22 DEC 2015
1620 – 2105 (Scheduled)
1637 – 2049 (Actual, flight time = 3 hours 12 minutes)
Boeing 747-400 (B-HKT)
As Silver Marco Polo Member, I headed straight for the Business Class Check in Counter, knowing fully well that had I checked in in the Premium Economy counters, I would have been over and done with in less time, but man got to do what man’s got to do.
Gate 69 today, a bit of a walk, but all worth it to see my ride today – Queen of the Sky, one of the three remaining 747s with Cathay
View from my window
We pushed back surprisingly on time despite a full flight (load in PEY is quite good, with only 2 empty seats, but a full Business Class I think)
Safety demonstration featuring the First Class Cabin
Take off roll
IFE: very big PTV and certainly liked the touch screen function. But the touch screen seems to be a bit faulty perhaps because of the age of the aircraft.
Legroom Shot – very good indeed (looks slightly limited only because I am very tall)
And the drink cart mysteriously appears! Haven’t seen the drink cart for ages so I am happily surprised. I took a sparkling water while my neighbour enjoyed his whisky on rocks.
Another shot of the wing
Asked for a Gin and Tonic. The ISM definitely overdid on the Gin.
Sunset views – absolutely gorgeous
Dinner tonight – pork with rice. Slightly disappointed with the lack of proper dessert and the taste of the entree is somewhat disappointing, too. This is the same tray served in Economy Class – really disappointing. Asked for Apple Juice and the Flight Attendant initially gave me Orange Juice … What the hell?! And plastic cutlery for Premium Economy?! Definitely did not feel the “Premium” in Economy!
Milk Tea post-dinner
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Green Tea after dinner
Shot of PTV when front seat is reclined
Change for Good envelopes handed out and collected
View of Tokyo Bay prior to landing
And finally, advertisement of Cathay from the Monorail station:
Verdict and Conclusion
This is my second time reviewing Cathay’s short-haul Premium Economy product and I find their service and product quite consistent. The problem I have is that the service on short-haul Premium Economy is inconsistent with its long-haul counterparts, no pre-take off champagnes, no pillows, no blankets, no menus, no metal cutlery, etc. I think those things should be provided to really justify the 50%+ mark up of the price from the Economy Class.
Dinner: was not so good. The lack of menu, metal cutlery and a proper dessert is a major problem. If marketed “Premium Economy” I would expect to have something better and different than Economy. The entree itself does not taste good, that’s another.
Seat: was excellent. Probably the only reason why I flew Premium Economy over Economy – the best in the industry I think. Very comfortable. Very tempted to give a less good grade this time, though – the lack of pillow and blanket is a real problem, though was offered the Economy one when requested.
Service: was good. Above average from what you get on Cathay, but it took two requests and 25 minutes to get a hot green tea. Not good enough, eh?
IFE: was very good. The screen is a bit faulty, but that’s all about the complaint.
“Good” – Definitely not “Premium” in terms of soft products, but the seat itself salvages all the other mischief. But going forward, I think Cathay needs to remember, it is all the small things (e.g. metal cutlery) that make all the difference.