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Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK On Dragonair A330  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 77
Posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 26950 times:

Cancellation Brings Joy:
Hong Kong - Beijing on Dragonair A330-300




Intro
Flight cancellations are major annoyances in many cases - but sometimes cancellations may bring pure joy. The latter happened to my brother and me when Air China cancelled our A321-200 flight and rebooked us on an Dragonair A330-300 service. This report, part 3 of my latest series, will give an impression of the Economy Class product on flight KA900 between Hong Kong and Beijing. All those who are exclusively interested in the flight review should scroll down a bit - and all those who want to see more can also enjoy a selection of pictures from Hong Kong.

If you have missed parts 1 & 2 you simply need to click here:
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ



Background
In early January my brother and I decided to go on a sightseeing trip to Asia by the end of February. Our focus had been on Hong Kong from the very beginning, but we also wanted to enhance a possible trip by another city. My brother suggested to pick Dubai so that we could visit the new Burj Khalifa. I agreed and started searching for the most interesting flight options. It didn’t take very long until I found an unbelievable fare offered by a most interesting carrier: Munich-Muscat-Dubai return on Oman Air for 260 Euro!

We decided to try Oman Air and then I started searching for adequate flights between Dubai and Hong Kong. The plan was to spend one night in Dubai each time on the outbound journey and the inbound journey. The whole trip shouldn’t last more than one week, so it was clear we wouldn’t be able to spend more than three nights in Hong Kong. It wasn’t difficult at all to find interesting and affordable flights between Dubai and Hong Kong. In contrast, satisfying options were rare between Hong Kong and Dubai. Problematic were either high fares or unfavorable flying times. Leaving Hong Kong too early would have drastically reduced the sightseeing options - and leaving too late would have been risky regarding the onward flights between Dubai, Muscat and Munich. We also couldn’t just add one day due to the limited frequencies between Muscat and Munich. In the end we decided to fly back from Hong Kong to Munich without stopping again in Dubai - it was the most convenient option and absolutely free of risk.

While searching for flights between Dubai and Hong Kong, Singapore Airlines soon caught my attention by offering a one-way connection for 318 Euro - including an A380 flight. My brother hadn't flown on the A380 yet and I was very interested in getting on the bird for the second time (after the premiere on Emirates). Great service and high-quality catering were further arguments for SIA. Unfortunately, the low fare suddenly disappeared and SQ wanted 350 Euro - at least for the A380 combo. We decided it would be worth it.

In addition to the Oman Air and Singapore Airlines flights we selected a Hong Kong-Beijing-Munich connection on Air China (A321-200 and A330-200) for only 290 Euro. I had never flown on Air China before and I knew the A330-200 on the long-haul sector would be equipped with personal IFE screens - so it was worth a try. Even though the final itinerary consisted of only six flights, it included two new airlines and four widebody jets. Well, so much for the plan...




Hong Kong Sightseeing
After arriving at the Kowloon Station on the Airport Express we took a taxi which dropped us off at the Prudential Hotel only ten minutes later. The 3 star plus hotel is located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, just above Jordan MTR station. With 90 Euro per night it belongs to the cheaper hotels in the area, but we were absolutely satisfied. Friendly staff, clean and comfortable room, excellent location - what else can you ask for?



Views from the room...



...and the rooftop terrace:









Always a pleasure to walk through the streets of Kowloon:



Hyatt Regency:



Hong Kong Space Museum:



The legendary Peninsula:



Hong Kong's skyline at night is always a great sight:



On the next day we took part in a Gray Line city tour and visited some famous places, e.g. The Peak. The upper terminus station:



The weather was disappointing, but we still enjoyed the views:









Aberdeen Fishing Village:











If you need any souvenirs, you should visit the Stanley Market:



How about some duck after shopping?



Neon lights everywhere:



On the third day we walked down to the waterfront for the last time. Typical Hong Kong street view:



Clock Tower:



Opera House:



Simply stunning skyline:







The 2IFC (Two International Finance Centre) is Hong Kong's second tallest building:



Legend of the Seas at the pier:



We took the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island and passed the Chinese cargo ship Ming Fen:



This was our ferry, named Solar Star:



We went straight to the IFC complex which also incorporates a huge mall:



The 415-meter-tall 2IFC is an impressive building:





The Bank of China Tower is only the fourth tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, but probably the most
recognisable:



This is the Jardine House, formerly known as Connaught Centre. It was the city's tallest building between 1972 and 1980:



The recently completed 484-meter-tall International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon is Hong Kong's new number 1:


In the early afternoon we returned to our hotel, checked out and took the train to the airport.


