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Rare: HKG-BKK-HKG On Sri Lankan  
User currently offlineFlanders From Belgium, joined Oct 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 20184 times:

HKG-BKK-HKG on Sri Lankan

Winter is a terrible time to be in Belgium: it's cold, dark and wet. That's why I prefer to go elsewhere this time of the year. When I saw "Bangkok Dangerous" in the cinema, it was clear to me that this was the place I wanted to go next. It was january 3 when I booked the flights and I would travel about 4 weeks later. Sometimes you can find good deals when booking "last minute", sometimes you don't. The cheapest fare I could find for BRU to BKK was with AY for around 750 euro's. However, I found out BRU - HEL - HKG - LHR - BRU on AY / BA was only 520 euro's. I didn't hesitate and booked the ticket immediately. Then I continued searching for a cheap HKG-BKK-HKG ticket. Sri Lankan would do the job for 130 euro's and - certainly after experiencing 2 great flights - I think that is dirt cheap. Other interesting airlines like Ethiopian, Royal Jordanian and Emirates weren't that much more expensive but they depart quite late and arrive in BKK around midnight.

http://www.croket.be/tmp/ULHKGBKKHKGreservation.JPG
The electronic ticket as it was sent to my mailbox.

Flight 1: HKG - BKK

Airline: Sri Lankan
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Flight: UL 423
Registration: 4R-ALC
First Flight: 1999
Route: HKG - BKK
Seat: 24A (economy / window seat)
Date: january 31, 2009.
Departure time: 06.05 pm
Departure gate: 18
Arrival time: 07.55 pm
Arrival gate: unknown
LF: 80+ % in Y

Check-in at HKG

My luggage was still in transit as I arrived in HKG that morning on AY. I went to the check-in desk and showed them the luggage coupon. I booked the flight on www.srilankan.aero and paid online with my Mastercard. The check-in lady wanted to see the card and I had to sign a document that stated the card was mine. I guess they just want to protect themselves against fraud. But I thought this was weird as I was the only one who had to undergo this... I would think most tickets are booked and paid online these days, right?

Tax Refund at HKG

After check-in I had to search for the desk where I could reclaim the HKG airport tax. Passengers who arrive and depart the same day can reclaim the tax (120 HKD - 12 euro). The agent took some copies of my passport, ticket, etc, then stamped the ticket and I walked away with my 120 HKD. Took me 10 minutes, easy money! Thank you Lonely Planet for this information!

Immigration at HKG

Quite a long que but in the end it doesn't cost you that much time to get through. (BKK is another story!) I've the impression that the immigration officers are always very professional and I like the way they stamp your passport. In some countries they just stamp where they want to (middle, last page,... they don't give a shit) but in HKG they do it with so much precision. They have a look in your passport, check out where you have been in the past (as they are really intrigued by it) then look for some empty space and stamp it as it's a piece of art  

After immigration

I proceeded to gate 18.

http://www.croket.be/tmp/31012009ULHKGBKKgate.JPG
Plenty of space at gate 18 but no seating area! Weird!

Flight - Some quick facts:

* Meal service was excellent: schrimp salad (starter), Chicken with rice - sweet and sour sauce (main), indonesian cheesecake (dessert, delicious!)
* Lots of drinks rounds. Water or booze, you choose!  
* seating is 2-4-2. Seats look and feel a bit "used".
* F/A's wear traditional clothing which is nice!
* First time on the A330 and I was amazed by the size of the RR engines (flew the A340 ealier that day, and those engines looked rather small compared to these!)

http://www.croket.be/tmp/31012009ULHKGBKKplane.JPG
Aircraft as seen from the gate area


This should give you an idea about seat pitch.

I enjoyed the flight as long as I was awake... which wasn't that long. (More pictures and details under flight 2)

Immigration at BKK

It took me 30 minutes (and that's actually fair! I've had it worse at BKK...)

