CX LHR-HKG-LHR Old/new Y Class A343/744(many Pics)
22886 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 399 posts, RR: 0 Posted Tue Jul 29 2008 15:21:33 UTC (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 19971 times:
After doing stage 1 of the selection process for Cathay Pacific's cadet pilot programme back in April, I had successfully passed and was invited back to do stage 2 consisting of several tests, group exercises and panel interview, and if able to get past stage 2, on to stage 3 for an interview with senior management pilots.
As I had my final year of my university course still to complete, I deferred stage 2 until after university was finished.
I had booked my flights to Hong Kong this time flying Cathay Pacific, the airline I'm hoping to be working for soon. The return fare was £540.
Outbound flight: LHR- HKG
Date: 19 June 2008
Airline: Cathay Pacific
Route: LHR- HKG
Flight No.: CX256
Seat/Class: 57A Economy
Scheduled: 20:20 - 15:40 +1
Actual: 20:25 - 15:23
Flight time: 11:29
Block time: 11:58
View Large View Medium Photo © Ven Stephan
Checked in 48hrs before the flight online, and selected my seat at 57A.
Arrived at T3 for the bag drop at around 1800
CX check-in desks at T3
My boarding pass
After a quick walk around the shops I went around the terminal to see what planes were around.
ANA 777-300ER JA735A preparing to fly back to NRT as NH202
Air Canada 767-300ER C-FMWY departing for YYZ as AC859
Air India 767-300ER G-CEFG arriving from Mumbai as AI131
Jet Airways 777-300ER VT-JEK preparing to go back to BOM as 9W117
Virgin Atlantic A340-600 G-VYOU, will be flying VS400 to DXB later in the evening
Qatar Airways A340-600 A7- AGA preparing to go back to DOH as QR2
As I had started walking towards the gate before it had been announced on the FID I was the first to arrive
My plane at the gate; Cathay Pacific A340-300 B-HXJ
Boarding started at around 1930 for our 2020 departure.
The economy class cabin, look at the old fashioned seats
view from my seat at the gate
Another CX A340-300 B-HXM just arrived from Hong Kong as CX253
AA 777-200ER N799AN just landed from JFK as AA142 and taxiing to its gate
The flight was completely full and at 2025 we were pushing back and taxiied towards runway 27L for take-off
The line-up for departure
Lufthansa A320 D-AIPP behind us, just arrived from MUC as LH4764 and taxiing to its gate at T2
passing the maintenance area at LHR
and the poor 777 with its tail missing
turning onto 27L at 2043
video of the take-off
Over Windsor and Windsor Castle
Passing over STN
The IFE starts up around 15mins after take-off, IFE onboard the A343 is not AVOD
The IFE controller on the armrest. The headphones used a 6.3mm jack.
the sun is setting is we make our way East
Currently over northern Holland about 40 minutes into the flight, still around 11 more hours to go
A menu and an amenity kit was distributed containing socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, mints. Eyeshades had to be requested.
50 minutes into the flight peanuts, drinks and wet wipes were distributed
some window views of the sunset as we pass over Denmark
The Great Belt Bridge (Storebæltsforbindelsen), the world's third longest suspension bridge that links Nyborg with Korsør can just be seen in the bottom of the photo
the sun continues to set
Dinner was served about 1hr 50mins into the flight
This was the menu:
I chose the pork with mash, which was really nice. I especially liked the HK style mayo salad
After dinner, the FAs came through to ask for window shades to be closed.
Just an hour after the sun had sunk below the horizon it was coming back up again
After about 4 hours of uncomfortable sleep and about 7.5 hours into the flight we were now flying over Mongolia
Had a look to see if there was anything on the IFE to watch but all the movies were all playing half way through so I watched a few short programmes.
1.5 hours before landing a breakfast/lunch was served.
The menu consisted of:
- Fresh seasonal fruit
- Fruit yoghurt
- Bread roll
- Egg roll with mushrooms and tomato and potato wedges
- Seafood congee
I went for the egg roll, this was nice but the sauce was a bit rich, I ate it all up anyway
some cabin pics
Our current location
reaching the Pearl River delta
Over Zhuhai harbour
and over Macau
and finally Hong Kong
Turning onto final approach
Passing Kwai Chung, Tsing Yi and the Tsing Ma Bridge
Video of the landing
We touched down on runway 25R at HKG at 1516 local time after a flying time of 11.5 hours
Hong Kong Airlines 737-800 landing behind us
A very short taxi from the runway and we were at our gate; gate 68, one of the furthest gates from the main airport hall. On blocks was at 15:40 giving a total block time of 12 hours.
