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Cathay Pacific: First Class On The Legacy Milk-Run  
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Don’t always get what you wish for; you might get nothing at all. Just remember, in every light a little rain must fall. There ain’t no time like the present; there’s lots of fish in the sea. You’ve got to climb every mountain; you got to work to succeed. Just keep your nose to the grindstone; just keep your hands on the wheel. You got to live for the moment, cuz right now’s the only thing that’s real…(Simone Denny – Cliché)


This is the perfect time to stop in your tracks for a brief moment and reflect on the previous year that just ended. For me, it was filled with activity, both good and bad. From a promotion at work, to having the chance to fly at my heart’s desire, especially the A380, I was surely experiencing the high life of things. I was also lucky enough to meet several of a.net’s greatest members, and befriend many more all over the world, so what more can one ask for really. On the negative side though, there also were some hiccups along the way that I deemed myself to blame for. But, such things are far beyond the scope of this website, and it’s best to just focus on the positive side in order to move forward; at least for me.

Who knows what 2009 will bring, so all I can do is be grateful for what I learned and experienced in the previous year. Not all times are good and most certainly not our current. A recession is in full force now, and the silence is simply deafening. At least I still have my job, and hope that all of us here will still remain so. After all, we need to keep flying!

I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and hope that 2009 will be a great one for all!


Welcome to my 12th Trip Report,

This TR will cover the following flight on Cathay Pacific in First Class:

  • - DXB-BOM-BKK-HKG: B747-400


My previous Trip Reports can be found here:

Inspirations On A Narrowbody: Etihad To Amman (by Ronerone Nov 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Boleh!: On The Malaysian Airline System (by Ronerone Oct 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways (by Ronerone Sep 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)


This is the first TR of a series of three, on my trips to Hong Kong and Bangkok. Christmas time was approaching, and I decided to take a long break from work. The plan was to spend Christmas with my family here in the UAE, and then head out right after. Since 90% of my satisfaction is actually gained from the flights I take to and from the destination, Hong Kong was selected so that I could visit a friend and for taking the two-stop CX milk-run to get there. So in terms of flight researching, not much effort was required; it was obvious.

For a long time, the 773 was used to operate the milk-run. Only recently when Cathay gained additional rights to India, they immediately exercised all their capacity and introduced their new product 747’s to India, Thailand, and also the UAE. A good friend of mine had always raved about Cathay’s senior crew and in-flight service in First Class, so this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try; and so I did.

The milk-run, CX750/1, has been operating out of Dubai since 1977. It was in fact the airline’s first commercial flight into the UAE, and until this day continues to fly from DXB to HKG, via both BOM and BKK. Several years back, this flight was also Cathay’s most profitable route, and had remained one of the airline’s top 10 most profitable routes for many more years after. How is it that such an unconventional two-stop flight to Hong Kong is a money maker today? Well it’s all about pure O&D between each of the two segment pairs. For example, CX experienced an average load factor of 90+% on this flight in 2007 between DXB and BOM only. Furthermore, only up to a maximum of 20 or so seats on this flight are allocated to selling HKG out of DXB, and even those, are primarily used for any spillage that occurs from the airline’s other flights at this station. Out of BOM, the one stop via BKK seemed to be attractive for the specific market the airline has attracted, as it either offers Bangkok as a stopover getaway for passengers traveling on their way to Hong Kong, or as a connecting point for those passengers carrying on to Singapore. Overall this flight is simply a jambalaya of routes, markets, traffic, competition strategies, and so on and so forth, all under one flight number.


Thursday December 25th 2008

At 1:40am I logged on to CX’s website to check-in online. The overall process was hassle-free and I managed to select my seat and print my boarding pass in only a few minutes.

Later during this day, I received a call from Cathay Pacific’s Dubai office at 7:30pm, enquiring about my departure to Hong Kong in a few hours.

“I noticed that you have checked in for flight 750 to Hong Kong in First Class”
“I would like to inform you that flight 738 is a nonstop flight that departs at 1am to Hong Kong, but arrives earlier than your flight, and I would be more than happy to change your booking to that flight”
“No that’s fine, I would like to remain on 750 please”
“Sir, are you aware that your flight stops in Mumbai and Bangkok?”
“Yes I am, and that is fine with me, thanks”

At around 8pm I bid my farewells to my family and caught a taxi to the airport. A quick 15 minute drive, and I was dropped off at the airport curbside, right next to Departures Area C, where CX’s check-in counters are located. I decided to have a quick smoke before entering the building.


Departures Area C



Crowded Curbside at DXB



At 8:25pm I proceeded inside the terminal building through security and arrived at the Cathay Pacific check-in desks.


Cathay’s Check-In Desks At DXB



I approached the check-in agent and handed her my documents. After briefly typing away at the computer, she suddenly frowned at the monitor with total confusion. She then quickly picked up the phone to call someone, presumably at the CX office.

“I have Mr. Hawi here, and there is a message on the system saying he was offered but refused to travel on 738 and wants to remain on 750”

After she was done speaking on the phone, I informed her that I wanted to try the new First Class Suite, even though it was a two-stop flight.

