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January Trip Report I EK/CX/AA  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1834 posts, RR: 9
Posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

Hi all,

I finally have time to sit down and write up all these trip reports. I have only selected those flights with special interests, and the photo link will be provided under each flight segment. I hope you will enjoy it.

January 19, 2006
EK 385 HKG-BKK Lv2215 Arr0005+1 Boeing 777-300 “BD”

Photo Link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bshS

Well my flight back to the US requires me to head to Bangkok, so I will need to find a cheap HKG-BKK flight, and EK offers a very reasonable HK$1500 O/W to BKK (cheaper RT), and so I just go for it. I called EK for seat assignment and got 1K with no problem. The agent was polite and helpful, and I was told that I cannot check in one day earlier at the Airport Express Station, but I can check in early at the AE station on the traveling day. So that was the plan. I checked in around noon and just had a nice dinner at home before heading to the airport later. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to use the lounge. I sort of want to find out what the CNAC lounge looks like, but I guess maybe next time. Emirates uses the 60s gate so please allow fifteen minutes to get from the immigration to that other end.

The aircraft arrived on time earlier during the afternoon from Dubai and Bangkok, and things are running on time. The flight was about 40% full from HKG to BKK, but the F/As tell folks that the onward flight to DXB is 100% full and ask them to take their original seat when we arrive at BKK. Boarding began at 9:35pm and service was a bit slow in the beginning. After J folks are all boarded, pre-takeoff beverage was offered and then headsets, socks, and eyeshades are handed out as well. Our pursuer was an Australian gentleman and the F/As are a mix of Africa, European and Thai origin in J this evening. Door was closed at 10:23pm, and we pushed back two minutes later. HKG was not too busy at this time of the evening, and we took off from R/W7R at 10:40pm.

Flying time was two hours and eighteen minutes, and our routing took us over Hainan and then into BKK. We cruised between 35,000 and 36,000feet during the flight. The in-flight service was carried out mainly by cart and trolley. The beverage trolley rolled out at 10:57pm from back to front, and a plate of mixed nuts were offered as well. Refills were pretty good during the short flight. Here is the wine list.

Emirates
Wine List
Champagne
Charles Ellner – Cuvee de Reserve Brut

White Wine
Pascal Joliver Pouilly Fume Vintage 2004
Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc Vintage 2005

Red Wine
Chateau Potensac Medoc Vintage 1996
Torbreck Estate Barossa Valley Old Vines Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre Vintage 2004

Port Wine
Warre’s Late Bottled Vintage 1999

Entrée orders were also taken from back to front, but they were running short of the chicken entrée. Then the appetizer trolley rolled out… appetizers and dessert are all on the tray. Bread basket offers some nice warmed pita bread, as well as garlic bread, pretzel rolls, and soft rolls. Entrées were served next. For appetizers, I pick the seafood one with two shrimps and two scallops, and they are quite nice. Everything is fresh. For entrée, I have the vegetarian option, but it is a Chinese mixed vegetable dish and the beancurd roll is missing. Strange if you ask me! By the time, tea and coffee came out, it is already midnight time in Hong Kong. Here is the menu transcript!

Light Meal
Appetizers
Marinated Prawns and Scallops
Citrus Marinated prawns and scallops, placed in a roasted yellow capsicum, and served with green asparagus rips and sun-dried tomatoes
Or
Roast Duck with Soba Noodle Salad
Marinated Duck Breast, with plum sauce, accompanied with green soba noodles salad and red chili

Main Courses
Pan-Fried Seabass Fillet
Topped with leek and mustard cream sauce, served with tomato concasse, buttered fresh broccoli, turned carrots, and herb mashed potatoes
Or
Roasted Chicken with Ginger
Stir-fried chicken with ginger and spring onions on oyster sauce, served with sugar snap peas, capsicum and black mushroom mix, accompanied with egg fried rice
Or
Braised Beancurd Roll
Vegetarian Braised Bean Curd Roll, with assorted vegetables, thin egg noodles, and blanched Chinese greens

Dessert
Rice Pudding Cake
Light rice pudding cake, placed on raspberry puree, accompanied with fresh berries

