Welcome to a series of flight reports around, you guessed it, the Asia Pacific. This series will contain reports on 6 segments and cover 2 airlines. The final leg on Delta PVG-LAX I will not report on as I have reported on that flight twice recently.
The carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method were as follows:
After a wonderful morning up early walking around Soho, riding the Star Ferry, and walking in Kowloon it was time to head back to the Island of Chek Lap Kok. There is a fantastic free shuttle bus to Hong Kong Station to pickup the Airport Express. The bus happens to stop at my hotel. I was in the airport within an hour of leaving my hotel room for around $11.00 US. Tough to beat.
I arrive about 4 hours before departure to enjoy the excellent lounges and their various amenities. I had my boarding passes already so after the tedious immigration queues and security screening I made the immediate left at the south entrance and walked down to The Wing. Yes, I prefer the Pier, but I have time for both in this visit. Plus, my flight has no gate assigned yet so there's no "correct place" to be.
I eschewed any food this morning (except an item or two from one of the 50 bakeries I past in Kowloon) so my first stop was The Haven dining room.
The dining room is dim but elegant. There is a buffet on the back wall in addition to the a la carte menu items.
I requested the fried silver needle noodles. This was a nice choice with tender noodles with a nice chew and perfectly cooked shrimp. Careful now, only a few bites, the day is young.
After the enjoyable noodle I inquired about a Cabana. All were full but I was issued a buzzer for when one became available. I figured i would have a look around, perhaps a glass of champagne, and if the buzzer goes, great, if not, on to the pier.
There's a long counter with nice salads, sandwiches, and tea and coffee.
The views are great form The Wing.
I stopped at the bar for a Cathay Delight.
I wasn't able to pass the champagne bar without a glass.
The buzzer never buzzed so I returned it to the counter from which it came and was off to The Pier.
I'm still quite taken by this space. The aesthetic, colors, materials and design all work for me.
I want this table.
I stopped first to secure an appointment for a foot massage. It was about 2 hours until one was available but I was sent with a buzzer in case I could be in sooner. I passed by the bar to secure a glass of rose and then off to a Day Sweet to relax.
The views here are fantastic.
Just settled in and sure enough the buzzer goes off about an hour before my appointment. I decide to leae my item in the day suite and just go for the 15 minute treatment. The treatment room is comfortable and soothing and the foot massage was lovely.
Feeling fantastic after having my feet papered I used them to transport me to the Dining Room.
The menu…difficult to choose.
I opted for a wok-fried duo of clams and the dan dan mian. Both were very enjoyable. The service on this visit was absolutely on point. my water glass never approached empty and plates were cleared promptly always with the offer of, "may I bring you something else?" I was very impressed.
Departure time is nearing but there's time for a cocktail and some more airplane gazing before I go. Back down the hall, past the wiggly sofa, past The Pantry, and into The Bar and The Library area.
Ahhh, I could get used to this.
Enjoying the icy gin I couldn't help but think there must have been something that I needed to do here today…oh yes, get on an airplane. Better go take care of that. I'm glad I left when I did as gate 50 was a distance away.
I was welcomed on board by an absolutely delightful Customer Service Manager (South Asian - Indian perhaps?) and a stunningly beautiful flight attendant called Ellen who is far more junior than the staff i usually see in F. The CSM instructed Ellen to show me to my seat and added that they are all my seats. Overwhelmed by choice I decide to just stay with 2A which is a great seat.
Ellen was quick with the refreshment. The Deutz was lovely.
Look, orchids are back in season.
The CSM dropped by for a chat and brought the menu. She suggested why not try it all, we have everything on the menu for you. I'm really taken by this fun, kind, and generous service style.
Ellen kept the Deutz topped up and was just a treat to behold in general. Almost time to push and a peek at the looker parked next door.
My tardiness to the airplane left for a compressed pre-departure time and soon we were off into the dusk.
There is no dine on demand on a flight of less than 2 hours. It's a now or never thing. Not being one to skip dining opportunities I went straight to work. The tabel was set, the wine selected, and the meal presented.
The fish was actually quite tender and flaky. I just wanted a bite for taste. I passed on the fruit starter.
The toffee cheese cake was decadent.
Ellen got me antiquated with Johnny.
I was poking around the cabin and taking pictures when the CSM said let me show you something. She entered the code for the pilot rest room and let me have a look. I just stuck my head in and snapped a quick pic. It was a great gesture as she could tell I was an airplane geek. What fantastic service instincts to connect to your customer in that manner.
I enjoyed the views from the window for the remainder of the flight and it was over all too soon.
Thanks for reading and please stay tuned for a quick turn at TPE and the trip back to HKG in, gasp, regional business class.
Cathay Pacific The Pier - First Class Section
Hong Kong - HKG
Taipei - TPE
The Ground Service: There is none on offer and it would be most welcome to avoid the HKG immigration scrum
The Lounge: The Pier is one of my favorite lounges in the world. The Wing is no slouch either. It's absolutely a treat to spend time in either facility.
The Cabin: As private F cabins go, this was one of the better ones I have encountered. :P
The Crew: Well I was taken by both Ellen and the stellar CSM. Too bad it was only a 2 hour affair.
The Food and Beverage: I guess it's about right for a 1:20 flying time mission. The Deutz is fantastic. As was the wine and spirit.
Overall: Really exceptional flight that I will remember for some time. I felt a real personal connection with the cabin attendants and this is something that isn't always the CX strong suit.
Thank you for coming along and please check back for future installments.
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