Hi, everyone! Welcome to Part 1 of the final leg of my holiday of the Christmas season from 2014-15! I know that this is a blast from the past but the reason why I'm actually posting these reports is because since I joined FR, I wanted to write all of my reports in chronological order, which would eventually lead to current developments. Anyways, in this report, I will be flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong before ultimately heading back to the US (which will be in Part 2). Although I was a bit sad that my holiday came to an end, I would say that my excitement to travel was the only thing that kept me going. Also, as promised from my last trip report, I'll even give the summary of booking the return sector of the flight, which was rather crazy. The least I could say is that I was able to get a flight back, especially during the post-Christmas peak season. Nevertheless, I hope all of you enjoy reading this report.
Pre-flight: When it came to booking the return sector, I was given a limited amount of options for flights back to New York as I was looking for flights that would easily connect with my incoming flight from Bangkok. However, it turned out that the afternoon and evening flight going to JFK was completely full in business class due to the post-Christmas rush. I had this sort of panic where I ended up calling CX multiple times to see if I could get a seat on either one of the flights bound for JFK. However, I was told that every seat was full to capacity. The agent I spoke to told me about some openings on the flight going to Newark, with some seats available. Since I knew I had to be back in the US, I reluctantly said yes for the EWR flight.
However, I had no problem choosing a flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong as there were plenty of options to choose from, so I was able to book CX614 in a heartbeat. On the bright side, I would be able to experience something different by flying on the 77G, where the overall cabin layout is a bit different where there is no first class cabin like there is on the 77H.
Now, coming back to this report. Prior to departure, I woke up at around 8:00 AM so I would be able to enjoy a nice breakfast at my hotel before I proceeded to the airport. At around 10:15 AM local time, I packed my belongings, checked out, and was ready for the car that I arranged for a day earlier. The reason why I chose to leave at said time is because I knew the traffic in Bangkok could be severe, and I like to spend as much time as possible at the airport prior to departure of my flight. Luckily, the traffic wasn't that all bad, allowing me to reach Suvarnabhumi Airport by 11:00 AM.
Entrance to Suvarnabhumi Airport
Shots of the check-in area at BKK
I waited for about 10-15 minutes in the Business Class line until I was able to check-in. Once it was my turn, my bag was checked in all the way to Newark and I was issued boarding passes for both flights, which took no more than 10 minutes. Also, I was told that the Cathay Pacific lounge, located in Concourse G, was closed for renovations, and my choices of lounges would be another CX lounge in Concourse D (which I've never even heard of until then) and the Louis Tavern CIP Business Class lounge. Other than that, the check-in was smooth.
Another thing I would like to point out about Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport is that there are several giant statues right before security. In fact, I've heard that these said statues are based off the Hindu epic, Ramayana and each one has its own significance.
The next thing I knew was that I bypassed security and immigration through a snap of a finger with the help of the Premium Lane pass which I obtained while checking in for both flights.
Security and immigration, as stated previously, didn't take that long and I was already at the airside. Another eye-catching display at BKK is right past immigration: The Scene of the Churning of the Milk Ocean
Early afternoon departures
BKK Airside - where there is a variety of high-end shops, duty-free, souvenir outlets, eateries, and much more. In fact, Bangkok's airport is quite massive, leading up to walking long distances to the gate area. Also, BKK is not that spotter-friendly so it was a bit disheartening to not spot any planes. Nevertheless, it is a decent airport which had everything I needed.
In many cases, one way to light up my spirits was a visit to the Cathay Pacific lounge in Concourse D. When I got there, I was denied entry as the lounge attendants told me that they were full to capacity and told me that I should go to the Louis Tavern lounge, which I then proceeded to.
Louis Tavern CIP Business Class lounge entrance - near Concourse F
To cut a long story short, I would say my overall opinion of the CIP lounge is quite small with not a lot of walking room and little to no seats. Also, there was not a lot of variety in terms of food and beverages, where there were only cold sandwiches, assorted pastries, hot soup, etc. However, there was some kind of choice with the drinks which included soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, tea, and coffee. I remember that I was there for about 25 minutes before I started to head to gate F5. The only thing I could think about was the anticipation for the new CX lounge which would open in June 2015.
Boarding pass for both flights
The "warehouse" look of BKK, which I'm not really a huge fan of
Well, it's not just CX's lounge which was going under renovation. It turns out that the BR lounge was also getting a new makeover.
My gate was at the left end of the concourse. Of course, I had to walk a distance but it was not as bad as most people think.