The business class cabin taken whilst getting off the plane
I managed to get a quick visit to the cockpit and got some quick tips for stage 2 from the second officer who was a recent CX cadet graduate.
B-HXJ at the gate
Cathay Pacific 747-400 B- HUI parked next to us at the gate
China Airlines A330-300
EVA Air 747-400 arriving from TPE
F ID for the transfer passengers
view of the ramp at HKG
On the way to baggage reclaim, taking the people mover
With the HK smart ID card, getting through immigration was just like getting out of a subway station with the addition of a thumb print scan. So quick and easy.
and into the baggage reclaim hall, my baggage for some reason was one of the last to come out after everyone else from the flight had already collected their luggage and left.
With my luggage I was out into the arrivals area and to the bus station to get a bus to my hotel.
My stage 2 at Cathay City was going to be on 25th June, so I had a week to prepare. On night of the 24th however Typhoon Fengshan had hit Hong Kong, and a Typhoon signal no. 8 had been hoisted until 11am the next morning. This meant my stage 2 had been cancelled and I later received a phone call to say that it had been rescheduled for the next day, the 26th.
Stage 2 was really tough and I didn't think I did well enough, but a few days after I received a call to say I had passed and would be attending stage 3, along with an ICAO English assessment and HK class 1 medical all on 10th July.
My stay in HK also included a trip to Guilin from Shenzhen by overnight train, flying from Guilin ( KWL) on Hainan Airlines 737-400 to Haikou (HAK) in Hainan and then flying from Sanya (SYX) also in Hainan back to Shenzhen on a China Southern MD-82. A trip report for that will be up shortly!
some pics form Hong Kong
taking the star ferry across to Tsim Sha Tsui
View of Hong Kong Island from TST
Dinner at a 'Dai Pai Dong'
HK trams, buses and taxis. note the Jet Airways ad on the bus
Damage after the Typhoon
Mango ice dessert
Looking down Nathan Road in TST from a bus
View of Shenzhen from my Grandfather's place in San Tin
A Hong Kong market
Ngong Ping 360 cable car, the view of the airport is amazing from this.
Return flight: HKG- LHR
Date: 14 July 2008
Airline: Cathay Pacific
Route: HKG- LHR
Flight No.: CX255
Seat/Class: 51K Economy
Scheduled: 00:35 - 06:20
Actual: 00:45 - 06:07
Flight time: 11:57
Block time: 12:22
View Large View Medium Photo © Florian Kondziela
After 3 weeks it was time to fly back to London again. Checking-in online the seat plan showed that it was going to be one of the new interiored 747s. I was looking forward to trying out the new economy seats with the sliding recline.
I arrived at HKG at 2130 and went to the queueless bag-drop at check-in area B.
the regular check-in desks were however really busy
and then passed quickly through immigration and airside, had a walk around the shops then walked around the airport.
Swiss A340-300 HB-JML flying LX139 to ZRH
Singapore Airlines 747-400 9V-SPO flying SQ002 to SFO
ANA 767-300ER JA606A in special Panda colours flying NH1276 charter to Tokyo Haneda
Escalators down to the people mover, see the Emirates FAs
Cathay Pacific 747-467 B-HKF flying CX261 to CDG, notice the purple mood lighting on in the first class cabin in the nose
Lufthansa A340-300 pushing back for LH731 to MUC
Cathay Pacific A330-300 B-LAC flying CX105 to Adelaide. Hopefully I will be on this flight soon!
Looking down the terminal
The FID with the rest of the night’s flights
Got to gate 3 for my flight to find it is B-HOY, previously in Asia's World City colour scheme but now back in normal Cathay colours.
Boarding began at around midnight for our 0035 departure
Onboard the 744 with the new cabin, boarding still in progress
First thing I did was try out the recline, although it is excellent in the way that the person in front no longer disturbs you by reclining, this new recline really didn't recline much or feel any more comfortable. The traditional recline is much better.
The seatback pocket which was located behind your legs on your own seat was also much less convenient. It was located there so as to create more legroom but how much legroom does a seat back pocket take up anyway? Only the safety card was located in the seat back.
The 9" PTV and controller however were really nice.
Here is a brochure of the new seat
The flight was around 90% full with a few seats here and there unoccupied.
Once all passengers had boarded the Captain announced that due to favourable winds we would be arriving at LHR too early and we would wait for another 15 minutes before pushing back.
Push back was at 00:45 and we took-off from runway 07R after a long taxi at 01:05. On the taxi to the runway I saw several Oasis 747s parked up, some of the Cathay a/c in maintenance and the new Hainan Airlines A340-600 (ex CX)
Video of the safety video and cabin
Menus were shortly distributed but there was no peanut/snack service, probably because of the late departure time. Amenity kits and headsets were already placed on seats before boarding.
