The planning of this trip started since June 2017, after returning from the self-planned solo Amsterdam trip. The notion of train ride has been there all this while - which I think, would offer a totally different experience. Looked up for various popular train rides in Australia and Canada, that possibly landed up with overnight rides. In addition, June would be a good time to go places that are less accessible in December. Heard of the amazing scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Heard about memorable rides, too. (Oh yes, I remember what Peter told me when we were colleagues back in NAS, before his retirement.) While I was examining the various packages offered by the Rocky Mountaineer, a tinkle came... and a chat started with a service personnel! That's the wonders of technology and it has helped me to make a choice, too!

Flight Schedule and Experiences

There is no direct flight between Singapore and Canada.

One of the options is to fly with Air Canada (its national airline) and its alliance (which includes SIA). Alternatively, Cathay Pacific  flies to Canada, with transit in Hong Kong.
Considerations take into account:
  • Avoided European airports for connecting flights, just in case there is any unforeseen circumstances (e.g. strikes)
  • Avoided airlines from north america, after hearing so much about the service standards 
As a result, Cathay Pacific became my choice as
  • It transits in Hong Kong, which I could have a stopover for a day or two
  • It's known for its quality services 
  • There's a promotion with the HSBC credit card at the point I booked the tickets (in September 2017)
  • Bought the Premium Economy Tickets; however, as this class did not exist in the flight from Singapore to Hong Kong at the chosen time, the arrangement was such that
    • Economy class for Singapore-to-Hong Kong & Hong Kong-to-Singapore 
    • Premium Economy class for Hong Kong-to-Vancouver & Vancouver-to-Hong Kong
  • Having experienced both in this trip, I think premium economy was certainly a good choice (ad value for money) for long distance flight with Cathay Pacific as I noticed a significant difference in the services provided, as well as the comfort.

From Singapore to Hong Kong (2 June 2018)

The boarding pass for both flights (including the connecting flight) were issued at Singapore Changi Airport. While the airport terminal (5) primed itself as self-check-in terminal, online check-in failed & onsite self-check-in failed, too. Reason being, there was a need to verify the credit card used to purchase the tickets. I'm quite puzzled over this, since the verification was already carried out a the point of purchase. Why was there a need to check again? I wonder.

Here's the non-beef and low-fat meals to start day (as breakfast). Hm... pretty tasty, actually.

From Hong Kong to Vancouver (2 June 2018)

It seemed like there's much more leg work needed to move from one terminal to another. While we were not required to clear immigration, we had to take the sky train to another terminal to board the next flight.

In fact, because of this, we discovered the branch of the famous roasted goose stall in the other terminal, and it was less crowded, too.

Here's the first time we experience the flight delay, before boarding, the boarding time was changed from 1615 to 1640; however, there was a further delay of close to 2 hours as the technical personnel needed to fix a problematic seat as well as the toilet issues.

These were the meals served, from Hong Kong to Vancouver. They were reasonably good and tasty. Unfortunately, the meals served in the return trip were far worse off than this!

Each passenger was given a bottle of mineral water, which I noticed "limited edition" was printed on its label. Click HERE to read more about this.

From Vancouver to Hong Kong (11 June 2018)

The airport is easy to navigate.

The number of check-in luggage remained 2, though both are now heavier.

Everything were smooth... till we were served the first meal onboard, which tasted awfully different from what we had on our way to Vancouver! Identical meals for both non-beef and low-fat meals. What's less forgivable was, the food was bland without salt or pepper provided.

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