Review of Cathay Pacific flight Taipei Hong Kong in Economy

Airline Cathay Pacific
Flight CX421
Class Economy
Seat 65G
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 2:20
Take-off 02 Dec 15, 12:05
Arrival at 02 Dec 15, 14:25
CX   #5 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 278 reviews
Simmy1972
By 1435
Published on 16th December 2015
Background
This trip was planned almost 9 months ago, and it eventually came to reality. There was a hiccup in the outbound journey, as we did not fly on Cathay Pacific due to late inbounding aircraft. Instead, we were rearranged to fly on EVA Air to Taipei.
Our family had a wonderful time in Taiwan. We visited lots of places, ate lots of great food, and caught up with many friends. After 9 days of vacation in Taiwan, it was time to head home to Malaysia.

Online Check in
I did online check in again 48 hours before scheduled departure time, and was delighted to find out that CX729, the second leg of our journey, would be operated by an A340-300, another model that I would like to ride on. The web check in process of Cathay Pacific was very easy to manage, as the data of outbound flight was kept in records, so we would not need to enter all the details again. After the formalities were done, all we needed to do was to wait until the time of departure.

To TPE & Check in
We again took the bus 1968 from Xindian to Taoyuan International Airport. In order to make sure that we made it to CX729, we decided to go to the airport early in view of the possibility to catch an earlier flight out to Hong Kong. The journey took about 80 minutes, and then we were dropped at Terminal one around 10:30am. We took the escalator up to the departure level and soon located the check in counters of Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific counters at TPE
photo IMG_0528 (800x600)

We were quickly called to the counter to drop our luggage. The agent, with a quick look at the monitor, advised us to take to earlier CX421 instead of the scheduled CX511, so that we would have ample time to transit in Hong Kong. We gladly accepted it, even though it meant no window seats again.
Clearing immigration and security was painless, and in no time we were in the departure area. We spent our time spotting aircrafts in a E-library located one level above the duty free shops. Before long, it was time to go to gate for boarding.

The flight
CX421 is a continuation leg from ICN to HKG with a stopover at TPE. Boarding started promptly and orderly, and in no time we were all seated and ready to go. For a fully laden A333, I thought it was very impressive.

Our aircraft ready to go
photo IMG_0529 (800x600)

We pushed back on the dot and taxied to the active runway. Being seated in the middle section was difficult to get a sense of the direction, but we took off without much holding.

Once the pilot released the cabin crew, snack service immediately commenced, with each of us receiving a hot chicken roll, a cookie, and a packet of Oolong tea.

Content of our snack service
photo IMG_0530 (800x600)photo IMG_0534 (800x600)

I even managed to ask for a can of beer after trash had been collected.
photo IMG_0538 (800x600)

We were only half way through our journey when the meal service concluded.
photo IMG_0536 (800x600)

The rest of time was spent watching the airshow until we landed at HKG at 2:00pm.

Aircraft at gate at HKIA
photo IMG_0540 (800x600)

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Verdict

Cathay Pacific

7.8/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment8.0
meal/catering8.0

Taipei - TPE

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Hong Kong - HKG

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

This sector of journey was a pleasant experience, even without the window seats. Even though the actual flight time was a mere 1.5 hours or so, the crew managed to serve the full flight of passengers with time for additional drink services to those who requested.
The one thing that I fail to understand regarding Cathay Pacific booking system is why bother to offer the option of less than 1 hour transit in Hong Kong, when a delay in the previous sector would jeopardize the subsequent planning, not only for the passengers but also to the ground personnel as well?

Related

4 Comments

  • Comment 152617 by
    marathon 7637 Comments

    Like you, I often find it frustrating to be unable to buy flights with a longer connecting time when there could be choice.
    The weather seemed not too cloudy in HKG; too bad not having a window seat. But considering that HKG is one of the most plane spotter friendly airports I know (at least in day time, because the lighting on the tarmac is not enough at night), I would have accepted the flight change too.
    Thanks for sharing !

      0
    • Comment 330381 by
      Simmy1972 AUTHOR 41 Comments

      I had wanted the opportunity to fly out of TPE on window seats in daylight, so that I could take pictures of both TPE and HKG. Unfortunately things never went as planned. At least I managed to hold onto my window seats in my last sector of the journey.

      Perhaps I should feedback to Cathay, and maybe ask for lounge access as compensation instead of food vouchers when there is another missed connection.

        0
  • Comment 152702 by
    NGO85 1581 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR! On CX, it is possible to build a longer connection time, but you have to trick the system by booking each leg separately. If you did a multi-city search for TPE-HKG and then HKG-KUL (since HKG stopovers are free on CX), you can get full choice of all flights. This is how I was able to build a layover of my choice in TPE when flying HKG-TPE-NGO. With the amount of traffic between TPE and HKG, it’s not surprising that CX let you take an earlier flight, but at the sacrifice of a window seat. The snack box looks very classy with the ribbon, but the offering is very light compared to what used to be served on this route (an actual hot meal).

      0
    • Comment 330440 by
      Simmy1972 AUTHOR 41 Comments

      Indeed. I simulate a booking using multi-city stop over, and I had the option to choose the flights that I needed. Whether it would be more expensive than the pre-set option, I do not know, but that would be how I search for flights in CX next time. Thanks for the tips.

        0

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