Friday, 1 November 2019

10 Years Anniversary Of Flight Blogging

A Big Shout Out To All My Readers Out There! 


(Onboard a United Airlines Boeing 777-300ER)

10 years have passed since I started blogging. It has been a journey, trying out new airlines, meeting new friends and visiting new destinations. I won't exchange this for anything else.

I am always looking to enhance my blog posts to make reading, more pleasant for everyone. I am not interested in competing with others, just doing this for my own interest. There are so many great trip reporters out there, both video and written trip reports, so much inspiration and common interest shared among us. Hopefully, that remains as it is, and we, of course, have to be grateful to the cabin crew for being accommodating to us and passengers too who are aware of our hobby, also a big thank you to the airlines for recognising us and for some lucky us, get invited by the airlines for special events.

My first blog started off with Qatar Airways Business Class (Click here for the trip report) and 10 years later, I covered 200 over trip reports. Dominated by Economy Class reports (That's my main focus), more to come and I am looking forward to sharing my 100th airline experience with all of you soon. Currently, I am on my 91st airline and most probably, I will fly with Bamboo Airlines and Starlux next year. Also, I will add some U.S airlines to my list, hopefully, that will take my number of airlines flown to at least 95.

Meanwhile, let me share with you my most memorable flights based on the 10 years (3 December 2009 to 3 December 2019) of my flying adventure! Hope you enjoy this blog post as much as I do. Without further ado, let's get started!

10 most memorable flights (not in order)

1. Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 Farewell Flight (SIN-HKG-SIN) 6th April 2012



This was the only time I got to experience First Class very briefly during the flight


This trip took place on the 6th April 2012, the last commercial flight for Singapore Airlines' Boeing 747-400 Passenger. This flight was made possible, thanks to my late friend. It was booked at a very last minute! About less than 8 hours before the flight, in fact. 

This was also the first flight I did a return trip on the same day, not just me, a lot of aviation enthusiasts did the same thing as, after this date, the 747-400 passenger aircraft of Singapore Airlines would disappear from our skies.



As there are newer aircraft available, airlines will replace the older aircraft with more modern and fuel-efficient aircraft, for this case, it is the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER that took over Boeing 747-400's duties. Sitting down and typing this blog post, brought back memories of this trip.

It was definitely a fun trip to fly on, meeting friends and got to enjoy a cabin tour during the flight. We had a very nice in-flight meal regardless of the type of class we were flying on, the routes taken on both sectors were longer than usual and that made every minute of the flight enjoyable. So if you have a chance, go for either the farewell or inaugural flights. There should be some parties and of course, goodies to look forward to. 

For the trip reports:

Click here for the SIN-HKG flight 
Click here for the HKG-SIN flight

2. EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER Hello Kitty Flights (SIN-TPE-SIN) July 2015




What a beautiful livery, don't you agree?

I always wanted to fly on a special livery aircraft and most of the time, we have to depend on luck to get the aircraft we want to fly on. At that time EVA Air has scheduled this aircraft to fly on TPE-SIN route so when the chance came, I grabbed it.


The cabin crew on this flight were pleasant and it was a great experience not for myself, also for those Hello Kitty fans and the kids. Thoroughly enjoyed both flights and on my return flight, I had scored an operation upgrade to Premium Economy, what more can I ask? Thank you, EVA Air!


This is the upgraded Premium Economy Class product. It is in a 2-4-2 layout, certainly more comfortable than Y class (3-3-3), better legroom space and slightly wider seat. It is not the most modern Premium Economy today, but still, it is worth the deal to upgrade yourself if you have enough miles or the airline offers a good deal. 


It is a great experience to fly on Hello Kitty plane, managed to meet a friend on board this flight and we had a good conversation too before and during the flight. Even though I am not a Hello Kitty fan, I love to fly on such aircraft and if the Star Wars aircraft of ANA is scheduled, I would go for it too. 

