The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Pacific with 8.4/10.
The average flight time is 4 hours and 49 minutes.More information
Report #75: CX792 - Does it live up to CX's name?
This will be my review on flying on Cathay Pacific economy class from Jakarta CGK to Hong Kong HKG, a mid-haul international flight within Asia, on board their Airbus A330-300. This will be the first of the 4 flights review series, which I'll review in the coming months.
Among East Asian countries (ex-Hong Kong), Taiwan had the most relaxed visa-free rule as by virtue of my Schengen visa a couple of years ago anybody from Indonesia and a couple of other SE Asian countries can enter only by submitting online travel authorization. Couple that with CX's travel fair which was held last August in Jakarta, and the result was this trip, which I took together with my mother.
The entire trip (i.e. CGK-HKG-TPE-HKG-CGK) costed me Rp3.675.000 after travel fair cashback, which represented a good value. In return, I received 3.990 Asia Miles from the entire trip, including 1.000 on this flight alone.
It was still pretty early in the morning, so both of us decided to take a ride-hailing cab to the airport. Previously one of the more persistent occupants of CGK terminal 2, they have since moved back to terminal 3 so we went to terminal 3 for this flight.
We then made our way to the preliminary security before entering the check-in area, which simply consisted of bag check.
After clearing the bag search we went to the check-in desk. Though there were quite a number of counters, it still took us 27 minutes from the moment we queued to both of us receiving our boarding passes.
Our boarding passes to TPE were already issued this time, which were printed in a plain stock paper (not that CX is known to have the most colorful boarding pass).
None of my credit cards provided me with access to the lounge this time, so I redeemed reward points from my parents' cable subscription. For what it's worth, I redeemed in total the rewards from 5 months of subscription (the subscription itself costed my family Rp536.500 (~US$34) monthly for unlimited 10 Mbps broadband access) to bring both me and my mother in.
I reached the lounge just in time when the lounge opened at 4 AM. I was asked to scan the QR codes and then submit the access codes for them to take note, after which we were allowed in.
The lounge mainly consisted of one long row of seats, and being a "temporary" lounge meant that it was pretty spartan. On the plus side, plugs were still everywhere (not the universal one).
Wi-Fi was provided through partnership with an ad company, though it was pretty fast at ~40 Mbps download.
Live stations offered were all-day instant noodle and eggs for breakfast. One seriously can't go wrong with Indomie, so I skipped that and went straight to the eggs.
The eggs were freshly opened (i.e. no premixed egg), but they were pretty stingy at them with only 1 being opened instead of 2. Taste-wise this was okay, at least beats the economy class egg I had later on.
Hot foods were already prepared, which consisted of boiled eggs in chili sauce, sauteed vegetables, fried chicken, and fried rice, all of which tasted ordinary.
"Chinese-style" porridge (in contrast to the Indonesian one, which uses turmeric soup) and potato cream soup with croutons were offered as the soup (or soup-like) options.
The salad display pretty closely mimicked the one used at GA's lounge upstairs, though with more limited options (for example, no beef bacon could be found here)
Lighter options include fried snacks (which my mom said wasn't good), steamed snacks, bread, and cereal,
Fruit cuts were on offer, with beansprout salad coming later on.
All drinks offered were non-alcoholic, except beer.
Barista-made coffee was offered, and so does beer. The beer wasn't totally free, though, with only the first bottle being free. They also didn't offer any wine or spirits.
This lounge is also located after security, so water bottles were being prepared
The lounge was pretty basic, but still serviceable for some nibbles and beer. The foods weren't anything special (if anything, even the foods on GA's business class lounge were pretty meh). On overall, while I'd still consider visiting this lounge were the cable operator's rewards program still offer this lounge, I wouldn't count this as a good Priority Pass lounge.
A beeline had already awaited us at the gate, so having checked our bags I simply waited around for a while.
This flight would be operated by B-LAX, a 7 years old 333.
Boarding was orderly, though, and a couple of minutes afterwards I was on my way through the aerobridge where NH's 788 were waiting.
The previous day's local newspapers (by Hong Kong standard, no Indonesian newspaper was available) were loaded from the plane's earlier flight from HKG.
It was only a matter of time before I went inside.
If only I could settle on this seat ….
Alas, my parents were appalled at the business class ticket price (which to me was a steal at Rp9.000.000 (~US$630) roundtrip after cashback inclusive of 2 lounge hopping opportunities at HKG) when we booked the ticket so both of us settled in the economy class cabin. Dimension-wise it wasn't the worst either with 8-abreast seats, which helped me to sleep, but the seat fabric had started showing a bit of age.
