Apologies this report has fewer photos but more words because too many things happened on this trip and I was no time and no mood for taking photos. For this flight the aircraft (77H) is identical to my outbound flight, so if you want to know more about the cabin you can refer to the 1st report of this series.
The night before I had my online check-in and seat choosing. Same as my outbound flight I could only choose those middle seats due to my booking class.
The night before back to HK I could not sleep because I knew that I would resume my work soon o_O. It was 4am and view from my friend hostel.
The next day I woke up around 10am and believed that still have a lot of time I went shopping before packing all my stuffs. Later my friend saw me off and we took the CTA to the airport at around 2pm. At this point I was still confident that time was enough…
But suddenly realized that time was running out when we were on the train. Once we got off the CTA train we kept running to the airport transit station for getting to Terminal 5.
Although you were in hurry, you still had to wait for the transit arrived (at this point you would question why the transit was so slow LOL)
We finally arrived the Terminal 5 at 3pm (the flight will take off at 3:30!!!). I found the Cathay counter no people or staff there and closed!!!
Being very nervous I asked if any staff was here. At the same time a woman rushed to the Cathay counter too. Oh we were in the same boat!
Later a ground staff came out and we described our situations to her. She only replied that we were too late and could not check-in the baggage then. The woman and I were totally shocked and pleaded for allowing us to check our baggage. And I kept bla bla bla like “Please! I need to back HK to process the payroll for my company otherwise my colleges could not get $$$ and I would then be fired!” LOL
Maybe we had softened the ground staff, she then made a handful of phone calls to her colleagues and finally our baggage could be checked-in! She also reminded us to go to the TSA fast track line in order to catch up the flight.
The boarding pass (I took this picture after took off)
After getting the boarding pass, the woman and I rushed to the TSA checkpoint.
Unfortunately during the screening I was intercepted by the TSA staff as he believed that I took METH :O !!! (I am just a smoker) He ordered me to stand on the other side and carried out an “in-depth” pat-down and “fast” drug test on me! Meanwhile the woman was also blocked by the TSA because she forgot to pour out her bottle water! She became agitated and kept explaining to the staff.
Eventually we were both released and the time was 3:20pm! Luckily we boarded at Gate 11, which was the nearest to the TSA checkpoint. So we could reach to the gate instantly.
Boarding had already started for a while and we were the last two in the queue.
We chatted during queuing. The woman lives and works in D.C. and she just had a company training in Chiang Mai Thailand. She took the AA flight from DC and forgot to check her baggage through to the final destination. In addition to her flight delay, she had to collect her baggage in Terminal 3 first and therefore late to Terminal 5.
Walking through the premium economy cabin.
I said goodbye to the woman, found my middle seat and my seatmates were already settled down: a middle-aged man on the window side and a college girl on the aisle side (both were Chinese). No hope for exchanging seat this time…
The menu for this flight.
The IFE, which was in Cathay usual standard (the university is so rich for advertising on CX planes…)
The headphone with new Cathay logo.
Some seatback materials.
The FAs demoed the safety instruction alongside the safety video during push back. Although push back was on time, we had a little delay in took off because several flights departed at the same time and our plane had to queue on the taxiway.
We finally took off following the Hainan plane and immediately turned right.
Once the seatbelt sign was off, the college girl requested FA services and later a senior FA (dressed in gold uniform) came. The girl asked a lot about the Marco Polo membership where the FA replied very promptly and professionally. Then she did a very extensive in-flight shopping (and the FA was very happy!).
Lunch services started when our plane were above Duluth MN.
The FAs distributed pre-meal nuts
There were 3 options which were very similar to the outbound flight: beef rice, chicken with mashed potato or vegetarian spaghetti. Again I chose the chicken one. The man ordered beef rice while the girl had spaghetti.