For the trip reports, 

Click here for the Economy Class report
Click here for the Premium Economy Class report

3. Thai Airways Airbus A380 BKK-SIN 6th Oct 2012



The community I used to hang out with, decided to go for a Thai Airways A380 joyride since BKK-SIN route was one of the initial routes picked by the airline to give the crew some experience on this A380. I was booked on the BKK-HKG sector in Business Class but because Premium classes on the inaugural flight were reserved for V.I.Ps, the airline rescheduled my flight to another date which is not what I want. After much consideration, I decided to re-schedule my flight sector to BKK-SIN and a big thank you to Thai Airways for changing my itinerary without charges. 


Thanks to this group of friends, we went out to photograph this beauty. 


I enjoyed the flight experience on the airline's A380. Back then it was a 'Wow' factor for the public, but these days, most people not particular in the aircraft they are flying on and also, the bean counters at the airlines are not happy with the financial situation of the aircraft, so some airlines have set plans to retire them. Now would be a good time to fly on one before the numbers dwell. 

Camera view - that's one of my favourite features. 


I enjoyed the in-flight meal. 


After the flight, we were given the green light to roam around to take photos of the cabin, but we had to do a quick one as the flight had to return to its home base. We even have a group photo taken at the arrival gate too. For more information about this trip report, you can check it out below.

Click here for part 1 of the trip report
Click here for part 2 of the trip report

4. Korean Air Boeing 747-400 GMP-CJU 21st May 2014


Flying the Korean Air's Boeing 747-400 on the domestic flight was very much in my mind and it was to be my shortest 747 flight for my flight logbook. I am glad it happened and it turned out to be a very pleasant experience, thanks to the cabin crew. Not only that, flying this airline was my 60th airline and I got the crew to help me sign my card. 


Celebrating my 60th airline with Korean Air and the Jumbo Jet was the perfect aircraft to sign off this mini celebration. To make it even better, the load of my flight was empty so I was able to roam around, taking as many photos as I can. This aircraft HL7493 has recently been scrapped, I shed a tear when I heard the news. 


I had a good conversation with a couple of crew on board this flight and it was a great experience getting to know more about the airline and experiencing the great Korean service which I heard about before boarding this flight. 

The cabin of the Economy Class


The 50 minutes flight was too fast for my liking, this Boeing 747-400 has served many airlines well and sadly, only a handful of operators are operating this aircraft. It is definitely the Queen of the Skies!


This photo was taken at Jeju Airport, and it was my last time seeing her. So long, HL7493! 

Click here for the trip report

5. Blue1 (Defunct) Boeing 717-200 (HEL-OSL) 29 May 2012


I have always been a fan of the T-tail jets and flying the Boeing 717 makes me very excited. This aircraft was previously known as the MD-95 and after Boeing took over McDonnell Douglas, the aircraft was renamed to Boeing 717. For this, it is more for the aircraft type and also for this particular aircraft featuring the Star Alliance livery, making this flight an even more enjoyable one. 


My one and only Boeing 717 ride so far is this aircraft. Blue1 has ceased operation after running into financial trouble. I am fortunate to able to fly with this airline and this flight will be one that stays in my memory for a long time. 


BMW and Roll Royce had a venture for this engine, the BR-715 (BMW-Roll Royce engine) powering the Boeing 717 aircraft, making this aircraft a unique type. Unfortunately, not many airlines are operating this aircraft type so if you get a chance to fly on one, do it.

The cabin of the Boeing 717, like the Airbus A220, it features the 2-3 seating configuration. Comparing with the Airbus, this aircraft is smaller in capacity.


The cabin noise engine at the rear is noisy but quieter in the front cabin so you can choose, depending on the seat availability. For me, I prefer sitting near the rear as I can photograph shots like below. 


Hopefully, I get another chance to fly on this beautiful 717 aircraft as it is one of my favourite aircraft. 

For the trip report, click here.

