On my way back to London, I chose the longer route, via Singapore, but this time with Cathay Pacific then onto British Airways. I arrived just around the time BA 32 or CX 251 arrived, so I did not lose much time in terms of arriving into London. I just had to leave Hong Kong in the afternoon instead of the evening, which was fine for me, as the earlier departure of BA 16 (22:35) afforded me more time to sleep on the latter red-eye flight.
Also, as an aviation geek, I also wanted to the longest way possible (under the ticket rules, of course, unnecessary to pay excessive fares) to go home, and luckily British Airways allows multiple routings to London from Hong Kong.
I arrived into Hong Kong Airport just 3.5 hours ahead of departure so I could have lunch with my family in Terminal 2. Check-in at the Business Class counters were very quick, without queues and the agent and I had minimal exchange. She checked my bags and issued me my boarding pass within 2 minutes. All is well.
Some mascots-type things I spotted near check-in
Aisle B – next time, I will check-in in the first-class area with my newly-minted Emerald status
An iconic shot
My favourite OneWorld lounge in Hong Kong remains the Qantas Lounge (though I fully anticipate I would be thrown by the Pier First Class lounge in a few weeks’ time): it is often unoccupied and with great food/drinks offering (no champagne, but lovely Australian/New Zealand wine selections)
Also JAL’s lounge during daytime
Hong Kong style milk tea
I really think Qantas did something really brilliant with the lounge; but more importantly is the location. On the level above the concourse, the lounge is very bright and feels very spacious unlike the Singapore Airlines lounge just below it. Makes lovely spots for plane-watching too
The food offering is always good
I opted for the desserts
Gate 1 today – happy days
I left the lounge when the flight started boarding, boarding was well under way
The priority queue was empty
My chariot today: B-HLS, a rather old A333, though with the reverse herringbone business seats
Pre-departure beverage: Cathay delight, water or champagne
Legroom is decent
The noise-cancelling headphones
Gates 1-4 are Cathay’s world
Hot towel was offered
The menu for today
We pushed back a few minutes before schedule
The new mid-field concourse
3:23 flight time
Take-off towards the South China Sea
Drinks service started right after the seatbelt sign was turned off. I started with a Gin and Tonic, and a sparkling water.
Table was laid
To start: Seared tuna, asparagus, oven dried tomato, mixed vegetables and wasabi mayonnaise
Garlic bread and rolls
The standard Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne
The view is excellent
Moving onto my all-time favourite white wine on the plane: Yealands Estate Land Made Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015/6
Stir fried halibut, shallot black bean sauce, kalian, carrot and steamed jasmine rice
More wine and cheese
Ice cream for dessert
Chamomile tea to end
Hot towel to end the meal service
Still over an hour to go at this point
I was asked to complete a survey on the flight. I wrote extremely positive comments for the crew: ably led by the manager, and the Singapore-based senior purser was particularly excellent and warm. CX711 is usually operated by some Singapore-based crew and I find them warmer and more approachable my three recent flights.
Writing kit and playing cards
Water bottles given out prior to landing
Today’s flight was rather empty in the front
Soon enough, we began our initial descent into Singapore
And to mark the end of the flight
Overall, this is an excellent flight. I don’t have to sing more songs of praises for the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge – it is simply beautiful and amazing, like its Singapore’s counterpart. Granted, Business Class was not full and the service was thus more efficient and quick. Yet, the crew was warm and approachable – always on hand to help. It is not unlikely you get one or two exceptional crew on each flight, but it is rare to get an entire team that is committed to making the journey better.