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
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
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
I even managed to ask for a can of beer after trash had been collected.
We were only half way through our journey when the meal service concluded.
The rest of time was spent watching the airshow until we landed at HKG at 2:00pm.
Aircraft at gate at HKIA
Taipei - TPE
Hong Kong - HKG
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?
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