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Asia Part 2: CX Business To Tokyo (PVG-HKG-HND)  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 18043 times:

Asia Part 2: CX Business Class to Tokyo (PVG-HKG-HND)

This is part two of my recent trip to Asia. Part one can be found [url= Asia Part 1: LHR-China With LH (LHR-MUC-FRA-NKG) (by gabrielchew Jul 4 2011 in Trip Reports)]here[/url].

After my Lufthansa flights from London to Nanjing (via MUC and FRA), I spent a night in Nanjing, before taking a circuitous route back to Shanghai via a couple of mountains.

Nanjing
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Jiuhuashan, one of China’s Five Holy Mountains
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Huangshan, not a holy mountain, but probably the country’s most famous. Apparently, the Floating Mountains in Avatar was based on Huangshan. I got a sunny first day, then an overcast and cloudy second day.
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Staying the night at one of the vastly overpriced hotels to see sunrise is apparently on the China’s “not to be missed” experiences. Honestly, I thought the whole thing was very overrated. I’d recommend getting the cable car up early in the morning, spending the day wandering around, then getting the other cable car back down in the evening.
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Pretty much everything consumed at the top of the mountain is brought up the mountain by these guys:
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A squirrel in a trap
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The town of Tunxi, at the foot of Huangshan. Not long after taking this photo, the heavens opened, and it rain for the next week or so.
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I took the opportunity of being in Tunxi to visit the Bamboo Forest featured in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
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Some rural food and scenery
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Ningbo, second city of Zhejiang Province, jumping off point for Putuoshan, the only seaside hold mountain. The first day, the fog/smog was awful, although it did lift a little
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Ningbo Art Musuem


Putuoshan, another Holy Mountain, although it wasn’t so much a mountain as an island. It rained most of the time I was there, but of course, it stopped just as I was getting on the ferry back to Ningbo.
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A Xiamen Airlines B738 leaving Zhoushan Airport
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From Ningbo, I took a morning ‘bullet train’ (actually referred to as ‘hexie hao’ or ‘civilised’ train back to Shanghai. Since I was last in Shanghai, they’ve opened a new interchange near Hongqiao Airport (main domestic airport for Shanghai).
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From Hongqiao, I took the metro over to Pudong. At 1 hour 50 minutes on the same line, this must be one of the longest metro journeys ever – and it felt it, I was very glad to finally get off in Pudong.
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I booked these flight with my BA miles. I had originally wanted to fly Ningbo (NGB) – Hong Kong (HKG) – Tokyo (HND) – Okinawa (OKA) on Dragonair (KA), Cathay Pacific (CX) and JAL (JL) respectively. However, it seems like BA have varying mileage redemption costs depending on how many airlines you redeem on. Seemed a bit weird to me to be honest. So, in order to get a reasonable set of flights, I had to change to PVG (Shanghai) – HKGHND, all on CX. I didn’t mind missing out Okinawa, but having to fly out of PVG was a hassle especially seeing as it’s further in distance than NGB (so surely costing BA more?). Seemed a lot more complicated than Star Alliance redemptions that I’m used to.

My flights with Cathay Pacific
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PVG departures
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From the metro I made the short journey over to the international check in desks. There was no queue for the combined KA/CA desks. As I approached a Business Class desk, the check in lady stood up, and welcomed me. She asked (as I expected she would) if I wanted to take one of the earlier Dragonair (KA) to HKG. I declined, saying that I wanted to try the CX flight with the longhual seats, which she found a good enough reason.

The CX desks. The board with green and red on shows availability for today down to HKG
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With my bags sent on their way, and my boarding pass in hand, I headed through immigration and security.
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After a quick perusal of the duty-free (1L Gordons Gin for GBP7), I headed to the KA/CX lounge. It wasn’t the most amazing lounge in the world, but there were quite a few sofa/able combos available, so I settled down in a nice spot, with a few drinks and snacks to while away the next 3 hours.
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China Daily in the lounge
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Around 1600, a chef turned up, and set up a wonton soup stall – always a sucker for these sorts of lounge snacks, I ordered a bowl.
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I was quite happy with this photo! LH in China!


