Review of Cathay Pacific flight Hong Kong Shanghai in Business

Airline Cathay Pacific
Flight CX360
Class Business
Seat 11A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 30 Dec 15, 14:00
Arrival at 30 Dec 15, 16:20
CX 459 reviews
By 2538
Published on 20th April 2016
Hello folks!

This is the last installment of my trip to South East Asia. In this report, I flew with Cathay Pacific. As luck would have it, I flew onboard their long-haul business class configured B777-300ER, internally known as 77H. 77H is the code for 4-class cabin configuration (6 First, 53 Business, 34 Premium Economy, and 182 Economy). Another sub-type is 77G, a 3-class cabin configuration (40 Business, 32 Premium Economy, and 268 Economy). 77G usually flies to long-haul destinations that don't really have first class demand like Toronto and Amsterdam whereas 77H flies to premium heavy destinations like New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Vancouver, etc.

For this short almost shuttle like service between Hong Kong and Shanghai, it is quite rare to get a long-haul configured aircraft and a first class cabin. I am not quite sure what kind of service is provided for less than 2 hours flight and even how to book it. Usually, Cathay rotates this long-haul birds to destinations that are within 2 hours flying time out of Hong Kong like Taipei, Shanghai, Bangkok, etc instead of park them on the ground while waiting for late afternoon/evening European and North American flights.

For those of you who haven't followed from the beginning, here is the schedule
1. Nov 26, 2015 KA857 PVG-HKG in J class
2. Nov 26, 2015 KA360 HKG-DPS in J class
3. Nov 29, 2015 KL836 DPS-SIN in Y class
4. Dec 07, 2015 AF254 SIN-CGK in J class
5. Dec 24, 2015 GA204 CGK-JOG in Y class
6. Dec 27, 2015 GA245 SRG-CGK in Y class
7. Dec 30, 2015 CX752 CGK-HKG in J class
8. Dec 30, 2015 CX360 HKG-PVG in J class [YOU ARE HERE]

Okay then, without further ado, shall we?

The Flight
Route: HKG-PVG
Date: December 30, 2015
Flight: CX360
Equipment: B777-300ER
Registration: B-KQK
Seat: 11A
Scheduled Time Departure: 1.55PM
Actual Time Departure: 2.10PM
Estimated Time Arrival: 4.30PM
Actual Time Arrival: 4.11PM (HKG time)

I left you in the last report after I deboarded my flight from Jakarta. Since we parked at Gate 18, the walk to transfer point is minimal. It is late morning so the crowd from morning rush hour already dissipates. The escalator brings me back to the departure level very near the immigration counters.

I plan to visit Qantas business class lounge for this leg. I have heard so many great things about this lounge and I want to sample it. Many travelers say that this lounge is miles away ahead of Cathay's business class lounges. So I make my way to the lounge which is conveniently located on the right side of Terminal 1 just after you pass immigration. It's at the opposite site of Terminal 1 to CX's The Wings.

At the entrance, one lounge dragon stands behind the podium. She is not particularly friendly but not warm and welcoming either. She just says "hello, boarding pass please" so I replied "Hello, morning. Here you go" to which she scans my BP and gives hand gestures to welcome me in. She reminds me that there will be no boarding announcement in the lounge.

The lobby part of Qantas lounge is great!
photo 20151230_102231

I find it very stylish!
photo 20151230_102344

I don't know how to describe this lounge! It's sophisticated, it's stylish, it's bright and airy, it's functional, it's chic, yet it exudes relaxed and warm atmosphere. Kudos to the designer! Oh btw, the staff are great too! When I enter, the lounge is practically empty. It seems some of the lounge attendants are in the middle of cleaning. One bartender notices me and immediately, he comes out from the bar and greets me. He asks me whether I know my way around and what drink he can prepare for me. "A very strong double espresso for me please". He says, "okay i will prepare it and deliver it to you. Just pick any seat you like and I will find you". Awesome!

