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Back II Basics: Something New From Cathay Pacific  
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18003 times:

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BACK II BASICS
There were times when a simple flight on a mainstream airline would yield the most memorable experience. There also were times, when such experiences were nothing but a roundtrip ticket. And, there were times when almost none of it was taken for granted. But what's happened to all this now?

Lately, all I do is revisit good ol' days, and incorporating aviation into this forms an integral part of my current transitional mood. Naturally, Cathay Pacific -an airline I hardly need to introduce- is where it all began. They opened the doors to countless firsts for me (trip report, Asian airline Business Class, Asian transit, unusual detour, polar flight, you name it!) and over time, Cathay -as we all know- had manifested into my number one airline. Of course, over the longer term, I developed four more 'go-to' airlines, but this one seems to remain as just the one!

Cathay's ultra-low key image -simple on the outside yet seriously frilled if you pay close attention- can easily be neglected. For instance, a CX banner advertising their new product will most likely be spotted at a travel agent's office and less likely every 10 minutes on CNN. So if I don't fly them often enough, I seem to forget what they are all about. But all it takes is one more flight, then all will be rectified.

Today it is back to basics as I revisit my Cathay Pacific files, almost just as they were during 'those' days; four flights, Business Class, a transit in HKG, all on a single ticket. Adding to this mini-retro, is today's setting of Cathay's New Business Class; something which was on my tick-list for quite some time.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18275 times:

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WELCOME TO MY 42nd TRIP REPORT
This report covers my recent flights on Cathay Pacific in Business Class, between Dubai and Kuala Lumpur via Hong Kong.



FLY RONI
Firstly, I would like to introduce my new website. It is a non-commercial archive for all my work, which mainly includes my Trip Reports. All my past work is featured there, and moving forward everything subsequent will also be. In addition to my reports -which come with a search function- the website features photos as well as videos from my endless flying across the world.

Please take a look, and do follow me on Twitter and Facebook if you like, to keep current with all updates!



Please enjoy!



B A C K G R O U N D
This part of the report always amuses me, because it really is all about finding that right justification to ease your conscience. Today's reasoning actually takes the cake; think grocery shopping!

A retail loyalty program -a.k.a Air Miles- used to be quite popular in the Middle East. While extremely under-rated, it is now overshadowed by countless other marketing schemes that have gone totally viral in the UAE. In my world, Air Miles points were mainly logged from mother's ultra-consistent grocery shopping which went on for many years accruing in a balance virtually untouched.

Apparently those miles had an expiry date looming , and I had no choice but to use them (well, I had a choice but I’d like to think that it was forced upon me). They were enough to feed an entire village, but I decided on something relatively simple, and not too overly infused with ridiculous detours that really brought nothing to me but baggy eyes and sleepless weekends.

Cathay came to mind, mainly because they had a legendary Business Class product that I had yet to try. And the destination was an easy couple of days in Kuala Lumpur. To add icing on this cake, this ticket, while completely free for me, was booked on a revenue class and with your typical allocation of frequent flyer miles and status recognition. Forget scavenging for seats in the ID-travel world, for this is the way to go people!

As my electronic ticket was issued from a Dubai-based travel agency -and sent to me by email- I had very little interaction with Cathay's website on this regard. However, the online interface did come handy for the usual add-ons like seat selection, FFP record logs and what not. Until very recently, Cathay's website remained as-is with just a few -and very discreet- updates here and there (in typical CX risk-averse fashion of course). But I never really thought the website ever lacked in much anyways. In fact, well before this new 'major' upgrade, you were able to make changes to some eligible bookings online without any need of telephone contact. And obviously, any technology that popped up before this is already included, so it really couldn't get better than this!



One-stop shop for all your travel needs!

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Seats selected, and AAdvantage on file, I was ready to get the hell out of here!



DEPARTURE DUBAI
Come 8:30pm on the evening of departure, I was in a taxi headed towards Dubai International Airport. After a quick 20 minute drive, I was dropped off at the curbside of Terminal 1, where I was faced with the madness that has made its comeback to this facility. Obviously, since the inception of flydubai some years ago, a progressive reshuffle took place and now many 'T2 grade' airlines have shifted their operations here.



Curbside at DXB Terminal 1

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It only seemed normal that long queues at pre-check in security were to be expected. More airlines at T1, an Indian Subcontinent departure bank, and all the hustle and bustle that comes with all this, but …



Pre-check in security is now done away with!!!

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This is definitely a much welcomed surprise, as all that pre-security business has become quite old-fashioned. If the USA post-9/11 does not have it, then I do not see why anywhere else should. But however, in Dubai's case, it seems that only certain flights get this new feature, while the previous arrangement still applies for others. A transitional phase perhaps?



At Cathay's check-in counters, a queue was already in place and it consisted of 100% Philippines-bound passengers (a.k.a Cathay's bread & butter out of the Middle East). It only takes a couple of looks at the goings-on of the check-in counter and one could gauge how full the flight is going to be; and tonight, I was surprised to see that Cathay was going to pack it up! Booking class availability on the days leading masked a flight that looked wide open however, now I see that this was only an overbooking profile.



Welcome to Cathay, Premium Economy!

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It was nice to see that the Business Class section -desks D13 & D14- was not congested and only one person was ahead of me. In very little time, Karen from the Philippines, stood up as the passenger before me was leaving, and waved for me to approach the counter.



Business Class check-in

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"Good evening sir, may I see your passport?"
"Mr. Hawi, I see you are flying with us all the way to Kuala Lumpur tonight?"
"That is correct"
"And just to let you know, that I see your American Airlines frequent flyer number updated in our system, is this the one you would like to use?"
"Yes please"
"Just to double check, the new Business Class is available on tonight's flight from here is it?"
"Yes it is sir, and just a moment … yes it will also be available on your connecting flight"
"Just to inform you Mr. Hawi, that you may use the British Airways lounge before your flight tonight, but please keep in mind that it is approximately a 10-minute walk to the gate from there"
"Sure, thank you"
"Here is your boarding pass to Hong Kong, and this one is for your connecting flight. These are your lounge cards for both Dubai and Hong Kong. Have a good flight Mr. Hawi, and thank you for flying Cathay Pacific"
"Thank you"
"My pleasure, I will see you later at the gate"



This was classic Cathay, and it felt so good to be 'back'. Where else in my world would it be professional, swift, and simply great from the very first passenger touch-point? Now that everything was all set with check-in, I was all set to proceed further.



DXB-HKG boarding pass

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DXB lounge card

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Connecting flight document holder

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Riffraff from the check-in counter

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Hello Korean Air!

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FIDS





Immigration was the usual set of medium-paced queues, but I am happy to have the UAE-Gate card which bypassed all of them. If the machines do not randomly spit you back out of the mini-confinement for no reason, then you are in for a very quick ride between land and air-side. However, at Terminal 1 there is only one lane for both crew and UAE-Gate card holders, and if you get stuck behind a set of crew then you are screwed beyond belief.

As today was DXB on an easy day for me, I managed to move through -both immigration and security- fairly quickly (with no crew interruptions), and I was airside by 9:45pm. Following this, the obligatory pilgrimage through the long set of moving walkways leading to the duty free entrance followed.



The long trek

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Arriving at the main airside building

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I wasn't in a mood to lounge at the BA terraces, so I gave that a miss. I wasn't missing much anyways, and in fact, lounges were not on the agenda for the entire journey to and from. It just felt more appropriate to walk around the terminal and take in the activity, and then maybe have a quick bite at the food court.



Duty free

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I wanted samosas from the food court, so this is what I got!

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This food court was my lounge for today!

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Time was running out, so after I was finished with my meal I packed up and headed towards Gate C5. At the gate podium, the Cathay-masked Dnata agents were attending to the customary 'we remember you' conversation with, what seemed to be, an ultra-high status Marco Polo Club member who was connecting onto a Los Angeles flight in First Class. I do remember back in the day when I was a mere Silver member, the personalized smothering would begin at the airport, and not just on board. Other airlines should really learn from this!

At my turn, Karen immediately remembered me from the check-in counter, just as her dialogue previously implied.



“Mr. Hawi, nice to see you again”
“Thank you”

*Boarding pass scan* *boarding pass rip* *stub handed back*

“Enjoy your flight, and have a good stay in Kuala Lumpur”



Inside the holding area at 10:35pm

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Boarding commenced at 10:40pm, and an announcement to that effect had echoed through the holding area. No need to wait for instructions on when I needed to board because premium passengers were called in amongst the first group.

Leisurely strolling through the aerobridge, I arrive at Door 1L of the aircraft where I was greeted by Emily; one of the pursers operating tonight's flight. The boarding process was fairly rushed, but the professionalism that is normally expected at this touch-point is certainly not compromised.



“Hi welcome on board sir, right this way, enjoy your flight!”
“Thanks”



At 10:45pm, I was on board.



CONTINUED BELOW


[Edited 2013-07-20 08:01:14 by SA7700]


A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18183 times:

FLIGHT # 1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CATHAY PACIFIC Flight Information:

SCR
/CX/XXMAY
S13
XXMAY
DXB
KCX738 31MAR26OCT 1234567 311333DXBDXB2305 11101HKGHKG J
GI BRGDS


Registration: B-LAL
Condition: 2.2 years old, delivered to Cathay Pacific in May 2011.

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



DUBAI TO HONG KONG
DXB-HKG
Scheduled Departure: 23:05
Actual Departure: 23:10 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: 11:10+1
Actual Arrival: 10:30+1 (Touchdown)



Welcome to Cathay Pacific's new Business Class

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Turning right, I am faced with the new Business layout for the first time. An almost full house tonight, the ambience certainly feels less busy than the previous herringbone affair. With this, passengers are not fully exposed to others parading down the aisle with their luggage looking clueless and hopeful that the check-in agents mistakenly assigned them to a Business Class seat.



The cabin

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Smart-looking, and revolutionary; that is all I can say about the cabin. Narrower aisles make way for a more congested feel, but this is a total non-issue once seated and in total privacy. Also, Cathay is quite generous with its mood-lighting in Business Class, and the current setting was on a slightly hued ambience that was perfect to set the pre-tone for a comfortable overnight flight.



The seat

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Unlike its predecessor, all the seats in this layout are facing away from where the main action takes place; the aisles. Moreover, every seat -whether singular windows, or coupled-centers- offer the same levels of comfort. You really do not have to be a couple to enjoy the center pair of seats, but those facing the windows offer a view that is an added bonus.

