Cathay – hk to lhrBack to Forum
Currently on board the 150pm Cathay flight (wed 23) from Hong Kong to London.
Luckily I was able to get business class with Avios (going back on Qatar to seoul (gbp 2k one way) and after a holiday in seoul back on cathay to HK.
Check in at HK was outstanding as I arrived 90 mins before my flight. All desks were open and whilst one world emerald and flying business, the lady ushered me to the first one which was economy and where 2 people checked me in, it was that quiet. Check in were quite friendly and efficient and I was impressed how well staffed they were (it was a relaxing experience). I should say a friend also travelled to SFO last week with Cathay and I went with him as he was on a 1am flight and it was the same experience except he had an amazingly super helpful young guy eager to assist.
I suspect london will be a shock but at HK all the security lanes for hand luggage were open and I just had 1 person in front of me and was through in less than 5 mins. Security were helpful. Then scan HK ID card and off to the lounge.
I went to the first lounge (I think is the wing near gate 1 – left out of security and are there in 2 mins – none of this lhr t5 rubbish of up and down escalators to get to the lounge. Staff were friendly and I had to scan leave at home safe app and show vaccine evidence. Lounge had maybe 15 people or so and I ate in the restaurant. I had a duck terrine and some wraps – the food was a little disappointing when you compare London T3 cathay offerings and as was the service – however it was adequate. I should have looked at the buffet.
Went to the shower facilities and were large and exceptional.
Unfortunately my gate could not have been further away – gate 36! No idea why they use when most gates are sitting empty. Walking through terminal was quite quiet and quite a few shops open but some looked closed for good (ie moncler).
I only arrived at gate 15 minutes before closing (cut off is 10 minutes which seems very good for long haul). There was no queue and the lady was helpful getting me through the gate. No queue to get on the plane and they had separate economy and business / first entrances.
The crew were a bit cold when boarded as unlike ba there were no smiles. However once I got to my seat (row 12 and which is the second from the front as no first class today), the guy crew member was very helpful and putting luggage in the bins for me. I also noticed the lady crew member the other side helping those her side.
Initial impressions of the a350 – 1000 was that it felt like I was in a doctors surgery as very white. I quite like the seats but it does not compare to ba club suite on the a350 by any means as no door (however probably better than the old ba club seats and better than the Qatar non – q suite seats). However what does stand out is the huge amount of storage in front – it is very cleverly designed. I also like the big table at the side of the chair as well as the pull out table which slides sideways so you are never trapped in the seat. Seat has set functions which are good. No air vents.
Champagne and other cocktails were offered pre – take off. Also they have a very nice printed menu and orders were taken before take off on an I pad equivalent and asking what drink wanted once in the air and with the meal. It was from this stage the the young guy serving also spoke by name.
The pre drinks came out in about 30 mins (they don’t take trolleys down the aisles except when clearing plates – I almost think trolley could be quicker). Food was served in the following hour and so quite quick. Whilst on the small side, the quality was excellent as had a soup, rack of lamb (very tender and cooked perfectly) and cheese.
After dinner they took orders for the next round of service and then lights out at 5pm (feels quite early but gives everyone an option re sleep). Frequent offer of too ups for drinks.
Big tv screen and good selection (bigger screen than BA first). WiFi not so great but that is the same with most airlines.
So I was impressed with the HK ground experience and the service and seat are good. However I don’t think I would pay a big premium to go cathay over ba but would over Qatar unless q suite or need the extra tier points from 2 flights.
My flight from seoul to hk is also a cathay a350 and was very reasonable priced as was about HKD 4500 (it was cheaper than Korean air and who I would have tried if they had kept the a380 on the route but they took it off).
Overall a pleasant experience and I have to say HK has to be the best airport to depart from as just relaxing and so many staff at every point (cathay or airport) – Europe could learn a lesson from.23 Nov 2022