Hong Kong – BA/Virgin/Cathay

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  AnthonyDunn 27 Nov 2015
at 11:18

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  • Anonymous


    Been reading this site a while however never posted before.

    I’m looking at vising a friend in Hong Kong next year am trying to determine which airline is my best bet.

    My current preference is for the BA A380 service although would welcome your views as to whether flying premium economy on the way out is worth the extra £250 being quoted to me? Also what is the A380 service like on BA these days?

    Am not fussed on the flight back, also being an A380 I would look to secure a seat on the top deck anyway, I did this on a Singapore Airlines flight and found given the smaller economy cabin service was actually much better,

    Other choice of carrier is Cathay Pacific although they use the Boeing 777-300 and are changing more than BA


    Hi E.Canon2014 and welcome to posting. I have frequently sought advice from this forum and have had some terrific help before!

    Regarding your dilemma, well I have been on a BA A380, once in J on the top deck, and recently on Y+/Premium Econom (from IAD to LHR), and I would be very happy to try the premium economy again, even on a much longer flight.. The seat is actually very comfortable and gives reasonable space. The entertainment system has loads on it and it is easy to use.

    You would also get more BA Avios..

    I am sure the Cathay product is decent, especially with the soft product, but remember the first meal you will get a business class standard main course.

    I hope this helps.


    In my view it’s not just about the product – price plays a key determinant. Especially, if you’re paying yourself!

    All three airlines to HKG offer a pretty good product and it’s a busy route.

    If time is not critical I’d also consider some business class options with an en-route change in the Middle East or Asia as there are some amazing deals on airlines with pretty good products if you fancy trading a change for some comfort and better service en-route.

    In simple terms, £250 for PE in BA is worth it on a long route like HKG and the comfort of the 380 is superior in most seats to the 777.


    I can give you some views on the BA 380 v 777 LHR-HKG but in Business..

    If you book ex-Europe, you will have a terrific savings which may make the difference between economy and business seem small.

    Upstairs on the 380 (business) you do get more room, by the window, over the 777 by window….

    Would not use Virgin to HKG and CX always seems more expensive..


    On a long long-haul flight such as LON-HKG, then you really do not want to try out anybody’s Y product: it is designed for the cash poor, young who don’t mind body contortions for hours as long as they get to the other end in one piece. WT+/Premium Y is very definitely worth it because the seat is wider, the seat pitch (leg room) is longer and both the catering and in-flight entertainment is better. You have a far better chance of actually being able to get some shut-eye in WT+ than in Y at the back.

    Beyond that, I have no idea whether/what frequent flyer status you might have. If you join BA Executive Club (it’s a nil cost option to join at the Blue (entry) tier), you will start to accrue tier points and Avios (Warning: this can become a serious game-playing addiction…!) §:-)

    If you are able to spend a bit more, then there is also the option (there have been multiple postings before now on BT forum on the subject) of trying an ex-continental Europe dog-leg through LHR. This will give you rather more Avios, quite a few more Tier Points and all for many fewer pounds. Suggested itineraries include LHR-AMS-LHR (itinerary 1 on a separate ticket/booking reference for the flights at the beginning and end of your overall itinerary) matched to a separate itinerary 2 AMS-LHR-HKG-LHR-AMS. Itinerary 2 will be priced in €uros and you will be astonished how much cheaper this is than direct from LHR. This is because BA is seeking to attract hub traffic from the continent onto its long-haul services via LHR – and it prices accordingly. There are any number of alternative itineraries including places like Dublin, Oslo, Copenhagen (they vary in terms of cost and efficacy).

    Almost every network carrier does the same and, for much the same reason, CX to/from HKG is usually a lot more expensive than travelling through HKG to somewhere else. Which is why I’m travelling to Myanmar via HKG on CX; what they were quoting for Business Class (J) was a deal.


    Welcome to the forum E.Canon. Just to add a bit more spice to the mix, and if you’re willing to change plane, then I’d highly recommend Premium Economy with Lufthansa via Frankfurt.


    @ LuganoPirate – 26/11/2015 19:01 GMT

    But can you guarantee that they’ll actually be flying…?! §:-)


    Lots of good advice here.

    E.Canon doesn’t say exactly when he will be flying next year.

    But another suggestion, assuming the flights do start in time, would be CX ex-London Gatwick.



    The issue with CX and anyone of the others for that matter is on the direct flights the costs are ridiculous, I am a regular traveler Man-Hkg-Man so I am always using a transit point so always able to get the best J deals for the time of travel. Then CX launches its new Man flights, but are so costly I cannot justify the extra expense over a transit carrier. I do look longingly at the flights board in Hkg when I see CX Man boarding. E Canon 2014 as others have said, unless you are restricted to Lhr shop around.


    +1 Martyn

    I fly this route every month, I choose BA for direct ex-EU solely on price. My personal preferance though is either QR or EK. That said I am in business so cannot comment on Economy or PE. just my observations here in economy the product gap closes so I would say BA if you want direct, EK if you want indirect to save a few bob. CX is always too expensive, i have flown their 777’s in economy in Asia and find the seats uncomfortable.


    Hello E.Canon2014

    I had an excellent flight in WT+ on an A380 two weeks ago. Not only did the 9 hours pass in no time, the crew, seat and food were all very good. The only fault I could find was that the journey was too quiet and smooth! But I have never been a big fan of the superjumbo!


    Welcome to the forum E.Canon2014

    All good advice above and I can’t really add anything more on PE, excepting to say I’ve avoided BA “Y” at all costs. Having said that, I’ve got the luxury of a having a stash of avios to UG to PE with and PE is good, but probably not worth the difference.

    Anyway, I’m someone who travels EDI- HKG fairly regularly and because it’s for leisure (also visiting a mate) with other mates we’re quite cost conscious. Why spend money on flights when you can spend the savings in Wan Chai and LKF : )

    My advice, choose your dates and create an account with Skyscanner. They will update you with prices and occasionally a great deal will pop through. For example a few weeks ago they quoted me China Southern via Beijing , on closer inspection , the AMS to PEK sector was actually on KLM. Maybe it was because there was a 24 hour layover in PEK on the return leg that pushed the price down to £352 return!!

    Sadly my HK mate and his family are selfishly vacationing at Whistler, so I didn’t take advantage! : )

    So, if you have the time to research, keep an eye out for codeshare flights. You might just find a cheap AF flight and end up on a CX plane !


    Good point Anthony 😉 though I did fly with them to JNB this week and admittedly nervous for a while they then announced a strike this Friday so I was somewhat relieved in a Machiavellian sort of way!

    A friend of mine who was flying Lufthansa PE from NY to ZRH via FRA a couple of weeks ago and was affected due to the then strike, was informed by SMS that they were putting him onto a Swiss flight which actually suited him as Zurich was his end destination. What did not suit him was the fact he paid extra to fly PE which Swiss do not offer.

    He rang the Senator hotline to have a moan and see about some refund to be pleasantly told, before he could even open his mouth, that he’d been upgraded and put in the business cabin. He was actually very happy, upgrade and a direct flight!


    @ LuganoPirate – 27/11/2015 11:13 GMT

    Now that’s what I call turning bad luck into good fortune: excellent on the part of LH/LX.

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