Member since 24 Oct 2010
Total posts 1,003
Australian Business Traveller will be on the delivery flight of Singapore Airlines' first â indeed, the world's first â Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, so I thought it'd be good to share some of the details for those who're interested.
The delivery ceremony proper takes place at Boeing's Charleston, South Carolina facility (where the -10s are assembled) on the evening of March 26.
We depart CHS at 2300-ish (emphasis on the -ish, could be a bit after midnight on March 27, and flight number TBA) and will make a short 'tech stop' to refuel at Osaka (no time advised as yet).
After that, it's onwards to Singapore for the official welcome event at Changi's JetQuay VIP terminal on the morning of March 28, although the 787-10 will detour via T2 for passengers who wish to disembark at that stage rather than continue onto the welcome event.
As mentioned here, there will be a seperate invitation-only preview event for SQ's high-rating PPS Club members on the evening on March 28, which is also being held at JetQuay.
And if you think Charleston-Osaka-Singapore's a bit of a stretch, the flight to get there will be even longer: we'll be flying Sydney-Singapore, then Singapore to New York via Frankfurt (roll on, non-stop Singapore-New York flights!) and then from New York to Charleston.
Also, within reason, I'm happy to answer reasonable questions regarding this delivery flight and the general nature of a delivery flight / press trip.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 20 Mar 2012
Total posts 85
David, will you earn any Krisflyer miles on any of these legs?
Member since 30 Jun 2016
Total posts 11
When ABT are invited, is the entire journey covered by SQ - so they transport you on the outbound too? And do they accommodate you up the front for that journey as well if so?
Member since 19 Jan 2018
Total posts 41
When there is the opportunity for one of these trips, how do you and Chris decide who gets to go (acknowledging that in some cases, you may all be invited)?
Member since 24 Apr 2012
Total posts 1,118
As the editor, the final decision is David's. It can also can depend on who is available during the dates of a trip.
We never earn points or status credits on any airline trips – tickets are usually booked in the classes assigned for staff travel, award travel or marketing (prizes). As you can imagine, this makes it quite the challenge for us to hold status, happily I hit Lifetime Gold with Qantas back when I was a tech journalist (those trips did earn) but with a little planning I just get across the line to retain Platinum each year!
Air New Zealand - Airpoints
Member since 31 Oct 2016
Total posts 204
Now these are the key questions to be asking!
Media trips are 'end-to-end' so the airline is responsible for getting us there and back again (which can for instance also include a domestic leg, such as BNE-SYD if Chris if on a trip because he's based in Brisbane), and also providing accommodation on the ground. Accommodation is sometimes done in concert with a local tourism body when the trip involves travel writers who will be penning destination-based stories, other times – as is the case here – it's all on SQ's dime.
Originally Posted by MarkJohnSon
I always consider that invitations are extended to Australian Business Traveller as a publication, not to an individual per se – even if I am invited, it's as a rep of AusBT – and there's typically only one spot per publication on any trip. There are sometimes exceptions for larger publishing houses such as Fairfax and News, which may have multiple outlets (eg Fairfax has SMH/Age and AFR as seperate mastheads), but that's quite uncommon.
Once an invite is extended, I consider story value (we don't accept every trip offered) and other factors such as timing and who might be best suited for the assignment.
For example, Sid Raja is doing the Qantas Perth-London Boeing 787 inaugural because both Chris and myself have done Qantas Boeing 787 trips, so it's good to get a different perspective (it also clashes with the SQ trip, and this often comes into play as well – sometimes trips overlap so we need to juggle accordingly). I sometimes gravitate towards news-heavy trips with interviews and angles as I'm a bit of a news-hound, while any time there's a trip with lounges and seats to review I know that Chris is the most reliable go-to guy because he just aces that stuff.
Member since 13 Sep 2016
Total posts 10
David, I really applaud AusBT's effort at 'transparency' here, as well as sharing some of the inside story of these trips. Can I ask, do airlines ever set conditions on a trip such as saying how many stories they want, or what type of stories?
Airlines never dictate how many stories we write or what they should be on – or at least they know better than to do that to us! They know AusBT well enough to know how we work and that we put solid effort into covering events and providing content that's appropriate to our target audience.
Total posts 49
Do you ever get much free time on these trips, and what do you do, are there organized activities like city tours or do you hang out with the other media much? I know people think of a 'junket' as being pretty relaxed but I know that on my own business trips it's very full-on and I only get to relax on the flight!
Yes, the transparency is commendable. Will you ever offer similar transparency around arrangements with respect to another key part of AusBT, namely, credit cards?
Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer
Member since 31 Jan 2013
Total posts 38
How do they assign seats on these types of promotional flights? I assume there are more invited guests than premium class seats available.
Bob: it depends on the trip. More often than not it's a packed schedule, which can be a shame when you're in a fascinating new city or just a favourite one, so for some trips I try to add a day or even a weekend to the schedule and make it a 'mini-break'. This SQ Boeing 787-10 trip, for instance, seems to have no daytime downtime.
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Delivery flight of Singapore Airlines' first Boeing 787-10, March 26-28
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