TRIP REPORTS ARCHIVE
Back from Rome to Singapore
by Daryl Chua
4 June 2002
Transitting in Rome isn't exactly a breeze, considering you have only 10 minutes to get to the check-in counters while pulling along 5 heavy pieces of luggage and you have to walk for about 1 km to get to the Terminal C, and the time wasted was due to the luggage arriving late.
We finally reached Terminal C at 1010 hrs with 5 minutes to spare. We proceeded on to the check-in counters, which, for today's flight, was from counters 391-395. Counter 391 was for Raffles Class while the others were for Economy.
The station manager, who was standing there, took the time to ask us what class we were flying and after some discussion, all of us were allowed to check in at the Raffles Class counter. After a while, we got our seat arrangements but they were wrong as my mom had passed the gate agent the wrong tickets. In the end, she had to reissue the boarding passes and, I, seeing some baggage tags, did not hesitate to take them.
Whilst walking by US Airway's ticketing counter, I noticed copies of its inflight magazine Attaché, so I just took one. After all, they are free, aren't they? We then went in to clear the immigration check and the queue was terribly long. Finally, we got through the glass door and someone asked us where we were heading and we said Singapore. She immediately put down our nationality as Japanese.
A Japanese lady was in front of us and she went through immigration control without the guard stamping her passport. A colleague of his had to ask her to go back and she started apologizing immediately. Cleared passpost control and guess who we saw? Yes, the station manager. He told us that C26 was in the satellite terminal and we had to take a shuttle over. We then went to the cafe for a bite while my mom and grandma went to do some shopping.
We finished our meal at about 1135 hrs, and we then proceeded on to the departure gate. The Satellite Terminal is constructed funnily, with a common waiting area, then followed by the ticket check, and then, you have to go down an escalator to get to the bridge to enter the aircraft.
We reached there and it was actually time to board, so we joined the queue. We finally went down the escalator and guess who we saw at the bridge yet AGAIN. The station manager. He said goodbye to all of us and we entered the Raffles Class cabin.
Copies of the Straits Times was offered to us and we took some as we had been out of contact with Singapore news for the past 2 weeks or so. As usual, being a new month, I took the KrisWorld and SilverKris magazines to read. The automated announcements, requesting passengers to buckle up their seatbelts and secure all hand luggage, was played. The LSS then came around and asked us what we would like for our pre-takeoff drink. Both my mom and I chose apple juice.
The captain then came on and introduced himself, told us about the flight time and the usuals, following that, the LSS came on and introduced herself as well. Doors were closed at 1218 hrs and pushback commenced at 1220. Hot towels were then given out and as pushback was completed, the safety video began playing.
Engines were started and we began moving at 1223 hrs for a long taxi to Runway 16R. While taxiing, the LSS came around again and asked what we would like for our post-takeoff drink. The flaps were set to 15 during taxi. We were about to turn into Runway 16R when a Lauda Air Italia Boeing 767-300ER came in for landing. As soon as it cleared the runway, we accelarated for a 45 second roll.
After takeoff, we then made a right turn to head towards the sea. The flaps were closed with that irritating whine and as soon as the seat belt signs were turned off, I turned on my PTv to watch my first movie, Crossroads. Halfway through the movie, I paused it and went to the back to visit my dad, grandma and brother, having been relegated to Y for messing up my shirt the other day .
The LSS was already taking orders for lunch and this was the menu for lunch:
Mesclun with marinated seafood and kalmatta olives
New Zealand lamb chop with black pepper cream,
carrot, snap peas and chateau potatoes
Selection of cheese with garnishes
A selection of fresh fruit
Cappucino ice-cream with coffee
After 10 days in Italia, I got pretty addicted to pasta, so I just had to have my last pasta fix before returning home, so I chose the fettucine. My mom chose the chicken. Soon, our meals came and the tray tables were opened for us, and the table linen laid nicely for us. Next time remind me not to choose the fettucine as I do not like thick, flat noodles.
I continued watching my movie until it was half done, and the stupid WISEMEN system had to crash on me, like my flight on 9V-SYF. The IFS made an announcement and said the system would be out for another 20 minutes. I finally finished my meal and went out to the toilet.
The WISEMEN system came on again and I continued watching my movie. Finished the movie and I began to feel sleepy as I had woken up at 3 am in the morning to get ready so we could catch the 5 am bus to Catania Airport. So I went to sleep and I woke up a few hours later, and decided to watch the movie I Am Sam.
It was getting dark so I decided to turn on my private light to do some reading. I yet again went to the back where my brother and grandma was sleeping. Got back to my seat and the person in front of me reclined his seat such that I had a bit of problem getting out of my seat.
I wasn't too happy about it and as soon as I Am Sam ended, I went back to sleep yet again. I woke up later to check our flight plan and it showed we were over the Persian Gulf. I then decided to watch my next movie, The Time Machine, and I really enjoyed it despite reviews of it saying it is fake and cheesy. I had to go to the washroom yet again and I could not even get out of my seat.
I finished my loo break and went back to watch my movie. A LS came along with a bottle of Evain and asked those awake whether they had some. I asked for some and he poured it in a glass with me. I started to feel hungry yet again, so I decided to ask for some cookies.
The LSS then came along and passed the cookies to me with a glass of apple juice. I finished the biscuits and just then, my mom woke up. She asked why the plate was there and I told her I was hungry and asked for some biscuits.
By now, breakfast was about to be served but before that, the LSS came along and offered me some biscuits from Economy. They tasted pure horrid(for Singapore_Air who might be interested the brand was San Remo) and I still prefer the Khong Guan cookies they served.
now time for the LSS to take breakfast orders and this is the menu
A choice of apple,tomato and freshly squeezed orange
A selection of fresh fruit
Cereal with low fat or full cream milk
Grilled ham steak with herb jus, sauteed mushrooms,
roma tomato and potatoes
From the bakery
Assorted breakfast rolls
My mom, however, together with other passengers who chose the egg noodles, complained that it was too salty and they really could not eat it, so my mom was given some breakfast rolls instead. I continued with my movie until I fell asleep yet again.
When I woke up, we were already on approach and the PTV was already pushed down for me. I hurriedly packed my headphones and set my seat to the upright position. By now we were over Malaysia and we were on approach for Runways 20L/R. Flaps were already set for approach and we were at 2000 feet. By now, we had passed Pulau Tekong for a Runway 20R landing. We soon approached Changi Beach and we could see the Cargo Complex from about 500 feet up in the air.
We were now on target for Runway 20R and we swooped over the threshold, past a Korean Air Cargo 747-200 and a few others. The 777-200ER touched down gently and full reverse thrust and spoilers were applied. We taxied off the runway and a SIA A340-300 passed us, followed by an A310. The LSS then went up to make the arrival announcement and there was an added touch, she said " For Singapore citizens and permanent residents, a warm welcome home." I have never heard that on any of my flights until now.
Flaps and spoilers were reset and we taxied past Terminal 1, by the Terminal 1 apron as South Cross was used for aircraft taxiing to Runway 20R. Since I was seated on the left side, I could only see the Cargo Complex. We then turned towards 20L for our arrival gate, F31.
We finally arrived at F31 and the engines were shut, followed by the doors opening. We got out of the plane and we went to the transit area to wait for my dad, grandma and brother. They finally arrived and we went to clear immigration.
We cleared immigration, and then we proceeded to collect our bags. In 10 minutes, our bags were collected and then we proceeded to the duty-free to buy some beer and wine. We finally got out of the arrival hall at 655 am and then proceeded to get a taxi home.
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