Ethiopia Pt III: ET 626 ADD-BKK-SIN

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The ride home

Lucy Guest House provided us with a free ride to the airport but they could only drop us at the carpark instead of right at the terminal.

There was a security check at the entrance.

Pre-check in security

We joined the queue at the economy check-in for all Ethiopian flights.

Economy check-in

You will indeed love Africa

787 model – too bad we weren’t able to fly in that

There wasn’t much at the sterile area after immigration; there were a few lounges which neither of us qualify to visit and some duty shops with less than inspiring products.

ADD air-side

One of the duty-free shops

The other one

Lounge chairs

Proceed to gate

When we got to Gate 4 (a bus gate), the passenger profile didn’t seem to fit a flight which was heading to Asia. We were surrounded by Europeans and we asked around if this was the flight to Singapore. Turned out that the gate was changed without notice and the flight was ET 724 to Vienna/Stockholm.

We ended up waiting for quite a bit more before boarding was called. The terminal had emptied out by then.

Zone 5 for us

Our plane

Flight: Ethiopian Airlines ET 626
Depart: Addis Ababa (ADD) – 12:40
Arrive: Bangkok (BKK) – 13:15
Duration: 8h35m
Distance: 4,204 miles (6,766 km)
Aircraft: Boeing B767-300ER
Registration: ET-AMF
Seat: 12L

I settled down at 12L, my coffin seat for the next 8 hours or so.

View from 12L

Crumpled safety instruction

Awful seat pitch

There was no personal TV and IFE was the pathetic screen in front.

Still on the ground

Departing ADD

The crew came around with the amenity kit which consisted of eye mask, socks and toothbrush and toothpaste. Better than what I had with Swiss (which was nothing).

Amenity kit

I pecked a bit on the supper whose main was chicken pasta.

Chicken pasta

No idea what they put inside but I was knocked out and didn’t wake up until around two hours out of Bangkok.

Some random movie

And then breakfast was served. Just a bun and a muffin.

Breakfast

Almost there

Where our rice came from

DMK in a distance

Our flying route

BKK

Until we meet again

More than half of the passengers got off at Bangkok and less than five joined us continuing to Singapore. Not surprising since so many carriers fly between SIN and BKK.

While on the ground, the cleaners came on the plane to do some simple cleaning and the food for the BKK-SIN (and quite possibly SIN-BKK as well) were loaded.

Resupply

Cargo

Patrick amused us with his resourcefulness with the eye mask.

Swing

Parachute

Surfboard

Did some spotting while waiting for the last leg of the journey.

Kenya’s Boeing 763

Thai’s A346 (since retired)

Jet B737

Flight: Ethiopian Airlines ET 626
Depart: Bangkok (BKK) – 14:25
Arrive: Singapore (SIN) – 18:15
Duration: 2h50m
Distance: 882 miles (1,419 km)
Aircraft: Boeing B767-300ER
Registration: ET-AMF
Seat: 12L

Took off

Ying and I moved to the bulkhead seats 11K and 11L after confirming that there weren’t any passengers. It was definitely more spacious.

Wear and tear

A hot meal was served on the short flight.

Fish or…

… chicken?

Since IFE was non-existent, I just stared out of the window for the remainder of the flight.

One of the Thai islands in the gulf

Anyone can identify this island

Barelang Bridge

Pulau Ubin

Five weeks since we last saw this

9 countries and 4 continents and one round around the world, we were back home.

Waiting for the bags

Japan Pt I: SQ 634 SIN-HND

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Happy Birthday!

The day had finally arrived.

Our transport (courtesy of ANZ Bank after SGD 1,500 spend within a month) arrived at 11am sharp and we found ourselves at SIN T3 in no time.

Limo transfer to airport

Weighing the bags

After getting our boarding passes, we headed air-side for the lounge.

Patrick’s excited too

T3 Air-side

To SilverKris Lounge

After getting our boarding passes checked by the ground staff, we headed to the dining area to grab some lunch.

SilverKris Lounge is meant for SQ and Star Alliance’s business and first class passengers only and it wasn’t crowded when we were there. There is a separate lounge for Star Alliance Gold members, which explained why SilverKris Lounge wasn’t packed.