At my seat at 15A, a fresh pillow was placed over the seatbelt, a plastic-wrapped duvet was found on the footstool in front of me, the usual set of inflight literature placed accordingly in their location to my right, and an array of gadgets, storage compartments, and personal space all around me. Everything was within arms reach at the most, and the feel of privacy is so impressive. And as an added bonus, this mini-suite also featured a small step between the seat and the footstool that can go a very long way in terms of comfort. You'd really need to try it and see for yourself! All in all, Cathay is my favorite airline, and this Business Class has my favorite seat!



Leg space



Pillow & blanket

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Inflight literature rack





As soon as I was seated, Flight Attendant Kitty from Hong Kong quickly appeared at my seat with a tray of welcome drinks on offer.

“Welcome on board sir, would you care for something to drink? I have Orange juice, Apple juice, Champagne, and Water”
“Champagne please”
“Certainly”



Champagne is the rule before takeoff!





After the welcome drink service, glasses were swiftly collected and hot towels dispatched. At 11pm, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and this was the cue for the introductory announcement by our Australian captain. He advised that -to my misfortune of course- due to favorable tailwinds, he was getting us into Hong Kong in a relatively quick 6 hours and 58 minutes.



More of the interior

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Everything is within easy reach here!

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The doors were closed at 11:05pm -at the scheduled departure time- and the safety video was blasted on the IFE screens.



Safety video

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Service and interaction since boarding had been relatively rushed until this point. Everything was carried out at the time it should have been, but no connection was yet established between the crew and the passengers. Right now, this was about to change.

It is when the Senior Purser -Teresa from Hong Kong is tonight's example- distributes the menus, that an extensive amount of effort is made to get to know everyone. Using Cathay's potent mix of personal/professional dialogue -something only perfected by Cathay- this cabin crew role is what makes or breaks the soft product experience. And, the interaction that does take place seems to always go long enough a ways to make my trips with this airline quite memorable.



"Mr. Hawi, welcome on board, I hope you are not too tired to join us for supper tonight?"
"Never! It is my first time to experience the new Business Class product, and I am very excited"
"Really? This is great. I hope you will enjoy it"
"Mr. Hawi, this is your menu and wine list for the flight, and my name is Teresa. Please let me know if you need anything"
"Thank you"



As she proceeded to the other passengers, I couldn't help but notice how professionally she interacted with them. Everything looked like it was flowing smoothly and not scripted from a manifest, and depending on the passenger she was addressing, she would begin by saying things like Mr. XYZ, "You must be tired after a long journey", "Looking well-rested tonight", or the infamous "Nice to see you again". Naturally, those worthy Marco Polo elites -in which there was quite the number on board tonight- got the extra treatment with a little more fluff on the dialogue. Feels like science, and Cathay has mastered it tonight!



Menu cover





Drinks on offer





Since I do not normally have wine, I take a quick glance through the alcoholic offering on the list -even though I do not know what's what really- before I stow it away.



Wine list







A special insert in the wine list











The aircraft sprung into life as we pushed back at 11:10pm, and so did the mood-lighting as it alternated between varying hues of what felt like a discoteka afterhours theme.



Mood lighting

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At 11:30pm -already over the runway's piano keys- we thundered down and lifted off into the dark Dubai skies. During the climb to cruise, we banked towards the east, and from then it was more or less a straight line all the way to Hong Kong. Just before arriving at a comfy cruise, the Captain signaled with a few seatbelt sign dings to the cabin crew that it was safe to be released and commence the service.



Amenity kits were distributed

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Followed by evian water bottles

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As the crew began to dress everyone's tables for supper, I grabbed the menu to remind myself what I was in the mood to feast my brains out on. Needless to say, this is airline food, and I do not have to be hungry to eat as much of it as possible. But I was hungry anyways.



Supper menu



My table was dressed with white linen

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Soon enough, Teresa and Co, were out and about the aisles with the drinks trolley, neatly set up with beverages and glasses for the drinks service.



“Any drinks for you Mr. Hawi?”
“May I have a Bloody Mary please?”
“Certainly”



Bloody Mary is the rule after takeoff

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A short while later, Teresa -along with Emily- reappeared with the main meal trolley -the more industrial looking kind that is obviously different to the fancy shamncy drinks one- for the supper service.



“Mr. Hawi, will you be having the full supper or the light option tonight?”
“I'll have the full supper please”
“Certainly”



My tray was pulled out of the compartment, and after a few grabs and reshuffles over the trolley, it was neatly placed on my table. And immediately after, I was offered a selection from the bread basket.



Meal tray

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In this industry today, we have become seasoned enough to question the 'attractiveness' of meal trays offered in Business Class. Many seem to dismiss any airline that still uses them today, whereas others probably do not care. I for one, am not decided yet, but I seem to not be overly finicky for now. Needless to say, all but one of my top five airlines still use them and I still keep flying them relentlessly. But I can't help to think, will we want to follow the trends set by Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways? Or would be want to keep the meal trays, but bling-bling them up a notch so they would look nicer as they do now on Etihad? I think either one of these two would be the commonality in the future.

But one thing I do admire on Cathay, is that they know exactly what to change and what not. The latest design of their trays and presentation is new enough to bring a fresh look on board, but important elements such as the infamous salt and pepper shakers remained from generations apast because they are one of the few things some of us seem to keep in memory from a previous meal on board.

On my supper tray, the usual items were neatly placed and those included the salad plate, dressing, butter, water glass, bread plate, silverware/napkin, and of course, the salt and pepper shakers. Last but not least, it is always nice to see what -at the current period- matters most to Cathay, with the little update on a small card clipped to the napkin. This time, it is the 5th daily London Flight.



Salad

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Fresh, cold, and crispy, is how I like my salad, and tonight's offering was just that. Tender pieces of chicken, and a well-suited dressing were an added bonus so no complaints here. Similarly, the bread was heated appropriately, and was not overly microwaved at the time I began to bite into it. However, just as Emirates had set an extremely high benchmark on the IFE front, Etihad followed a similar path with its bread in Business Class. Unfortunately, nothing is ever going to compare to it (including many restaurants!).

Kitty conducts the main course service, and soon enough the trolley was rolled close to my seat. On Cathay, main course orders are not taken beforehand, but the different options are placed on a trolley so you could see what you're getting. Frankly, it is more appropriate than the disappointment of hearing “i'm so sorry but we are out of that option” as you may see something else that you'd like instead.



“Mr. Hawi, what would you like for your main course?”
“This is the chicken with black bean sauce, and I also have fish with potatoes and vegetables”
“I'll take the chicken please”
“Certainly”



Meal tray with main course

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Since I last flew Cathay in Business Class, there seem to have been a few changes in the presentation of the Chinese main course. More in a stylish and traditional setting now, the rice and the protein portions are on separate plates, and accompanied by wooden chopsticks. Definitely a welcome change!



Supper is served

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Chopticks

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Tray view

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I am a big fan of chicken with black bean sauce, and this dish tasted exactly as I had expected it to. Tender succulent pieces of chicken, crispy broccoli that was adequately cooked, and tons of deep flavor from the black bean sauce and beyond. A great meal overall that went down my digestive system without a hitch.

My plate was promptly cleared and just in time for the dessert trolley which was stacked with tonight's offer of cheese, fruit, and cappuccino brownie & passion fruit cup. Many airlines try to pass dessert off as a multi-offering to your liking on the menu, but only allow you to choose one item when reality hits. Well not on Cathay; tonight we are offered what we want and as many of it as we please, more or less. I chose both the cheese plate and the brownie, and the couple seated next to me went for one of each of the three.



Cheese & dessert

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Cheese selection

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Cappuccino brownie and passion fruit cup

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Since cheese is really cheese, you can't go wrong with its taste especially if you like the slightly rotten stuff. Similarly, the dessert wasn't a letdown as the brownie was nice and moist, and went well with the unique flavors of the cappuccino and the accompanying passion fruit cup. Or maybe it was because I was a tad on the excited side overall that I appreciated everything Cathay Pacific threw at me? A bit perhaps, but the food did taste good!

My table was cleared as soon as I was through, and I was set free into the cruise portion of the flight. The sit-back-relax-and-do-nothing part that lasts for as long as you make out of it!

As the cabin lights were dimmed, most of us fell asleep for the remainder of the flight. The couple seated next to me were far too excited to be in Business Class that they continued to slowly enjoy their three-course dessert, whilst taking pictures of almost everything around them. It is always refreshing to see how non-aviation people like them enjoy their flights.

After hot towels were distributed then collected to conclude the meal service, Teresa returned to my seat with a comment card and a Cathay-branded pen.



"Mr. Hawi, you seem very energetic, and excited tonight. Would you be so kind to fill out a comment card for us?"
"Definitely!"



Comment card & pen

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Cabin after the meal service

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Now it was time to relax in my seat, and explore what it offered to comfort me. Well to summarize, this seat featured everything I would normally look for. In its seated position, it was spacious on the width and certainly on the legroom part as well. The mini-step is perfect for resting your feet on, and the footstool works wonders for leaving junk you may want to use later on whilst in-flight. On my left, a mini tech-station is located within easy reach, and this includes the IFE controller, seat controls, additional lighting, a power socket, and a few media input ports. The headsets also have their own compartment, that also comes with an SQ-type of vanity mirror.



all types of controls within easy reach



Headset compartment



Vanity mirror

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In terms of storage, an empty rack is located under the table to the left of the seat, and can accommodate lots of things for storage. In my case, this was lenses, batteries, notebook, and so on. Furthermore, to add to your comfort whilst in seated position, this seat also features a movable armrest that can be pushed downwards into the seat for added space. All in all, Cathay really nailed it with this Business Class seat.



Storage compartment



My armrest was pushed down while my neighbor's was extended up

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And in its lie-flat position, the seat extends its offering to greater lengths that went beyond my height as I was able to lay down without my cramming my feet all over a surface. Either i'm becoming shorter as I get older, or the design in this seat made for something revolutionary such as this.



Cathay, it's always nice to be in bed with you

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Change positions





I did not really need to 'explore' StudioCX, but I did browse through it to find something different to watch. Nowadays we all say that nothing can be compared to Emirates's ICE because it is the best and so on, but for now let's push ICE aside and discuss StudioCX for a minute. It is a very good system, both in its interface and also in its rich content. And if for any reason I am in a mood to watch a series of some sort, it will be available in back to back episodes in quite the quantity on StudioCX.



