Well the cost was good; so good that we chose to fly with you instead of another leading airline – on which our friends booked, and whose flight we waved off as we waited at Changi Gate 59 (out of 60) for our own flight to Bali to join them for a very short girls’ weekend. This should probably have been our first clue, since nothing that cheap is ever going to come without a snag.
That our plane on the tarmac had a big engineering truck beside it and a man in a yellow jacket fiddling with his undercarriage should have been our second clue. Three tannoy mumbles later (none of which included a full explanation other than ‘technical issues’) and we had decamped to the nearest airport pub and ordered drinks and nibbles. The food worked, there was a live band, it was almost like a Friday night out, and as we clinked our tall drinks the three-hour delay didn’t seem quite so bad.
Well into our 14th gossip topic and a new tannoy message fizzled faintly over the din of the band, suggesting a number rather similar to the one on our tickets, but it was only thanks to my Changi app that we checked and saw you had actually changed the boarding time again, this time cheekily pulling it back by a sizeable two hours, leaving us an Olympic five minutes to get to the gate. (If I was a refund sort of girl I might suggest it here – had I known we were having a mere one-hour delay instead of three hours as initially suggested, I would never have ordered the second vodka, which I ended up leaving untouched as we scrambled to pay and leave.)
Having photo-bombed several groups taking selfies in front of the tropical orchid display as we knocked people out of the way to get to The Furthest Gate In The World, we were slammed into our seats only to then sit in them for a further half-hour while everyone else was herded back from their own untouched vodkas. Once in the air, our Singapore Slings tasted of nail polish remover and the duty-free bottle I wanted was the only one unavailable. That was Outgoing. For Return we had another delay, a man’s knees in my back thanks to the cosy seating plan, and four out of eight meal options out of stock.
The crew, I must say, were all lovely – upbeat and diligent with an average age of around 12 years old. I’m glad we didn’t have to adopt the brace position, as I would have felt very maternal towards at least half of them. The Band-Aid one of them got my companion after she cut her thumb opening the Sling bottle arrived promptly, and the little boy reciting the remaining meal options knew them all off by heart, including which pictures to point to: ten out of ten. I didn’t even mind that the kitchen curtain got caught in the toilet door every time I went (which wasn’t often, happily, as I hadn’t eaten or drunk much).
I’m not a money-back sort of person but we got to the villa so late on Friday that everyone had gone to bed and there was no wine left, and home again on Sunday so late that Monday had already arrived. I loved the friendly crew but I would rather have got to where I needed to get in time, well-fed and with the correct bottle of liquor in my tote bag.
Hope the feedback is helpful. Lots of love to all the girls and boys.
PS I think I left my kindle in your seatback. This would not have happened if I’d paid a bit more and booked onto the same flight as our other friend who had a bigger plane with free food and films, giving her no cause to pack her kindle and subsequently lose it.