We landed ontime and believe docked at Gate 88 on the lower level of C1. Once in the terminal, my hunger pangs returned since the breakfast was not quite filling. Since I landed at C1, I made a quick dash to my favorite Au Bon Pain for my favorite roast beef sandwich on croissant with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and mozzarella.
I should also add that I did pack some ramen noodles in my backpack because I missed eating these on Asian flights served on Asian carriers. If others got jealous watching me eat these, they could have brought their own!
No hot dog eating contests today.
My plane towed from Term B after arrival from CDG.
FIDS display my flight to HKG.
My usual stop when I'm in EWR.
With my two sandwiches for the flight in hand, I headed to the big President's Club by C3. On my walk to the PC, I enjoyed the ceiling-high windows with views of the CO movements. I also passed by Ciao Bella thinking I should get some tasty gelato, but as usual had to save it for another time I'm at EWR.
Heading towards PC in between C2 and C3.
Yum! Ciao Bella!
I reached the PC, greeted with a long line of passengers I noticed with BF seats on a delayed flight to TLV. As usual, this PC remained busy with spare seats available. I did find a section on the far side of the bar to share with a few other passengers. I dropped my stuff off so I could walk around, take some pictures, and get some drinks and additional crisps and snacks for my upcoming HKG trip. The highlight of this visit was seeing, but not approaching, Rufus Wainright. I know who he is, but do not listen to his music.
Lounge area inside PC
Bar area inside PC
My ride to HKG. Definitely a nice ride!
My ride to HKG at gate.
Rufus Wainright at PC.
After making my rounds, I settled down to some hot tea along with shortbread dipped in Nutella.
I got a few packets of crisps to go nicely with my sandwiches. With those crisps safely packed in my backpack, I dug out my laptop to make sure I was properly checked in for my CX flight to MNL. Once done as well as checking a few e-mails, I headed to C121 for my flight to HKG. I arrived in time for the gate agents to make an announcement that documentation needs to be checked prior to boarding the flight. With the red stamp "DOCS OK", the agent informed me that boarding would be delayed by 15min so I had plenty of time to walk around C3.
Another pic of me getting ready to board another HKG flight.
Secure boarding area for TLV passengers inside the Hudson News?
Jamba! Jamba! Jamba!
More TLV Confusion!
C139 for TLV
Welcome to EWR! I have yet to experience US CBP at C3, always at Terminal B.
After walking around the concourse, I headed back to C121 where they had started pre-boarding only for BF passengers. Unlike my trip in March where an elderly Chinese man had shoved me in a rush to board only to be denied and forced to tell me sorry, the passengers were a bit more orderly, and the gate agents made sure all passengers adhered to the strict boarding procedures so that the plane would depart close to on-time.
24 November 2008
Gate Departure: EWR C121
Departure Time (scheduled/actual): 15:00 / 15:15
Arrival Time (scheduled/actual): 18:50 / 20:20
Gate Arrival: HKG 21
As the long line for BF boarding had diminished, the agents called for EliteAccess boarding via the blue carpet. I queued up, got my boarding pass scanned, and wished a pleasant flight. I made my way down the jetway bypassing the usual US CBP questioning random passengers and prepared my camera to take a shot before entering the plane.
CO 99 NOW BOARDING!
By this time, most of the BF passengers had started to receive their amenity kits and menus as Y passengers started trickling onboard the plane. On this flight I landed the bulkhead seat. At this time, most of the 772 fleet had AVOD and in-seat power installed in Y. I lucked out as there were one or two left. As a dedicated a.netter I took (though this trip report is seriously delayed) I took a photo of the wider monitor from the seat behind me.
PTV with AVOD for 17D
Legroom at 16D
As the plane continued to fill up with passengers, the Captain made his welcome to everyone on board. He explained the reason behind the slight delay, problems with the air conditioning unit and hoped the engineers had fixed the problem. Due to the flight path given, the flight would clock under 16hrs, taking a more northerly route, rather than an eastern one, and thus causing a slight delay in arrival into HKG. This annoyed me just a bit since I knew this would reduce my stay at CX's The Wing lounge at HKG. Oh well, what could you do. A few minutes after the Captain had said his hello, the ISM had decided to play the automated welcome message with Chinese translation twice before doors closed. On my flight in March, the ISM had not played the message. This time, i tried my best to capture it on my my iPhone.