“Ah alright then, because no one travels to Hong Kong on this flight sir, that’s why”

By 8:40pm I was handed back my ticket and passport, and was given my boarding pass and lounge invitation. The agent wished me a pleasant flight, and I was then on my way to immigration and security, which weren’t a problem at all.


New Logo-Less Boarding Pass



Lounge Invitation



After security, I proceeded down the series of moving walkways, and by 9pm I had arrived at the Duty Free area of Terminal 1. It was then when I realized how much less congested the terminal was after the opening of T3. It was actually quite enjoyable now to travel through DXB. While there still were some passengers sleeping on the floors in some areas, the overall experience is much more pleasant now.


The Never-Ending Walk To Terminal 1


Traces of United Airlines at DXB



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

After walking around for a while, I headed towards the DCA First Class Lounge. By 9:25pm I was at the reception, where I was casually greeted by the agent, who welcomed me inside. The lounge itself was small, and nothing special, however it offered the basics.


DCA First Class Lounge At DXB


FIDS Screen Inside The Lounge


Seating Area


Buffet Spread








I decided to help myself to some food from the buffet. Several selections were on offer, and I tried some of the Chicken Tagine, Chicken Salad, and the Vegetable Curry. The salad was a bit too salty for me, however the rest was good. The Vegetable Curry was especially tasty, as it was very spicy.

My Plate



After my meal, I hopped over to one of the Internet stations inside the lounge, and checked and responded to some emails. At 10pm sharp, I received a text message on my phone from Cathay Pacific advising me that my flight was departing on time, and in addition, the message included some weather information for both BOM and BKK. I thought that was a really nice touch.


CX SMS



I finished off with my emails and decided to leave the lounge and head to Gate 107, only to find that the gate hadn’t opened yet, and the FIDS stated that the gate would open one hour before departure. So I thought I’d walk around the terminal for a little while.


Gate Hasn’t Opened Yet


Random Views In The Terminal




Traces of LX To MCT





At 10:45pm I returned to the gate and found the DNATA agents setting up for operation. Some were logging in to the system, while others were arranging the barricades. As this was happening, some passengers decided to flock towards the podium to form a line in preparation to go inside the holding area. I joined the crowd, and took my turn at the queue.


Lining Up At Gate 107



At exactly 10:55pm, one hour before scheduled departure time, the agents began to let everyone in. At the same time, I noticed a massive CX tail from a distance slowly pulling into the gate, as CX 751 from HKG, BKK, and BOM.

At the podium, the agents were placing everyone’s boarding passes in either of two colored pouches. Some passengers got orange pouches, while others got yellow ones. Almost-extinct Hong Kong-bound passengers on CX750 like myself get no pouch, and your boarding pass will do just fine on its own. This presumably is to help with an organized boarding process.

At my turn, I handed my boarding pass to the agent, who scanned it, and tore off his portion to hand me back my stub. I was then let through, and at 11:00pm I was inside the holding area.


B-HOP Getting Ready To Turn Around For An Eastbound Milk-Run



The gate area was still quite empty when I walked in, however it gradually filled up with passengers as time went by, to the point that it got jam packed. As more passengers arrived, I noticed quite an interesting traffic mix traveling with me on the flight. Almost everyone was heading to Mumbai, and they all seemed quite well-off. There is a large rich Indian community in Dubai, and they are known to be highly influential, extremely successful, and absolutely loaded with money; and Cathay Pacific seems to be their choice of airline. The rest was a small group of Filipinos traveling to MNL, who were the victims of an overbooked flight CX738; and of course, there was me, an obsessed geek traveling for the sake of getting on a two-stop flight.

Holding Area






As I waited by the gate, I noticed three CX crew appear out of the aerobridge with their purses. Since they had no luggage with them, I assumed they were only going to the Duty Free. I thought that there would have been a crew change at DXB, but perhaps it happens in BOM instead. Pilots on the other hand, seem to have a different rotation as a new set of flight crew were waiting by the gate to board the aircraft.

At 11:10pm the pilots boarded the aircraft, and eventually at 11:40pm a boarding announcement was made. Premium passengers, in addition to those that required assistance were asked to board first. This was to be followed by Economy class, who were called according to their colored pouches.

I pushed my way through the crowd, and went down the aerobridge. I made a left through the first aerobridge allocated for premium passengers and eventually arrived at Door 1L, where I was greeted by Senior Purser, Anthea , from Hong Kong.

“Mr. Hawi, welcome on board. Please follow me, I take you to your seat”

By 11:45pm, I was on board.


CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Flight Information

Airline: Cathay Pacific
Flight No.: CX750
Routing: Dubai – Hong Kong
Scheduled Departure Time: 11:45 PM
Actual Departure Time 12:25 AM+1 (Pushback)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 3:35 PM +1
Actual Arrival Time: 3:50 PM +1 (Touchdown)
Equipment: Boeing 747-400
Registration: B-HOP
Remarks: This flight stops in Mumbai and Bangkok


We proceeded through the galley, where two other crew were busy making their preparations. As I walked past them, they both stopped what they were doing and gave me a warm “Hi there, welcome on board!” as I continued to my seat; all the while as Anthea lead the way while casually conversing with me.