Being a mid-haul flight, we were provided with blanket and pillow.
Legroom was okay for this flight, not that it mattered much .
The seatback offered a sizable amount of storage, which was appreciated. Most if not all economy class seats on CX's 333 are the not-so-new kind, which meant static screens.
A foldable table was used, which drooped a bit too low to reach my thigh.
Using my laptop as the benchmark (a business-grade 12.5" laptop), it fit comfortably on the table, though I still struggled a bit to keep the screen fully opened.
Reading materials include magazines, safety card, and airsickness bag.
A 3.5mm standard earphone was offered, which was decent for economy class.
Me on the seat. To my chagrin (like how most economy seats are) I couldn't manage to get the headrest to rise above my shoulder.
Safety video was screened as we started pushing back.
Our large wings sure beat the one boasted by NH's 788 - if only the windows could be better.
737 rules in Indonesia, and by a wide margin compared with A320.
After queuing up for a few minutes for departure we started making our climb to HKG.
After the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off the flight attendants were distributing Hong Kong immigration cards.
Pre-meal drinks were offered, for which I opted for water.
This flight offered a breakfast service, which started being served 45 minutes a above Borneo island.
The breakfast came in standard economy class packaging. Drink rounds were provided, for which I opted for orange juice.
I had picked the fish with rice option for myself, which looked like this.
As my mother was still asleep, I picked the omelette option for her but ended up eating her entree because review is life (in my defense, she still got the rest, plus she'd eaten at the lounge anyway).
The breakfast on offer for this flight was:
Appetizer: Fresh fruit cuts
Bread: Bread roll with butter
Main course: Fried fish chunks in black pepper sauce with rice, steamed carrot, lotus root, and long beans (option 1) or egg omelette with dried baby tomatoes, sauteed mushroom, sausage, and hash brown (option 2)
Drink (default): Water
Drink: Fruit juices / soft drink / mineral water / coffee / tea / milk
To start, the fruit cuts and bread roll were okay - nothing extraordinary given you can't go wrong with either of them. In terms of the main courses, I tried both options, and both of them were a letdown. On the first option, the fish was already pretty soggy and could help with some extra kick from the pepper, while the vegetables were bland. The omelette was even worse, though, as the hash brown was also equally soggy and the omelette didn't look appetizing (did I say the sausage wasn't evenly cooked?) To salvage the meal, the yoghurt was good for economy class, with fruit chunks being aplenty. On overall, though, let's just say I had considered myself lucky to have eaten at the lounge beforehand.
I decided to sleep following the breakfast, and then had a walk at the cabin where most passengers were still sleeping.
The lavatory looked a bit dated, but was otherwise still OK.
There was, however, one lavatory which was rather dirty and still uncleaned - so much so that even another passenger advised me earlier not to use that one.
Therefore, I went to the galley to ask for some water and talk for a bit with the crew. Not only were the crew seemed disinterested (they mostly chatted with each other during their pastime), but also only provided the same tiny-sized water glasses instead of offering drink rounds.
CX's moving map showed an old-style maps in a loop that couldn't be customized, so this was something they could improve on.
Using my usual benchmark, there were a wide selection of classical music options on their IFE - it was my fault, though, for being a bit too specific that I couldn't find what to listen.
In the last hour or so of the flight the connecting flights information were loaded and displayed together with the moving map.
As the fasten seatbelt sign was switched on, the flight attendants made rounds checking the passengers before arrival.
The approach to HKG was pretty smooth.
Landing was uneventful and it didn't take us too long to get to our gate.
What took a while, though, was waiting to deplane.
We were directed to go to the arrival floor as we deplaned.
HKG's arrival area was located on a separate floor from the departure, so all that was there were merely blank walls and moving walkways.
One last shot of the plane that carried us from CGK.
We were parked on one of the farther gates, so we opted to take the people mover to get closer to our gate for the next flight.
From the people mover station it was a short walk to the immigration to stock up on the arrival cards since we'd have a rather tight day the next time we arrived at HKG, and then went to the transit security, which would be continued on my next review.
All in all, this was actually a mediocre flight on CX. While the hard product was pretty OK for the flight distance, they were already slightly dated. In addition, the soft product left a bit to be desired - I get it that it's an early morning flight, but still ..... Let's hope it got better on the next flights.
On overall, I'd still consider flying on CX, but only if the fare is right.