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Cathay Pacific First Class: HKG-BKK (w/pics)  
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3711 posts, RR: 28
Posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 26257 times:

Route: Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok Int. - Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi Int.
Airline: Cathay Pacific
Flight Number: CX713
Aircraft: Boeing 747-467
Registration: B-HUB
Seat: 02K (First Class)
Distance: 1049 miles
Duration: 2hrs 5mins



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Photo © Sneeze Lam
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Photo © Sam Chui



The day began pretty early, by choice more than anything. As our flight was at 8.55am we opted to stay near the airport in Tung Chung rather than in the city so it was only a short ride on the shuttle from our hotel to the drop off point at Terminal 1. Due to some construction it was a bit of a walk to Cathay's First Class check-in area and when we arrived we were rather outnumbered by staff! The area was quite modern and a bit different from normal, with agents all standing at podiums. A member of staff wheeled off our luggage attaching priority tags to them as he did and our flight information appeared on the screen beside us.

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First Class check-in for Cathay Pacific passengers

With boarding passes for 2A and 2K we headed for passport control and security. All over quickly with friendly (did you hear that TSA?  biggrin  ) agents. From security it was only about 100ft to the entrance of the First Class section of 'The Wing', one of two Cathay lounge complexes at Chek Lap Kok. We initially went to the dining room for some breakfast.

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Dim sum in 'The Wing'

I helped myself to some dim sum from the buffet before taking a seat overlooking the boarding gates below. Unusually the First and Business sections weren't too segregated and you could quite easily walk between the two, although when I returned from the Business side to get a magazine I was asked by a staff member if I was returning. The one slight giveaway was the bizarre sight of an Indian woman and child sleeping on the floor which thanks to cabanas in the First side wouldn't have been necessary!  Wink

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Around the First Class section of 'The Wing'

Our flight was departing from gate 65, just one gate from Cathay's other lounge complex, 'The Pier' so at 7.40am we walked down there. It was quite a distance with quite possibly several dozen moving walkways to assist.

The First Class section of The Pier was quite busy but we managed to grab a couch and I plugged my almost flat camera battery in for a charge. Despite the busy lounge a staff member came over and asked if we wanted anything to drink.

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'The Pier' First Class section

Our boarding pass noted to be at the gate no later than 8.30am so ten minutes before we took the short walk to the gate. Boarding was yet to begin but lines had formed both for First/Business and Economy. Just a couple of minutes later the flight began to board and we took the shortcut jetbridge down to door 1L. Once again we were escorted to our seats and offered drinks and magazines. Although I was reading a copy of BusinessWeek I'd lifted from the lounge I saw a copy of Top Gear nestling behind some of the others on the silver tray so snaffled it.

The aircraft was feeling rather warm and I joked with Kirstin that maybe it was the same 747 that had brought us from Heathrow to Hong Kong a few days before. Indeed the Australian captain came on the PA system to say the APU was unserviceable and apologies were passed on to those right at the back of the aircraft. I looked at my seat and saw a familiar scratch on the panelling ahead (I was also in 2K on the LHR-HKG flight) and thought maybe this is the same aircraft! I flicked through some of my pictures from the previous flight and they did indeed match!  biggrin  Consecutive flights, same aircraft, same seats. That doesn't happen too often for me!

Hot towels were handed out along with menus and we had some time to look over them while the cabin filled up. Only three other passengers joined us; a couple in 1A and 1K that were getting rather snaphappy and a guy in 3A who seemed keen to get some rest, leaving his sunglasses on for the whole flight.

At 9.20am the aircraft was powered down in order to rectify the APU situation and the crew bring round glasses of ice water to help refresh us. Nice touch  thumbsup 

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Pushing back from gate 65

At 9.45am we pushed back and made the taxi to runway 25L, with wheels up at 10am on the dot. Once again I had a decent view of the now sleeping Oasis fleet parked nose to nose away from the terminal.

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Departing from runway 25L

We climbed rather rapidly to our cruise altitude of 38,000ft and the meal service got under way rather quickly.

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Meal service on this short flight

The muffins on this flight were a great start to the meal service, nice and warm with melt in your mouth chocolate chips  Smile The dim sum was a nice follow up to what I'd had in the lounge...

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The view from 2K

I read some more Top Gear magazine to pass the time and also enjoyed the view out of the window as we passed over Hainan Island, the South China Sea and the Vietnamese coast as we closed in on Bangkok. I filled out the Thailand immigration forms which were passed out by someone in a red uniform. With only a few flights on Cathay Pacific under my belt I'm still trying to figure out which colours are more important. I think red was as she introduced herself and thanked us for flying Cathay Pacific today, nice to have some Emerald members onboard etc etc. She also spent quite a bit of time with the couple in 1A and 1K who were looking for some confirmation of an issue, I guessed it was either bags or a potential missed connection at BKK.

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Descending into BKK

As we descended and turned in a southerly direction we got to see Bangkok off in the distance, yep this new Suva-whotsit airport was quite a way out of the city! From where I was in 2K I could make out parts of the new airport through the windows of 1A and 2A as we touched down on 19R.

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BKK's new sprawling facility

This was another new airport for me, I'd flown into Don Muang a few times but not for a few years and this was a different kettle of fish. Cathay seemed to park quite a distance from immigration although us First and Business Class passengers were given a head start to immigration. 1A and 1K made a quick exit and were last seen boarding a Thai branded golf cart to heading to some other part of the airport.

