Part 1 ~ The Opening
On Friday (11 March), my family and I woke up at 9.30 a.m. to pack up our last remaining baggage for the journey towards Hong Kong. This day, being March 11, was the fateful day that the March 11 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Tsunami took place in the Tohoku (northeastern) region in Japan.
Our itinerary for the day would be to fly on Singapore Airlines on flight SQ 872, which would depart Singapore Changi Airport at 3.05 p.m., and arrive in Hong Kong International Airport at 6.50 p.m.. After we performed several checks on our baggage, we left the house at 11.15 a.m. for a 25-minute drive towards Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3.
Upon arrival at the car parking area in Singapore Changi Airport at 11.40 a.m., we went to grab a few baggage trolleys while my dad went to park the car. As soon as we all met at the entrance to Terminal 3, we proceeded into the terminal building and took the elevators up towards the departures and check-in area, which was located on the second level.
|The second basement of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 with some renovation works ongoing
|The arrival flight information screen showing the many flight arrivals in the second basement in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
|The elevators in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
After we parked our car and settled our baggage in the second basement, we were finally in the departures and check-in area of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 10 minutes just before noon. We then proceeded to the Singapore Airlines Economy Class check-in counter to check in for Singapore Airlines flight SQ 872 bound for Hong Kong.
Singapore Airlines is the flag carrier and the largest airline of the Republic of Singapore. It maintains a hub at Singapore Changi Airport and flies to 62 destinations around the world. The airline became a member of Star Alliance on 1 April 2000, and is one of the few airlines in the world to be awarded 5-star rating by Skytrax.
Singapore Airlines is also notable for being the very first airline in the world to operate the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft. The airline also operates the longest non-stop flight in the world between Singapore and Newark, as well as Los Angeles.
Sadly, these ultra-long non-stop flights will come to an end in late 2013, when the airline sells back its fleet of five Airbus A340-500s to Airbus as a deal for five more Airbus A380s to replace the Airbus A340s. The airline, however, will continue to serve Los Angeles with a stop in Tokyo's Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba, Japan.
|The departures and check-in area of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
|Heading towards the Singapore Airlines Economy Class check-in counters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
|The Singapore Airlines check-in counters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
|Several confectionery stores in the departures and check-in area of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
After we checked in our bulky baggage for Singapore Airlines flight SQ 872 bound for Hong Kong, we finally received our boarding passes for the flight. The check-in agent then informed us that Singapore Airlines flight SQ 872 bound for Hong Kong would be due to depart from Gate No. A12 at 3.05 p.m., and that boarding would commence at 2.25 p.m., approximately 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
Feeling hungry since it was already 12 noon, we decided to head upstairs towards the upper floors to see what good restaurants were there to eat for lunch. Without any more hesitations, we took the escalators up to the third floor, where the restaurants were located. There were various restaurants catering to local, foreign and western food needs.
Once we watched the news television in the hotel room, my fears for the March 11 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Tsunami in Japan were confirmed. Ships and vehicles were washed ashore, and thousands of people were confirmed dead, which rendered me in total shock.