StudioCX

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Missing my 2012 residency! The coolest country in the GCC!

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But a quick check on the route info is always more interesting

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My new thing to do on planes is watching foreign movies -most likely from the operating carrier's home country- with English subtitles. I almost never make it to the end as reading the subtitles always sets me into a deep sleep however, as I was on board a Hong Kong-based airline, it was only appropriate to watch Days of Being Wild.



Hong Kong airline, Hong Kong movie

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I fell asleep for about two and a half hours only to wake up approximately two hours before arrival to an ambient setting of the cabin's mood lighting system. While my sleep was rather short, the fact that it was uninterrupted and quite satisfying only tells me that this bed is genius!



Lights on

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As it was close to meal time, a quick browse through the breakfast menu was in order.



Breakfast menu





Preparations were well underway for breakfast, and in no time the performances commenced in the aisles. Teresa and the gang reappeared and were towering over two trolleys, one of which was for coffee/tea, while the other was for the meal trays and their accompaniments.



“Good morning Mr. Hawi, hope you managed to get some sleep?”
“A little”
“You seem so enthusiastic today, we hope you have enjoyed the flight with us”
“Definitely. Everything is great”
“Thank you Mr. Hawi. May I offer you some coffee or tea with your breakfast?”
“No thank you, I will just have some water please”
“Certainly”



After my table was dressed, my meal tray was gently placed on my table and I was offered a selection of breakfast pastries from the bread basket. As always, on my tray was a neat setup that included a fruit cup, a tub of strawberry yoghurt -in which I was offered a choice between strawberry, plain, and blueberry- butter, preserve, a glass of water, breakfast preserves, silverware/napkin, and a wet towelette.



Breakfast tray

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Fruit cup

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Strawberry yoghurt

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Butter & strawberry preserve

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Breakfast pastries

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Moments later, Kitty was in the aisles with a separate tray that held the main course options, which today were seafood congee or cheese omelette. My choice was clear-cut, and it definitely wasn't the seafood option.



Tray with main course

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Cheese omlette

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A perfectly cooked omelette, ice-cold fresh fruit, and melting-warm breakfast pastries that did not shrivel up in the microwave; all in all a decent setting for a great breakfast on Cathay Pacific.

Once finished -and with me it is always quick- my meal tray was promptly collected by Teresa. I had kindly asked to take a picture of the crew as a memento from this trip, and without a hassle she said she will come back to me once they are through in the galley.



Cabin after breakfast

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Photos are always welcome on Cathay!!!

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At 10:00am local time in Hong Kong, our Australian captain made an announcement that we were soon to commence our descent towards Hong Kong. My favorite part of this announcement is when it is concluded by the customary “cabin crew, 30 minutes to arrival, 30 minutes to arrival”.



Cabin shots again

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The seatbelt sign was switched on at some point during the descent, and by then the crew were mostly through with stowing the galley up. Cathay -much like all the other Asian carriers- take seatbelt signs quite seriously, and so the crew was in the aisles ensuring that we were all secure for landing.



Final cabin shots before landing

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I know i'm ready to land, but not quite ready to leave the plane!

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ARRIVAL HONG KONG
At 10:30pm we touchdown at HKG, and in no time we dock at a gate. Hong Kong at this hour isn't at its busiest time so normally things are quick.



Gathering our belongings together

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Thanking the crew for the great flight, I am now set free into the terminal and in search for for my connecting flight.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18095 times:

HONG KONG TRANSIT
Chek Lap Kok was a fair breeze at this time of day, and parading down its terminal's long walkways and mazing through its trains did not seem as busy as I am normally accustomed to. Since the usual army of long-haul heavies were yet to arrive, now was perfect for a leisurely transit. Since my boarding pass was issued in Dubai, it was nothing but a gate-check on the FIDS and a security screening at the transit processing point in the main terminal building.



HKG-KUL boarding pass

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HKG lounge card

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Today's transit sequence was a bit funny, as I had to take the train to the main terminal building, go through the transit security check area, hop back on to a train, and arrive right back to the same location. Oh well, at least there was a smoking lounge on the way, which definitely provided some much-needed entertainment.



Waiting for the train to the main terminal building

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At the transit checkpoint, my documents were checked and I was ushered to join the small queue formed before security screening. Friendly and very efficient staff guided our ways through for what was a totally effortless process that did not last even a few minutes.



Right, I need Gate 61

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On my way to the gate

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Back to the train station

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And back on the train

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While a visit to one of my favorite lounges -The Wing- would have been quite enjoyable, I was sure I'd return again soon for that, so instead decided on giving it a miss this time around. Let's look out for some celebrity sightings today! But first, I wanted to check at the gate and see who's taking me to Kuala Lumpur.

Leave it to aviation enthusiasts to create 'firsts' out of routine trips taken a dozen times in the past. Sure it's Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong, Business Class, A330's, all of which are too routine and common to the naked eye; but we sure can dig up some little twist that is worthy enough to log into our history of first-times. First time on a new Business Class aircraft? First time on that A330 with the additional thread count on its Economy Class seats? First time on that plane with new tray tables? first time on that plane that almost crashed somewhere? The possibilities are endless depending on how creative you want to be. So today, my quirk is same plane service!!

I know I have travelled quite a bit, but nowhere in my records does it show any same plane service on a 6th Freedom connection. I know some airlines try to spin some of their connections off with such a weak marketing attempt, but today it somehow feels quite special. The same plane all the way from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur via Hong Kong; it definitely felt like I was on a transit stop and was let out into the terminal for a short period just like the good old days! Quite fitting for my back to basics attempt!



With continued service on B-LAL to Kuala Lumpur

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After that mini-high was over, I walked around the terminal to look at some planes. After all, this is HKG’s best attraction as the views are quite up-close, and with bare-minimum obstacles in your way.



Air Mauritius A332 (3B-NBL). I’d like to do their A340 on a long-haul!

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Cathay Pacific B744 (B-HUJ). I think a final CX jumbo flight must happen!

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Look the jumbo straight in the eye!



And look at her from the opposite side

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United Airlines B744 (N105UA). Definitely one of my favorite jumbos!

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Thai Airways A380 (HS-TUD). Not a bad looker I think!

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At around noon, I headed back to Gate 61 in anticipation that my flight was to commence boarding fairly soon-ish.



Gate 61

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At 12:20pm, the pre-boarding process began, as announcements were made to that effect. Furthermore, the appropriate queues had already formed in front of the gate, and the agents were already conducting the necessary document checks whilst everyone was standing in line (gotta love HKG for that!).



Boarding

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Boarding officially commenced once we were allowed to proceed through to the aerobridge. My boarding pass was scanned, and the courteous agent wished me a pleasant flight before I was on my way back to my plane.

At Door 1L of the aircraft, Lia for Indonesia –today’s Inflight Services Manager- was commanding the boarding welcomes. My first impression of the crew on this flight was that they were extremely energetic and quite motivated. Of course, that is always a good sign.



“Good afternoon Mr…… Hawi. Welcome on board. Right this way please”
“Thank you”
“Enjoy your flight”



At 12:25pm, I was back on board B-LAL.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18091 times:

FLIGHT # 2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CATHAY PACIFIC Flight Information:

SCR
/CX/XXMAY
S13
XXMAY
HKG
KCX725 31MAR26OCT 1234567 311333HKGHKG1250 1640KULKUL J
GI BRGDS


Registration: B-LAL
Condition: 2.2 years old, delivered to Cathay Pacific in May 2011.

Remarks: SAME-PLANE SERVICE FROM DUBAI

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



HONG KONG TO KUALA LUMPUR
HKG-KUL
Scheduled Departure: 12:50
Actual Departure: 12:50 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: 16:40
Actual Arrival: 16:35 (Touchdown)



Welcome back to B-LAL

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The seat

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The cabin

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As soon as I stowed my belongings where I wanted to, Flight Attendant Samantha appears by my seat to welcome me on board and offer me a blanket. Shortly afterwards, Flight Attendant John is at my side with a tray of welcome drinks. Today’s choice was between orange juice, Oriental Breeze, water, and champagne.



Champagne for me



Enjoying my legroom whilst I sip on my welcome drink





As we were soon ready to depart, our Australian captain made an announcement to welcome us on board, and advise us of our 3 hour and 45 minute flight time to Kuala Lumpur. The doors were closed at 12:45pm, and this was the normal cue for departure preparations. During this time, hot towels were dispatched and collected, and remaining empty glasses were also removed from the cabin.



Boarding almost completed

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Today’s load seemed very light in both classes. This definitely made for a relaxed set of crew that appeared to be extremely young, energetic, and ultra-motivated. Everyone seemed to get along with each other, and it reflected quite positively in the cabin.



Ready to go

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We pushback at 12:50pm, power up, taxi, and takeoff within 15 minutes. At 1:05pm, we were already on our way towards Kuala Lumpur.



Fast track cards distributed at cruising altitude

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More of the cabin and the seat after takeoff

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StudioCX welcome page

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Senior Purser Amanda, makes her usual introductions around the cabin as she hands out the menus. While she spoke a little too fast for my understanding, her face was one huge smile you certainly could not ignore.



“Welcome on board Mr. Hawi. How are you today?”
“I am very well thank you”
“Will you be joining us for lunch?”
“Definitely”
“Great. This is your menu, and my name is Amanda. Please let us know if you need anything. We will be serving lunch shortly”
“Thanks Amanda”



Menu cover





Wine list









As the crew were preparing for the lunch service, Desmond - a purser operating in Business Class- took charge of the drinks trolley. A light load today meant swift service.



"How are you today Mr. Hawi?"
"Very well thank you"
"Any drinks for you?"
"I'll have a Bloody Mary please"
"Certainly"



The Bloody Mary on Cathay Pacific is generally poured and assembled on the trolley, but the glass is usually taken back to the galley for the condiments. What can I say? It's a special drink! Desmond quickly returns from the galley with my drink, and some warmed Almonds to go with it too.



Cheers

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As I was sipping on my drink, I pulled out the menu again to browse through what I was going to be fed.



Lunch menu





The trolley was then rolled out and lunch was served.