Time to head back to HKG, even if it's just for a couple of hours ;)
I then went through this downward ramp which would eventually lead to the boarding area
The plane flying us to HKG today: Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300, B-LAI
Well, time to board the plane! :)
Some flight information that I'd like to provide for those who are interested Date: 6 January 2015 Airline: Cathay Pacific Flight Number: CX 614 Route: Bangkok (BKK) - Hong Kong (HKG) Aircraft: Airbus A330-300 Registration: B-LAI Distance: 1049 miles Scheduled Departure Time: 1:10 PM Actual Departure Time: 1:30 PM Scheduled Arrival Time: 4:50 PM Actual Arrival Time: 4:52 PM Flight Time: 2 hrs 40 mins Departure Gate at BKK: F5 Arrival Gate at HKG: 50
Main business class cabin
Seat 16A with controls
Welcome drink - I decided to go for a glass of water
The usual legroom on the Airbus A330-300
It took maybe about 20-25 minutes for boarding to be completed. My guess estimate was that it was a medium load with about 20 passengers in the main business class cabin
While settling in for the flight, the IFE on this flight (aka studioCX) decided to crash only to restart immediately
By 1:00 PM local time, the doors were closed, which was the cue for the captain to make his pre-flight announcement, saying that he was going to get us into Hong Kong quite early with the flight time of approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes.
While taxiing towards the runway after pushback, I took in the sights of Suvarnabhumi Airport, which can offer a lot in terms of plane spotting.
View of Concourse E, with the view of an Emirates Airbus A380-800
Qatar Airways Airbus A380-800 A7-APC (which was delivered only a month ago at that time) currently on remote standby as it will serve as QR833 back to DOH this evening
(From L-R): Orient Thai Boeing 767-300 HS-BKD and Thai Airways Boeing 777-300ER HS-TKQ
Even more views of BKK
Before I knew it, took off from Runway 19L at 1:30 PM, allowing me to get a glimpse of the beautiful sights of Thailand
I'll be back soon, Thailand!!
After 15 minutes, the seat belt sign was switched off while the crew were distributing menus as well as offering drinks as always
Menu for today's flight
StudioCX, which again has the same list from my previous flight. In this case, I decided to have a positive outlook in terms of the entertainment and find something else to watch besides my usual shows. Upon checking, I discovered that some episodes of Family Guy were on this flight, so I decided to start there in terms of entertainment
The next thing I remember was when one of the cabin crew was offering blankets, which I happily accepted. These light blankets are fairly seen on regional flights
For a drink, I decided to go back to basics: Perrier!
Table setup, with the appetiser which consisted of Thai prawn and glass noodle salad along with garlic bread on the side
Then, the main course: Thai red duck curry with jasmine rice, kailan, and carrots. I had low expectations for this meal. Overall, I actually found the main course to be delectable and better than I expected.
While enjoying my meal, the crew came around and asked for another round for drinks, which I said yes to. As always, I asked for another glass of Perrier
After watching an episode of Family Guy, I decided to check on the progress of the flight and see where we are. It turned out we were over Hainan Island. This meant that we made good progress of the flight, and as always, the flight went by so fast. However, I didn't have to worry as I'll get to spend another 15 hours on a CX flight back home.
Ice cream for dessert
Praline and Hong Kong style milk tea to finish everything off
Although there was a bit of turbulence after leaving Bangkok, the flight was nonetheless smooth throughout. Everything was going like clockwork in my opinion.
Cabin views with mood lighting during the day
Before I knew it, the captain made the usual pre-landing announcement that we were now starting the descent into Hong Kong and there would be 30 minutes until we landed
Approaching Hong Kong
Final shots before landing
Connecting flight information, with my flight on the list
While preparing to land in HKG, I was able to spot Hong Kong Island which gave the cue to whip up my camera and start taking photos of said island as well as try to get a shot of the skyline
We landed on Runway 25L at 4:52 PM, which was about 2 minutes behind the schedule time. Without any further delay, I was glad to be back at Hong Kong International Airport (aka plane-spotter's paradise)
Actual flight route
The taxi was not that long to gate 50, upon which I spotted an Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER, C-FIVQ which would serve as AC16 back to YYZ
The walk to the transfer point was not that far from the gate, and I had plenty of time before my flight to Newark. So, my goal after clearing security was to head to a lounge which was closest to the gate, sit back, and relax.
Independent Louis Tavern
Bangkok - BKK
Hong Kong - HKG
This flight was somehow better than I expected on Cathay Pacific. The crew were attentive as always, and the meals were better than I imagined, but the only drawback was the lack of choices on the IFE. As stated previously, this was only a 2 hour flight so there was not much to choose from. Hopefully, there will be better choices of TV and movies on my connecting flight. Nevertheless, thank you so much for reading this report! Stay tuned for Part 2 of the final leg where I'll be heading back to Newark!
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