Last Christmas, I reviewed the Premium Economy product between Hong Kong and Tokyo gfHaneda, which I found to be overrated. As part of my Christmas ritual, I flew the route again, this time in Economy class: the food was downright inedible but the seat was decent and the entertainment options were good. Although for a flight this length, the premium that normal people would have paid to fly this flight during Christmas peak season could not be justified. My ticket was tagged along with my travels from the UK, and it did not cost any extra to go to Japan – so here I am.
As a OneWorld frequent flyer, I could check in using the Business Class desks
I chose to go to the newest Cathay lounge in HK, which is the Pier. The entrance is just next to Gate 66
I quickly got myself some breakfast as I have not eaten yet
The food was half-decent: the freshly-made noodles and buns were alright, but the food from the servery was just a bit… grim. Oh well, the flat white from the coffee corner was the saving grace though
After my breakfast, I went to the tea corner for some tea. Here Cathay serves the gourmet JING Tea, which the attendant will brew the tea from loose leaves for you after you have chosen. All a very indulgent exercise if you like tea.
I chose the Jasmine Silver Needle tea, which was very clear and easy to drink.
I picked one of the window seats at the lounge and enjoyed the plane-spotting exercise that it afforded me to do.
Soon it was 8 am and it was the advertised boarding time of the flight. So I walked to my gate.
My chariot awaits
I took the Business Class lane and headed down the air bridge
My seat today is 41A. Legroom is good.
Boarding was done relatively efficiently and we pushed back roughly on time. Flaps were deployed once we left the gate.
It took another 20 minutes until we eventually took off. Hong Kong was rather gloomy then.
Cathay’s 77W features a nose camera. Gear up!
Once we broke the clouds, it looked beautiful up there
Spotted an Hong Kong Airline A330!
Breakfast was soon served. I chose the Chinese option but they ran out!
The breakfast was… at best a passable attempt. But having fed myself in the lounge, I am happy to just feed on the cold items
Speed brakes deployed
Tokyo was equally gloomy
Full flaps deployed
The route today
We arrived more or less on time and the luggage came out quickly with priority tags. Although with a high premium traffic port like Haneda, the first class bags came out first and there were quite a few of them.
Overall verdict: The lounge in HK is, as always, excellent, despite the lack of quality food when I was there. It was not crowded and I enjoyed the tea and coffee, which were superb. The legroom was good for a short flight, the IFE was excellent as usual. The service was robotic but that was to be expected for a full flight. The food was passable. The lack of choice in the third row of Economy was disappointing but again I had eaten. The timing of the flight is excellent, though not worth the premium this flight commands during high season. It is another good flight by Cathay – nothing spectacular as one would expect from a 5-star airline, though.