Meal tray

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Salad

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Bread from the bread basket

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Starter consisting of Smoked Halibut with Polenta Nicoise

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The salad was fresh, and the olives that came with it were a perfect match to the balsamic vinaigrette dressing (is it me or does CX love its Kalamata Olives?). The bread was adequately warmed and very soft too. As for the starter, well we all know I am anti-seafood, but my choice was to either leave it untouched or just eat it anyways. I do -on rare occasions- tend to add seafood to my diet so I gobbled the halibut up and to be honest, I quite enjoyed it. Most fish I have tried on planes was pure white in color, and totally 'fishy funk' free, and I suppose when these two combinations are in effect, I could very well accept a seafood dish.



Naturally, I was offered seconds on my BM





Desmond noticed my excessive picture snapping, and commented on my camera. We continued a brief conversation on cameras -as he seemed to take an interest in them- and I also explained to him that I go nuts over planes be it from the inside or out.

If in any case, this was Cathay Pacific trying to determine whether I was a threat of some sort, then it was -as it always is- handled in the most professional way! Unlike a previous experience I had on Lufthansa where it felt like I was pancaked by the purser!

Shortly after I was through, my starter plate was cleared then Nalini from India -another purser operating with us today- walked to my seat to take my lunch order.



"Mr. Hawi? I hope you are enjoying your meal so far?"
"Yes I am. Thank you"
"What can I get for your main course?"
"I'll take the chicken please"
"Most certainly"



Rock Salt Baked Chicken with Steamed Jasmine Rice and Kailan

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The chicken was tender and lightly flavored, and the kailan -my first time trying it I believe- was crunchy and had a similar texture to regular broccoli. From a total foreigner's point of view, this dish was a close resemblance to the chicken rice I normally have in Singapore or KL; all in all another fantastic meal on Cathay Pacific!



After the main course, I skipped dessert and went for the cheese instead

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Tables were cleared, and I was set free from my seat.



Cabin after lunch

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After the lunch service, I got up to roam around for a little while, mainly to see the new Premium Economy Cabin. In a 2-3-2 layout on the A330, the hardware certainly offers more space than Economy Class, but I am unsure if there are any differences in the software.

Maybe because it's Cathay, but I quite liked the new Premium Economy Cabin and perhaps it could be an attractive option considering that it is only a small percentage more than your average Economy Class price tag. Can be a doable option for a long-haul if Business Class isn't going to be!



Premium Economy Cabin

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I also had a chat with Lia (our ISM), and she mentioned that Y+ is not yet sold on Asian flights, and instead it is used to offer more comfort to the high and mighty Marco Polos and also those Economy Class passengers booked on the higher fare buckets.

Of course, after the quick conversation I asked for a picture and as always, no was never the answer!



I look strange, but the crew doesn’t!

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Back at my seat, cabin lights were dimmed for the rest of the flight

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After catching just about an hour's worth of sleep, I woke up to the announcement by our captain -at 4pm Malaysia local time- informing us that we were soon to commence our descent towards Kuala Lumpur. Of course, I had to be fully awake to listen to -and fully absorb- the "cabin crew, 30 minutes to landing. That's 30 minutes to landing" announcement. Why does it trance me out? I really have no clue!



Some final cabin shots before landing

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ARRIVAL KUALA LUMPUR
We touched down at 4:35pm, bringing my same-plane service to a complete end. It was certainly an interesting experience bonding with B-LAL all this while, and flying the same journey together from Dubai to Hong Kong, and onwards to Kuala Lumpur.

The taxi to the gate at KUL always feels like a lengthy trip to an endless nowhere. Then suddenly, the KLIA terminal appears from a distance, and gradually grows bigger and bigger in your line of sight. After which, things move a little quicker and you're on the apron docked at some gate in no time.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18055 times:

DEPARTURE KUALA LUMPUR
Now in Kuala Lumpur after a quickie getaway, it was time to fly right back where I came from on the same journey in the opposite direction.



Back to Basics checked baggage too!

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Today begins at KL Sentral, where I am to hop onto the KLIA Ekspres and head straight to the airport. On my way to the train, I notice CX-themed agents at the Cathay check-in counters so I decide to grab my boarding pass from here and rid myself of my suitcase. Alongside a boutique selection of airlines -Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei, Emirates- Cathay Pacific uses this facility for all its customers originating in Kuala Lumpur. As it is a very useful perk especially for business travelers, I am unsure as to why only 3 foreign airlines use it here. Where are Qatar, Etihad, Egyptair, Saudia, KLM, Lufthansa, and the bunch?

My check-in is handled efficiently and within just a few moments. Apart from hello and thank you, I did not have to say much more as I was fully checked-in within milliseconds. Efficient + Professional = Cathay Pacific on The Ground!



KUL-HKG boarding pass & lounge card

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At 9:05am I was at KLIA, and what's the very first thing I do as soon as I leave the train? Head outside and smoke a cigarette by the curbside!



KLIA has its unique structural elements (and so does Kuching apparently)

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It was a relatively quiet morning at the airport, but this to me is no longer the norm. I have been here on a few evenings recently, and the check-in hall was heaving with humans from every direction. But this airport's main charm remains to be the ease of traveling in and out of it.

At this point I had nothing that needed to be done here, so I proceeded to the airside facility.



A quiet morning at KLIA's check-in area

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Cathay Pacific's check-in counters

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There is a viewing facility located in the main building that has a decent view overlooking aircraft parked in the main terminal. This facility also overlooks a major taxiway route connecting to the satellite terminal and the runways, so many celebrity jets can be spotted as they pass by. But this would require a little bit of patience as the activity isn't really back-to-back.



MAS mini-sharks are quite active this morning

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 (9M-MXE)

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 (9M-MSC) heading off somewhere

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Heading airside, the entire immigration process is so silent it felt like walking on air. An abundance of open counters, and not enough traffic to clog them up makes for quite the leisurely affair. In fact, the longest time you'll ever spend here is waiting for your passport to be stamped, and that's no more than a few minutes. While there are counters designated for premium passengers, most times there isn't any requirement to use them as there are plenty of regular counters that are simply available at all times!



Off to catch the train to the satellite

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Now airside, I was again going to give the lounge thing a miss. Cathay Pacific operates its own lounge here that is managed and catered by the Plaza Premium Lounge (an Asian generic lounge company that has branches at airports as far out as MCT). As I have used this reasonably comfortable facility before, I was more into the idea of walking around the terminal and heading straight to the gate.



Airside at KLIA



FIDS

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And of course, a look out for the available activity from the different corner-views of the satellite was in order.



Oman Air A333 (A4O-DB)

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Qatar Airways B77W (A7-BAK) with a MAS tail-cocktail in the back

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Double-dipping with Emirates

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/144_zps37cfd88a.jpg


The tail that will fly me to Hong Kong this morning

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/145_zpsc6d32018.jpg




Arriving at Gate C34, the flight had already begun boarding and after a brief security screening, I was at the podium handing my boarding pass and passport to the agent.



To the aerobridge

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/146_zps994e6451.jpg




At the door, I was greeted by Malaysian purser Zuraidah, who was full-on with smiles and welcomes.



"Good morning, welcome on board"
"16A, right this way Mr. Hawi"



At 10:15am, I was on board.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18054 times:

FLIGHT # 3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CATHAY PACIFIC Flight Information:

SCR
/CX/XXMAY
S13
XXMAY
KUL
KCX790 31MAR26OCT 1234567 311333KULKUL1040 1440HKGHKG J
GI BRGDS


Registration: B-HLO
Condition: 12.3 years old, delivered to Cathay Pacific in March 2001.

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



KUALA LUMPUR TO HONGKONG
KUL-HKG
Scheduled Departure: 10:40
Actual Departure: 11:10 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: 14:40
Actual Arrival: 14:45 (Touchdown)



Welcome to old-world Cathay pacific

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/148_zps44ec43f2.jpg




Many complain that Cathay's old regional product -especially in Business Class- is far outdated to even have an opinion on. There may be some truth to this, but I shall continue to defend it for the sake of the comfort that it offers on flights revolving around three hours. I am a big fan of heavily-padded recliner seats, so this version certainly did not disappoint for this regional flight to Hong Kong.

In any case, Cathay is in the process of introducing a refurb to its regional product, which is more in-line with today's standards. But for now, this cabin is maintained at very high standards and does not look too wore out or tattered.



The seat & cabin

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/147_zps963ef597.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/149_zps4e3aa8db.jpg




Today's set of crew -judging by the 'Bahasa Malaysia' print on their name tags- is predominantly Malaysian, and certainly a layover back home has everyone re-motivated and fresh.

Flight attendant Debbie offers me a blanket and a pair of headsets as soon as I am seated, and Wesley -seemingly the only visible flight attendant from HK today- conducts the welcome drink service.



"Good morning sir. May I offer you a selection of drinks before takeoff? I have water, champagne, and orange juice"
"Champagne please"
"Certainly. And here is a napkin for you"
"Thank you"



Champagne before takeoff



Leg space



Pillow pre-placed on my seat

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/162_zpsb34b2896.jpg


Blanket

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/163_zpsc26a2680.jpg


Headset

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/161_zps56923614.jpg




At 10:35am, our Australian captain made an announcement to inform us of a slight delay in our departure as we had to rectify a minor technical issue. While it was expected to be a ten minute delay, our 3 hour and 20 minute flying time was enough to get us into Hong Kong on the scheduled arrival time.

In the meantime, the pre-departure services were wrapped up in preparation for departure and this included hot towels, safety video, and the distribution of landing cards and donation envelopes.



Donation envelope & duty free discount voucher

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/155_zpsd61de15f.jpg




The engines powered on whilst we were still on stand, which was unusual and probably had something to do with our technical issue, but we eventually pushed back shortly afterwards at 11:10am.



We are ready to go!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/152_zps8ed4ed6a.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/154_zps7345dced.jpg


Goodbye KLIA, see you again soon I'm sure!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/153_zps9e564597.jpg




At 11:20am -already lined up at the runway- we thundered down and lifted off to commence our journey towards Hong Kong.



Takeoff

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/156_zpsc1867d7f.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/157_zps1c5d120c.jpg




At cruising altitude, seatbelt signs were off and service preparations began. At this point -my favorite part of a Cathay flight- Senior Purser Sueyen began the usual introductions as she handed out the menus.



"Mr. Hawi. Welcome on board"
"My name is Sueyen and I'd like to offer you our menu for the flight"
"We will be serving drinks shortly, followed by lunch about half an hour later. Is that good for you?"
"That is just fine thank you"



Cabin after takeoff

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/158_zps83480fed.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/159_zps2613a40f.jpg




Drinks were offered shortly after. As the load was rather light, orders were taken individually and drinks were assembled in the galley instead of rolling out the usual trolley.