Chek Lap Kok Spotting
After arriving at the airport we went straight to the Regal Airport Hotel where we would spend the last night during our journey. The hotel is directly connected to the terminal by a covered walkway. From the walkway you have good views of the masses of taxis waiting for passengers:



The 5 star hotel is usually quite expensive, but I had been able to find a special offer for about 100 Euro per night. I had read many positive comments about the hotel, so I was expecting a lot. However, the room was quite small and the furniture was not to my taste:



Now it was time to visit the Aviation Discovery Centre at Terminal 2 which also includes the SkyDeck. It is the place to go if runways 25L and 25R are in use - at least for registration spotters. Taking pictures may still be tricky. And btw - you neither find rain/sun shelters nor restrooms up there:





The Regal Airport Hotel:



British Airways 747-400 on approach to runway 25R:



Singapore Airlines A380:





Beautiful evening light:


I got a total of 33 new registrations in less than three hours which was not bad.




Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Hong Kong (HKG) - Beijing (PEK)
Dragonair KA900
08:00-11:15 (08:07-11:11)
Flying time: 02:32 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 48A

Airbus A330-342
B-HYD (MSN 132)
First delivered to Cathay Pacific as VR-HYD in 04/1996


1st flight on B-HYD
8th A330-300 flight
20th A330 flight
89th airline



View Large View Medium
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Photo © Gordon Ho
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Photo © K.H.Yim


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Photo © Wongwei
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Photo © Weimeng



More than two hours prior to departure we left the hotel and headed to the terminal. First of all I checked the departures screen, but I couldn't find our flight CA118 to Beijing, originally scheduled to depart at 08:30. I believed that it was a software glitch - a cancellation would be shown on the screen, right? The Air China check-in counters were still closed, so I went to a ticket counter, jointly used by several Chinese carriers, including Air China. I showed the reservation confirmation to a female agent and after a few moments she said: ”Your flight to Beijing has been cancelled."  Wow! Before I could reply anything she continued: "But you have already been rebooked to a Dragonair flight." Now that remark made me very happy because I would get another new carrier - totally unexpectedly!  thumbsup 
After finding out it would be the 08:00 departure I knew chances would be good to get an A330-300. When I was searching for Air China flights to MUC back in January I also noticed HKG-PEK code-sharing services operated by Dragonair A330s - but the attractive KA/CA combos were much more expensive (400-500 Euro instead of 290 Euro).

We were told to proceed to the Air China counters where a friendly CA agent with a passenger list was already waiting for us. He asked for our names and invited us to follow him to the Dragonair counters. He briefly talked to the Dragonair agents who immediately started the check-in process. After some ten minutes without any results I asked whether there was a problem, but the agent denied. She kindly accepted my request for a row in the back and we finally received our boarding passes. Seats 48A and B indicated that we would indeed fly on an A330!

20 minutes later we arrived at the gate where B-HYD was being prepared for flight KA900. It's the second oldest A330 in the fleet, built in March 1996:



White fuselage, gray engines:



Friendly flight attendants welcomed us while we were walking to our row. The plane was still equipped with the original interior, but the old-style seats weren't bad at all:





Legroom was sufficient, too:


Water bottles had been placed in each seat pocket - nice service. The cabin was a bit worn out in general, but it had been cleaned well. After boarding was completed, the captain - most likely from Britain - made his welcome speech and informed us about a flying time of 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Parked next to us was sister ship B-HYG:



Dragonair A321 and A320:



Another Dragonair A330 was taxiing in front of us:



Numerous planes were parked in front of the HAECO hangars:



Orient Thai Boeing 747-100 HS-UTM:



Finally the two Trent engines started roaring and we lifted off after a powerful takeoff roll:





Continental 777 parked next to a Kingfisher A330:







Tsing Ma Bridge (to the right) and Ting Kau Bridge:



Countless containers:





12 minutes after takeoff we were cruising under blue skies:



Before serving a hot breakfast the flight attendants passed through the cabin and offered water as well as apple, orange and tomato juice. Some minutes later we could choose between a Western style and a Chinese breakfast. We ordered the former, consisting of an omelette, potatoes, vegetable and fresh fruit:


The breakfast was very tasty and filling - and the tea wasn't bad either. You cannot complain about such a catering on a 2.5 hour flight.

