Review of Cathay Dragon flight Hanoi Hong Kong in Business

Airline Cathay Dragon
Flight KA294
Class Business
Seat 18K
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 01:50
Take-off 02 May 19, 19:55
Arrival at 02 May 19, 22:45
KA   #12 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 62 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 1041
Published on 20th August 2019

Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by this report. This is the continuation of our trip to Vietnam that became a reality after a Cathay Pacific "mistake" fare that was honored. Feel free to visit the SNA-ORD report for more background on the planning, etc.


Routing


T1 to T2 Transit


Arriving from Nha Tran (CXR) in the domestic terminal necessitated a quick shuttle bus ride to the international terminal. There was virtually no wait and the trip was about 5 minutes.


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At the International Terminal (Terminal 2) we located the luggage storage desk and left our bags for the day while we walked around Hanoi. Please check out the "tourist bonus" section for a few shots of the city.


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Chekck in and Lounge


We returned to Noi Bai International Airport (NIA) Terminal 2 after about 5 hours in town. Porbably 90 minutes of that time was in the taxi going back and forth.


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The terminal is bright and modern. We arrived at a lull in departures/check ins as there was very little in the way of crowds.


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Likewise security and immigration were quick and we were off to locate "NIA Business Lounge" which seems to be the lounge you use if you are not flying Vietnam Airlines.


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The entrance is up one level from departures.


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The lounge is large and has great natural light. Ramp and runway views abound! Unfortunately much of the seating is so crammed together you cannot access the center seats, should it be sufficiently crowded,  without significant effort and forget about having your luggage near by. It's really rather mind boggling to stack all of this furniture on top of each with no room for egress.


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There is a small amount of seating that isn't cramped but you have to trade the good views.


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Smoking facilities.


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There are several massage chairs available.


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Lockers to store your luggage because you can't put it near your seat.


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There is a private VIP/meeting room for amputees.


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Bathrooms were spacious with shower facilities.



Small FIDS.


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Dining consists of several hot dishes and a wide variety of cold dishes.


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Don't eat this bread.


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Semi-made-to-order pho was available.


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Rather poor adult beverage selection.


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Jennifer gave the pho a try. It wasn't very high quality.


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I opted for a vodka tonic and chips.


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Cocktail with a view.


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Quite a variety of aircraft visit HAN, apparently. A 767-400, really?



KA294 HAN-HKG


The sun set and so did our time in the lounge. boarding was underway as we arrived at gate 32.


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Seating on this Dragonair A330-300 was in the regional 2-2-2 configuration. The aircraft had a first class and I wondered why our A fare tickets didn't ticket in F on this segment but quickly reminded myself of the circumstances of the tickets and let that go quickly.


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These seats are premium economy seats at best but for a  90 minute flight they are perfectly good.


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Pre departure drinks were offered from a tray. I cannot recall the name of the drink with the lemongrass stalk.


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The "hot towel" service was int he form of a package. I found something make use of these smart phone holders.


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Headphones on offer.


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I was somewhat surprised when menus were distributed for this 90 minute flight. With a choice of main course and full bar service, no less.



As you would expect the service started as quickly after takeoff as possible. Base trays with appitizer were placed and choice of beverage offered. I opted for a glass of the Domaine Langlois-Chateau 2016, a Chenin Blanc.


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Bread was passed from a basket. The garlic bread was excellent.


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Chicken with tamarind sauce was OK.


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Dessert was served as a separate course along with coffee, tea or digestif. The crew was simply amazing in how they carried out the service. With such a small window of time they were working hard but nothing about the service felt rushed.


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Very shortly after the service items were cleared the cabin was prepared for arrival.


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Yay, remote parking!


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Bonus: A few hours walking around hanoi


Bonus : Click here display
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Verdict

Cathay Dragon

7.5/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.0

ACV Business Lounge - Terminal 2

6.8/10
Comfort6.5
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services7.0

Hanoi - HAN

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Hong Kong - HKG

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

The Ground Service: Check in was quick at the dedicated Business counter and we received boarding passes and lounge invitations all the way to JFK.

The Lounge: I found the lounge to pretty good for a contract lounge serving a wide variety of airlines. I do think whomever arranged the furniture should be educated on how people have to have space to walk adjacent tot eh furniture in order to occupy said furniture.

The Cabin: I don't care for this regional J product in most circumstances but for a 90 minute flight it's perfectly fine. The recline is limited, the padding is poor and the resolution on the IFE is woeful.

The Crew: Super impressed with the way the crew operated. It's a large task to serve a 3 course meal in 90 minutes. They did it with grace and precision and seemingly no rushed. This is my second Dragonair flight and both crews have been exceptional.

The Food and Beverage: Way above expectation for a 90 minute flight departing at 20:00. Menu, choice of main dishes and full bar service with Champagne.

Overall: A great flight to end a great day. It's sad to leave Vietnam but knowing we will return in 6 months time makes it a bit easier.

Information on the route Hanoi (HAN) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Hanoi (HAN) → Hong Kong (HKG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Dragon with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 0 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

  • Comment 518021 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4947 Comments

    A better experience than the VN 321neo (what a disappointment btw...def a missed opportunity there)!

