TRIP REPORT: Round the world in sixteen days

TRIP REPORT


Submitted by Saša Radovanović

This trip was booked four months in advance. All tickets were bought through airline websites without checked baggage (Garuda has 30kg checked baggage included).


Norwegian (AMS - OSL, OSL - JFK)

Tickets paid: 250 EUR pp (including additional 35 EUR p.p. for meals)

Norwegian has a multi-hub long haul model which they are expanding at an incredible pace. We took the opportunity to fly from their original, first hub. Intra-europe segment was uneventful - just a regular late evening 2h low cost flight. On their signature OSL - JFK route, Norwegian uses both 787-8 and 787-9. The flight we took was operated by the smaller version. Oslo Airport is a generic modern airport yet I do like the wooden finish and comfy feeling you get in their departures hall. Gate area dedicated for departures to US (beside JFK, Norwegian had a flight to Oakland leave half an hour before our flight) is really small and packed. Norwegian uses Terminal 1 at JFK.

On board experience in economy (with paid food) was close enough to what you would get on full-service airlines. Flight duration was around 8h and passengers with an ordered meal were served a post-departure dinner and pre-arrival snack including couple of beverages. IFE had no limitations and on board bar was available for additional purchases. Flights were on time, flight attendants were not the most friendly ones we encountered but in general - I would say that Norwegian is truly value for money.

We selected the middle and aisle seat


F23 gate would be small for a 737 departure, not to mention 787 with US additional screening facilities


EI-LNA getting ready for TATL route


Post-departure meal selection of beef and chicken was offered


Pre-arrival snack


Mood lighting




Hawaiian (JFK - HNL)

Tickets paid: 300 EUR pp

For quite some time I wanted to fly on board Hawaiian since I consider their livery to be one of the nicest ones out there. Even though there were cheaper options (with connection in LAX), we opted for 40 EUR pp more expensive direct, non-stop flight.

Hawaiian's signature JFK route (until recently their longest route) operates out of Jetblue Terminal 5 (Hawaiian has close cooperation with B6). Since taking delivery of A330-200s in 2010 they use the type on this route. Hawaiian reached the headlines recently since they canceled their A330neo-800 order in favor of the Dreamliner.

As far as on board experience is concerned - I would say that Hawaiian fell short (but taking into account the almost ultra long haul nature of the flight and price, can I really complain?). The flight took little bit under 11 hours and during that time economy passengers were served a poor pasta meal and small snack package (with almost 9h between). IFE was very limited with only free content being videos of Hawaii. IFE purchases could only be done with US credit cards. In Honolulu, flights from US West Coast operate to and from Inter-Island terminal. Flight departed and arrived on time.

Delta's second biggest hub in US


Hawaiian, Tap and AerLingus are only airlines operating out of Jetblue's T5



Post-departure meal was probably one of the worst ones we had (and we are not picky when it comes to plane food)




Pre-arrival snack package


Arriving at HNL


HA running the show at HNL with a considerable amount of military movements




AirAsia (HNL-KIX-KUL-SIN)

Tickets paid: 350 EUR pp (including pre-ordered food)

We flew AirAsia couple of times before (including AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia X) but I was little bit worried about this one (since the total flight time would be just over 17h). In the end I turned out to be okay. AirAsia added Honolulu to their route network in mid-2017. It's their flagship route (flights are numbered D7 1 and D7 2) and since the flight is ultra long haul (alongside Scoot's flights to Honolulu, Berlin and Athens the longest LCC route in the world) and AirAsia operates A330-300 they have to make fuel-stop in Osaka (during which passengers continuing to Kuala Lumpur disembark the plane). They have the freedom of flying passengers on the Osaka and Honolulu sector too. So our itinerary got us flying 9.5h to Osaka, make a 1h45min fuel stop/transfer, then continue 7h to Kuala Lumpur, make a 2h connection for our final leg to Singapore with departure being on Wednesday afternoon and arrival in Singapore on Friday morning. We pre-ordered food on all sectors. It's interesting to see the price difference for meals depending on the leg - the same meal on HNL - KIX leg cost us 16 USD while on KUL - SIN leg it was only 3 USD (AirAsia has special menus only for this route). We had a direct alternative (Honolulu - Singapore via Osaka) with Scoot but it is not possible to buy one-way tickets on this route with them.