So I venture in. There are different seating options, there are book racks, big round dining table, couches, sofas, showers, computers, buffet station, etc. All amenity you can think off of a great lounge

The predominant colours are grey and charcoal. But then there is splash of blue, purple, red, and orange that makes the lounge alive!
photo 20151230_102503

I find a corner where there is enough space to put my carry-on and my bag. It is next to the glass railing that overlooks the departure gates.
photo 20151230_102524photo 20151230_102528photo 20151230_113938

After that, I visit the buffet station and there are breakfast selections still available. An attendant sees me picking up the food and she comes to me "Sir, in about 15 minutes, I will bring out lunch offering. Please don't eat too much breakfast so you can come back and try our lunch offering. It is very delicious!". I am flabbergasted not just at her pro activeness, but also her genuine hospitality. There are different kinds of cereals, muesli, granola, bagels, croissants, cheese, cold cuts, etc. 2% milk, skimmed milk, full fat, soya, you name it. Awesome!
photo 20151230_113620

So this is my breakfast selection. A very delicious (and strong too) cup of double espresso and natural yogurt with honey and passion fruit. Extremely delicious and refreshing!
photo 20151230_102703photo 20151230_113921

Wi-fi is also working well in this lounge. A lot more stable than the free wifi offered by HK airport. So, after I finished my yogurt and coffee, I just relax a bit and check work e-mail. I got 300+ unread e-mails in three days I didn't open my inbox with almost everything labelled as 'urgent'. Seriously people, if you label everything as urgent, then it dilutes the whole concept of urgency! Sorry but I digress.

I go back to buffet station to check out lounge offering. At this time, more and more oneworld guests come and take their seats. I notice a lot of passengers hold either CX or JAL boarding passes. As far as I know, QF's flights to Sydney and Melbourne always depart around 8-9pm so for the rest of the day, the lounge must be almost exclusively visited by oneworld guests! Due to the size and seating arrangement of the lounge, I never feel that the lounge is too crowded or too full unlike CX's.

True to the lounge attendant's words, a feast has been prepared! Just by the looks, I can tell the food taste good.
photo 20151230_115534photo 20151230_115536photo 20151230_115542

There is a dessert station with different kinds of tarts, cup cakes, brownies, mini pastries, sweets (gummy bear, jelly beans, pralines, etc) next to the hot meal. My oh my…. I want to take pictures but there are other people swarming it so I feel a bit awkward. Sorry folks, next time!

There is no champagne offered but this sparkling wine from Australia (du-uuuh where else?) perfectly fills the gap.
photo 20151230_115348

So cheers to all of you! My day officially begins!
photo 20151230_120304

This is what I take from lunch buffet. Very juicy meatballs, sweet tomato salad, and tasty german style potato salad.
photo 20151230_115740

CX should really learn from QF how to cater to its premium passengers and elites! Maybe I am exaggerating (I think I am) but I am serious the food is very good.

Feeling guilty for eating like a pig, I take my carry on and bag to stretch a bit in the terminal. I want to buy some magazines at Replay and some window shopping.

Last pic of the lounge before I left. Btw, the bartender who prepared double espresso for me sees me walking out. He wishes me a good flight and invites me to come back to the lounge should I visit Hong Kong again. Now that is top service!QF lounge is now officially my favourite lounge at Hong Kong airport
photo 20151230_120816

The time shows 12.30pm after I completed my window shopping. The airport is rather quiet and not so many interesting airlines parked at the gates so I make my way to The Bridge (it has been dethroned to second favourite lounge hehehehe).

I take some pictures on my way to The Bridge
photo 20151230_123824photo 20151230_124539

As usual, the 3-4 CX lounge staff that man the entrance at The Bridge are useless. When I arrive, they notice my presence but continue to chat with themselves. Only one of them breaks the chat to ask "BP please", scans it, hands it back to me, and says "you can go to the business class side". Duuuu-uuuhh! She must have imagined me as a Dodo bird instead of a passenger… urrgh! Anyway… I digress again.

