Flight 1 - CX 837
Route : YVR-HKG
Operating Aircraft : B-KPL
Aircraft Type : Boeing 777-300 ER
Miles : 6,381
Seat : 1A
|We are flying from Vancouver to Tokyo with a brief stop-over in Hong Kong today.
Joining me are four small Canadian kids (from front to back they are Snail, Fly, Ladybug and Butterfly) as well as their distinguished-looking chaperone Eggplant who you can see resting comfortably in the arm chair. Snail is leading the other small kids to find some soft drinks in the fridge for them as well as a half bottle of Moët for himself.
|The oneworld-liveried B-KPL is taking us to Hong Kong today and the kids are admiring it with anticipation.
The loading appears to be quite high but the boarding process is smooth. Upon hearing, "ladies and gentlemen, thank you for waiting; we now invite passengers traveling with small children to board", the kids jump off the window sill and excitedly head down the gangway with me. Ahead of the other passengers in first class !
|The ISM shows us our seat and the kids settle into their respective take-off positions.
The four small kids are eager to watch the view outside whereas Eggplant is happy just to sit back and doze off on the buddy seat (he is not the most attentive chaperone). The captain comes on the PA and mentions that APU and ground power troubles are delaying our push-back by a little, and almost in lockstep, the flight attendants pass out cold towels and refills our champagne flute.
|Not long after take-off, the first meal is served, starting with the Cathay Pacific long haul staple - caviar and balik salmon tsar nikolaj paired with a fresh glass of Krug.
As you can see from the photo, the kids still have not torn themselves away from the gorgeous white clouds rolling by outside. All the kids that is except for Snail, who instead has moved to the optimal position for observing the champagne's gorgeous fine bubbles. He gives the bubbles an A-, and the champagne a B-.
|Butterfly, Fly and Ladybug now join in on the main course, a sumptuous serving of chinese-style stir-fried lobster. The photo does not do its tastiness justice, but this short exposé on Cathay's catering facilities at Vancouver International where you can see the chef stir-frying the fresh Halifax lobsters will definitely make your mouth water.
And with the flute emptied, Snail moved onto the red, the Château Cantenac Brown 2005. This wine is part of Cathay's classified growths promotion for its long haul first class flights and is absolutely delicious - silky but full-bodied and exactly what Snail likes. He gives the wine an A.
|With the kids not being able to decide on just one dessert, Yohan - a charming Vancouver-based cabin crew member - thoughtfully serves us with all three dessert choices.
You can tell Butterfly is the eldest kid - he opts for the most healthful choice of fresh berries with custard sauce. Ladybug is the stylish one in the family and he chooses the sticky toffee cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Fly is already quite full but he gives the fruit and cheese plate a try. Yohan also pours Snail a glass of a 10 year old Ramos Pinto. Snail throws a little bit by the edge of the table to make room for the Tawny, which he gives a B+.
|Look at all the drinks Snail ordered ! Snail is a bit like me in that he is a little lacking in self-control and have a hard times doing things in moderation. One time, as a homework assignment, the teacher gave him some sweets to take home and he had to count them, but Snail ate all the sweets on the way home and so his answer was zero.
By now Snail is already quite drunk and so June - our resourceful and budget-conscious flight attendant in the second shift - and I decide to play a small trick on Snail. All but one of the above are "mock-ups" only, using water, juices, and for the very realistic-looking Cloud 9 on the left, a few drops of milk.
Can you guess which drink is the real ?
Flight 2 - CX 548
Route : HKG-HND
Operating Aircraft : B-KPM
Aircraft Type : Boeing 777-300 ER
Miles : 1,803
Seat : 1K
|After a refreshing overnight nap at the nearby Novotel (fantastic dinner buffet by the way), the kids and I head back to the airport for our connecting flight to Tokyo. Our first stop is of course the business class section of Cathay's newly-renovated The Wing lounge. His head cleared with a strong cup of coffee in the Coffee Loft, Snail leads the kids to the Noodle Bar for some breakfast congee.
Eggplant however looks like he will be sleeping some more.
|About fifteen minutes later (being so small, the kids walk a fair bit slower compared to you and me), we arrive at the quintessential Cathay Pacific frequent flyer refectory - the Noodle Bar. Do not be fooled by the photo, this place is never ever empty ! The illusion of emptiness above is created largely by camera angle and Photoshop compositing.
That I walk around with so many all kids also tend to disperse crowds.
|What fantastic clear weather we have today !
Parked at gate 23, the recently refurbished B-KPM looks like it's ready to go. I imagine most people prefer departing from gates 1 to 4 which are right outside The Wing, but gate 23 is my favorite because I can take an eye-level head-on photo of our plane from Cathay Pacific's The Cabin lounge.
Again, a few photographs were composited together to make this one devoid of airfield officers. I seriously dislike extraneous people in my photos.
|Our breakfast choice this morning is the Chinese dim sum selection, served with a class of guava juice. Shortly after breakfast, snail leads the kids on a cabin tour. B-KPM was refurbished just a couple months ago when new business class seats (replacing the herringbone ones) and premium economy class seats were put in and the AVOD system was upgraded as well.
Flying six people in first class is quite expensive; perhaps the kids will take a liking the the premium economy seats (not very likely).
|One more photo before we land.
Eggplant is sleeping tight in the baby bassinet (literally, he soon will not be able to fit in it anymore), and the small Canadian kids are doing what they love doing most - looking at the marvelous views outside the cabin and enjoying the flying experience on their favorite airline.
Oh did you notice the purple cabin lighting ? Normally a bland yellow at this stage of the flight, Keiko-san, our loving flight attendant, switches on mood lighting and flicks it to purple to match Eggplant's color. She says it should help Eggplant sleep better.
Now that's service from the heart.