Bloody Mary for me (2nds were offered on it too)

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/160_zpsc0922862.jpg




As lunch was looming, let's take a sneak preview on the menu of what's going in my yummy tummy.



Lunch menu





Just like the beverage service, the meal service was conducted directly from the galley. As Sueyen placed the meal tray on my table, Debbie instantaneously appeared with an offer from the bread basket.



"Mr. Hawi, may I offer you some wine with lunch? Or something else besides your water?"
"Thanks. Water will do for now"
"Please enjoy"



Meal tray

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/164_zps1d445e28.jpg


Seasonal salad with olive gherkin and caper dressing

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/165_zps288155ea.jpg


Warm bread from the basket

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/166_zps2485d78a.jpg


Smoked duck breast with raisin and mango salsa

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/167_zpsa95bfc51.jpg




As with all the previous meals I have had on this trip, this one is quite consistent in high quality and decent quantity. I was especially pleased with the deep and tangy flavors of the duck, and the salsa was a perfect match.

Of course, the millisecond I was through, my plate was cleared and I was offered my main course.



Braised chicken with red date and chestnut, steamed rice, pak choy and carrots

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/168_zps22f964db.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/169_zps6c734a7e.jpg




I did not know that dates are used in Chinese cuisine, but I was happy to find out. The main course was delicious! Well done again Cathay Pacific!

Sueyen cleared my tray once I was through, and offered me a selection for dessert.



"Mr. Hawi, how was your chicken?"
"Excellent, thank you"
"Are you ready for some cheese and fruits?"
"Yes please"



Both the cheese and the fruit for me

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/170_zps0a23e45a.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/171_zpsc20cf3f1.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/172_zps3464a5ea.jpg




"Mr. Hawi, I see you enjoy taking a lot of pictures. Are you a photographer?"
"Not really, but I do enjoy aviation, and Cathay is my favorite airline so I am just enjoying the moment"
"Oh really? You are just telling me this!"
"No, I am not kidding. Thank you all for the great service!"
"Thanks to you Mr. Hawi. May I ask you to kindly complete a comment card for us?"
"Certainly"



As the remainder of my meal was cleared from my table, I was handed a comment card -my third one on this trip- and a CX-themed pen which obviously was the majority of the motivation here.



Comment card & pen

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/173_zpsda04f48c.jpg




Nothing much else happened during this flight, apart from pulling out the screen to watch the route map. The personal IFE system equipped on this aircraft is very much in line with the overall hardware on this aircraft; i.e. it is well-maintained but many generations behind today's ultra-seasoned standards. I was surprised at how we used to consider something so bulky as cutting edge back in day! Pulling the screen out alone was enough exercise for me for a whole year! And the glare on the screen was so blinding, I couldn’t understand how we all enjoyed our movies, moving maps, games, shows and what not on those!

Technology is much like the aviation industry. One day it's something, the next is yesterday's history!



IFE's yesteryears!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/175_zpsf5833e47.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/176_zpse2bc879d.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/177_zps938fdc91.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/178_zps0fae5dc2.jpg




At 2:10pm Hong Kong local time, our captain made an announcement to inform us that we had commenced our descent and that our expected arrival time into Hong Kong was 2:40pm.



Cabin crew, 30 minutes to landing. That's 30 minutes to landing!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/179_zps9ff00c50.jpg




ARRIVAL HONG KONG
At 2:45pm, we touched down at Hong Kong International Airport and then docked at a gate fairly soon afterwards.

With a light load today, deplaning was very easy. As always, I thanked Sueyen and her amazing team for another great flight and then headed towards my connection.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18022 times:

HONG KONG TRANSIT
After another similar routing as my transit here a few days ago -train, transit, security, train, airside- I was back in the airside facility.



HKG-DXB boarding pass

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/130_zps9d8ff581.jpg




After a quick gate-check on the FIDS, I went around looking for planes. Unfortunately the weather was typical Hong Kong -cloudy and rainy- but it didn’t matter to me.



FIDS

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/180_zps72cc83a4.jpg


Cathay B744 (B-HKF) will be one of many 744s that will be missed!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/181_zps265a72e9.jpg


From this angle, you just want to poke that nose!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/182_zpsb7e527ea.jpg


Cathay B773 (B-HNG). I think the non-ER 773s are very bland

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/184_zps8b9f2461.jpg


Heading towards Gate 50

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/183_zpsc9388829.jpg




Arriving at Gate 50 at 3:55pm, a long queue had already formed in preparation for boarding, which seemed like it was going to begin soon. It was an encouragement seeing all those passengers choose Cathay over the competition to Dubai, as I am definitely one big supporter of this specific route, and would not want the high and mighty to have any effect on the CX operation.

As always, passengers from the Philippines make up over 90% of the profile here. Whilst they are hardcore fans of Cathay and Hong Kong -even if just in transit- I wait with anticipation to see what effects Philippine Airlines's revised strategy for the Gulf region will have on Cathay, which until now remains to be the de-facto Philippines National Carrier. Airlines like Emirates continue to be a threat here, but more on European routes that Cathay operates to. However, it is Philippine Airlines that could have a direct impact on the airline's entire Middle East operation.

Interesting times ahead, so let's watch this space as things unfold from the Winter 2013 scheduling season!



Gate 50



Sat here for a few moments before joining the queue for boarding

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/186_zps333ac5fa.jpg


Most of this queue is going to Dubai this afternoon!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/188_zps037cc168.jpg


At 4:05pm, boarding commenced

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/187_zpscb8bb14a.jpg




Making my way through the aerobridge, I arrive at Door 1L of the aircraft where I was greeted by Inflight Services Manager (ISM) Jun. First impressions reveal that she is very cheerful and enthusiastic. Is she new to the ISM world? Or is it because the destination is Dubai? Things like this do not take too much of a precedence in Cathay's world, because consistency in service is always key!



"Good afternoon Mr. Hawi, and welcome on board"
"Your seat 15A is right this way"
"Thanks"
"Enjoy your flight"



At 4:10pm I was on board.



CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18045 times:

FLIGHT # 4
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CATHAY PACIFIC Flight Information:

SCR
/CX/XXMAY
S13
XXMAY
HKG
KCX731 31MAR26OCT 1234567 311333HKGHKG1630 2050DXBDXB J
GI BRGDS


Registration: B-LAG
Condition: 5.6 years old, delivered to Cathay Pacific in January 2008.

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



HONG KONG TO DUBAI
HKG-DXB
Scheduled Departure: 16:30
Actual Departure: 16:35 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: 20:50
Actual Arrival: 21:10 (Touchdown)



Back on board one more time!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/189_zpsb12e5e04.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/190_zps1d6a5bde.jpg




On such sectors where yield is most likely not the focus, Cathay seems to give away op-ups like water, in order to pack the cabins. On today's service to Dubai, bustling passengers from every direction only suggested this, and business class ran almost at a 100% after some upgrades.

It is quite interesting that I was able to make a few educated guesses to determine who looked organic and who was the result of an op-up. But unlike my segregation, Cathay Pacific treats everyone in Business Class, as a Business Class passenger. Same smile, same professionalism, same attentiveness, same Cathay!

Welcome drinks were offered as soon as I was seated, and the choice was between orange juice, Oriental Breeze, water, and champagne. Any guesses what I went for?



Champagne! Never changes!





Flight Purser Shirley appears by my side and hands me an amenity kit, and that is when I notice the 'Indonesian' print under her name on the tag. I then thought to attract her attention and act innocent and cool.



"Terima kasih"
"Sama Sama!"

She breaks into a full smile, then looks back to return the gesture by saying "Al salamu alaikom!"



Amenity kit

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/192_zpscfc787c4.jpg




After heading a few rows down, Shirley then returns to me for bit more of a chat.



"Were you just in Jakarta?"
"No I actually came from Kuala Lumpur"
"Oh, because I noticed the Indonesian security tag on your carry on"
"Ah! That was from a few months ago!"



And so on and so forth, the conversation carried on about Jakarta, the traffic, and the food.

It is little touches like these -whether pointless banter or something a tad more meaningful- that really go a long way. Sometimes you'd need to make an effort to show them that you know they are humans like you, and the favor will be returned right back at you.

At 4:25pm our captain -this time he was British- made an announcement to welcome us on board. He also informed us that we were ready to leave, and due to some headwinds, flight time to Dubai was to be a beautiful 8 hours and 25 minutes.



We are ready to go!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/193_zpsd6c7fed1.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/194_zpsa912efd2.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/195_zpsdadadebf.jpg




We pushed back at 4:35pm, and then began our 30 minute taxi to the runway. It was a busy time at HKIA and we were in a queue for takeoff. And at our turn, we take off 5:05pm and begin our evening journey to Dubai.



Cabin shots after the seatbelt sign was switched off

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/196_zps7024f0b4.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/197_zps3cbfdaa7.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/198_zpsda736b7d.jpg


Water bottles and fast-track cards were distributed (menus followed later)

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/199_zps885b01dd.jpg




The ISM made her rounds of introductions in the Business Class cabin. This isn't quite usual in my Cathay experience, but it does happen from time to time.



"Good afternoon Mr. Hawi, welcome on board"
"My name is Jun, and I am the Inflight Services Manager"
"We hope that you will enjoy your flight with us today, but please let me know if you need anything"
"Thank you"



Senior Purser Koko followed, and she commenced her rapport-building with everyone as she distributed the menus.



"Good afternoon Mr. Hawi, welcome on board"
"My name is Koko and me and my team will be looking after you today"
"This is our menu for the flight, please let me know if you need anything"
"Thank you very much"



The drinks service followed, and I ordered the usual!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/200_zpsc7c630f9.jpg


Lounging around as I enjoyed by drink





And of course, a look at the menu was in order in anticipation of the dinner service that was about to commence.



Dinner menu





The Bloody Mary was extra-special today, and I accepted second and even third offerings. In the meantime, the dinner service began, and my tray was set on my table along with a crisp white linen underneath. Jun was very active during the service -it is very normal for the ISM to help during the service on CX- and she offered me a selection of bread from the bread basket. Meanwhile as Koko placed the tray on my table, she had also pre-placed my 3rd Bloody Mary on it as well.



