As summer approaches it was once again time to head back home to visit family and friends. As you read from my previous FRs, I have flown exclusively with Cathay on my HK-Europe commute over the past 12 months. Whilst Cathay offers an excellent product, I felt slightly bored with flying the same aircraft type and the fuss of having to transit in London or Manchester. Travelling from the North-east of England, there are a number of 1-stop options to Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the obvious suspects (a.k.a the Big Three) were soon ruled out owing to inconvenient timings and the fact that I needed the miles to retain my OW status. That leaves me realistically with BA and AY, but the fares for a late May departure weren't at all competitive and both IMO offers an inferior product to CX. So the end result after days of research is yet another flight on good old Cathay, but for the sake of spicing things up I routed my journey through Paris CDG.
As usual, I purchased a Premium Economy ticket through my travel agent about two months back. Once that was issued, I immediately rang the MPC center to have my ticket upgraded to Business with miles. However, CX did not open any upgrade availability then, so I was placed on the waitlist.
I heard no further from MPC until three days before departure, when I received this email:
So 20K MPC miles it is and I'm all set!
Newcastle to Paris
I took the 11:50am Air France flight from NCL on the day, which on a side note marked my first flight on the Avro RJ/Bae series
EI-RJO, operating flight AF1059 to CDG. Note the full Cityjet livery from before its de-merger with AF
Transit and check-in
I arrived in Paris with about 6 hours to spare (!), so it was time for shopping and a bit of train spotting…
Gard du Nord CDG:
… and of course plane spotting (BTW CDG terminal 2A is extremely spotter unfriendly from within the terminal, the view from the CX lounge is probably the best)
Emirates A380-861 A6-EEY
Hung around till 1730 when the check-in counters for CX278 finally opened.
The check-in itself took no time as I have pre selected my seat online.
The boarding pass and CX's Accès N°1 card
The security and immigration area for terminal 2A and 2C
Once airside, the CX lounge is just a few steps away
The typical entrance with white Carrara marble
The Paris lounge is one of the more spacious outport lounges in the CX network, complete with a noodle bar and two showers that are comparable to those in HK. My favourite feature of the lounge is the row of Solus chairs facing the apron. One thing worth mentioning is that the lounge fills up quite quickly once the check-in counters have opened, so you might want to arrive earlier for one of the Solus chairs.
Not a lot of hot dishes to choose from besides the noodle bar, but the food wasn't too bad - particularly enjoyed the tomato stuffed with mince pork.
My Solus chair:
The Dan Dan noodles next; strangely they used some Udon noodles for that
Went for a shower after the food. Always enjoyed a nice hot shower before a 12 hour flight. The shower itself is well maintained and very clean.
More plane spotting from the lounge:
Etihad A340-642 A6-EHH
Aeroflot A320-214 VP-BRX
I left the lounge at around 2030 to walk slowly to gate A41, which is at the other end of terminal 2A
Boarding began on time at 2050, with separate lines for all three cabin classes. The Y class line extended onto the bridge connecting the dome shaped satellite terminal.
My chariot: B-KPZ
Trolley with HK/English/French newspaper
Date: 30 May 2015 Flight: CX/CPA 278 Route: Paris CDG - Hong Kong Aircraft: B777-367ER Registration: B-KPZ (ln/1003)–> My second time on this A/C ATD: 2132L (+2 mins) Departure Rwy: 27L Block Time: 11:30h Flight Time: 11:11h Sector Mileage: 5590nm Crusing Altitude: FL310 -> 330 Crusing Speed: M.083 ATA: 1522L (+22 mins due to ATC) Arrival Rwy: 25R
I was personally escorted to my seat by a friendly FA, who then offered me a welcome drink
Pushed back a couple of minutes behind schedule. You can see the dome shaped satellite terminal
A very long taxi across the airfield to runway 27R
Rolling down 27R
Climb out to an initial cruising altitude of 31,000 feet
The menus and amenity kit was given out once the captain turned off the seat belt sign. I much preferred the old agnes b washbags over this 'spring roll' thing
The CDG-HKG menu for May 2015:
They now do a wine promotion which rotates once every two months. This time promoting wine from the Loire Valley in Western France
Lobster as starters: Very enjoyable dish, particularly liked the Monte Vibiano olive oil and balsamic vinegar
I chose the Kung Po chicken as mains, the dash wasn't bad but nothing spectacular to write about apart from the chicken being quite tender. More like your Chinese take away:P
Still have room for some cheese:
Desert was a raspberry tiramisu, now this is more like food served by the World's Best Airline – very nice combination!
To finish my dinner off, a nice cup of illy coffee and raspberry praline
Bed time! I would still maintain that CX has the best J class seat currently available
A customary shot of the nice loo
The sun only disappeared for two hours or so. A beautiful sunrise
A view of the ceiling when fully flat
Stunning views from FL330, overflying some mountain range in Central Asia
Shame that the weather down below isn't brilliant
After a short nap and 5-6 hours into the flight I got a wee bit hungry, so I ordered a bowl of Wonton and Fishball noodles with Iced milk tea. Yum!
More stunning views
Two hours from Hong Kong, the crew served breakfast. I ordered another cup of illy
Seafood congee with prawns and fish as mains
Nearly there! We had to take a Westernly approach into Hong Kong to avoid bad weather
On the ILS to runway 25L, the Kap Shui Mun bridge (connecting Ma Wan and Lantau) is visable
The final few hundred feet over the threshold
An ET 788 taxiing out
I will end this report with this picture of B-KQG, parked next to our plane on stand E3. Apparently one of the wheels of the tug came off and the HAECO engineers were digging deep to find a solution.
I hope you enjoyed this report! Until next time!
Cathay Pacific Lounge
Paris - CDG
Hong Kong - HKG
A very enjoyable flight with very cheerful flight attendants. I would comment though that CX needs to get into another gear especially on catering when the world expects something spectacular from this legacy airline. I truly hope it could deliver a consistent service that would live up to its name and its much acclaimed brand.
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