TV features were shown on the overhead screens, but I didn't watch anything. I would have preferred the airshow, of course. Only the six newest A330s in the 13-strong fleet are equipped with personal TV screens in Economy Class.

Later in the flight I took some cabin shots. The load factor in Economy Class was about 85 percent:



The blue skies were soon gone after we had started the approach to Beijing:







The massive Terminal 3...



...was quite deserted shortly after 11:00:



British Airways 777-200ER, Lufthansa 747-400 and Finnair A340-300:



We arrived at the gate four minutes early:



Last shot of B-HYD from the gate area:


I was quite glad that we had arrived at PEK some 30 minutes earlier than originally planned and I was expecting a smooth transfer at the hypermodern Terminal 3...but things were to turn out quite differently.
Story to be continued...



Conclusion
Flying Dragonair was a pleasure: Crew and ground staff members were friendly, the cabin was clean, seats were comfortable. I was also impressed by the catering in terms of quantity and quality. Personal video screens would have been the icing on the cake, but they are not essential on a 2.5 hour flight.
I didn’t have a reason to complain about Air China either – we had been rebooked to an earlier flight and an agent was taking care of us until the check-in process at the Dragonair counters was finished.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other more or less recent reports:
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2010-05-21 13:13:04]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5138 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 26822 times:

Hi, PH,

superb Hongkong pictures.
A really nice reminder to my stay there some years ago.
It seems they´re building these skyscrapers very quickly.

Interesting story, Dragonair sounds like a good sub for the cancelled flight.
We will see what show´s up here with my BA booking later this month.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 26747 times:

Great report and lovely pics of Hong Kong , I like the interior different colours of the cabin, something different.

Nice photos of HKG also .


OA260


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 26705 times:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
superb Hongkong pictures.

Hi Markus, thanks for your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
It seems they´re building these skyscrapers very quickly.

Yes, I was quite surprised to see this new ICC giant.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
Interesting story, Dragonair sounds like a good sub for the cancelled flight.

No doubts about that, always nice to be upgraded to a widebody - as long as it's a new addition to the log.  
Quoting oa260 (Reply 2):
Great report and lovely pics of Hong Kong

Many thanks!

Quoting oa260 (Reply 2):
I like the interior different colours of the cabin, something different.

Yes, I also like cabins with seats in different colors.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 26543 times:

Hi PH,

It was nice to read another part of your Asia trip story - as always with fantastic pictures. I liked your pictures of Hong Kong as well - seems to be an impressive city.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The latter happened to my brother and me when Air China cancelled our A321-200 flight and rebooked us on an Dragonair A330-300 service.

Not bad, getting an A 330 on a short-haul flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hong Kong's skyline at night is always a great sight

Great picture!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now it was time to visit the Aviation Discovery Centre at Terminal 2 which also includes the SkyDeck. It is the place to go if runways 25L and 25R are in use - at least for registration spotters. Taking pictures may still be tricky. And btw - you neither find rain/sun shelters nor restrooms up there

Anyway good to know that the airport seems to be spotter-friendly.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The breakfast was very tasty and filling - and the tea wasn't bad either. You cannot complain about such a catering on a 2.5 hour flight.

Looks very good indeed.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 26419 times:

Hi PH,

Great pictures of Hong Kong! It is probably a city I would have to visit some time. Getting rebooked with Dragonair was definitely a plus as I have heard few more good things about Dragonair than Air China.

How did it feel to be back in China again? I can recall your TR from 2008 and how you enjoyed the whole journey.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 25721 times:

Hi PH

Another lovely installment to your trip. Thanks for sharing this Hong Kong segment - it is one of my favorite cities. There are some wonderful pictures here, especially of the cityscape. Also congratulations for accidentally getting aboard Dragonair - it looks like a very good carrier.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now it was time to visit the Aviation Discovery Centre at Terminal 2 which also includes the SkyDeck. It is the place to go if runways 25L and 25R are in use - at least for registration spotters. Taking pictures may still be tricky. And btw - you neither find rain/sun shelters nor restrooms up there

Thanks for providing an insight to spotting here. I'd never been here before but it does seem that the roof of the main terminal obscures most of the tarmac view, while approaches to 25L, 25R are quite a distance away. Not so great, eh? Did you do much spotting while inside the terminal itself - that's always my favorite.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Water bottles had been placed in each seat pocket - nice service.

