Monday, May 1, 2017

🇦🇺 Educational University Immersion Trip Down Under To Perth, Australia, In April 2017 ~ Section 1 🇦🇺

Welcome to this brand new Down Under trip report detailing my recent educational university immersion trip Down Under to Perth, Australia, in April 2017. This new Down Under educational immersion trip report shall consist of three segments, for which, this will be the first segment of the immersion trip report. There will be two core focus topics, excluding the opening sequences, that shall be covered in this first section of the trip report. They will mainly be the in-bound afternoon Down Under flight to Perth and the trip to the Hotel Novotel Perth Langley.

All the educational university immersion trip videos featured in this new immersion trip report may also be accessed via my YouTube channel. However, please be aware that certain safety and security guidelines apply. For safety reasons, no one is allowed to post or leave any user comments for any of my videos posted publicly on YouTube. Violations, even if it is attempted, could result in the removal of the posted user comments and / or other potential consequences. You may, however, post your comments in the commenting boxes located at the end of each trip report section.

Part 1 ~ The Opening Sequences

After receiving my decent GCE 'A' Level examination results in February, both my parents decided that the best place for me to have my university education would be overseas in Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Based on their experiences from their university education days, they knew that the education systems in Singapore were rigid unlike Australia. To ensure that I could gradually adjust into the university educational systems well, my parents had decided that it would be best for me to do a 10-month university foundation course before moving on to a formal university to study psychology.

To get an insight of my prospective university options, my mum decided that it would be best for me to undertake a university immersion trip to Perth with my dad at the earliest possible time. Since my parents were against the idea of me having to stay so far away from home during my coming university education years, we all knew that Perth in the state of Western Australia would be the best and closest place for my university studies. However, my younger brother could not follow us as he would be having his GCE 'O' Level internal mid-year examinations upon our return from Perth.

I was proud to be proclaimed as a university student after completing 15 years of formal education in Singapore. However, this new discovery was overshadowed by a certain degree of nervousness and trepidation as I wondered in deep thought what academic life would be like in Australia as compared with Singapore. In such cases like this, my parents opted to take turns in spending some months with me in Perth to ensure that I could adapt to the culture and lifestyles of the Australians.

On the morning of Sunday (23 April), I woke up bright and early at around 8.15 a.m. after having a well-earned good night's sleep. Having a shower and changing into my attire for the coming day, I proceeded to prepare the last remaining portions of my lighter baggage in preparation for the coming educational university immersion trip to Perth, Australia. With just my dad and I going Down Under to Perth, my mum had opted to take us to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 9.15 a.m. later that morning.

For the in-bound afternoon flight Down Under to Perth, both my dad and I would be flying directly with Scoot on flight TZ 008 bound for Perth, which would depart from Singapore Changi Airport at 12.20 p.m., and arrive at Perth Airport at 5.25 p.m. later that evening. Given that all Business Class seats on Singapore Airlines had already been sold out, we both knew that Scoot was the nearest option available for the two of us. Though we were skeptical about low-cost carriers due to their reputation of having lower safety standards, with some having poor safety records, this would be an exception since Scoot is completely owned by Singapore Airlines.

With all the preparations already completed, the time had come to finally depart the familiar surroundings of our house at nine o' clock. Once my housekeeper had helped to load our baggage into the boot of our white family car, my dad started up the main engine before departing for the early morning trip of just 20 minutes to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. My mum then opted to drive the car on her own home once we had arrived at the airport. With everything safely secured, we finally departed the familiar compound of our house at 9.10 a.m. for a routine and short early morning road trip of 20 minutes across MacPherson Road and the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2.

Soon enough, we finally arrived outside the departures and drop-off point located at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 9.30 a.m.. While my dad went to get a baggage trolley to load our baggage, I helped to unload all our baggage from the rear boot of our white family car. With my mum seeing us off and promising to fetch us upon our return from Australia, we proceeded into the departures and check-in hall to the ScootBiz check-in counters to check in for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth. Arriving at the ScootBiz check-in counters at 9.35 a.m., my dad and I went to check in for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth, which took just five minutes.