"Mr. Hawi, can I get you anything else to drink?"
"The Bloody Mary will be enough, thank you"
"I am the one who prepared it for you, so I am happy to see that you are enjoying it!"
"Thank you, yes it is great!"
"Enjoy your meal Mr. Hawi"



Meal tray

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/202_zpsd4fe5c84.jpg


Mixed salad with Kalamata Olives and Balsamic Vinaigrette

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/203_zpsed037fd0.jpg


Bread

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/204_zpse84cbd12.jpg


Starter of Smoked Halibut with Polenta Nicoise

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/205_zpsb06ca261.jpg


Main course of Rock Salt Baked Chicken with Steamed Jasmine Rice & Kailan

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/206_zpse2fec450.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/207_zpsa20c2096.jpg




The meal on this flight -the starter, salad, and main course- was almost identical to the one I had on my outbound flight to Kuala Lumpur a few days ago. I either happened to be flying on the same stage of the meal cycle at two different times, or Cathay has somewhat streamlined its catering in an effort to keep a watch on the costs. While there are some differences in the offerings, the standard options were the same for both flights that departed Hong Kong.

Hey, I am not complaining because the meal was great so why not have some more? It was so good I even ate the halibut again!

Once I was through, my tray was cleared just in time for the dessert, fruit, and cheese trolley. I always try to make it to dessert but I was stuffed, and in an effort to pretend I was being healthy I opted from the 'fruit' (over and above the cheese of course).



Cheese & fruit

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/208_zpsb6364763.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/210_zpsb2f84730.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/209_zps221790f8.jpg




After the meal service, I powered on the IFE and silently watched a few shows until I fell asleep. The remainder of the flight was quite uneventful so sleep was the best option.



Getting into bed with Cathay Pacific



Almost there



Lights out and officially in bed with Cathay Pacific





As with my previous flights, my sleep was quite uninterrupted. This means that the bed provided was of high quality that offered exceptional standards of comfort. While there are several other airlines that offer a true flat concept in Business Class, it is always either too narrow, too flimsy, or not so private. However to me, this mini-suite -and hats off to Cathay for making this seat feel like a suite too- offers a little bit of all of those and more.



Almost there now!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/215_zpscdc2d6e4.jpg




Just passing Karachi, we are just over one and a half hours until our Dubai arrival, and I wake up to one of the mood-lighting's ambient themes. Apparently the refreshment service is about to commence, and since this involves a meal on a plane, it was definitely time to rise and shine.

A selection of orange or apple juices were offered from a tray as a mini before-arrival energizer.



OJ for me

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/214_zps2fce7587.jpg




A quick look through the menu was necessary in anticipation of the refreshment service.



Refreshment menu





Koko then appeared in the aisle to take the orders and set our tables up.



"Mr. Hawi, I hope you managed to get some rest"
"I certainly did"
"Excellent. May I offer you a snack before landing? I have wonton noodles or a vegetarian pie"
"I will have the noodles please"
"Certainly. Any drinks?"
"A diet coke please"



Refreshment service

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/218_zps42db2ee6.jpg


Diet Coke

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/217_zps418996a5.jpg


Shrimp Wontons in Noodle Soup

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/219_zps17702e8b.jpg




Another excellent meal. Great wontons, perfectly cooked noodles and a lightly flavored soup that tasted even better with the Guilin Chili Sauce that accompanied it.

Since I am a fast eater, I was through with my meal within a few minutes. My table was cleared promptly, and I was also offered yet another comment card and my fourth CX-themed pen (4th from this trip and probably 100th overall).



Comment card

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/222_zps9ae4f6c9.jpg


More cabin shots after my meal

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/220_zps2c9eb96f.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/221_zps1f54ec3a.jpg




We commenced initial descent towards Dubai at 8:35pm, just when our captain made an announcement to that effect. Final preparations were made by both crew and passengers before our final touchdown.



Landing soon

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/223_zpsaefaa6fe.jpg


Seatbelt sign on and arriving soon

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/224_zpsf967462e.jpg




CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 18016 times:

ARRIVAL DUBAI
We touch down at 9:10pm, and my entire journey comes to an end at this stage. Nevertheless, it was much-needed time off from certain things and returning back actually did not feel too dreadful. Naturally, a major part of this is thanks to Cathay Pacific for being my favorite go-to airline when things go wrong, right, or anything in between!



C O N C L U S I O N
As I did not need to introduce Cathay Pacific in this report, we all know that there isn't a requirement for me to conclude them either, because the verdict is always the same.

But the new Business Class product does deserve an endnote from as it was my first time to sample it. Officially as my favorite Business Class seat, there truly is no other like it on the planet. The feel of privacy, space, storage, and technology to match it is unparalleled. Many airlines have the IFE, others have the space, but this Cathay seat has it all. I know the airline has had a few difficulties over a few stages of misses, but they surely have nailed it right to the point this time around.

I think I also notice slight improvements in the software as well, but not that anything needed any fixing anyways. Inflight service was picture-perfect consistent on all four of my sectors, and while the meals may have gone through some form of a streamline, improvements have been made in the Chinese main course presentations and their quantities.

The most impressive part, is that a Cathay Pacific flight in Business Class -whether longhaul or shorthaul- is a Cathay Pacific flight in Business Class; simple as that! On both my Kuala Lumpur flights, service was equally as elaborate as my Dubai flights.

I cannot wait to fly Cathay Pacific on a US route in Business Class on their B777-300ER! Whenever that will be!



A final picture: Goodies from this trip

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/244_zpsc83e6a65.jpg




Finally, for anyone that is interested, I had flown Cathay Pacific in First Class on the B747-400 between Hong Kong and London Heathrow back in January 2013. This trip was with my good friend Sam Chui when we were on our way to St. Maarten. I could not let those pictures go without posting them here, as follows:



http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX002/IMG_6393_zps99332672.jpg


http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX002/IMG_6398_zpsb06abf36.jpg




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http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX002/IMG_6513_zps52c59ae3.jpg




This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!



Thank You,
Roni
www.flyroni.aero



PREVIOUS WORK
Please visit www.flyroni.aero for all my previous work


CONNECT WITH ME
Twitter: http://twitter.com/flyroni
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/flyRoni
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/ronerone
Website: http://www.flyroni.aero



THE END



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 578 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days ago) and read 17865 times:

Hi Roni,

Really great and detailed Trip Report as usual. CX new J class product looks really comfortable, by looking from the great pictures you took, I can see why you don't really feel like disembarking the aircraft.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Korean Air!

Haha, I have to say that I like their uniform, looks really neat and cute somehow.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Y+ is not yet sold on Asian flights, and instead it is used to offer more comfort to the high and mighty Marco Polos and also those Economy Class passengers booked on the higher fare buckets.

Wow, I did not knew that there were Y+ seats flying around CX intra-Asia routes. Although it is not sold as a separate class, it is a good treat for Marco Polo members still.

On another note, I did not knew that KUL was operated by the aircraft the new products as well. It is a nice touch for CX loyal passengers based in KUL, and I seemed to understand why MH is trying to compete in the game with the new A380 for their HKG route.

It has been a long time since I last visited KUL, and I hope you had an enjoyable break over there.
Thanks for sharing, and looking forward for more reports to come  

Regards,
Dirktraveller.


User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2753 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 17687 times:

Hi Roni!

Another wonderful story coupled with great pictures.

CX seems to maintain a high standard, rarely you read a bad story on CX. I wish I could have the chance to fly them someday even if its just a short HKG-TPE hop, and all the better if in Busines 

HKG airport, like CX needs no introduction, one of the best airport experiences I've had after Changi (my #1)

Oh! and I have a similar shirt to the one you are wearing on the DXB-KUL flight lol! H&M fan Huh?

MIAspotter



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlinetriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 742 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 16466 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Cathay Pacific B744 (B-HUJ). I think a final CX jumbo flight must happen!

A final CX 747-400 flight will happen with the 777-300ER's making those ultra long haul flights. But the 747-400 will always be a favorite because that is the airplane that made these ultra long haul flights possible (after the 747SP). Prior to the SP, the 747's did not have the capacity to make those flights.
As long as we're reminiscing about CX, my first flight on CX was on this 747-400 in January 1999 LAX-HKG. Flying time was 15:20. Just a few months prior to that flight, this same 747-400 flew JFK-HKG in about the same time, taking a polar route.
CX 883 was a special flight for me, as I had the best seat in the house, the cockpit jump seat! Sadly this is a thing of the past. But I thouroughly enjoyed the flight, and even in economy class, I got great service. CX is definitely the best Asian airline to fly.



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 16162 times:

Hi Roni,
What a marathon report with excellent photos.

The new CX business class cabin is aa massive improvement on the old herringbone pattern. The old layout was too reminiscent of battery farming for my liking. This new arrangement offers privacy without being claustrophobic.

Good to see the crew is attentive as ever and that the meals look appealing.

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to find an excuse to get away with Cathay.


User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 16159 times:

Hi Roni,
What a marathon report with excellent photos.

The new CX business class cabin is aa massive improvement on the old herringbone pattern. The old layout was too reminiscent of battery farming for my liking. This new arrangement offers privacy without being claustrophobic.

Good to see the crew is attentive as ever and that the meals look appealing.

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to find an excuse to get away with Cathay.

PS. Cool website. I note the map doesn't include any South American destinations. Any plans to head that way?


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days ago) and read 15292 times:

Dear All,

Many thanks for your comments.

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 10):
Really great and detailed Trip Report as usual.

Thanks Dirktraveller. Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 10):
Haha, I have to say that I like their uniform, looks really neat and cute somehow.

I think the Koreans in general seem to look really good in uniforms. Both Asiana and Korean Air crew always look very attractive. Even Air Koryo's crew!

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 10):
Wow, I did not knew that there were Y+ seats flying around CX intra-Asia routes. Although it is not sold as a separate class, it is a good treat for Marco Polo members still.

Any regional destination that gets an A330 will stand a chance to get one with the Y+. A lot of times KUL and CGK get them, but as with all other regional destinations on CX, last minute equipment changes are very likely.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 11):
Another wonderful story coupled with great pictures.

Many thanks MIAspotter!

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 11):
HKG airport, like CX needs no introduction, one of the best airport experiences I've had after Changi (my #1)

HKG for the enthusiast perspective, and Changi for a first class airport experience!

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 11):
Oh! and I have a similar shirt to the one you are wearing on the DXB-KUL flight lol! H&M fan Huh?