“Oh, you are traveling with us to Hong Kong tonight”
“Yes, I am”
“Long flight for you”
“But don’t worry, we will take good care of you until Bombay”
“And what happens after Bombay?”
“There will be a crew change at Bombay, and an even nicer set of crew will take over”
“So are you traveling to Hong Kong on Business?”

As I made my left turn into the First class cabin and arrived at my seat, I was surprised to see a cabin that looked like the following picture.

Old Style First Class Cabin



Unfortunately, a last minute equipment change was necessary that resulted in the deployment of one out of four remaining 744’s with the old product, to DXB tonight. I was a little disappointed at first, but for God’s sake, how many times do I get to sample Cathay’s First Class? Besides, the older generation product is still competitive in many ways. So I continued to enjoy the ride.


My Seat



As I got settled into my seat, I continued my friendly conversation with Anthea, as we exchanged topics dealing with my leisure trips to Hong Kong and Bangkok, where to go and what to do while in Hong Kong, and the length of her and her team members’ stay in Mumbai.

“Mr. Hawi, I would like to welcome you on board, and I hope you enjoy your flight was us tonight”
“May I offer you something to drink?”
“Thank you very much, may I have a glass of champagne please?”

As Anthea returned to the galley, I spotted one of the flight crew that I saw at the holding area, sitting across from me in the first row. Mr. Rob Koon, a pilot for Cathay Pacific Cargo, was re-positioning to Mumbai tonight, to catch his flight the next day. We had a very interesting conversation about CX, and it was from him that I learned that our aircraft is one out of four left to be retrofitted with the new product.

“So I assume you will be posting the pictures you took on airliners.net?” he said, as he saw me click away at my camera
“Actually, I will be writing a full Trip Report in the forum”
“Great, I’ll look out for it”

I returned to my seat to find that Anthea had placed my champagne glass by my seat.


My Champagne



Leg Space




As I sipped on my drink, Madhu, an Indian Cabin Crew approached me with my amenity kit.

“Mr. Hawi, welcome on board, my name is Madhu”


Amenity Kit


Cabin Shots







Madhu then returned with a hot towel.


Hot Towel



By that time, I had finished my champagne, and Anthea returned to my seat with the bottle to offer me seconds.

“No, thanks I think I’m alright” I said
“You should have some more, it’s very good champagne”

I just could not say no, but that’s only because everyone around me was being so friendly. I ended up having three glasses of champagne, and was feeling a little buzz-ish.

Properly settling down in my seat by this time, I found it to be quite wide, and perhaps slightly wider than Etihad’s Diamond seat. Most certainly the seat was far less flimsy than Etihad’s however. Leg space was typical First Class, but the IFE screen, while not really small per se, was actually puny for today’s standards. On the other hand, the cabin in general, though Cathay Pacific-spotless, was showing its age. Surprisingly though, the 747 itself was not at all. A.net discussions are now leaning towards the reality that the 747 is now almost a classic, and we all agree on this, but I still find it to be one of the most comfortable aircraft to fly on. Even more so, your everyday passenger will still prefer to fly the jumbo than any other aircraft. This is something that I find to be so unique to this aircraft, that I don’t think the A380 will have an effect at this degree on the passenger. Furthermore, this once again confirms the justification based around my opinion that Boeing aircraft age so much better than Airbus jets. Look at the interior of an A310 for example, and compare it with the interior of a 744.


Route Map



At around midnight, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and our British captain made an announcement to welcome us on board. He also advised us of our routing to for tonight, and that our flight time to Mumbai would be about 2 hours and 19 minutes. This was followed by cabin crew announcements in English, and also in Hindi; but not in Cantonese.

By 12:05am the doors closed, but ten minutes later the captain made another announcement to inform us of a slight delay because one passenger did not show up at the flight and his/her bags had to be offloaded.

Anthea reappeared by my seat, smiling as always.

“Mr. Hawi, this your menu and wine list for tonight”

The conversation continued, as Anthea proceeded to ask me about my work, where I live, and so on and so forth. We carried on talking about everyday things for another few moments before she headed back to the galley for takeoff preps.

“I will give you some time to go through the menu Mr. Hawi, and I will return after takeoff to take your order”
“If you need anything, please let any of us know, and we will be glad to help”


Menu











Wine List




CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Pushback finally occurred at 12:25am, and after all four engines powered on, we began our very long taxi to the runway. We held short at some point, for quite a long while, and eventually at around 1am, the captain made another announcement to inform us of the significantly reduced visibility outside due to the dense fog that started to form. As such, we had to taxi all the way back to runway 12L, which I assumed was CAT 3B equipped. We eventually arrived at Runway 12L, and at 1:15am, we finally took off.

As we quietly reached cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was switched off, and the cabin crew was released to prepare for the service. Shortly afterwards, Anthea approached my seat.

“Mr. Hawi, would you like anything to drink?”
“Bloody Mary please”
“Sure. And what can I get you to eat?”
“I’ll have the vegetarian option please?”

