USA California / Nevada / Arizona Road Trip May 2016 – Day 14 SQ11 LAX-SIN via NRT

What a great 2 weeks this trip has been, after visiting San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. it was time to say farewell to my friends where my wife and I would leave first taking SQ 11 from LAX to SIN.

Our friend also residing in Singapore was booked to be on BR departing a few hours after us with a transit in TPE. The last of our group would be taking VS from LAX to LHR.

We leave our Airbnb apartment just before midday and arrive at the car hire location within 45 minutes. We hand our vehicle keys back and pack our luggage onto the shuttle bus that would take us to the terminal. We arrive at the terminal 2.5 hours before departure.

Tom Bradley in the past used to be a good spot for us as our group of travellers always departed from various terminals. We would sit upstairs at the back of pre-departures in the seating area and have dinner together at one of the many eateries available. When we arrived we were surprised to see this was no longer there. Shucks! An earlier goodbye than expected.

A couple of shots from the terminal at Tom Bradley. Notable airlines such as Etihad, JAL and China Airlines check-in at section A of the terminal.

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Section B includes Emirates, BA, KLM, and Korean Air. Forgot to blur the folks out on the right hand side. Sorry.

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Our 3:45pm departure points us to check-in at section C. Other airlines in this section included BR.

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Despite the recent renovations in Tom Bradley, I see they still use the old style system for departure information.

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Automated check-in options available for many airlines.


Time to check-in…

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My friend takes a shot of Mrs Mlee888 and I waiting to check-in.

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This is where the check-in process got slightly complicated. Due to a last minute aircraft change, with my wife and I originally scheduled to sit together in seats 96 D/F, with the replacement plane no longer being an all upper business deck, this meant that our seats were no longer available. On top of this, with us having separate bookings (wife took an earlier departure to US at the start of our trip), their systems automatically seated us quite a distance from each other. For a few hours this would be OK but with this being a 16.5 hour flight time overall, we would prefer to be seated together.

The SQ staff couldn’t think of a way to change our seats to begin with but continued to try their best to see what alternative arrangements could be found. The supervisor eventually managed to work out a solution by calculating who had checked-in and who hadn’t. Everyone in business class had been given a new seat in the last 24 hours so anyone who checked-in online prior to this would not had known of any aircraft change until they arrived at the airport. The supervisor switched our seats to 26 D/F for the first leg and told us we would have to wait until arriving in NRT to be given new seats for the second leg. She explained she could only override the system in LAX but was unable to do so for NRT, she did say she would make sure we would be seated together.

What great service this was. I was so impressed with the way they handled this. I can see why SQ is one of the worlds best airlines.

So to the below…’s flight would be the following:

Plane: A380
Class: J
Seats: LAX-NRT 26 D/F, NRT-SIN 22 D/F (both upper deck)
Departing Airport: LAX Tom Bradley
Arriving Airport: SIN Terminal 3
Via: NRT (Tokyo)

We say our farewells to our friends and head for the departure lounge. Tom Bradley has an express queue for Business Class passengers so going through immigration and security was relatively quick and easy, compared to my experience when arriving a few weeks before.

The Star Alliance Lounge was packed! There was not a spare seat in the house and when looking at the departure board, I saw quite a few other Star Alliance flights departing around the same time.

The food also didn’t look that great to be honest, I took a quick shot and then walked around the lounge briefly. Poor quality photo sadly.

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There were more people inside the lounge than in the shopping area downstairs.

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Mrs Mlee888 and I decide not to stick around and head to gate 150 where our flight would depart from. Quite a bit of heavy traffic here so looks like a full flight.

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The staff getting ready and with T-45 mins no one is queueing up just yet

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Our beautiful whale that would take us all the way back to Singapore.

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Boarding is announced with Suites first followed by Business Class and PPS members.

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Seat 26A with the older generation business layout. Still extremely comfortable and one of my favourite J class seats.

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Today’s LAX-NRT first meal options.