Entering The Bridge, I immediately go to The Long Bar, my favourite hang out place at the lounge. Lo and behold, a familiar friendly smile walks toward my seat and greets me cheerfully, "Hello Mr. Bombieflyer, we meet again! Champagne?". Yep, it's Ate, the super awesome bartender from the Philippines that I befriended about one month ago when I visited this lounge on my way to Bali So I reply "Ate, magandang umaga! How are you?" as I gulp that tasty champagne she pours in my flute.
photo 20151230_125011

Again, after one glass too many, I finally throw in the white towel and head back to the gate. Feeling light headed, my dear friend Ate gives me two bottle of water to drink as I walk to the gate. Before I leave, she finishes her shift and tells her colleague (who replaces her) to remember my face so that the next time I come and visit and she is not there, her colleague should treat me well. I am extremely floored and humbled by her sincere kindness. She's really the star of The Bridge :)

Luckily for me, the gate is only 5 minutes away from The Bridge. My chariot is already waiting patiently at Gate 62 for this drunk old fool. B-KQK, a 4-class B777-300ER was delivered to CX on December 5, 2013. So she's about 2 years old now.
photo 20151230_132655

Boarding has not started when I reach the gate. In fact, it seems like there is not much activity although my watch already shows 1.30PM. I walk around the gate to see if there is something interesting. As you can see, it's fairly quiet today.
photo IMG_5570photo IMG_5571

Then something caught my eyes. It's B-HXJ! She flew me to Toronto for the very first time when I was just at the tender age of 12. I still remember vividly we stayed at FL270 after we took off from HKG until we were off Japan. At that time, I didn't know about the reputation of A340-300 being a slow climber :) Then we climbed to FL330 as we crossed the Pacific and we refueled at Anchorage, Alaska. We were not allowed to deplane and we parked at the remote apron together with heavy freighters from Asia. A couple years later, CX826 would transit in Vancouver and not Anchorage. When CX received A340-600, it bypassed Vancouver altogether and flew nonstop to Toronto. Quite amazing that the mission is now flown by a B777-300ER. It's quite a testament to B777-300ER's capability. Ahhh good old times!
photo IMG_5572photo IMG_5574

Finally, at 1.50PM, boarding is announced. For sure we will be delayed because 1.50PM is the STD :-) Another surprise this time is the premium/elite line is shorter than economy class line. So I guess the load will be light in the front part of the cabin.
photo IMG_5575photo IMG_5576

I quickly make my way down the jetbridge. The ISM is waiting at the door and greets everyone. She's from Malaysia based on the Malaysian flag on her name tag. She smiles at me while asking her colleague to walk me down to 11A, first row of business class in the mini J cabin. As I have mentioned earlier, this aircraft is configured in 4 cabins, F, J, W, and Y. J is divided into two cabins, the front cabin with only 8 seats and the rear cabin with 45 seats.

On my way to my seat, I pass the famed F cabin. Hmm I wonder when will I ever get to place my lazy bum on that beautiful seat? hehehe..
photo 20151230_134121

I am sure most of you are already super familiar with CX's Cirrus long-haul J seat. But for the sake of completion, I present you some pics of my mini cabin which btw, is not full. Only 5 out of 8 seats are occupied. I like the intimate feeling in this cabin. Noise must be minimal in this cabin on long-haul flight
photo 20151230_134247photo IMG_5578photo IMG_5579

I specifically choose 11A (or 11K for that matter) because these two seats have bigger leg room due to the bulk head. It's true!
photo IMG_5583photo IMG_5584photo IMG_5592

Plus I get to see F cabin and drool in extreme jealousy over the only lucky passenger sitting there for this short journey. You can see in the blurry pic the ISM is attending to Mr. 1K! Later he moves to 2A for reasons still unknown to me
photo 20151230_134306photo IMG_5593

Extra leg room unfortunately comes with caveat though. There is a soiled linen bin right next to 11A. Flight attendants come and go to dispose dirty linen quite frequent although I must say they do it in a very non-intrusive manner
photo IMG_5594

So let's further examine this famed Cirrus seat that kick started other airlines to follow Cathay's path. Seat controls are laid out nicely, pretty intuitive, and responsive
photo IMG_5587

Side storage for headphone and vanity mirror
photo 20151230_140201photo 20151230_140205

Btw, the headphones is a lot nicer compared to the regional version
photo 20151230_140215

Pillow is the long-haul version though the blanket is the thin one
photo IMG_5596photo IMG_5597