Flight 2: BKK - HKG

Airline: Sri Lankan
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Flight: UL 422
Registration: 4R-ALC
Route: BKK - HKG
Seat: 50A (economy / window seat / emergency exit)
Date: february 14, 2009.
Departure time: 01.15 pm
Departure gate: D6
Arrival time: 04.55 pm
Arrival gate: unknown
LF: 75+ % in Y

Check-in at BKK

The check-in agent made me a bit nervous when she told me I could only take 1 piece of hand luggage with me (7 kg max). She didn't see I had 2 bags with me (one with photo equipment, another filled with Thailand made clothing and my Lonely Planet guide). So I left, went through immigration (which took me only 5 minutes! I was surprised!) then went to the toilets where I changed clothes and attached the bag with clothes to the camera bag. I also stuffed the camera bag with t-shirts... then I walked out with the camera hanging around my neck, the book in my right hand and the bag in my left hand. I had "one pice" of hand luggage now and I felt a lot more comfortable!  

Burger King

As I had still some Thai Baht in my pocket and I wanted to get rid of them I decided to visit Burger King. I'm not a big fan of fastfood though. Actually, this was the first time in my life I tried Burger King! Not so bad... but expensive for what you get!

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGburgerking.JPG
The Whopper menu!

http://www.croket.be/tmp/31012009ULHKGBKKticket.JPG
Ticket with the "one piece per person" stamp.

Boarding

I went to gate D6 and the place was crowded. Agents checked the amount of cabin luggage and although some passengers didn't obey the "one piece per passenger" rule, they could continue. I was happy I "reorganized" my stuff and had only one piece with me (and a book, and a camera,...) but what could they do anyway If I didn't?

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGgate.JPG

A large group of chinese tourists was allowed to board first. I think they filled more than 100 seats. When I entered the airplane, I had to walk through the first/business cabin and thought: "wow, this certainly looks better than economy... maybe one day...". That was until I discovered seat 50A  

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGlegroom.JPG
Seat 50A: window seat, more legroom than business, and a good looking F/A that's sitting in front of you during landing and take-off. What do you want more?

No personal IFE for me, but with that much legroom I was not complaining!

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGseating.JPG
Oh yeah, 50C was empy so I got super lucky! I wonder why the seat next to A isn't B though?

Flight

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGife.JPG
Welcome on board!

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGsafetycard.JPG
Safety instructions card. Although seated at an emergency exit, I didn't get a personal briefing about procedures in case of an emergency.

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGapron.JPG
View from the window seat in BKK: Philippines Airlines Airbus A340-313X RP-C3432

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGifemap.JPG
Still on the ground in BKK...

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGmenuoutside.JPG
Menu

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGmenuinside.JPG
Menu

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGmealpic1.JPG
Meal service!

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGmealpic2.JPG
The chicken was difficult to eat with chopsticks though!


This should give you an idea about the personal IFE (old imho but better than nothing!) You can also see the F/A's traditional clothing!

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGmagazine1.JPG
Inflight Magazine - movie section

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGmagazine2.JPG
Inflight Magazine - movie section

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGroutemap.JPG
Route map

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGifemaphkgapproach.JPG
Flying over Hainan (China) then turning east (I have no clue why? HKG approach? Avoiding traffic?)

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGspoiler.JPG
Slowing down...

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGspoilerdetail.JPG
Speedbrakes in action

http://www.croket.be/tmp/14022009ULBKKHKGwingdetail.JPG
Is guess that thing in the middle is used to dump fuel?

Landing

Very smooth landing at HKG rwy 7L. Short taxi to the gate.

Immigration

Took me 10 minutes. Not bad!

Conclusion

These flights were worth every eurocent I paid! I've flown major carriers and felt like flying low cost. It's different with Sri Lankan! Decent meals, lots of drinks rounds, friendly and good looking f/a's... at a very reasonable price! Sri Lankan all the way!

Hope you enjoyed it!

Flanders.

[Edited 2009-03-10 16:15:12]

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 356 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 19929 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I really enjoyed reading your TR. Well done.

User currently offline9VSRH From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 132 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 18989 times:

Nice report. It's good to see something of UL.

