Hey there, from 40,000ft above ground on board Qantas flight QF37. Don’t be confused, as this is a report on Cathay Pacific’s CX739. However, if you are indeed confused about what I am saying, I shall duplicate a small section of the series introduction here; for the full introduction, read Parts 1 or 3 please! (:
1. I intend to do this series semi-live; i.e. I shall type as I fly and publish the FR soon after arriving at a destination. I do apologise if there are delays but I will try my best to be as up to date as possible.
2. I will do away with my usual “timeline” style (see my past reports), otherwise it will take me much, much longer to get my reports ready.
3. Those square brackets in italics will give you an idea as to when exactly I was writing parts of the reports in this series, i.e. right now I am typing away on board Qantas QF37.
4. And lastly for now, my apologies for not catching up on those previous series of mine. Was so super busy in school and also, busy preparing for this massive trip of mine. (:
A look again at the map and flights included in this series:
Cathay Pacific CX739 Aircraft Registration: B-HNO Origin: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) Destination: Changi International Airport, Singapore (SIN) Date: Sunday, 8 May 2016 STD/STA: 1120h (UTC+08:00) to 1505h (UTC+08:00) ATD/ATA: 1117h (UTC+08:00) to 1449h (UTC+08:00) Estimated Duration: 03 hours 45 minutes Actual Duration: 03 hours 32 minutes Flight Distance: About 1,587 miles / 2,554 km
[On board Qantas QF37, 4.5h to arrival…]
Welcome to Part 6 of this series! If you’ve been following since Flight #1, hi there again! If not, I do invite you to join me as I report on all these flights as I fly them over the next month or so! If you don’t have the time to do so, do at least follow through from the previous one as this will be the second flight out of four which I’ve flown on the 8th of May, 2016.
1. KHH-HKG KA451 2. HKG-SIN CX739 <– We are here! 3. SIN-SYD BA15 4. SYD-MEL QF439 (Flight changed to QF461)
We disembarked from KA451 at about 9.40am and then made our way to the transit security. My friend wanted to meet another friend of his who had arrived into HKG from another flight so I decided to make my way through security and to the lounge first.
The queue for transit security was moderately long and it took me about 15 minutes to clear it.
Once in the departure area, I checked the FIDS again to make sure that our next flight was departing from Gate 23.
It was a five minutes walk before I reached the gate. There was still an hour left till departure; our aircraft was already at the gate.
Cathay Pacific / B777-300 / B-HNO / CX739 HKG-SIN
Cathay Pacific has many lounges in HKG, one of which was situated just beside my gate.
To get a better perspective of where this lounge is located – see this photo.
(Photo above) That’s the aircraft that I’ll be boarding in a while. This shows that the lounge is indeed “right beside” Gate 23. Or rather, “at” Gate 23.
I didn’t have much time in the lounge so I just found a seat and used my phone for a while. Problem was – I spent about 20 minutes in the lounge and out of the total duration, 15 minutes were spent on many attempts to connect to the Wi-Fi. In the end, I succeeded in connecting to the Wi-Fi on my MacBook but not my phone.
Before I left the lounge to board, I went to the counter and tried to feedback about the issue. Unfortunately, the lounge staff was not interested in what I said at all and had almost no reaction to it. She just passed me a feedback form after I asked for it. Not good…
Ah whatever, it’s a small issue! I met up with my friend at the gate and we boarded the aircraft.
We were seated in the last row and were one of the first to board, so it seemed quite quiet in the cabin. Let’s hope it remains this way as both of us planned catch some sleep on this short regional flight. I especially wanted to take a short nap, given that I still have two flights to catch after this.
However, I decided to call off my afternoon nap soon after the main group of passengers boarded. More about this later – let’s escape to the washroom first, it was more peaceful in there.
Oh well, the “decibel level” in the cabin increased exponentially after I got back to my seat.
Boarding was almost completed at 11.07am. At this point, my friend and I had to even increase our speaking volume by quite a bit before we could properly hear each other.
I know it sounds exaggerated, but take a look at this video first to get a sense of how the cabin really sounded like a mini market?
Actually, after watching the video myself, I think it doesn’t do justice to what I’m trying to describe here. My camera must have filtered out quite a bit of noise when I was videoing the cabin – it was louder than what you hear in it!
Another interesting (and annoying) thing I observed was – as the boarding process ended, cabin crews were walking down the aisle trying to conduct pre-departure checks. Whenever they walk pass an opened overhead compartment, they’ll naturally close it in preparation for departure. The thing was, 30 seconds later, someone will stand up (when he/she should’ve been seated by this stage) and open the compartment, take something out, put something back in, and then sit down. This cycle repeated for quite a few times, and yet the FAs were able to remain extremely professional by smiling and politely telling passengers to “take a seat”.
I applaud the crews on this flight, really. It must’ve been a tiring day for them.
The aircraft doors were closed at 11.11am. The captain then came on the PA to welcome us on board, and to inform us about the anticipated flight duration of 3h 8mins.
A quick look at two of the aircrafts parked beside us before we pushed back at 11.17am.
Dragonair / A330-300 / B-LAB / KA360 HKG-DPS
Korean Air / B777-300ER / HL-8210 / KE604 HKG-ICN
Some timekeeping before CX739 took off for SIN.
1117h Push Back 1121h Began to Taxi 1127h Crew Be Seated for Take Off 1133h Take Off from HKG Runway 07R
It was quite cloudy that morning.
And here’s the video of take off, not as nice as some of the previous flights’ videos due to the cloudy condition.
However, once we cleared the cloud cover, the view became great again!