Our flight path to HKG that evening.
Flight information. Only in English.
About 15min after the printed departure time, they had closed doors to the plane requiring all passengers to turn off all mobile phones and electronic devices as they prepared the cabin for departure. Once we had pushed back from the gate, the ISM called for the FAs to take their position while he showed the safety video. During the safety video, we slowly made our way to the 30min queue for departures out of EWR. Once the video had finished, the two of the FAs went down the aisle to hand out menus for today's flight.
Menu in Chinese
Menu in English
Once the FAs finished passing out the menus, most took their seats as we slowly waited our turn for departure. While we waited, I fell asleep, only to be woken up at the sounds of the engines roaring up as we made our way down the runway, I believe 22R.
Once airborne, the ISM greeted all passengers on the PA system and welcomed us on board our 15:50hr flight to HKG. He gave the usual spiel about today's service as well as the lavatory arrangement. This was followed by the lead Chinese speaker. I do have to say one thing regarding one of the Chinese speakers on this flight. For those who have watched Mad TV, one of the speakers has to be a twin of Miss Swan!!!
As we made our way towards Quebec, the FA's commenced with the initial drinks and snack service, followed by dinner.
While OK, it temporarily hit the spot so I could take my first nap after another cup of hot tea.
Comfy leg rest
Heading towards Greenland.
I was able to get a good 3hr nap before hunger pangs woke me up. With Au Bon Pain sandwich in hand, I enjoyed a tasty pre-mid-flight snack! I headed to the back galley for another cup of hot tea and water so I could enjoy my favorite sandwich.
Current position before pre-mid-flight snack
Pre-Mid-flight snack ... Au Bon Pain and free crisps!
Going on a more eastern route
After my pre-mid-flight snack, I went in and out of sleep. The times not snoozing, I would either tool around on my iPhone or check out the AVOD offerings. I got to enjoy watching Little Nemo
and pieces of whatever Harry Potter
movie was available. But in the end, I would go back and forth from the airline-edited to my iPhone version of my favorite movie of the year, Mamma Mia
After 8hrs in flight, the FAs prepped the cabin for mid-flight snack. Today's option ...
Mid-flight snack ... the "cheeseburger"
While I was still full from my sandwich, I didn't touch the "cheeseburger" but I savored the Haagen-Dazs! The lady in 16F did not want hers and offered hers to me. Who am I to say no to some tasty ice cream!
To note, throughout the flight the FAs would be in the aisles an offer water and pickup trash. I did notice some turn off the overhead lights and monitors to those who looked comfortably sleeping.
About an hour or two later, I was not as hungry, but thought I would go for some ramen noodles for a post-mid-flight snack. I headed back to the back galley and asked for some hot water as well as another cup of hot tea.
Post-Mid-flight snack ... ramen noodles
Current position during post-mid-flight snack
Going South ... Russia --> Mongolia --> China --> Hong Kong
As the hours fly by, I continued to enjoy being in flight. For me the flights to HKG are not long enough! Just as long as I have an aisle seat in the center section, I'm perfectly happy! Also, it doesn't hurt to land the bulkhead or even a BF seat, if I can!
With a little more than an hour left in the flight, it was time for CO's version of Dim Sum. While not quite authentic and a bit oily, I still liked this part of the flight.
Yum! Dim Sum!
Yum yum dim sum!
Thirty minutes after the FAs came through the cabin with Dim Sum/Breakfast service, they collected the trays and then started preparations for arrival in to HKG. The Captain came on the PA system to give us the latest arrival information into HKG. We would be arriving 30min late, not too bad giving me some hope that I could spend longer time at The Wing. After his message along with the Chinese translation, the ISM turned on the arrival video for HKG.
Buddha during Pre-arrival video into HKG. You can click on the pic to see the updated arrival video on YouTube.
Circling around on approach into HKG.
One final turn to Lantau Island and HKG.
The journey of life is not based on the accomplishments, but the experience.