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Steve Williams

Travel through Singapore to Lembeh?

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Hi folks,

We're thinking about heading to Lembeh from LAX next year and I'm confused about what happens to the luggage in Singapore. I understand that if you fly Singapore airlines the bags transfer automatically to Silk for travel onward to Lembeh. How does it work if you fly a different airline. Checking current rates Cathay Pacific is quite a bit less expensive. Is it a pain if you have to transfer bags in Singapore? Anybody done that recently?

 

Really appreciate any help,

Steve

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Check your luggage all the way through to Manado when you check in at LAX. I've done it on EVA, so Cathy Pacific should also work. We stayed at one of the transit hotels in the Singapore airport; nice, clean, quiet - highly recommend. IMHO, you do NOT want to pick up your luggage at SIN and have to check in for the next flight! When you leave Manado, check your luggage through to LAX...

 

BTW, we like EVA a lot. Done the LAX - Lembeh twice.

 

Oh, I forgot. One of our group decided to spend the night in Singapore (not at the transit hotel) on the way home. He was trying to check his baggage from Manado to SIN on Silk Air. Collecting his luggage and leaving the airport would constitute a break in his flight and Silk was only going to allow 20Kg baggage! The guy's a photographer, so you know how that goes. Instead of paying several hundred dollars for excess baggage, he opened his suitcase, grabbed what he needed for his overnight stay, checked the baggage through to LA and voila, no excess baggage charge.

 

Make sure you check the luggage claim tags and don't lose them.

Edited by jlyle

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Steve,

 

I too was concerned about this. We went to lembeh in April and flew to Singapore with delta. And the silk to manado. I first made sure that delta had an interline agreement with silk, and they did. When we checked in salt lake city, they asked for our itinerary for the SIN to MDC. And checked it all the way thru. Once we got to Singapore, we had to go to the transfer desk, which is in each terminal. You then give them the luggage tags and your itinerary, and they make sure your bags get on the plane, and check you in on the silk flight. The other airlines will work the same way, just make sure they have an interline agreement.

 

I was nervous about it working. But it worked fantastic. Singapore is a great airport. Don't get your bags, as they won't allow you to go to the transit hotel.

 

I also second the transit hotel. But book in advance as they can book up. They were awesome, would do it again in a heart beat.

Hope this helps.

 

Dustin

Edited by deeznutz78

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Steve, checking thru is the best,if like Dustin says, you ensure the bags are waiting to be transferred to the Silk flight @ SIN. The other issue taking CP is that you have to spend the night in SIN due to the scheduling change. I'm now transitioning to CP and find it's better to take CX881/883, stop in HKG, shower @ airport then have lunch with friends/shopping etc via the Airport Express train (30 mins to Central super on time!) then flying on to SIN @ 3ish on CX635, which arrives at 7ish in the evening in SIN, then you can spend the night eating well in SIN and jump on any flight the next morning.

As an alternative to the transit hotel, the Crowne Plaza in the airport itself is a great place. Rooms are great and if you take SQ, it's right @ T3 in SIN so you literally can hop into your room when you get off the plane. Another one is about 10-15 mins shuttle ride away, the Changi Village Hotel (formerly the Meridien) is a quaint change with a pool etc to unwind. Nothing fancy but beats staying in the airport. Decent food in Changi Village as well. There's no need to contend with traffic in hotels downtown.

One other alternative is the Grand Mercure Roxy, which is 15 mins taxi around the Katong area. Great area for local food and close enough to the airport yet avoid the rush hour nuttiness. I suggest you book a taxi with the hotel so you are assured transport to airport. Otherwise, great way to enjoy without getting too far away from the airport.

SQ37 is the best way to do it without any overnights etc.

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Thanks guys,

I didn't understand interline agreements. You learn something everyday. Thanks for all the details Drew, you saved me hours of research.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Oh, I forgot. If you have a few hours to kill in Signapore, sign up for the FREE city tour! It is, indeed, free. You'll see the kiosk in the airport. Highly recommended.

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Thanks Jim,

We're thinking about spending a few days in Singapore on the way home.

 

Steve

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Last time through, had a bit of a hassle from Singapore/Silkair, but as soon as they saw my ticket from Canada, I did not get charged overweight baggage fees. I was on FF points via Air Canada and United to Singapore, then of course on Silk Air. I could not check my bags through to Manado. Stayed at the Crowne Plaza, one of my fav overnight hotels. Changi Village's rooms are definitely by the same designer or a copycat. The only hassle there is the free shuttle to Changi; in the morning, it can be a bit stressful if it is late arriving if you have an early morning flight.

It is worth spending a few days in Singapore; there are great online deals on hotels if you book early. We stayed at The Royal Plaza on Scott's. Not the top of the heap, but the place was really nice, included breakfast, and the location was terrific.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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Steve

Yes, interline baggage is more complicated now. Many carriers want to stay within one tix for whatever reason. Usually you can have the rare and friendly travel agent check for interline baggage on their system. I know you can use CP to MI without issue, but some airlines like UA's SHARES make it difficult that staff won't do it out of saving themselves headache.

