Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. This is a trip of odds and ends. In July I needed a way home from Tokyo so I booked the best value in miles and points: ANA First Class with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points. The catch is that they require a round trip booking so I had to "park" the USA -> Tokyo leg somewhere until I could flesh out a trip to use it on. I happened to find availability on November 9th so that's where it sat. The onward journey came as a result of the "90,000 Iberia Avios Promotion" that offered an insane number of Avios for buying 10 airplane tickets. I played along and ended up with 90,000 Avios for buying +/- $300 in travel. The catch, if you can call it that, was that the Avios had to be redeemed by 12/1/18. I used these Avios to book JAL NRT-SIN-HND with the NRT-SIN portion coupled with my ANA NRT-LAX. I "parked" the SIN return for a future trip. I began to look at ways to get back and my AA mileage balance was sufficient to consider Cathay Pacific First. I know they run sporadic F on regional flights so I began looking for one of those. I checked the usual suspects of SIN, BKK, and MNL and could not find any F being offered at all on the day I needed. Somehow I considered Jakarta and it all lined up perfectly. I booked CGK-HKG (overnight in HKG)-LAX-LAS in CX and AA First. The final piece was positioning from SIN to CGK. I quickly and, probably foolishly, booked First with Singapore Airlines for this portion of the trip just to have a taste of their tremendous First Class experience.
Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:
Just a quick note on the transit hotel in T2. All of the rooms have a view of the ramp and runway. They are clean and affordable. There are a couple of English language TV channels in the room. I found the staff to be very kind and security is good. I would not hesitate to stay here again. SQ has already vacated T2 for T3 and the remainder of the international carriers in T2 will be doing the same.
View from my room.
I was too beat to take the train into town, which was my original plan, so I stayed at the airport. It's a bustling place at all hours with likely many on Umrah. There is a host a good choice of restaurants land side, many open 24 hours. I stopped at an Indonesian looking place and enjoyed a soursop juice and mie goreng with seafood.
I am aware of the lack of decent lounge options at CGK T2 so I didn't bother getting air side very early. Check in was not very busy and I only experienced a brief wait. There was not a dedicated First Class lane.
The CX agent walked me down to the end of the hall to a private immigration counter that led directly to one of the lounges. There was no wait and i was processed through.
I was told I could use either the lounge connected to immigration or the one next door, Pura Indah. She noted that Pura Indah had a First Class section so why not that one. I was escorted there and checked in. I have visited this lounge before so I knew not to have any expectations. The "first class" side is identical to the J side.
Anyhow I enjoyed a rather good congee during my visit, I think it had duck.
The lounge visit was brief by design and I headed to the gate shortly. I get great enjoyment from the aesthetic of T2 and I will miss it when all International flights are moved to T3. It really sets the tone for an equatorial and tropical location like Jakarta and Indonesia. I will have to take some domestic flights to visit.
The holding area was typically crowded but the wait to board was brief. I didn't bother trying to find a seat.
After a long parade of wheel chairs First and Business were called. I was welcomed at the door and shown to seat 1A, my original selection. I was the first passenger to arrive, and the last. I was told I could have my choice of any seat as I was to be alone in the cabin. I moved to my preferred seat 2A. It's a well documented seat and is a little long in the tooth but still feels very special and quite comfortable.
I spied on the nice private J cabin before too many folks arrived.
Owen and Jenny would be taking care of me today and they were spectacular in their job performance. Oshibori and headset are delivered and drinks are offered. Water with ice and the lovely 2006 Deutz for me please.
Yep, it's empty.
The breakfast menu.
Getting ready to push.
It's about an 8 minute taxi to 25R and we're off.
I opt to enjoy some Duetz time before breakfast so I ask for the meal in about an hour. there is no amenity kit or even slippers on board. I don't expect a kit but no slippers on a 4.5 hour flight in first class is a bit odd to me. I've never been on JAL or ANA in business and not received slippers. Owen is apologetic and scrounges around to make a kit for me…but still no slippers.
The lav adjacent to L1 is spacious and well appointed.
With the first bottle of Deutz depleted Jenny assures me that there is another as the table is laid for meal service. The fruit and bread basket are first, accompanied by the signature welcome note from the cabin crew.
The lighting is changed to a cool blue.
For brunch I have selected the beef rendang. I ask Owen to open the Bordeaux, a 2006 Chateau Branaire-Ducru. It's a Grand Cru from Saint-Julien, Medoc and it's lovely, lovely, lovely.
Unfortunately the beef dish is not up to the level of the wine. It's rather tough, perhaps due to my delaying the meal.
I am quite tickled to find one of my favorite films on the IFE and I delight in enjoying such low brow (still genius, mind you) cinema in these surroundings.
After brunch I continue to delight in the wine and enjoy the end of a film that I have seen over 20 times. Oshibori, chocolate, and landing forms are delivered. Owen beings some nuts to enjoy with the wine, a nice gesture. Owen is an interesting guy. He rides a Harley Davidson around Hong Kong and loves flying US routes. I enjoy a nice chat and he's an excellent ambassador for the airline.
The nearly 5 hour trip of from the southern hemisphere feels all too brief and we're soon approaching Chek Lap Kok.
Safely on the ground we taxi to the terminal.
Tourist Bonus: Some sights of Hong Kong
Bonus : Click here displayhide
I was very excited to piece together this routing that allowed for an overnight in Hong Kong. It's the city that fostered my love for Asian cultures and cuisine. I would visit with my Mom on her trips here starting as a teenager in the early 1990's and I have many fond memories. I was able to use an expiring certificate for a free night at an IHG property for the Intercontinental Hong Kong and I was assigned a harbor view room.
HK Express to Kowloon Station.
Hotel room with a dazzling view.
Star Ferry to Hong Kong island.
I had a great walk around Central, Mid-levels and LKF. I also enjoyed a milk tea and some dumplings.
The trip back was beautiful.
I made it to my room in time to watch the "Festival of Lights", which I dig.
A subway ride up to Jordan to poke around Temple Street and enjoy some spicy crab (not worth the money btw).
The morning came much too soon.
Pura Indah Lounge
Jakarta - CGK
Hong Kong - HKG
The Ground Service: An escort to a premium immigration checkpoint and on to the lounge was a nice touch.
The Lounge: It's rather dismal and packed with furniture to the point where it's difficult to maneuver with your roll aboard. The food and beverage is rather limited as well and the staff isn't very motivated to offer service.
The Cabin: It has been around for many years but still offers fantastic comfort and reasonable privacy. Of course when you are the only passenger it's very private.
The Crew: I was very pleasantly surprised. Owen and Jenny were friendly and engaging and provided world class service. I've experienced some aloof service with CX but this was exactly the opposite.
The Food and Beverage: The beef dish was poor but the Champagne and wine were superb.
Overall: It's hard to imagine a better 5 hour regional flight, save the catering. A private cabin and friendly attentive service was a special experience.
Thank you for reading and happy flying.
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