Safety card
photo IMG_5595

Monitor swings from the wall with just a touch of a button. Nice quality, decent size, plenty of choices, positioned well. Btw, in this flight, the FAs do not ask me to stow the monitor during take off and landing. I guess this configuration does not hinder passengers to leave the seats in the event of emergency. The older herringbone configuration found onboard B747 and A340 does require monitors to be stowed during take-off and landing.
photo 20151230_134250photo IMG_5582

Ample of storage space too!
photo IMG_5585photo IMG_5586

Too bad for a two-year old plane, the upkeep has not been quite good. Lots of scratches and stains around the nooks and crannies
photo IMG_5640photo IMG_5641

Overall, I am happy with this Cirrus seat. Hard to catch this bad boys in regional flight but finally I get to sample what everybody has been raving about. Plus having two full windows is quite a nice experience. The side panel is large enough to place my camera, pen, phone, etc.
photo 20151230_134259photo IMG_5577photo IMG_5600

After I finish with checking my surrounding and more passengers coming in, a flight attendant comes by and asks "Mr. Bombieflyer, what would you like to drink? I have champagne, water, our signature drink Cathay Delight, and orange juice" in an accent I can't quite figured out. She is definitely not South East Asian. She looks more Euroasian like people from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, etc. It does not take a PhD to figure out which offer I choose ^__^
photo 20151230_135306

The ISM then follows suit and welcome everyone personally while handing out menus for this flight. Let's take a look, shall we? I like the new design, clean and simple ;-)

We finish boarding and the doors are soon closed. Several announcements are made by both the Captain and the ISM to welcome all passengers. Looks like the delay will be minimal. True to that, at 14.10, we are pushed back.
photo IMG_5598

We make a rather slow and long taxi to active runway 7R where we are second in line for take off. Ahead of us is a sister aircraft B777-300
photo IMG_5607

During taxi, I can feel that there is some kind of tension or pressure quite visible in the face and body language of the flight attendants. They are running around up and down checking this, bringing that, writing this, storing that. I wonder it must be super stressful had the plane been fuller.

After that B777-300 takes off, a UPS B747-400ERF lands. We quickly march forward to the active runway and line up while waiting for UPS to vacate the runway
photo IMG_5601photo IMG_5611

Behind us, traffic already builds up waiting patiently to take off
photo IMG_5613photo IMG_5614

Soon we take off and climb steeply because flights from Hong Kong entering Chinese airspace has to be at or above 15,700 feet. This rule is also one of the reasons why HK airspace is quite jammed. The other being the vicinity of Shenzhen airport.

The Captain makes another announcement that the flight time is expected to be 1 hour and 36 minutes and we have been assigned cruising level of FL350 and speed of 599MPH. As soon as we pass FL100, all FAs spring into action.

A senior purser dressed in gold blouse and long black skirt (correct me if I am wrong) comes to my seat with a trolley of drinks. She kindly asks me what I would like to drink and hands over a pack of mixed nuts. I am quite surprised with this pack of mixed nuts as I have seen in many flight reports that nuts are usually served in a ramekin. But hey, I am tipsy enough already to enjoy it and I am not going to pull a Heather Cho :) I said, "I'd like a Cathay Delight please". The senior purser walks back to the galley to tell her colleague about my order. Here you go! Nice and refreshing
photo 20151230_144946

Not long after, the senior purser comes again this time with a trolley of linen, napkins, appetizer, and salad.
photo IMG_5626

I find the presentation of the salad dressing to be quite cheap compared to they stylish butter
photo IMG_5627photo IMG_5628

I happily gulp down another serving of champagne (5th serving if you are interested in keeping count) and I take these shots
photo 20151230_150547photo 20151230_150555

Even before I finish my salad, the flight attendant with exotic accent and look comes with a tray lined with all the main course choices. I choose another chicken dish. The taste is so-so and the portion is quite small. The same flight attendant tells me that she will be back soon with bread basket. Well… let's say that bread never really enjoy the hospitality of my cavernous belly since it never arrived.
photo IMG_5631

In fact, I feel that the whole dining service feels very rushed. Well, with only 1 hour and 36 minutes to do apperitif service, meal, and dessert, I can understand the pressure. But maybe CX can bring more FAs onboard to spread the workload? I am sure the FA does not intentionally forget to serve the bread to passengers, she is just probably thinking to finish the main meal service as soon as possible.

