toby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 75 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 13470 times:
Good Morning, Good Afternoon or Good Evening!
This will be my fourth trip report to HKG and I thought I would share my latest adventures with you, but this time instead of flying direct I decided to fly from my local airport, Manchester. Hurray for the north, not everyone wants to travel southwards! No offense to London – in fact my favourite soap is Eastenders! Sitting on my favourite side of the sofa I went searching high and low for favourable fares that would take me east. Now I'm quite a lazy person and would rather fly direct but as I wanted to support the north and fly with another airline apart from British Airways or Cathay Pacific I decided to go the only other way, the back way.
Sorry I meant the long way.
Qatar Airways seemed to be the cheapest option but I wasn’t quite ready to fly with them just yet and the next best alternative from Manchester was Emirates. Don’t ask me why I didn’t choose QR, Qatar is a 5 star airline and Emirates is mass production but EK seems to appeal to me more. I have flown with Emirates previously from Manchester to Shanghai after I graduated in 2005. They didn’t blow me away being stuck in the middle row in the middle seat with a broken TV console stuck next to someone flying to Perth on the left who wouldn’t shut up and the Addams Family on the right. Times have changed and I thought with the new terminal already in operation and 5 years is a long time to improve, I will give them another shot.
I decided to book the evening service as that meant I could still do a full day in the office before my flight. However this meant I would connect to the morning flight in Dubai arriving in Hong Kong in the late evening. Not to worry, I am made of harder stuff and decided to book it. Fast forward a month or so and I realise in the forums here that EK will be using the A380 to Manchester. Score! I was very excited. However this would only apply to my inbound return flight. Fast forward a few more weeks and I realise that EK will upgrade its Hong Kong services via Bangkok with the A380. Double score! So I would be flying Boeing 777-300ER outwards and Airbus A380 inwards, not bad. I did have the option of flying direct from Hong Kong to Dubai but where will the fun be in that?
Emirates website is very good; I was given a booking code immediately and was able to choose my seat straight away. I like sitting on the aisle as I like to move around the cabin so purposely chose seats next to the aisle, hoping no one will sit next to me. You are able to change and re-change your seat as many times as possible and was logging into my account every week to check the loads and if the seat next to me was taken.
After a not-so interesting day in the office; I left a bit earlier and drove home to take a quick shower before the taxi would arrive to take me to the train station. The train would take me direct to Manchester airport. Now I thought Heathrow was bad when it came to sprawling terminals and endless walkways of concrete tunnels and broken down travelators; but I think the accolade now should be passed to Manchester for the miles upon miles of endless walking to reach the terminal from the train station. Now I am all for exercise and I suppose it is a good thing to reach the check in desk a little out of breath, but this was a little excessive!
Miles of tunnels...
Not to worry and I proceeded to Terminal 1 where all EK flights depart to and arrive from. The EK check in desks are located at the far right I think desks 50 onwards where there is a dedicated EK presence. The whole area oozes EK from the flashy video promotion screens above the heads of the check in purses, to a dedicated EK sales desk where a model of the A380 is proudly displayed to EK branded cordons to manage the queues! I liked it! Go Emirates, you trend setter! I arrived pretty early so there were only a few passengers in the line waiting to drop off their luggage. The night before I did OLCI and assigned myself seats for the MAN-DXB sector and the onward service to HK.
The lady at check in hollered me over and asked if I had checked in already. I said that I had but yet to print off my boarding pass. In reality I already had printed off my pass but wanted an authentic, genuine, money cannot buy boarding stub proudly printed from no doubt EK branded printers with EK bought printer ink ( I am being over the top here ^_^).
Smart EK check in desks at Manchester Airport
After asking me the security questions that I am positive the check in purser is able to recite from memory even during sleep; I handed over my luggage where it was stamped all the way to HK. The airport swallowed my suitcase and that was the last I saw it for the next 18 hours. With so much time until boarding I thought I would check out T3 and T2 to see how they faired in comparison. T3 reminded me of LPL airport, a solitary building where you can easily take the escalator from arrivals to departures, a few check in desks and then departures admission.
EasyJet in T3
I think this way T2
Monarch Airlines in T2
Interlude: Now I shall tell you children a story: In a land far far away resides T2 where a nasty ogre, we shall call her Rodney, is scratching her armpits and on the look out for innocent passengers to bark out at. Now Rodney has no friends and probably didn’t get laid last night so undoubtedly agitated and a little somewhat unsatisfied sitting on the KLM / Air France check in counter where she proudly resides. Her loyal band of dwarfin’ not-so-mighty morphin power rangers are there and if they see trouble will combine their powers bestowed upon them and transform into a giant piece of turd. Rodney senses an evil lifeform intend on causing a security breach. You There! I Command You Stop Taking Photos of the Continental Airlines Sign! ARGHHHH! Now the evil doer no matter how hard he fights cannot stop the mightyless power of Rodney and knows when to back down for fear of being arrested and thrown into jail! The evil doer leaves only this piece of evidence –
Rodney returns to her lair proud she has accomplished another day in her kingdom.