This explains your right turn before descent into HKG: http://www.hkatc.gov.hk/HK_AIP/AIP/AD/HK_AD2-98SIKOU.pdf

Just part of the Standard Terminal Arrival Route into Hong Kong (turned from SIKOU on to GINJA).


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8509 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 17366 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks Flanders, nice report.

Good to see pretty decent service on Dri Lankan, food looked nice.

Interesting to note the 1 item of hand baggage rule, was that the same from HKG?

Rgds

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 offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 17275 times:

Very enjoyable report, Flanders. I had four legs on SriLankan back in 2006 and I can absolutely comfirm all the positive aspects you mention.

Quoting Flanders (Thread starter):
No personal IFE for me, but with that much legroom I was not complaining!

No fold-out screen there? That would be quite odd.

Quoting Flanders (Thread starter):
Menu

Always nice to see those menu cards...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineTraveladdict From Malaysia, joined Feb 2009, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 16906 times:



Quoting Flanders (Thread starter):
I was happy I "reorganized" my stuff and had only one piece with me (and a book, and a camera,...) but what could they do anyway If I didn't?

One time, many years ago, I flew JL and they had this restriction and at the gate they actually took my second bag to be checked in. I was already at 20kg to begin with so my dad had to pay for excess baggage.

Damn that crockery set looks revolting.


User currently offlineFlanders From Belgium, joined Oct 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 15999 times:



Quoting Caleb1 (Reply 1):
I really enjoyed reading your TR. Well done.



Quoting Caleb1 (Reply 1):
Nice report. It's good to see something of UL.



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
Thanks Flanders, nice report.



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Very enjoyable report, Flanders

Thanks guys!

Quoting 9VSRH (Reply 2):
This explains your right turn before descent into HKG: http://www.hkatc.gov.hk/HK_AIP/AIP/A...U.pdf

What I thought! Thanks a lot for pointing that out!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
Interesting to note the 1 item of hand baggage rule, was that the same from HKG?

No, not as far as I remember. I think UL realizes many tourists buy a lot of cheap souvenirs, clothing, etc in BKK and this results in a lot of carry on luggage...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
No fold-out screen there? That would be quite odd.

I checked and double checked  Smile


User currently offlineCaspritz78 From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 15957 times:

Nice report.

Quoting Flanders (Thread starter):
I wonder why the seat next to A isn't B though?

Pretty easy. A is always a window seat, C always an alley seat. Since the A330 has a 2-4-2 configuration there is no B seat because B is always a middle seat.


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 15809 times:



Quoting Flanders (Reply 6):

No, not as far as I remember. I think UL realizes many tourists buy a lot of cheap souvenirs, clothing, etc in BKK and this results in a lot of carry on luggage..

Just BKK contract staff being anal as usual.

TG has posted notes 25kg ok for Y, yet I had hell from EK about 74kg for 3 pax. These idiots have no logical thinking at all. 25kg is the standard everywhere, not BKK until I called her names and asked for supervisor.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineZonks From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 15328 times:

Great report. I'm surprised and pleased to see three main course options in Y on a short inter-Asian hop. Living in the United States, you really yearn for things like that when our options are so poor, even on transatlantic and transpacific flights.

Also, it looks like some fellow passengers wanted to be friends with you in the picture of the cabin whilst the plane was still in HKG Big grin


User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1240 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 13272 times:

Interesting read. Wish I would have read it a week earlier so that I could have requested UL as well. Doing a BKK-HKG in July on TG. Well there is always next time.

Bangkok checking cabin luggage?
Is this a general practice or is it just Sri Lankan that does this?
I have never been checked in BKK or even told and I usually carry a laptop, one piece of hand luggage and sometimes a small backpack so that I don't need to check in any luggage.

Its two months until my next Bangkok visit but its good to know if this is general practice because then I will check in my luggage instead of bringing it on-board. I will fly both Royal Brunei and Thai to and from BKK.

At least Bangkok stick to a one piece concept and doesn't weigh the handluggage as they often do in Auckland.
Anything over 8.5kg costs you money and its pay on the spot or go back and recheck. Very, very annoying and all the poor tourists tend to get caught out.



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