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Snacks during flight available.

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Due to the timing of the flight, when you land in NRT it is evening time so a second meal is served on board before landing.

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Dinner menu from NRT-SIN.

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Having a glass of bubbly before take-off.

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Having a bubbly before take-off. Drinks were the same as on the way out so I didn’t take a photo of what was on offer.

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Flight map shows a flight time of 10 hours and 45 minutes.

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An hour after take-off, the meal service began.

The marinated crayfish with gralic bread. Delicious!

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Mrs Mlee888 used Book The Cook option and selected sweet and sour fish with fried noodles. She said it tasted quite good.

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My BTC option – Steamed crab ravioli in creamy lobster sauce with mixed vegetables. It was nice but the portion wasn’t filling.

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The yoghurt cranberry cake with cheese and crackers served together. Went well with my vodka and coke.

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To keep myself entertained, I watched Zootopia which was great followed by London Has Fallen. I started watching Ip Man 3 but with about 5.5 hours of the flight to go before reaching NRT, I decided to take a nap.

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Mrs Mlee888 already asleep at this point but this is a shot of how the flat bed appears on SQ on the A380. Your feet go into the corner which for some may not be comfortable.

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I sleep around 2 hours and check on the flight map to see where we were.

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I watch the rest of Ip Man and then decide to put Race on. An inspiring movie. I realised I watched more movies during this flight sector than on the whole way out.

With around 2 hours to go, the lights come on as the cabin prepare for the second meal to be served.

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The prosciutto ham for starters….and more garlic bread.

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Not sure what wifey ordered here on BTC. Possibly the lamb.

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My order – Peppered fillet mignon with mustard jus, chanterelle mushrooms, fava beans, and paprika red potatoes. Very yummy!

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40 minutes to Tokyo and the mood lighting is switched on.

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As we arrive in Tokyo, I spot SQ12 preparing for NRT-LAX. They both arrive in Tokyo and refuel around the same time.

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SQ staff in LAX were true to their word. As we entered the arrival area there was a big board with our names on it to get our attention. A staff member was there ready to give us our new boarding passes. We were given seats 22 D/F and would be seated together for the second leg. Excellent service overall.

Back to the ANA lounge for a quick visit and game on this.

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Offerings at this lounge aren’t that impressive. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go see what the main lounge was like.

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Famous Japanese snacks. I end up leaving with a couple of boxes of Tokyo Banana.

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Waiting to be called up for boarding with order as shown in the photo.

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Back on board for the 6 hour flight from NRT-SIN and we take our new seats. Time to get comfortable!

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An hour after take-off the food is served. After satay, they dish out the smoked duck breast starter with vegetables and a helping of garlic bread (again).

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Mrs Mlee888 main course on BTC would be Grilled fillet of beef with pesto. Same as what I had on the way out.

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I went for the chicken stuffed with prosciutto and mushrooms in creamy sauce with braised turnip, spinach, and potatoes. Again another great meal by SQ.

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I accompany my meal with the movie Dirty Grandpa starring Zac Effron and Robert De Niro which I had been watching since the start of the flight. This would be my 5th movie of the entire flight and also my last. The film was much better than I thought it would be. After it ends I settle down and grab nearly 4 hours sleep and wake up around 30 minutes before departure. The lights come on and the cabin crew prepare for arrival.

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We arrive 30 minutes before schedule and after immigration and customs, we eventually get home around 3:30am. 2 days later. Lost out on a whole day due to the international time zone but this just balances out how we gained a day when we flew out. 😀

Hope you have all enjoyed this trip report and I look forward to sharing my next adventures (that’s worth posting of course).


About mlee888uk

I am a frequent traveller who likes to share his experiences from different locations around the world on various websites. No more will I be confused and all will be shared here on 1 place. This blog at times will include reviews on airline experience, hotels, restaurants, and various city and town locations. Note these are all my own words and I am not associated with any of the companies featured unless stated. Hope you enjoy reading my blog.
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