My CX landing
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June 2011
Shanghai Pudong (PVG) – Hong Kong (HKG)
Cathay Pacific CX 369
Scheduled: 1735-2010 (2h35m)
Actual: 1739-1942 (2h03m)
A330-300 (B-LAC)



Half an hour prior to scheduled departure, I headed down to the gate, where boarding was underway.
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This would be my first flight on a ‘herringbone’ style business class, so I was quite excited (actually so excited that I sat in the wrong seat! To be honest, it’s a bit confusing the first time in the cabin with all the seats facing the ‘wrong’ way).
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Not long after sitting down, I was offered a choice of water, OJ or champagne. I went with the latter!


First impressions of the seat were that it wasn’t nearly as claustrophobic as reviews had lead me to believe. On the other hand, I found the seat awful in terms of seclusion (you face the aisle 100% of the time!), and window views were painful to find (stay sitting facing forward, and move your head to you’re looking over your shoulder – not comfortable is it, at least for any length of time. And photos on take off, forget about it!).

Out route down to Hong Kong this afternoon
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A hot towel was also handed out
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Off we go!
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Whilst it’s great having a satellite view of where you are, it’s better if the maps have been updated to show the new runways! Looks like only half of PVG has been built.
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The arrow in the top right is Ningbo, where I started my journey at 8am this morning – now you can see why I wanted to fly directly from NGB!
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I had an explore of the ‘Studio CX’. I wanted to watch a film, but I just couldn’t find them. It was pretty frustrating. I thought I was being very inept at not being able to find them. I’m normally a very logical person, so when things are hidden for no apparent reason, it really annoys me! I had to ask a member of crew who said that they weren’t available on this leg. Not terribly impressed. Instead I watch a few episodes of Raising Hope.
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Menu for his afternoon’s flight
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First, tray tables were handed out, along with a choice of bread
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Next the starters were handed out, along with more bread
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A while later, the main courses arrived. I went with the prawns with rice, which were pretty tasty
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After the trays were cleared, the dessert trolley came around. I asked for a top up of champagne, and some ice cream. I was given the champagne, and asked what flavour ice cream I wanted, but then the lady moved on. Um, hello, can I have the ice cream?!

I caught her before she’d moved on too far, and she came back with the ice cream a bit shamed faced
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The ice cream was tasty, although frozen completely solid. I had to wait a good ten minutes before I could start chipping away at it. A praline was also served.
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Bathroom amenities
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Views
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http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 18045 times:

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A trademark Cathay Delight – Champagne with Drambuie and orange and lemon zest – quite nice!


Touch down, nearly half an hour early
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UA next to us
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As we parked at a gate at the end of the terminal, I had to get a shuttle train down to arrivals, where I managed to join the slowest moving line available (as always). Once through, my bag was already going round the belt, so I took it and headed out to the bus terminal. Whooo, Hong Kong was HOT compared to Shanghai. Around 33C and humid – pretty uncomfortable.

I spent a couple of days with a friend that lives in Guangzhou, having around in HK, eating dim sum, and drinking imported beer. It was a very pleasant few days.
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From Hong Kong I would be flying on CX up to Tokyo. After many years of having very limited international flights, Tokyo’s Haneda (HND) Airport started to open up to more intra-Asian flights in the mid-2000’s. These, unlike the new range of international flights with limited operating times (2200-0600), operate at ‘normal’ times. From HKG, CX flights twice daily (0830ish and 1615), and JL (CX codeshare at 1515). NH also has a flight departing at 1430. I decided to go with the late afternoon CX flight as it gave me a full day to lounge hop in HKG, and it was operated by the B744. I would have liked to have tried JL B773, but due to the strange way BA Miles work, the mileage would have been roughly double as I was using an ‘extra’ airline for my redemption.

