Cool... back by popular demand, as they say...
Carrying on from:
"Takeoff was great; when I fly Economy on VS346's I sit as far to the back as possible, on the left window, so am used to being the last to feel the lift after rotation. This time it was very smooth..."
I forgot the mandatory bit!!
Date: June 14 2007
Departure time: 14:30 (14:35 actual)
Arrival time: 08:45 (08:19 actual)
A/C: 346 - G-VRED
Class: Premium Economy
Seat: 18A (Bulkhead)
We were served our meal just after we passed beautifully over the Oresund Bridge, and CPH
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Photo © Daniel Wojdylo
Interestingly, the food in Premium Economy is the same as in Economy, only they give you a printed menu beforehand, which makes you feel slightly more special. We both chose Chicken Breast with Pasta. One difference in PE
is the metal cutlery and glass ... glasses. Economy gets a glass wine glass, PE
got glass for water too. Lemon yogurt "FRU" desert thing was rubbish; but that's my taste though, not their fault. Each other time they've served me, I've had the (I think) Raspberry, which is far better!
My Dad travels loads on CX
since he lives in Asia, so I gave him the Bose 'phones for him to try out, in the hope that he'd love them and invest in a pair himself, thus making his life easier!! He kept them on for a couple of hours, and I watched "Best of Top Gear" on V:PORT, then played Football Manager on the Mac, which is (if you are a football fan) very addictive, and a fantastic way to combat boredom.
About 4 and a half hours in, I decided to get some shut eye, so down went the shutters, back went the seat, and on went the blanket.
I set my watch to local time in PVG
as soon as we took off, and it was somewhere around about 0230 when I was woken and offered some fresh fruit. AFAIK, Crew are not meant to wake people during "lights out" but I wasn't fussed, I was only in a light nap and the Apple was very welcome!!
I fired up the laptop again for a couple of hours, till about 05:00, using the in seat power, and my adapter. During this time the F/O was stood eating for about 20 minutes in the Galley, talking to a couple of pax at the Bar, it appeared.
Lights went on at about 0530 ready for breakfast. I went to the toilet at this time and was a little annoyed that an Economy passenger opened the curtain to the PE
section and nipped in in front of me. A bit snobbish of me, I admit, however I only took offence because I would NEVER do the same thing if I was in Economy, needing the loo.
I couldn't be bothered to say anything though, so I waited.
I ate both of our Breakfasts, as my Dad wasn't hungry; same as usual, which is a good thing; Sausage, Egg, Potato, and Breakfast Yogurt.
As a Frequent Traveller I can sympathise with Crew's clearing up, having seen some horrible, horrible pax leave planes a mess, so as soon as Breakfast was cleared, and Landing Cards completed, I took both of our bags, and our leather footrests, and placed them in the overhead lockers, then proceeded to sort out wrappers/bottles from our area, and took them to the bin in the galley. This preempted the Captains "descent" announcement by about 25 minutes.
Once the announcement came, I went to clean by teeth, and again found 2 Economy pax queuing for the loo; a Chinese couple, it appeared. I wasn't feeling confrontational, just tired, so waited again.
Approach was fairly bumpy; weather was very hot and humid, but overcast. Landing was firm, but smooth, not particularly hard reverse before a long taxi around the airport.
We saw the expected China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines narrowbodies, in their (seemingly) hundreds! A few China Southern too, plus a nice KLM Combi (PH-BFK - "Karachi"), some Dragoair and Cathay Pacific widebodies (330 and 777) and a nice new livery United 744.
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Photo © Kas van Zonneveld
A few others we saw on Friday morning:
After the sign went off, we prompty stood and got ready to head off. The guy in 23D barged past my Dad, clearly in a hurry. That annoyed me a little (read on).
"Deplaning" (I hate that word) was quick and efficient, and Dad and I, frequent visitors to PVG
(my Dad has SEVENTY-TWO stamps from there) walked briskly to Quarantine, Immigration, and Baggage Hall. It turns out that this was the same reason the guy had hurried past us, but he took the moving walkway, and we strode past him, me with a childish smirk on my face.
Couple of stamps each later, and we reclaimed our bags, which we were reminded to do, by tannoy. Nice.
flight was on a separate ticket, so we headed for CX
check in area. As we entered the arrivals hall it was clear there was some sort of Chines Celebrity due in, due to the mass of screaming girls, posters and media, so we hurried by, and up the escalators.
My Mum and Brother were at the CX
area already (F, IIRC) ready to check in for out 11:30. We asked about getting on the 0945, however by now it was 0905 and they politely declined.
We used the Marco Polo line, and check in was easy. 4 pax, 3 bags at 26, 26 and 24kg. We got two window seats and two aisles, behind one another. The flight was being operated by DragonAir, as all daily flights (16) other than the 12:25 are. At 12:25 Cathay fly their own 777 as well as DragonAir's 330.
Our flight was KA803/CX6833.
Another exit stamp and security check later, and I headed straight to Gate 17; ours. I got another good view of the Finnair A343 and the KLM Combi. I checked the reg of our A330, B-HYD
Date: June 15 2007
Departure time: 11:30 (11:45 actual)
Arrival time: 14:10 (14:20 actual)
A/C: A333 - B-HYD
(Type 1 - 284 Capacity)
Seat: 45A/C, 46A/C
We sat around for a bit, juice, toilet, etc, then boarded via the First/Business/Marco Polo line.
My first trip on Dragonair and on an A333, and I was hugely impressed by the seat size/pitch in Business Class. It looked far roomier than VS
Premium. We were in Economy, so we walked by.
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Photo © Joseph K.K. Lee
There are two types of Economy on Dragonair, one with IFE, one without. We got the one without. It reminded me of VS
Economy, ironically, with its bright, multi-colour seating. Economy seats have built in headrests, which were super comfy. The Economy section was absoultely rammed, and my Dad told me it is "always" that way; it must be a lucrative route for CX
/KA with high load factors and not by any means cheap fares, even in coach.
A few minutes take off delay, the Australian Captain informed us this was due to ATC. Bumpy take off and first 30 seconds, but smooth for the next hour or so.
Cabin Crew looked very smart in their dark blue and red pinstripre dresses. We were informed by an annoucement that food would commence after about 30 minutes, and were handed Landing Cards and nice, printed menus. We all picked spaghetti and meat, with salad, which was dry. Desert was Haagen Dazs mini tubs, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Chocolate; 1 each. My brother is only 13, and did an "Oliver" by asking for more, and got it! Food was clearev very efficiently afterwards. and as I was tired, decided to take 40 winks, for about 40 mins, so as to catch the approach and landing at HKG
. Unfortunately the guy behind be opjected to me reclining my seat; he spoke no English but as I reclined, he started pushing two hands on my seat, speaking Mandarin to me. Again, tired, I couldn't be bothered, so napped with the seat up.
My brother woke me with a few minutes to go, and the approach was indeed spectacular, over the water:
Taxi was short, and we saw a few firsts, including a 767 from Qantas, and of course loads of JAL, Cathay, Thai widebodies, plus some nice Dragonair Cargo 744's.
Near the back of Economy, it took us a while to get off, and we were a long way from Passport Control, however the upside of that was that by the time we were done, our luggage was already on the belt.
At Passport Control the HK
official took a long hard look at my PRC
Visa, for some reason, then stamped me in for "180 days", which was 178 more than I needed, on this trip.
excelled as always; I'm proud to be a FF
with them, despite the odd quirk. Dragonair very impressive service, good food, can't complain there either.
Return report to follow, I hope... [Excuse any errors; no time to proof!]