Trans-Mongolian Odyssey Pt III: SQ62 SIN – DME

Trans-Mongolian Odyssey

Pt I: Prologue
Pt II: Planning
Pt III: SQ62 SIN – DME

I knew that it wasn’t exactly the best of preparation when I had to do some last minute shopping on my way home from work. Had to pick up insect repellent, contact lens solution and some muesli bars a couple of hours before I was due to leave for the big trip.

As much as I wanted to pack light, I still ended up with a big bag.

Eighteen days’ worth of stuff

I blamed it on the books that I was carrying.

My brother dropped me at T3 a little behind the scheduled meeting time of 11.30pm.

T3 Departures @ 11.30pm

Unsurprisingly I was the first to arrive.

T3 – Not busy at all

Second last flight of the day

I went to weigh my luggage and came away surprised.

Lighter than I thought

Chiang was the next to arrive and after waiting a while we decided to check-in first.

One last time

As Chiang’s ticket was bought through Transaero, I wasn’t able to select his seat on the SQ website when I did OLCI for the rest earlier. The empty seats beside the rest were gone by the time we were checking in and it took quite some time for the agents to get SQ to release one of the few remaining aisle seats to him.

While we were waiting, Ling Rong and Wee had arrived at the airport and joined us at the counter. After the agent was done with Chiang’s seat assignment, she printed out our boarding passes and ensured that all our check-in baggage were affixed with the priority tags.

Knowing that Jaslin and Lewis would be late, we went ahead to clear the immigration first.

Post-immigration

The reason why we were early at the airport was because we (the guys) wanted to catch the Euro 2012 match between Croatia and Italy and we followed the signs to the free public screening area.

Luckily there were still seats available and shortly after our arrival Pirlo scored from a beautiful free-kick.

… and the Italians celebrate!

Replay

At half-time I excused myself from the rest and headed to T3 SilverKris Lounge for my first visit.

Along the way: M&M with durians?

I was welcomed by one of the two agents stationed at the entrance and the lounge had emptied out by then.

T3 SilverKris Lounge

Nobody’s around

Nobody’s there too

While not exactly hungry, I still checked out the buffet spread.

Ain’t too bad

I picked a few items for supper.

Humble supper

Before leaving I went to check out the drinks section.

Alcohol

Teas

Got to say T3 SKL was one of the nicest lounges that I had visited. It seemed roomier than T2 SKL although I suspected that it would feel as crowded as its sister lounge during peak hour.

Satisfied with the tour, I went back to the match. After the final whistle (score 1-1), I proceeded to the gate where the rest had already gathered.

B6

Poor picture but I could spot the registration: 9V-SWQ

Flight: Singapore Airlines SQ 62
Depart: Singapore (SIN) – 02:30
Arrive: Moscow Domodedovo (DME) – 09:10
Duration: 10h40m
Distance: 5217 miles (8396 km)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration: 9V-SWQ
Seat: 11 A

Boarding had already started by the time we were through with the security and I bid goodbyes to my friends at the aerobridge.

I was pretty familiar with SQ service and product by then and deep down I know that I will miss it sooner rather than later (especially during long-hauls on Scoot or AirAsia X).

Widest J seat in the industry

The crew came by with some pre-departure drinks and magazines and I thought that I could do with some bubbles.

No better drink to sign off my last flight in SQ J (for a while at least)

Meanwhile at the back…

Excited about the trip

I wasn’t idle at the front either, busy exploring the seat.

Earphones and water

Remote for KrisWorld

Nice big screen

Seat pocket content:-

Menu

KrisWorld

KrisShop

SilverKris

Since KrisWorld wasn’t booted up on the ground, I made do with the Economist.

SQ’s competitor

There wasn’t much delay since it was a 2.30am departure and we were airborne shortly after ETD.

Up and away

Bye SIN

Almost 10 hours of bliss ahead

Shortly after the seat belt sign went off, the crew went around distributing hot towels and drinks.

More bubbles

I switched to my usual programming on KrisFlyer while waiting for supper.

What else but HIMYM

Notice Barney’s ducky tie?

Supper:-

Appetizer

Braised chicken breast in rosemary vegetable stew, lingering potatoes

Gourmet cheeses with garnishes

The main course was really disappointing and I wished that I had done a BTC instead.

After the dishes were cleared, I got one of the crew to convert my seat while I went to the lavatory.

Aircraft showing its age

Amenities

Bed at 30,000 ft

I fall asleep not long after my head touched the pillow and unexpectedly woke up somewhere over India.

Close to where I trained with SAF in 2005

Drifted back into sleep and was less than 4 hours away from the destination when I woke up again.

More than half of the flight was over

Into former Soviet Union

Not willing to incur the wrath of other sleeping passengers, I only dared to lift the window lid slightly, in the hope of seeing some land.

Over Turkmenistan

Saw these goodies in the galley on the way back from the washroom.

Light snacks and souvenirs

Unable to return to sleep, I switched on the KrisWorld for some entertainment.

Mary – Queen of Frocks

From the scrolling news I also knew that Spain beat Ireland 4-0 in the later Group D match.

Breakfasts gonna be served soon

Fruits

Yogurt

After done with Mary (interesting show), I switched to Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations’ episode on elBulli’s final day.

Anthony in shades

I was really impressed with Ferran Adria and his culinary inventions although I wasn’t so sure with all the chemicals that he was adding to his food.

BTC Dim sum

Although they weren’t elBulli’s wacky dishes, I quite like the dim sum and as usual I finished my meal with hot green tea.

After I was done with the meal, I wanted to convert my bed back into seat. Couldn’t find the cache and need a crew to help.

Used pillow and blanket

Final show before landing:-

Cake Boss

Mauro and Danny

Somewhere over Mother Russia

Almost there

Less than 20 minutes to go

The captain went on the PA to announce that we were descending and would be in DME ahead of time.

Into the clouds

Green

More farmland

Could see the plane’s shadow

Greener

[Insert landing video]

Exotic airlines

Transaero’s huge at DME

Sibir, Belavia & Transaero

M O S C O W

Connecting the aerobridge

While waiting to disembark I chatted briefly with a senior male crew member about the First Class.

Someday…

On the bridge – cool mural

Thanks for the ride

Overcrowded – I wouldn’t want to transit here

International Arrivals

There wasn’t anyone at the immigration queue. It appeared that most passengers on SQ62 would carry onto IAH.

The official at the counter couldn’t find the visa in my passport and needed the help of her neighbor. No smiles or “Welcome to Russia” but honestly I was thankful that it was hassle-free.

Ahead of us was S7 flight from Yerevan

Waiting for baggage at Belt 2

All of us had cleared immigration but no bags arrived. When they finally did, the priority tags did its jobs and those with them were spit out first.

Got our bags and all ready to tackle Moscow

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