Within moments, my table was set, and my starter and drink promptly placed on my table. The prawn and sabsousek starter was fantastic and it went so well with the mint chutney.


Starter





Once finished, my plate was collected, and my table set with additional silverware, salt & pepper shakers, butter, and a bread basket. Shortly afterwards, Madhu brought my salad.

“Mr. Hawi, would you like another Bloody Mary? Or maybe something else to drink?
“Ill have another Bloody Mary please”


Salad





Anthea noticed that I was take pictures left and right and then offered to take my picture, with my table set.


Me!



The salad was fresh and crisp, and nothing to complain about there. As soon as I finished my plate was promptly cleared and Anthea replaced it with my main course. She then started to fiddle with my tableware in her attempts to fix all items on my table and ensure everything was in order.

“So you can take good picture” she said, then laughed.

While I dived into my culinary experience, with all my normal health-conscious rules out the window for the duration of this flight, I powered on my IFE to find something to play for ‘background’ entertainment. I wasn’t in the mood to properly look for something, so in the end I resorted to monitoring the moving map.


IFE interface



Minutes later, Adeline from Hong Kong, our Inflight Services Manager for this sector made her rounds in the First cabin to welcome us on board; of course, in pure Cathay Pacific fashion.

“Mr. Hawi. So nice to meet you today, my name is Adeline and I am the Inflight Services Manager”
“Hi Adeline!”
“So I see that you are flying with us to Hong Kong”
“Yes I am”
“Excellent. I hope that you will enjoy the flight with us today. There will be a crew change in Bombay, but I assure you that another set of excellent crew will take over and ensure that your journey to Hong Kong will be smooth”
“Thank you very much”
“Please enjoy your meal, and if there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Anthea and her team are also here to look after you”

She then handed me my Hong Kong landing card, and a pen to keep, and carried on to the next passenger.

And so, the meal service continued.


Excellent Indian Vegetarian Main Course




Followed By A Cheese Plate




By that point I was so full that I couldn’t eat anymore. Madhu returned to collect my plate and offer me dessert.

“Mr. Hawi, do you care for some fruit and dessert?”
“No thank you, I am very full”
“You did not eat much! Perhaps I’ll get you something in a little while?”
“Let’s see, thank you!”
“Certainly sir, just let me know”

My table was cleared, and I was free to go and visit the lavatory, which was spotless.


Lavatory







After doing my duties in the lavatory, I hopped on over to the galley, and requested to take a picture of Anthea and Madhu, who instantly agreed, and struck a quick pose.


Anthea & Madhu



“Mr. Hawi, do you like chocolates?”
“Like? I think I love chocolates!”
“Oh, then you have to have to try our pralines”
“Actually, take the whole pack, you will love them!”

Taking an entire pack of pralines back to my seat, Anthea escorted me back and once again offered to take my picture.

“I take your picture with the pralines”


Pralines




Me Again!



Service Concluded With A Hot Towel Service



At around 4:30am Mumbai local time, our captain made an announcement to inform us that we had started our initial descent towards Mumbai, with an expected time of arrival at around 5am. Shortly afterwards, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and the cabin crew made their final preparations for landing.

At exactly 5am sharp, Mumbai local time, B-HOP made her first stop at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, bringing an end to a flight for many, and only a third of one for me. As we slowed down and exited the runway in our taxi to the gate, we were informed that all passengers continuing to Bangkok and Hong Kong were required to remain on board for security reasons.

Shortly afterwards, we docked at the gate, in between a couple of Air India birds. As the engines powered off, the seatbelt signs were switched off, and passengers got up to gather their belongings, in preparation to exit the aircraft. Doors were eventually opened, and passengers were released into Mumbai.

An AI 77W Parked Next To Us


CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The Transit Stop At BOM

F Cabin After BOM Pax Disembarked




Final Picture Before Crew Change


I thanked the crew for their outstanding efforts, and bid my farewells to them before they exited the aircraft. They also wished me a “Have a good flight to Hong Kong Mr. Hawi, and enjoy your stay there!” Shortly afterwards, the cleaners boarded the aircraft and assumed their duties alongside a new set of crew that gradually joined in. As for me, I got up and explored the action inside the aircraft.

Cleaners In The F Cabin




Catering




Business Class




Stairway Leading To The Upper Deck J Cabin







Heading Downstairs



Economy Class Cabin










VT-ESN


VT-ESM



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

BOM-BKK

A new set of crew had already joined and as the new passengers from Mumbai continued to board, Senior Purser Monica from Hong Kong, came over to introduce herself.

“Good morning Mr. Hawi, my name is Monica. How are you doing today?
“Very well thanks”
“I hope you got some rest during your flight from Dubai”
“Not really, but I was taken good care of!”
“That’s great. We will be traveling with you all the way to Hong Kong this morning”
“Can I offer you something to drink?”
“A glass of water please”

Four new passengers joined me in F from Mumbai. All four were filthy rich beyond reason. I later found out from the crew that one of these passengers happened to be a Bollywood actress traveling to LAX.

Shortly after, Almond from Hong Kong, appeared by my seat with a bottle of Evian and a glass.

