Flight-Report

Review of Hong Kong Airlines flight Bangkok Hong Kong in Economy

Airline Hong Kong Airlines
Flight HX762
Class Economy
Seat 32K
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 02:45
Take-off 04 Dec 17, 03:20
Arrival at 04 Dec 17, 07:05
HX 17 reviews
linard76
By 1334
Published on 12th October 2018
Welcome to a brief trip report due to the short flight and late hour that details my flight on Hong Kong Airlines and B-LGB, their second A350-900. This flight marked my 6th flight on an A359.

Our good friends were organizing a small wedding celebration in Phuket, Thailand and we had been watching fares from San Francisco for a while. Since prices had been fairly high, we hadn't confirmed our attendance. Just a few weeks before the wedding, we came across a pretty good deal but one that required a fairly complicated journey.

As these friends helped us out with our wedding a few years ago, we made the decision to go with the booking. For just three days in Phuket, we took the following flights:
11/29 - United from San Francisco to Hong Kong on a 777-300ER
11/30 - Hong Kong Airlines from Hong Kong to Bangkok on an A330-200
12/1 - Thai VietJet Air from Bangkok to Phuket on an A320-200
12/3 - Thai VietJet Air from Phuket to Bangkok on an A320-200
12/4 - Hong Kong Airlines from Bangkok to Hong Kong on an A350-900
12/4 - United from Hong Kong to San Francisco on a 777-300ER

I was excited to take this flight. With 21 Airbus A350s on order and three delivered at the time, Hong Kong Airlines became the 15th airline to operate the aircraft, solidifying its plans to challenge Cathay Pacific's historic stronghold on long-haul flights from Hong Kong particularly to America.

After a convoluted and drawn out transfer process at BKK that took more than an hour, we recharged at the Air France Lounge courtesy of Priority Pass and headed to the gate.

While normally bustling, Suvarnabhumi Airport is thankfully deserted at 2:30 am.

photo bkk terminal

BKK is notoriously spotter unfriendly. This was the best shot I was able to get of B-LGB.

photo a350 at gate

Boarding started a bit early and likely due to the early (or late hour depending on preferences), was painless since everyone was still bleary-eyed.

We made our way to row 32 and lucked out with our strategy of a leaving an empty middle seat.

photo 32k

I was quite impressed with the legroom and a bit skeptical that these were standard economy seats. While Hong Kong Airlines doesn't specifically highlight the extra legroom, a quick Google search revealed that the first four A350s were supposed to go to Brazil's Azul which canceled their order. So Hong Kong Airlines took over their order and kept the seats, only replacing the seat covers in their signature red. As Azul configures their first few rows in economy similarly to United's Economy Plus, we lucked out a bit.

photo seats

This A350 also has Azul's staggered business class seats while HX's remaining A350s will have a reverse herringbone product.

photo hk business class

As boarding continued, I browsed the Panasonic eX2 entertainment system which is fast and intuitively laid out. The selection is decent but doesn't offer the content that Cathay Pacific offers, let alone Emirates.

photo hk entertainment

Checking out the 3D Airshow developed by Rockwell Collins.

photo map

We pushed back right on time and encountered no other traffic during our taxi to the runway.

Our takeoff roll was brief and the Rolls Royce Trent XWBs quietly hurtled us towards Hong Kong.

photo takeoff

After leveling off, I took a quick tour of the two economy cabins.

photo a350 cabin 2photo cabin 1

The lights were dimmed and I was able to squeeze in a pretty good nap. I found the seat comfortable but armrest hilariously narrow at just 1.5 inches wide. Something had to give for Airbus to be able to fit 18 inch wide seats in a cabin that's significantly narrower than a 777.

A glimpse of the outside world when I woke back up.

photo a350 engine shot

And from the tail camera which has much higher resolution than the one from the A380.

photo tail camera

WiFi is available on all HX's new A350s but for a short red-eye like this one, I just wanted to sleep.

photo hk wifi

The A350 has a reputation for being quiet but perhaps more the case for those riding in front. I recorded a 84.5 dB average which compares to the 83-85 dB average I get with 787s and 86-88 dB average with 777-300ERs when seated in approximately the same locations. Older 777-200s are significantly louder.

photo a350 sound level

The cabin lights then came on and the crew started landing preparations.

photo sunrise

Descending into a fairly polluted Hong Kong.

photo landing

Thank you HX!

photo a350 at hkg gate

The flight with Hong Kong Airlines's new A350 was nice overall. The seats were comfortable with great pitch and the amenities are up-to-date. After six flights with the A350 on Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and now Hong Kong Airlines, I can definitely say while a solid way to travel, it does feel significantly narrower in economy compared to the 777 configured with the now rare 3-3-3 economy seating, particularly around the elbows. I don't actually find that it offers a better experience compared to my flights on the 787 in economy and in some ways, feel that the Dreamliner feels more modern.
See more

Verdict

Hong Kong Airlines

7.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.5
In-flight Entertainment8.5
Meal/catering5.0

Air France Lounge

7.8/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
In-flight Entertainment7.5
Services7.5

Bangkok - BKK

6.9/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.5

Hong Kong - HKG

8.1/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

The flight with Hong Kong Airlines's new A350 was nice overall. The seats were comfortable with great pitch and the amenities are up-to-date. After six flights with the A350 on Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and now Hong Kong Airlines, I can definitely say while a solid way to travel, it does feel significantly narrower in economy compared to the 777 configured with the now rare 3-3-3 economy seating, particularly around the elbows. I don't actually find that it offers a better experience compared to my flights on the 787 in economy and in some ways, feel that the Dreamliner feels more modern.

Information on the route Bangkok (BKK) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 46 reviews of 6 airlines on the route Bangkok (BKK) → Hong Kong (HKG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Emirates with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

Login to post a comment.