As some of you knew, I’m just back from my trip in HKG. As promised here is a report on this trip :
I left Saturday 04/03/2000. It was on Cathay Pacific flight 260 with a 747-400 leaving from
Terminal 2A in CDG. The groud staff of AA is partly handling this flight. That’s OneWorld spirit I guess. While spotting before the boarding, I could see a 767 of Vietnam Airlines (bound to Dubai and Hanoi), 767s of AA, an Airbus A340 of China eastern and a Continental DC10 among others. I boarded the flight without any problems, seating next to the window. Each seat has a PTV. This was a refurbished CX 747-400 with the new First class cabins. The flight was full, except in first I think. We took off 20 minutes late due to heavy traffic in CDG. We took off at a speed of 294 km/h. There weren’t too many clouds. Drinks were quickly served with the menu.
The flight path was Paris-Luxembourg-Frankfurt-Poland-Moscow-Kazakhstan and then China. I had smoked salmon and then braised chicken . I’ve been impressed by the performance of the crew : available, gratefull and watching for every needs even in economy. We could see the latest James Bond among others.
Once the dark had fallen after Moscow, I decided to ask to the steward for a cockpit visit. He made the inquiry to the cockpit and I could go a couple of hours later. Wahouuuu ! ! ! The captain and his second officer were really great to welcome me. An old dream really ! ! The captain was from Vancouver,BC and the 2nd officer from NZL. We chatted about 25 minutes about many things and then I was back to my seat. These gentlemen were so kind… I must thank the crew really. While going downstairs, I had a quick look to the Business and First. I’ll try it one day ! ! ! Our cruise altitude was FL385. Smooth Flight.
We then started our descend to HKG. When nearing HKG it was quite hazy. But we clearly could see the outlying Island. We landed safely 15 minutes late. Of course I was amazed by Chek Lap Kok. It is really huge, huge.
I passed through customs and immigration and picked up my luggages without waiting of course ! !
I had a wonderful stay in HKG for 1 week. Many things to see and discover. A real taste of Asia.
I took my flight back home on 10th march. Flight CX261, leaving 2355. I could discover the departure hall of CLK. Unbelievable. We have to learn from Asians really when I see such an achievement. I had 3 hours ahead of me. So I walked through the many many shops and then through the gates. Here’s a sample :
- 2 744’s of BA
- 1 744 of AF
- 1 MD11 of SR
- 1 734 of Continental (Guam & Saipan)
- 1 744 of NW (NRT and JFK)
- 1 744 of UA
- 1 744 of Canadian
- 1 767 of AirChina
- 1 A300/600 of China Eastern
- 1 777 of Singapore, 1 of Japan Air Systems
- 1 777 of Emirates, 1 A340 of GF ( to BKK and Muscat)
- 1 A340 of Virgin Atlantic. Many JAL jets also.
And many others of Cathay. It was only 23.00 over there ! ! Normal boarding, beside us was a 747-400 of CX bound to South Africa. Again the flt was full even in first.
My flight was again perfect. Even better than the previous one. We left on time.
And our flight path was taking us more to the North, so we overflew Beijing and then made a turn to Mongolia, Siberia, St Petersburg, costs of Finland, Denmark, Northern Germany, Belgium. We started our descent over Namur, Belgium at FL390. 3 hours after we took off, I again asked to visit the cockpit. I had the approval 30 minutes later. This time the crew was british. I think we were over Mongolia. The captain was chatting whith his fellow colleague of BA that was 15 minutes ahead of us bound to LHR. They exchanged some infos about the dominating winds to find the right path.
The most beatifull job in the world, captain of a 747-400. That left me again dreaming… 2 cockpit visits in one week, I’d have never imagined that before. Again many thanks to Cathay FA’s and cockpit members. They were great. My global impression was that Cathay is deserving its good reputation. They have a carefull staff and organization. And their HKG Super Hub has a very interesting development perspectives…
I can’t say that of the handling company in CDG : we had to wait the luggages 45 minutes and I was among the first to get mine in Economy. France has a big lesson to learn when I see the general infrastructure of CDG. It’s below the standards .
A great trip anyway ! ! ! !
Olivier Deuson, Brussels, Belgium.