My Water




Menus, wine lists, and amenity kits were handed out, and I received another set of each.


Menu








At 6am the seatbelt sign was switched on, and ten minutes later our captain made an announcement to welcome all newly-joining passengers on board. He also advised us of our routing for this flight, and that our flight time to Bangkok was 3 hours and 27 minutes.


Hot Towels Were Served Shortly Afterwards




We pushed back at 6:20am, and after about a twenty minute taxi to the runway, B-HOP continued her milk-run to the next stop; Bangkok. The moment we started to climb, it started getting lighter outside.

As we reached cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was switched off, and the crew got up to prepare for another service. Having eaten a huge Christmas lunch the previous day, and having also eaten on the previous sector from Dubai, I was feeling quite full. But that did not stop me from browsing through the menu, and selecting my predictable choice; The Indian vegetarian option of course.

As the crew was setting up by the galley, Almond came around to take everyone’s meal orders.

“Mr. Hawi, care for any breakfast?”
“Yes please, I’ll take the vegetarian option”
“Any coffee or tea?”
“Tea please”
“Can I also get you some fruit? Or maybe some yoghurt and cereal?”
“I’ll just have the fruit please”
“Are you sure? You should eat well, long flight for you!”
“I’m fine thanks, fruit will be great”
“Certainly, it will take me about 15 minutes to prepare it for you, is that ok?”
“Sure”

I fell asleep by then, but when my meal was ready to be served, Almond had gently woken me up.

“Mr. Hawi, you must be so tired”
“Please have something to eat before you sleep”

Monica and Almond both set my table together, including the tea, fruit, and muffins.


Starter


Followed By The Main Course



The entire meal was great, especially the main course, as it was bursting with flavor beyond what my senses could handle. Naturally, an Indian vegetarian meal catered in Mumbai seems to be a guaranteed delight.


View Outside


Once my table was cleared after I was through, I was feeling very sleepy. I turned my seat into a semi-recline mode and dosed off for the rest of the flight.

At around 11am Bangkok local time, our captain made an announcement to inform us that we had started out initial descent towards ‘Su-wa-na-poom’ International Airport. By then, I had woken up, and gotten ready for the arrival.

The seatbelt sign was switched on, and the cabin crew made their final preparations before landing. At exactly 11:30am, we touched down on Thai soil and were greeted by Bangkok’s famous Suvarnabhumi, bringing an end to two-thirds of my journey.

Amelia, our ISM, made an announcement to advise all passengers continuing to Hong Kong, to remain on board for security reasons. Too bad as I thought that perhaps we would be let out into the terminal for a little while.


Spotting As We Taxied To The Gate

HS-TGL


HS-TJR


HS-TLC


HS-TGJ


Air Berlin, LTU, and Kuwait Airways


D-ALPH


5Y-KQY




OH-LGF


CS-TEI


B-HNH



After the scenic taxi, we docked right next to a company 773. The seatbelt sign was switched off, and all BKK-bound passengers got up to prepare for disembarkation. The doors were then opened, and everyone was released.


CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The Transit Stop At BKK

The cleaners boarded the aircraft, and I got up to stretch and explore. Others in the cabin were also out and about.

F Cabin During The Transit Stop At BKK


J Cabin During The Transit Stop At BKK


Y Cabin During The Transit Stop At BKK


Catering & Cleaning




Apparently, the Bangkok crew was not happy with my photo-taking, so they had requested from the crew that I refrain from taking their photos. I was nicely told to stop by Monica.

“Don’t worry Mr. Hawi, I will let you know once they leave, so you can resume taking pictures as you wish”

Shortly afterwards, Monica and Almond both came to have a chat with me for a few moments. They were indeed very entertaining, warm, and quite funny too. As Almond had to monitor her responsibilities, she kept going back into the galley to check on things, while Monica continued with our chat.

“All ok Mr. Hawi?”
“Yes, everything is great thank you”
“Three more hours to go for you!”
“Yes, I plan to sleep after takeoff”
“I promise to give you food quickly so you can sleep”
“Oh no no no no, I am very full, I ate way too much”
“But it’s lunch time!”

I mentioned to her that I wanted to call my mother to let her know everything is alright on my end, and Monica then said “Oh, say hello to Mother! Tell her everything is alright and that we are taking very good care of you!”

I then requested to take their pictures, and the three of them (including Smita from India) were more than happy to pose. They were just charming!

Monica, Me, and Smita




Almond, Monica, and Smita


Almond, Me, and Monica



“Mr. Hawi, can I get you anything to drink?” continued Monica
“No thank you, I am too full”
“But you did not eat anything. Must be three times! I feed you lah!”

At 12:15pm our captain made an announcement that the new passengers joining us at Bangkok were going to board the aircraft shortly.

CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

BKK-HKG

The seatbelt sign was switched on at 12:20pm, followed by another announcement by our captain welcoming all new passengers on board. He also advised us of the usual routing information, and that our flight time to Hong Kong was 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Almond conducted the hot towel service, while Monica handed me my third menu.

“Mr. Hawi, this is your menu for this flight. Have a look! I feed you!”