Scoot (Japanese: スクート; Hangul: 스쿠트; Chinese: 酷航) is a long-haul low-cost carrier owned by Singapore Airlines in the Republic of Singapore. Maintaining its headquarters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, the airline maintains its central and largest hub at Singapore Changi Airport, with its operations based out of Terminal 2. The airline offers 24 destinations around Asia and Oceania at lower costs than its own parent company, with a majority of its operations centred in Australia and Mainland China, using a pure wide-body fleet consisting of solely Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which replaced its fleet of Boeing 777-200/ERs that were transferred from Singapore Airlines by the end of fiscal 2015.

The airline was established on 1 November 2011 by Singapore Airlines with the intention to provide medium-haul and long-haul routes at low prices for a full-service carrier in Asia and Oceania. It commenced operations on 4 June 2012, initially using a fleet of six Boeing 777-200/ERs transferred from Singapore Airlines. From 2 February 2015, the airline took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, entirely replacing its fleet of Boeing 777-200/ERs by the end of fiscal 2015, thus resulting in Scoot the first airline to have an all-Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. From 16 May 2016, it became a member of Value Alliance, the world's largest low-cost airline alliance, also sharing the same frequent-flyer programme, KrisFlyer, like Singapore Airlines.

The departures and drop-off points located outside Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 shortly after we had arrived in the morning

The interior of the departures & check-in hall at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the morning

Finally arriving at the ScootBiz check-in counters located in the departures & check-in hall at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the morning

After completing the entire check-in process for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth at the ScootBiz check-in counters located in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, both my dad and I finally received our boarding passes at 9.40 a.m.. The check-in agent then informed us that for today, Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth would be scheduled to depart at 12.20 p.m. from Gate No. E20. Boarding would commence at 11.50 a.m., which was approximately half an hour before the scheduled time of departure.

With that, we thanked the ScootBiz check-in agent for her services and headed to the Changi Recommends Overseas Wi-Fi counter located just near the departure entrance to claim our portable Wi-Fi Internet router. Upon claiming our Wi-Fi Internet router, we walked across the departures and check-in hall in the direction leading to the departure immigration checkpoints. Arriving at the departure immigration checkpoints, my dad and I used the automated thumbprint checkpoint reserved for Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, thus clearing the process in less than five minutes.

Soon enough, we were finally inside the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 9.50 a.m.. Given that it was still early before our early afternoon flight Down Under to Perth and that we had no airline lounge access, my dad decided that it would be best for us to look for a nearby airside restaurant or cafeteria for some breakfast first. With that, we walked across the main airside in the direction to the observation deck to search for a nearby cafeteria for some breakfast.

A bowl of wonton noodles and some hot Chinese tea, together with a cup of Hong Kong Iced Milk Tea and some siu mai dim sum dumplings, at Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert cafeteria located near the observation deck in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the morning

The view of Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert cafeteria located near the observation deck in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the morning

Overlooking the main airport tarmac from the observation deck in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the morning

The view of the observation deck in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the morning

Preparing the first segment of the educational university immersion trip report on my blog near the observation area in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. This is the first original trip report on my blog to use Century Gothic as the main font

Reading "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on iBooks near the observation area in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, while in the chapter where the Weasley children reveal the real reason to Harry as to why Percy broke up with his family

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 787-8H6(WL), registered 9M-MSC, resting at Gate No. E3 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 after arriving from her regional morning flight from Malaysia as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 611 from Kuala Lumpur. She will then return home to Malaysia later that afternoon as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 614 bound for Kuala Lumpur

A Tigerair Airbus A320-232, registered 9V-TAU, resting at Gate No. E2 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 after arriving back home from her regional early morning flight from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Tigerair flight TR 2059 from Hong Kong

A Korean Air Airbus A330-323X, registered HL8001, taxiing across the main airport tarmac past the main passenger terminal building at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her long early afternoon return flight back home to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as Korean Air flight KE 648 bound for Seoul (Incheon)

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registered JA890A, taxiing across the main airport tarmac past the main passenger terminal building at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her long early afternoon return flight back home to Japan as All Nippon Airways flight NH 842 bound for Tokyo (Haneda)

A SilkAir Boeing 737-8SA(WL), registered 9V-MGM, taxiing to her assigned arrival gate at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 after arriving back home from her regional morning return flight from the Kingdom of Thailand as SilkAir flight MI 749 from Phuket