I returned to T2 and decided to head through into security. The fast track lane was the only lane open and proceeded through. I was directed to line 4 to pass through the body scanner. You stand in a glass type container box, like a lift but obviously doesn’t move, and your body gets scanned for any dangerous items. Luckily I was safe and collected my belongings. I was a little concerned because at no point did they ask to see my passport. Actually come to think about it the only time someone inspected my passport was initially when I checked in and that was it. Normally you have to show your passport every 10 steps in an airport so wasn’t too sure if maybe I looked like a safe character
The gate assignment would not be announced for a while so I went Dora the Explorer and walked over to where the flight to Bodrum was leaving. Now I have never heard of Bodrum, sounds like a cheap holiday resort but found out from the nice boarding agents it was in Turkey. I was taking photos of the little activity of the apron and then one of the agents staffing the Bodrum flight waved me over. I thought I was going to get told off again. Did Rodney send one of her lackeys over to abuse me further? She wanted a photo with me, haha, how sweet.
The Thomas Cook flight to Bodrum
Me with the ladies on the Bodrum gate.
Best shot I could get of EK at MAN
City Airline? Never heard of them!
Another unknown to me!
Pakistan at T2
Aer Lingus to Ireland.
I saw EK19 from DXB arrive in a cloudy and rainy Manchester. FYI here is the menu for that flight, not that I had even a mouthful of it!
Appetiser: Classic Greek Salad – of tomato, cucumber and feta cheese with pitted black olives
Main course: Breaded white fish fillet – with a creamy red pepper sauce, dill flavoured mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
Butter chicken – tender pieces of chicken cooked in a creamy spiced sauce, served with carrot rice and dal makhani
Dessert: Chocolate banana streusel- served with vanilla sauce
Cheese & biscuits
Beverages: Tea or Coffee
Your afternoon tea selection includes assorted reception sandwiches, mixed dried fruit cake, scone, clotted cream and strawberry jam
It was going to a very full flight from the number of passengers in the hold area. The way the gate is positioned makes snapping a photo of A6-ABS impossible. Boarding was called by zone and I made my way down the aerobidge where a smiley Mohammed, from Singapore, and Melissa, from Sydney, (my new friends for the flight!) greeted me and directed me to seat 47A. Secretly hoping no one will be sat next to me was snatched away when a man made himself comfortable. He looked like a well dodgy character! I decided to have an elbow fight with him over the armrest haha, it was fun!
We pushed back 30 minutes late and made our way behind the Cyprus Airlines flight to Larnaca to runway 23 or 26, I forget, and blasted into the night sky. A little about the inflight entertainment system ICE seems appropriate now. I was very eager to try the system again after a 5 year hiatus but to be honest with you I was not blown away by the interface of the system or its capabilities. OK there are plenty to watch but I am not a movie watcher and using the touch screen was tricky and at times inaccurate, even a hard push with the finger yielded no response. I am not too sure if ICE is AVOD as if I wanted to watch a movie it did not start from the beginning and there was no option I could see to reset from the start. Not particularly impressed. In addition, I have seen other reports where when boarding your TV screen has a start screen which shows your seat number, aircraft reg, routing etc which seemed to be lacking on the B777-300. I am not too sure if – ABS is a ER series or a normal -300 series.
As mentioned in other TR, EK likes to pack in their economy class passengers and this was instantly noticeable when boarding. The aisle was much narrower and you could see how the 4th middle seat seems to eat into the aisle. However the pitch of the seat was comfortable, for me anyway, I had no problem. I was sat at the back where the aircraft tappers in and the there are only 2 seats as opposed to three. This meant I had more space to the side where I stowed my belongings.
Boarding the B777
My View from my seat
Leg room was adequate for me.
Meal service was followed once airborne which on today’s EK20 service would be:
Appetiser: Prawn Cocktail - traditional prawn cocktail, served with a slice of smoked salmon and curly endive
Main – Lamb curry – creamy lamb curry with spinach, served with yellow rice mixed with raisons and red bell pepper ragout.
Roasted Chicken fillet – roasted chicken breast fillet, topped with arrabbiata sauce, served with mashed potatoes and Mediterranean style sautéed vegetables
Dessert – Chocolate & Praline delice – rich chocolate sauce topped with dark chocolate brownie pieces, encased in a hazelnut mousse
Cheese & biscuits
Beverages: Tea or coffee
A selection of beverages will be offered prior to arrival in Dubai
Now I do not think I am a fussy eater but my partner thinks I am, apparently I am high maintenance! On this menu I do not eat prawns so the starter was out, I don’t eat curry so that’s out and the mousse was too rich so that was out. I only ate the chicken and I am lactose intolerant so the cheese was passed. But everybody else seemed to enjoy their meal which did look nice and compared to Virgin Atlantic meagre offerings seemed like a banquet!
At the back
This is now where I befriended half the crew on board. Not wanting to sit next to the passenger I went to the rest rooms in the back of the aircraft where half the crew were chatting or playing cards. They asked me if I was a dancer from the clothes I was wearing as they were a group of dancers heading to Bangkok for a competition. I said I wasn’t and they invited me into their group from there. It was so much fun talking to them and Melissa from Sydney was so sweet, she was an extra in the Oz soap, Home and Away she was telling me about. Learning about the crew and where they came from was really nice and they asking me about where I was going etc. Mohammed the friendly Singaporean was really nice and kept offering me things from the galley. He gave me the crew meals, offered me cakes from business class, fruit from the crew meal and even whole cartons of unopened milk! Apparently they all get thrown away which I thought was a waste.
Melissa then gave me a EK pen and said wait there. During that time I got talking to a nearly graduated EK flight attendant from Mauritius. Manchester was her penultimate sector that she would be assessed on before her final sector to Mumbai in a couple of days times. I also talked to two flight attendants from Serbia who joked that whenever they do the Manchester run they call it the Primark run! Lol. Also I chatted to a pretty girl from the Philippines who I thought was from Japan. Melissa then returned with two handfuls of business class goodies , including eye shades, socks, razor, comb, creams, ear plugs, cards it was really too much. I told her that she would get into troubled but she said no, you paid for it. I then joked and said I also paid for this aircraft and will take this too! Then she said you also paid for me and get that included too lol!
