I love flying. Yes, not only the act of travelling to a new location, but the act of boarding a flight and being cooped up in a flight for a number of hours catching some snooze, doing mindless channel surfing, and yes, enjoying the culinary delights of airline food.
Favorite Airlines: Singapore Airlines. I like the little attention to details in the new upgraded planes, like that the remote control is in front of you instead of embedded in the arms-rest. Good for people like me who tend to jam their elbows into arm-rests causing shows to pause/fast forward/rewind at the most teeth-crunching moments. Also score for the full length mirrors in the toilets.
However, I do wish that Singapore Airlines do serve green tea on all flights, instead of just those to and from Tokyo and Seoul. Or just have hot water with a selection of tea. I would like some green tea, peppermint tea and camomile tea on economy class, please.
Favorite Seats: The last seats in the economy section of the airplane. It’s a two-seater, instead of a three-seater. And, oh, far away from crying babies seated in the front. I usually take an aisle seat for long flights and window for short-haul flights (5 hours or less).
Most comfortable economy class seats: Non-stop flight on A345 from Singapore to Los-Angeles on Singapore Airlines. They even have an area in the back where you could pick out your own snack and chat with friends. And oh, the air-stewardess made me milo on that flight. Unfortunately, all A345 seats now only comes in Business-class. 😦
Most overated: A380 flight from Singapore to Sydney on Singapore Airlines. The interior is the same as an upgraded Boeing plane that Singapore uses. And many passengers mean that you wait a longer time to be served, and for your luggage.
Favorite Transit destinations: A tie between Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul. It’s the shopping. I usually will buy cosmetics and skin-care items in HK; umeshu, japanese fashion magazines and mochi in Tokyo; and korean brand cosmetics and skin-care items and ginseng in Seoul. I am a targeted shopper.
Best Meal eaten: Delhi-Singapore leg on Singapore Airlines. They serve this really good chicken briyani on the economy class.
Gifts on planes: Delhi-Singapore on Singapore Airlines. They always give out playing cards for some reasons.
Best use of frequent flyer card: On a Bangkok-Islamabad leg, Ms. J, Ms S and I were stuck in Bangkok for a good few hours. We made use of our Gold Krisflyer card to check out the Star Alliance airlines’ airport lounges. It was literally, eat the best food the lounge had to offer and run off to check out the next one.
Pet Peeves in aircrafts: Apart from crying babies (oops – although yes, I do know that babies can’t help it), it’s those people who insist on using their handphones before take-off. I experienced an incident once on a Delhi-Singapore leg, where a man insisted on talking on the phone even when the plane was taxi-ing off the runway. The pilot had to make an announcement on how the airlines had strict controls on the use of electronic devices on planes and stewardess running around trying to find out who the man was.
Scared of: Turbulence and landing. I tend to grab the arm-rests very tightly during these moments. And I’m one of those people who never really take their seat-belts off, ever. Except when going to the bathrooms.
Ever been upgraded: 3 times from Economy to Business Class. The first was a Delhi-Singapore flight on Singapore Airlines. I was really excited playing with the controls adjusting the angle of the seat. I slept like a baby on that flight, with plush pillows and warm blankets. The other times were a Vientiane-Bangkok leg (Thai Airways) and Seoul-Singapore leg (Asiana Airlines).
Ever missed a flight: Yes. An Easy Jet flight from London to Paris. We not only woke up late, but decided to take the London tube (which was late) from downtown Paddington to Stansted Airport. We had to wait 4 hours for the next flight out.
Most proud of: My ability to shop in airports even with only a one-hour transit. Minus time needed to do security clearance and time needed to get to the gate, it’s about a 15 mins shopping spree. No time to think. Just buy. Recent acquisitions included some SKII miracle water and Eu Yang Sen tonics (for Ms. F) in a transit in Hong Kong and Laniege beauty products and ginseng in a transit in Seoul (all transactions completed within 15 minutes).
Ever missed a flight because of shopping: Never, but there were 2 very close shaves. Once was a Auckland-Singapore flight (because I decided to buy wine) and another was a Abu Dhabi-Singapore leg because I decided to take advantage of a 5 hour transit to go shopping in downtown Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall. Luckily, I had other friends who were with me, and our names were practically announced over the intercom.
Outfit of choice on airplanes: Unfortunately, I am not a glamazon. I wish I was, complete with leather jacket, calf-high boots and over-sized shades. But really, I am at my grubbiest when I fly – usually either a pair of cargos or sweat pants (but fitting ones, please), and a hoodie, sans make-up. Oh, and always socks and sneakers so they don’t trigger off the security alarms, and not to mention that they are way more comfortable than heels.
Things I always have in my hand-carry: Apart from the usual travel documents and wallets, I will always bring a tub of Laniege Water Sleeping Pack. I constantly slapped that transparent gel on my face to keep it moisturised, and it’s great that the full sized version is only 80ml (below the 100ml limit allowed). I had thought about bringing those sheet-masks on a flight before, but I think it might scared the hell of people.
Ever sat beside a cute guy on a plane: Yes! In 2001, I was on my way to Toronto, with transit in Tokyo and Chicago. There was this cute Japanese guy sitting beside me, and he helped me with my luggage and checked me into the right gate during the Chicago transit. Unfortunately I never did get his number. I was visiting my boyfriend in Toronto then. Ha!
Ever been sick on an airplane: Yes. I was sick just before I board a flight from Lima back to Singapore. The whole trip from Lima-Los Angeles-Tokyo-Singapore took around 36 hours including transit. I could not eat a thing and threw up at least 5 times on the plane. The only thing I could ask for was Aguas Caliente (hot water) to the spanish-speaking crew. It was also my rudest moment.
Ever been rude on an airplane: Yes. I was really sick on my flight back from Lima, and I had 2 seats to myself on the Lima-Los Angeles leg. Someone asked if they could sit beside me. I said “No, because I will puke” and then promptly puked into the paper bag I had in front of me.
Most memorable flight: On a propeller plane from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang. My cabin luggage was too big for the overhead luggage compartment and they had to strap the luggage in the seat beside me. Yes, complete with seat belts. Rather hilarious.
Stinkiest flight: Berlin to Malaga on Air Berlin. They divided up the compartments into smoking and non-smoking. But really, there ain’t a difference. Ever heard of second-hand smoke.
I wish for: That one day, everyone will be able to surf the net for free on our personal screens even when flying. Instead of handing out earphones, they will also give you a light weighted key-board. Oh, that I will travel enough to qualify for the gold Krisflyer again. :))