6. Finnair Airbus A330-300 (HEL-ICN) May 2015


This trip was made possible thanks to the QualityHunter's group which unfortunately is no longer around. I was invited to Helsinki for a group discussion on passengers' view on air travel. As I was having a trip at that period, the airline was kind to re-route me from Helsinki to my destination. That was how this trip come about. Thank you, Finnair! 


This beautiful Airbus A330-300 is still flying with the airline today, it flies together with the Airbus A350 on medium to long haul flights.


A nice comfortable Business Class seat though it is not as impressive as some of the major airlines out there, still, I managed to get some good rest on this 8-hour flight. 

This Finnish Vodka is pretty strong for me, got me knocked out for a few hours. 


The flight lasted very quickly as every minute onboard is enjoyable. Touched down in Seoul as I spent a few days on my part 2 of my vacation.


Now I need to add the airline's A350 to my logbook. To Helsinki most likely, can't say when but there is a plan for it. 

You can check out my trip report over here.

7. Starflyer Airbus A320 (KIX-NRT) 4th Sept 2013


This airline is a subsidiary premium airline of ANA which is one of my favourites. I saw a trip report on Airliners.net on this airline and was recommended by my Japanese friend as well. With that, I had to give this airline a try. 

Unfortunately, the weather was bad. I wasn't feeling well from my previous fight (Peach Aviation from ICN) as the turbulence on that flight was terrible. I did consider skipping this flight and take the train back to Tokyo, I glad I didn't. 


Booking with the airline was troublesome, as the Starflyer's website back then, had only Japanese language. However, the hard work paid off as this flight experience turned out to be one of my most memorable.


One of the most comfortable Y class cabin on any narrow-body. Great seat pitch and comfortable leather seat making this trip worthwhile and also the great in-flight service, and all for reasonable airfare. I recommend anyone to give this airline a try. 

The only regret was not able to get the window seat.


It's great to have an In-flight entertainment system on the narrow-body aircraft.


Check out this airline on their website, click here for the link. 

For my trip report, click here.

8. Kuwait Airways Airbus A340 KUL-CGK (14th Feb 2014)


This airline is one of the unique airlines that does 5th freedom flights from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta and when the chance came to try this airline out, I grabbed it with 2 hands. The airfare is at a reasonable price and also to fly on the airline's A340-300 on this 2-hour journey, it's a great deal. There isn't a need to fly to the airline's home base just to try out this airline.

This beautiful A340-300 arriving from Kuwait. It turned out that only 4 of us from KUL were flying to CGK that day. Most of the passengers on board had disembarked at KUL, leaving the aircraft mostly vacant for the next leg of its journey.


This aircraft has since been retired, replaced by the Boeing 777-300ER. I enjoyed this flight for the unique experience and the service from the cabin crew consisting of Malaysian and local crew from Kuwait.


This has to be one of the best Economy Class food. It was absolutely delicious, all thanks to Kuala Lumpur's catering. This is one of the reasons why this flight is one of my top experience.


I got myself a great window view which includes the wing and the engines. Weather was perfect for flying and the 2 hours flight felt like 30 minutes. 


I manage to roam around to snap photos of the cabin without issue. The cabin crew were friendly and everything went well on this flight. If I get a chance to fly with this airline again, I would gladly do so.

For the trip report, click here.

9. ANA Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner SIN-NRT (July 2019)


When considering which airline to fly to the U.S earlier this year, I had a good look at my options. It was a no-brainer to choose United Airlines as one of the options include the chance to fly on ANA's Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. 

I glad I did because this turned out to be one of my most memorable flights for this year. I am impressed with the legroom space and seat comfort. This product is much better than my last experience with the airline's 787-8 Dreamliner which I flew in 2015.


This photo below doesn't reveal the true length of the aircraft, but all I can tell you, it is quite long on the inside. It is probably my favourite 787 among the 3 types (-8, -9 and -10 series)


When I sat down, the first thing that caught my eye is the huge size of the In-Flight Entertainment System. Legroom space is at a generous 34' inch, making this my best 787 Y class experience so far. 