After I finish the main course, ISM comes and asks me if everything is alright. She then requests me to write another survey to which she gives me a voucher for inflight shopping and CX pen as a gift for participating. In fact, she seems quite hesitant to ask me because she keeps on stressing "only if you have spare time, Sir"
photo IMG_5632photo IMG_5633photo IMG_5634

I quickly finish the questionnaire and hand it back to her. She is very surprised and immediately offers me dessert. I ask for the ice cream, black coffee, and a glass of port. By the time she brings the ice cream and port, we already start descending. Tight!
photo IMG_5635photo IMG_5636

Look! We are almost there! On one hand, I am quite glad to be back to my 'normal' life after more than 1 month of business trip/holiday but on the other hand, I am not looking forward for the air pollution
photo 20151230_155548photo 20151230_160122photo IMG_5639

Flight attendants manage to clean and prepare the cabin for landing in lightning speed. I guess the light load also helps:)

As you can see there is a visible line between the blue sky and the smoggy air. Notice how yellowish the smog is

We are entering Shanghai from the south and luck is on our side so we don't have to hold and just approach straight in to runway 35L.

"Approaching minimum"
photo IMG_5644

Touch down occurs at 16.11 so we definitely make up the time in the air. By landing on runway 35L, that means I get to see the array of airlines parked at Terminal 1 because to go to Terminal 2, we have to turn back and taxi all the way to the end of Terminal 1 and join the connecting taxiway and then taxi again to the end of Terminal 2 where Cathay and Dragonair flights usually park.

I am not sure what this Delta 777 doing there. It's 4pm, PVG-NRT usually departs around 11AM whereas LAX-PVG only arrives around 6PM. PVG-DTW is served by B747 while PVG-SEA is served by B767. Any clue guys?
photo IMG_5649

This Papa Smurf operates KL893 AMS-PVG and will depart tonight at 11.20PM as KL894 PVG-AMS. Notice the nose name "City of Jakarta" :-)
photo IMG_5650

MU's new livery together with CX's must be at the top list as one of the most boring and bland liveries
photo IMG_5652

I really enjoy the nose wheel cam!
photo IMG_5653

Look at all those Skyteam tails. Skyteam is really scoring big in Mainland China!
photo IMG_5656

Finally we are entering the ramp of Terminal 2
photo IMG_5658

More diversified airlines operate out of Terminal 2
photo IMG_5659

EY's A330-200 is waiting for its midnight flight back to AUH. In mid-late 2016, this flight will be replaced by B787-9.
photo IMG_5665

Did I tell you that A340-600 is one of my favourite airplanes? Too bad it never really gain traction
photo IMG_5667

This one will depart at midnight as SQ825 back to Singapore
photo IMG_5668

International line up ala LAX's Tom Bradley ^__^
photo IMG_5670

We dock at Gate D63 next to this OZ's B747-400
photo IMG_5675

Hello there! Ni jintian hao ma?
photo 20151230_162440

"CX360, this is ground. Parking brakes set please?"
photo 20151230_162453

Seatbelt signs off and the madness begins. Actually, even before the plane stops completely, I have heard the sound of seatbelts being unbuckled behind me. Not to be racist or anything but this is just so common in China. Many passengers would already stand up and take their bags and belongings as soon as the plane lands. L1 door is immediately opened and First and Business class passengers make their way out from that door. Standing at the door are ISM and senior purser. They wish me a good stay in Shanghai.

Passing the First Class cabin again. One day I'll fly this cabin!
photo 20151230_162726

That's the mysterious First Class passenger. I wonder why he is in such a hurry! I try to catch up with him but he walks really fast.
photo 20151230_162943

When I arrive at the immigration, the section for foreigners only have 5-6 people waiting so the wait is minimal. When I arrive at the baggage carousel, the belt has just been started. The priority tag really helps to cut down the waiting time as within 5-10 minutes, my suitcases arrive. I make my way to taxi rank because I don't feel like taking the maglev to go back downtown. As I enter the cab, the flight report ends too.

