So, this is the main point of this journey to India. This report will cover the flight from Hong Kong to Mumbai. Even though I was increasingly jet lagged after a long flight from New York, I'm glad I was able to make a trip report that would last in the moment. Hope you guys enjoy it! :)
Pre-flight: I hired a private car in order to go to the airport at around 5:00 PM. Even though my flight was departing at around 8:00 PM, I wanted to avoid the peak-hour traffic which can be a huge hassle, especially when it comes to the days before Christmas. After approximately 36 hours, I was back at Hong Kong International Airport to go to Mumbai for a wedding. The process of booking this flight was fairly smooth.
There was hardly any line in the business class check-in when I arrived. I was quickly checked in by an agent who handed me my boarding passes within 5 minutes.
Heading towards security and immigration. See you in a week, Hong Kong! :)
My flight was departing from gate 40 tonight, and the closest lounge without making a huge sprint would be The Bridge, located near gate 36. However, to make the journey to the lounge easier, I ended up using the Automated People Mover which would lessen the distance between my current location and the lounge.
This gate looks festive!
I've been to The Bridge before, and it looked very presentable and inviting. It still is now!
Some shots of The Bridge
A cappuccino from The Coffee Loft
After some time, I left the lounge in order to take some shots of the airport. More importantly, the plane flying us to BOM tonight.
I eventually returned to the lounge after 10 minutes. After relaxing at The Bridge for a while, I realised it was around 7:30 PM and that it was already time for boarding. So, I picked up my stuff and headed straight to the gate.
By the looks of the people at the gate, it was pretty obvious that today's flight was going to be full.
Some flight background information before I board: Date: 15 December 2014 Airline: Cathay Pacific Flight Number: CX 685 Route: Hong Kong (HKG) - Mumbai (BOM) Aircraft: Airbus A330-300 Registration: B-LAR Distance: 2657 miles Scheduled Departure Time: 8:00 PM Actual Departure Time: 8:21 PM Scheduled Arrival Time: 12:15 AM Actual Arrival Time: 11:51 PM Flight Time: 6 hrs 45 mins Departure Gate at HKG: 40 Arrival Gate at BOM: 70A
Down the bridge
Controls, cabinet for personal items, and headphones provided at my seat
Cabin view, showing that it's that time of the year again!
Welcome drink: Orange juice
Legroom. I have to admit, the seats on the Airbus A330-300 are a lot narrower than on the Boeing 777-300ER. However, the legroom was not really a problem since this was only a 6 hour flight
Apparently, I just found out that CX finally distributes duvets on flights going to/from India. There were none the last time I flew there. I'm so glad that there was one provided. That way, I can sleep at ease tonight!
Cabin view with mood lighting
Taxiing to Runway 07R
Then, at 8:21 PM, we took off at approximately 20 minutes behind the scheduled departure time, but it should not be a problem since the captain had told us earlier that we would be getting in Mumbai earlier than expected. A minute after takeoff, and I was able to get a glimpse of the view of both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which looks really pretty at night.
I'll be back in a week!
StudioCX, which pretty much has the same list of entertainment from my previous flight.
Time to continue where I left off!! ;)
Amenity Kit, and its contents
Indian Immigration/Customs form, along with the fast track invitation
Purple mood lighting in the cabin
Perrier yet again, since as always, I want to sleep later on during the flight
Then, I switched to the flight map to look at the progress of the flight. We were cruising over the South China Sea heading south towards Vietnam and Thailand with only 5 hours to go.
Then came the time to try the meal service on this flight. The appetiser: which consisted of grilled king prawn with soba salad and papaya along with mixed salad. I ended up choosing garlic bread as well.
The main course: I ended up getting the palak paneer (Spinach with cottage cheese), matar pulao (peas and rice), along with potato and eggplant masala served with Indian pickles and yogurt, which is the vegetarian choice served onboard. I have to admit, the meal was better than I expected. Although when it came to the potato and eggplant masala, I found it a bit spicy. Nonetheless, the meal was not that bad.
Fruit and rasgulla? Don't mind if I do! ;)
Cruising above Thailand, towards the outskirts of Bangkok
Cabin view after the dinner service
As always, I went to visit the bathroom. Only this time, I found the lavatory on the Airbus A330-300 rather small, and I felt a little bit claustrophobic due to the tiny space
Upon returning to my seat, I requested for a Hong Kong styled milk tea to top everything down
As always, the cabin lights dimmed down as it was that time of the flight when passengers could rest
For that time, I watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory before I decided to go to bed. Also, I could sense a little bit of jet lag from my flight yesterday. So, above the Andaman Sea, I called it a night, with only 3 hours left prior to landing.
Within 5 minutes, I made my bed and drifted off to sleep. I have to admit, the beds on the Airbus A330-300 are a lot narrow than on the Boeing 777-300ER. I felt rather uncomfortable due to the limited space I could get. In spite of that, I was able to get some sleep prior to descending into Mumbai.
About 2.5 hours later, I woke up to the captain's announcement that we were starting the descent into Mumbai with only 30 minutes left into the flight. Afterwards, I was offered a hot towel and a glass of water.
I pretty much woke up only to find out that we were already above Maharashtra
Then, the lights in the cabin started to brighten up giving the indication for passengers and crew to start preparing for landing. After 20 minutes, they dimmed down again as we were just getting ready to land.
We landed at approximately 11:51 PM local time, which was about 25 minutes ahead of schedule. I was pretty excited to be in India, but sad at the same time due to the flight being over because of my love of flying.
Actual flight route
While taxiing to the gate, I knew about the new passenger terminal which recently opened earlier this year. After seeing many photos and videos regarding this, I was actually really looking forward to viewing the new terminal as it looked very majestic and something that I wouldn't expect. I even got the chance to spot a Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A330-300 HB-JHB which would eventually return to ZRH as LX155 later on
Docking at gate 70A in Terminal 2
Disembarking/Arrival into BOM shots
I was surprised to see an airport as artistic and humungous such as the brand new, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport! It was truly a work of art!
It didn't take that long for me to get through immigration as well as reclaim my bags as I had priority tags yet again. It took less than 5 minutes, which gave me enough time to explore the new BOM after I go through customs.
Once I was done with both arrival procedures, I was confused when I found out that BOM has an arrival hall, but I was quite disappointed with the fact that people would still wait outside for arriving passengers.
Even so, I was quite impressed with the overall design of the airport, including the fountain once you walk outside the arrival hall.
Afterwards, I found my ride which would take me to my hotel and then get ready for a week of fun and festivities at a family wedding!
Post-flight: This was yet again a good flight with Cathay Pacific. The cabin crew were friendly as always, and the entertainment was the same as I've experienced on my flight the day before. Even the meal service was better than I expected. There's not much I can say since it was only 6 hours and I was jet lagged most of the time, but I would say the only thing memorable about this whole flight was the arrival process in BOM, which was outstanding! Thanks for reading this report! Stay tuned for the return flight to Hong Kong which I'll be posting soon!
Cathay Pacific - The Bridge Lounge
Hong Kong - HKG
Mumbai - BOM
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