Review of Cathay Pacific flight Hong Kong Seoul in Business

Airline Cathay Pacific
Flight CX438
Class Business
Seat 14K
Aircraft Airbus A340-300
Flight time 03:25
Take-off 17 Apr 15, 08:00
Arrival at 17 Apr 15, 12:25
CX 465 reviews
airtraveladdict
Published on 17th May 2015
This part two my trip.
On my first leg, Melbourne to Hong Kong, I flew the new business class but when I saw on the timetable that Cathay Pacific scheduled the A340-300 for this regional Asia flight featuring the old coffin class, I was very excited and booked this flight because I wanted to try the old seats too.

Airport
CX's check-in at 5.30AM was easy, there was no one in the queue so within minutes I was airside and making my way to the lounge.

Rating 10 out of 10

Lounge
CX's The Wing Business Class lounge has been thoroughly reviewed by other people, so I was looking forward to the experience since it was my first time. I am really impressed with the different sections, like the noodle bar and espresso bar etc. The noodle bar did not open until 7:15AM… drats! I was hoping to tuck into some wontons. So I just ended up going to the self service buffet for some siu mai and fried noodles. Sigh.



Rating 10 out of 10

Flight
Cathay Pacific CX438 Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon
Airbus A340-300
Seat 14K
Depart 8AM - Arrive 12.25PM
Total flight time 3h 25m

Again we arrived at the gate and boarding was delayed. So it was another 20 minute wait.

Rating 3 out of 10

Seat
I purposely chose this flight because I saw that CX was using the old coffin class seat. So I wanted to compare it to new seats. I have to admit I actually like this seat as well. I thought it was cosy and I didn't feel claustrophobic at all. I was in 14K, on the right hand side, so it was added privacy because I stared at the wall, instead of somebody's feet or face.



Rating 8 out of 10 - Thee cushions are soft and comfortable, easily fell asleep. But the lack of storage options was annoying. Particularly when you put your phone and wallet on the mini side table above the headsets, and it slides off and falls behind the chair. The IFE screen was flimsy and during takeoff, it popped out.

Entertainment
The IFE screens were older and wasn't as vibrant as the A330 screens but they the same programs and shows. I just wasn't in the mood for movies.

Catering
Three options were available on this flight but flying out of HK, I figured the best option would be the dim sum for breakfast. Mind you, the bulgogi sounded nice too!
photo cx-438-menu-1photo cx-438-menu-2photo cx-438-menu-3

Meal started with croissant and fresh fruit plate. Both went down very well. I didn't have any of the Yoplait yoghurt because I believe that unnecessarily takes up room in your stomach where other tastier food could be occupying.

Then came the dim sum. Everything was very tasty! The beef ball, that brown ball in the middle, was delicious and I could have had more of that. But you know what was missing, where is the soy sauce?! The sticky rice with mushroom was surprisingly good too, although I was kinda hoping it would be BBQ pork instead of mushrooms.

There was no wine list on this flight but you can ask for beer or spirits and the crew will bring it to you.


Rating 7 out of 10 - Dim sum was a hit! Next time please give us two beef balls, more prawn dumplings and a BBQ pork sticky rice instead please.

Service
I suppose after reading many trip reports about Asian carriers and how their regional service is so different to their long haul, I wasn't expecting CX crew on this short flight to be great. But they were just as professional and attentive as their long haul peers, and water or alcohol was constantly refilled until you decline. Again we were addressed by our names.

When I got up to use the toilet, it was occupied so I went back to my seat. When the toilet became available, a crewmember came to tell me. I didn't even know she was watching me.
Later I had to use the toilet again, but this time there were two ladies in the queue, so I decided to walk to the economy (yikes!) toilets. The crew member insisted on walking me to economy section. She opened the door and found it was dirty, and she slammed the door shut so quickly! Her face was priceless, I laughed out a bit.
It was like that scene from Jackie Chan's Project A movie, when everybody is hiding inside the house and Jackie opens the cupboards and finds people in there, aahhh anyway.
I was like it's okay, I can use it. She said no you don't have shoes on hahaha. So she took me another one and checked it, okay please use this one.

Rating 10 out of 10 - Outstanding crew!

Overall
8 out of 10 - Short but sweet. With the exception of the 20 minute delay, everything else went so smoothly, it is hard to fault CX's crew on this flight as well.

We landed in Seoul Incheon 25 minutes late. Upon landing, we had to wait for two takeoffs, a Gurada Indonesia and Lufthansa, so I got my camera out and snapped as many pictures as I can. Then we parked next to a Lufthansa and Mongolian Airlines.