This is rather unique for what is essentially short haul. Nice indeed! The catering looks pretty good too.

Cheers,
airpearl


User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3000 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 25367 times:

Beijing needs to do something about so much smog in that city.

Nice TR. Nice knowing you got to add Dragonair to your list.



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 25199 times:

Hi PH,

Another great TR, fantastic photos of HK. One day I'll get back there! I've never been to that lookout area, looks good. Dragonair is a nice addition to your airlines. The thing I like about them is the fact that CX is trying to get KA's service to be somewhat in line with their service: a quote from Roni's report on them calling KA a 'mini-Cathay'. It looks like we've got them sorted for both J and Y now!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
More than two hours prior to departure we left the hotel and headed to the terminal. First of all I checked the departures screen, but I couldn't find our flight CA118 to Beijing, originally scheduled to depart at 08:30. I believed that it was a software glitch

I'd be confused as well if I didn't see my flight number appearing on the FIDS!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The breakfast was very tasty and filling - and the tea wasn't bad either. You cannot complain about such a catering on a 2.5 hour flight.

Looks quite nice too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The massive Terminal 3...

Woah, what a view on approach to PEK! And all that empty space.. It seems surprising to see so few planes at this giant airport.


Thanks again, looking forward to the next instalment.


Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 25174 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Very nice report and great pictures although the weather wasn't that great.....HKG is a great city to visit!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The 5 star hotel is usually quite expensive, but I had been able to find a special offer for about 100 Euro per night. I had read many positive comments about the hotel, so I was expecting a lot. However, the room was quite small and the furniture was not to my taste:

Stayed there in 1999 and thought it was a fantastic hotel......different tastes perhaps ?

Was curious; how do you get to the remote gates with the KA 320 and KA 321 seen in some of the pictures ? Is there a train there, bus or undergorund walkway ?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Before serving a hot breakfast the flight attendants passed through the cabin and offered water as well as apple, orange and tomato juice. Some minutes later we could choose between a Western style and a Chinese breakfast. We ordered the former, consisting of an omelette, potatoes, vegetable and fresh fruit:

Looks excellent for such a short flight !

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):
Thanks for providing an insight to spotting here. I'd never been here before but it does seem that the roof of the main terminal obscures most of the tarmac view, while approaches to 25L, 25R are quite a distance away. Not so great, eh? Did you do much spotting while inside the terminal itself - that's always my favorite.

I was wondering that too; even the BA 744 laning seems very far away. You had no problem getting registration numbers from there ? Even aircraft on 25R ?

Terminal 3 in Beijing looks absolutely massive! I don't think I've quite have understood its size until I see these pictures of yours now........

Looking forward to the conclusion of this trip!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently onlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8506 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 25073 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

Nice report and pictures, especially liked the ones of Hong Kong, love that place, wish I could visit more often.

Looks like CA handled your cancelled flight well, good on them.

The interior of the KA machine sure looked dated, but sometimes these older seats are better than todays!

Food portion looked generous, very nice.

Looking forward to the next installment, sounds interesting already!

Cheers

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 offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 24451 times:

Hey PH!

Thank you for an excellent follow up! An HKG TR for me is always is great pleasure to read! And nothing beats the pictures you took while in Hong Kong!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Prudential Hotel only ten minutes later. The 3 star plus hotel is located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, just above Jordan MTR station. With 90 Euro per night it belongs to the cheaper hotels in the area, but we were absolutely satisfied.

Very nice location indeed, and also a very good price for HKG!
I never came accross that hotel before, but i will definitely keep it in mind for the future!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The weather was disappointing, but we still enjoyed the views:

For some reason, i always find the night view of the peak in that type of weather to be quite nice.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The 5 star hotel is usually quite expensive, but I had been able to find a special offer for about 100 Euro per night. I had read many positive comments about the hotel, so I was expecting a lot. However, the room was quite small and the furniture was not to my taste:

I've always requested runway view rooms, and they were quite spacious, with an excellent view of the tarmac. I would switch the TV on to the FIDS channel, and monitor the movements with a view, for hours!  

Also, in the lobby you would find cabin crew for MH, KE, OZ, 9W, QF and others checking in and out all day  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It is the place to go if runways 25L and 25R are in use - at least for registration spotters.