Beverages and Chocolate

The ICE entertainment system is pretty cool and easy to navigate and as usual, I watched a few “Kath and Kim” episodes, and soon we were on descent. Almost forget, about the seats, they are the updated electronic seats but the seat pitch remains 45” and recline is limited, as seen in the picture. The ceiling has the new starlight ceiling style. I guess you can see from the pictures about the seating arrangement. Not surprised, there were many folks in J that are continuing onto DXB and Europe. However, I can’t imagine catching a really deep sleep in those regional style seats. Descent began at 12:31am HK time/11:31pm Bangkok time, and hot towels were offered again – nice touch. We landed on R/W21L at 11:58pm, and parked at gate 52 a few minutes later, next to QF Boeing 747-400 VH-OJS, and CX A340-300 B-HXE. BKK was extremely busy and the immigration line was slow (but worst on CI flights a week and half later). The process is much slower now because of the photo-taking requirements, so please bring a book with you while waiting. For the price I paid, Emirates offer a really good product and I feel that it is better than CX on a similar length flight. If you are flying those regional CX planes, EK may even offer a better J experience. Compared to TG, EK offers a much better product and my verdict is that if I need a cheap J ticket (or even a trip to BKK and miles are not important), I will not hesitate to buy an EK J ticket.

January 21, 2006
CX 506 HKG-KIX Lv1020 Arr1440 Boeing 747-400 B-HKD

Photo Link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bsg0

Well another typical CX check-in experience… I got the boarding pass to Kansai but my bags are checked through only to DFW. I also checked in the evening before, which allowed me to sleep a bit longer and also to get the priced exit row seat, 86A. I arrived at HKG the next morning around 8:30am. Since the flight was departing from Gate 4, one of the preferred gates, I had some times at the WING and walked around the airport and did some plane watching. List of planes: Typical MH’s A330-200 9M-MKW, the array of CX 744 B-HUJ to TPE as CX 460, B-HOS to NRT, CX 333 B-HLR to SYD, B-HLC to KUL, B-HLA to TPE (noon flight), CX 346 B-HQA to JFK, JL 744 JA8089 with the new Yokoso Japan livery, Japan Asia 743 JA8185 with Yokoso Japan livery, KA 333 B-HWH to TPE, B-HYI to Peking

Anyway, boarding began at 10:02am and F/J was not fully booked and Y did not look full too as well. Typical pre-takeoff ritual – beverages, newspapers, menus and hot towels… Door was closed at 10:21am and we pushed back five minutes later. We took off from R/W7R at 10:48am. Flying time was two hours and forty-four minutes, and we first climbed to 33,000feet, and then further to 37,000feet. Osaka flight features the full regional lunch service with beverage and Japanese nut mix, followed by appetizer, salad, and bread, and then entrée trolley, and then cheese and fruit trolley, and end with dessert, tea/coffee and chocolate trolley. The meal service takes up most of the flight. Here is the wine list and menu transcript:

Wine List
CX 500, 502, 504, 506, 508, 520, 532, 536, 580
Champagne
Champagne Deutz, Brut Classic

White Wines
Arthur Barolet & Fils Saint Veran 2004
Green Point Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2004

Red Wines
Mercurey Domaine Louis Max 2001
Vieux Chateau Landon, Cru Bourgeois Medoc 2002

Port
Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 1999

Lunch
Salad
Seasonal Salad served with Creamy Italian dressing
A Mesclun mix with yellow pepper strips and cherry tomato

Appetizer
Chicken Vegetable Roll with Marinated Scallops and Plum Sauce
Yuba Soba Noodles
I love the soba noodles served on the Japanese flights. My Japanese neighbor did not touch it, but I like soba noodles.

Main Courses
Steamed Seabass and Grilled Scallop with Sea Urchin Sauce
Bamboo Rice and Japanese Mixed Vegetables
Or
Braised Lamb Shoulder Rack with Gravy
Roast Kipler Potatoes with Parsley and Mixed Vegetables
Or
Braised Beef Shank Slice with Ginger Soya Sauce
Steamed Rice and Braised Baby Chinese Cabbage with Straw Mushroom
I had the beef shank slice, which was really good despite the average presentation.

Cheese and Fresh Seasonal Fruit
Fruit – melon, watermelon, grapes (regular and white), pineapple, oranges, and grapefruit
Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream
Vanilla, Strawberry and Belgian Chocolate – typical choices on CX ice cream flights
Assorted Bread and Rolls
Garlic Bread, Focaccia rolls, and wheat rolls
Tea and Coffee
Pralines

Descent began at 1:05pm and then we landed at R/W06 on 2:32pm (Japan is an hour ahead). We parked at gate N3 a few minutes later. KIX was almost dead at this time of the day and nothing much is going on. We took the train to the terminal and then followed the transit line. I am surprised at the number of people connecting to AA’s flight to DFW. I am not surprised if lots of folks from CX 504/520 continued onto AA USA flights at NRT, but I guess KIX opens up some spots and lessen the traffic on NRT flights.