I took the bus back to HKG from my hotel just off Nathan Road in Kowloon – you get some nice views just before you arrive at the terminal
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I arrived at the airport at around 1145, so plenty of time before my 1615 flight. There was a very short queue at the Cathay Pacific Business Class desks, and my bag was tagged through to HND. I was also given a map showing the location of the Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air (KA) lounges in HKG.
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After checking in my bag, I went over to the information desk to ask if the viewing lounge on the top of Terminal 2 was still open. The staff there were pretty clueless, but after calling around, decided that it wasn’t open. I wasn’t sure if this was correct of not, but decided not to bother going and looking just in case. I headed through security and immigration instead.
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My first stop was ‘The Wing’ lounge. My first impressions were “is this it?”. It was a very small lounge, with fairly limited drink and food options. I got myself a selection of breakfasty type options, and took a seat in the corner of the lounge.
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Once I was done with my food, I had a further look around. There was a very large, and empty computer room, and some showers as well. The Wing in the middle of being refurbished, so perhaps they’ll extend it a bit?
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HKG views
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My next interested stop was the G16 Dragon Air lounge. However, enroute, I came across the Qantas lounge. My research before heading to the airport showed that the Business part of the lounge would only open at 1600. However, it seemed like the lounge was open all day, which was nice. Interestingly, there was no sign of any affiliation to BA. It thought it was a joint lounge?
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I was welcomed into the lounge, which was almost deserted (of course, of the few people in there, was one guy talking loudly on his phone, and then two other people yapping away to each other). Unfortunately, there were no windows in the lounge.
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The food and drinks selection was good. Whilst I was browsing the selections, one of the staff asked if I wanted some noodles, and then offered to bring them over to my table. Great service. Tasty noodles too!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9295.jpg

A few other snacks at the QF lounge:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9294.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9297.jpg

After a pleasant stay in the Qantas lounge, I headed down “the road” to the Dragonair lounge.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9309.jpg

The generic Chinese airline lounge was across the way.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9310.jpg

This was the only lounge I visited that was ‘above ground’ that day. It was nice to have a more airy feel, although it was louder than the other subterranean lounges.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9308.jpg

Still feeling rather full after the QF food, I just got a small selection to pass the time, whilst watching the final passengers board an OZ flight to Seoul.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9306.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9312.jpg

I came out of the KA lounge around 1330. My flight still didn’t have a gate, which I thought was a little odd when a lot of flights at the same time already had gates.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9312.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9318.jpg

Still, no need to panic, and I made my way, via travelator, to ‘The Cabin’ lounge, found half way along the ‘stem’ of the terminal.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9319.jpg

An MH B772 heading to KUL. Last year I arrived on this flight after very nice holiday in PEN.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9317.jpg

The Cabin was absolutely packed. It took two walks of the lounge to find a seat. I had a great view though!


I decided to go for my first champagne of the day, which was light and refreshing. I did a bit of work using the free wifi, had another champagne, then decided to move on. At the desk on my way out, I enquired as to the gate for my flight. I was told that there still wasn’t a gate assigned, but the flight was still on time.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9324.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9326.jpg

On my way further up the stem, I passed the earlier JL flight to HND, leaving on time.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9328.jpg
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A couple of NHs
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9330.jpg

Cathay’s Home. This B744 was actually parked at the gate (which had finally been announced), so I assumed it was my plane. Turns out it was a late running flight to India.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9332.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9335.jpg


At 1430, I had made it to my fifth and final lounge of the day ‘The Pier’, with catering contracted to The Peninsula Hotel.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9338.jpg

Given the long walk to The Pier, I was expecting the lounge to be quite quiet. I was wrong. There wasn’t a single seat left in the eating area, and most of the lounging seats were gone too, so I took a seat at the bar. I got some potato wedges, and Thai fishcakes with sweet chilli sauce. Yum
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9339.jpg

Champagne and water to accompany


The location of The Pier
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9342.jpg

Champagne with a view


I order to add another airport to the list of “Airports I’ve had showers in” (so far LHR, LGW, DOH, FRA, VIE, MAD, NRT, SIN), I decided to check out the Cathay Shower rooms.


The shower room was clean, bright and spacious, and were probably the best airport shower I’ve been in, apart from the ANA arrivals lounge one in NRT. It was during my shower that I heard an announcement being made. As I still had a rather uneasy feeling about the timeliness of my flight, I turned off the shower and listened. Sure enough, a two hour delay to my flight was announced.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9347.jpg

I was particularly annoyed at the timing of their announcement as the earlier JL flight had *just* finished boarding meaning there was no way to get an earlier flight. I was quite worried about transportation now that I was going to be arriving quite late. Transport within Tokyo tends to shut down quite early, and I didn’t want to be left stranded in HND and having to fork out (GBP 50+) for a taxi all the way to my hotel (the other side of the city). Also, I would be staying in a small Japanese-style inn, and their official check-in time finishes at 2200. I had previously emailed them asking if they could wait until I arrived at around 2300, and they said that they could. Now I was looking at a 0030 arrival at the earliest. I didn’t want someone sitting up in reception waiting for me for hours on end, or worse, them not waiting and finding myself homeless for the night.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9353.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9355.jpg

I relayed my thoughts and feelings about the situation to the ladies at the customer services desk in the lounge. They said they’d send a telex to Tokyo, whom would contact the hotel, and see about onward transport. I now found myself with an extra two hours in the airport. Whilst my original plan called for lots of lounge time, I was now bored, and keen to get on the plane. Oh well, nothing for it but to have another champagne!


