Posts: 623
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2001 4:49 pm

Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:12 am


I am not a great writer so please go easy on me. This is my third trip report and the view that I give is mine and this is how I remember things the day after I got back.

Hong Kong is a city that I had been to before about 9 years ago, at the time I did not think that much of it and was in no hurry to go back. But people and view change and I did want to go and have another look. We had no plans to visit this year as we had a week in France, a weekend in Madrid, a day trip to Barcelona already this year and still have a week in Rio to come. Cathay offered a deal called visit Hong Kong now! Which at the lowest price range included flights from London in economy, 3 nights hotel accommodation and transfers. The cost for the two of us incl tax was about GBP570.00 with the cost so low we had to book it. The following is the trip report.

London Heathrow – Hong Kong
Dep 2235 Arr 1755+1

We got to check in at about 1820 which I thought for a 2235 flight was really early. We had pre booked seats window and next, the CX A340 configuration is 2 – 4 – 2 and then for the last few rows of the cabin 2 – 3 –2. I should tell you that I work for the product departments of a UK tour operator and had requested the seats in Amadeus myself. The status on the seats did not change from HN to HK but we did get a remark from CX which said something like seats requested on all sectors.

The check in agent took our tickets and passports and then asked us were we would like to sit. I replied window and next and he said that there were no window and asile seats available. I asked him to look at the pnr and explained that I had requested the seats in Amadeus. He did look and then said there was noting in the PNR and all he could allocate was an aisle and next in the middle section of four. I could have thrown my toys out of my pram and shouted and screamed, but seat requests are never guaranteed and he is only doing his job. So we ended up with 60D and E.

As terminal 3 was so busy we went through security and had dinner. I cannot remember what gate we departed from but it was a long walk from departures. There is an area in T3 where there are a number of gates in a circle and then a further corridor from this to yet another set of gates. We passed a VS A340-600 going to HKG (G-VFOX saw this parked in HKG shining in the sun, looked great) and there was another VS flight to DEL and one to LOS all departing around the same time. As we were in the second economy section we were boarded first after
Business and first. The aircraft looked clean and tidy on board the seats and carpet are a dark green colour and the pillows are headrest covers are in blocks of blue or purple. The first thing that I noticed when I sat down was the lack of space. The seats did seam very close together and I hate those foot rest tings as I am to tall to use them all they do is to dig into my legs. The seat pitch was no worse than on Singapore or Virgin but I do wish we could have 33” or 34” as standard. The flight was busy but there were about 3 empty seats in the second economy class cabin. After take of the crew distributed medical forms for HKG and HKG landing cards. They also gave out headsets, a little amenity kit with socks and a toothbrush and a antiseptic towelette. No hot towels, unlike Singapore airlines. Due to the late departure time of this flight there was no separate drink service and both dinner and drinks were serviced at the same time. I had for dinner sweet and sour chicken with steamed rice and veg. There was also a small dish of salad and desert was a sort of apple crumble cake thing. There was also a hot bread roll served. The food was very good and I love the red plastic tea/coffee cups that CX use. They are a bit like Chinese or Japanese tea cups in that they don’t have handles. The tray also is made to look like is made of bamboo. Later in the flight they served snacks, they had ham and cheese sandwiches, min sized M&M packs and a few other things, but no fruit. Then for breakfast they offered a choice of Dim Sum or an omelette. This was served with some fruit and a hot bread role. The role had been in the oven for to long and had gone hard. I had the Dim Sum which I thought was very good. As for entertainment
They had the following movies:

The Matrix Reloaded
X2: X-Men United
Bruce Almighty
The Italian Job
Anger Management
The Matrix
Out Of Sight
The Lady and the Tramp
Treasure Planet

There was also a number of Asian movies and lots of TV shows like, Friends, My Family, Will and Grace, Ab Fab, are you being served. I watched Friends and
Are you being serviced but as there was so little seat pitch I went to sleep this makes the flight go much quicker. I had also been to work that day and tired.

When we arrived at Hong Kong we arrived at gate number 2, went to pick up the bags and there were only about 12 people waiting on luggage. Most passengers on the flight must have been connecting onwards.

Before we left the airport I went to the CX ticket desk and made sure that I had a window and next seat requested on the inbound.

