My award ticket to Australia was definitely not for the faint of heart – it consisted of four flights, three airlines, thirty hours flying time and two hotels. I left on Tuesday night and arrived in Melbourne on Saturday (you miss a day over the international date line). The upside was it was an award ticket in business class and I was able to avoid the crippling jet lag when I arrived in Australia, the downside was the time needed to get there. Going via Asia, added on a few variants (and costs) but I got to try new airlines and visit the marina in Singapore. The last flight would be Singapore to Melbourne.
After my nine hour layover in Changi airport keeping myself busy with the SilverKris Lounge, the free Singapore city tour, Changi Butterfly Garden and just walking around viewing the art and other amenities, I was ready to leave on my overnight flight. It was scheduled for near midnight and I was fighting to stay awake. The airport security is done at the gate and I didn’t need to be there until about 1/2 hour before the flight. I went a bit early to avoid the crowds and as I approached security asked “Do i need to remove my shoes, they might beep”, I was told no. You already know what happened if you have followed my stories of past trips – I, of course, beeped and was subsequently given a thorough pat down by female staff (I was awake now by the intrusive nature of the pat down). The flight was delayed not by much but enought to get everyone ansy as we were all fighting sleep – I have to give it to the kids who were still awake as their parents tried to tire them out by running around.
Since this was now my second Singapore flight (my first Singapore flight was from Seoul), my expectations were set for the comfy wide seat, good video and friendly crew. As I boarded, I passed the new First Class product (very nice) and settled into my older, angled business class seat (still a good option for me) at the window.
No amenity kit at the seat, again we were offered socks and an eye mask with additional amenities located in the bathroom (I guess this is environmental as well as a cost savings).
My seatmate wanted to sleep and quickly found another seat on the aisle so he wouldn’t have anyone (me) climb over him to the bathroom (downside to the seating arrangement and angled seats). Upside, is that I didn’t need to employ my ninija yoga moves to climb over a sleeping passenger trying to avoid waking them up. Not taking any offense, I was happy he quickly departed and gave me two seats to enjoy.
While I don’t quite fully sleep on planes, I was exhausted and ready to give this angled seat a good try – I had eight hours to try. The lights were dimmed for the sleeper service and after a quick glass of wine, I attempted sleep. Across the aisle was a young couple with a toddler (a very good toddler who quickly slept and didn’t cry the entire flight – she was definitely a pro at business class flights).
I succeeded in a few hours of eyes closed but not too much quality sleep as it was a bumpy flight. But I relaxed enough to feel quickly recharged when the lights went on for breakfast. Singapore has a fantastic bespoke food service called “Book the Cook” where you can pre-order from a long list of tasty meals on certain flights and class of service (business and first). The flight from Seoul didn’t have the service but from Singapore to Melbourne, I could place my order. I perused the various options (so many to pick from) to get my chicken dish and of course, me being me with my luck, I forgot that the food service was breakfast and chicken pomodoro wasn’t quite the dish I wanted for breakfast. The attendant had originally brought the chicken to me with a bit of skepticism (what weirdo eats this for breakfast? is what her smile said) but was good natured when I asked for the poached eggs instead. Eggs on a plane are tricky when they are powdered scrambled but poached was a gamble and it paid off – they were fantastic (once the sauce was scrapped off).
When I went to use the bathroom, I first thought I was still dreaming as I entered this large room – large as in i could stand in the middle and with my arms extended (I’m 5’9″) not touch the walls. Think about that for a minute and try it and then imagine the last airplane bathroom you used (mine was last week and it was very small, my thighs were telling me to lose weight). I think I was using the new First Class bathroom but no one admonished me so I kept using it during the flight (this bathroom was definitely accessible which was nice to see). Of course, I took no photos as I was sleepy and this at first was a mirage in my mind.
The sleeper flight from Singapore to Melbourne was nice with the larger seat, larger bathroom and Book the Cook option (next time I will order more appropriately). So with my multi-day journey now complete, I arrived in Melbourne on Saturday a little after 10am armed with an airline fastpass – Welcome to Melbourne!