Hello everyone! Welcome to another trip report of my travel series where I'll be covering flights during the summer of 2017. After a long break from flying CX, I was beyond excited to fly with them again! Even though it has been a year, time flew fast as it always did (no pun intended). I was planning on going back to Hong Kong for my summer holidays along with the usual pit stop in Bangkok towards the end of the trip.
As always, my family and I had countless discussions in terms of our travel plans since we usually do things last minute. We ultimately came to the decision that we would think about it until the end of June and make a decision then. Anyways, I hope I hadn't bored you all too much with my travel plans. Let's get on with the flight! ;)
To give a proper background prior to this flight report, I booked this flight a month in advance since I had a lot of things on my mind and I was a bit relieved once the whole booking process was done. The original plan was to depart from JFK on flight CX845 as Cathay Pacific had been operating from Terminal 8 for a few months at that time, and I would finally get a chance to check out the terminal and how it compares to Terminal 7 in regards to everything in general, including the lounges.
However, when I called up CX that day, I had found out that very flight was completely full. Since I prefer the late-night flight to Hong Kong, I ultimately went with the decision to depart from Newark. After all, I do like the departure experience better at EWR as everything in the airport is not too far from each other, and it's a lot more private on the flight, which was operated by the three-class Boeing 777-300ER (77G). Nevertheless, I was able to get a seat on that flight right on the spot!
I left home at around 10:45 PM and arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport with plenty of time to spare
Terminal B Departure Lobby
CX check-in counters. As always, it didn't take long for me to complete the whole process of checking in. Before I knew it, I was all set for Hong Kong!
Wow, a dragon!
Heading towards security
I got through security at approximately 11:45 PM, but there were delays due to long lines. However, I had two hours prior to my flight, so it was not such a big deal. The first I noticed as soon as I walked to the airside is that the duty-free counters and shops were now on the side of the concourse. I somehow liked the new layout, but at the same time, I was used to the previous one as shown from 2015. On the bright side, there was more space to walk around in the concourse despite the lack of shops and dining options.
Terminal B Gate Area
Once I was done exploring around the new layout, I headed to the British Airways Galleries lounge, located one level above the main departure area
As I've stated when I reviewed this route in 2015, it can be accessed through taking the stairs or elevator
The lounge was quite easy to navigate once I got to the lounge hallway
Few shots of the lounge
It was pretty evident that we were the last departing flight out of this terminal and airport
One thing I love about this lounge is that there are plenty of seating options!
Boarding pass. IMO, I'm not a huge fan of the boarding pass re-design. It looked very plain-looking.
Since I had plenty of time prior to the flight, I decided to sit back, relax, eat, listen to music, chat with my friends, and surf the web using the free WiFi
Before I knew it, I realised it was time to board the plane after being at the lounge for more than an hour.
Heading towards gate 55
For business class, Marco Polo Club members, and premium economy passengers, they boarded from gate 54
Well, time for a vacation!!
Heading towards the aerobridge
Our ride to HKG: B-KQD
Well, time to board!
Some pre-flight information: Date: 28 May 2017 Airline: Cathay Pacific Flight Number: CX 899 Route: Newark (EWR) - Hong Kong (HKG) Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER Registration: B-KQD Distance: 8061 miles Scheduled Departure Time: 1:45 AM Actual Departure Time: 1:56 AM Scheduled Arrival Time: 5:30 AM Actual Arrival Time: 5:08 AM Flight Time: 15 hrs 45 mins Departure Gate at EWR: 55 Arrival Gate at HKG: 23
Main business class cabin
My seat, 18K, along with the inflight controls
Pre-departure drink: Orange juice. It felt good to be finally reunited on Cathay Pacific after a year!
View from my seat, next to a Spirit Airlines Airbus A321-200, N658NK
The sweet 'ol legroom!
I'm all settled into my seat for the next 15 hours!
It didn't take long until boarding was complete. That was the cue for the captain's pre-flight announcement and welcome, advising us that we would be arriving into Hong Kong earlier than expected with the flight time of approximately 15 hours and 12 minutes.
Before I knew it, the doors were closed, the safety video was playing, and we were pushing back from the gate!
It was quite a short taxi to the runway
The cabin lights were then dimmed in preparation for takeoff
We took off at 1:56 AM. Another reason why I prefer the departure out of EWR is because of the on-time departure compared to JFK where there would be constant delays due to heavy traffic. Once we were in the air, I had a breath-taking view of the Manhattan skyline, and I immediately whipped out my camera and started taking pictures!
Our location, 10 minutes after departure
See you soon, America!!
After approximately 15 minutes, the seat belt signed was turned off. It was time for me to execute my usual late-night departure plan, which was to enjoy a light meal, watch a movie or TV show, and sleep for a good few hours!
