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BKK-SIN-BKK CX/AY Business - Way To Go Oneworld!  
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 42
Posted (8 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6560 times:

Here’s a report of my recent business class trip to Singapore on Cathay and Finnair. My friend needed some miles to complete his AAdvantage Platinum challenge, and you don’t really need a lot of convincing to get me to do a weekend trip in business class. The special combo fare available in Bangkok is a great deal - about 10400THB with tax and whatever profit your travel agent wants. I paid around 10600 for my ticket. Sorry I forgot my camera this time, so unfortunately no pictures.

17 September 2005
Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD) – Singapore Changi (SIN/WSSS)
Cathay Pacific Airways CX 713
Boeing 747-467
B-HOT
1150-1505 – On Time
New Business Class, Seat 86A (Upper Deck Exit Row)


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Photo © Kenneth Cheng
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Photo © K.L.Yim



Pre-Flight

As I was traveling with a friend, after a speedy and oh so safe motorbike taxi ride, I met him at his hotel in one of the early sois of Sukhumvit. The ride to Don Muang was quick as usual on the Tollway, and we soon made our way to the Cathay Pacific check-in desks in terminal 2. We were quickly checked in, and seats were changed to 86A/C – best business class seats on the plane.

After that it was time to pay the airport tax again – hopefully AOT will finally collect it at ticketing when Suvarnabhumi opens for traffic. Immigration had no lines, but Khun Thaksin appears to have copied Mr Bush’s absolutely brilliant idea to take a photo of each person at the desks… Oh well, at least in Thailand you don’t feel like being questioned at the police station or court room when your handsome face gets saved in the system.

Lounges

We then headed to the Cathay Pacific business class lounge, quite nice modern design but it’s no Wing or Pier for sure. Breakfast there consisted of some dim sum, sandwiches and cup noodles. Quite basic drink selection but at least JW Black Label is on offer. There are no windows in this lounge unfortunately, and HKG/LAX bound lady decided it was appropriate to use the computer for 40 minutes although I was staring her after every 5 minutes after the 15 minutes Cathay had appropriately suggested “as a courtesy to other guests.” Overall, I think the CX lounge is a bit below the new Qantas Club at BKK, but not bad at all.

Boarding was from gate 42 – right next to the Lufthansa business class lounge. Breakfast time had passed, so we came up with this brilliant idea to raid the bar there before heading to the gate. The ability to use Lufthansa lounges as a Senator is a nice benefit, but unfortunately just about the only one that the shiny gold card gets you anymore.

Boarding & Flight

Boarding was well underway when we made it to the gate, but as usual, the first/business class line was well guarded, and only those entitled to use it could do so. A few cheerful flight attendants greeted us at the door, and we made our way to the upper deck of B-HOT. Pacific Sunrise was my choice for pre-departure drink. Menus, hot towels and newspapers were then distributed by the Filipina purser and Hong Kong based flight attendant working on the upper deck. Also, the ISM came to say hi, nice touch but quite surprising since I only had my regular Asiamiles number in the booking.

Puchback was on time, and there were three other passengers on the upper deck. We took off from 21R as usual for the short 2-hour flight down to Singapore. Cocktails and nice warm nuts in a bowl were first served, and the main service would follow. Lunch would be served on this flight, here’s the menu.

Bangkok – Singapore
Lunch


Appetizer

Carpaccio of Marinated Salmon with Italian Basil
and Mesculin Salad


Main Courses

Sliced Beef and Eggplant with Gravy
Steamed Rice and Braised Pak Choy

Or

Steamed Tap Tim Fish with Mushroom Onion Sauce
Fried Rice with Vegetables, Sautéed Asparagus and Carrot


Dessert

Passionfruit Diplomat

Assorted Bread and Rolls

Tea and Coffee

Pralines

Champagne: Billecart Salmon Brut Champagne

I was somehow expecting the usual lousy fruit appetizer and some noodles, so this menu was a very nice surprise. Also, the drink list has the usual stuff including JW Gold Label. Appetizers were served first with bread – the hot garlic bread was excellent as usual. I had the beef as main course, quite tasty but nothing out of this world. The dessert was absolutely mouth watering, and served separately after the trays were cleared.

Service was what I expect from one of my favourite carriers – very attentive and friendly, and the champagne kept flowing. I just wish Cathay would replace the cattle-class like casserole used for business class main courses. Otherwise the tableware is extremely nice. The ladies serving us on the upper deck cracked a few jokes how the immigration desks might be far for us at SIN after such a good try to finish the bubbly they had loaded for the flight.

