Well, after a relaxing holiday in India and Hong Kong, it was time for me to head back to the US. However, this trip wouldn't be complete without a pit stop in Bangkok! I would usually spend a day or two in the city doing various activities such as shopping, eating, or just plain relaxing. I would definitely suggest staying somewhere in the central area known as Pathum Wan, which is a major hub for hotels, malls, and other recreational attractions. They are all in one place, so everything is pretty nearby. Anyways, getting back with this trip report. Let's talk about about the flight!
Pre-flight: I got to the airport at around 10:30 AM, which gave me just enough time to check-in, go through security/immigration, spend time in the lounge, and plane spot before I head to Bangkok. So, I left my house at around 9:30 that morning as there can be traffic at this time as there are a lot of late morning/early afternoon departures at the airport which I've experienced in the past. With me being a typical aviation geek, I wanted to get there as soon as possible so I can spot some planes (which is considered the highlight of the journey)! I have this somewhat crazy tradition where I would fly to Bangkok and then return to Hong Kong after a day or two before I catch my connecting flight back to New York. As shown in the final flight plan, I'll be going to Newark and I'll explain why I ended my journey there in my next trip report. So, stay tuned as it will be posted soon!
HKG Check-in Area
The check-in process was smooth as always as I was able to check-in my bags, claim my boarding pass, baggage tags, and breeze through security and immigration within a span of 15 minutes
My flight was departing from gate 21 today, so it was not too far from immigration. Also, I didn't have to take the automated people mover. All I had to do was walk a short distance to the gate as well as the lounge located near gate 23 known as The Cabin. Cathay Pacific has about 7 lounges at HKG, and I don't really have a biased opinion in terms of which lounge is the best since all of CX's lounges offer most of the same facilities in terms of seating, catering, and other services.
It's just sad to believe that Christmas is already over
Now, time to spot some planes!!
Dragonair (now re-branded as Cathay Dragon) Airbus A330-300 B-HYF
China Airlines Airbus A330-300 B-18303
China Airlines Boeing 747-400 B-18208
The plane flying us to BKK today: Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300, B-LAN
I then headed to The Cabin, which is one of Cathay Pacific's lounges at HKG
The Cabin entrance
I love these seats!
I've been to this lounge a few times before, and I've found it a bit too small and not very special compared to The Wing or The Pier. However, I really liked the overall atmosphere, especially with the colourful lights which give a calming vibe in the lounge. There was also a variety of food and drinks, but I decided to save my appetite for the flight since I wasn't really hungry as I had breakfast before I left for the airport.
Another thing I love about this lounge is that it offers a view of the tarmac. There was one in clear site upon entering, which was an Aeroflot Russian Airlines Airbus A330-300 VQ-BCU, which will serve as SU213 back to SVO.
Shots of the lounge
Some of the food that was provided at the lounge
Overall, the lounge was comforting. However, some of the downsides include the lack of a noodle bar and showers. If you want to go take a shower or even snack on some noodles before your flight, I would suggest going to either the lounges I've previously mentioned (The Wing and The Pier)
After a good half an hour of relaxing at the lounge, it was time to head to the gate. As I have previously stated, the distance was not that bad
Well, I'm off to Bangkok! I don't know why, but I do like the festive art on the gates, which is something new in HKG
Fun fact: Gate 21 is one of the "long" bridges where you have to go through an additional distance in order to board the plane
Some flight information that I'd like to provide for those who are interested Date: 5 January 2015 Airline: Cathay Pacific Flight Number: CX 653 Route: Hong Kong (HKG) - Bangkok (BKK) Aircraft: Airbus A330-300 Registration: B-LAN Distance: 1051 miles Scheduled Departure Time: 12:00 PM Actual Departure Time: 12:14 PM Scheduled Arrival Time: 1:55 PM Actual Arrival Time: 1:41 PM Flight Time: 2 hrs 55 mins Departure Gate at HKG: 21 Arrival Gate at BKK: G3
Main business class cabin
My seat - 16K
View from my seat
Cabin view. The cabin today was actually not a heavy load as there were at least 15 passengers from as far as I can remember in the main business class cabin. Also, I've talked about the seat one too many times, so I won't get so much into details.