Me and Melissa
My stash of EK branded goodies!
The flight purser from Singapore who kept giving me lots of crew stuff then said yes, of course you deserve it! I was thinking how do I deserve it? The crew were all super nice and amazing. I then got talking to them about the A380 and they were talking about things I didn’t understand something like 4-2-0 or something and saying that the service on these flights were suffering. Neither Melissa nor the crew from Mauritius wanted to be A380 trained, well not yet anyway. The girl from Serbia was talking how EK didn’t like how her hair was too blonde and that she should tone it down! Considering that was her natural hair colour was a bit much.
I could go on and on about what we talked about but you get the picture. Mohammed even asked if I wanted to make the flight announcement when we arrived into Dubai. They have a sheet to read from and they fill in the temperature details which was Melissa’s job and she joked that when she does announcements she does it from the heart, and I replied I know I felt it right here, thumping my heart lol. You can hear her in the link below to Youtube.
The crew were definitely not robots and were joking around with each other, pulling faces and just generally relaxing as they are not allowed to sleep on flight less than 10 hours. Before long the refreshment service was in full swing and Melissa said I was in charge of the galley area at back, I literally was alone in the galley area. Numerous crew popped in now and then where we briefly chatted before they had to serve again. The number of times the galley phone rings is ridiculous, all the time haha. I actually missed the refreshment service as I was in the back. Melissa came back and said if all was well. I replied if any passengers are trouble I will just thrown them outta the aircraft door!
The captain came over the PA and announced we would be arriving into Dubai shortly. I returned to my seat where the blankets and headsets were collected to be washed or reused. We gently arrived into Dubai and all I could see was Emirates! I gave a Melissa a hug when I left the aircraft and she wished me a pleasant onward journey. Now Dubai is the home of EK and was very surprised that we had to be bussed to the airport. Upon disembarking the bus all arriving passengers turn left and connecting passengers turn right. From the looks of things most passengers were connecting. T3 is absolutely gigantic, this is only a terminal but from the size of it is an airport in its entirety. Having not eaten anything really I was really hungry and decided to eat at Burger King. I wasn’t too sure if they would accept UK pounds as I did not have any Dubai money on me. They did accept it but obviously at a rate favourable to them. No coins allowed and change is given in Dubai money only. Great! But as I was so hungry I gave in – I think this is the 3rd time I’ve eaten fast food this year!
Now I like big modern airports with lots of glass but Dubai airport just doesn’t tick it for me. It is too big and confusing with an inadequate number of seats and toilets. The layout is confusing with signs everywhere and people heading in all sorts of directions. It was like a circus and the number of duty free shops just overwhelmed me. Big, confusing, impractical and impersonal was like a cold steel enclosure and the hours seemed to slowly tick by! I need to get outta here!!
AI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 13313 times:
Hey Toby, a fab 1st part of this TR and I eagerly await the 2nd part for the flight to HKG.
Quoting toby25 (Thread starter): Fast forward a month or so and I realise in the forums here that EK will be using the A380 to Manchester. Score! I was very excited. However this would only apply to my inbound return flight. Fast forward a few more weeks and I realise that EK will upgrade its Hong Kong services via Bangkok with the A380. Double score! So I would be flying Boeing 777-300ER outwards and Airbus A380 inwards, not bad. I did have the option of flying direct from Hong Kong to Dubai but where will the fun be in that?
I guess your instincts were right by not choosing to fly with Qatar.
Quoting toby25 (Thread starter): Interlude: Now I shall tell you children a story: In a land far far away resides T2 where a nasty ogre, we shall call her Rodney, is scratching her armpits and on the look out for innocent passengers to bark out at. Now Rodney has no friends and probably didn%u2019t get laid last night so undoubtedly agitated and a little somewhat unsatisfied sitting on the KLM / Air France check in counter where she proudly resides. Her loyal band of dwarfin%u2019 not-so-mighty morphin power rangers are there and if they see trouble will combine their powers bestowed upon them and transform into a giant piece of turd. Rodney senses an evil lifeform intend on causing a security breach. You There! I Command You Stop Taking Photos of the Continental Airlines Sign! ARGHHHH! Now the evil doer no matter how hard he fights cannot stop the mightyless power of Rodney and knows when to back down for fear of being arrested and thrown into jail! The evil doer leaves only this piece of evidence %u2013
This story had me in stitches of laughter from the second I read it! Loving the style of writing.
I'm actually still quite shocked about how the cabin crew behaved; not in a bad way at all. But despite being in the galley playing cards, etc they were still professional and kind enough to interact with the passengers. Looks like you had a ball of a time getting all the freebies including the stewardess....LOL! I don't think I've heard anyone being told by a cabin crew member that they can announce the landing at an airport! You should have actually done it and got someone to record it!
toby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 13125 times:
PART 2 POSTED BELOW:
Leaving the aircraft from MAN
EK020 as A6-ABS
Anyway I then bought some hand sanitiser from the duty free with the Dubai money I had left over and proceeded to gate 207 to connect to HK. Whilst entering the gate area I was thinking this is going to be another bussed gate! We made a long journey to what seemed like the other side of the airport passing a VS and BA aircraft both bound for Heathrow and then further still to the very last aircraft A6-EBG. Walked up the stairs and made my way to seat 40K. I knew this was going to be an empty flight which it was and had the whole row to myself.
