The following two reports cover my day trip to Jakarta on Cathay Pacific’s Business Class on a Sunday. The reason I chose Jakarta was because HKG-CGK is over 2,000 miles, which means that it is classed as a long-haul flight with BA’s Executive Club. Bagging 280 Tier Points in a day, at no additional cost to an ex-EU fare, is about the best deal you can get. It also helps that CX777/CX776 constantly runs on long-haul planes as doing the back-to-back would have been painful on a regionally configured plane.
I woke up at 5.45 am and left home at 6 am for my flight at 9.20 am. I took the Airport Express shuttle bus to Kowloon Station where I did my in-town check-in.
I arrived into the airport just 2 hours before my flight. Security was packed but with the HK efficiency, I was through and through in 15 minutes.
The gate today was Gate 2. While the Wing is definitely just next to my gate, I was assured that it would be packed. The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, which doubles up as JAL’s lounge in the morning/early afternoon before Qantas and BA’s evening departures, provides a rare sanctuary for plane spotting, breakfast-eating and (more importantly) catching up with caffeine undisturbed.
Japanese rice provision for Japanese passengers
My breakfast, with a lovely cup of flat white
Second course: made to order wonton noodles
SQ001 onwards to Singapore
Leaving the Qantas lounge for my flight. The lounge was not populated at all despite the morning rush hour flights. Staff was courteous and happy to oblige with any requests. Food offering was superb.
As ever, the Priority Pass lounge had a long queue
My flight was about to board when I arrived
My chariot today – newly painted A333
Flying business today!
My seat was 21A, which is an excellent seat. Being at the back of the Business Class cabin means that there is minimal foot traffic as all toilets are in front of you. You are also in the mini cabin which means it is a bit roomier. The only downside is that you will be served last.
This is 20A
Welcome drink: no bubbly in the morning
Business class was full but boarding was quickly done. Safety demonstration soon followed
The seat controls – really showing its age
The journey is just over 2,000 miles – exactly why I was on that plane!
Taxing to runway
Entering runway 07R for departure
And here we go
Shing Mun Reservoir and Sha Tin
Then I started my inflight entertainment
I was offered a post-take off drink. I took a coconut water (I was rather surprised to see that on the menu) I also asked for a champagne. The Purser serving my aisle was very snappy – not overly approachable, but she was straight to the point, also yelling ‘certainly, sir’ – very typical HK efficiency!
First course: Seasonal Fresh Fruits
With breakfast pastries
Second course: Special K
Third course: Braised beef brisket and noodles – yum!!! It was very flavourful and the beef was flavourful. It was hands-down the best breakfast I have had on the plane. The noodles were well cooked but not overly dry.
A cappuccino to end
Breakfast service concluded about 1.5 hours into the flight, which was rather efficient. The food was decent in portion and quality. I was generally pleased
I decided to start working
I got some sparkling water
And HK style milk tea – one of my favourite drinks on board Cathay
Crossing the equator
Hot towel offered again just under an hour out
Seat returned to take off position
21A has two windows
I asked for a bottle of water to keep myself hydrated until I get on the plane again!
Descending into Jakarta
Our flight route today
The curtain was shut immediately after we arrived to make sure that business class passengers disembarked first
I was picked up by the ground staff who helped me pass through transit. I was led to the lounge while the Cathay staff took care of the rest and came back with a boarding pass. I was impressed by the meet and assist service I was provided with as a back-to-back customer.
The flight was very good. The catering was a stand-up from what I had to London a few months ago – Cathay certainly had the potential to do very well in terms of food. The service I received was good, nothing memorable. The Purser was very to-the-point, but was not as friendly as the ones on SQ. Given a full flight, it was understandable that I felt like I was on an assembly line. Hard product was excellent as ever. Not a bad half a day mileage running. And spoiler alert: my return trip was better!