Connect to
AA 124 KIX-DFW Lv1855 Arr1535 Boeing 777-200ER N792AN/7BB

Photo link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bsgW

Well the nightmare began after I reached the AA transit counters. Since AA uses the south end of the terminal and there is a sign at the JAL transit desk (AA uses JAL ground folks) that AA transit desks opened at 3:30pm and the counters are near gate 31/32, I decide to take my time visiting shops at the main terminal. God, I am wrong. The transit counters were pretty long way before 3:30pm and to my surprise, there were two agents working on the KIX flight way before 3:30pm, but there was a separate F/J and Y line. The supervisor helped direct folks in the line but the progress was painfully slow. The line did not move a bit during the first thirty minutes, and soon the ICN and then BKK flights arrived with more transit folks. Apparently the two passengers at the front of the line were having some problems with their tickets. The agent kept on calling the folks in the check in area, and there was no movement. The supervisor tried to help out, but the line was not moving. Later I found out that J class was overbooked, but the worst arrived, when I checked in, and my selected seat, 2A, disappeared and the agent could not explain why, nor found me another seat. Well I was pissed off for sure, so I headed to the gate and found the grey coat lady. She told me that she would try, but J was overbooked. Thankfully, she gave me back the original seat at the gate before boarding. I suspected that the agent did something wrong and did not give me the original seat.

A report on the JAL Sakura lounge – definitely the worst lounge in the world – rows of seats and the lounge was crowded, as it was the rush hour with the last bank of Asian/USA/Australian flights. Food was limited to Japanese mixed nuts and cookies, and a self-serving beverage bar. Nothing substantial was served as food. There was a smoking area for those who care.

Plane-spotting wise – nothing too interesting – a lots of JAL Boeing 747s RESOCHA and 747-400s, as well as 767-300s, and the special includes a NZ 744 ZK-NBU as NZ98 to CHC and a Xiamen Air’s Boeing 737-700 B-2999 with winglet. Boarding began at 6:21pm at gate 32. Strangely, AA never uses Door one, even all NRT and KIX flights have two gates, and the first jetway can definitely attached to door one. I don’t know why! I think using Door one will allow ground personnel to use door one to run between cockpit and plane without running into the Y class crowd. Anyway, friendly F/As, Trisch and Matthew were busy with the pre-takeoff rituals – beverages, amenity kits and slippers, as well as menus, BOSE headsets, and newspapers (New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Dallas Morning News, as well as Japanese newspapers). The flight would be much worst without the really cool and friendly F/As. It seems that every time I fly AA international, something will be cut. Thank goodness that the flagship suites are still here, but the leather seats are showing some wear and tear. F ended up pretty full with a few empty middle seats (later occupied by relief pilots). Door was closed at 6:58pm, and we pushed back at 7:02pm. We took off from R/W06 at 7:13pm.

Flying time was eleven hours and thirteen minutes. The routing took us around Osaka first, as we climbed to 33,000 feet, while we traveled along the coast and took a NW direction. We climbed to 34,000 feet, and then bit by bit, we were at 37,000feet before entering the US airspace – Tacoma and Yakima, and then further up to 39,000feet, and then turned towards Denver and Pueblo.

Well, dinner on the Japan outbound has long been cutback a bit and the latest change involve the lack of meat/seafood ingredient for the salad course, and then the breakfast is reduced to a choice of cereal/yogurt or omelette, instead of all. I was really bothered by the last change. Breakfast is an important meal and all top airlines served both components. Sad to see those changes! I still think AA has no excuse to cut back on International flights because folks are not paying cheap prices for those F/J flights. The “upgrade” excuse is not acceptable, as folks are still paying thousands of dollars for a J seat before they can even think about u/g to F. Honestly, AA F product is simply like J product of top airlines in the region and the suites only give them a slight advantage. If AA really wants full fare F passengers, there were lots of things to do. The most offensive part of the “enhancements” are those wet naps. Okay those towelettes are used by Independence Air and those are economy class stuff. Even SQ does not use wet naps in Y class. Those cotton stuffs are minimal in the first place. Thank goodness that the cotton towels were used in the return flight. Anyway, here is the menu and wine list.