There also is a spotting location between 07L and 07R by the HAECO hangar. It is much better than the SkyDeck, and is easily accessible by public transport. Though these runways seem to be used when the weather is horrible, so it can be quite challenging for pictures.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
20 minutes later we arrived at the gate where B-HYD was being prepared for flight KA900. It's the second oldest A330 in the fleet, built in March 1996:

Some of the runway-view rooms at the hotel overlook that gate, which is almost always assigned to SQ (SFO flight), KA, EVA, and sometimes BA!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Before serving a hot breakfast the flight attendants passed through the cabin and offered water as well as apple, orange and tomato juice. Some minutes later we could choose between a Western style and a Chinese breakfast. We ordered the former, consisting of an omelette, potatoes, vegetable and fresh fruit:

Looks very good! And i think even better than CX's offering in Y!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was expecting a smooth transfer at the hypermodern Terminal 3...but things were to turn out quite differently.

Definitely looking forward to the next story!


Glad you enjoyed Dragonair. I was quite surprised, in a very good way, when i flew with them last year. Their cabin crew are very nice too!  

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 24209 times:

PH,

.... and brings joy to your readers too! So much rather a Dragonair report... it seems along with Hainan they are becoming quite desirable airlines to do domestic hops around China.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Legend of the Seas at the pier

Ah yes she was there when I was in HK. HK is an amazing city and you captured the skyline really brilliantly. It looks so much more settled and natural compared to Dubai, for me at least.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Later in the flight I took some cabin shots

Good looking meal and I think those 70's-esque tartan uniforms the FA's wear are really attractive. Superb.

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinesutrakhk From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 24122 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 9):
Was curious; how do you get to the remote gates with the KA 320 and KA 321 seen in some of the pictures ? Is there a train there, bus or undergorund walkway ?

To access the new satellite terminal, the only way is to take the shuttle bus from the main terminal.

After immigration, just follow the sign of Gate 501 to 510, board the bus, then you will be there.

It is so sad that they do not build the train or underground walkway but choose the lease efficient method.


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 23979 times:

Quoting sutrakhk (Reply 13):
It is so sad that they do not build the train or underground walkway but choose the lease efficient method.

On that note, i also think the access from HKG's 'Terminal 2' to the main airside terminal is quite inefficient also. It will require more time for passengers to get to their gates as two train rides are required (with a change of trains too). This can get a little complicated.



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinesutrakhk From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 23927 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
On that note, i also think the access from HKG's 'Terminal 2' to the main airside terminal is quite inefficient also. It will require more time for passengers to get to their gates as two train rides are required (with a change of trains too). This can get a little complicated.

The two train lines now are
1. Skypier - Terminal 2 - Terminal 1 - Skypier
2. Terminal 1 Gate 20 - Terminal 1 Gate 34 - Terminal 1 Gate 20
The main reason of having two because the Terminal 1 - Skypier sector have to be separated (Everyone have to have a valid ferry ticket)

But at least taking the train is easier for everyone because
1. The train run every few minutes.
2. The platform level is the same as the train, travelling with luggages would be easier to board the train
3. The train need not to take care of other ground traffics, like the service vehicles and the planes

Anyway, I think Terminal 2 is a joke, what I can say it is just a shopping mall with check-in and immigration facilities.

[Edited 2010-05-22 07:42:50]

User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 23799 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another great report, Planehunter!!

How lucky you were to be put on a Dragonair A330 ... what a perfect story of how a cancellation can be turned into something better!! When we were heading down to LIR back in Feb 2010; we ended up missing our connection, but were able to spend one night in ATL and were extremely lucky to receive First Class seats the following morning!

Your photos are great. You always document your flights so well!

Looking forward to the next installment!

