Review of Cathay Pacific flight Bangkok Singapore in Economy

Airline Cathay Pacific
Flight CX619
Class Economy
Seat 59K
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 02:35
Take-off 05 Jan 19, 12:45
Arrival at 05 Jan 19, 16:20
CX   #4 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 431 reviews
ThomasDutch
By GOLD 987
Published on 17th January 2019

Journey December '18 & January '19


While I just returned from Thailand in October '18, it was now time for me to head back to Thailand once again to start one of my bigger journeys of 2018 (a period of four weeks originally, but decided to add another week to it and travel to Singapore). I decided to book plenty of flights to different cities to explore in both Thailand and Myanmar together with my girlfriend.

A small tip regarding to airlines in Myanmar for domestic flights. In case you want to book a flight with them long in advance, expect your itinerary to be changed from what you originally booked it for. Two or three weeks in advance is sufficient as prices will be the exact same as you would have paid for like six months ago and be sure to verify your flight on their site 24 hours for any change.

So the routing below will give you an idea what my upcoming reports are going to be. Enjoy your read! 



The Journey of CX 619


While I initially booked a trip to travel to Chumphon to Thailand on the 5th of January with Nok Air on their Dash 8 and to grab AirAsia back to Bangkok, I decided to cancel my trip on the 4th due to an incoming storm in Thailand (Pabuk) and was in no mood to spend all of my days inside my hotel due to heavy rain and strong winds.

My girlfriend opted to go to Singapore the day after and so I decided to look around for tickets, but were rather expensive. Even Thai Lion Air was asking 16.000 THB for a two-way ticket for two person, which is equivalent to 500 USD and that is something I would never ever pay for a low cost airline for a flight of just 2.5 hours. Out of curiousity I started to play around with Google's matrix and found to my surprise that Cathay Pacific is performing a 5th freedom flight between Singapore and Bangkok for only 300 USD (for two persons) leaving tomorrow. I, myself am a regular visitor to Asia, but never had a chance to fly Singapore (how odd) or use Cathay (CX) too. A win win I would say.

When I bought my ticket, I tried to immediately check-in for my flight. However the site gave me literally no option for a seat (only if I paid another 108 USD to select certain seats) and did not allow me to check in either, so it was going to be mere luck at the airport. 

While I was staying in Fyn Hotel at Victory Monument, we decided to take the airport rail link to the Airport, however this required us to walk a few minutes to the BTS of Victory Monument in Bangkok and from there we would take the skytrain of Bangkok only for one station to Phaya Thai. From here you could transfer to the airport rail link. This is the last and first station of the airport train and a ticket to the airport would cost you 45 THB per person (Aprox. 1.5 USD)


photo 1

From here it took a few minutes for a train to appear and only a minute later we were on our way to the Airport. Phaya Thai is the final station and the first station for the return leg to the airport, so you usually have a chance to sit down. 


photo 2-19

About thirty minutes later we arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport, which will require you to move up a few floors, which you can do so by taking an elevator or escalator. We were today in a good mood and decides to take the longer option as the elevator could take a while to appear and is usually rather crowded.


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While we finally reached the top floor for check-in, the monitors told us that today row M was being used for Cathay to check-in and drop off your bags. 


photo 4

A rather full and long wait was ahead of us and we moved only a few meters within the first ten minutes.


photo 5-46

But to our luck, a few counters opened for Cathay Pacific in the opposite row (Row N). One staff member behind us made us aware about this move and we were now second in line. This was purely luck as the airline in this row was using the same handling as Cathay and by finishing their check in, they freed up some staff to support Cathay's check in. 

About two or three minutes later, it was my turn to check in and drop off our bag. I asked the member of staff if she could give me a window seat. A minute or two later she gave me a boarding card and said that she had given me a place to a window, Seat 59J & K. I vaguely remembered the lay-out of the A359 of Cathay and this seat could be one I absolutely am not a fan of.


photo 6-64

Check-in took a total of approximately 15 minutes I bet and it was now time for us to move up to security and customs. I think it must have been a new record time to clear that as I was out in ten minutes. A lot of passengers usually tend to not pay attention and move at border control to a side where everyone is going, while turning the opposite site may be very quiet.


photo 7-44

No breakfast yet again me and my girlfriend would opt for another breakfast at the airport. A rather disgrace once again. I seriously should stop having my breakfast at Suvarnabhumi. A meal that is usually cheap and delicious was ruined by it's price and taste here (the noodles were undercooked and did not absord any of the soup and the taste of the broth was nowhere to be found).


photo 8

Finished our meals, we proceeded to the E concourse of Suvarnabhumi as our flight would depart from E5 today and like I told you, this view never fails to impress me. 


photo 9

By the time I reached the gate, it was about ten minutes to boarding. Our aircraft did already arrive from Hong Kong and was an Airbus A350-900. While the previous days they constantly upgraded this flight to an Airbus A350-1000, they decided to stick to an Airbus A350-900 for today.

Today's flight would be done by B-LRO, a 1.8 year old bird that was number 93 in line of being build and obviously has only served Cathay in it's life. Another fun fact is that this specific aircraft took my girlfriend to Hong Kong for a Fiji flight just a month ago.  Unfortunately AOT still didn't decide to clean their windows.


photo 10

Five minutes to boarding time, a call was being made by ground staff to remain seated and that the aircraft would be ready to board within the next minutes and that they would board by zones in the dedicated zone on your boarding card. Five minutes later, boarding was indeed initiated, but nobody ever made a call again. Basically what happened was that everyone was boarding at once delaying the whole procedure and I myself did not intend to join that party, so I was one of the last to board..