A SilkAir Airbus A320-233, registered 9V-SLL, taxiing to her assigned arrival gate at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 after arriving back home from her regional morning flight from Malaysia as SilkAir flight MI 345 from Penang

Part 2 ~ The Flight To Perth

Airline: Scoot
Flight No.: TZ 008
From: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN / WSSS), Singapore
To: Perth Airport (PER / YPPH), Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Registration No.: 9V-OJD (Named "Big Yella Fella")
Class: ScootBiz (Business Class)
Seat No.: 3A
Date: Sunday, 23 April 2017

After spending approximately 1 hour 30 minutes of resting and having some light afternoon refreshments near the observation deck located in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, the clock was showing 11.25 a.m.. Given that boarding for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth would commence in 25 minutes' time, we packed our belongings and departed the SATS Premier Lounge for Gate No. E20. The entire walk from the SATS Premier Lounge to Gate No. E20 located in Concourse E took not more than approximately five minutes.

Soon enough, we arrived at the main entrance to Gate No. E20 at 11.30 a.m., which was in good time for boarding for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth to commence in 20 minutes' time. With a rapid and simple security check, my dad and I were finally in the passenger waiting area of Gate No. E20 at 11.35 a.m.. Observing the number of passengers waiting in the passenger waiting area at Gate No. E20, I could deduce that Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth would be close to being filled to the brim, with most of the passengers being Australians heading back home to Perth.

For today, Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth would be operated using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, registered 9V-OJD and powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, also named "Big Yella Fella". 9V-OJD was delivered to Scoot on 29 May 2015 as the fourth Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and as the fourth Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the entire airline company. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately 1.9 years old today. This flight would also mark the first time I would fly on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The view of Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert cafeteria located near the observation deck in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 shortly before we departed for Gate No. E20

Bypassing the miniature tropical rainforest pond in the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 on route to Gate No. E20 in Concourse E

Walking across the passageway leading to Gate No. E20 at Concourse E in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

Finally arriving at the main entrance to the passenger waiting area at Gate No. E20 at Concourse E in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

The passenger waiting area at Gate No. E20 at Concourse E in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 filled with waiting passengers for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth

Our aircraft for today, 9V-OJD, being serviced at Gate No. E20 at Concourse E in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her early afternoon flight Down Under to the Commonwealth of Australia as Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth

A closer view of 9V-OJD being serviced at Gate No. E20 at Concourse E in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her early afternoon flight Down Under to the Commonwealth of Australia as Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312, registered 9V-SYF, being serviced at Gate No. E11 at Concourse E in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her regional early afternoon flight to the Republic of Indonesia as Singapore Airlines flight SQ 958 bound for Jakarta

The passenger waiting area at Gate No. E20 at Concourse E in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 shortly before the first boarding calls for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth were made

After spending almost 15 minutes of anticipated waiting in the passenger waiting area at Gate No. E20, the first boarding calls for Scoot flight TZ 008 bound for Perth were finally made at 11.50 a.m.. The ScootBiz passengers, including the passengers requiring priority assistance, were called out to board the aircraft first. Given that both my dad and I were among the first passengers being called out to board the aircraft first, we rolled up at the front of the line with our belongings for the boarding process to progress smoothly.

Walking across the main jet bridge, we were finally on board 9V-OJD at 11.55 a.m., which was just in good time for a 12.20 p.m. departure. At the entrance to Door A, two flight attendants welcomed us on board and showed the direction to our seats in the ScootBiz cabin. Stowing all our belongings into their respective storage areas, we settled down into our assigned Seats No. 3A and 3D for the early afternoon flight of 5 hours 05 minutes across the Java Sea and Indian Ocean to the modern but laid-back city of Perth in Western Australia.

The flight attendants then. Braised chicken with rice.

After the clock struck exactly 12.20 p.m. sharp, all the aircraft doors were closed, and the aircraft finally pushed back from Gate No. E20 located at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, which was just as scheduled. As the safety briefing demonstation was being shown, we began to make its way across the airport tarmac to its assigned runway in preparation for its rainy and damp afternoon departure to Perth located in Western Australia, also taxiing past Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 en route.