Beverage list:
Champagne
Pommery Brut Champagne

White Wines
Bouchard Aine Chablis
Wairau River Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Red Wines
Chateau Lynch-Moussas
Rosemount Diamond Estate Bottled Shiraz

Aperitifs
Emilio Lustau Sherry
Choya Umeshu Plum Liqueur “Excellent”

Sake
Gekkeikan Horin Daiginjo Sake

Dessert Wine
Graham’s Vintage Port

Dinner
Western Dinner
To start
Warmed Mixed Nuts
Note that the vegetable dips are no longer offered.

Appetizer
Smoked Salmon accompanied by Capers, Red Onion and Sour Cream, garnished with Lemon wedges and served with toast points

The Salad Cart
Fresh seasonal greens offered with creamy Thai dressing or an individual bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Mixed julienned Vegetable Medley with Carrots, Japanese Cucumber and Daikon Radish, garnished with Cherry Tomatoes and Yellow Bell Pepper Baton, offered with a warm Garlic Baguette

Bread Basket
Assorted Breads or Japanese steamed rice

Entrees
Filet Mignon
Tenderloin of Beef complemented by a Wild Mushroom Demi-Glace, accompanied by a selection of seasonal vegetables
Or
Pesto-Crushed Salmon
Basil-Presto seared Salmon in a Breadcrumb and Parmesan Crust, accompanied by a Tomato Provencal Sauce, served with Penne Pasta in Herb Cream Sauce
Or
Penne Ortolano
Penne Pasta with Tomato Sauce, mixed with Black Olive, Tri-color Bell Peppers and Eggplant with a Parmesan Cheese Garnish

Should you care for additional options, Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese, Green Beans with Tomato Concasse and Chive mashed Potatoes are available upon request with any of our entrées.

Desserts
Fruit ‘N Cheese Plate

Ice-cream sundae
Vanilla ice cream with a choice of hot fudge, butterscotch, or seasonal berry toppings, whipped cream and pecans
I had the sundae, as the fruit and cheese plate looked really poor with one fresh slice of cheese with one pre-packaged stuff, as well a few strawberries and grapes.

A variety of snacks is available to you upon request at any time after the meal service.

Japanese Cuisine Early Spring Menu
Appetizer Tray
Kobachi Dish
Vinaigrette Halibut and marinated Ice Goby Fish presented with Bracken, enhanced by Vinaigrette Miso Paste and Mustard

Hassun Dish
Nabana Flower rolled in Prosciutto Ham, accompanied by grilled Tilefish with Miso Flavor and Prawn with Yam Paste Sushi, Tazuna style

Western-Style Dish
Marinated Cuttlefish served with Spring vegetables, accented by Plum Paste and Cream Dressing

Main Tray
Simmered Dish
Crabmeat offered with Lily Bulb Paste Dumpling, Turnip, Mibuna Leaf and Carrot, complemented by Starch Sauce

Entrée
Simmered Japanese Bluefish and Taro presented with Broccoli, Young Corn, and shredded Ginger enhanced by Ni-tsuke Sauce

Miso Soup
Miso Soup with Wakame Seaweed and Tofu

I had the Japanese meal, which was similar to the same meal I had last year. The entrée suffered a slight size reduction, but the presentation was still nice. After the meal, Evian water bottles were passed out, and the F/As made checks on us. Around 2:08am KIX time, Matthew came around with a mid-flight snack – I had the really nice soba noodles, but the cream cheese sandwiches looked really good. Indeed the fresh fruit looked good.

Midnight Snack
Cream Cheese with Walnuts on French Bread and Fresh Fruit
Or
Japanese Soba Noodles

Breakfast was served at 5am KIX time, and hot towels and juices started the service. Since it was now a one-tray service, it was a bit shorter service. It was a pity not to have a two-course breakfast.