View ouside my window of EK380
Not a full flight
Remote stand at DXB
View from my seat
The captain announced that due to favourable winds we would make an early arrival. Menus and hot towels were distributed before departure.
As I was super tired I decided to sleep, I didn’t eat any of the food but decided to accept one to take a photo. On today’s EK380 (not a A380 by the way but another B777-300) the food offerings were:
Appetiser: Vegatable nicoise – mixed vegetable tossed in olive oil and served with fresh lemon
Main: Breaded white fish fillet – with a creamy red pepper sauce, dill flavoured mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
Orange hot bean chicken – soy flavoured chicken thigh, topped with an orange flavoured hot bean sauce and served with stir fried pancit noodles
Dessert: Tiramisu – served with chocolate sauce
Cheese & biscuits
Beverages: Tea or Coffee
Sandwich: Chicken tikka – soft white roll filled with tender chicken tikka strips, and creamy coleslaw
Chocolate chip muffin
Here is where my “high Maintenance” comes back. Didn’t like the vegetable nicoise so that was out, really not into fish so that out and the orange spicy chicken – don’t like orange or spicy food. That out too and I don’t like coffee flavour so tiramisu out. I decided to go for the chicken and just ate the chicken avoiding the orange sauce. A couple of hours before arrival the sandwich was served and I don’t like spicy or coleslaw so gave that a miss but accepted a tray to take a photo but didn’t touch any of it. You may think I am picky with my food but I am not really it’s just I didn’t like what EK offered me on this particular journey. No wonder when I got back to my flat in HK my mom took me out to eat Chinese porridge, congee, to which I ate two bowls haha!
Served later in the flight
As I was very tired on this flight I didn’t chat with the crew but just slept and then watched a bit of the Simpsons before arrival 45 minutes early into HK. Collected my bags from carousel 4 and headed into the sticky humid weather of HK to catch my bus to Sheng Shui. It was 23:00 by the time I got home and not in bed till 01:00.
I thought I would share some photos of HK but from another perspective away from the average tourist hotspots of skyscrapers, glass buildings, neon lights and endless shops and malls but the everyday Hong Kong: The Hong Kong that a good number of local people experience day to day which I hope you will find of some interest. Of course if you want the advertised Hong Kong then it is only a short underground train journey away!
restaurant or dim sum time!
Chicken claws - I love these!!
Traditional Chinese medicine shops can be found everywhere in most markets
Take out - Chinese style!
Famous Chinese egg tarts just out from the oven
Im not too sure what the English name of this sweet bread is - Pineapple Bread? I dont think it has any pineapple in though?!
As I love all you guys, and for reading this trip report, I will throw in another with my second favourite airline, after BA, and the airline that my sister used to work as flight attendant, Cathay Pacific, the national airline of Hong Kong. I decided to take a 5 day holiday to Kuala Lumpur (KL) in Malaysia as I have never been and why not, you only live once! The day would start off extremely early with an 8.50am departure meaning we would have to check in by 06.20am for the 03 hour 45 minute journey. I initially wanted to come back to HK earlier so I could capture the first scheduled A380 by Emirates as EK384 on 1st October but alas that was not to be. Not to worry I would be taking this scheduled service a few days later back to Dubai via Bangkok.
Strange they code share with MH, as MH has a flight to KUL that departs 5 minutes before this one!
For those that can read Chinese or who are learning (which seems to be half the world these days!)
I was unsure what aircraft type Cathay would employ for the flight; on their website it stated EQV which meant they could use any damn aircraft they wanted to. It would be a surprise! I like surprises! But also hoping it would not be a 777 as I was getting a little tired of them lol! I made a dummy booking on their website and discovered that the flight to KL would be on an A340 which was completely booked up and return on the 777-300. I was hoping it would be a 747 as CX uses this type of aircraft occasionally on regional routes. Not to worry as I would be visiting a totally new country and was very excited.
Deserted at this time
CX group check in.
I arrived at the airport at 06.20 and met our tour group leader who would be responsible for us during our stay in Malaysia. However, the day would not start so well as upon discovering my seat number; I was in the middle row in the middle seat. WHAT?!! I asked to be moved but all the seats were fully booked. I was very disappointed as I wanted to capture the Malaysian landscape in the air and that would be very difficult in the middle row. I was promised a window seat upon the return but as I would be arriving at 21.30 at night in Hong Kong I didn’t see much point! Gutted was what I was feeling at the time, and I am still gutted now!
Heading past security I walked around the airport and captured a few shots of the early morning arrivals and departures. We would be leaving from gate 1 which is one of Cathay’s preferred gates at the airport as it is practically right next to the active runway. Gate 2 and 3 were CX flights heading to Singapore and Narita with the aircraft docked at gate 4 heading to New York. Whilst queuing in line to board I suddenly remembered I had not written down the registration. I don’t normally write down the registration but I thought I would start doing it. Unfortunately, I could not get a clear view of the registration and headed back to the queue, defeated.
To MEL, arrived from LHR
Reminds me of Air India ...compare...
Just arrived from Paris and walked over to the gate to wave to the passengers disembarking! Not one of them waved back to me
Would leave 5 mins ahead of me.
Are you sure it was not A6-EBS which is indeed an -ER series.
Quoting toby25 (Thread starter): On this menu I do not eat prawns so the starter was out, I don’t eat curry so that’s out and the mousse was too rich so that was out. I only ate the chicken and I am lactose intolerant so the cheese was passed.
