This was the first leg of my trip to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Although there were direct flights from Tokyo to Vietnam such as JAL, ANA or VN, I sticked to Cathay Pacific, the flagship airlines of my hometown - Hong Kong. I may had a dinner with my family during transfer!
I live 40km away from Tokyo downtown, so I had to head to Narita Airport 4 hours before the departure time.
Beautiful dawn at 6am.
It took me about 2.5hr from my home to Narita. I arrived NRT terminal 2 at 9am and headed to CX's check-in counter in Zone D.
Cathay changed their boarding pass style into black and white color, with the airline's logo printed depending on the connecting flights are whether operated by Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
The loading seemed quite high, as my check-in sequence was 354.
There was fast track for OneWorld's first and business class passengers (or members in elite status), so I passed thru the security check and immigration in a very short time. The boarding gate was 95 which is located on the satellite building of T2. It took a few minute walk from the main building.
Instead of visiting CX's First and Business lounge, I opted for JAL Sakura Lounge which was a better option if you are departing from Narita. (Hopefully CX would refurbish Narita lounge like the one at Haneda). JAL Sakura lounge is near Gate 91, which shares the same entrance with its First Class Lounge.
First Class Lounge is located on the same floor, while the Sakura Lounge is one stair down.
Sakura lounge is designed in a warm color scheme, which was so cozy and comfortable. There were many kinds of wine selection from Japanese Sake to Western but I was not going to drink in the morning :)
Hot selection, like fish and egg
The must-try JAL original brand curry, which JAL proud of it. It was really tasty!
Coz I was arriving NRT late, I had only very limited time to scroll around the lounge. Just had a quick breakfast I headed to the boarding gate.
CX501 Tokyo Narita to Hong Kong
The aircraft was Boeing 777-300 (Reg: B-HNM), which Cathay uses only on regional routes such as Japan, Taipei, Singapore or Bangkok.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 (B-HNM)
Cathay's regional business class seat, which you may find many other reports commented on this, with pros and cons. Personally, for a daytime flight under 4hrs, the regional business class seat is nice. However I prefer the flat-bed seat for flight longer than that.
Cathay's regional business class seat comes with a hard shell, so you won't bother the passenger behind you if you want to take a rest. But for the window seat, or the middle seat of B777 which is in 2-3-2 config, you don't have your own aisle access and may have to wake up the passenger seat next to you, or vice versa if you are on the aisle seat.
Leg room is spacious
I wondered what's the purpose of this small compartment (storage space for smartphone?). My 5-inch Xperia phone could't fit, not to mention iPhone 6 plus, or even Galaxy Note.
Pushback was on time and the flight was airborne around 10:50am.
After an hour, the flight was above Osaka, and the crew started providing the meal service.
Kansai International Airport (KIX)
Yeah, time for the lunch. Here's the menu.
Serrano ham, tomato mozzarella timbale, glazed fig and basil sauce
Seasonal salad with yuzu dressing
Buckwheat soba and nameko mushroom
Grilled Australian beef tenderloin, green beans, carrots, turnips, potato gratin and cabernet sauce
Kung po chicken, cashew nut, onion, seasonal vegetables and egg fried rice
Hokkaido style seafood, miso sauce, seasonal vegetables and aona Japanese rice
AND TO FINISH
Fresh seasonal fruit
Freshly brewed coffee and a selection of teas
Ummm…. As you know or have heard about, the performance of Cathay's dining is really unpredictable and varies flight from flight. It could be very tasty or totally inedible. The appetizer was OK, nothing to write home about. But I was a little bit unsatisfied on the garlic bread, the crust was just like rubber, not crispy all.
For the main dish, I opted for Kung po chicken but unluckily, it was too popular. So I had to pick between grilled beef tenderloin, or seafood, which both I didn't prefer much. I chose beef finally. Although it looked good, but the taste was just so-so, and a little bit dry. Okay, of course I wouldn't expect steak on flight would taste like steakhouse. A little bit disappointed on my option was not available. So I'll give 5.0/10 on the meal/catering part.
Haagen-Dazs ice cream
The flight made its final approach at around 2:10pm to Hong Kong. I enjoyed the view of my hometown so much!
Sai Kung, Hong Kong
East Kowloon, Hong Kong
Ma On Shan ,Hong Kong
Tai Po, and Shenzhen City, China
The highest mountain in Hong Kong - Tai Mo Shan (957m)
The flight landed Hong Kong, using Runway 25R at about 2:30pm.
JAL Sakura Lounge
Tokyo - NRT
Hong Kong - HKG
Overall, the whole experience was good, except a little bit disappointed on the catering. Crew members were friendly.
If you are going to fly regional routes (Japan, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore or Indonesia) in business class with CX, it would be a nice idea to check whether the aircraft is in regional or long-haul configurations. I'm not saying that regional business class is bad, but if the price is the same for both products, of course you deserve a better, right? :)
I appreciate any comments! Please let me know if I can write a better report on the next sector, from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh with Cathay's brand new A350! Thank you for watching!
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