If you are spending a few days in SG, then I suggest you stay more centrally in town. Just remember a few taxis numbers or even use the SMS text booking system a few companies have, which are very useful during rush hour.

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It is worth spending a few days in Singapore; there are great online deals on hotels if you book early. We stayed at The Royal Plaza on Scott's.

 

Thanks Marli,

We'll check it out. Any "must do" spots in Singapore you'd recommend?

 

 

I know you can use CP to MI without issue, but some airlines like UA's SHARES make it difficult that staff won't do it out of saving themselves headache.

 

Great to know Drew. Thanks again for the help.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Singapore is just a great city for walking. Walk aroiund the marina district and go to the top of the hotel that is built to look like a ship. Shopping is drop dead decadent if that is your thing (but for cameras and not really better deals than in U.S. although things might have changed since we were there).. Downtown has great modern architecture. There are a whole slew of good restaurants along the river. Little India has wonderful and colorfull street markets. Chinatown is good for a whole day! Especially check out the Buddhist temple, they are very open to visitors even when worship is going on.

 

We stayed 2 nites on our way back from Bali a year ago so only had one full day in the City. Could have spent two or three more days but our travel was pre-booked. Singapore is spotlessly clean, the people are very friendly, and English is widely spoken. Public transit is great. If we go back to the Indo-Pacific area and connect through Singapore again, we definietly will add two days in the city.

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I agree with you that people of Singapore are friendly and the most attractive thing is the transport of Singapore. I like it very much. I really enjoyed my last trip at there. Such a nice place to visit.

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Although I tend to avoid the usual touristy stuff, after twenty five years of traveling through Singapore, I went to the Night Zoo. Aside from the flame throwing "tribespeople", it was quite interesting if you have an evening to kill before a morning flight. Tang's for shopping. Night markets for eats. Bypass Sentosa. The river cruises can be quite nice at night as well. You don't have to go for the fancy ones with dinners and drinks, and the view is the same. Also booking tours in North America via Isango is cheaper than booking once there. They were efficient and reasonable.

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Thanks Marli! Tour outfit sounds like a good idea. The better half is digging the shopping idea. I'm planning to find the best dim sum place and camp there for three days. :-)

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Must Do:

 

For top street food, go to "Hawkers Market.

Chili mud crab is the dish!.

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Glad you told me, not sure I would have started off with the mud crabs. unsure.png

 

Thanks!

Steve

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I wish that the people that designed America's airports went to Changi Airport and used it as an example, especially for us transit passengers.

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Thanks John, I'm looking forward to checking it out. We have a 6 hour layover there on the way in so I should have plenty of time.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Changi has wonderful gardens to sit and relax in during your layover

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It really doesn't get much better than Singapore and Changi......you get what you pay for as it is expensive.

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I lived in SGP for a while some years back!

 

6 hours. Then it you have time, but not that much! I suppose that it depeds on the time of the day.

The typical touristy thing to do is to go to Raffles Hotel and have a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar.

For us it would be enough time to go to East Coast Seafood Center and get some Chilli Crab.

East Coast Seafood Center is close to the Airport and very easy with Taxis.

I am not sure if that Pool & Poolbar on the roof of one of the Terminal ( inside the Airport) is still there!

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Thanks folks,

Let me provide a little more info. We have 6 hours going to Manado but four days in Singapore on the way home.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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6 hrs? I thought the MI flight was @ 0930? Is there a flight on CX that arrives at 3ish am? I thought the latest (or earliest) was CX659 and that lands @ 0530?

 

Anyways, with 6 hrs, I'd just crash @ the hotel and get ready for Lembeh. It'd be late night time in SG and the only places open are the local eateries that are open all night. If you can't sleep, I'd head over to get a massage at those spas which open till 3 or 4am. My routine after a long plane ride is a run/exercise, then a massage, then sleep. The SIN-MDC flight is too short to really sleep well, and the car ride to Bitung I just sleep out of self-defense. Grab a coconut drink on the way to Bitung.

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Hey Drew,

We ended up booking the flights through Singapore Air and Silk. SQ flight 11 through Toyko then on to Manado on Flt 5274. Leaves LAX at 15:45 and gets into SIN at 2:55 then a 6 1/2 hour layover to catch the SIN to Manado flt at 9:25 arriving in Manado at 13:05. 30 hours and 20 minutes door to door, The best option is as you said Flight 37 which is all business class and goes direct LAX to SIN. Too steep for me..

 

I had trouble figuring out how to book the 3 day layover in Singapore on line so got some huge help from Sarah at Ultimate Dive and Travel. Great operation if anyone needs travel agency support.

 

Flight tip for the week; When flying coach on the A380 you might want to consider choosing seats on the upper deck where you can have two seats together and avoid the 300 lb Sumo wrestler sitting between you and your wife for the long flight.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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I'll give a +1 for the zoo. Also, the National Museum is good if you have time to kill and want to learn about the history of Singapore . . .

 

Mike

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