The NBC seat is definitely nice to relax after the meal – unfortunately we were about to start approach to Changi at this point. Also, the schedules show a B777-367 back for CX 713 starting next month, and those of course have uninspiring regional business class seats and no privacy of the upper deck. No AVOD and those nice CX noise canceling headsets either. But since F and C were just about totally empty, that really comes as no surprise as the 773 seats more pax than CX 744.

We landed on time, quickly cleared immigration, and took a cab to the Marriott.

18 September 2005
Singapore Changi (SIN/WSSS) – Bangkok Don Muang (BKK/VTBD)
Finnair AY 098
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
OH-LGB
2150-2315 – On Time
Business Class, Seat 1A (Bulkhead)


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Photo © Jaakko Ypyä
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Photo © Weimeng



Pre-Flight

We arrived early at Changi, better to hang out in the lounge than the city after having checked out of the hotel. Finnair offers early check-in, but the process took an eternity, the agent was clueless, and refused to put in our frequent flier numbers although I reminded that they were in for the Cathay segment only. Somebody care to educate her and Bangkok travel agents about how to input FF info correctly? It has never happened at a BKK travel agent yet…

Lounges

Immigration was quick as usual, and we headed to the new Skyview Lounge, operated by Cathay Pacific and SATS. It’s also used by at least Finnair, Garuda Indonesia and Emirates. The number of Garuda departures out of SIN is quite amazing really. This lounge is so much nicer than the old CX lounge, same style as the Hong Kong lounges, and has great views of the tarmac. Snacks included dim sum, sushi, fried rice, sandwiches etc. The stardard assortment of liquor was naturally available as well. The lounge also has showers, and I guess computers somewhere.

Boarding & Flight

Finnair AY 098 to Helsinki via Bangkok boarded via gate D36 that night, and as usual at SIN, being at the gate 30 minutes before departure, we were the last passengers to board. Luckily the agents at the gate added our frequent flyer numbers, so we were all set to take seats 1A/C in the first row. Just as we sat down, “boarding completed” was announced over the PA, and door 1L slid down from the roof. The aircraft today was OH-LGB, one of the original ones fitted with somewhat better seats and big PTVs. LGE/F have those totally pathetic old CityBird seats. Having said that, the difference from CX NBC was still huge.

Newspapers and magazines were handed out, as were menus, hot towels and Sennheiser noise-canceling headsets. Also, the pre-departure drinks were served, and I chose champagne as usual. Finnair now serves Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royale 1999, very nice indeed. Meanwhile, we were taxiing out, glasses were soon collected, and the good old tri-jet rocketed into the dark Singaporean sky. Business was surprisingly full, perhaps about 60% load.

Finnair serves full dinner on this flight, with three main course choices and a choice of appetizers. Here’s the menu:

Hong Kong/Singapore – Bangkok
Dinner


Smoked Salmon

Or

Smoked Breast of Chicken, Apple and Celery Salad

* * *

Fried Red Snapper with Stir-Fried Bamee Noodles

Or

Panaeng Chicken Curry with Steamed Rice

Or

Fillet of Beef with Chive Cream Sauce

* * *

Apple Tart with Custard


Coffee, cappuccino, espresso and tea available during the flight


I had the smoked salmon as appetizer, and some Finnish rye bread. Unfortunately garlic bread was not available during this flight. The fillet of beef was excellent, more or less perfectly cooked which is rare for airline beef based on my experience. The apple tart was nothing special, but not bad either, and there was also a Chinese mooncake as an extra dessert. Service was very good, but then again I don’t expect European service to reach the levels of CX or SQ premium cabins.

The nice meal took the better part of the flight, and was rounded off with a cup of coffee and some Martell Cordon Bleu cognac. Finnair’s wine/drink list is really excellent in my opinion. Landing was a few minutes early, and immigration was of course a non-issue as usual in Bangkok.

Overall, the service was from a different planet compared to the Lufthansa flights to Jakarta in August. And LH charges 30000 Baht for their pathetic excuse of C class on the BKK-CGK-BKK route. Next is Kenya Airways Premier World to Hong Kong, and this time I won’t be forgetting the camera. Hopefully this report was enjoyable nevertheless.


Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKL808 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6481 times:

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
but Khun Thaksin appears to have copied Mr Bush’s absolutely brilliant idea to take a photo of each person at the desks… Oh well, at least in Thailand you don’t feel like being questioned at the police station or court room when your handsome face gets saved in the system.



Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
we came up with this brilliant idea to raid the bar there before heading to the gate. The ability to use Lufthansa lounges as a Senator is a nice benefit, but unfortunately just about the only one that the shiny gold card gets you anymore.

 rotfl 

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
Next is Kenya Airways Premier World to Hong Kong, and this time I won’t be forgetting the camera.