Quoting toby25 (Thread starter): Didn’t like the vegetable nicoise so that was out, really not into fish so that out and the orange spicy chicken – don’t like orange or spicy food. That out too and I don’t like coffee flavour so tiramisu out. I decided to go for the chicken and just ate the chicken avoiding the orange sauce. A couple of hours before arrival the sandwich was served and I don’t like spicy or coleslaw so gave that a miss but accepted a tray to take a photo but didn’t touch any of it.
Did you ever think of taking your own "high maintenance" food on board LOL... Emirates meals are really very tasty and you definitely missed out on them.
AI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 12031 times:
Hey Toby, apologies for the early response after Part 1. Just out of interest what was the name of that restaurant in HKG as it looks something quite familiar to what the lady at the Four Seasons sent us to.
Quoting toby25 (Reply 2): However, the day would not start so well as upon discovering my seat number; I was in the middle row in the middle seat. WHAT?!! I asked to be moved but all the seats were fully booked. I was very disappointed as I wanted to capture the Malaysian landscape in the air and that would be very difficult in the middle row. I was promised a window seat upon the return but as I would be arriving at 21.30 at night in Hong Kong I didn%u2019t see much point! Gutted was what I was feeling at the time, and I am still gutted now!
Didn't you have the option of OLCI?? But that would hurt anyone who loves to fly. I would have made a tantrum...lol!!! and refused to board!
Quoting CXB77L (Reply 6): It would've been EBS, not ABS. EK don't have an aircraft registered as A6-ABS, whereas A6-EBS is a 777-300ER.
I stand corrected, it might be A6-EBS, I may need to go to the opticians!
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 4): Did you ever think of taking your own "high maintenance" food on board LOL... Emirates meals are really very tasty and you definitely missed out on them.
You might be onto something there! I usually cannot be bothered to bring food with me because i am too lazy to carry it haha.
Quoting AI151 (Reply 5): Just out of interest what was the name of that restaurant in HKG as it looks something quite familiar to what the lady at the Four Seasons sent us to.
No, it wasnt the 4 seasons - I'm not that posh haha! It was a local restuarant in my home town, no idea what the name is! Sorry.
Quoting AI151 (Reply 5): Didn't you have the option of OLCI?? But that would hurt anyone who loves to fly. I would have made a tantrum...lol!!! and refused to board!
As this was a tour group booking - I had no control over the seating arrangements. Self check in did not work either, when I arrived at the airport my boarding pass had already been printed! Trust me I did throw a tantrum haha
toby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 10835 times:
I have not recently flown with Cathay, not since they introduced the new cabin features with the forward sliding seats in economy. This aircraft featured the new shell design and inflight entertainment system. I must admit the new seat design did not do much for me and I don’t think I would be able to tolerate such a seat on a long haul flight. Thank goodness this was less than a 4 hour service so I should be able to survive! During the boarding procedure one of the male flight attendants was holding up the duty free catalogue shouting that it was the last day of sales today!
I was a little grumpy as I had to wake up early to find myself sitting in the middle seat and what made it worse was the couple sitting in the window seat on my row had the window blind closed practically the whole length of the flight. So annoying!! Just shoot me now, OK!
The flight was uneventful, a little turbulence but nothing out of the ordinary.
My flight being prepared for KUL
Seat pitch was OK, Emirates was better, but the best I think is NZ!
I like the little pictures cathay uses
A full flight. This service code shares with AA and MH.
What the heck is this lump on the seatbelt?! gave me a thrill when I accidently sat on it!!!
CX heavily markets its service and its “service straight from the heart” with the team “who go the extra mile” on board its flight. To be honest I thought the crew were a little cold and robotic. Maybe because the crew had a full A340 to feed and clean or the time of the day but they were not that impressive and didn’t feel any “from the heart” moments. I went to the back of the galley but I was mostly ignored. The inflight entertainment however was superb; the only drawback was that sometimes the responsiveness of the system was “sticky” in the sense after pressing the button on the controller several times nothing happened. There were a lot to choose from but as I am not a particular lover of films ended up watching some sitcom. The CX Studio system is much more user friendly than the EK ICE system in my opinion. After watching a couple of episodes of The Simpsons, I listened to some Mandarin chart music.
Flies to Moscow three times a week - Good to know.
I recommend this album! hehe
In addition, whilst leafing through the inflight magazine, Discovery, a menu card from the Hong Kong to Toronto route was left behind. I didn’t think CX sent their A340 to Toronto anymore? FYI here is the menu, again not like I had any of it!
Supper: Ham, cucumber, potato and gherkin and sweet paprika
Briased basa fish with sa cha sauce, steamed jasmine rice and jade melon
Braised chicken in tomato mushroom oregano sauce and mashed potatoes with parsley
Penne rigate with spinach, nutmeg and parmesan sauce
Marble cheese cake
Tea and coffee.
Seasonal fresh fruit
Omelette with creamy spinach, baked beans, streaky bacon, hash brown and baked tomato with herbs
Braised chicken wth chan chuen noodle served with chilli sauce.
Croissant with fruit preserve and butter
Tea and coffee
Snack: Cup noodle and assorted snacks are available throughout the flight.
The meal I had can be seen in the photo below:
It was a sausage ^_^
Sorry I took the photo when it just changed! Didnt realise till after!
There was a problem with my video for a while. Was saying loading for 30 mins!