So ladies and gentlemen, that's the ending of this Flight Report series. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Sorry for the long delay in between, I've been very occupied at work. Also, please provide me with your feedback. I think i need to learn how to write shorter report without leaving the important details behind.

A bientot!

See more


Cathay Pacific

Cabin crew7.5

Qantas Business Lounge


Hong Kong - HKG


Shanghai - PVG



The long wait has finally paid off. I got to try the famous Cirrus seat. The difference in comfort between this seat and the regional version is staggering. Now I know why many CX loyalist bemoan and ridicule the regional seat.

Flight attendants did try their best to complete the whole service while still adhering to the protocol. Alas, with the short time and manpower shortage, they were visibly stressed out and it really materialized in the service (forgot about the bread, walking up and down the cabin, etc).

Qantas lounge was very good. The staff was superb, buffet spread was fantastic, the design is trendy. The only saving grace of CX's The Bridge is my beloved 'Ate', the super kind Filipina bartender who remembers me and other regular guests. The 3-4 ladies standing at the entrance could just simply be replaced with life-size cardboard cutouts as they were useless.

All in all, this flight gave me a glimpse of how long-haul flight with CX might look like. I think CX is still a pretty solid airline despite the mediocre F&B and stressed out FAs. Their seats and their IFE remain to be one of the best out there.

Perhaps their management needs to look into F&B offering and manpower management urgently if they really want to bring back glory to CX as it is fading... fast!

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) Shanghai (PVG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 8 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Hong Kong (HKG) → Shanghai (PVG).


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

The average flight time is 2 hours and 23 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 162378 by
    jah718 8 Comments

    Thanks for another great report, I have been following the series closely.

    Regarding the HKG-PVG route, I fly it regularly in J and it is very often the long haul configured A330. It is one destination that seems to get treated very well by CX.

    I agree about the lounge attendants at the bridge. Every time I enter, they are not friendly and just continue their conversation without saying a word to me. I don't understand how such a premium carrier can not teach their employees the correct way to act. In saying that, the employees in the lounge are nothing short of fantastic.

    I have visited the QF lounge once and honestly, I found it a little too quiet. There was literally nobody else there and it felt a bit awkward. Maybe I just visited at the wrong time. My usual lounge of choice is the Bridge which I find to be the best.

    Thanks again for the excellent report!

  • Comment 162388 by
    Razza_Pr 216 Comments

    Thank you for this report!

    I always find it amusing when all-widebody airlines such as SQ, EK, and CX fly one of their prime aircrafts to short-haul destinations. I remember being switched from a 777-200 to a 777-300ER on a very early morning Singapore Airlines flight from CGK. I couldn't help but wonder that the aircraft could've been taken to Australia/Europe instead (it must've stayed there overnight because it's the first flight out by SQ from CGK at approx. 5 AM). Didn't complain about getting much more than I expected though :).

    How was Cathay's food overall on this flight? Any signs of improvement whatsoever? The options seem nice for a Hong Kong-China flight.

    The DL 777 was perhaps a cancelled flight from the PVG-NRT schedule? I remember landing at CGK at around midday and noticed an Emirates 77W on the tarmac. I later discovered it was in fact from the cancelled morning flight.


  • Comment 162417 by
    Sneiled 11 Comments

    Very nice series of report! Can't wait to see the next ones. On A340 maybe?
    Hopefully you will have the chance to fly CX First on long haul one day.
    It is one of the best product and the F&B offering at this level shouldn't/cannot deceive the high expectations you deserve.

    thank you for the great reports!

  • Comment 162432 by
    FFlyerCDG 3115 Comments

    Thanks for the report !

    In my opinion, the QF lounge is the best Business lounge in HKG, far from the Bridge which is always overcrowded and with a just average food offer !
    And I find the others even worst...

    It's only disadvantage might be it's location but, apart from that, I love that place for lots of reasons...

    And, compare to what Jah718 wrote, that lounge being empty most of the day is a very big advantage for me :-))

Login to post a comment.