Thursday, December 29, 2011

Trip to Brisbane and Gold Coast: Return to Penang & Conclusion


Our Emirates flight to Singapore was scheduled to depart at around three in the morning. This has got to be one of the inhumane flight time since you have got to stay awake really late before getting the change to catch some shut eye on the plane. My cousin dropped us off at the airport around midnight where there was already a long line in economy waiting to be checked in. The line was much shorter for those who have already checked-in online and we didn't have to wait long before we were checked-in by the First Class desk. How I wish I was flying in first today instead of just being checked in by the desk!

We made our way through immigration where there was very little wait before proceeding to get our shopping tax refund. Brisbane airport was virtually dead at this time with the Emirates flight being the last flight to depart. There was no Priority Pass lounges so we just had to wait it out on one of the benches next to the Cathay flight that was about to leave. I hoped on the wireless from the nearby Qantas lounge and caught up on email where as my sister actually managed to get some sleep.

Boarding started right on time and since we were sitting in the back of the plane, we were part of the first group of economy passengers to be called. The flight was packed - where's my op-up? At this point, I was super tired. I put on the headphones and tried to watch a movie. Before the flight even took off, I passed out and only woke up when they served breakfast about 2 hours from Singapore. I took a couple of bites before going back to sleep again.

We arrived on time into Singapore. After completing the luggage and custom formalities, we dropped off our luggage at the Air Asia counters for our flight back home. We then headed to the food court in the basement where I had some pretty good Laksa. Our Air Asia flight was slightly late, but was uneventful as usual.

In summary, the highlight of this trip was definitely Gold Coast and the stay at the Hilton. The hotel is new, modern and centrally located. Our first time in economy on Emirates did not meet our expectations. The IFE was one of the best but the food wasn't outstanding and the service seemed cold. We would pick flying on Qatar over Emirates in economy based purely on the experience from this trip.

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