I have discovered that ICN does not provide priority security or immigration for premium class passengers, so everybody has to wait for over 1 hour to process through customs and immigration.
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Verdict

Cathay Pacific

8.3/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering7.0

Cathay Pacific The Wing - Business Class Section

9.5/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Services10.0

Hong Kong - HKG

9.9/10
Efficiency9.5
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Seoul - ICN

8.2/10
Efficiency3.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

A nice and comfortable short regional business class flight. It was my first time using the CX The Wing business lounge in HKG and I found the space to be comfortable. I didn't get a chance to try other lounges, but I hope to in future.
I think I might be one of the few people in the world who actually enjoyed the coffin seats :)
The catering was delicious and crew were fantastic again!
Given that these two trips are my first on CX, it was a good first impression and I would recommend CX.

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 21 reviews of 6 airlines on the route Hong Kong (HKG) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Pacific with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 13 minutes.

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4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 136740 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report!

    I was very excited and booked this flight because I wanted to try the old seats too.
    -I have an upcoming trip with CX and did the exact same thing, forced a stopover in HK just to take the A343. Fortunately it will just be HKG-TPE so not too painful with the old seats.

    How was getting to HKG for an 8am flight? Did you spend the night near the airport or downtown?

    The presentation of the dim sum was not the best, looks very blah. But if the taste was a hit, then that all that matters! Not a bad breakfast offering, but doesn't really stand out either.

    She opened the door and found it was dirty, and she slammed the door shut so quickly! Her face was priceless
    - Yeah... and this was only a short regional flight, imagine the lavatories after getting pounded for 14-16-hours on a haul from the US. Sounds like you had another great crew with CX. In my experience, the regional crews are just as good as the long-haul crews, I've never seen downgraded service (other than catering).

    Nice shots of the LH taking off, very nice angle.

    • Comment 316274 by
      airtraveladdict AUTHOR 119 Comments

      Hi again NGO85,

      I have an upcoming trip with CX and did the exact same thing, forced a stopover in HK just to take the A343. Fortunately it will just be HKG-TPE so not too painful with the old seats.

      I went with A343 because I didn't want to fly regional business class :) which isn't flat bed.

      How was getting to HKG for an 8am flight? Did you spend the night near the airport or downtown?

      HK was zzzzzzzzzz, no traffic at all. totally amazing! i had the city all for myself at 5AM. I stayed near Ave of the Stars.

      The presentation of the dim sum was not the best, looks very blah. But if the taste was a hit, then that all that matters! Not a bad breakfast offering, but doesn't really stand out either.

      hahaha lucky it tasted better than the presentation, especially the sticky rice which looked horrible. but tasted good though :) but no soy sauce. that was a let down.

      Yeah... and this was only a short regional flight, imagine the lavatories after getting pounded for 14-16-hours on a haul from the US. Sounds like you had another great crew with CX. In my experience, the regional crews are just as good as the long-haul crews, I've never seen downgraded service (other than catering).

      it was a great crew, everything was just great. i felt really special even though business class was full to the max.

      Nice shots of the LH taking off, very nice angle.

      i have to buy a better camera that clicks faster cuz i missed the belly shot.

  • Comment 137202 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5763 Comments

    Thanks for this report! I haven't see a report on CX's old seats in a while. They cabin still looks really modern to me and the seats seem to be in a good state despite their age. They were cutting edge when they were introduced. CX is always leading the way product wise. When I was in HKG a few months ago, I was in the First class section of The Wing and I wasn't all that impressed. I think the Business class section is great for Business class, but the First class section isn't that much better than the Business section.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 321621 by
      airtraveladdict AUTHOR 119 Comments

      Hi Kevin, I just saw your reply now! apologies for the late reply.
      I chose this flight on purpose because I wanted to try the old seats before CX discontinue it. and I was lucky enough to try it :) because CX didnt swap plane.
      Also the A340 is an old bird and I always this 4 engine girl!
      The cabin was very clean and the seat was in neat condition. but the IFE screen was flimsy and shaky.
      I heard CX will unveil new J seats for the future, so I am curious how they can improve on the current reverse herringbone seating plan.
      Having said that, its good to see they are not complacent and always looking to improve.
      I haven't visited the CX the wing first class but CX recently opened the Pier First class which looks great. free massage too!
      You're feedback of The Wing First class is similar to others I read, they said they werent impressed either.
      Instead they recommend the Qantas HKG lounge instead.

      I am travelling later this year in business and first class with CX.
      I will also sample CX's new manila lounge too and the Pier First Class in HKG.
      I don't know if I have time to review Qantas Hong Kong and The Pier First Class lounge because I only have 3hour layover.
      So be sure to look out for those reports :) I will try to do a good job reporting all those lounges!

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