Doors were finally closed, and we pushed back at 12:35pm.


EP-MNB


Twenty minutes later, at around 12:50pm, B-HOP took off and continued on her last portion of the journey to Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, I was extremely tired at this stage, and passed out on food and service. Instead, I slept for the rest of the flight all the way until right before we landed.

At 3:25pm Hong Kong local time, the captain made an announcement to inform us that we had begun our descent towards Hong Kong International Airport. Shortly after, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and the cabin crew made their final preps for landing. While Almond was conducting the final landing check, she stopped by my seat for a quick chat.

“Mr. Hawi, it looks like you slept well”
“Yes I definitely did thanks”
“So now you can do some sightseeing”
“Enjoy your stay in Hong Kong, and happy new year”
“Thanks. Same to you”


Arrival Information





At 3:50pm, we touched down at HKG, bring this great milk-run to an end. I felt a little sad somehow, but for us a.netters, that’s considered normal, if not expected.

Welcome To Cathay’s Kingdom


Company B-HNG Spotted As We Taxied To The Gate


After a short taxi, we arrived at our gate, stopped, and the engines eventually powered off. The seatbelt sign was switched off, and we all got up to gather our belongings. Once the doors opened, I proceeded to Door 1L, thanked the crew for their exceptional efforts, and left the aircraft to arrive at HKIA.

This brings an end to this Trip Report. The final conclusion will be presented on my third installment after I document the return journey back to Dubai. My apologies for the delay in posting this, as work, and other obligations have exercised all my capacity.

Next Installment
Kenya Airways: HKG-BKK-HKG

The reminder of this report will include select photos taken while in Hong Kong, including my first ever true spotting experience.

You are invited to view my flickr page for all the pictures:

Hong Kong:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/sets/72157612650775506/

HKG Spotting & SkyDeck:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/sets/72157612599328017/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/sets/72157612600207851/

Cathay Pacific Museum At Cathay City:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/sets/72157612599796353/


CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

HKG Spotting

9M-MRB


B-6055


JA-8286


9V-SYG


G-VYOU



Hong Kong Select












Thank you all for reading my Trip Report. Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!


Regards,
Roni

THE END



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi there Roni!

Its great to see that you managed to complete this report - and what an amazing report it is. Excellent detail and some fantastic pictures. I always know that I will enjoy every TR you post and this TR just reaffirmed this belief.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Ah alright then, because no one travels to Hong Kong on this flight sir.

That is weird. Why does this route exist then? From the loads on the flights, do you think it is profitable?

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Lounge Invitation

Wow, I think Cathey can do a little better than that. It is just a plain white boarding pass.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
At 10pm sharp, I received a text message on my phone from Cathay Pacific advising me that my flight was departing on time, and in addition, the message included some weather information for both BOM and BKK. I thought that was a really nice touch.

Nice! I guess this set the tone for the standard of service you received for the remainder of the flight!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, a last minute equipment change was necessary that resulted in the deployment of one out of four remaining 744s with the old product, to DXB tonight. I was a little disappointed at first, but for God's sake, how many times do I get to sample Cathay's First Class?

Hmmm, that is a pity. Did you at least get the new First Class on your way back?

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
So I assume you will be posting the pictures you took on airliners.net he said, as he saw me click away at my camera

I had this a recent flight with SQ too. I guess more and more people are finding about Airliners.net.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
I ended up having three glasses of champagne, and was feeling a little buzz-ish.

Hehehe... Good for sleeping... Not so good for writing trip reports.  Smile

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 3):
Bloody Mary please

Hehehehe... The standard Roni drink!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Kenya Airways: HKG-BKK-HKG

Wow... That sounds really interesting! I cannot wait for the next installment.

As always, thank you for all your efforts. A truly excellent trip report! See you soon!

Globetraveller


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2487 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

You must have been greatly appreciated by the flight attendants.

Great trip report! It is a joy to read every single of them. I am sure I can learn a lot from you!



Friends forever
User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2981 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Roni,

Brilliant trip report of the " Milk Run", amazing! too good.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
I just could not say no, but that’s only because everyone around me was being so friendly. I ended up having three glasses of champagne, and was feeling a little buzz-ish.

A good start for the Cathay Service!!!

I used this service twice once it was a B747-200 and the other time a B777-300. packed to the brim always.

Your pictures were excellent, and good that you enjoyed the inflight service. Bad luck as you got the old product, but I hope it was the new one enroute to DXB.

looking forward for more!



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineYOW346 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

CX really seems to have an interest in their F passengers completely swallowing all food onboard.  Smile I love it.

User currently offlineELAL772 From Israel, joined Jun 2008, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Roni!
What a trip and what a TR!
Great pics of a great plane and what looks like truely old school style service.

One question though; doesn't CX offer a direct flight from DXB to Hong Kong, or perhaps wasn't there an easier way for you to get there as this seems like quite a journey! perhaps comfortable and pampering but loooooong.


User currently offlineSASDC8 From Norway, joined Mar 2006, 765 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks for a nice and very pictorial report  Smile Very good pictures  Smile

Sorry that you did not get to experience CX's new first class, but hey one really can't complain traveling First  Wink

CX's crews sure seem fabulous. Very attentive and polite.