Hong Kong – London Heathrow
Dep 1505 Arr 2105+1

We got to the airport at about 1215 checked in and got our boarding cards no problems. This flight was departing from gate 65. We wanted to have some lunch so went to the noodle bar in the first area after security. There are lots of empty shop units in this area and I not knowing the airport thought that this was all there was. Got the train down to the gate and boarding started very quickly. The two passengers in the row seated behind me were having problems with their tv screens and refused to be re seated and also the guy was having issues with the lack of space. I did not put my seat back as I know what the feels like. He did however get a crew member to ask me twice to put it in the upright position. As it all ready was (I checked) she still asked me, I thought this was just her way of trying to get the passenger of her back. The service started with a drink from the bar, then a choice of chicken and rice or pasta or fish with
Potato. I had the chicken and it was fine. It came with steamed rice and veg. There was also a chocolate bar a desert and some salad. I had some wine with this meal. The wine was very sweet if you like nice white Burgundy don’t even try it. The second meal was a choice of again Chicken and rice (different sauce) or beef and potatoes. This came with a chicken, sweet corn and mayo salad and a caramel desert. On both flights at the start they were giving full cans of beer or coke etc at the end of the flight it was just a cup.

I am sorry this report is no were near as good as most, I am tired and its been a busy few days.

For me I would give Cathay the following marks out of 10

Ground Staff: 4 (This is nothing to do with check in but we did have some issues with transfers and the accommodation. CX’s ground agent knew nothing about us and CX ticket desk staff said there was no accommodation booked for us and then oh no there is accommodation booked for you. ((no sorry buy they way)). Then transfers are not included, after 45-50, yes they are. I had to call my office in London on my mobile and get then to fax me a copy of my own PNR and a copy of the contract to prove this. I did not get to the hotel until 2145.))

Seat: 7 (this is not the best economy class seat I have had but if 31” is going to be the normal then its as good as VS, BA, SQ but not as good as AC.)

Entertainment: 8 Better than BA and AC about the same as SQ and VS. (I am yet to
Fly on an aircraft with Audio and Video on demand.

Food: 6 OK, better than a lot of airlines. Food in economy will never be as good as
Food on the ground.

Cabin Staff: 7 On the outbound a guy called Scott was going through the cabin asking
If anyone wanted any more wine. I think he was getting a bit board as no one was
Asking for any so started to sing Doooees Annnntonnne Waannnt Annnny Mooore Winne. This made me and a lot of the other passengers who were tired by this point
Laugh. I would have given a 9 for this but the older flight attendant who asked me to
Put my seat in the upright twice rather then deal with the passenger behind me made me a little mad.

So 32. I am flying with Iberia to Rio at the end of October and will do a better and more detailed trip report for that.

I have changed my mind about Hong Kong. I will go back in 2005 when Hong Kong Disneyland opens.

Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:50 am


Thanks for the trip report, I'm flying to SYD and back with CX in December so its good to hear something about them in advance. Nice report but details of the flight were a little sparse towards the end.


Stretch 8
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 4:00 am

RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:44 am

I have always wanted to fly Cathay Pacific, and someday I will. Your report gives me a very good idea of what to expect. But that is a long trip in economy. I would have to go business or first.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
Posts: 1337
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RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:25 pm

Brings back memories of when I did LHR-HKG on the same flight back in early March(just a week before the whole SARS thing broke out).
The A340 was half empty which was great as I had the whole row to myself. The service was good, as was the food and PTV movie options.
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:27 pm

I thought CX flies B747-400 from LHR- HKG ? When did they downgrade the equipment ? Sorry to hear that you cant get your seat , I never had problems with my reservation of seats . Good report !!
Airliners is the wings of my life.
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RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Mon Sep 22, 2003 3:55 am

Yes, bummer about the seats, I know how you feel as I am sure everyone else here does.

Sounds like the flight was ok all things considered; the staff may have got tired of operating to LHR for the umpteenth time though, hence the lack of enthusiasm on your flight (maybe).

Have never flown CX myself. I agree with you on seat-pitch. I had the pleasure of flying Korean to Sydney in January, and although the flight was full, the 34" pitch seats made a nice difference to the horrors of BA World Traveller....

What's Dim Sum? (haven't visited Hong Kong).
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 1999 9:52 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Mon Sep 22, 2003 4:15 pm

With CX back to 3 daily onthe LHR run, two are operated with the 744, and one with the A340,although they have a habit of chopping and changing this.
Posts: 748
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2001 2:48 am

RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:56 am

Very nice trip report!!

Probably one of the last CX experiences I will read for now....I'm ready now for my first CX week, friday october 3th, from Amsterdam to Sydney...with a day stop in Hong Kong, looking forward to it.....also a 343, and a 346 on the Sydney flight......

Ofcourse a trip report will follow very soon then Big grin

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RE: Cathay Pacific London To Hong Kong Return

Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:36 am

I thought CX flies B747-400 from LHR- HKG ? When did they downgrade the equipment?

Cathay Pacific operate three services into Heathrow now (and have done for some time now). There's the two that arrive at around 5:00am which are operated by B747-400's then there's one that gets in at 21:05 which is an A340-300. For departures one of the B747's goes out at around 13:00 and the other around 18:30. Then the A340-300 goes out at about 23:00.

Nice trip report. You got a great deal there.


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