767747


User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2597 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23075 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi PlaneHunter,

Another fantastic installment from you  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hong Kong's skyline at night is always a great sight:

Absolutely it is. I think a few years ago they decided to do a nightly light show, lighting up the skyscrapers across the harbour.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The weather was disappointing, but we still enjoyed the views:

In my experience, clear days are a rarity in Hong Kong

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The Bank of China Tower is only the fourth tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, but probably the most
recognisable:

When my family emigrated from Hong Kong 20 years ago, it was the tallest. How times have changed ... now it's only the 4th tallest you say? But I suppose it's inevitable, there isn't too much space in HKG, and the only way to build is up.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This was our ferry, named Solar Star:

I just learnt something new, I didn't even know Star Ferry vessels were named!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now it was time to visit the Aviation Discovery Centre at Terminal 2 which also includes the SkyDeck. It is the place to go if runways 25L and 25R are in use - at least for registration spotters. Taking pictures may still be tricky. And btw - you neither find rain/sun shelters nor restrooms up there:

So it's not just me who found taking pictures there difficult? I thought it was only because at the time, I was just a first timer with a compact digital camera, and put it down to a combination of both. Last time I was there, they put up those giant umbrellas against the wall, so at least there was some shelter.

Loved reading your trip report to PEK. Sounds like KA is another I should add to my "to try" list. PEK's T3 seemed awfully empty for a terminal its size. I have a friend who lives there, so one of these days I ought to go there to visit.



Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22907 times:

Hi PH,

sorry for the late reply, but now I managed to read it. And it's again a great continuation of your recent Asia travels.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The 5 star hotel is usually quite expensive, but I had been able to find a special offer for about 100 Euro per night. I had read many positive comments about the hotel, so I was expecting a lot. However, the room was quite small and the furniture was not to my taste:

Is this room 5 stars?! Definitely not by the looks of it. I don't like it at all, and it seems way to small too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Water bottles had been placed in each seat pocket - nice service.

Nice! Do I also notice a headphones provided? That's also something we wouldn't see in Europe, but very common within Asia.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Later in the flight I took some cabin shots.

Ahum, very,... colourful. Not my taste, these colours. You can clearly see the dated interior on this older A330.

But all together, I would be happy also with this sub. Were you still entitled to get the M&M mileage from this flight since it was a rebooking?

Nice pics from HK also. Shame on the weather. Blue skies would've been so much better. I really hope to visit this city in 2011. It's very high on our list actually...

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22727 times:

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 4):
It was nice to read another part of your Asia trip story - as always with fantastic pictures. I liked your pictures of Hong Kong as well - seems to be an impressive city.

Hi Christoph, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 4):
Anyway good to know that the airport seems to be spotter-friendly.

Yes, it's quite spotter-friendly despite some weaknesses. And the traffic is always very interesting, too.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Great pictures of Hong Kong! It is probably a city I would have to visit some time.

Many thanks, Suryo! I can only recommend to visit HK.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
How did it feel to be back in China again? I can recall your TR from 2008 and how you enjoyed the whole journey.

I enjoyed my stay as much as in 2008 - even though the transfer at PEK cost me some nerves. I'll go into detail about that in the last part.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):
Another lovely installment to your trip. Thanks for sharing this Hong Kong segment - it is one of my favorite cities. There are some wonderful pictures here, especially of the cityscape.

Hi Airpearl, thanks a lot for your reply! HK is one of my favorite cities, too.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):
Also congratulations for accidentally getting aboard Dragonair - it looks like a very good carrier.

Well, apart from the outdated cabin, KA's product is similar to CX's.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):
Thanks for providing an insight to spotting here. I'd never been here before but it does seem that the roof of the main terminal obscures most of the tarmac view, while approaches to 25L, 25R are quite a distance away. Not so great, eh?

It's not a perfect location, but it's much better than what you find at most other Asian airports (Japan excluded, of course).

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):
Did you do much spotting while inside the terminal itself - that's always my favorite.

Yes, spotting from there is nice - but you need a boarding pass for that.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 7):
Beijing needs to do something about so much smog in that city.

No doubts about that. I guess smog is a major problem in many Chinese cities.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 7):
Nice TR. Nice knowing you got to add Dragonair to your list.

Thanks!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Another great TR, fantastic photos of HK.

Many thanks, Nicholas! Good to hear you enjoyed the report.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
One day I'll get back there! I've never been to that lookout area, looks good.

It's definitely worth a visit.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
The thing I like about them is the fact that CX is trying to get KA's service to be somewhat in line with their service: a quote from Roni's report on them calling KA a 'mini-Cathay'.

Yes, that's a fair statement.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Woah, what a view on approach to PEK! And all that empty space.. It seems surprising to see so few planes at this giant airport.

I was quite surprised about that. I remember it was very busy at T3 when we passed through the airport in the afternoon during our 2008 tour.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 9):

Very nice report and great pictures although the weather wasn't that great.....HKG is a great city to visit!

