About one week for Christmas I wanted to book a flight to Nagoya, Japan. I have there some friends, which I visit normally with Christmas, or they visit me. But this year I stayed home with Christmas and decided to go on January 5 to NGO. I watched on Internet for cheap business class fares but didn't find them. So I watched on the site of CX and found a good deal. So I decided to fly this time with CX. A good choice!
Sunday January 5 2003
Flight CX 270 AMS-HKG
Scheduled departure time: 13.35
Actual departure time: 13.50
Scheduled arrival time: 8.15
Actual arrival time: 8.05
Ok, once I booked the flight I prepared myself to go to Japan. I always take much presents with me so I went one day shopping in Amsterdam. On Sunday finally it was time to fly. I took a taxi to Schiphol. The taxi driver drove me to terminal one. Normally departure hall 1 has check-in rows for European flights. Now the whole OneWorld group does their check in at a renovated part of terminal 1. I walked to this nice part of the hall, where also passenger checked in for flights to Barcelona and Madrid (IB), Helsinki (AY), LGW and LHR (BA) and my flight to Hong Kong. I arrived at the check in for business class and they helped me immediately. A nice madam asked for my ticket and passport and I gave her my ticket. She was nice but she didn't know if there were new business class seats on this flight. Another employee beside her knew it and told me some happy news. I was going to fly in the new business class. But it was quite stupid the madam don't knew it because in every magazine they advertise with the new business class and one of their employees don't even know something about that. Anyway...I was happy with my pre-reserved seat and access to the GlobeGround lounge. The boarding card was printed on nice Cathay Business class paper. Then I walked through security, which is good organised in AMS. I wanted to see the lounge so went to it. The GlobeGround lounge is very nice inside but not so nice as the KLM lounge in AMS. There is a choice of drinks and some small snacks. TV's were on CNN and I didn't find (free) Internet access. It is quite boring there so I decided to do some shopping. On the way I saw lots of KLM planes (b737, 767,747), Tarom (737), Cyprus Airways (320), Singapore Airlines (747), Transavia (737), Martinair (767), Mearsk Air (737) and Ukraine International (737) I bought a DKNY cap and airliners world and went back to the lounge where I read some interesting articles, drinking some orange juice (which was fresh!). Time went up and I walked to the gate (E19). I saw the very long A340 and I realised CX is one of the only to operate the A340 at AMS. Boarding was soon, just ten minutes too late. First class passengers were invited and on this flight there were just 3 passengers travelling first. After this short procedure I was invited to come onboard and so I came! I walked into the plane and was greeted by two F/A’s. One of them walked with me to the business class and showed me my seat. Soon another F/A came to take my jacket and just a minute later she asked me if I want something to drink. I ordered a coke and a couple of seconds (!) later she brought it to me. With the coke came also some Godiva chocolates and other candies on a little plate with some flowers. It looked very nice and a little bit the same like Emirates’ service. Then I inspected the new biz seats, which are indeed very nice. You have a lot of space to work and the details are beautiful:
1.6 positions of the headrest available
2.very nice in-arm table
3.perfect reading light
5.noise cancelling headset in seat arm(!)
6.personal water bottle holder with a bottle Perrier in it
7.you can stretch the seat perfect
8.you can adjust the leg rest very good
This all makes the seat perfect and with the entertainment system this seat gets an A+ from me. The small details like the water bottle holder are great! The entertainment system features a video on demand system, which is pretty. The screen is 10.4” big and has the newest movies.
When all the other passengers were finally onboard, the crew provided me an amenity kit, with products from Biotherm and other things. I went fast to the toilet (which is really nice) and saw a little bar. The bar was very nice with a wonderful design. In the cabin you have also mood lighting which is innovative! I must say, CX has done a good job with this new biz class! I went fast to my seat because the plane started taxiing. I watched through the window and saw a LH 320, AF A321, KL 747-300,SQ 777 and AZ A320. The plane taxied to the runway and we had to wait because first a KL 767(probably to Dubai) and a DL 767 departed. Then we were airborne! After a couple of minutes the crew provided Menu cards and some drinks. The crew on this flight was not very old but they did their work very good. They were nice and friendly but sometimes a bit irritated.