Wow can't wait for that.

As usual great report Lari.

Drew



AMS-LAX-MNL
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (8 years 12 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6434 times:
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Lari,

Very nice report indeed, despite none of your pwn photo's.

Well i'll be on AY in Business Class this weekend, LHR via HEL to SIN, can't wait!! - another spotting trip whilst accruing Exec Club points & mileage, can't complain Smile Hopefully something different to OH-LGA though, i've already 2 flights on her.

Well, roll on the KQ flight, i'm really looking forward to reading that and seeing YOUR pictures.

Take care.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (8 years 12 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6258 times:

Thanks for an insightful report! I also like this new joint CX/AY fare, and the way you use it is the best one. You get to enjoy a full meal on both CX and AY. CX serves a breakfast from HKG to BKK, and therefore, they have to serve somewhat a hot lunch from BKK to SIN. It actually serves a proper lunch with appetizer, choice of entree and dessert on SIN to BKK as well. For AY, BKK-SIN is a similar affair, but there is no choice of appetizer and one less choice of entrees.

Look forward to your KQ trip report!

Carfield


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7107 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (8 years 12 months 4 hours ago) and read 5975 times:

Nice report.  Smile

SUJ


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5750 times:

Great report as usual. Glad to see oneworld still maintains its quality especially good old CX.

I am eagerly awaiting the Kenyan report. Hopefully they did not dissapoint.

SR 103


User currently offlineJetMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5689 times:

Hello Lari,

Another good and detailed report!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
LGE/F have those totally pathetic old CityBird seats. Having said that, the difference from CX NBC was still huge.

Is there any date set for a refurbishment? LGE joined the fleet in 02/03 already...


Regards,
JM


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5641 times:

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
Well, roll on the KQ flight, i'm really looking forward to reading that and seeing YOUR pictures.

Just got back from HKG... Plenty of KQ pictures, I'll have the report uploaded in a few days.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 5):
I am eagerly awaiting the Kenyan report. Hopefully they did not dissapoint.

They definitely didn't. More details in the upcoming report.  

Quoting JetMaster (Reply 6):
Is there any date set for a refurbishment? LGE joined the fleet in 02/03 already...

It's set to begin around November and all M11s refurbished with lie-flat business seats by next May. I may be wrong by a month or two but you get the idea. LGG should join the fleet soon.

I think SK refurb is at almost the exact same time. I just have *NO* idea why AY/SK are putting these "slippery slope" seats at this point when BA/VS/NZ/SA/KQ are already one generation ahead with true flat beds. I understand that 3-class airlines need to maintain some difference between F and C class, but AY/SK could go straight to flat beds in my opinion.

[Edited 2005-10-01 18:18:47]


Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5635 times:

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):
It actually serves a proper lunch with appetizer, choice of entree and dessert on SIN to BKK as well. For AY, BKK-SIN is a similar affair, but there is no choice of appetizer and one less choice of entrees.

Yeah I remember your report. The salmon appetizer ex-BKK was a lot more substantial than the one prawn you got out of SIN but not many other differences on CX I guess. I just remember when I flew right after SARS and they served a few pieces of fruit as appetizer for lunch. I guess it was part of the cutbacks back then.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLX001 From Austria, joined Jun 2004, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5379 times:

Great report as always! I have become a big fan of your reports!
Could you pleas help me with a question?
Im flying Chiang Mai - BKK in C in November. Plane will be a 744  bouncy  .
Im not sure, but I mean that I read in one of your reports that it is possible to be seated in the first class section on these flights when traveling C. Can you give me some advise?
Thanks a lot an keep on writing reports!!!
Bruno


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5295 times:

Quoting LX001 (Reply 9):
Im flying Chiang Mai - BKK in C in November. Plane will be a 744 .
Im not sure, but I mean that I read in one of your reports that it is possible to be seated in the first class section on these flights when traveling C. Can you give me some advise?

Thanks for the compliments!

Just request a seat in rows 1-4, that will give you a First seat on that flight. It can only be done at airport check-in, online check-in doesn't show these seats at all usually. TG/Star status shouldn't matter, if seats are available, you should get it. I heard sometimes they close the F section, but in my experience that's not true - they rather close the upper deck and have all C pax on the main deck.

Regards,

Lari



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineLX001 From Austria, joined Jun 2004, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5267 times:

Thank you so much! Im lookin forward that flight! Last time I was on upper deck. I will be in Thailand in NOV, flying MUC-BKK-MUC on Emirates (I know, you don´t like them anymore  cheerful  ), and Thai and Bangkok Airways (love them!). This thime I will make a full report, thats for shure!
Regards
Bruno


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