I asked if it was possible to get a meal voucher (as the food in the lounge was getting a bit repetitive), and was told that most eateries in the airport would accept my boarding pass for a $75 voucher. I was a bit sceptical, but decided to go upstairs and see what $75 could buy me. Not a lot. I enquired in the first café I came to, and was told that they would accept it. My budget stretched to a bowl of rice, and some spring rolls. Exciting.

Once id eaten that, I went back down to the lounge to do a but more lounging, and to ask whether the hotel had responded to my telex etc. The ladies were friendly, but didn’t really have a lot of answers. Being quite bored of the lounge by now, and with boarding time finally approaching, I made my way upstairs, and down to the gate.

My plane finally on stand
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9361.jpg

Not long after I arrived, the boarding call was made, and everyone (it was a full flight) went to their respective line (First/Business/Gold, and economy). I was quite surprised at how long the priority line was. I must have been around #30 in line, and there were plenty of people behind. I suppose normally business passengers turn up in dribs and drabs once boarding is already underway, thereby never contributing to a long queue. This evening, however, I think everyone was anxious to get on their way.

At around 1755, boarding finally started, and I was on my way. Upper deck, here I come!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 18032 times:

June 2011
Hong Kong (HKG) – Tokyo Haneda (HND)
Cathay Pacific CX 542
Scheduled: 1615-2135 (4h20m)
Actual: 1826-2251 (3h25m)
B747-400 (B-HKU)



Main desk business class
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9363.jpg

Stair (taken later in flight)


My seat


Upper Deck
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9374.jpg

Airbridge
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9366.jpg

My view
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9373.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9375.jpg

Welcome Champagne
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9309.jpg

As expected, there was a full load on board tonight in business class. We taxied out to the active, where we received no special priority (around 5 aircraft passed us) before finally taking off over 2 hours late.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9376.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9389.jpg

The pilot apologised for the late departure. Apparently our aircraft had gone tech, as had the replacement aircraft (doesn’t sound like great engineering), so our aircraft was one recently arrived for LHR. He said the ground crew had done an amazing job turning the aircraft round in less than an hour.

Unlike the PVG-HKG flight, there were actually movie options on this flight. It was good to know that I wasn’t just being stupid on the previous flight where I couldn’t find them.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9309.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9309.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9309.jpg

I ended up watching Garden State – one of those films that I’d heard of, but never watched – it was good to watch, although nothing really happened.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9386.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9390.jpg


Tonight’s menu


Pre dinner drinks and snacks
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9392.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9394.jpg

I thought that you had to choose one of the three starters, but it seems that you get everything.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9396.jpg

For the main course, I went with the beef, which was amazing. Excellent quality.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9397.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9398.jpg

Cheese and crackers for dessert, followed by ice cream
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9399.jpg


Our progress
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9401.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9402.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9403.jpg

Cabin views
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9404.jpg


Whilst in an upright position the seat does feel quite hemmed in and claustrophobic, when the seat is full reclined, there is quite a lot of space at head level, especially on the upper deck with extra space normally taken up with the window ledge. Pity this wasn’t a longer flight!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9410.jpg

Some IFE picture
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9413.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9414.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9420.jpg

After the meal service, I asked one of the crew about ground arrangements, and if they had managed to get hold of the hotel. When the lady came back, she brought the manifest (?) at the bottom of which was a note about my earlier telex (sent from the lounge). It seems that the message got through (or was sent at any rate). I was told that the staff in arrivals would be expecting me.