In-flight service from Japanese is what you expect, efficient and courteous. I enjoyed their politeness and courteous, which makes them such a great host. 


This is what I had for breakfast, it was not bad. 

My return flight trip report (NRT-SIN), click here

For more of this trip report (SIN-NRT), click here.

10. Spanair MD-87 (Defunct) BCN-MAD - June 2011



I did a joyride trip with my friend and flying with this airline was important, for the aircraft type. We booked for the airline's MD-82 and MD-87, but unfortunately, the first sector, our original scheduled aircraft was changed to the common Airbus A320. Fortunately for us, we managed to catch the MD-87 on the return flight. This turns out to a blessing in disguise. Not only did we manage to catch this rare bird, but we also manage to fly this airline before it went under.

Caught sight of this aircraft coming in from Barcelona.


The flight ended up delayed for a few hours, I believe it was due to technical issues with this aircraft because I saw engineers entering the aircraft but the announcement told us something else. 

Not only did we score an MD-87, but we also got ourselves a Star Alliance aircraft! What a double bonus for both of us.


The 2-3 layout was comfortable but the in-flight service was mediocre. The cabin crew's mind was obviously somewhere else as they didn't bother to do the cabin arrival check and I only realised my seat was not upright when the plane touched down! That was how pre-occupied I was during the flight. Not to worry, since then, I make sure my seat is at the upright position before landing. 


Sitting beside the Pratt and Whitney engines. It was sure noisy but I managed to get some view from this seat location.


This flight will always remain in my memory for my one and only MD-87 ride so far. 

To check out the trip report, click here.

There are many more memorable flights, but these 10 are my favourites. These top 10 favourites are based on different reasons such as flying particularly for the aircraft type, flying on a special occasion and so on. 

My last flying trip for 2019


SIN-ADD-LHR with Ethiopian Airlines

I had a shortlist of airlines I wanted to fly. Swiss Airlines was my first choice, followed by Finnair. I wouldn't mind flying with Turkish Airlines as well and Qantas was very much in my mind too. However, the airfares of all these airlines were expensive. It seems you have to book them months ahead of the departure date, especially for the seasonal period. After ruling all of them out, Ethiopian Airlines caught my attention. Not only do I get to fly on both 787 and 350, but I would also get to stop over briefly at Ethiopia. B787 + A350 + Brief stop-over in Africa + Good airfare = ticket booked! 

With this trip to come, I will conclude my flying trip for 2019. I look forward to flying with this airline again, as the last time I flew with this airline was on the airline's Boeing 767-300ER, you can check out the trip reports, at the trip report links.

My thoughts 

Flying has always been my passion, trying out new airlines and aircraft as many as I can. Most of my trips are paid from my own pocket, unlike some lucky Youtubers and bloggers who have sponsors paying for their trips. With a full-time job, I can't do as many flights as I like, however, I am grateful that the flexibility in my job allows me to take trips from time to time. 

During the 2009 to 2019 period, there were changes to the aviation industry. Such as more advanced in-flight products, self-check-in kiosks at airports and constant upgrade of lounges to make travelling more pleasant for all. With plenty of competition among one another, you can expect better service and products, especially from the big airlines. 

My biggest trip for this period has to be the U.S trip this year. I always wanted to go there and I finally did it. A lot has changed and the best thing is this trip, was able to fly on the aircraft types and airlines I wanted to fly on for a long time. 

Regarding my choice for the top 10 memorable flights, it is a difficult decision as there are other memorable flights as well such as Far Eastern Air Transport MD-80 flights, Royal Brunei 787 flights and many others. For now, I picked these 10 airlines as my memories of them are slightly more significant.

Hope you enjoy this blog post. 

Meanwhile, I will continue to post trip reports and add useful aviation-related informative posts. In addition, I will improve the content on my older trip reports. Hope you enjoy! 

Take care and enjoy the holiday season. Remember to stay safe and always be aware of your surrounding when travelling. 

Cheers,
Charles

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