Flying SQ on Regional CGK-SIN Route

SQ 953 Jakarta CGK – Singapore SIN
2 June 2010
Scheduled ETD/ETA: 1000 – 1235
Actual Time of Departure/Arrival: 1011 – 1235
B777-300 9V-SYA
Seat No: 43A

This is the first leg of my trip to Europe, which is to depart from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International (CGK) to Singapore Changi International (SIN). As Garuda Indonesia has only resumed its flight to Europe a day before our departure which is an A330 flight to Amsterdam, we chose to take the A380 from Singapore to London instead for the transcontinental flight. It’s a no brainer choice between A330 or A380 since it’s my first time on an A380 as well due to the lack of any transpacific routings on an A380.

Soekarno-Hatta International Check-In Counter
Check-In Counter for SQ at CGK
SQ953 at Soekarno Hatta
SQ Boeing 777 as seen from the Starbucks in the Airport
Garuda Indonesia A330
Garuda’s New A330

Check in at the SQ counter in Soekarno-Hatta was a nice experience with nearly no queues and a wonderful service staff who provided us boarding passes for this flight as well as the later flight from Singapore. After check-in, we proceeded to clear immigration. The immigration lanes in Soekarno-Hatta has much improvement with shorter queues and a brighter waiting area. So far the airport has seen much improvement over the years, though it still pales in comparison to more modern and complete terminals such as those in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. One tip for travellers passing this airport is to head to the Starbucks after immigration which is in between section D and E of the international terminal. The cafe has a nice window which overlooks the tarmac for good plane spotting. Otherwise the individual waiting terminals provide a good view of your plane. After a cup of coffee at Starbucks, I headed on to the one of the many lounges for some reading materials and a light breakfast.

View of the Lounge
One of the better lounges in Soekarno-Hatta. Called Esplanade Lounge if I am not wrong…
Lounge at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta
Fried Noodles and Fish Fingers. Topped with reading materials for my flight!

It wasn’t long before the boarding call is announced at around 9.20am, though actual boarding doesn’t proceed until around 9.40am. Hot towels were distributed to passengers. Early boarding of the plane allows on-time pullback and the plane took off art around 1011. The plane is around 70% full, though load was relatively light.

Reading Materials
Inflight Magazines and Catalogues
Economy Class on SQ 953
Economy Class Cabin on SQ 953

Seat-belt sign was turned off relatively quick after take-off, and the flight attendant went on to prepare hot meals which is still served by Singapore Airlines. A choice of fish with rice of egg frittata with chicken sausage was provided, though a menu wasn’t in the seat pockets. My mum and I went with the fish while dad had the egg. Both meals was average and would be more of a lunch rather than breakfast. Included in the meal tray was a dessert of fruit pudding. Coffee, tea and the normal variety of drinks was served. After the meal, a second round of drinks was offered and service was really exceptional for this short regional flight.

Wings of the Boeing 777
Scenes after Take Off
Fish in Curry with Rice
Fish with Rice for Brunch
Alternative Lunch Selection
Egg Frittata with Sausages, the alternative selection

Shortly after the meal tray is cleared, landing preparation was called for and due to the slightly windy conditions, landing wasn’t as smooth. Disembarking was, however quite efficient and it wasn’t long before we left the plane. As we were only on transit in Singapore for a night flight to London, there was no need for us to claim our luggage which meant we had time to explore the airport as Changi Airport baggage handling is extremely efficient often resulting in bags appearing on the conveyor before one gets to clear immigration. With the arrival and departure terminal being on the same concourse, we spent some time browsing at the multitude of shops in the airport before leaving the airport for the city. For a price, flying SQ from Jakarta to Singapore got to be the best way to fly, literally speaking. For more economical choices, one could easily look towards the variety of no-frills airlines like Valuair, Jetstar Asia and Lion Air. The last 3 though utilizes single aisle jets like 737-900s and A320s for the service and only Valuair and Jetstar Asia provides a small muffin with water to go along. Thus on this routing at this level of service, SQ is virtually peerless.

View of a Jetty on Landing
Landing in Singapore
Singapore Airlines B747
SQ B747 at Changi
Tiger Airways
Tiger Airways at Changi

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