|Caviar and Balik Salmon "Tsar Nicolaj"|
Route : YVR - HKG
Operating Aircraft : B-HOT
Miles : 6,830
Seat : 2K
External Link to Photos
The photos of the lounge, cabin, meals and of course a requisite McDull kid coming with can be found at http://www.fjiii.com/.
This is my first post on airliners.net; normally my flights are rather routine and not particularly worthy of prose but I'll make an exception for this flight - one where I got upgraded at check-in at YVR from J to F !
The agent mentioned that the upgrade was because I had flown with CX a lot which sounded like a regular op-up except I was a lowly MPC Silver (OW Ruby) and the flight was no more than half full in J or Y - there were barely any queues at check-in and the boarding process at the gate took all of 5 minutes (I like to wait and hang back and see if there was going to be anyone cute on board; why don't more people do this ?)
Once on board as I was crossing the F galley to get to my seat on the right hand side, I noticed they had the manifest lying on the counter (they really should take better care of these printouts) and caught something next to my name about a voluntary upgrade due to crossing a 0.5 million miles milestone - sweet ! I was a little surprised though at how specific the info was on the manifest regarding my raison d'etre in the cabin.
Please kindly refer to my photoblog linked to above for photos and some other commentary, but in short : the hard product was fantastic as a matter of course, though the service was a let down which I expand on below.
There were five first class passengers on board but the two-lady crew seemed quite dispirited. Both meal services were littered with mistakes; they were of course no big deals and easily rectified but missing a napkin here and a lemon squeezer there can change a passenger's impression quickly. The « Pan-fried Black Cod with Steamed Jasmine Rice » for dinner even arrived without the rice.
As for the lunch main - the « Prime AAA Tenderloin » could not have been any of the three, indeed it was close to inedible. I realize you are perhaps just asking for it ordering beef on board an aircraft so I guess I wasn't really disappointed so much with the beef itself, but more that when I had left the dish basically as is when they collected the plate, I was (more than) half-hoping the FA would notice and ask if something was wrong / offer something else but nope.
Other I presume routine requests - removing the duvet setup, and having another plate of the caviar and balik salmon course later on in the flight - were met with facial expressions and word choices that I felt expressed impatience or incredulousness, as in "I can't believe you are asking me do this". Specifically, when I asked to have the duvet removed after not really falling asleep after an hour and a half, the FA hit back with "already ?!". And not long after, when taking my order for dinner, she used phrasing (Cantonese) that translates to something like "you must have the salad too ?", "you really want the fruit plate as well ?" with a tone that sounded as if I shouldn't have been entitled to any.
Near the end of the flight about an hour out of HKG, I was asked to to fill out the service questionniare. I suspect they disproportionately target upgraded passengers as surely they tend to give glowing reviews (I had filled out about 5 of these previously - all glowing, all very gladly and all asked when I was on an operational upgrade) but on this day at the end of that flight, I didn't feel like I should bother so I declined.
Alright - I think that's about it regarding the service. I know I concentrated on the negatives above but they were really what stood out for me. Everything not mentioned in the above though I think you can safely assume were good if not great - including the fantastic AVOD, the just huge suite, the lovely Chateau Lynch-Bages 2004, as well as the food dishes other than the beef which were all quite good.
I would be more than happy for comments or questions. If none, please feel free to check out my other trip reports at my blog (predominantly photos) : http://www.fjiii.com/all.html.
Thank you for reading !
* McDull : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mcdull
** For sentimentality, I had gone back later in the flight to the galley to try and grab a photo of the manifest. If you're interested : http://goo.gl/ofoBG.