How long was the flight in from DXB to HKG?

Cheers
Stein



2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6451 posts, RR: 38
Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Roni,

Happy New Year!

I've been waiting an absolute age for this to come out!! Mindblowing TR, thanks so much for it!

What more can I say? Brilliant service as expected. The guide through the entire plane during the stopovers was much appreciated!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
Amenity Kit

I hope it didn't contain any sharp objects!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
Actually, take the whole pack, you will love them

Wow! The entire pack of chocolates! That's superb!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 6):
I feed you lah!

Hahahahahaha excellent.


I definitely need to go back to HK! Also the extra photos of HK were great. Thanks again for sharing! Can't wait for the next in the series!


Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent report Roni! I really enjoyed reading it!

I didn't know that people celebrated X-mas in the UAE, isn't that a Muslim country. But since there is a big diversity of people there, it doesn't seem too unthinkable. Is X-mas celebrated by the Muslims too, or just by the non-muslims?

In Morocco, they tried to introduce X-mas, but it was a huge failure, but now days X-mas have become a materialistic holiday, where the companies are only thinking making big sums of money.

The lounge in DXB looked nice, the food offerings were great, but the seats didn't look that nice. The plates used in the lounge looked a whole lot similar to AF's F and J class plates.
They chicken Tagine looked tasty, but not as tasty as the real deal.

The crew on CX seemed great, I haven't read a report where the crew is so attentive, the crew uniforms on the other hand looked bad, IMO.

The seats looked rather decent, I'm not to keen on the colors though, but it's good that they are soon gone.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
As I made my left turn into the First class cabin and arrived at my seat, I was surprised to see a cabin that looked like the following picture.

If I were you, i would have ran out of the plane, up the jetway, pass security, all the way to the CX reservation center to try getting a refund Big grin

The food looked great, it seems like they have began using a new set of plates for F.
The starter salad looked very fresh, and the Main looked delicious. Though i didn't see the usual Caviar, they serve in CX F.
It was very generous of the crew to give you the entire pack of pralines, but the pack looked very cheap. I assume those weren't Godiva pralines.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Me!

Now that's the way to travel! I should really try it out some day, when i can afford it i.e.
Nice shirt, by the way!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Four new passengers joined me in F from Mumbai. All four were filthy rich beyond reason. I later found out from the crew that one of these passengers happened to be a Bollywood actress traveling to LAX.

Bollywood star making it to Hollywood, puh... Good luck with that  sarcastic 

The pics you took in HKG were superb!
I actually saw in Mark's EK A380 report, that you had some kind of DSLR Camera. What kind of camera do you use, and also what kind of lenses?

Thanks for posting Roni, and I'm looking forward to your next reports!

Regards
Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineMorcegoa330 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Roni.

Excellent TR as always!
i'm looking forward for the next one.

Cheers,

Ricardo



There's no place like around the world
User currently offlinePHLstudent From United States of America, joined May 2006, 498 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome report! How many hours were you on the plane for in total with the stopovers? Although it was undoubtedly a long time, there is nothing to complain about when your in Cathay first was some great FAs.

I am looking forward to the continuation and many more exciting reports in '09


User currently offlineElevate From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fantastic report, Roni!!

I've always been a great admirer of your work, and your TR's never fail to disappoint!

From what i've read about CX, they're very similar to your reports. They offer a product which keeps you entertained, incredible detail, and put unimaginable thought into their work - long let it continue!


Sam
 

[Edited 2009-01-26 15:35:02]

[Edited 2009-01-26 15:36:13]

User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1108 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Amazing TR as usual, Roni!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Later during this day, I received a call from Cathay Pacific’s Dubai office at 7:30pm, enquiring about my departure to Hong Kong in a few hours.

That's great service. Were they offering to rebook you without charge? Very impressive IMO.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Cathay Pacific seems to be their choice of airline

It will be interesting too see if this holds up since AI recently deployed 77W's on their DXB-BOM route which has a superior product to EK and is competitive with CX's new configuration. AI also has extremely attractive prices. CX does have a much better reputation, however.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, a last minute equipment change was necessary that resulted in the deployment of one out of four remaining 744’s with the old product.

Equipment downgrades are my most dreaded fear lol. Thankfully, as you said, CX's old F Class is still a top-notch product.

Again, thanks for the great TR.


User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wonderful trip report. I've often wondered about this flight - I have seen it in the schedules and couldn't figure out why CX would operate such a random flight. Now I know! Look forward to the next installment.

User currently offlineHeartDoc From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Roni

Thanks again for a womderful TR. You truly keep the standard again! The old style seats sre nice but I was looking forward to the new ones as you led us to believe. What was your overall impression of the food vs the other major airlines you have flown in first class?

Look forward to many more TRs


User currently offlineCaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 368 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Your trip reports are perfect!!!! I don't know how you compile such consistently EXCELLENT reports, but they are a pleasure to read. Because of your reports, I am planning a trip to Singapore in April, and if I have the nerve, I will attempt to write my own TR. But as I said before, job well done!!! Thank you. Thank you.

