Flight-Report

Review of Hong Kong Airlines flight Taipei Hong Kong in Business

Airline Hong Kong Airlines
Flight HX253
Class Business
Seat 17K
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 17 Feb 19, 11:45
Arrival at 17 Feb 19, 13:45
HX 18 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 1316
Published on 7th April 2019
The flight summary for this RTW trip.

ORD-HND ANA 777-300 First Class / United Polaris Lounge - click here
HND-HKG ANA 787-9 Business Class - click here
HKG-TPE EVA Air 787-9 Business class - click here

TPE-HKG Hong Kong Airlines A350-9 Business Class - this report


HKG-DXB Emirates A380 First Class - to come
DXB-ORD Emirates B777 First Class / Emirates DXB First Class Lounge - to come

photo hx253 cover

Admittedly the only reason to go to Taipei was the chance to fly the new EVA Air 787. I was hoping to get Cathay’s A350-1K on the return but that didn’t work out. I did find a steal business class fare on Hong Kong Airlines for $178. And it was on an A350. Sign me up.

The Novotel hotel is a great transit hotel. It’s also a nice facility with a shuttle, good restaurant and excellent #avgeek quarters. The only drawback was at the end of winter the windows were in need of a bath. This EVA aircraft might have been my prior night's 787.

photo hx253 novotel 1

Looks like TPE is expanding.

photo hx253 novotel 2

United getting towed to the gate for it’s daily SFO departure that Apple has practically bought out.

photo hx253 novotel 3

Mid morning I took the shuttle over to Terminal 2 where EVA Air and Hong Kong Airlines gates are located.

photo hx253 airport 1

Then up the escalator to where all the lounges are.

photo hx253 lounge 1

EVA has a number of lounges in this area. Hong Kong Airlines uses the “Star” lounge. It doesn’t have any relation to Star Alliance I don’t believe, but I suppose you could enter on a Star Alliance ticket.

photo hx253 lounge 2 star

Although I’m not sure you’d want to. It wasn’t the most attractive lounge I’ve been in.



Food and beverage was served in this room off to the side.

photo hx253 lounge 7

In fairness I was there at 11AM. So maybe they were switching from breakfast to lunch, but still….



Anyone who has been to Taoyaun International Airport knows how big the boarding gates are on the lower level. This gate was packed. It would be a full flight.

photo hx253 boarding 1

Already 15 minutes past boarding, no plane, no announcement, no interest.

photo hx253 boarding 2

Around scheduled departure time the A350 appeared on this cloudy day in Taiwan. Another reason to like the Taoyaun Airport boarding gates, great views!


.
photo hx253 plane 10

They turned the cabin around in no time and boarding commenced.

photo hx253 cabin 1

This Hong Kong Airlines A350 had the stock Solstys A350 seats. The new Hong Kong Airlines A350 have reverse herringbone Super Diamond seats which are far superior in my view. Nevertheless both are in a 1x2x1 configuration.

They cram 33 seats in this front cabin, the most of any airline that I know of.

Airlines using a similar seat and number in front cabin: Asiana 28, Iberia 31, Thai 32, Vietnam Airlines 29. Others with different seat types include Cathay Pacific (front cabin) 28, China Airlines 32 and Delta 32.



Hong Kong Airlines did not choose to remove the center bins like other airlines. The cabin wasn’t as open, but when the overhead bins have been removed and the seats don’t provide any space, storage can be problematic. Just ask Delta.

photo hx253 cabin 5

I the main lavatory for the business cabin is average size. The mirror was cracked on this 14 month old aircraft.



The Solstys seats are my least favorite J seat. Well, the 2x2x2 Diamond seats rank down there as well. Not that seat is bad, it’s just there are better ones available. A pillow and blanket were provided, a nice touch for a 1 hour flight.

photo hx253 seat 1

Corner cut out so when extended into a bed it fits.

photo hx253 seat 2

The window armrest goes down and the bed extends to the window, but with lots of seams.

photo hx253 seat 3

Then there is this little space below the monitor where you can store… a phone??

photo hx253 seat 4

The footwell does narrow at the end where your feet end up.

photo hx253 seat 5

Even though my laptop bag fit perfectly under the ottoman and surely doesn’t weigh 26 pounds, I was not allowed to keep there. The FA insisted it go in the overhead bin.

photo hx253 seat 7

When the tray table is down you are land locked.

photo hx253 seat 8
.


My guess is there are the highest quality headphones. I left them in the bag, just to do my part in saving plastic waste.

photo hx253 seat 12photo hx253 seat 13

Good place for the placards, and small Evian water bottles were distributed.

photo hx253 seat 14photo hx253 seat 15

Privacy on this aircraft from seat 17K.

photo hx253 seat 16 priv

Time to go. Wave.

photo hx253 bye-bye
.


Actually I was surprise to see the IFE camera on this jet. Singapore, if HX can get cameras how about you?

photo hx253 away they go 1photo hx253 away they go 2
.
photo hx253 away they go 3

Menus were distributed for cart service on this 1 hour flight. No mention of wine, it was in the cart.

photo hx253 menu food
.
photo hx253 menu bev

With much trepidation I ordered the Shrimp balls with goose liver pate.

photo hx253 food 1

And I was genuinely surprised at how good it was.

photo hx253 food 2photo hx253 food 3

Who takes the time to cut an apple like this? Apparently Hong Kong Airlines. Pretty cool.

photo hx253 food 4

And they give you 2 desserts.

photo hx253 food 5

I asked for a cup of coffee. This is how it was served. No little napkin either.

photo hx253 food 6

The IFE was fair. Not a great selection. But with the Camera who needs movies.



The clouds had returned to Hong Kong (along with the rain that took place during my subsequent stay).

Landing to the east at Hong Kong International Airport.



For redemption information on this route as well as how this widebody compares to others, click to visit rewardflying.com

photo hx253 flight path
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Verdict

Hong Kong Airlines

5.8/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew4.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering6.5

EVA Air / The Star

4.3/10
Comfort4.0
Meal/catering4.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services4.0

Taipei - TPE

7.4/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Hong Kong - HKG

7.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

For a $178 business class fare on a 500 mile route I have no complaints. Would I fly HX TPAC? Maybe on that $500 mistake fare a while back, otherwise with all things being equal, I doubt it.

Information on the route Taipei (TPE) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 46 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Taipei (TPE) → Hong Kong (HKG).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 1 hours and 50 minutes.

  More information

3 Comments

  • Comment 496747 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 293 Comments

    I wouldn't say it is a bad product, but comparing their product to their competitors on that route it is below average indeed. Though thanks for this comprehensive report of an airline that is not reported frequently on FR.

  • Comment 497263 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 447 Comments

    Hi ThomasDutch. Yes, not a bad product, better available. Thanks for reading!

  • Comment 497469 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4742 Comments

    Hi RewardFlying,

    An awesome and very complete report for such a short flight. What a great deal for J you got on this flight! On any other continent, this product would be considered amazing for a 2 hour flight. But, as you mention, HX is going up against some big players like CX and BR on this route who have much better hard and soft products. HX is a neat little airline--I just wish they were in an alliance for mileage earning.

    Thanks for sharing!

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