Getting close, my vague memory served me right… Seat 59J and K…. Basically a middle seat with no window seat next to you, but tons of legroom and some flight attendants in front of you that you are forced to awkwardly stare upon during take off and landing. The seat to reserve would have costed you about 100 SGD to reserve…. Why would you ever pay that for such a seat?


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The legroom you have and the flight attendants kept some blankets on their seat to distribute them to those that wanted them.


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The literature of today's flight was in a holder next to me for three persons. 59J, K & 60K. Headphones were available too there.

The safety card and Cathay's up-to-date magazine.


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Although I barely would call it a window, there is a small chance of taking a wing photo from my seat.


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Push-back was initiated slightly behind schedule and we would be rolling for take off only 13 minutes later than our original departure time. 


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Upon reaching a safe altitude for cabin crew to move around, the battle of awkwardly staring at each other was finally over and I took this chance (tho possible to take photos too during take off) to capture some photos around. It was however a rather full flight.


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And the window of my seat was about an arm length away from my seat.


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While the flight would only take two hours today, I took a look at their IFE (which was stowed away) and found a movie ''Smallfoot'' that I could manage to watch within the time of the flight. the screen itself was very responsive and had a good number of films/series available for you to watch.


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While I drank a coffee previously at the airport, I felt a tendency to visit the toilet once again. It was very clean with a few amenities available.


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The forward economy cabin was already being served their meal and drinks and would take another ten minutes to reach our cabin.


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At cruising level, we saw this type for weather for at least an hour till we reached the Malaysian border, but I am pretty sure that Storm Pabuk had something to do with that as we were at a very high altitude for cruise.


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The choice for today's flight was Pasta with Chicken and Rice with Pork. I opted for the later one as I am not a huge fan of Pasta. A red wine with some water as a drink and some Vanilla ice cream of Haagen-Dazs. The meal was surprisingly good, however the cutlery they provided was a stronger type of plastic, but I couldn't get used to the feeling of it.


photo 21

Tables were cleared about thirty minutes later and we would clear maintain cruise for another 45 minutes. The captain checked in once again to give us the updated time of arrival and the current weather in Singapore and wished us a safe stay or an onward journey 


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I manage to finish my movie slightly before we were to stow our IFE. Perfect timing I would say so. About fifteen minutes later, we were fully configured for landing and we were still in weather I didn't wish for.


photo 26

While we were awkwardly starring again with the flight attendants in front of me, I quickly took a shot of the final approach into Changi. The landing was on 20C and was smooth. It also meant that we were 12 minutes ahead of schedule.


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As Cathay Pacific uses Terminal 4 at Changi, It would mean that we only had a few minutes to taxi and we would be parked at Gate G18, which gave me an excellent chance to capture my plane once again with cleaned windows!


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The livery of Cathay is definitely made for an A350.


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This gate gave me also a very good view of an Airbus A320 of Cebu Pacific who was being prepped for a return to Clark International Airport.


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Although this gate would meant too that we had quite a walk to go to customs.


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Customs took about 25 minutes to clear as it was extremely busy and it seems to be more common on Asian airports to have shops available between customs and the baggage arrival hall.


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Luggage took another 15 minutes to arrive. Not something I found impressive. Though complimentary crackers and cold coffee were available to grab. A nice touch.


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While I am very impressed with Singapore Changi Airport, I find the connectivity not so impressive with T4 as you were required to transfer by bus to T2 to catch the underground to the city.

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Verdict

Cathay Pacific

8.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering9.0

Bangkok - BKK

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.0

Singapore - SIN

8.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access9.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

While I wasn't aware that Cathay was performing a 5th freedom flight between Bangkok and Singapore prior to this booking, I was impressed with their product-price relationship. While I booked this flight only a day in advance, it costed me only 300 USD (for two persons) for a two way ticket and it definitely was much cheaper than grabbing a LCC to Singapore. The flight attendants were very attentive to our needs and did their best to please us. The food was good too and the aircraft was in a perfect state.. I would only loved to have a real window seat. Singapore T4 is indeed impressive, however it would be much better if they manage to add an underground station from T2 to T4 instead of using that bus transfer, which is more of a hassle and customs was rather slow to enter.

Information on the route Bangkok (BKK) Singapore (SIN)

2 Comments

  • Comment 484517 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hello Thomas,

    What an odd fifth-freedom route for Cathay. Given the short ranges and any number of frequencies on any number of carriers amongst Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok, I’m puzzled by why this flight exists. But… it does. And it works out well for you. Nice for you to get in to Singapore, and to test Cathay too.

    Disappointing to get a non-window window seat. But… ummm… how about that legroom?! Glad you were able to make do with the limited views afforded you. Your shots turned out very nice.

    Any time you can ride a Cathay A350 for cheaper than an LCC on the same route, that’s a win. Thanks for sharing this one!

    • Comment 484575 by
      ThomasDutch GOLD AUTHOR 372 Comments

      I wasn't entirely sure as to why CX would compete on that route. The flight to SIN was fully booked though, but the return flight a few days later was not even close to half full.

      Yeah, the legroom is nothing to complain about. However luggage had to be stowed in the usual overhead compartment, which was a few rows back to us as our seat does not have one. The seat width was slightly reduced and the limitations regarding the IFE to be stowed in certain periods (not such a big deal), but the biggest bummer is that I simply love to watch out of the window and that was impossible with that little window.

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