I’m not sure if there were strong tail winds, or if the pilot was just flooring it, but we began our approach around 2230, just an hour behind schedule. What with the awkward seating arrangement, and the fact that it was dark outside, I only took a few photos on landing.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9424.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9429.jpg

On the taxi in, I noticed a Hawaiian B767, amongst a lot of JALs and ANAs. Being in a slight stress about getting to the hotel asap, I was kind of annoyed to find out we would get a remote stand. On the plus side, it was wonderful disembarking a Jumbo via the stairs.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9430.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9431.jpg

There was a special bus for just First and Business pax (which was absolutely packed full), that took us to immigration. I was first off the bus, and one of the first to immigration. Japan has introduced finger scanning on arrival, so it took a while to get through. As I entered the baggage hall, I asked one of the CX staff standing around about the telex. They said that they had been expecting me, and that the hotel had been called, and someone would be waiting. Phew! Still, I felt very guilty at having to make someone stay up to wait for me.

Bfore long, my bag was off conveyor, and I made my way through customs, and onto a Tokyo Monorail heading for the city. I finally made it to the hotel at around 0030, where I found a very old lady waiting up for me. Lovely hotel though!


A few photos from Tokyo
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9439.jpg


Freshly made sushi
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9459.jpg

Tonkatsu, my favourite meal
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9468.jpg

View from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office (free access)


Shinjuku Gardens
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9499.jpg

Confusing metro
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9545.jpg

Tokyo Tree, soon to be the World’s 2nd tallest
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9551.jpg

Asakusa Sensoji Temple, near my hotel


Japanese Beer
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9586.jpg

Toyoto Showroom
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9590.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9591.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9592.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9593.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9596.jpg

Sega
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9601.jpg

Passing through Ueno station. Not heading to NRT yet!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9588.jpg

Meiji Shrine
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9613.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9614.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9623.jpg

Harajuku
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Asia2011pt2/CIMG9631.jpg

Thoughts? Well, I found the crew of CX to be quite mixed. Of course, everyone was polite, but there were plenty of lapses in concentration, like when I requested an ice cream, and then the lady moved on after giving me just a spoon. I thought that the order of service on the A330 was a bit odd as well, with staff going all over the place. I understand that Diamonds/Golds etc get preferential treatment, but everything seemed haphazard. The service on the HKG-HND leg felt rushed as well. I know these two are both short routes, but the cabin never really felt relaxed. Maybe it was just me! Hopefully, the next CX J class cabin will remedy some of these issues.

Hong Kong and Tokyo were both amazing. Can’t wait to go back again soon. The next part of my trip, NH Tokyo – Shanghai, and CA Shanghai – Beijing in Business Class will be out soon!

Comment and questions welcome!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinemusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1090 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 17506 times:

Thanks for your great report! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The pilot apologised for the late departure. Apparently our aircraft had gone tech, as had the replacement aircraft (doesn’t sound like great engineering), so our aircraft was one recently arrived for LHR. He said the ground crew had done an amazing job turning the aircraft round in less than an hour.

Thats what you get with ancient 744s!

musapapaya



Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 17168 times:

Hi Gab,

You sure were fast getting the second part up and running. Good for you!

Wow, I really love this report. Tons of amazing destination pictures around China and Tokyo and few from Hong Kong as well - absolutely lovely.

Also a couple of quite nice looking (servicewise, that is) flights in CX Business. Shame about the delay, but yeah, things like that just happen. Good for them to catch up so much of the lost time en route.

Also loved your lounge pics from Hong Kong!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
However, it seems like BA have varying mileage redemption costs depending on how many airlines you redeem on. Seemed a bit weird to me to be honest

It's a Oneworld thing. I think all the Oneworld airlines have this "Oneworld Award" where the points amount depends on the number of carriers you use. AY most certainly does.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
On the other hand, I found the seat awful in terms of seclusion (you face the aisle 100% of the time!), and window views were painful to find (stay sitting facing forward, and move your head to you’re looking over your shoulder – not comfortable is it, at least for any length of time. And photos on take off, forget about it!).

That's very weird. Do they assume that everybody flying in business class is a jaded business traveler type with no interest at the scenery outside anymore as they've seen it all and instead focused on work, more work or sleep (in order to be able to pull more work at the destination)?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
At 1430, I had made it to my fifth and final lounge of the day ‘The Pier’, with catering contracted to The Peninsula Hotel.

