Well, it started slow, very unlike Amazing Race. The initial plan was to just take the coach and arrive in time for the check in, but my sister thought it was better to fly in and wait at the airport. Neither is a good idea. Both left me sleep- deprived. I got into London just in time to crawl into bed.
Although this is a direct flight, this matter of flying out of Singapore does require some planning. I’m not sure whether I prefer this or a long transit. They’re probably the same. I don’t like transits either. Nothing beats a direct flight out of KL. But if you have to fly out via another country, treat it like a side trip instead of a transit. Mine was the morning flight out from Singapore, and there’s no flight early enough to allow me to catch this 8.55am flight. There also flights out at 10pm on certain days, and those would be a better choice.
I’ve never flown into Changi by the way. For those who’ve never camped there before, the airport is a transit haven. Four terminals, and enough shops open around the clock to while away time, or you know, shop (No photos of the shopping scene. My apologies to the shopaholics out there, but it says 350 retail outlets on their website) .
Credit cards gave access to the lounges, free meals and drinks so it’s worthwhile to check if yours does. Never paid attention to these things till recently, but they do come in handy in major airports.
Changi has many things to keep you occupied. If you’re in transit in Singapore for more than 5 hours, there’s a free Singapore tour you can join, a few gyms if you fancy a workout, a pool, a small cinema and games at the entertainment deck, and apparently a jam room as well but I’m not sure what that was about. Well, these are on top of the many shops, bars and eateries open around the clock.
I flew Norwegian Air, and they’re on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Seat configuration in threes. Window is 65% bigger according to their safety video. Cabin air set to a lower altitude apparently, reducing jetlag (Can’t attest to this since whatever good that came out if it was cancelled out by sleep deprivation. Like really, how comfortable can a 12 hour 40 minutes flight be unless you’re flying one of those fancy first class apartment-type I saw on Etihad; well, for around USD6k return for dates I checked in December 2017 **side note:-not bad considering first class tickets on Malaysia Airlines is more expensive but without the fancy apartment cabin**. Or you can use your frequent flyer miles.)
There’s USB charging point at your seat, and well, you swipe your card at the screen for snacks. I thought that was fancy. Their movie selection is not great, saw Arthur and Going In Style, and tried to sleep in the first half of my flight to no avail. Can’t sleep on a 3 seat configuration. I’m a little too tall for that, and well, width-wise just made me lose circulation lol. An hour into sleeping like that, I gave up and slept upright. That was despite my sleeping aid. Bring your earphones and blanket, or buy them onboard for $3 and $5, which I presumed was Singapore dollars since that’s where we flew out from Wrong. They were USD.
There’s a small selection of snacks and drinks onboard that you can order. AirAsia has a more extensive menu. In the boarding hall all these mat sallehs filled up huge bottles of water and I found out why later; a small bottle of water is USD3.
Despite their advertised better air quality in the promo video, I had to apply a facial mask midflight because the cabin air dried up my skin.
Their crews were OK. Not friendly Asian types. They’re more cold Scandinavian types, you know, the kind with guarded half smiles. One looks like the girl from Superman.
London was a quick stop to recover before heading out to Poland, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina, in that order. The Balkan countries are not really close to one another unlike Scandinavia, so the rest will have to be in another trip.
So ok, this sort of counts as my review of Norwegian Air, my preferred airline (for as long as their ticket remains cheap) alongside Ryanair.
Return flight on Norwegian Air was USD360, booked one month before the trip in October. Most impressive cheap ticket to-date, thanks to the sister whose friend monitor flight ticket prices better than Skyscanner.