Time to discover the inflight entertainment!
Within a few seconds of browsing through the inflight entertainment, I immediately started off the flight with Moana. I've been wanting to see that movie for ages and I'm glad that I finally saw it on this flight!
What's there to eat?
Crystal Geyser water bottle
Before I knew it, the crew came towards the cabin taking drink orders as well as setting the tables for the dinner service.
Perrier, a.k.a. my standard drink!
Table setup including the appetiser, fresh berries, and garlic bread
After about 15 minutes, the main course was served. I chose the cod with sweet tomato sauce, assorted vegetables, and steamed jasmine rice. IMO, I would say that everything was excellent! The only downside about the meal was the rice, which I found to be undercooked
Enjoying my cod while watching Moana!
Cabin views with different mood lighting
Once I was done, the crew courteously cleared the table for us and then distributed hot towels as an end to the dinner service
As always, I went to visit the bathroom and met up with the "first class" sink onboard the 77G
Once I got back to my seat, the mood lighting switched again until it led to complete darkness
At that point of time, I switched to the inflight map to find out our current location
Another midnight sunrise over Canada
Afterwards, I went back to finish watching Moana
I decided to call it a night after I finished the movie, and while heading towards Greenland
Within less than 5 minutes, I set the seat in the fully flat position, lay the duvet all nicely spread out, and I was ready for bed!
I had a good 8 hour sleep upon discovering that we already made it over Russia. I woke up realising that I was craving for something to eat. So I requested one of the flight attendants for the wonton noodle soup, a CX classic that I've missed out for a year!
My seat after 11 hours
It wasn't a while until I discovered 2 Broke Girls was on this flight, and I started watching it immediately!!
Still yet a dark cabin
Perrier to go along with it!
My high life in the sky! ;)
Cruising over Mongolia, with approximately 3 hours remaining
After watching a couple of episodes of 2 Broke Girls, I went back to sleep.
I woke up just in time for the breakfast service, and for the cabin lights to come back on
Table setup including fresh fruit, croissant, and orange juice
Above central China
For the main course, I chose the stir fried prawns with egg noodles with choy sum. It was good overall, but the only complaint I had was the quantity of the prawns as I thought it was not much.
Hong Kong styled milk tea to end it all
Hot towel to end the breakfast service
I ended up chatting with the ISM and other cabin crew members for about 15 minutes at the galley area since they noticed me taking photos earlier on during the breakfast service. From which, the ISM said that she knew that I was interested in aviation and we had an interesting conversation. In fact, we were talking about aviation along with the possibility that I could make a career in the field or even in media, which are somethings that I'd like to pursue. As always, it was fun interacting with the cabin crew, especially when they know about us aviation geeks!
Once I got back to my seat, I checked the inflight map again only to find out that we were already starting the descent towards HKG
After some time, the captain came back on with his pre-arrival announcement, saying that we were now starting the descent towards Hong Kong International Airport and that we had 30 minutes until we landed. Suddenly, the seat belt sign came back on giving the indication that we had to prepare for landing, which didn't take long.
Final shots before landing
Mood lighting in preparation for landing
We landed approximately 20 minutes ahead of schedule at 5:08 AM. However, the taxi to the gate took around 10 minutes.
Actual flight route
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300, B-HNJ, currently on remote standby preparing to be CX530 to TPE this morning
Docking at gate 23
Disembarking/Arrival into HKG
It was not a long walk towards immigration, from then on I breezed through, got my bag, and made it to the arrival hall within 10 minutes
Baggage claim area
Making my way towards the arrival hall
Afterwards, I made my way towards one of the parking lots where I met my Uber driver and then headed back home!
*In August 2017 (a few months after this flight), Cathay Pacific had announced that they will be serving the EWR route on the Airbus A350-900 which started in October, which is so exhilarating!! I've always been a fan of the A350 and I can't wait to try it out on a long-haul flight. Although I'm going to miss flying to/from EWR route on the Boeing 777-300ER (aka 77G), I'll be so excited once I get the chance to try it out!!
British Airways Galleries Lounge
Newark - EWR
Hong Kong - HKG
Overall, this flight was better than I expected it to be. I was surprised that after taking a break from CX for a year, there were some enhancements, but it's still the same airline that I tend to favour a lot. The crew were nice and courteous, the entertainment had a good selection, and the meal service has improved slightly but there's still room for improvement. To make it short, I enjoyed this flight on Cathay Pacific. Thank you so much for reading this trip report. I hope you've enjoyed it. Tune in next time for the next segment where I hope I'll be flying somewhere along with the usual stopover in Bangkok!
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