Aw jeez the meal looked and tasted BAD! The salad tasted like it had been put in refrigerator for a long time. The chicken was overcooked with dry texture and the mashed potato was flavorless. As a 5-star airline how come Cathay catering could be like this?
The only good thing for the whole lunch was the Haagen-Dazs ice-cream…
Both my seatmates did not finish the meal at all.
After the lunch the FA dimed the light for resting. The man fell asleep quickly while the girl stuck at her seat for watching movie. I was in the middle seat of Y and it was very difficult to climb over my female seatmate for getting out of my seat (I should have learned Yoga before LOL). Besides, I was too hurry before departure so I got some shut-eye during the first half of flight.
We were now flying over Alaska. Noticed that the girl went away for her movie break, both the man and I got to the aisle instantly. I then went to the toilet, grabbed some snacks (because cup noodles ran out :( ) and water from the galley. I also took a walk in the Y cabin before back to my seat.
Dinner services started when we just passed the International Date Line.
There were 2 options: chicken rice or spicy pork with orzo pasta. Having a bad chicken experience with the previous meal I chose the pasta. My neighbors also had the same choice.
The dinner was still not good looking but tasted better than the first one. At least the pasta was al dente. But it was still inferior than the outbound flight meals.
The FA collected the tray after we finished our dinner and an incident occurred!
The FA asked if we wanted refill service and I ordered orange juice. Then I put it on my tray but it suddenly spilled! It ended up with spilling orange juice all over my clothing and the seat!!!
The girl immediately pulled a long face on me and the man (indeed the man was innocent -_-)! I was so embarrassed, apologized and wiped the seat in hurry together with my seatmates. The FA was surprised with the situation and replied that she would give more tissue for me after she finished collecting all the trays. But at the end it seemed she forgot it and disappeared LOL
Later the man gave his blanket to me for covering my seat since he did not need it. He was so nice!
Feeling that I had bothered my seatmates too much (ok the girl kept pulling a long face until landed), so I reclined my OJ-smelly seat and napped again for about 2.5 hours. In the remain flight time most of the FAs should be in rest, at least I rarely saw them when I was awake.
The man broke the ice and chatted with me when the plane was above Kyushu. He was once a HK resident but immigrated to the USA 40 years ago! He is a retired engineer with 2 sons (both were graduated and work). His last time back to HK was already before 1997. This time he went to Taiwan for attending his relative’s wedding. He would have an overnight stay in HK and took the connecting flight next day morning.
We talked a lot about HK in past and present days. Glad to hear that he used to live near my office and still remembered there was a steak house nearby (which is still here)! BTW we chatted in English because the man was not fluent in Cantonese despite he could listen. His hometown is in Taishan (a coastal city in Southern Guangdong) and apart from English he mostly speaks Taishanese in daily life.
We were now approaching Hong Kong.
The plane was above Shatin and about to land.
Finally we landed.
I disembarked together with the man along with warm greetings from the FAs. We walked towards the immigration and bade each other farewell before clearing the custom, soon I went to the baggage claim and took the airport express back to my home.
I survived from the MIDDLE SEAT of the TPAC flight!!!
And this is the flight report and the end of my USA trip.
Below are the second part tourist bonus of Days and Nights in Chicago (Nights). Enjoy!
Chicago Skyline at night from John Hancock Center
My friend brought me to try Chicago foods. We had dinner at White Palace Grill which has been open since 1939!
The interior design was so 80’s and its food was tasty!
Chicago-style pizza: Deep Dish in Pizzeria Uno
Japan Ramen near Damen Station
South Branch Chicago River at Night
Inside a CTA station which you are 200% cannot see the same situation in HK
Thank you so much for reading this report!
Chicago - ORD
Hong Kong - HKG
Although having some stressful feelings on the middle seat, it was comfort as usual with good IFE. The FAs were friendly but not attentive i.e. inadequate follow-up skills. The catering services was disappointing. The food quality was poor on this flight and CX should have quality control on it. The flight arrived on time.
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