A good five minutes or so on moving walkways and we were at the immigration point which had a scattering of passengers spread across the officers on duty so we beat the bags to immigration. Although in good CX fashion ours were amongst the first gaggle to come through.  Smile

It wasn't long before my first Bangkok ripoff on this trip.  biggrin  1100 Baht for the AOT airport 'limo' into the city which bearing in mind the distance entailed didn't seem too bad. Especially when the stand displayed a nice BMW 7 Series...although my confirmation after payment noted it was a Toyota Camry! I knew from previous trips that bartering was key to attaining any good or service in Thailand but was too naive to believe this extended to 'regulated' authorities too.  Wink

Verdict: Another good flight from Cathay Pacific, certainly beats a 2hr flight in Europe or North America, not only in terms of seating but also the product served and the manner in which it was done.

The disappointment for me was the lounges. I'd heard magnificent things about 'The Wing' and 'The Pier' but was left thinking it was a whole load of nothing. The Wing in particular, ok so it had a nice little seating area and some dining but which international First Class lounge worth its salt doesn't? I mean I walked into the Business Class section of The Wing and didn't even notice the difference!! The Pier was a little more in keeping with the decor of a First lounge but there was no 'X factor' (God, I hate that saying now!) that Cathay have in the air to distinguish themselves from the competition...


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13744 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 26254 times:

Very interesting.


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineGkyip From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 25968 times:

Great trip report as always! Keep it up!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
It was quite a distance with quite possibly several dozen moving walkways to assist.

Did you not consider taking the automated people mover (train)? It takes you from the main end of the terminal to the other end and is rather quick and convenient.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Consecutive flights, same aircraft, same seats. That doesn't happen too often for me!

I've had that before and it is a nice feeling. Incidentally, it is also nice when you have the same crew serving you on the same route!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
The disappointment for me was the lounges. I'd heard magnificent things about 'The Wing' and 'The Pier' but was left thinking it was a whole load of nothing.

Sorry to hear your disappointment. I've been in there a few times and it has always been a great sanctuary for me to slip away from the crowds and the openness of it appeals to me. Beats the terraces (or Galleries)!  duck 

Gary



The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 25893 times:



Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
1100 Baht for the AOT airport 'limo' into the city which bearing in mind the distance entailed didn't seem too bad. Especially when the stand displayed a nice BMW 7 Series...although my confirmation after payment noted it was a Toyota Camry! I knew from previous trips that bartering was key to attaining any good or service in Thailand but was too naive to believe this extended to 'regulated' authorities too.

tsk tsk tsk... I just got back from BKK last week and my trip report is not that far down from yours. I took a public cab into the city that cost 250 Baht. I have since stopped taking these so-called limo ever since it was 800 baht back at Don Muang. It is easy really, you walk up to the counter, and tell them where you want to go. Lady scribbles in Thai and hands the coupon to the taxi driver which is torn into half.

Your half of the coupon doubles up as a complaint feedback should you be dissatisfied and you tick one of the following boxes...

- Over charge
- Wrong destination
- Refuse the use of meter

And the return address is all printed out so all you have to do really is to buy a stamp. The drivers particulars are already written on the coupon so it seems that the authorities are intent to clamp down on errant drivers.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 25815 times:

Talking about The Pier and The Wing:

Quoting Gkyip (Reply 2):
I've been in there a few times and it has always been a great sanctuary for me to slip away from the crowds and the openness of it appeals to me. Beats the terraces (or Galleries)!

Hell yes! These are really the 2 best lounges in the world. I always look forward to spending time there. Great showers too.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3711 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 25582 times:



Quoting Gkyip (Reply 2):
Did you not consider taking the automated people mover (train)? It takes you from the main end of the terminal to the other end and is rather quick and convenient.

I may have done had I known it existed  Wink Thanks for enlightening me  Smile

Quoting Gkyip (Reply 2):
I've had that before and it is a nice feeling. Incidentally, it is also nice when you have the same crew serving you on the same route!

I've had similar crew members on completely different flights, that's a little bizarre.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 3):
I just got back from BKK last week and my trip report is not that far down from yours. I took a public cab into the city that cost 250 Baht.

Thanks for confirming I'd been ripped off!  biggrin  It is good to know the taxi problem is being cracked down on. I could have really done with one of those complaint forms on our trip back to the airport (see my BKK-SIN report).

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 4):
Hell yes! These are really the 2 best lounges in the world. I always look forward to spending time there. Great showers too.

Maybe I should have showered there and let that sway me...I was recently in the new Qantas First lounge at SYD. Now in my eyes that's the blueprint for how a First lounge should be. Superb!



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8549 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 25284 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another nice report and pix, thanks, do enjoy your travels.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Consecutive flights, same aircraft, same seats. That doesn't happen too often for me!

- I'd not be impressed, always like adding new registrations to the log.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineB-HXB From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 24963 times:

CX crew (by female uniforms)

Black jacket and blouse - Inflight service manager (in charge of the plane)
Purple jacket and blouse - Senior purser (in charge of a F or J cabin)
Red jacket and blouse - Flight purser (in charge of food, serves in F, J, Y)
Red jacket and white blouse - Flight attendant (most junior, serve in Y and J only)

Male you tell by the colour of their tie, though I have never been able to keep them straight in my head as I don't think they correspond exactly to what the female colours are (or maybe they do, and I just confuse myself by thinking that they don't! Big grin )

Glad to hear you had a good flight - yes The Wing is getting a little tired (though I always thought that was because of continuous use since 1998 fatigue on my part) - perhaps a refresh is about due to bring it up to par with new lounges like BA T5 and QF in SYD. Though ten years ago, having a F section restaurant was quite a new concept I believe...

Hope you got to try out the new seats!

[Edited 2008-06-22 21:19:54]

User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 24753 times:

As always, great pix and great TR!


Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
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