Haha .. I think my shirt was from American Eagle or Gant or something hehe.

Quoting triple7man (Reply 12):
A final CX 747-400 flight will happen with the 777-300ER's making those ultra long haul flights.

Hi triple7man,

haha what i meant was i need to get on the final CX 747 flight when it happens  
Quoting triple7man (Reply 12):
CX is definitely the best Asian airline to fly.

Could not agree with you more on that one!

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 13):
What a marathon report with excellent photos.

Many thanks AyostoLeon!

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 13):
The new CX business class cabin is aa massive improvement on the old herringbone pattern. The old layout was too reminiscent of battery farming for my liking. This new arrangement offers privacy without being claustrophobic.

Agreed! CX has made improvements to the herringbone seat over time, but certainly nothing beats this new arrangement!

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
PS. Cool website. I note the map doesn't include any South American destinations. Any plans to head that way?

Thanks. I am just finding the right time to go, otherwise South America is very high on my list!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinetriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 742 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 14863 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 15):
haha what i meant was i need to get on the final CX 747 flight when it happens

Please do, and I will look forward to reading your trip report



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 14679 times:

Quoting triple7man (Reply 16):
Please do, and I will look forward to reading your trip report

Many thanks!  



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 14615 times:

Wow great trip report! As always I love all the photos and I swear CX should just hire you to create all the PR material!

It is interesting to see how CX's version of that seat compares to USAirway's version. It is like cars...you can get the same model but in different trim levels and USAirways has the medium trim and CX spent the $$$ for the top level trip!

I will say that I do like how USAirway's have big huge water bottle holder built into the seat itself, between the move-able armrest and the move-able seat cushion.

You showed us the first class hand written note...but not any of the notes on this trip!

Despite all your gushing and praise it is clear that CX is slipping....all those flights and all those FA's and not ONE complemented you on your eye lashes!
 


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 14458 times:

Quoting Burj (Reply 18):
Wow great trip report! As always I love all the photos and I swear CX should just hire you to create all the PR material!

Hu Burj,

Thanks! And i could only wish! Need any job i could get my hands on now  
Quoting Burj (Reply 18):
It is interesting to see how CX's version of that seat compares to USAirway's version. It is like cars...you can get the same model but in different trim levels and USAirways has the medium trim and CX spent the $$$ for the top level trip!

Very true. But i am still so impressed at what the US carriers in general are doing to improve their long-haul products. Now UA is offering chauffeur service at IAH for certain FFPs for example!

Quoting Burj (Reply 18):
I will say that I do like how USAirway's have big huge water bottle holder built into the seat itself, between the move-able armrest and the move-able seat cushion.

And USAirways seems like one little gem of an airline! i'd like to fly them before they morph into AA.

Quoting Burj (Reply 18):
You showed us the first class hand written note...but not any of the notes on this trip!

Did not take any notes as it was a flight i wasn't planning on TR-ing. But i am certain the pics did enough talking here  

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4753 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 14250 times:

Well Hola...

Fantastic report. Although you didn't really need me to point it out. Great, crisp, bright and colourful photographs.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
This part of the report always amuses me, because it really is all about finding that right justification to ease your conscience. Today's reasoning actually takes the cake; think grocery shopping!

Did you write that juice item on the list just to rile your mom up? LOL!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
At Cathay's check-in counters, a queue was already in place and it consisted of 100% Philippines-bound passengers (a.k.a Cathay's bread & butter out of the Middle East).

Ah, ah-teh and pah-reh going baaack to prah-beenz to see pah-mee-lee.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
In very little time, Karen from the Philippines, stood up as the passenger before me was leaving, and waved for me to approach the counter.

Ok, she's not going to prah-beenz. Not yet.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
He advised that -to my misfortune of course- due to favorable tailwinds, he was getting us into Hong Kong in a relatively quick 6 hours and 58 minutes.

I know how you feel. I've had an 8 hr flight reduced to some 6 plus hours. I felt short changed!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
“Mr. Hawi, will you be having the full supper or the light option tonight?”
“I'll have the full supper please”

Pig... hahaha... I got chummy with my seat neighbour last week. So for the second meal, I had two portions.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I almost never make it to the end as reading the subtitles always sets me into a deep sleep however, as I was on board a Hong Kong-based airline, it was only appropriate to watch Days of Being Wild.

Well this movie you chose was one that changed the way HK gangster movies were made. It also cemented Leslie Cheung's leading man persona and it showed us he wasn't just another pretty face on stage belting out sweet nothings... That man can act! He tragically committed suicide some years back. But Days of Being Wild is one of those movies which belongs in the Hall of Fame.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/123_zpsc36dc7a7.jpg
Honey, botox much? She doesn't have more than one expression, it seems. :-|

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/CX001/195_zpsdadadebf.jpg
Ooooooh... someone is eager to break into mood lighting mode!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
While there are counters designated for premium passengers, most times there isn't any requirement to use them as there are plenty of regular counters that are simply available at all times!

Ooooh the premium line came into use for me a few times when I was arriving, not so much departing.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 6):
Technology is much like the aviation industry. One day it's something, the next is yesterday's history!

Think Project Runway... One day you're in, and the next you're out.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):
It is quite interesting that I was able to make a few educated guesses to determine who looked organic and who was the result of an op-up. But unlike my segregation, Cathay Pacific treats everyone in Business Class, as a Business Class passenger. Same smile, same professionalism, same attentiveness, same Cathay!

Do not remind me of the ONE AND ONLY TIME I got an "op up" on SQ between SYD and SIN. It is so rare, so rare in fact I was reminded that I am an op-up.

Great catching up and hope to do so soon.

Cheers
Ryan



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 14149 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Roni,

Just when I begin to notice your trip reports missing on here you make a comeback and with the true Roni way! This one was no exception to your other reports, and it was like a honeymoon all over again with your beloved CX!!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Of course, over the longer term, I developed four more 'go-to' airlines, but this one seems to remain as just the one!

Okay so let's see if we can find all those four and if they will be revealed in the trip report lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
FLY RONI
Firstly, I would like to introduce my new website. It is a non-commercial archive for all my work, which mainly includes my Trip Reports

Wait where is the link......Oh

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
Thank You,
Roni
www.flyroni.aero

Ah here it is!! Will have to check it out....what a nice Roni-encylopedia it will be when in the mood to read your reports all over again!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Today's reasoning actually takes the cake; think grocery shopping!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
In my world, Air Miles points were mainly logged from mother's ultra-consistent grocery shopping which went on for many years accruing in a balance virtually untouched.

The only way I am also racking up my Aeroplan points....pay for groceries each month with it lol....Saving for that big trip of TG's J class HKG-BKK-KHI but no idea when I'll take it.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Pre-check in security is now done away with!!!

Glad they did

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
At Cathay's check-in counters, a queue was already in place and it consisted of 100% Philippines-bound passengers (a.k.a Cathay's bread & butter out of the Middle East).

Soon to be facing competition again with PR's comeback to Dubai!!

http://airlineroute.net/2013/07/01/pr-mideast-w13update1/

Though sad to see their YYZ route go after only a few months in service.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Arriving at the main airside building

I know I've complained about the Sheikh Rashid building being too crowded in the EK days, but I do honestly do prefer this to the new DXB sterile terminal

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Leg space

And the shoes displayed as in a shoe store window!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
As soon as I was seated, Flight Attendant Kitty from Hong Kong quickly appeared at my seat with a tray of welcome drinks on offer.

Fortunately you were not on board an EVA AIR flight on one of their "Hello Kitty" aircraft lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Everything is within easy reach here!

Except for the windows, the main inflight entertainment on board any aircraft!!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
the infamous "Nice to see you again". Naturally, those worthy Marco Polo elites -in which there was quite the number on board tonight- got the extra treatment with a little more fluff on the dialogue.

They don't make the not so regular J class passengers feel less important that their all time regular J class ones.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Amenity kits were distributed

Those look like from some charter holiday airline......I think a neutral colour is more stylish and elegant, rather than trying to make it look this way

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
In this industry today, we have become seasoned enough to question the 'attractiveness' of meal trays offered in Business Class. Many seem to dismiss any airline that still uses them today, whereas others probably do not care. I for one, am not decided yet, but I seem to not be overly finicky for now. Needless to say, all but one of my top five airlines still use them and I still keep flying them relentlessly.
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Or would be want to keep the meal trays, but bling-bling them up a notch so they would look nicer as they do now on Etihad?

Ah, the one and only time I got upgraded on Etihad and that is indeed how my tray arrived.....everything neatly placed onto the meal tray!! Thank you Etihad for that wonderful experience.

Sorry for the shameless plug, Roni http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/234509

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
But I can't help to think, will we want to follow the trends set by Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways?

Hmm so let's see the airline clues provided, Singapore Airlines and Qatar that makes two of the four....two more to go

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
However, just as Emirates had set an extremely high benchmark on the IFE front, Etihad followed a similar path with its bread in Business Class.

Emirates and Etihad.....are those the other two to make up the grand total of four.....SQ, QR, EK and EY?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
My armrest was pushed down while my neighbor's was extended up

With all the space available, your neighbour decides to place his shoes near the aisle and if rolled onto the aisle could pose a serious hazard to the unsuspecting CX FA!!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Cathay, it's always nice to be in bed with you

Too much info lol

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Photos are always welcome on Cathay!!!

And who but you were the trend setter to get these photos with the cabin crews....someday I might be bold enough to pose with the crews myself!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Today's transit sequence was a bit funny, as I had to take the train to the main terminal building, go through the transit security check area, hop back on to a train, and arrive right back to the same location. Oh well, at least there was a smoking lounge on the way, which definitely provided some much-needed entertainment.

What? Seems confusing.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
The possibilities are endless depending on how creative you want to be. So today, my quirk is same plane service!!

How unique.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Actual Arrival: 10:30+1 (Touchdown)
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
ARRIVAL HONG KONG
At 10:30pm we touchdown at HKG,
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
HONG KONG TO KUALA LUMPUR
HKG-KUL
Scheduled Departure: 12:50

Your 10:30pm typo had me thinking what in heaven's name were you doing for 14 hours in transit lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Look the jumbo straight in the eye!

Nothing quite like this beast and there never will be!!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
well we all know I am anti-seafood,

Seafood is amazing for some of us lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 6):
IFE's yesteryears!