The menu today was:
Sample Menu * * * * * COCKTAILS * * * * * HONEY ROASTED CHINESE DUCKplaced on celery and grilled pineapple salad, drizzled with a citrus dressing MARINATED ASIAN SEAFOODscallops, tiger prawns and poached salmon drizzled with Oriental dressing * * * * * SEASONAL SALADserved with a choice of Caesar dressing or olive oil vinaigrette * * * * * FILLET OF GAROUPAsteamed fillet of garoupa topped with julienne of vegetables served with a light basil sauce accompanied with buttered broccoli, turned carrots and tagliatelle noodles BEEF TERIYAKI KEBABtender pieces of beef, marinated and cooked in teriyaki sauce, accompanied with grilled vegetables and gratinated potatoes THAY STYLE CHICKEN CURRYtender pieces of chicken in a coconut flavoured curry sauce , served with green beans, cauliflower and steamed rice roll * * * * * WHITE CHOCOLATE AND ORANGE MOUSSE CAKElight and fluffy mousse cake served on a dark chocolate mirror PEAR STRUDELfreshly baked pear strudel, served hot, accompanied with vanilla sauce * * * * * INTERNATIONAL CHEESEBOARD * * * * * SELECTION OF SEASONAL FRUITS * * * * * TEACeylon, China, Earl Grey, Camomile * * * * * COFFEEfreshly brewed or decaffeinated CHOCOLATES
I opted for Asian seafood, which was good but not perfect, and for beef teriyaki kebab which was much better! The dessert, pear strudel, was very delicious. CX serves their meals in biz on Chinese plates and drinks in crystal glasses. The knife is not plastic, like on EK. Overall the meal was delicious and after the meal I watched the entertainment system. I watched Simone, not a very actual film. I hoped Gangs of New York was available but it wasn’t. They also handed newspapers out on the beginning of the flight with: Dutch/English/French/Chinese and Italian newspapers/magazines. I took Esquire and the Algemeen Dagblad(Dutch) and began to read them. While reading I checked out the audio system, which is great and listened to Escapology from Robbie Williams. After that I caught some sleep. Two hours before arrival the crew served the breakfast. I opted the hot breakfast with scrambled eggs; toast and much more like sausages and bacon. The toast was fresh toasted in the galley and the eggs baked in the galley. I drunk some tea and orange juice and ate two croissants. As dessert they gave fresh fruit and apple pie, strange but lovely! Then after breakfast I watched the magazine of CX, Discover. It’s a good magazine with lots of information. Half-hour before landing I asked a F/A about the Tran connection with my flight to NGO. She gave the info and I was happy…D Then the signs fasten seatbelt were turned on. The landing at HKG was quick and smooth. On HKG I saw CX 747 and A330, KLM 747, LH 747,TG 777, BA 747, LX 340, MH 777 and VS 747. So a lot of 747’s and also some A340’s. The KLM plane wasn’t painted in the new livery..sad! The plane was connected with air bridge (finally) and then I leaved the plane. The crew said goodbye mister, hahaha. I walked to the transfer desks for Business/First class. They helped me soon and printed a new boarding card with a new seat, which I asked for. The showed me the way to TheWing, the lounge of CX. The wing is really nice and is split in two departments:
1. First class
2. Business class
I walked to the business section, which is very nice and specious. They have wooden desks and free Internet is available. Two bars, a normal bar and a noodle bar with enough drinks and food. I didn’t have enough time to explore everything and I wanted also to have a look at the airport, because I’ve never been there before. My next flight was departing 9.20am so I had to hurry. Anyway, the lounge was great and one of the best I’ve ever seen. This lounge was much better and nicer then KL’s lounge in AMS. I watched on the airport and I must say I liked it very much…I was sad when it was time to go…
Monday, January 6 2003
Flight CX 530 HKG-NGO
Scheduled departure time: 9.20
Actual departure time: 9.23
Scheduled arrival time: 15.30
Actual arrival time: 15.05
I went to the gate too late and boarding was a while going when I came. There was a long row but I waited. Finally I got on board and took my seat. A F/A came to me and said: Mister, this is business class. I guess you’re on the wrong seat! Well, I was very angry on her and showed my boarding card. She walked away and later when my parents came sitting next to me, she came back. And asked, is that you son? My parents answered: yes, why? And she said: oh yes I see. She was a very strange F/A and absolutely not nice. I was happy when she walked into Economy class and disappeared! My mother called the purser and was a little bit complaining about this incident. She excused me for that and she was nice. A minute later the “stupid” F/A came to me and said: I’m really sorry!!Haha and I told her: honey it’s ok. Well finally I got my ordered coke and taxiing began. I saw a some CX airbuses but further not much planes. The plane taxied to the runway and we waited for a NW 747 heading for SFO, I think. After take-off menu’s were handed out, and amenity kits also. This time I didn’t saved the menu card but I remember there was a choice between a hot or cold lunch or just a vegetables meal. I chose the hot brunch with as starter a Chinese soup with mushrooms. It was tasty and nice decorated. As salad they gave a French style salad with a sour dressing which had a strange taste. Then came some white rice and steamed salmon, which was actually very good. As dessert I took fresh fruit and a bonbon. The meals on CX are fresh and mostly tasteful, but not always. I watched a Chinese film and read some magazines. This time they didn’t have the new biz seats…what a pity! But the old style is not really bad or something…the whole business class was full and so was economy! The crew was handy and quick. The pilots on this flight did a good job…my parents did some in-flight shopping and I watched to the mountains outside. Then we came closer to NGO and it was already time to land. Yes, the time went fast and I looked forward to see my friends etc.
Once the flight landed on NGO I didn’t even look outside because I was too excited. But I saw some JL’s. When the plane taxied to his parking stand, crew offered all the passengers a little present: a “golden” CX pencil. Well, nice collector’s item . When I leaved the plane I ran to the baggage belts and was happy to see my friends.
Overall CX made this impression to me:
Check in/transfer: 8/10(because that stupid fault in AMS)
Boarding: 7/10(not very efficient but not slowly)
Crew: 8/10(because that little incident)
New business class product overall: 10/10
Old business class product overall: 9/10(still perfect)
Next week I’ll post my return: NGO-NRT-AMS on KL and JL both business.
For this time
I love ek
(And CX yes yes)