American Breakfast
Fresh seasonal Fruit served with warmed Croissants, hot Cinnamon Rolls, Preserves and Butter
Pineapple, papaya, and kiwi

Please select one of the following:
Fresh Omelette
Cheddar Cheese Omelette with choice of Canadian bacon or sausage
Or
Cereal and Yogurt
Cornflakes and fruit yogurt

Descent soon began at 6am KIX/ 3pm DFW time, and we landed on R/W36L at 3:26pm. The new terminal D was really nice and the immigration counters were very efficient. I had a close connection flight, so I was very anxious. Unfortunately the bags were very slow, unlike the old terminal. It took forty minutes for the first bag to show up, not to mention priority tags did not work. The custom officer tried to give me problems, and asked if I brought moon cake home. I gave him the strangest look – okay moon cake is not a year-round food. It is January and mid-Autumn festival will not happen for another nine months. I guess he knew that I was rushing to a close connection flight, so he waved his hand. Then I ran and ran. Not a fun experience!

January 30, 2006
AA 125 DFW-KIX Lv1145 Arr1655+1 Boeing 777-200ER 7BL/

Photo Link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bsfm

The return flight was similar to KIX-DFW, and had another great set of TX based F/As. I will not hesitate to take the KIX flights again because of these great F/As. I flew NRT-LAX/ORD before, and DFW based F/As remained the best. In DFW, most international flights use Terminal D, but for strange reasons, there were no separate International check in line and most important, there was no separate First/EXP and Business/Platinum/Gold lines. So the one premium line was really long and I warned folks to allow more times for check-in. Then I proceed to the Admiral Club. The lounge itself was very nice – airy, roomy and stylish, and there was a business center. That is about the main strengths. Food offerings are limited to cookies, but you can buy food at various prices. For domestic flights (not really since folks do actually pay admission fee), that is borderline acceptable, but for international flights, it is a joke. No wonder all other International airlines use another club. I think AA can arrange a special section for International passengers and offer a free bar and some nicer cold food. I guess I can never expect a restaurant, but AA can do better. Almost forget, you will receive one complimentary coupon for alcoholic drink. That is really sad. I missed the FLAGSHIP lounge and never understand why AA cannot bring it back at Terminal D. That is why AA premium products continue to drive people away and rely on corporate discounts, instead of attracting full fare folks. Anyway, there was another AA 777 N786AN/7AT parking around – heading to NRT.

Boarding began at 11:13am at gate D33. The flight was really light in all cabin classes, but door was not closed till 12:03pm due to a minor technical problem. The F/As offered us the usual papers, beverages, menus (even too orders) and amenity kits. This time I requested the smoked salmon appetizer, and the F/A was more than happy to accommodate my request. We finally pushed back at 12:07pm, and headed to R/W35R. We took off at 12:31pm. Flying time was thirteen hours and thirty-four minutes, and our routing first took us towards Denton and Gainesville, which climbed to 32,000feet, and then towards Goodland, Laramie, Pumpkin Butter, Sheridan, and Billings, before climbing further to 34,000feet. Then we reached Calgary and Lethridge before reaching 36,000feet. Then we headed towards Juneau, Whitehorse, then climbed to 38,000feet, Malaspina & Bering Glaciers, Codova, Prince Williams Sound, Anchorage, Cook Inlet, Bethel and then off to the Bering Sea. We reached 39,000feet and then 40,000feet before reaching the Japanese city of Iwaki, and then temporarily dropped to 36,000feet, and then Nagoya.

This flight, I really fully appreciated the working functions of the Flagship Suites even compared to CX or SQ suites. The seat really allows much room especially I have to work throughout the whole flight. The laptop station was such a smart invention, and allows me to spread out stuff, and then when it is mealtime, I can just turn my seat towards the dining table. The only minor glitch is the lack of personal lamplight or simply the lights do not focus on the right spot. Thankfully the F/As allow me to open the window a bit to allow enough light. The F/As kept asking me if I want something to drink and it was an excellent flight. To be honest, if AA will introduce CX or SQ style dining, duvets, PJ and all those great stuff, AA will have a top premium product that will actually attract full fare folks. Anyway, that is purely a dream.

