Below is the second sector of a trip I made last April, consisting of ATL-LAX-NRT-HKG-DXB-LHR-JFK-ATL all J class (except the domestic flights in Y that I did not write about)
left on a Monday morning and was home by Friday night
First sector (SQ: LAX-NRT) is here:
Interestingly enough, I was unaware of Airlinerners.net Trip Report section before the trip. I have been kicking myself since my return for not bringing a camera! Who flies around the world and does not bring a camera?!!!
Me, apparently. Oh well, I guess that is my excuse to do it again!
NRT-HKG Cathay Pacific #549; Airbus A330-300
Business Class (2 class configuration)
April 2008; depart 3:55pm arrive 7:45pm
Duration: 4hrs 50min (1 hour time gain)
I arrived at Narita airport (Terminal 2) 5 hours before my flight, thinking I could kill some time in an airline lounge. Much to my dismay, the security guard at Cathay Pacific's ticketing desk (there is a security guard in front of each airline's desk) informed me that I could not approach the desk until 1pm; about 3 hours before my flight.
On the 4th floor of Narita's Terminal 2, before security, there are many retail shops and restaurants; reminiscent of some type of bazaar, as there are so many and they all seemed to be bustling. I spent 45 minutes at "La Vista" restaurant, where many airline and airport employees were dining, so I assumed it had some redeeming qualities, however I simply had two Asahis at the bar, served in frosted, glass mugs, none the less...
After passing through a passport check and security, I proceeded to the Cathay Pacific 1st and Business Class lounge, accessed by elevator. There was nothing special here, but there was plenty of space and the lounge was clean and well-appointed. The staff were quite gracious and roamed around attending to needs. There were several desktop computers and printers available for use, free of charge.
This Airbus had a 2-2-2 seating configuration and the staff were pleasant as could be, despite a very dated plane. I found the plane's decor to be old and worn out. The seats had a slight recline with a foot rest and adjustable head rest. Shortly after takeoff, menus were passed out with a choice of 4 appetizers and 2 entrées, however, only the drink and entrée orders were taken. As it turned out, passengers in business class were served a small portion of all the appetizers from the menu on one plate; quite a tasty treat of chilled steak, Asian noodles, a crab claw and some raw fish. The fillet entrée was as much as could be expected on an airplane, cooked at a perfect "medium rare", a little less that I desired; delicious none-the-less. There was plenty of streaming (as opposed to on-demand) entertainment, but my monitor that pulled out of the arm rest was not 100%, grainy picture with occasional lines running through it.
All in, Cathay provided outstanding service, delicious food, but, on a dated plane with worn out seats.
Upon arrival in Hong Kong, I anticipated a long line at customs, but much to my surprise, there was a "transfer desk" in front of our arrival area and they issued me a boarding pass for my next flight. I did have to pass through security again (this only took 5 minutes) and then take an escalator to the departure concourse. This was all a very orderly and seamless process.
My sense is, that because this is a shorter, “regional” route for Cathay Pacific, older planes are used. The service was still excellent and I would not hesitate to fly with them again.
Thanks for reading!