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Topic: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Henkybaby
Posted 2009-05-16 09:18:27 and read 17936 times.

.

MY DUNG



AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN on BA and CX

I have started on the second part of my RTW. Since I took a break in Hong Kong I had to fly back there first. When I flew back in January I decided to buy a WT+ ticket to try it out. It did not look that bad after all. All I can say is that I am spoiled to the bone. I hated WT+. By now I am used to sleeping on airplanes. Horizontally. How can you ever go back? So what to do? I had already flown the outbound so there was no way to upgrade the inbound...

In desperation I called the BAEC in the Netherlands and pleaded my case for an exception to the MFU rule. A regular upgrade would be over 2000 euro and that in all honesty is ridiculous. My conversation with the lady from the Executive Club lasted less than 3 minutes. No way that I could do a MFU once the outbound was flown so they just op-upped me instead! Free. Without so much as an argument. 5 weeks before the flight. Now that creates loyal customers I tell you. The gap between me and KLM is widening by the second.

That out of the way I could look forward to a pleasant trip to SGN via LHR and HKG.

AMS-LHR
14/5/09
BA441
A321
Seat 8A

I arrived at AMS a little late. Only time for a quick bite in the lounge and a peek at the massage parlor next to it. First a view of a shopping area.



The massage parlor. Only chairs though. Never saw anybody there ever.


Soon I had to get to the gate. I had only 5 minutes before the flight would be closing so I did not expect to find a long line. However, AMS never fails to amaze with the security checks at the gate. This time they were exceptionally slow and even managed to delay the flight by 20 minutes.

The line a 10 minutes to departure.


When managing my booking on ba.com the seats for this flight kept changing since the curtain moved further down the plane as the weeks progressed. As a BA Gold I can choose my seats in advance so I kept checking for row 8 to become available. Soon as it did I snagged 8A and the rest, as they say, is history. Nothing very exiting about the flight. Just wanted to show you the benefits of row 8 on a A321.

The business class cabin. Still better than KLM where they do not block the middle seat.


Row 8. Gotta love it.


Most surprisingly, the food was not half bad either. They served some kind of chicken thingy.


It was a short flight of about 45 minutes. We arrived at the B gates. My next flight was the BA31 to HKG and it did not show on the monitors for the B gates so I took the train to the main building. Once there I naturally found out that the flight left from the B gates. It was a nice 40 minutes spend running around. In some way I probably should have paid more attention somewhere but I am quite sure the flight was not on the monitors reminding you to stay in the B gates for flights etc...



Enfin, I had time to have a quick drink at the lounge. I like the lounge there.

LHR-HKG
14/5/09
BA31
B747
Seat 62K

I was the first one on the plane. I had secured my favorite seat: 62K

The upper deck


The flight left on time at 21:15. The crew was very friendly and joked around quite a bit with the pax and with each other. I like it when they are more relaxed and not so stiff. Champagne was soon served and I managed two glasses before leaving the gate. It was only a short taxi to the runway but a very long park before we entered it. Take off was smooth and soon we were at cruising altitude an dinner was started. I had the scallops and the lamb and I must say, I kinda liked it...

http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL359/11064950/22040403/364486870.jpg



I had another glass of wine to go with that and I started to feel sleepy. I just had time for desert. Some kind of cheesecake.

http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL359/11064950/22040403/364486881.jpg

Now I always sleep like a baby on an airplane so the flight more or less passed me by. Always a shame since I pay the big bucks for the J or F seat and sleep through most of the experience. The one time I tried WT+ I remembered how important being able to sleep is for me. At 1.98 meters I can't sleep in the back...

About an hour and a half for landing we were woken up for breakfast. BA always takes very long to prepare the cabin for landing. KLM is quicker and leaves you with more sleep. I prefer that.

I got off the plane and was through customs within 20 minutes. I stayed at the Novotel Citygate next to the airport. Excellent hotel and I enjoyed my stay. All refreshed for the quick sprint to SGN the following day.

HKG-SGN
16/5/09
CX765
A330
Seat 12A

I knew CX would fly this route with their regional business class and frankly I was happy. I hate their new sardinebone layout. The regional seats are much more comfortable for a short day flight.

I am traveling on a paper RTW ticket, so I could not check in online. Once at the airport I used the First class check in facilities and I must say that I like the way they work. Cordial, professional and very client focused. It took a little longer than expected, but after 15 minutes I was through customs and in the lounge. I chose the Wing this time. I was early so I enjoyed some lovely sushi and dim sum and watched a movie.

My flight left from gate 33 so I had to take the train to get to the other building. Everything at HKG is so perfectly organized that I was there 10 minutes early. Time to shoot some pictures of the plane.



The one (no, not the same one) that got me here
http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL359/11064950/22040403/364486896.jpg

The one that would get me out
http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL359/11064950/22040403/364486911.jpg

I left KLM for BA since the Flying Blue program was ruined and their hard product is no longer up to scratch. Still sometimes hard to see them at outstations.

My old and my new.




I found these wingtips rather cute together
http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL359/11064950/22040403/364486933.jpg

After 10 minutes we were called to board. The load was very, very light. Only 5 pax in J and 40% occupancy in Y. We were ready ahead of schedule.

Ready to go!


Here are some picture of CX regional business class.


http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL359/11064950/22040403/364486774.jpg



My seat for the 2 hour flight. Very comfortable.


It is a little Flintstones sometimes...


They do not have any PTVs or other entertainment, so luckily I brought my own, as usual.


The captain, an Aussie without a doubt, warned us that the flight might be bumpy due to several thunderstorms in the area. The flight was as smooth as a babies bottom but the weather did provide some nice views.





Flying into a thunderstorm


A few bumps with that last cloud but soon we were on final approach at SGN. Vietnam looked very pleasant from the air (if such a thing is possible).


