BACKGROUND Cathay Pacific has 20 of these two-class A330s in its fleet, with 44 seats in business and 267 in economy. The Hong Kong-Bangkok route is busy, with Cathay flying five times daily. The route is also served by Thai Airways and a number of less regular services, from the likes of Emirates, SriLankan, Kenyan and Ethiopian airlines.
CHECK-IN After disembarking from my connecting flight I made my way to the transit desk at Suvharnabumi airport. However, signage is poor and I almost walked past it. I had already checked in online and chosen my seat, 19a, a window seat toward the back of the older-style business-class cabin. In any case my arrival was almost three hours before the scheduled departure time of 1020 and so headed off for the lounge. Although a regular traveller, I hadn’t realised before that Cathay has two different lounges one on concourse D and one on concourse G. I normally head for D, which is the larger of the two, but seeing that G was closer I thought I’d take a look. This lounge is about 1/3 the size of the other lounge but has adequate facilities, snacks, soft and alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee-making amenities. This smaller lounge does not have the range of the larger one but it still has four computer terminals and wifi for internet access. Most importantly it was quieter, with only one or two other users in the couple of hours I was there. A staff member came round to alert me at my boarding time and directed me toward the correct gate.
BOARDING It was a short walk to the final security check and I reached the gate well in advance of the 20 minutes recommended. Passengers were already boarding and I took advantage of the priority queue to board through the business class entrance.
I was offered a fruit juice and asked if I needed any help stowing my carry on luggage. There were only a dozen other passengers in the business class so there was plenty of room to stretch out.
THE FLIGHT I learned from one of the flight attendants that CX708 was the onward connection from Delhi and this was reflected in the menu. After my salad appetiser, I chose a delicious chicken curry rather than the vegetarian option. I opted for some orange juice but passed on the dessert as I was still sleepy from my overnight flight. I chose to recline the seat and doze rather than watch the IFE. Cabin service was excellent and, despite the fact that the flight is just two and a half hours long, it never felt hurried. We landed a little ahead of time, with business class passengers disembarking first.
VERDICT A smooth uneventful flight.
by Kenny Coyle