We made a smooth and on time arrival in KLIA. There were not many aircraft around and nothing of particular interest which is a shame as Malaysia is such a wonderful place and more exotic airlines should open up routes here, rather than fly via a secondary point. KLIA is 4 star airport from Skytrax and ranked 5th in 2010. Incidentally the top 10 airports, 6 of which are all located in the Far East and zero in America which is a shame! Now my personal thoughts on KLIA are that it isn’t a particular stunning airport; I don’t like how arrivals and departures are mingled together rather than separated like in most airports. You have to take a train from arrivals / departures concourse to the main area ie immigration if you’re arriving and check in if departing. The airport layout is confusing at times but there are signs. The departing / arrival concourse is split on two tiers with shops on both but the actual gates are on the first floor. The second floor predominately houses restaurants and airline lounges. In the centre is a jungle type enclosure which I have read about but in reality isn’t anything spectacular and will keep you amused for all of 30 seconds!
Departures and arrivals mingle together.
The gate we disembarked from.
I had to take the train to the immigration desk and what awaited me was a line longer than a half price sale at the 99p store in Bradford, England! I was waiting in line for almost an hour and when I finally managed to creep my way to the front I was greeted by the immigration officer. When I say greeted I mean not a word, only looked up to see my face and handed back my passport. Now I know immigration officials are there for security but more often than not will be the first taste of the country and my welcome was as cold as a block of ice taken from the deepest recess of Antarctica enclosed in dry ice and liquid nitrogen rocketed to the nether regions of planet Uranus! That was all soon forgotten when I got my first glimpse of Malaysia and it was a scorcher of a day!
A hot day!
The only red mosque in the world
I think this is the Central Government building - or the King lives here?!
This is a fish food restaurant - the worst food here. I ate nothing here!
The "tunnel" bit in the Towers
Malaysia is a weird country not in a horrible way but the mix of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Arabic etc people make it such an exotic and multi-cultural country. I am not too sure if everyone gets on well with each other but I found only friendly people. It is amusing walking into a shop with the sales assistant trying to guess which language to converse in: Cantonese, Mandarin, Malaysian or English in my case. During my short stay in Malaysia I learnt some Malaysian from our tour gude: Mali, Mali! Means follow me and selaman bakhi means good morning I did remember the word to eat but I forgot! Something like massan lassi or something! I like the way how they spell Central Station it is Sentral Steson haha!
Welcome in Malaysian.
I like this building!
Malaysia is a great place. I went to all the major tourist attractions and stayed in some amazing hotels. The Hilton next to Sentral Steson in the Deluxe Room is amazing, with an amazing bathroom and the Legend Water Hotel in Port Dickson with my own private swimming pool. I also visited Malacca which was forgettable! The Malaysians are very patriotic, every other building had the Malaysian flag hanging on doors and windows and flag poles and smaller ones on string hanging everywhere!
I went on these bike thingys!
A plane in a park
It has a registration!
Hotel in Port Dickson
My own swimming pool in my room hahaha!
Flags are EVERYWHERE!!
This is the tallest flag pole in the world the tour guide told me?!
I don’t think our tour guide is a fan of non –ethnic Chinese people living in Malaysia. He was telling us that Arabic men can marry up to 4 wives and that Indians use the bathroom only use one sheet of paper and was explaining to us in Cantonese the intricacies of how this is achieved. In addition all the rich people are Chinese and the Indians are slow at service delivery! Is there a rift between Chinese and Indian people in the country? It was quite embarrasing to listen to!
toby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 10806 times:
It was time to head back to HK, again with Cathay Pacific, a member of the One World Alliance, as they mention frequently! Arriving at the airport we checked in and took the train once more to the departure / arrivals hall. There is a viewing area pre security but you won’t see much apart from MH and Air Asia.
I used the free internet to send some emails and then went to gate C32 where I practically bumped into the arriving passengers on the inbound Hong Kong flight. A mix match of arriving and departing passengers crowded the area but I managed to make my way to the second security point to be allowed entry into the gate waiting area. It was an uneventful flight and the meal choices were either chicken with rice or fish with rice. I chose the former option which also included fresh fruit, bread roll, chocolate and apple pie. I also tried to purchase the CX777-300 One World livery model but unfortunately they were sold out so maybe next time then.
A big let down for me!
I found KLIA quite confusing - although I do get lost with sat nav!
The Jakarta flight was cancelled on this day.
We made a smooth approach into HKG and disembarked from gate 63 I think it was. Upon disembarking I was eager to find out if I could spot the first scheduled A380 into HK as EK more often than not uses gates in the 60’s. Sure enough I spot the giant beast preparing itself for the return journey to Dubai with a hop to Bangkok first. Unfortunately I was not able to capture the first few moments it touched down with what I suspect a water canon salute which I have never seen before. At the time the A380 touched down I was probably just airborne from KL. Collected my bags from carousel 8 and made my way back home to unpack.
Not a full flight
Seat pitch ok
My seat view
turn my head to the left view
Disembarking in HKG
The first A380 EK to arrive in HKG. Taken on 01 Oct at about 21:40 getting ready to fly to BKK.
toby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9837 times:
I know this is an aviation trip report but I thought I would include a few photos for the boat enthusiast amongst us, to which I am not unfortunately. I spent a day in Macau which is an hour ferry ride from Hong Kong harbour to Macau harbour. The day would start off with another early start to catch the first train to Sheung Wan Harbour to check in. If you are in Hong Kong then it is definitely worth taking a day trip to the small country of Macau, famous for its grand casinos! It has a mix of Chinese and Portuguese influences although much of the Portuguese heritage these days is limited to road signs and bill boards!