The airport looked (and is) very modern. We taxied to an airbridge and I was through customs in less than 10 minutes.

Airport
http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL359/11064950/22040403/364487014.jpg

The ride to the hotel (Renaissance Riverside) was a different matter. I have never seen so many mopeds. I am used to a lot (India, Manila) but this is different. I like it. Less irrational than India and with all the friendliness of Manila. I think I am going to like it here.

Oh, and I have to explain the title. I could not stop laughing when I saw a restaurant from the taxi that was called "My Dung". I have to go eat there tomorrow. Big grin

I leave you with a picture from my room.


As always: thanks for reading and feedback is always appreciated!

Next TR will be on VN from SGN to REP.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: CityofAthens
Posted 2009-05-16 09:32:13 and read 17881 times.

Another great report, and I loved the photos of the cloud formations on the way to SGN , as well as the interior shots of Cathay's A330, an airline I have yet to fly. I must admit to enjoying watching storms and the associated lightning from the flightdeck or a window seat (preferably from above Big grin ). Is this your first time in Vietnam? What are your first impressions of the city? Good to read the BA flights and crew were good, now more than ever we need to ensure all our pax leave with good impressions.

If you think the crew are preparing the premium cabins too early then I would consider feeding this back to the airline.

All the best with the onward journey and keep us updated!

rgds

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Henkybaby
Posted 2009-05-16 09:42:27 and read 17827 times.

I just gave the crew a compliment using the ba.com/welldone site. I thought they did a great job and I think BA is doing a great job 'stealing' clients from other airlines with the 2-4-1 sales etc. Up to the crew to keep them addicted. In all fairness, it is the business class seat that does it for me. One of the best in the sky.

Yes, first time in Vietnam. Exploring will start tomorrow. Only here for 1 full day alas. Maybe next time.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Calvin99
Posted 2009-05-16 09:54:12 and read 17774 times.

nice report.. great pictures..!!

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
They do not have any PTVs or other entertainment, so luckily I brought my own, as usual.

FYI, all of CX's aircraft are equipped with PTV. For regional J product on A330-300, it is located in the armrest.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Henkybaby
Posted 2009-05-16 10:00:19 and read 17743 times.



Quoting Calvin99 (Reply 3):
FYI, all of CX's aircraft are equipped with PTV. For regional J product on A330-300, it is located in the armrest.

Come to think of it... that does explain why they were handing out headsets. Big grin I did not pay attention. I never use AVOD anyways. I just figured that because of the screen in front of the cabin... You learn something every day.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: B747forever
Posted 2009-05-16 15:05:56 and read 16933 times.

Nice TR

The pics are really good.

Seems you really enjoyed your flights on BA.

The leg room seat row 8 is impressive!



Thank you for sharing

B747forever

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Caleb1
Posted 2009-05-16 15:21:07 and read 16889 times.

Were there any meals served on the HKG-SGN portion of your trip?

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Pumaknight
Posted 2009-05-16 16:00:57 and read 16796 times.

Nice Trip Report..Thanks for posting.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Lima
Posted 2009-05-16 17:05:59 and read 16676 times.

Thanks a lot for the trip report. Great photos taken in Hong Kong at the tarmac!

Enjoy the rest of the trip.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Henkybaby
Posted 2009-05-16 17:51:44 and read 16565 times.



Quoting Caleb1 (Reply 6):

Were there any meals served on the HKG-SGN portion of your trip?

Yes, but I did not eat. I had already eaten in the lounge. It did smell nice.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Directorguy
Posted 2009-05-17 08:16:21 and read 15550 times.

Thanks for the TR-shame that KLM's hard product is doing badly. IIRC, the Flying Blue FFP is also being devalued. Small wonder *A and ow are gaining steam.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Semsem
Posted 2009-05-17 09:37:51 and read 15391 times.

Someone told me that Vietnam was their favourite country to visit in Asia. Would like to go one day. Thanks.

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2009-05-17 12:57:25 and read 15094 times.

Hi Henkybaby,

Nice report & pix, thanks for sharing.

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
AMS never fails to amaze with the security checks at the gate

- These always seem to be slow & the outsourced gate staff have poor communication skills.

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
the food was not half bad either. They served some kind of chicken thingy

- Had that yesterday, very nice.

62K is my second fav seat, pref 62A, though thats because I prefer the A side of the plane, no idea why!

We plan to go to Vietnam in December/January, any tips on places to visit/eat would be good.

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2009-05-18 02:05:36 and read 14658 times.

Great report and yes, BA is the better choice for us out of AMS. In Europe, I prefer LH too, which I'm more loyal to. But it's indeed a shame to see KL's service running far below it's competitors now.
Got their mailing about the 2 for 1 fares in J, but couldn't use their offer this time. Still we're looking for a good ticket to HKG in December, so hopefully they offer something good by then.

Regards,
Eric

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: MH017
Posted 2009-05-23 07:05:26 and read 13366 times.

Henk,

Great TR: I love your pictures and the way you add texts to them !!!

Have flown the HKG-SGN route on CX many times myself, so this brings back a lot of good memories (on CX).

Good to see you love Viet Nam as much as I do...will be back there end-of-July  Smile

Eric,

You might consider QR: they have some excellent fares (both in Y and J) ex UK to HKG !!!

Topic: RE: AMS-LHR-HKG-SGN On BA And CX In J (pics)
Username: EC001
Posted 2009-05-24 07:17:52 and read 12979 times.

Hello Henkybaby,

Really great trip report! The pictures you took are amazing!

I've never been to Asia yet, but I hope I will in a not so distant future!

I've never been seated on the upper deck of a 747, it has that feel of privacy that you don't get on the main deck (unless you're in First!),

cheers,

orian


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