Dining area

There were several hot food options and I went for some nasi lemak.

Our lunch – nasi lemak for me and a bit of everything for Ying

After the food, we went to sitting area to wait for boarding.

SilverKris Lounge

Patrick’s enthusiasm is infectious

We left it till late to head for our gate and it was already closing when we got there.

Gate Closing

9V-SYK

Flight: Singapore Airlines SQ 634
Depart: Singapore (SIN) – 13:55
Arrive: Tokyo Haneda (HND) – 21:50
Duration: 6h55m
Distance: 3297 miles (5296 km)
Aircraft: Boeing B777-300
Registration: 9V-SYK
Seat: 16A

A very friendly steward Lim welcomed us onto the plane. 9V-SKP is a refurbished 773 and I was surprised that there is a First Class cabin on the plane. We passed through the section and found our seats 16 A and C.

View from 16A

Steward Lim had noticed that Ying was carrying Patrick and he pro-actively offered Ying a SQ bear. Nice touch.

SQ bear

It was standard SQ with pre-departure drinks and the crew taking order for post-take off drinks. I went with water and hot green tea.

Of course I rummaged through the seat pocket.

Seat pocket content

Outside on the tarmac, there were several interesting planes at SIN’s remote stand.

Air Zimbabwe B762 (Registration: Z-WPE)

Not sure why it was there, flightradar24 showed that it left SIN on 22 May for unknown destination.

Jetstar A332 (Registration: VH-EBE)

Garuda B738 in Skyteam livery (Registration: PK-GMH)

RSAF plane lining up to take off – grey for stealth?

After take-off, I checked out the IFE in the regional configuration. The resolution didn’t seem very good.

Notice that the rather poor screen resolution

Although the selection was more limited compared to the offerings on A388 or B77W, there was more than enough content.

80 movies

126 TV shows

I settled on Chennai Express, a Bollywood comedy starring Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone.

Chennai Express

It turned out to be a typical Masala comedy and there were many cliched jokes based on stereotypes on South Indians. I could understand why some would be upset of the movie.

My post-take-off drink arrived with some nuts. Eye shades and socks were also distributed.

Green tea with nuts

Socks and eye shades – other amenities such as toothbrush or shaver were in the restrooms

About an hour or so into the flight, the on-board meal was served.

Starter – Tian of Alaskan crab with mango and mesclun

It was a lovely dish since I love seafood. Main course was seafood too; my Book-the-Cook choice was baked king prawns with rice.

Baked king prawns – nice succulent prawns but not enough sauce

Ying chose the corn-fed chicken breast and it was surprising quite flavourful.

Ying’s flavourful chicken breast

We got to choose between tiramisu and chocolate mint cake for desserts. Both were so-so in my opinion.

Tiramisu

Chocolate mint cake

I declined the cheese plate and only had the banana. Pralines and post-meal drinks were also offered and it was hot green tea for me again.

After 2.5 hours with SRK and Deepika, I switched to Ted and Gang on How I Met your Mother.

Most long-winded dad ever

After HIMYM, I decided to watch another movie. This time it was a Hong Kong Police film Firestorm, headlined by Andy Lau. There were lots of action and explosions which to me were over the top. Guess this is the movie that one is likely to catch on plane but not in the theatres.

The flight coincided with Ying’s birthday and I had called SQ to arrange for a cake for her. It was delivered 2 hours before arrival by Steward Lim and another crew member and it came with a birthday card, two glasses of champagne, three soft toys and a birthday song.

Birthday cake prepared by SQ

Angry birds

Pic taken by Steward Lim

We each took a small piece each and Steward Lim offered to pack the cake for us to bring off the plane. Very good service indeed.

All good things would come to an end and we began to descend at around 9pm Japanese time.

Almost there

Japanese coast

We touched down at HND more than half an hour ahead of schedule and soon parked at our gate.

The ground staff bowed to the plane before connecting the aerobridge

After disembarking, it was still a long walk to the immigration and baggage claim area.

Walking to immigration

The queue was thankfully short and we were through in no time.

Baggage claim

Our checked bag didn’t take long as well and we were at the airport train station less than half an hour after leaving the plane. Amazing efficiency; I love Japan already!