AirAsia operates A330s with inch or two more legroom on this ultra-long haul sector (or that's our impression comparing our experience with previous AirAsia's A330s) and since we had seats in the last row of mid-economy section I would say that the only downside to AirAsia was the lack of IFE. AirAsia has a massive order of A330neo and the rumour around is that they will opt for built-in IFE.

Honolulu Airport


AirAsia X on Gate 12 while AA for DFW on pushback


All major US & Canadian carriers at the apron


Checked-in all the way through SIN


I am 1.82 and there is definitely more legroom on this specific aircraft than on previous AirAsia X A330s I had experience with


Classic 3-3-3 layout. Flight had CLF of approx. 70% on HNL - KIX segment, while the CLF on KIX - KUL segment it was 97% (around 75-80 passengers from HNL continued to KUL)


KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur Terminal 2, almost exclusively used by AirAsia experienced some upgrades since the last time I used it 7 months ago)





Garuda Indonesia (SIN - AMS)

Tickets paid: 240 EUR p.p.

For our final leg, we had theoption of being on stand-by with my employer but we decided to pay a little bit more and have a confirmed ticket. This flight is blocked for 13.5h and I would say that the price is a bargain. Garuda makes a stop in SIN 3x per week on their CGK - AMS route (they operate additional 3x per week directly without a stop and 3x per week triangle route). On-board service consisted of post-departure dinner, mid-flight snack and pre-arrival breakfast. For economy passengers small snack bar was available in the galley throughout the flight. Garuda has 3-3-3 configuration in their economy. Flight was operated by 2-class 777 and there were only 2 empty seats in economy.

Garuda uses Terminal 3 in Singapore.




Post-departure dinner


Amenities



Pre-arrival breakfast



Share your travel experience by submitting a trip report to exyu@exyuaviation.com

Comments

  1. Great read! Thanks for the report. Quite a trip.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What was Garuda like? They are supposed to be one of the up an comer's in terms of the on bored product they offer.

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    Replies
    1. Sasa Radovanovic22 April 2018 at 12:37

      They are. One of the best airlines (in economy) I have flown with.
      I am sort of biased towards SkyTeam airlines. Great service, decent food, very good IFE.

      Delete
  3. Dobar pasoš,doduše i nama iz Bosne treba viza za USA,a za Maleziju i Singapur ne treba.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice report. Small correction “All major US & Canadian carriers at the apron” - only AA, DL and AS - all US and missing UA.

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    Replies
    1. Sasa Radovanovic22 April 2018 at 13:19

      They were not on the pic but UA 772 and 738 were present, AC 76W...

      Delete
    2. You can see UA in picture with boarding passes :)

      Delete
  5. Could you share with us your myflightmemory if you have one, please?
    Very nice trip and interesting itinerary indeed! I love SE Asia!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sasa Radovanovic22 April 2018 at 13:43

      https://my.flightradar24.com/micika

      Delete
    2. Very nice, thank you so much! You are definitely missing Chile :)
      Next suggestion: JNB>SCL>AKL>SYD>Europe :)

      Delete
  6. Great to see so many different airlines in one. Thanks for the report, I enjoyed it.

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  7. Wow what a great trip report. Thanks for sharing Sasa. Like very much to see passionate aviation people like u seeems to be one. Have a good Restsunday. Ciao

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  8. Nice trip. Just Delta's second hub is Detroit not Jfk

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    Replies
    1. Sasa Radovanovic22 April 2018 at 17:25

      True, my bad. It's not even in the top 3.

      Delete
  9. Great report and trip. How many days did this trip last

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  10. So ticket prices in total were around 1300€ pro person amazing WOW :-D

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  11. What a nice report and fantastic trip! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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