Terminal building in Sheung Wan, HKG
I slept practically the whole journey there and back and neither did I explore the ferry at all so apologies I'm not too sure of the service and facilities on board. I am sure other people who have been on this ferry would be able to fill me in! The whole experience is like boarding an aircraft: from check in to gate assignment, to overhead lockers and tray tables! The only thing different was the boat was rocking quite violently on the water to mistake it for an aircraft waiting to take off!
Good seat pitch!
Macau, lots of bridges!
The most famous and probably most recognisable spot is St Paul’s cathedral in the centre. The TV tower is the tallest building in Macau and I think the 6th in the world. I went up to the top on the 61st floor and took in the panoramic views of Macau. People are crazy enough to bungee jump off this thing which I watched a few mentally unstable people do! Also worth a visit is the stunning Venetian Hotel and Shopping Centre. Words cannot really describe the scale of this place; it is truly a masterpiece of design modelled on Venice with the canals and gondolas. Check it out, people!
My time in Asia has come to an end, which is good as I always put on weight when I am back and no surprises I have put on half a stone! I can’t believe it. All those hours in the gym sweating it out wasted in the space of a fortnight! Time to calorie control again
St Paul, Macau
OLCI opens 24 hours prior to departure to which I dutifully fulfilled and was on my way to the airport for flight EK385 (Hong Kong – Bangkok – Dubai) connecting to EK17 (Dubai – Manchester). I arrived at Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok International Airport at around 19:30 and straight to aisle G where EK385 check in was well underway with quite a substantial queue already in place. The vast majority from the looks of it would be disembarking in Bangkok with a fair number of tour groups on board. As I had already checked in I queued at the checked in online queue. My bag was once again ingested by the airport into the deepest recesses of the netherworld (Hope my teddy bear will be OK in there!)
I went downstairs to the arrivals area to eat at a Chinese restaurant (Mei Xin) and then went through security and passport control. I have not really taken any photos of the airport as there are many already from my previous TR and on other people’s fantastic accounts of their time here. This would be the 8th scheduled A380 to take off from HK and I was onboard! It would depart from gate 60, a long walk. However I wanted to make a call and since I did not have my mobile on me I used the public payphones but did not have any change. I ended up going to a fashion shop (Gucci I think it was) t o see if they could break a 50! Haha they did and I made a call to my friend in Kowloon.
This would be my first time to board an A380 and I was very excited. Boarding was done in zones and upon entering the aircraft was a bit disappointed - it was just like any other aircraft I have boarded. Not too sure what I was expecting but I always had the impression it would be spectacular. All EK A380 are economy on the lower deck I think, so I did not have the opportunity to venture upstairs. I settled down into what was going to be a very full cabin. Crew distributed the menus and on this service would be:
Hong Kong – Bangkok (Aircraft registration was A6-EDA)
Salad – Seasonal salad: served with dressing
Main Course – Pan fried sea bass filler: topped with leek and mustard cream sauce, served with tomato concasse, buttered fresh broccoli, Vichy carrots and herb mash potatoes
Roast chicken with ginger: stir fried chicken with ginger and spring onions on oyster sauce, served with sugar snap peas, capsicums and black mushroom mix, accompanied with egg fried rice.
Dessert – Rice pudding cake: light cake placed on raspberry puree
Beverages: Tea or coffee
Not into fish so I chose the chicken which was nice as I ate at the airport I didn’t finish the whole meal. The flight was pretty uneventful and I watched the final part of Ratatouille the Disney cartoon that I didn’t get to finish on the way out. A male crew member walking past me saw this and tapped me on the shoulder and said it’s a great film haha, the crew on this flight were brilliant. I think the EK crew are all really friendly and human, which sometimes I forget as crew can often be very robotic (CX crew) and you sometimes forget crew members have personalities as well, which EK crew shone.
Now this is none of my business and I will probably get shot down saying this, but hey ho! On the flight there were so many old, probably Caucasian, men with pretty and young Thai girls who were very affectionate with one another. Is it just me but is something not quite right with this picture? You can tell that these men are well off and the Thai girls are simply after one thing…I shall say no more! I maybe wrong!
After the first meal service I simply dozed off not to be disturbed until arrival into Bangkok. I put on the eye shades that Melissa gave me and was out to the world. Faint recollections through broken sleep recall a duty free round and probably a round of drinks which I saw through bleary eyes before sleep washed over me again. Now I thought the A380 would be a spectacular feeling jetting off but take off was like a wet slap to the face! I like the feeling you get when you are pushed back into you seat which I did not feel on the A380. It is very quiet and you may not even realise you are taking off it is so gentle. I didn’t like it and much prefer the B747, the raw power (shivers!)
We arrived on time and the captain announced another aircraft was using our jet way and due to the size of the aircraft limited to where we can park. Apparently BKK only has space to accommodate 3 (or was it 4) A380 and they were all being used. We waited patiently for about 30 minutes but the passengers were getting restless. The crew had to manually lock the toilets and repeat numerous times for passengers to seat down.
Is the A380 only for a month in HKG??
Finally we parked up and now delayed for 30 minutes. All DXB bound passengers (me) are required to remain on board where all BKK passengers left and a crew change would be done. During this transit we were asked to remain seated but this was largely ignored where ground staff did a passenger check and crew a baggage check. Cleaners came on board. I am thinking they had a hard time trying to clean the aircraft and move between passengers and crew. Consequently a lot of rubbish was still left in seat pockets and much of the cushions and head rest thingys were not changed for the new set of passengers (note to self, try not to book a flight where I join during a transit!)