Wow. That's some impressive lounging. I think I would be wasted at that point!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I relayed my thoughts and feelings about the situation to the ladies at the customer services desk in the lounge. They said they’d send a telex to Tokyo, whom would contact the hotel, and see about onward transport. I now found myself with an extra two hours in the airport. Whilst my original plan called for lots of lounge time, I was now bored, and keen to get on the plane. Oh well, nothing for it but to have another champagne!

Nice! There aren't many airlines which would go the extra mile and do a thing like that. Very good service, even though it would've been even nicer for them to offer you a complimentary taxi or something to your hotel in Tokyo. Although I guess it wouldn't have been any faster than the train option...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Welcome Champagne

Don't think so.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
For the main course, I went with the beef, which was amazing. Excellent quality.

I'm quite amazed that you still managed to eat all that after spending the best part of that day hopping from lounge to lounge, nibbling and eating all that delicious looking food! But yeah. this one looks absolutely delicious as well.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 17124 times:

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 3):
Thanks for your great report! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

Thanks!

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 3):

Thats what you get with ancient 744s!

Well, at least they're clean on the inside!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):

You sure were fast getting the second part up and running. Good for you!

Third part is nearly done

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):

Wow, I really love this report. Tons of amazing destination pictures around China and Tokyo and few from Hong Kong as well - absolutely lovely.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):

Also loved your lounge pics from Hong Kong!

Glad you like them!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):

It's a Oneworld thing. I think all the Oneworld airlines have this "Oneworld Award" where the points amount depends on the number of carriers you use. AY most certainly does.

Is there a reason behind this? Seems odd that increasing the number of partner airlines means that the way the award is priced changes.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Nice! There aren't many airlines which would go the extra mile and do a thing like that. Very good service, even though it would've been even nicer for them to offer you a complimentary taxi or something to your hotel in Tokyo. Although I guess it wouldn't have been any faster than the train option...

Well, I did try and persuade them to pay for a taxi, but they went and found the latest train times, and said I should make it. Grrr!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):

I'm quite amazed that you still managed to eat all that after spending the best part of that day hopping from lounge to lounge, nibbling and eating all that delicious looking food! But yeah. this one looks absolutely delicious as well.

I tried to keep food consumption to a reasonable level so I'd still be able to eat onboard.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinesq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 17110 times:

Great report, with some awesome photos and detail to boot! CX seems to excel with their lounges in HKG - always looks so sleek and modern. Too bad about the delay, but again, the ground staff seemed to have done their best in figuring out a solution for you. Too bad the cabin crew were a bit of a mixed bunch though.

Seems like CX finally has new crockery in Business! While I wish they moved on from the tray service (a la SQ, QR) their new dishes are a massive improvement from the cheap and dated looking service set they were using before this one was introduced.

Anyone know when the new trays were implemented?



Keep Discovering
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1270 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16428 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I am going to read this report a second time later, for sure!! What amazing pics of Nanjing and then all that eye candy at Hong Kong airport. Great report!!

User currently offlinetriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 743 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 16132 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Confusing metro

It might appear so looking at the map, but from living just outside Tokyo for 4 years, it is very easy to get around Tokyo. The subway lines are color coded, and you can get maps.

I have flown CX many times, all in economy class and their service is very good...probably the best Asian airline in my opinion.



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15819 times:

Nice report, especially the landscape in China I find to be breathtaking. Tough, I would not want to be on the UA flight from PVG to LAX (see FIDS). Sorry to hear about your mixed feeling about CX.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 15683 times:

Hi Gabriel,

great report with many impressive destination pictures. CX's J Class product looks fine, but I'm not a fan of that layout. If I had a choice, I'd prefer the layout used by LX, AY and others.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15203 times:

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 6):
CX seems to excel with their lounges in HKG - always looks so sleek and modern.

Yeah, the lounges are very nice, although currently very overcrowded

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 7):
I am going to read this report a second time later, for sure!! What amazing pics of Nanjing and then all that eye candy at Hong Kong airport. Great report!!

Glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting triple7man (Reply 8):

It might appear so looking at the map, but from living just outside Tokyo for 4 years, it is very easy to get around Tokyo. The subway lines are color coded, and you can get maps.

It's a bit confusing having the 2 differnt systems.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Nice report, especially the landscape in China I find to be breathtaking.

Yeah, when you can see it through the smog!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):

great report with many impressive destination pictures. CX's J Class product looks fine, but I'm not a fan of that layout. If I had a choice, I'd prefer the layout used by LX, AY and others.