Here is the wine list and transcript:
Beverage list:
Champagne
Pommery Brut Champagne

White Wines
Bouchard Aine Chablis
Wairau River Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Red Wines
Chateau Lynch-Moussas
Rosemount Diamond Estate Bottled Shiraz

Aperitifs
Emilio Lustau Sherry
Choya Umeshu Plum Liqueur “Excellent”

Sake
Gekkeikan Horin Daiginjo Sake

Dessert Wine
Graham’s Vintage Port

Lunch
Western Lunch
To start
Warmed Mixed Nuts

Appetizer
Smoked Salmon accompanied by Capers, Red Onion and Sour Cream, garnished with Lemon wedges and served with toast points
Really nice salmon…

The Salad Cart
Fresh seasonal greens offered with creamy basil dressing or an individual bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Lobster Tail with Lemon wedges

Your choice of fresh vegetables including Tomato wedges, Olives, Onions and Yellow Bell Pepper with Uno’s Focaccia bread

Bread Basket
Assorted Breads or Japanese steamed rice

Entrees
Fillet of Beef
Beef Fillet complemented by a Portobello Mushroom and Red Wine Demi-Glace, accompanied by a selection of seasonal vegetables

Pasta Trio
Spinach and Walnut Tortellini, Mascarpone Ravioli, and Mushroom Triangoli prepared with a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Miso-Marinated Salmon
Grilled Fillet of Salmon complemented by a Miso Sauce, served with a Scallion Rice Cake and stir-fry vegetables

Should you care for additional options, wilted spinach, Balsamic-grilled Tomatoes and and Whipped Potatoes are available upon request with any of our entrées.

Desserts
Fruit ‘N Cheese Plate

Ice-cream sundae
Vanilla ice cream with a choice of hot fudge, butterscotch, or seasonal berry toppings, whipped cream and pecans

A variety of snacks are available to you upon request at any time after the meal service.

Japanese Cuisine Early Spring Menu
Appetizer Tray
Kobachi Dish
Seared Crabmeat and Oyster Mushroom complemented by Japanese Egg Yolk Vinegar, presented with French Beans and Chives

Hassun Dish
Herring Roe with dried Bonito Flakes, grilled Duck Roll with asparagus and simmered Water Chestnuts mixed with Plum Paste on a sliced Lemon

Western-Style Dish
Foie Gras and sautéed Kairan Green served with roasted walnuts, accented by Balsamic sauce

Main Tray
Simmered Dish
Simmered Oyster and Japanese Leek with Eggplant enhanced by seasoned Butter

Entrée
Japanese Pot Dish with Beef, Halibut, Scallops, Prawn and Mizuna Leaves

Miso Soup
Miso Soup with Wakame Seaweed and Tofu

I had the Japanese lunch again, as I had this meal before, but the entrée suffered a few cutbacks. Other than that, it is fine. I have a sundae for dessert, and the fruit and cheese plate look even worst (2 slices of cheese with grapes). I just don’t think AA has any excuse not to offer a full cheese and fruit board, as it is a daytime flight. It has a great seat and some wonderful F/As. With a few more amenities, it can be one of the top products out there. Snacks, include M&Ms, Potato Chips, Jelly beans, Goldfish crackers, Mrs. Field and Vanilla Crème cookies, Rice Krispies Treat, raisins, toberlerone chocolate bars, and raisins. Mid-flight snack was offered at 6:50pm and I have the noodles again, but the sliced fruit was never offered.

Afternoon Refreshment
Sliced Seasonal Fruit

Japanese Soba Noodles
Or
Garden Vegetable and Sausage Pizza
An individual Pizza topped with Garden vegetables, Italian Sausage and fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Around Midnight DFW time, supper service began with a round of beverage and Japanese crackers. Everything was served in one tray, and I had the soup, which was okay. Then the whole meal rounded off with a nice piece of Brownie cheesecake and tea/coffee.

Supper
Prior to Arrival
Salad
A mix of Radicchio and Leaf lettuce with Red Bell Pepper, complemented by Dijon Dill Vinaigrette

Entrees
Chicken Spinach Soup
A hearty soup prepared with diced Carrots, White Beans and Onions, and strips of smoked chicken breast with grated Parmesan Cheese
Or
Chilled Snow Crab legs
Crab legs complemented by a Peanut Cucumber Sauce, presented with a grilled Shiitake Mushroom Salad and fresh Mango

Dessert
Cheesecake

Descent began at 4:13pm KIX time, and it took a while before we landed in a very cloudy and foggy KIX. At 5:05pm, we landed on R/W06 again, and taxied to gate S-31, which an Air New Zealand Boeing 767-300ER ZK-NCN was preparing of its flight back to New Zealand.