Hi Lars, thank you very much for your reply!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 9):
Stayed there in 1999 and thought it was a fantastic hotel......different tastes perhaps ?

Well, everything was impressive except for the room itself. I'm not sure what kind of room I got - should have been a standard room.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 9):
Looks excellent for such a short flight!

Yes, that's what I like about travelling in Asia.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 9):
I was wondering that too; even the BA 744 laning seems very far away. You had no problem getting registration numbers from there ? Even aircraft on 25R ?

I had only taken along my small binoculars, so it was very difficult to see the numbers of aircraft on the more distant 25L. However, I wouldn't have any problem with my regular binoculars.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 10):
Nice report and pictures, especially liked the ones of Hong Kong, love that place, wish I could visit more often.

Thanks, Mark!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 10):
Looks like CA handled your cancelled flight well, good on them.

Absolutely, I cannot complain about CA at all.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 10):
The interior of the KA machine sure looked dated, but sometimes these older seats are better than todays!

Yes, many new seat models are simply too hard in my opinion.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
Thank you for an excellent follow up! An HKG TR for me is always is great pleasure to read! And nothing beats the pictures you took while in Hong Kong!

Hi Roni, thanks so much for your comments!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
Very nice location indeed, and also a very good price for HKG!
I never came accross that hotel before, but i will definitely keep it in mind for the future!

I can only recommend that hotel. There are mostly positive remarks about it on Tripadvisor.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
For some reason, i always find the night view of the peak in that type of weather to be quite nice.

Lights, clouds and fog mix up well.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
I've always requested runway view rooms, and they were quite spacious, with an excellent view of the tarmac. I would switch the TV on to the FIDS channel, and monitor the movements with a view, for hours!

Sounds very good! I'm wondering how many room types they have.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
There also is a spotting location between 07L and 07R by the HAECO hangar. It is much better than the SkyDeck, and is easily accessible by public transport. Though these runways seem to be used when the weather is horrible, so it can be quite challenging for pictures.

Yes, I went to that location during my last visit in 2008. Nice place, but the wind was really bad...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
Looks very good! And i think even better than CX's offering in Y!

Really? Would be interesting to see what CX serves on similar flights.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 12):

.... and brings joy to your readers too! So much rather a Dragonair report... it seems along with Hainan they are becoming quite desirable airlines to do domestic hops around China.

Many thanks, Luke! Yes, I can only recommend to try KA and HU.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 12):
HK is an amazing city and you captured the skyline really brilliantly. It looks so much more settled and natural compared to Dubai, for me at least.

That's true. HK's skyline is one of the most beautiful and recognisable in the world.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 12):
Good looking meal and I think those 70's-esque tartan uniforms the FA's wear are really attractive. Superb.

You're right, the uniforms are very attractive.

Quoting sutrakhk (Reply 15):
The two train lines now are
1. Skypier - Terminal 2 - Terminal 1 - Skypier
2. Terminal 1 Gate 20 - Terminal 1 Gate 34 - Terminal 1 Gate 20
The main reason of having two because the Terminal 1 - Skypier sector have to be separated (Everyone have to have a valid ferry ticket)

Interesting to know.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Another great report, Planehunter!!
Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Your photos are great. You always document your flights so well!

Thanks so much, Matthew!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
When we were heading down to LIR back in Feb 2010; we ended up missing our connection, but were able to spend one night in ATL and were extremely lucky to receive First Class seats the following morning!

That's what I call a great compensation!

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 17):
Another fantastic installment from you

Many thanks, Sam!

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 17):

Absolutely it is. I think a few years ago they decided to do a nightly light show, lighting up the skyscrapers across the harbour.

I never get tired of watching the light show.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 17):
How times have changed ... now it's only the 4th tallest you say?

Yes, it's number four after the new ICC, the 2IFC and the Central Plaza.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 17):
So it's not just me who found taking pictures there difficult? I thought it was only because at the time, I was just a first timer with a compact digital camera, and put it down to a combination of both.

No doubts, you need capable equipment for taking good pictures from there.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 17):
Last time I was there, they put up those giant umbrellas against the wall, so at least there was some shelter.

Ok, they may help on sunny days.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
sorry for the late reply, but now I managed to read it. And it's again a great continuation of your recent Asia travels.

