Hi, everyone! Welcome to Part 2 of the final leg of my holiday of the summer 2015 series! This is in continuation from Part 1 where I showcased the flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong, taking flight CX616 which departed very early in the morning. Despite waking up super early for that flight, it did allow me to have 6 hours to kill before heading back to New York.
So, I ventured out to the city in order to catch up with some of my family and friends before I headed back to the airport. I thought that this was going to be a normal flight like always, but in this case, there were several factors such as delays and other last-minute changes which somewhat disrupted the experience. Nevertheless, at least I was able to make something out of it. I hope all of you enjoy reading this report! ;)
Pre-flight: There's nothing much I can say regarding this part, except I had fun catching up with some of my family and friends, and then joining my parents for lunch prior to my departure. Anyways, I made it to Hong Kong Station in Central in order to head to the airport at around 1:45 PM, which was just walking distance from where I was having lunch. Prior to venturing out into Hong Kong, I dropped off my belongings for storage in the same building where the Airport Express station is, which is pretty much a shopping mall. Once I retrieved my bag and after a quick farewell to my parents, I was all set to head back to the airport since I already had my onward boarding pass and my bag was checked-in straight to JFK. So, I was good to go!
The trains to the airport are a few levels below the check-in area
The usual Airport Express platform
I made to the airport at around 2:30 PM, giving me enough time to go through security, immigration, plane spotting, and hopefully some lounge-hopping!
HKG Check-in area
Passing through security and immigration
Post-security: So, I found out from the FIDS that my flight was departing from gate 1 today, which gave me the obvious choice but to go to my favourite CX lounge in HKG, The Wing since it's right across from each other. However, this was prior to finding out the many changes that affected this flight which I'll explain further.
Going through the duty-free area
Gates 1-4 area
The usual scenery at HKG, with a Finnair Airbus A340-300, OH-LQD, right in front
The Wing - Business Class entrance
Shots of the lounge from the main floor
The first thing on the agenda was to take a nice, refreshing shower prior to boarding the flight. I have to say, I found the showers in this lounge to be impeccable as always!
Once I was done with my shower, I headed to the balcony level, which is my favourite area of the lounge and relax there for a bit!
Balcony level shots
Then, I went up to the Coffee Loft to get myself some pastries
The view from the balcony, which is always a site at HKG
After a while, I headed out to see if I could spot some planes. However, I found out that there a lot of changes to my flight. For example, I found out that it was delayed along with further delays which extended for a certain amount of time. Also, there were changes to the gate and the aircraft! In terms of the gate re-assignment, it wasn't far from the lounge since it was only at gate 19. In normal circumstances, I would usually move to the closest lounge in order not to have any delays going to the gate. So, in this case, it was not a problem as I've dealt with the distance before.
Anyways, I ventured out and attempt to spot some planes!
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800, 9V-SKK, serving as SQ861 back to SIN
The FIDS again, this time with the revised changes to my flight
I couldn't really find any good planes to spot. So, I decided to head back to the lounge
I eventually found out that gate 1 (my original gate) was going to be used for CX846 departing to JFK at 6:45 PM
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER B-KPD, which was supposed to be my original bird, but instead, is going to serve the JFK route on the later flight
It was surprising to see how the weather was able to change so fast. Yet again, it is quite normal for these things to happen in Hong Kong especially during the summer
I found this interesting concept once I re-entered the lounge!
Anyways, I was back at the lounge for about 20 minutes before I headed to gate 19 in order to board the flight not realising that there would be even more delays
Gates 15-19 area
I remember that we were waiting for a good half an hour for the gate to open, which added for even further delays
Time to head back home!
Waiting for all these delays to get over with!
Going through secondary security
Fun fact: Gate 19 is another one of those "long" bridges at HKG
Plane to JFK: B-KPL. This is the first time I'm taking the special Oneworld livery plane
Time to board!!
Before I talk about the inflight experience, here's the basic information! Date: 1 September 2015 Airline: Cathay Pacific Flight Number: CX 840 Route: Hong Kong (HKG) - New York (JFK) Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER Registration: B-KPL Distance: 8066 miles Scheduled Departure Time: 4:10 PM (delayed to 4:35 PM) Actual Departure Time: 5:32 PM Scheduled Arrival Time: 8:10 PM Actual Arrival Time: 8:33 PM Flight Time: 16 hrs Departure Gate at HKG: 1 (changed to 19) Arrival Gate at JFK: 4
Mini-business class, which consists of only two rows. Personally, I'm not really a huge fan of it.
Main business class cabin. The last time I was on the four-class 77W was about a year ago, and I was glad to be back!