It was not long until we finally reached our assigned runway for the early afternoon departure to Perth in Western Australia. Soon enough, the two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines spooled into action, and the aircraft finally lifted off from Singapore Changi Airport at 12.30 p.m. for its routine early afternoon flight of 4 hours 35 minutes over both the Java Sea and Indian Ocean to the state capital city of Western Australia. Both my dad and I climbed into the bright but damp afternoon sky for an early afternoon flight of 4 hours 35 minutes across the Java Sea and Indian Ocean to the state capital city of Western Australia.

Braised chicken with rice.

In accordance with the Western Australian Standard Timing, the seatbelt signs were switched on again at 4.45 p.m., which was approximately 20 minutes in preparation for the descent into Perth Airport. Since we had less than half an hour before our early evening arrival into Perth, we promptly stowed away our belongings back into their respective storage spaces and buckled our seatbelts in preparation for the aircraft to commence its one final approach into Perth Airport.

The early evening sun was shining brightly across Western Australia as the aircraft began to commence its final approach into Perth Airport. After a routine early afternoon Down Under flight of 4 hours 35 minutes over the Java Sea and Indian Ocean from the island-city state of the Republic of Singapore located in the surroundings waters of the Malaysian Straits near the South China Sea, we finally touched down into Perth Airport at 5.05 p.m., approximately 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We then taxied across the airport tarmac to our assigned arrival gate at Perth Airport Terminal 1.

Perth Airport (Japanese: パース空港; Hangul: 퍼스 공항; Traditional Chinese: 珀斯機場) is a major international and domestic Australian airport located in the local suburbs of Redcliffe and Perth Airport, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. It is the fourth-busiest airport in the Commonwealth of Australia and the largest and busiest airport in the state of Western Australia, with approximately 13.8 million passengers using the airport in fiscal 2016. The airport serves as a hub for Alliance Airlines, Cobham, Network Aviation, Qantas, Skippers Aviation and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, and as a major focus city for Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia.

After flying with a particular airline on a certain flight sector, an airline will receive an individual scoring report. The purpose of having this system is to help me determine whether that particular airline is worth flying on for that particular route. The scoring report comprises of five in-flight components, which are the seating, food catering, in-flight service, aircraft cleanliness and legroom space. Each in-flight component weighs 20 points, thereby tallying up to a total of 100 points.

To attain a pass, an airline must obtain an aggregate overall score of at least 45% or above, implying at least a 'D' grade or better. Grades 'A+' and 'A' denote quality passes, while a Grade 'B' denotes an acceptable pass. Grades 'C' and 'D' are then classified as borderline passes. Grades 'E' and below are considered below passing grades, with 'U' being considered ungraded. As of 1 April 2017, the airline grading system for my trips are as follows:

A+: 85% or above (Airline has an excellent rating and performance)
A: 75% ~ 84% (Airline has a very good rating and performance)
B: 60% ~ 74% (Airline has a good rating and performance)
C: 50% ~ 59% (Airline has a satisfactory rating and performance)
D: 45% ~ 49% (Airline has an adequate rating and performance)
E: 35% ~ 44% (Airline has a fair rating and performance)
S: 20% ~ 34% (Airline has a poor rating and performance)
U: Below 20% (Airline has failed to meet the pre-requisite for the minimum grade)

Scoot Flight 008 Score Report

Seat: 12 / 20
Food: 7 / 20
Service: 11 / 20
Aircraft cleanliness: 14 / 20
Legroom space: 12 / 20
Total: 56 / 100
Grade: C (Borderline Pass)

On a final note, Scoot has managed to obtain a total aggregate score of 56% for the in-bound segment from Singapore to Perth, implying that they have a 'C' grade attained, constituting a borderline pass. But, then again, a low-cost carrier, even if owned by a full-service carrier, would attain a 'C' grade at best due to their nature. In the long run, I personally believe that there are much better carriers that have a better sense of in-flight service, such as Qantas and Singapore Airlines, between Singapore and Perth.

Part 3 ~ The Journey To The Hotel Novotel Perth Langley

Shortly after disembarking from Scoot flight TZ 008 from Singapore at Gate No. 50.

Belt No. 2.

Room No. 1004 on the tenth floor.

11.15 p.m..