User currently offlineVivekman2006 From India, joined May 2006, 542 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Brilliant Trip Report Roni!

Good to see a report on the famous CX milk run. While spotting at night at BOM, we see the CX 773 (now 744) and wonder how the milk run experience would be. Excellent crew and great meals too.Good job!

- Vivek


25 Abrelosojos : Roni, Your trip reports keep on getting better. This is absolutely excellent. I am impressed by Cathay's high standards ... you know, I have never tri
26 Post contains images Ryanair!!! : Ah... The master at work again I see! This is the TR that I have been waiting to read. Glad to finally see it posted. The wonders of a.net... I am rea
27 Carfield : Thanks for a fascinating trip report! Sorry to hear about the downgrade, especially the new First Class is very nice (compared to the poor new busines
28 LH423 : I believe what he meant was that no one flies the entire route from Dubai to Hong Kong since several non-stop and one-stop services exist that few pe
29 OA260 : Hey Roni, Fantastic Trip report. Love all the food. That was a really nice experience. Lots of great photos and the CX product looks really nice. Than
30 Airbus1 : Sadly 750/751 will stop operation - from March according to crew of CX750 a few days ago: From another site: Cathay 09 Summer change to Bangkok / Indi
31 LHR380 : I do not think I have seen such a well written TR in a good while. Great pictures, and looks like you got outstanding service from all the CX crew (Wh
32 PlaneHunter : Hi Roni, I had been waiting for this report - and it was excellent, just as expected. Reading your reports is always a pleasure. You know what you get
33 Ag92 : Great TR! Wow, didn't realize there was an option for passengers in Singapore to go to Bombay/Dubai via Bangkok and Bombay! Interesting, What's that s
34 PKflyer : Ah, the master at his work. A brilliant read Roni as expected. I had heard about the "Milk Run" in the UK but did not know what it was. You must have
35 Ronerone : Dear All, Thank you all for your great comments! Heya Globetraveller! Yeah tell me about it! Been so hectic here. And now i have a backlog of TR's to
36 Directorguy : Super TR ya Ronerone! You're a maestro at them....and it makes them a real pleasure to read. Your stuff is the type that can be read over and over aga
37 Ronerone : Shukran Directorguy! Regards, Roni
38 MAS777 : Always a good read Roni.. (am a bit pushed for time but will rtn to have a better read..) - so here's a little nudge up the forum ladder.. lol
39 SpeedBirdA380 : Fantastic trip report. Well written and with a huge amount of pictures. I give you 10/10 - I enjoyed every bit of it. I hope to be doing a trip report
40 Airpearl : Hey Roni, what a top class report! It looks like you had a great flight too, despite missing out on the 74A. I especially enjoyed this TR because it b
41 Ryanair!!! : .... because they are almost expired? When life gives you lemons, MAKE LEMONADE they say! They can also kill 2 birds with one stone by disposing near
42 Elite : Excellent trip report as usual, Roneron! I do have a question about CX's SMS service, though. Is it activated automatically for First Class passengers
43 BA319-131 : Hi Roni, Great report and pictures, thnks for sharing with us, looks like a great trip! - So funny! - I should hope so! Food, presentation & service l
44 The777Man : Excellent report as usual. Looking forward to the KQ report very much. The777Man
45 Ronerone : Heya MAS777! LOL. Thanks for stopping by my friend Thanks for reading SpeedBirdA380! Looking forward to your TR! Heyyy Airpearl! Good to hear from yo
46 SQ772 : Thanks Roni for another great report, and equally amazing photos to go with it. What camera did you use on this trip? Congratulations! How is Abu Dhab
47 Ronerone : Heya SQ772! Thanks for stopping by Apart from the ground events at DXB, i used my Canon 400D. Thanks a lot! This assumption is spot on! Apart from del
48 Levent : Another great trip report from your hand. Haha, he must have thought you were a complete loony wanting to stick to this flight... She should have aske
49 YOW346 : This would have gotten you secondary security screenings in the U.S. for sure.
50 Post contains links Elite : Ah, thank you. Great feature indeed. If I would have known this sooner it would have saved a lot of trouble in previous CX flights. Just going to pop
51 Ronerone : Thanks Levent! Glad you enjoyed. You should have seen the look on her face! Unforgettable! haha Oh yes. The good old 'SSSS' Regards, Roni
52 SQ772 : Hahah...nah, I don't have a proposal for DXB. Just wanted to find out more. Has there been any pressure from international players to open up to allo
53 EtihadAirways : Loves it … very interesting trip report seems like the Cathay’s crew are Amazing Hopefully I can try them in the near future. Well done Great TR.
54 Ronerone : I am not sure about DXB to be honest. I think they are happy with keeping DNATA as the sole ground handler. However, i can definitely say that many n
55 Aleksandar : Well Roni, what can I say that hasn't been said before here? I just enjoyed reading another great TR that you gave us and in some bonus photo albums.
56 SR 103 : Absolute master piece Roni, I really can't find the words to tell you how well written this is. Sorry about taking so long to reply, I am sure you kno
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