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Cathay Pacific HKG-SIN-HKG 24th. 26th June

Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:37 pm

Hello everyone,

3 of my friends together with myself found out a cheap promotion price online at CX website and decided to do a 3 day trip to SIN, having an apartment ready from my friend's aunt, we can even save up the money for hotel rooms. This turned out to be a very economical trip with each of us spending less than 2500 HKD for the 48 hours in SIN.

The Outbound Flight
CX 739 on 24th June 2005
Schedule / Actual Departure: 10.40 / 12.00
Schedule / Actual Arrival: 14:30 / 15.23
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-300

Due to the heavy thunderstorm at HKG, the boarding of our flight did not commence until 11.10, however, the ramp has to be cleared during the storms and loading of cargos and baggages cannot commence until late 11-ish. During the time we sat at the gate, the IFE was turned on and we were sort of entertained there, drinks were given out by the crew. After the storm was cleared, off we go for the push back, engine start and taxi, together with the safety demo. Luckily, we did not have to wait for long and we took off from runway 27L. During the take off roll, a significant amount of water dropped from the reading lamps onto the passengers in front of our roll. Seemed like it is raining inside the aircraft, funny for us though.

Take off roll was rather long at about 40-50 seconds for such a 3 and a half hour flight, perhaps they did not use full power for the take off? Our cruise altitude was 36,000 feet. We hit some light turbulence during our climb out of HKG, as the weather was not too good out there. Soon after, lunch was served. I had fish with potatoes while my friends had chicken with noodles. Both were of the very average standard. For drinks, I opted for 2 red wine and then off I went for a nap.

30 minutes from arrival into SIN we started our descend, as the 773 has a undercarriage camera installed I turned it on and watched the landing. The landing was quite a firm one very close to the centerline, and with very light reverse thrust and braking we turned off the runway and then on no time, we were at the gate in Terminal 1.

Immigration line was however ridiculously long and slow. We left the airport on a taxi about 4.15 pm and we arrived into my friend's aunt's apartment by 5.

A summary of the trip itself
The 48-hour stay at Singapore was nice, warm and happy. I think we had a smiling face for the duration of the trip, most of the time. This is the main purpose for going on trips with good friends. In my mind, the purpose for going on trips is to be with my friends. The place, the scenery and food etc are of secondary importance. We ate a lot of traditional Singaporean food, bought some Indian souvenirs, tried some local snacks. For myself, I finally learnt how to wear a pair of sandals properly. I can now even ride a bicycle with a pair of sandals, seems simple, but not for me... Anyway, we went to a little beach on an island, had a little sunbathe there... Lots and lots of memorable times during the 48-hour in such a tiny country. Thank you my dear friends for this!

The Return Flight
CX 734 on 26th June
Schedule / Actual Departure Time: 16:10 / 16:10
Schedule / Actual Arrival Time: 19:55 / 20:00
Aircraft Type: Airbus 340-300

We were all surprised to find on the screen that the flight was 'last call' at 15.30 for the 16.10 flight. But of course, this was fake, boaring commenced only at 15.40. We did not board the flight until 15.55, and were surprised to see that we were the last few passengers getting on board. What is the point of boarding so early? For this flight, both the captain and first officer were Hong Kong people, this really gave a bit of touch, I never flew on a plane flown by a Hong Kong pilot! Well done CX on this!

Pushback was on time at 16.10, we were then taxied to the active runway and after a Singapore Airlines triple seven took off and another SQ 777 landed and cleared the runway, we started our take-off roll. I really cannot understand how the passengers feel the difference between a 777 and a 340, but to me, the power of the 340 is still enough for a good lift-off from the runway, and the take-off roll for this flight is even shorter than the outbound one. Can someone explain this to me?

Initial cruise altitude was at 38,000 feet. Dinner was served when we hit some mild turbulence. Later on we went higher to 40,000 feet. This flight was again uneventful, with normal stuff, but significant better food than the outbound flight. Again, I opted for some red wine and then I started to relax and enjoy a movie.

Decend into HKG began about 25 minutes prior to arrival. We landed HKG from the east, on 27R and this landing was rather soft. However, during the final approach, I can feel that the flying pilot was fighting hard with the crosswinds, and alternatively raising and lowering the throttle. The sound of this was amazing! 10 minutes after landing, we were at Gate 27 and we left the aircraft after having a chance to chat to the Hong Kong pilots. Unfortunately, no photos allowed...

Good trip. But doubt the reason why CX can be the 'Best Airline'. For economy class service, I would say it is comparable to LH. I flew many times on LH's 343 and found them more comfortable than those on CX. (I never complained about LH but it would be good to have IFE screens installed at seats) The CX aircrafts seemed a bit more torn on the inside, and seat pitch is worse than those on LH. Also, the seats are not that good on CX. They do not use Recaro seats, am I right on this?

But to compare their 773 and 343, the cabin design of the 773 looks a bit more high-tech, and the seats are a bit more comfortable. However, the noise level of the the 773 is really significantly higher than the 343, this cannot be denied - and for both flights, we were on the last few rolls. The only noise that seemed not as good as the triple seven is during the lowering of the landing gear, this sound can be heard very very clearly on the airbus but not the boeing.

Thanks for reading this report. Unfortunately I do not have any photos yet. I would upload them here when I have any photos. Thanks also to my friends who made this trip successful.


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