Tier Points running to Jakarta – Part 2

Just a brief recap: I flew to Jakarta on the morning CX777 departure to Jakarta and I was doing a back-to-back for BA Executive Club Tier Points. Jakarta is 2,000 miles away from Hong Kong, which qualifies as a long-haul flight. A round-trip bags 280 TPs – which is nearly 20% of my TPs for Emerald this year!

I was picked up by a Cathay staff at the gate and was guided through transfer, which consisted of him walking me up to the departure concourse via an elevator. He had my boarding pass in hand and settled me down in the lounge while he dealt with my passport and stuff. Within 5 minutes he came back to me and told me to head to the boarding gate. I happily obliged. I was very impressed by the service I got at Jakarta – no confusion and I was able to transfer without entering Indonesia!

The FIDS

There was a queue at the security check before the gate, but it digested quite quickly.

Priority lane for boarding pass check

I am liking the gate area design

The gate area was quite full of people. It was rather difficult to find a seat. But I happily stood. Once boarding was announced, Business Class was invited to board first, followed by Emerald and Sapphire.

When I boarded the aircraft, the ISM and SP were in shock to see me back. I then explained to them I was doing a back-to-back. They asked me where I would be sitting. I originally chose 21A at the rear of the Business Class cabin. The ISM was very insistent that I moved to 11A – so that I would be served first on this sector, and that the air conditioning system was not working at the rear cabin. I was too happy to oblige. More importantly, everyone now knows who I am – I was feeling more like a VIP on the return!

The inflight map

Boarding finished rather quickly, due to the light load on the return sector. Business Class was half full, PEY was similar and EY was a bit fuller.

Plane spotting while taxing to the active runway

Onwards and upwards

I quickly started watching another movie

For pre-refreshment drinks I had Gin and Tonic

Even though it was a 2 pm departure, and the menu was branded as a refreshment – the meal was really a glorified version of lunch / dinner. The full servings, perhaps given the 5-hour block time

To Start: Balik Salmon, cucumber, creme fraiche, salmon roe and lemon

Seasonal mixed salad and balsamic vinaigrette

Garlic bread was excellent as ever

A menu shot

Loving the view

As per protocol, all the options of main courses would be rolled out on a cart. I still have mixed feelings for this way of doing things – the main courses would be cooled, and even if a main looks good, there is still the chance for it to taste bad. In all honesty, I am looking forward to dine on demand: especially the extended menu choices.

Followed by

Pan fried beef fillet, tomato onion sauce, asparagus, lotus root, mushroom and steamed jasmine rice

Pan fried sea beam, savoy cabbage, kipfler potatoes, black pepper and garlic butter

Thai red chicken curry, garlic vegetables and steamed jasmine rice

I had the Chinese beef option. It was excellent.

Evidence. My wine was topped up throughout the service – I must have a few glasses during the main!

Fruits and cheese soon followed

The sun begins to set at this point

The dessert was simply divine. Peanut butter macadamia cake

It was so good that I asked for a second helping! I also asked for a comment form so I can praise the crew for the lovely service I received.

The meal service took about 3 hours, which I took to be a good pace, though I am very sure my neighbour did not agree (he got his laptop out for work after main!) This was due to the turbulence during the flight, but I think it was an afternoon flight – people would have had lunch earlier

The SP came by to thank me for choosing CX on my TP run and asked me whether she could offer me a cup of hot chocolate. I happily obliged.

Before landing, I also asked for a cup of green tea

Catching up on some work prior to landing! We were put in a holding pattern due to congestion

Putting my seat back to take off position prior to landing

A bottle of water was available upon request

When the gate information finally appeared, I knew my day was coming to an end

Back at home after a long day!

Verdict? Overall an excellent flight. The catering was very good. While not too fancy, it was completely edible and I enjoyed the service. I particularly loved the Yealands Land Estate Sauvignon Blanc – not a pricey wine, but definitely very drinkable on the plane. I hope to continue to see this wine on board, as I have for the last 5 months. The service was commendable – perhaps because I have flown the outbound sector, the crew was warmer and more proactive this sector. But either way, very good service. The delivery was excellent. Hard product and inflight entertainment excellent as ever.

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