February 1, 2006
CX 503 KIX-HKG Lv1000 Arr1325 Airbus A330-300 B-HLV with new Regional Business Class seats

Photo link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bsfE

After an evening at the Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport (it is a decent hotel, but really small room), I headed towards the pretty deserted CX check in counters. The agent had problems with my ticket, as later they discovered that I did not pay the fuel surcharge yet. Anyway I headed to the shopping and restaurant complex at third floor, and had a nice bowl of Okaya-don and hot udon noodle soup, as most Japanese lounges do not really offer any real food. The CX lounge is a bit better (LOUNGE PACIFIC to be more specific) with food offerings – Danish, Onigris, fruits, and light snacks. But the lounge is really small with a small biz station. For plane-spottings, MH’s 772 9M-MRC, KLM’s 744 Combi PH-BFS, CX 333 B-HLL heading to TPE, KE 744 HL7472, as well as NH 763 JA604A heading to PEK. Due to the rains, I can’t jog down much registration even I switched to a window seat later.

Boarding began at 9:27am at N12, and J cabin was deserted with only 9 passengers in total. The cabin was different because it features the new Regional Business Class cabin, which looks okay but really not good. The seats are better padded, but the design really cut off much legroom, and there is still no AVOD. Everything is just strange, as you can tell from the pictures. I assume the NRBC project is being hold now and hopefully CX can come up with a better product soon. Anyway, with the light load, I am able to take a few more pictures. Door was closed early at 9:49am and pushed back a few minutes later, before heading to Runway 06 again. We took off at 10:06am. Flying time was three hours and fifty-four minutes with the routing taking us towards Kagoshima, as we reached 38,000feet, and then climbed to 40,000feet before reaching Taipei and then Makung track into Hong Kong.

The wine list is the same as HKG-KIX, so I am not posting it again. Here is the menu transcript:
Cathay Pacific Business Class
Osaka to Hong Kong
Salad
Seasonal Salad with Shiso Dressing
Mesclun mix with yellow pepper strips and cherry tomato again

Appetizer
Prawn, Foie Gras Terrine and Sushi
Yuzu Soba Noodles with Crab Meat
Sushi selection is a cucumber roll with some white fish flavor.

Main Courses
Grilled Salmon with Mixed Vegetables Sauce
Yukari Rice and Mixed Vegetables
Or
Sautéed Chicken with orange sauce
Mushroom Risotto, Broccoli and Carrots
Or
Beef Wellington with Herb Jus
Potato and Grilled Mixed Vegetables
I originally am going for the chicken, but after seeing the nice beef entrée, I change my mind. I guess the trolley service is indeed a good thing. The beef was juicy and it is a nice meal in general.

Cheese and Fresh Seasonal Fruit
Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream
Assorted Bread and Rolls
Tea and Coffee
Pralines
Cheese selection includes Blue, Brie and Hard Cheese, and fruit includes apple, melon, orange and kiwi.
Breadbasket includes garlic bread, soft and wheat rolls. Ice cream selections include Vanilla, Belgian Chocolate and Strawberry.

After the meal, I watched a bit of TV, and the purser offered us some Magnum ice cream bars prior to arrival, as it is the New Year. Descent began at 1:28pm, and we landed on Runway 7L at 1pm HK time (HK is an hour behind Japan). We parked at gate 68 four minutes later.

Part II to be followed

Carfield

3 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3458 times:

Well carfield I thought the report was great. The food on all flights looked fantastic.

I am scheduled on the the EK773-ER in Business on my way back from Australia. Although I think my plane has a 60inch seat pitch and much greater recline and leg rest raise. Although the EK seat did not recline that much was the seat quite comfy, it look pretty big. In addition how was the service on EK I hear its one of their strong points. Can you comfirm this.

Great photos

Regards

Paul



Veni, vidi, vici.
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1834 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3433 times:

Emirates, I believe, uses both Boeing 777-300 and -300ERs. The one used on the Australian flights are the ER variants and have the updated first class seats (not exactly suites like 345s, but close enough), and the updated business class seats. The one I flew on are used on high density routes and have only the regional business class type installed with 45" of legoorm and poor recline.

About service, Emirates is fine... the F/As are mostly okay and kept their smiles most of the time. If I put in scale, I will say not as good as CX and SQ yet, but on par with an average European airline.

Carfield


User currently offlineCmk10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 3116 times:

Good report as always, but I must say, the worst lounge in the world is the Varig Domestic Lounge at Sao Paulo. That one has very few seats all of which are uncomfortable, incompetant staff, a poor selection of food and drinks and bad bathrooms. It's also poorly lit.


"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
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