We’ll have more window views in this report, cheers! For now, I’ll have some peanuts and a cup of coke as I hide behind my headsets to dodge all the noise in the cabin. On this flight, I watched part of a really funny Korean variety show. I didn’t finish it though, since it’s an episode that I’ve already watched previously.
About 1h into the flight, I took a break from the IFE screen and looked out of the window. Woah! I was glad I didn’t miss this!
Anyway, after some research, I conclude that this “should be” Passu Keah Reef, part of the Paracel Islands. I may be wrong, though! So please correct me if you know the correct name of this beautiful reef/island.
(The air show on this flight wasn’t working as well… Maybe CX/KA has decided to remove air shows from their IFEs?)
A simple search on Wikipedia revealed also that there are currently quite a lot of political disputes going on regarding these islands – just for your info though, politics shall not be topic of discussion here. (:
The meal service started at about 12.35pm.
As I waited for my food, I continued to admire the view out of the window.
My lunch arrived at 12.55pm. I chose the rice option but the FA soon returned to tell us that only pasta’s left – it’s expected though; we were seated on the last row.
The meal came with Häagen-Dazs ice-cream as the dessert. I like Häagen-Dazs a lot, but the banana & cream flavor is new to me – it was nice!
Anyway, another look at the pasta as I’m halfway done with my meal.
As I finished up my meal, our aircraft entered Vietnamese airspace.
FlightRadar24 was able to show me where exactly we’d flown over – it was kinda cool to compare our flight path with what I have in my camera!
More “matching game” for now! These photos were taken at about 1pm, by the way.
Were you able to recognize from the map where those photos were taken?
Anyway, by the time we got out of the Vietnamese airspace, I was done with my meal too.
Flying across patches of water again!
This is the approximate location, which probably is still part of the Vietnamese airspace, strictly speaking?
After the meal, I decided to take a walk around the aircraft to see just how crowded (and noisy) it was.
It was actually not that noisy in the middle of the flight, though. But there were still individuals speaking loudly now and then.
I went to the lavatory again, and it became slightly dirtier.
I went back to my seat and managed to nap for about 45 minutes. It wasn’t easy to fall asleep because the cabin temperature was super warm. It felt rather stuffy after a while.
When I next opened my eyes at 2.26pm, the seatbelt signs came back on again and our aircraft was already slowing down.
As usual on Cathay Pacific flights, the captain came on the PA 30 minutes before landing to provide updates about the destination, but I was too lazy this time round to open my eyes and hence didn’t record it.
Anyway, let’s take a quick look at the seat pocket contents now – the safety information card, duty free catalogue and in-flight magazine. Sorry I didn’t manage to take detailed photos of the magazine’s contents this time round; I took these photos just before landing.
Two more photos as we began our descent into Singapore.
This is video of our approach and landing into SIN. Right before we land, you’ll see a large island with lots of greeneries. For those who have sharp eyes, you’d probably realize that there are also lots of land reclamation works on this island. This is actually an island called Pulau Tekong – a place where many Singaporean guys have fond memories of…
Anyway, towards the end of the video (at around 4:50), when we were still taxiing, you’d be able to hear an FA shouting “坐下來! (Sit down!)”. I know you don’t need me to tell you why she was shouting.
Photos after touching down at 2.41pm. Spot the word “Changi” in this one.
And this other photo features a China Airlines B744F bound for Taipei via Manila.
We arrived at our gate 16 minutes early, the actual arrival time was 2.49pm.
Arrival immigration was a breeze and we were through by 3.05pm.
This photo depicts Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 Arrival Hall at 3.21pm, it was really quite crowded.
My day’s not quite done yet! Time to head upstairs to Departure and check-in for another flight. This time round it’s slightly more interesting (at least for me) – British Airways’ fifth-freedom flight from SIN to SYD. Look out for my next report to find out the experience!
[Signing off from FL400 on board Qantas Flight QF37, bound for SIN.]
(To be continued)
This report was completed on 13 May 2016 at 8.06pm (UTC+10:00).
Full sized photographs of this flight will be available soon.
Cathay Pacific The Cabin
Hong Kong - HKG
Singapore - SIN
I think I will deduct even more points off cabin comfort for this flight (as compared to the previous KA flight which had the same type of Economy seats). Even though the legroom was better on this B773 as compared to KA’s A333, the overall cabin atmosphere wasn’t that great; throughout the flight, the cabin was warm and noisy. While I understand that the latter cannot be attributed to the airline at all, it was still a major factor causing the experience on this CX flight to be much-less-than-ideal.
Cabin crews were however great. They remained professional throughout the entire flight despite the crowd on board being relatively “hard-to-control”. Once again, I applaud the crew members on this flight!
The IFE on CX was good, with lots of variety to choose from. Most importantly, it helped a lot in keeping out the noise in the cabin…
As for the CX lounge that I visited this time round – it definitely is a great lounge; while I didn’t have much time to eat or drink anything, there were plenty of seating available for me to choose from. However, it also says a lot if I managed to develop two major complaints after a mere 20 minutes stay in the lounge.
1. The toilets were really dirty. (Floor was wet and sticky / Rubbish not cleared, etc…) 2. The Wi-Fi in the lounge was a little disappointing this time round.
So… I’ll classify cleanliness of the lounge under “comfort” and therefore deduct points from there. Meal and catering seemed really okay even though I didn’t get anything this time. The service was slightly below average, given that the lounge staff wasn’t interested in my feedback at all. On top of that, allow me to classify “Wi-Fi connectivity” as part of “services”, so given that I was only able to connect to the Wi-Fi for 5 minutes out of my 20 minutes stay, I have no choice but to place a heavy penalty here on the service aspect of this lounge.
Other than that, HKG and SIN are great airports and basically there were nothing to complain about. Thanks for reading!
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