This trip report was like a blast from the past and a look into the future.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
Cathay B773 (B-HNG). I think the non-ER 773s are very bland

Nothing like the Boeing 777-300ERs....I still find myself actually finding flights on this when I could have an A380 option as well

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
However, it is Philippine Airlines that could have a direct impact on the airline's entire Middle East operation.

Ah yes, you mention it here as well....I presume the employers pay for the Filipinos flying back home, so it might come down to who has the cheaper fare, rather than taking loyalty into consideration

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
I cannot wait to fly Cathay Pacific on a US route in Business Class on their B777-300ER! Whenever that will be!

And I for one cannot wait to see this happen.....I might be getting a bit forgetful but did you ever do a Qatar Airways report? I'd opt to see that before you do one a CX 7773ER

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
Finally, for anyone that is interested, I had flown Cathay Pacific in First Class on the B747-400 between Hong Kong and London Heathrow back in January 2013. This trip was with my good friend Sam Chui when we were on our way to St. Maarten. I could not let those pictures go without posting them here, as follows:


This was quite the glimpse but would either of you be posting your report on here, or I might check with your new site.


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 14047 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
Fantastic report. Although you didn't really need me to point it out. Great, crisp, bright and colourful photographs.

Shukran Lionel!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
Did you write that juice item on the list just to rile your mom up? LOL!

Haha .. definitely  
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
Ah, ah-teh and pah-reh going baaack to prah-beenz to see pah-mee-lee.

LOL

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
I know how you feel. I've had an 8 hr flight reduced to some 6 plus hours. I felt short changed!

back in the day, a 6 hour AUH-FRA flight seemed so long. Now it's barely a meal's worth and then you arrive.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
Well this movie you chose was one that changed the way HK gangster movies were made. It also cemented Leslie Cheung's leading man persona and it showed us he wasn't just another pretty face on stage belting out sweet nothings... That man can act! He tragically committed suicide some years back. But Days of Being Wild is one of those movies which belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Interesting. I barely made it through the first couple of scenes though. Reading the subtitles always puts me to sleep.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
Honey, botox much? She doesn't have more than one expression, it seems. :-|

Well she was posing in a specific way. She even made the 'photographer' shoot from a specific angle to hide any wrinkles and such   ahahha

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
Ooooh the premium line came into use for me a few times when I was arriving, not so much departing.

There was a line at KUL?

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 20):
Do not remind me of the ONE AND ONLY TIME I got an "op up" on SQ between SYD and SIN. It is so rare, so rare in fact I was reminded that I am an op-up.

SQ ops humans up?
So lucky! They turned me down even when i once requested to pay for an upgrade at the counter in MEL! I wasn't worthy enough  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Just when I begin to notice your trip reports missing on here you make a comeback and with the true Roni way! This one was no exception to your other reports, and it was like a honeymoon all over again with your beloved CX!!

Hi flightsim!

Thanks! Indeed it was like yet another honeymoon on CX  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Ah here it is!! Will have to check it out....what a nice Roni-encylopedia it will be when in the mood to read your reports all over again!!

Thanks. Hope you like it.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
The only way I am also racking up my Aeroplan points....pay for groceries each month with it lol....Saving for that big trip of TG's J class HKG-BKK-KHI but no idea when I'll take it.

Hopefully you're doing a lot of grocery shopping then  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
I know I've complained about the Sheikh Rashid building being too crowded in the EK days, but I do honestly do prefer this to the new DXB sterile terminal

I think i do prefer T1 to the rest of DXB. It is the classic form of 'new DXB' and it always will retain that certain charm that the others seem to lack.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Except for the windows, the main inflight entertainment on board any aircraft!!!

Very true. But hey, it's either twisting around to get to a window (as on the herringbone) or at least have three in front of you, albeit from a slight distance  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
They don't make the not so regular J class passengers feel less important that their all time regular J class ones.

That is a definite plus on CX!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Ah, the one and only time I got upgraded on Etihad and that is indeed how my tray arrived.....everything neatly placed onto the meal tray!! Thank you Etihad for that wonderful experience.

Sorry for the shameless plug, Roni Etihad Airways EY 221 & 222 - Most Memorable Trips (by flightsimboy Feb 24 2013 in Trip Reports)

WoW .. sorry but it seems i missed this one!!! I will read it!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Hmm so let's see the airline clues provided, Singapore Airlines and Qatar that makes two of the four....two more to go
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Emirates and Etihad.....are those the other two to make up the grand total of four.....SQ, QR, EK and EY?

God no   Apart from EK, you are way off ! haha. So you have 3 more to go  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
someday I might be bold enough to pose with the crews myself!!

You definitely should!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Your 10:30pm typo had me thinking what in heaven's name were you doing for 14 hours in transit lol

I always always mess my am pm's up   hehehe

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Nothing quite like this beast and there never will be!!!

So true!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
I presume the employers pay for the Filipinos flying back home, so it might come down to who has the cheaper fare, rather than taking loyalty into consideration

Well there are a lot of well-off and independent Filipinos in the UAE now, and they have choice so hopefully that will remain to be CX  

But, for the rest, it depends on what the agent offers the purchaser really. If CX works it right with the agents, then the 'cheapest' offer presented can be CX on most occasions. The agents in this region seem to respect CX from my experience, so if they don't want PR to butt in, then CX have to continue to play it right with the big agents in town.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
I might be getting a bit forgetful but did you ever do a Qatar Airways report?

No i have not. I have flown QR about 12 times last year (*shock* *horror*)  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
I'd opt to see that before you do one a CX 7773ER

Hehe .. i think i'd be doing a couple more CX TRs before though hehe.

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 13985 times:
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Hey Roni,

Quoting ronerone (Reply 22):
Hopefully you're doing a lot of grocery shopping then  

Well grocery shopping is one way, applying for credit card promotions is another lol....

Quoting ronerone (Reply 22):

WoW .. sorry but it seems i missed this one!!! I will read it!

It would appear that one seemed to have gone lost for quite a few lol...maybe due to my many EY reports on here it was easily misunderstood as being read already lol

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
God no   Apart from EK, you are way off ! haha. So you have 3 more to go  

What!! Okay your Roni-encylopedia should provide more clues....

Quoting ronerone (Reply 22):
No i have not. I have flown QR about 12 times last year (*shock* *horror*)  

I still don't get why you won't do a trip report on Qatar Airways...why? why? baffled!!!


User currently offlineqantas077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5854 posts, RR: 40
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 13919 times:

nice report, Cathay crew look worn out and drained!


a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
25 Post contains images NZ107 : Wow, what a stunner Roni! I now have no motivation to write my own! So much more thorough than I remember my pictures to be! I think I was suddenly lu
26 MHTripple7 : Wow. Fantastic, detailed, and well-written trip report! Thanks for sharing. Funny that we both have CX trip reports out right now! Similar to me, it l
27 Burj : Well they just started doing something that Delta has been doing for a while now....they are driving HVC's (High Value Customers) between planes so t
28 NZ107 : Your last point is the correct one. For some reason, CX only utilises mood lighting in the F and J cabins. I don't understand it, especially when oth
29 Post contains images ronerone : Great! Looking forward to seeing a report of you on board TG soon then Hehe .. If you give up, let me know. I'll tell you! Thanks qantas077! I think
30 Post contains images eastafspot : Ronerone, You must have the best introductory part ever, i really loved it . Also before clicking on your reports, i always wonder which pair of shoes
31 Post contains images NZ107 : Hahaha. I know for a fact I won't be covering the AKL-HKG-AKL legs Though that's still RTW if you think about it! Yeah, you never told me about it so
32 767747 : Another excellent report, Roni. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us! Food looks amazing, and as usual, Cathay looks like they exceed expect
33 Post contains images ronerone : Many thanks eastafspot! Glad you enjoyed it Haha .. It seems that red is my CX theme! To be honest, it did not take too long to go all out and right
34 ClassicLover : Excellent report as always. This is so true - the personal touch on Cathay sticks in my mind to this day. I was flying SIN-BKK-HKT and the crew menti
35 readytotaxi : seriously good trip report, first, well done for scanning in the menus, not enough people take the time to do that and it adds so much to the quality
36 Post contains images The777Man : Hi Roni ! Thanks for another fantastic report with fantastic pictures ! Very good that you tried the new J-class seat on CX! It looks really nice and
37 Post contains images beowulf : Great report as always. Truly enjoyed your review of CX's product. I cannot help but point out your "ancient" suitcase. *haha* It's so 1980s; and the
38 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks ClassicLover! In my experience, Cathay does these sort of things best. They've mastered it and have re-invented it Many thanks readytotaxi! I
39 caleb1 : Another AMAZING TR Roni! I always look forward to reading your reports and I am glad to learn of your new website. I will be sure to check it often. S
40 gabrielchew : Nice, long and terribly detailed report Roni! Thanks for posting! I quite like that design. What is happening with the number of selections for CX's J
41 NZ107 : Take a look down the menu for the first flight, you'll notice at the bottom there's a thing called a 'light snack'. Funnily enough after looking at t
42 Post contains images ronerone : Thanks as always caleb1 Hope you'll en joy the website. Haha .. Thanks Gabriel On my DXB-HKG flight they served a supper so i am assuming that transl
43 PlaneHunter : Hi Roni, excellent report with fantastic pictures! Cathay new Business Class product looks stunning, impressive in terms of hardware and software. Ver
44 Post contains images ronerone : Hi PH! Thanks for stopping by! Nice. Wonder which? DL? VS? NZ? Haha ... do they look that bad? Would definitely be nice! Hopefully they're not anothe
45 MSS658 : Hello Roni Very nice report with high quality pictures as usual. CX's new product looks fantastic As said indeed the older regional J class is in bad
46 ronerone : Many thanks Marc. Glad you enjoyed! The new regional retrofit should definitely be a welcome change. Cheers, Roni
47 SR 103 : Sorry about the late response, but thanks so much for writing this one up. You know I have eagerly awaiting your opinions on the new business class se
48 Post contains images ronerone : Many thanks SR103 Precisely! They most definitely did when i was Cheers, Roni
49 celestar : What a wonderful TR you had done! I enjoyed every sentences and photos of it. I flown a lot on CX and without a doubt, it is my favorite. I drove my b
50 Post contains images ronerone : Many thanks Celestar. Glad you enjoyed Excellent choice I must admit that i thought the meal in economy on my flight from KUL to HKG last year was ra
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