New set of crew boarded and the safety video was shown for a second time. I was so tired that I almost immediately fell asleep and still full so declined the next meal service, sorry no photo.
Bangkok - Dubai
Fruit: Fresh seasonal fruit
Main course – Spanish omelette: with roasted cherry tomato, blanched sugar snap peas and sautéed potatoes
Stir fried egg noodles: wok fried noodles with chicken and seasonal Asian vegetables
Croissant: served with butter and jam
Beverages: Tea or coffee
If I was to choose I would have gone for the egg noodles but not to worry. I literally slept the whole way waking up intermittently but did watch Knight and Day with Tom Cruise which I got bored and switched off. To be honest, I don’t really remember much of this flight, not even pushing back or taking off! Strange! Arrived very early into Dubai but we arrived 50 minutes late due to the parking incident in BKK and consequently the knock on effects.
There was a long line for security check but when it was my time I got the beep and had to go through again. Beep again, took off my watch, beep again, the security man then said sorry you can not take this watch through with you! I was like WHAT?!!! That’s a rolex! He was joking of course but for 3 seconds I was numb thinking I had to leave my precious watch which cost more than the plane ticket! I don’t like Arabic humour haha! He then gave me a wink and I am sure he squeezed my shoulder haha ok then! A big sigh of relief and back into the nasty airport which I will call Dubai. Fool me once, I accept; fool me twice I cannot accept. I made sure I brought some snacks with me to eat at the airport for the 3.5 hour wait for my flight to MAN. Now finding a place to sit would be my next challenge and had to walk to the other side of the airport to find an empty row of seats.
Boarding was eventually called at gate 202 where one person checks your passport and another checks your ticket. Couldn’t the same person do this?! The passport check man was joking with me saying he knew where I was born from my passport and asking me about my home town and if he should visit! He wanted me to be his tour guide Lol!! You then have to wait in a hold area to actually board where someone else checks your boarding pass stub. Goodness! Boarding the actual aircraft was delayed due to late inbound aircraft from London. Eventually boarded but this time I had a window seat. The window is huge! The middle seat was empty next to me and an Indian gentlemen on the aisle seat. We had a short taxi to runway but due to the delay in boarding had to wait for 5 other EK aircraft to take off.
The Indian gentlemen did not know how to fill in the landing form so he asked if I could which I kindly did. I have never seen a landing card for the UK before so it was interesting for a short while. Again nothing exciting happened on this flight so I will report on the menu:
Dubai – Manchester (Aircraft registration A6-EDI)
Fruit- fresh seasonal fruit
Main course: Cheese and tomato omelette – served with fried potato cubes tossed in herbs, and sautéed spinach
Scrambled eggs: accompanied with savoury potato pancake, sautéed mushrooms and veal sausage
Croissant: served with butter and preserve
Beverage: Tea or Coffee
Cajun chicken: soft white ciabatta roll filled with Cajun flavoured chicken and creamy egg mayonnaise
I chose the scrambled eggs which were nice. A pleasant landing into Manchester where I then collected my suitcase and on the train back home.
Hope you enjoyed my TR and I will probably use EK again. Eventhough they are expanding at a phenomenal pace, I still felt like they wanted my business and seemed genuine throughout my trip. Well done EK, I will see you next year! I am booked to go to Korea and Japan but will fly to HK first – I am very excited, I like Korean drama.
airpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 942 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9443 times:
Thanks for a ripping good read and funny too. Enjoyed your accounts of the flights on EK and CX, but especially the write-up of your stay in Malaysia. You certainly had an "interesting" guide while there, and from his obviously bigoted viewpoint, I dread to think what else he may have said. Still, the fact is he's not such an unusual Malaysian - many in Malaysia hold stereotypes of what other races in the country are like. This attitude, which has strengthened over the years, is one of the uglier aspects of Malaysia - making the country's tourism slogan of 'Truly Asia' rather ironic imo.
Quoting toby25 (Reply 10): I think this is the Central Government building - or the King lives here?!
Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya
Quoting toby25 (Reply 10): The Malaysians are very patriotic, every other building had the Malaysian flag hanging on doors and windows and flag poles and smaller ones on string hanging everywhere!
It may have been due to the Malaysia Day celebrations on Sept 16. Many municipal councils, for instance, insist on "patriotism" by requiring businesses to fly the flag during these holidays - I suspect some of these flags weren't put up voluntarily.
Quoting toby25 (Reply 10): Is there a rift between Chinese and Indian people in the country?
Not any more than between the Chinese and Malay, or Indian and Malay.
ronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9420 times:
Quoting toby25 (Reply 14): Now this is none of my business and I will probably get shot down saying this, but hey ho! On the flight there were so many old, probably Caucasian, men with pretty and young Thai girls who were very affectionate with one another. Is it just me but is something not quite right with this picture? You can tell that these men are well off and the Thai girls are simply after one thing…I shall say no more! I maybe wrong!
So i hear that some of those 'couples' that are traveling in First Class also use the facilities of the onboard shower together Apparently, the policy is a maximum of two people for each 'session'
Thanks for a great report!
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8818 times:
Very good detailed trip report.
I flew EK back in Nov of 09 and I found them amazing. For the most part crew were pleasant and attentive and I was so entertained with ICE. Between watching the multitude of episodes of Family Guy and The Simpsons I kept entertained for the 15 hour flight. You know what, I found the DXB airport very interesting, between the people watching and all the different nationalities you see at the airport it makes for an enjoyable experience. Do you happen to know what little pictures CX uses for flights to SFO and LAX? (The little pictures on the IFE screen describing the destination)?