Welcome to the Visit Brunei Blog

This site is created as the Brunei blogging community's contribution to help promote Brunei Darussalam as a tourist destination. We will endeavour to provide as much "informal" information to those who will be interested to visit Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures. The format of this blog will be simple and informal. The authors comprise of the members of Brunei Darussalam's blogosphere who have kindly agreed to contribute their thoughts in words and images, all in the name of promoting Brunei Darussalam as a must-go destination for tourists from all over the world! Hope you enjoy visiting this site as much as I'm certain we will enjoy contributing to it!! Cheers! AnakBrunei

Monday, June 25, 2007

Travel Tale

Taken from here

Flight Check: Royal Brunei Airlines
Flight BI 618: Pudong, Shanghai to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.
Date: Thursday, 26 April.
Flight time: 4hrs 10 minutes.
Seat: 6A.
Equipment: Airbus 320
Configuration: 12 Business - 132 Economy
Actual load: 8 Business - 123 Economy

I left my hotel in Shanghai at 09.50 hrs for the 50 minutes trip to Pudong International Airport and my scheduled 12.30 hrs departure for Brunei enroute to Perth. Traffic was much heavier than expected and after some anxious moments (not being able to communicate with the driver didn’t help) I arrived 40 minutes later than expected at 11.30hrs.

Fortunately Pudong processing, by both by the handling agent China Eastern and by immigration, was super-efficient, despite my having extra baggage and being slightly over my 30 kgs limit. I was airside by 11.45hrs and made my way to the Royal Brunei lounge at gate 22. On arrival I was told the flight was delayed and was expected to depart around 13.15hrs. RBA shares the lounge with several airlines and it was busy, but I managed to get a seat and waited for the boarding announcement. Lounge facilities were minimal but there was a good choice of hot and cold drinks and nibbles. Despite three staff in attendance at the lounge, servicing was poor and used drink glasses and plates had not been cleared. The bathroom could also have done with attention, its waste paper bins were overflowing.

Eventually the flight was called and we boarded the flight at 13.50hrs. The aircraft was parked some way from the gates, requiring a 10 minute coach trip. Onboard, I was given a warm welcome, a soft drink and a good selection of magazines and newspapers in English.

After the preliminaries and an apology from the pilot — but with no explanation for the delay — take off was 14.05hrs.

On board the aircraft was clean and in reasonable condition. Cabin décor was easy on the eye colours of silver, gold and light blues. Only soft drinks are served on board RBA, but I didn’t have a problem with that. Lunch was served at 14.50hrs. Presentation was minimal with little fuss and did include real knives and forks, none of the plastic rubbish. After an appetiser of smoked salmon and crab terrine, there were four choices for the late lunch including a spicy Szechuan prawn dish, pan-fried John Dory fish; stir fried beef or a vegetarian dish of spinach cannelloni. I chose the beef but when it arrived it didn’t look too appetising, so I made full use of the cheese plate. The meal was cleared at 15.25 and I settled back to watch a movie. Choice was limited to just two movies and it was the same two movies that had been offered on the outbound leg. There were no individual screens in RBA business class on this flight and the movie was shown on the main cabin screen.

The flight was smooth and the landing at Bandar Seri Bega at 18.10hrs almost perfect. One of those ‘down on the deck before you know it’ type landings.

Conclusion: I chose RBA for my Shanghai flight from Perth because it was the only airline that offered a same-day through service with no stopovers in Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur enroute. The business class fare of A$5661 including taxes was also the best available. The cabin staff were welcoming and efficient even if a little noisy at times. RBA is buying new B777 aircraft for Australia and is expected to put them into service later this year. These aircraft will have much better facilities for business travellers including the latest seating-beds, laptop ports and personal movie screens. Frequency will be increased from the current three times a week schedule. The route via Brunei to Shanghai from Perth is direct and the fastest, so if time is a consideration RBA is worth looking at.

— Chris Hurd
chris@impactpub.com.au

1 comments:

" JNuno ® " August 4, 2007 at 9:10 PM  

Beautiful blog, my blog is about photos

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