My seat, 22K, along with the inflight controls and headset
The legroom which I've always loved on the 77W
View from my seat: Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER HL7714 and Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER B-KQD HL7714 will head back to ICN as KE602 and B-KQD will operate as CX890 to EWR
Once boarding was completed, the captain came on with his pre-flight welcome apologising for the late departure and for the delays that ensued today such as the aircraft change due to some maintenance issue which would be resolved later on. However, he did advise us that he and the rest of the flight crew would do the best they could in order to get us into New York just a few minutes behind the scheduled arrival time, which isn't that bad at all, with the total flight time of approximately 14 hours and 55 minutes
Settling into my seat quite nicely! ;)
Pre-departure drink: Orange juice
As soon as we were pushing back, I caught a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER, 9V-SWL, which just arrived from SIN as SQ866
North satellite concourse
Dragonair Airbus A320-200, B-HSU
Etihad Airways Airbus A330-200, A6-EYL, which will serve as EY833 back to AUH later this evening
Taxiing towards Runway 07R
Well, after the many delays which lasted for more than an hour, we finally took off!
I'll be back soon, Hong Kong!
After about 20 minutes, the crew started to come around the cabin to distribute menus
Menu for today's flight
Time to discover the inflight entertainment!
Mineral water bottle and amenity kit
At this stage of the flight, the crew started with the usual drink orders as well as the meal service
For drinks, I went with my usual: Perrier!
Table setup including the appetiser and garlic bread
The crew came around for second drink rounds. Of course, I couldn't resist!
The main course: Wok-fried seafood with pak choy and steamed rice. It was average, but I think the chilli sauce was the saving grace
Once I was done, the trolley with fruit and cheese plates came through. I just asked for some fruit along with the dessert that followed
Dessert: Sacher cake with whipped cream along with a cup of Hong Kong styled milk tea
View of my seat
Hot towel to end the dinner service
Subsequently, the mood lighting changed before it ultimately led to complete darkness
I decided to check the flight map to see where we were at this stage of the flight. It turned out that instead of taking the Pacific Ocean route, we were going above China and Russia eventually heading towards the Arctic Ocean
Currently near Mongolia
Filling out the US Customs form
I started to feel exhausted after some time and wanted to get some good quality sleep since I got up extremely early in Bangkok.
Location before I started to feel tired and eventually head to bed
Within five minutes, I was ready for bed with the seat fully flat and the duvet all nicely spread out.
I don't know why, but I felt very groggy once I woke up even though I slept for the majority of the flight
Waking up over Canada
Cabin crew preparing for the breakfast service
Orange juice for starters
Table setup including fruit and a croissant
I got another orange juice since one simply wasn't enough! ;)
For the main entrée, I went with one of my favourite dishes, assorted dim sum!
Cabin views from the back of the main cabin
Afterwards, I headed to the bathroom with the standard J sink
Once I got back to my seat, the captain immediately came back on to announce that we were already starting the descent into New York and had the usual 30 minutes prior to landing
I then checked the map only to realise that we were already near JFK
Final shots before landing
Surprisingly, there was no mood light change during the landing
Anyways, we landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport at around 8:33 PM, which was about 25 minutes from the scheduled arrival time
Actual flight route
The taxi to the gate took quite a while, primarily due to the distance between the terminal and the runway we landed on. So, we ended up waiting for an additional 20 minutes until we were given clearance to taxi to the terminal.
Taxiing to Terminal 7
Docking at gate 4
Disembarking/Arrival into JFK
Post-flight: It took an hour to clear immigration and customs due to long lines at the airport and with the extended wait of getting our bags, which is not unusual but as I have stated previously, there can be many changes to ease the arrival process. As soon as I was able to collect my bags, I breezed through customs and was on my way to the arrival hall where I met my private cab driver, and then headed on home.
Terminal 7 Arrival exterior
Cathay Pacific The Wing - Business Class Section
Hong Kong - HKG
New York - JFK
Overall, I would say that this was an average flight on Cathay Pacific. As always, CX always have an outstanding seat onboard business class along with the other features such as the inflight entertainment and the meals for the most part. The only drawbacks I would remark were the crew service (which was average) as I felt they were less interactive with passengers as I've experienced on previous flights. Also, the main course during the dinner service did not seem appetising as I thought it would be, especially with the size of the meal. Yet again, catering has been quite an issue for CX over the past few years. I just hope that it eventually improves at some point in the future. Anyways, thanks for reading this trip report as this is the end of the Summer 2015 trip report series. I hope you enjoyed them. I will be posting more trip reports in the near future such as the return flight to Hong Kong a few months later. Stay tuned for more!
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