as a commercial entity – there is no government involvement in its activities (no government orders to fly a certain unprofitable route due to “diplomatic” reasons).

SQ is also part of the Star Alliance – an extremely beneficial relationship, of which its many products are beneficial to both, the frequent business and leisure traveller alike.  Products like the Star Alliance Europass is an excellent product for people like me who requires seamless travelling over Europe (and the Asia / Japan / Africa pass likewise).  Within Europe, there are several hubs to fly i.e. Frankfurt, Munich, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Stockholm – all of them major hubs in their own right.

Recent “move under one roof” efforts by Star Alliance airlines in main airports like Heathrow, Seoul and others make transit so much easier – plus the streamlining of flight schedules actually cut down on waiting time.  I never have to wait over 2 hours for my next transit flight whenever I fly Star Alliance.  A good example – try flying MH to Frankfurt and taking a connecting LH flight to Berlin.  You’d have to run through the magical 800-metre tunnel between the two terminals as MH lands in the terminal designated for “lain-lain” carriers.  This is not the case with SQ.

Certainly, the ability to accrue “tier level” frequent flier miles across all Star Alliance partner is a real plus when it comes to loyalty.  I do not hesitate to fly via Singapore on my trips although it adds 2 – 3 additional hours to my total flight time.  What good is a gold level Enrich frequent flier when it can only get you benefits on MH flights? My gold Krisflyer gets me benefits when I fly in any Star Alliance airlines – that’s more than 18,100 daily flights to 975 destinations in 162 countries daily.

Furthermore, the number of points taken to redeem award flights, and other frequent flier goodies are also comparatively better on SQ and a wider scope is offered through its Star Alliance partners.

SQ is also light years ahead in terms of brand development – something that MH is trying to catch up with their recent MH (Malaysian Hospitality) campaign.  I know what to expect when I fly SQ – consistency and recognition is the key to repeat clients.

Service is consistent throughout all flights – regardless of class, route, duration or sector flown.  The same can be said with MI (Silk Air) as well.

Changi, being a major hub in South-East Asia attracts numerous Star Alliance flights – one can travel from Singapore to Frankfurt via LH, SK, TK, and many other partners.

Competitive pricing (in relation to MH), extensive network (with Star Alliance), great frequent flier programme, ease of use, consistent service and user-centric little details make the overall experience of flying with SQ second to none.

In short, continuous product innovation (like the A380, “beyond first class” suites, business class seats that rival first class in MH) and brand development is essential to a services-based industry like the airlines – afterall, doesn’t it boil down to the experience?  Take a holistic approach like what SQ has done from the point of booking till you touchdown at the destination and beyond.

I may sound like a proponent of SQ – but believe me, MH has little to offer to travellers like me besides the famed “Malaysian Hospitality” service on international routes, a point to point carrier.  Service on domestic and regional routes are a totally different story altogether.

Written by Leo

15 September 2008 at 17:32

Culinary journey Bali – Part 01 Singapore Airlines

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The food that we had enroute Bali was up to standards of a business class flight in Singapore Airlines. Food quality and variety of wines and beverages were up to expectations. We were served dinner as we took the night flight out of Singapore to Denpasar.


Silverkris Lounge – Changi International Airport Singapore


Champagne onboard SQ948 Singapore/Denpasar – Singapore Airlines


Fillet of beef with champignon sauce with a nice Italian 2005 sangiovese – Singapore Airlines


Ben & Jerry’s for dessert – Singapore Airlines


Otard XO cognac and sparkling water to digest – Singapore Airlines

Next part: Spa Village Tembok

Written by Leo

2 July 2008 at 3:00

Posted in Food, Travel

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