Legroom yet again, perfectly comfortable for a short 2 hour flight
Once boarding was complete, the captain came on for his pre-flight announcement welcoming us onboard and tells us that he will be getting us into Bangkok in about 2 hours and 28 minutes, and that the flight will be mostly smooth, although there were going to be some initial stages of turbulence once we depart out of Hong Kong, which was rather normal.
We pushed back right on schedule
It's always a pleasure to spot planes while pushing back, especially two Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ERs
(From L-R) B-KQL, which will serve as CX838 to YVR B-KPR (which is now in the new CX livery as of 2018), which will serve as CX884 to LAX
I'm quite glad that I chose to depart from Hong Kong during the day. That way, I can spot planes either preparing for takeoff, landing, or even docked at the gates! I felt I was in Cloud 9 for a second
Preparing to taxi to Runway 07R
China Airlines Airbus A330-300 B-18303, yet again
Dragonair Airbus A330-300 B-HLG
The next thing I knew was the takeoff sound from the Airbus A330-300, from then on we lifted off from Runway 07R in the blink of an eye
We were way above the clouds
After 15 minutes, the seat belt sign was switched off, giving the indication where the crew came by to offer drinks and distribute menus. But first, let's talk about the entertainment
To cut to the chase, the choice of entertainment on this flight was very disappointing. I understand that it is a 2 hour flight, but there has to be a decent selection of TV and other programs. On the bright side, I was able to watch another show that I liked, New Girl. The only downside on that however is that there were only three episodes to choose from, which I could easily cover in a matter of an hour.
For drinks, I decided to go for a glass of Coke
I wasn't given a menu since I have ordered a special meal for myself. To be more specific, I ordered the Indian Vegetarian Meal, which can be a bit spicy, but good overall, especially on this flight. I guess it really depends on where and what time you're flying.
Rasgulla to end it all!
After the lunch service, I browsed around the flight map to find out our current location; which was the South China Sea heading towards Vietnam
I would say that the rest of the flight was pretty uneventful and there was nothing much to really write home about. So, I decided to take it easy and relax until the captain made the announcement that we were now starting the descent into Bangkok and that there were only 30 minutes till we land.
As we were preparing for landing, I immediately started to fill out the Thai Immigration form provided by the cabin crew along with the Premium Lane pass
Starting the descent into Bangkok
While doing so, I happened to glance upon the beautiful scenery of Thailand as we were descending.
Before I knew it, we touched down into Suvarnabhumi Airport, around 15 minutes ahead of schedule
Actual flight route
While taxiing to the gate, I was able to spot two luxury A380s from the Middle East
(From L-R): Emirates A6-EDF, which arrived not too long ago from DXB as EK384 and will head onwards to HKG Qatar Airways A7-APB, which served as QR836 from DOH
Taxiing to Concourse G
Docking at gate G3, along with the site of EgyptAir Boeing 777-300ER SU-GDO which had arrived from CAI as MS960
The arrival process in BKK was quite uneventful, so I'm going to keep the arrival process review rather short. Upon disembarking the aircraft, we ended up on a long walk to immigration. I'd also like to point out the "warehouse" look, which doesn't best suit the airport. Needless to say, the only thing that helped was the Premium Lane pass, as I was able to breeze through within 10 minutes as there can be pretty long lines at immigration.
Baggage claim area, which took some time
BKK Arrivals Area
I booked a private car straight out of the arrival hall, where you can book a car/limousine of your choice for a reasonable price. Upon reaching the desk, I made arrangements for the drop-off as well as pick-up to/from my hotel for both today and tomorrow. Afterwards, I was smooth sailing to my hotel to enjoy my quick getaway in Bangkok.
Cathay Pacific The Cabin
Hong Kong - HKG
Bangkok - BKK
I would say that this flight on Cathay Pacific was a hit-and-miss. There were some parts of the flight which it did well such as the food, but I felt some parts were lacking. In particular, the service (which was average) as well as the entertainment, which I have found to be inadequate, and something that I wouldn't really expect from a flight on CX. Although to be fair, this was just a short 2 hour flight so I can't really say much. To sum it all up, CX could do so much better in this case. Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed reading this trip report and stay tuned for my flight back to New York, which I will be posting very soon!
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