Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wow! All Aboard SQ 22

SQ Silver Kris Lounge at SIN Terminal 3

We check out of the transit hotel and retrace our steps down the escalator and back to the Skytrain.

We miss the first one but they arrive every two minutes so no big deal.

The Silver Kris Lounge isn’t all that far. We’ve been here before and the main challenge is finding two seats with a power source. We eventually do and settle in for some - what else? - soup.

The noodle and dumplings soup station...

The buffet area...

The Popia station...

Wait... what’s a Popia? Well, it’s a really tasty Singaporean wrap.

This goes well with it...

Changi Airport (SIN) Ambassador Transit Hotels

We “deplane” in Terminal 3 and trudge over to the Ambassador Transit Hotel, about a 10-minute walk.

Oops! The nice woman at the counter says our reservation is for the hotel in Terminal 2, and their Terminal 3 property is full.

We plod back about to our starting point, walk a little farther, and board the airport Skytrain, which has us there in a few minutes.

From there it’s a short walk to the hotel, where we check in and manage to the first SGD $80 in leftover cash from our last visit here some years ago.

Our room is, as we recalled it to be, basic, but it’s cool enough and the bed is reasonably comfortable. It would be nice for the price if they included hand towels!

Before we know it, we’ve slept 7-8 hours.

Gosh, only another 8-9 hours before SQ 22 departs for Newark at 12:40 AM.

Singapore Airlines (SQ) 531 AMD-SIN

We take off and land almost on time, flying 2,650 miles for 5 hours 36 minutes in an Airbus A330-300 with a 2-2-2 business class seat configuration.

The service is terrific (other than no bottled water being handed out until shortly before we land) but the angle-flat seats are among the least pleasant we’ve experienced, with very little foot room when the seats are reclined.

We have a chicken dish shortly after takeoff and manage a couple of hours of sleep before landing just after 7 AM Singapore time, 2 1/2 hours ahead of India.

A pretty sunrise is glimpsable on a foggy morning.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Ahmedabad Airport Plaza Premium Lounge

We made it through baggage security (by bypassing it with our carry-ons), Singapore check-in, and security with nothing missing as far as we can tell, unlike Kathy’s slashed bag and stolen wallet on our first trip.

We’re now sitting in the Plaza Premium Lounge. According to one of our go-to travel bloggers, One Mile at a Time, this lounge is an improvement on the previous lounge.

Er, okay...

Monday, January 14, 2019

Where Old Tuk-Tuks Go

Another view from our hotel window, this one of a graveyard for auto-rickshaws and motorbikes...

They must be in bad shape to be abandoned.

The Swastika Symbol in India

‘Swastika’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘well being,’ and it’s still common to see them here as a benign religious symbol such as the one on this banner seen from our hotel window.

More information here:

Our Crazy January 2019 Flight Stats

We know people who fly this much and more every month.

Still, this is a lot of flying for us, starting early January 1:


Between paid and award miles, we’ll have flown 29,138 actual miles on this trip before getting off the plane in Bellingham Friday afternoon.

This includes Singapore Airlines SQ 22 SIN-EWR, the longest commercial flight in the world at around 9500 miles and 18 hours.

Yes, this is an Up in the Air January for us.

Hanging Out in Ahmedabad

We’ll stay around the Courtyard today. We enjoyed an excellent buffet breakfast that we learned is included for us.

Omelets, bacon, and some Indian treats.

A good way to start a long day.

Staying at the Ahmedabad Courtyard by Marriott

This hotel has exceeded our expectations so far.

It’s a bargain stay on points for us. We asked if we could buy up to the lounge and they immediately gave lounge access to us now lowly Marriott Platinums.

Of course, it’s a dry state, and no liquor even for tourists during the kite festival, but it was still a pleasant gesture.

We did drop over to the lounge, and ate enough that we’ll call it dinner.

The views include what some countries would call a barrio. There’s a lot of kite flying going on tonight.

Now it’s back to our room to rest. The homeward-bound marathon starts tomorrow.

A ‘Limo’ to the Ahmedabad Courtyard by Marriott

After our various cab and Uber rides, featuring swerving and honking in Suzuki Swifts and other tin cans, albeit at ridiculously cheap fares, it was time to splurge (about $28) on a Toyota SUV, and a driver trained not to scare tourists on the 45-minute drive.

It was wonderful.

On the way, we saw kites and kite-flyers by the hundreds as Ahmedabad’s kite festival comes to a close.

Then we rolled up to the Courtyard, waited as hotel security checked our car (complete with opening the hood and employing an explosive-sniffing Yellow Lab), and walked through the metal detector into the lobby.

SpiceJet Eventually

Our flight finally departed well after 3:45PM.

By paying a few bucks extra for SpiceMax,we got lounge access, priority boarding (JAI was acremote Bus Gate, so good luck with that), a blocked center seat like European business class, and a free food item.

It’s not a bad deal, and our bulkhead seats in Row 1 were narrow but had plenty of legroom.

The taped-up gasket around the bulkhead wall seemed a little tatty.

We both chose a simple snack of Pringles and before we knew it were landing at Hyderabad.