    Aside from the off furniture arrangement, I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of the lounge. Views are great and its bright and airy with good food options.

    Quite a variety of aircraft visit HAN, apparently. A 767-400, really?

    Maybe CO was planning to transfer some 764s to Air Mike at some point ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    These seats are premium economy seats at best but for a 90 minute flight they are perfectly good.

    Totally agree! Having flown on these seats, they are totally fine for shorter flights, but it would be impossible to get any sleep in them on longer flights...without pills anyway.

    A lovely bonus, thanks so much for sharing! RIP Anthony Bourdain 😥

    • Comment 518122 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 924 Comments

      Hi Kevin, thanks for the feedback.

      A better experience than the VN 321neo (what a disappointment btw...def a missed opportunity there)!

      -Totally. A perfect airplane for the long regional flights to SGN and HAN but preferably not in that config. Someone suggested future deliveries may be fitted out with larger J cabins and hopefully better entertainment options.

      Having flown on these seats, they are totally fine for shorter flights, but it would be impossible to get any sleep in them on longer flights...

      -Yet I've seen them on the redeye flights to NRT. Yuck.

      A lovely bonus, thanks so much for sharing! RIP Anthony Bourdain 😥

      -It's been just over a year but still seems fresh.

      Thank you again Kevin and happy flying.

      Maybe CO was planning to transfer some 764s to Air Mike at some point ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      -Ah, of course, the GUM-HAN route would print money.

      • Comment 518207 by
        KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4947 Comments

        p.s. I'm loving the wide angle shots sprinkled in here and there lately. New lens on the DSLR? I've have one and I never use it. I hate jacking around with changing lenses haha. But I always love the result when it comes to cabin shots.

  • Comment 518056 by
    atco SILVER 127 Comments

    Hello Socalnow!

    There is a private VIP/meeting room for amputees.

    That might be the funniest line I have ever read on here. Glad I wasn't drinking anything at the time.
    What a bizarre lounge in some ways. I would love to know what the designer was thinking when they put some of those seats in. So funny!

    That Cathay Dragon regional J looks like a very sad hard product but goodness me the inflight soft product looks very good. Imagine getting that in Europe or North America on a 2 hour flight hahahaha!

    I'm sort of looking forward to the next report...……..I'm over it now...……...almost...………….maybe just a couple of sessions of therapy :D
    Cheers!

  • Comment 518124 by
    socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 924 Comments

    Greetings Atco, I appreciate your feedback on FR.

    I would love to know what the designer was thinking when they put some of those seats in.

    - I started to wonder if they had a number of seats they felt the needed and darn it they were getting them in there, even if they had to stack them vertically!

    Imagine getting that in Europe or North America on a 2 hour flight hahahaha!

    -It would be the most luxurious product in either market. I find it difficult to be critical for that reason. It's just that CX and their regional peers have set the bar very high. I suppose we can only logically compare them amongst that peer group.

    I'm sort of looking forward to the next report...……..I'm over it now...……...almost...………….maybe just a couple of sessions of therapy :D

    -I'm sick about the timing. It really is a coincidence that our CX reports are overlapping. I assure you I've been working on this CX stuff for weeks before reading about your fateful journey. Well, you know how long these things take from formatting pictures to organizing into a report.

    Thanks again for the note and happy flying.

    • Comment 518220 by
      atco SILVER 127 Comments

      Haha, I joke of course and I'm looking forward to reading your reports greatly. It will inspire me to create an itinerary with CX F in it for myself again, and this time hopefully can actually fly it! I'll probably do outbound from HKG this time though so as to experience the great lounges there. Although I've heard that the cost cutting has really hit hard especially with the food offerings. Will be very interested to see your thoughts on the lounge experience you had.
      A good report does take some time to write, I've been working on mine since June so its just an amusing coincidence of course! One thing is for sure, your CX experience had to have been much better than mine :D

  • Comment 518135 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 371 Comments

    Excellent report once again and it seems like KA has a pretty good J product for shorter regional flights like these.
    -

    Likewise security and immigration were quick and we were off to locate "NIA Business Lounge" which seems to be the lounge you use if you are not flying Vietnam Airlines

    I'm a bit flustered as it seems that NIA also handles Skyteam airlines.... Are those passengers as well allowed to enter VN's lounge or not? Cause as a Skyteam member, it kinda looks odd to me to deny them access.

    • Comment 518165 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 924 Comments

      Hello ThomasDutch and thanks for the note.

      I'm a bit flustered as it seems that NIA also handles Skyteam airlines.... Are those passengers as well allowed to enter VN's lounge or not? Cause as a Skyteam member, it kinda looks odd to me to deny them access.

      -Interesting that China Airlines and Korean are on the list for the NIA lounge. I know absolutely nothing about Skyteam lounge access policies so I don't have an answer. I wonder if KE and CI contract with NIA because of crowding issues at the VN lounge? Or to just give their passengers more options? I would like to visit the VN lounge to see how it compares.

      Happy flying.

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