Yeah, the LX layout looks much better



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinetoby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15080 times:

哇塞﹐ 我不知道黃山是那麼漂亮!! hehe will have to get myself out to Huangshan one day! Excellent trip report, I did not realise that CX flew to Shanghai I always thought they "out sourced" that destination to Dragon?!

Too bad you didnt get that ealier Japan flight to HND. What is it like staying in a traditional Japanese ryokan?

Anyway excellent TR, will look forward to continuing journey ^^



Seriously dude! I swear!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14663 times:

Quoting toby25 (Reply 12):
哇塞﹐ 我不知道黃山是那麼漂亮!! hehe will have to get myself out to Huangshan one day!

黄山特别漂亮,可是游团太多!Very nice place!

Quoting toby25 (Reply 12):
Excellent trip report, I did not realise that CX flew to Shanghai I always thought they "out sourced" that destination to Dragon?!

CX operates 3 flights a day, the rest are KA.

Quoting toby25 (Reply 12):
What is it like staying in a traditional Japanese ryokan?

Well, it wasn't 100% traditional, but it was nice. A nice change to modern hotels.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinedimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14459 times:

From Hongqiao, have a taxi take you to the Mag-lev...much easier way to get to Pudong


"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1312 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14356 times:

Hey, great report! Beautiful photos of your destinations - I miss china so much!

CX's short hole JCL looks the best round, even better then SQ.


Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Confusing metro

  

Thx for shearing,
Jonathan



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 13959 times:

Hi Gab - very nice second instalment of your travels. I really loved the pics of China, even if (as you say) there were lots of tour groups! I also flew CX J a few months ago and while I did not find the seat claustrophobic or uncomfortable, the angle was not good for taking pics from the window at all ! I nearly strained my neck at one point trying to get a departure shot from Cairns!

Thanks for your pics of Japan too - one of my favourite countries. I can't wait to go back sometime.

Cheers P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineATLFlyer323 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 13557 times:

What a great report! Loved all the time and detail you put into it.

-Brandon



Everyday, the fluffy temptation of wheat!
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13137 times:

Hey Gabriel, great 2nd part of your Asian adventure!

Seems like you had some nice flights in CX J. The herringbone seat looks pretty okay IMHO, love the wooden details.
The meals looked very nice as well, perfect for the duration of the flight it seems. Also about that ice cream, the reason why it's so hard is because they store it in dry-ice  

Your Lounge day in HKG looked superb, wish to do that some time too, although in LHR (accompanied by someone with *G) 

How many miles did you pay for your flights?

Thanks for sharing this report!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13013 times:

Quoting dimoko (Reply 14):
From Hongqiao, have a taxi take you to the Mag-lev...much easier way to get to Pudong

Quicker, and porbably more comfortable, but a lot more expensive, and with an extra change, not always easier. I wasn't in a rush, so thought I'd try the metro. I took the Maglev another 2 times this trip.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 15):
Hey, great report! Beautiful photos of your destinations

Thanks!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 16):
very nice second instalment of your travels.

Thanks!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 16):
I really loved the pics of China, even if (as you say) there were lots of tour groups!

Yeah, tour groups really are the bane of my travelling in China, especially with all those matching hats and loudspeakers!

Quoting ATLFlyer323 (Reply 17):
What a great report! Loved all the time and detail you put into it.

Thanks!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
great 2nd part of your Asian adventure!

Thanks

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Also about that ice cream, the reason why it's so hard is because they store it in dry-ice

They should get it out of the deep freeze in advance so it's not so frozen.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):

How many miles did you pay for your flights?

Um, I think I paid 40,000 BA miles + tax for a one way C class trip (2 segments).



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 54
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 11839 times:
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Great report GC, thanks for sharing!

Nice pix from China and indeed towards the end from Japan, both wonderful countries IMO.

I'm happy that CX are changing the J cabin, the current herringbone layout was a disaster, quite an error CX made.

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 offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11459 times:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 20):
Great report GC, thanks for sharing!

Thanks!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 20):

I'm happy that CX are changing the J cabin, the current herringbone layout was a disaster, quite an error CX made.

It's funny how CX got it so wrong, when VS's has had great feedback from essentially the same seats.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
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