Hi Eric, thanks for your comments! Good to hear to liked it.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
Is this room 5 stars?! Definitely not by the looks of it. I don't like it at all, and it seems way to small too.

Exactly my thoughts. I'm really wondering what kind of room I got.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
Nice! Do I also notice a headphones provided? That's also something we wouldn't see in Europe, but very common within Asia.

That's true. Many American and European carrier charge money for headphones now.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
Were you still entitled to get the M&M mileage from this flight since it was a rebooking?

No miles, unfortunately. But I don't mind considering that I got a new carrier and a widebody.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
Nice pics from HK also. Shame on the weather. Blue skies would've been so much better.

Yes, we were disappointed about that. But blue skies are rare there.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
I really hope to visit this city in 2011. It's very high on our list actually...

I can only recommend to go there, fantastic place.


PH

[Edited 2010-05-23 04:33:05]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinelalib From Pakistan, joined Feb 2010, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 21412 times:

Plane Hunter,

Nice report. I live in HK and ur phots do the place justice.

I have also visted the Sky Deck on numerous occasions - great for viewing anytime of the day!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20440 times:

Quoting lalib (Reply 20):
Nice report. I live in HK and ur phots do the place justice.

Thanks a lot, Lalib!

Quoting lalib (Reply 20):
I have also visted the Sky Deck on numerous occasions - great for viewing anytime of the day!

Yes, great place, but next time I will take along my big binoculars.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 19995 times:

Hi PH,

Sorry for the late reply, this report somehow slipped through.

Nice example of the fact that sometimes flight cancellations and irrops in general can work on your favor! Congrats on scoring Dragonair and the A330, definitely beats an Air China narrrowbody Airbus.

The offerings look quite good for such a short flight, but then again the standards in Asia are different than what we Europeans are accustomed to.

Great pics of Hong Kong, another city in my very long "to visit" -list..

Looking forward to the CA long haul report!

PS. Your title sounds like a line out of a Chinese fortune cookie  Smile

[Edited 2010-05-28 10:29:25]

User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 19411 times:

Oh man, I have done that HKG-PEK route on Dragonair so many times I can barely count anymore. That being said, I'm in a rut and have not been to Hong Kong since December and am beginning to have some withdrawals with your pictures!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The 5 star hotel is usually quite expensive, but I had been able to find a special offer for about 100 Euro per night. I had read many positive comments about the hotel, so I was expecting a lot. However, the room was quite small and the furniture was not to my taste:

I recommend the Novotel Citygate - 5 minute shuttle ride from the airport, and on top of a mall (food court = cheaper food than hotel food) and an MTR stop. The Novotel is where I almost always stay in Hong Kong (unless I REALLY need to stay downtown).


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2962 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19119 times:

Excellent TR!

Do all the A333s have a uniform product on KA? If so, from the Indian perspective, BLR is stuck with KA while CX has better offerings (hardware) to BOM, DEL, MAA.

Thanks for the detailed pictures.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
25 triple7man : Your pics in Kowloon and HK bring back many memories of trips I've made there. The skyline on Kowloon now stands out with the closure of Kai Tak. I wa
26 iahredhead : Dear Plane Hunter, Great report and fantastic pictures. I love both HKG and PEK. They're great for plane watching. I'm glad you lucked out on your can
27 PlaneHunter : Hi FlyingFinn, thanks for your reply. I wish these "positive cancellations" happened more often... Yes, the growth of low cost carriers has brought t
28 iahredhead : It was OK. CA is my Chinese airline of choice when I fly domestically. However, I wouldn't choose them internationally when I can take CX or any numb
29 Post contains images abrelosojos : Absolutely fantastic trip report ... as I catch up on all the TR offerings here on A.Net. I really miss Hong Kong ... it is such an incredible city wi
30 PlaneHunter : I wouldn't be disappointed about finding such a bird at the gate! Many thanks, Alex! Which is not surprising... PH
31 iahredhead : CA only rents the Air Macau planes. The service and crew are CA. As long as I was on CA, I'd much rather have had a CA 777 or CA 330 experience. I ju
32 PlaneHunter : Ok, it would be better if these planes were also operated by Air Macau. PH
33 flythere : Lucky you and your brother! KA never disappoints and it is always a good thing when Air China is closely linked with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair whic
34 PlaneHunter : Thanks for your comments! Yes, were really lucky indeed. I had originally tried to find a combo with a KA A330 flight, but all options were too expen
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