After almost an entire year travelling non-stop for business purposes, its finally time for the long holiday period in Indonesia, meaning, holiday time for me. My family and I decided to organise a private tour to Chengdu, Jiu Zhai Gou (A Unesco World Heritage site, and people who have been there were simply taken aback by the beauty of the natural scenery) and of course, the obligatory stop in Hong Kong to do some shopping. In total, 13 of us were going. 10 of us will fly by CX from SIN, whereas myself, the wife and my sis in law will travel direct to HKG from CGK by China Airlines and link up with the other in HKG before continuing together to China.
This trip has many firsts for me: 1st time on China Airlines (CI), 1st time on Dragon Air (KA) and first time on Sichuan Airlines (3U). Little did I also realise that this will be an all Airbus trip.
9 Oct 2007
Jakarta (CGK) – Hong Kong (HKG)
Flight: China Airlines CI 680
First Flight: 18 Aug 2005
Flight Time: 4 hr 20 min
Cruise: 39000 feet
Class: Dynasty (Business)
My departure times are now getting to be a real challenge for me. I had to get up at 0400, but, I did it, plus includes waking up both my wife and sister in law too . By the time we reached CGK airport, it was packed like sardines! Looks like the entire Jakarta is leaving for the holiday season, even CX and SQ are adding additional flights and most of it are also heavy equipment like B773’s and B744’s. I am pretty excited as this is my first time on China Airlines (even with all the bad press they had recently) and I had a pretty good deal on the J tickets. Check in was done pretty quick and in no time we went pass immigration (thank god I could bypass the lines due to me being a member of Saphire, whereby you scan your eye retina and go through immigration) and we relaxed at the lounge which was pretty nice. First time in this lounge too. Much better than the usual lounge MH, TG and SQ uses.
Nice Lounge Used by CI
Someone pondering over the buffet spread in the lounge
Yes, this next 2 pics were taken from the men’s toilet in the lounge. Talk about loo with a view!
A nice morning walk to our departure gate
CX B773 ready to go to HKG
And B-18307 ready to take me also to HKG
Its really nice and pleasant in the J cabin on CI. Even a nice painting greets you as you enter door 1L. Really pleasant and charming crews. Seats are capsule, but they do not recline to a lie flat position, but it’s a really good and comfortable offering for regional flights though.
Welcome drink with nuts, a nice touch
Seat and cabin views
The painting I mentioned early facing door 1L
This is probably the 7th different type of lie flat (although not flat in this case) that I have been on. It’s a 100% full load in both J and Y. This relatively new A333 also has the new look toilets, cabin lighting and ambience (think A345/6). I really have to commend on the crew as they were both polite yet efficient in their duties, even slippers were handed out for this relatively short hop to HKG. Preflight, even nuts were given out with the usual welcome drinks. Small but really nice touch. Before take off, there was 1 lady with a infant who was really distressed about something, but I also saw the pains the f/a took to calm her down and in the end of the journey I saw her having a nice smile on her face. One thing also good about the new design toilets is that they have more space than the older A333’s like on TG, CX and MH. The lead f/a also took the time to personally introduce herself to each and every J pax, a touch not even on MH.
Simple but presentable menu
Nice inflight slippers which many airlines now neglect on flight sectors of this duration
Inflight mag, safety card, handset and AVOD, I love a/c with cameras mounted on it !
Look it’s a bird, it’s a plane, wait….its Adam Air !! Sayonara Adam Air and CGK! Holiday here I come !
More Cabin views
With seatbelts off, its time to go to the toilets and for some picture taking
Back in my seats, I flicked through the AVOD and also watched Top Gear while waiting for breakfast to be served
And now, its meal time! I had the fried rice while the wife had the eggs.
With AVOD, time passed quickly, and with great food and service. This is really one of my best flights ever. CI did not disappoint me one bit and I will not hesitate to fly them again (oh well another frequent flyer for me to join). Frankly, I rate them up there in equal number 1 spot with MH in J.
On approach to HKG
Scenes whilst taxiing to our gate
Finally at the gate!
City: Hong Kong
Category: 5 Stars
Room: Deluxe City View (Upgraded to Harbor View)
Service: 10/10, Location: 8/10
I usually try to stay at Hilton hotels or Starwood ones as most of my mileage were with them. This stay at the Conrad (Hilton Group) was a great one. Check in took no more than 3 mins as being a Hiltonhonors silver member, all my data were already on hand when I checked in. I didn’t even have to request an upgrade and it was done automatically. Not cheap though as it costs almost USD400, but well worth every penny spent. Perfect location too as its above Pacific Place mall with Admiralty subway station connected to it.
My room at the Conrad & views out my window
A nice advertisement in the MTR station
[Edited 2007-10-24 07:51:29]
[Edited 2007-10-24 07:57:11]
[Edited 2007-10-24 08:00:06]