15 minutes after takeoff the IFE started, this time it was AVOD which had a good selection.
The map however was still just the regular type that cycled through the different maps and info. The interactive type would have been nice, like on QR and VS.
some screen shots of the IFE:
Dinner was served 1 hour after take-off.
This was the menu:
I chose the fish. The main meal, potato salad and dessert were all a bit bland but still pretty nice.
Surprisingly CX had no Chinese tea, but only English tea and coffee. On Virgin Atlantic they had Chinese tea in a proper china tea pot.
Our current progress
The toilet, also looks new
After dinner I put on a movie but fell asleep part way though. When I woke up we were now almost 5 hours into the flight and the sun was rising.
Slept a bit more and we were now 8 hours into the flight and flying into Western Russia
Feeling a bit hungry and still some time to go before breakfast so I ordered a cup noodle.
after that I watched some programmes and played some games on the IFE
Outside it was light now
About 1hr45mins before landing breakfast was served
this consisted of:
- Mixed seasonal fruit
- Fruit yoghurt
- Croissant with fruit preserve and butter
- Omelette with veal sausage, hash brown potatoes, tomato with herbs and braised beans
- Stir-fried buttered noodles with shredded pork in oyster sauce served with chilli sauce
I went for the western choice; the omelette and sausage, pretty nice
the state of the toilet 11 hours into the flight
some cabin shots
video of the cabin
the IFE controller
We were now over Holland and about to cross the English Channel
and starting our descent half way across
soon we were in the holding pattern at Lambourne
22886 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 399 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted Tue Jul 29 2008 16:11:02 UTC (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 19853 times:
here's the last part continued...
From bottom to top Kings Cross, St Pancras Int. and Euston railway stations
After 2 circles we were heading towards LHR, banking right over the O2 Arena (Millennium Dome)
Video of the landing
Touch-down was at 06:02 after a flying time of 12 hours
After a short taxi to T3 gate 42 we were on blocks at 06:07 with a total block time of 12hrs 22mins.
View at the gate
Air Canada 767-300ER C-FCAB taxiing by after landing from Ottawa as AC888
Some photos of the seat
B-HOY seen from the airbridge
We were parked next to CX 744 B-HKE that flew CX251, arriving 1 hour before us.
some of the early arrivers at LHR; Qatar A332, AA 777s, still quite empty.
Air Canada 777-300ER C-FITU, just arrived from Toronto as AC856
Malaysian 747-400 9M-MPI from KUL as MH2
Gulf Air A332 A9C-KC from Bahrain as GF2
Last view of B-HOY
T3 arrivals that morning
Passed quickly though immigration and into the baggage reclaim hall, our luggage was on belt 9, just down from the escalators.
A beautiful morning at LHR
Overall the new CX economy seats are much better than those on the A343 in terms of newness, IFE and amenities. However I did not find the seat that comfortable and actually quite hard, the recline also didn't work well as it didn't really recline much! They did look nice though.
The A343 seats were a bit dated but are in the process of being installed with the new cabins.
Service on both of the flights was good, didn't find it great but not bad either, just nothing special.
That’s it for another trip to Hong Kong, hopefully I will be off again to do 2 weeks of flight grading in Adelaide for stage 4, the final stage!
I hope you've enjoyed the trip report and all the photos, please feel free to leave your comments.
Thanks for reading!
my other trip reports:
- British Airways 734 LGW-MLA-LGW C/Y (many Pics) May08
- Qatar Airways (Y) LHR-DOH-HKG A332 A346 (162 Pics) Apr08
- Virgin Atlantic LHR-PVG- LHR Economy (lots Of Pics) Feb08
- Air Canada 777-300ER YYZ- LHR Economy Aug07
- Antonov An-26 Ad-hoc Cargo Charter EMA-RNS-VGO-MPL Mar07
TR763 From Brazil, joined Mar 2001, 769 posts, RR: 15 Reply 8, posted Wed Jul 30 2008 13:19:40 UTC (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 18007 times:
What a great TR, congratulations!!
Quoting 22886 ( Thread starter): First thing I did was try out the recline, although it is excellent in the way that the person in front no longer disturbs you by reclining, this new recline really didn't recline much or feel any more comfortable. The traditional recline is much better
I thought these seats would be one of the most comfortable around, if not the most.
But it looks very modern and have a beautiful design. The IFE might be awesome.
I loved the pics! They gave us every detail of your flights.
Wow, CX looks so distant from my plans. Hopefully I´ll fly with them some day.
Once again, congratulations!