Tried & Tested

Flight review: Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330-200 business class Hong Kong-Bangkok

31 Aug 2019 by Seher Asaf
Aisle Seat

Background

Hong Kong Airlines flies between Hong Kong and Bangkok six times daily. I flew in an A330-200, which has 18 business class seats and 246 economy class seats. I was initially booked in economy class, but I was upgraded to business class while I was boarding the flight. 

My flight to Bangkok from Hong Kong took place the day after protests rocked the Hong Kong Airport on August 13 and all flights were cancelled. This flight, like many other flights leaving Hong Kong, was delayed. Flight HX775 was scheduled to leave at 1005 Hong Kong time and arrive at 1305 Bangkok time, but on August 14 it was delayed by an hour like many other flights.

Check-in

Since I was able to check on my flight status on the HKG MyFlight app before I left my home for the airport, I knew before arriving at the airport that my flight would be delayed. I arrived at Hong Kong International Airport around 0815 am for my 1105 am flight to Bangkok, just to be safe. Thankfully, I was able to avoid the long line that had gathered at the Hong Kong Airlines check-in counter because I had already checked in online and didn’t have check-in baggage but I had to sift through a giant crowd to get to security and immigration. I was able to get airside through the automated check-in counters by scanning my passport and thumb. 

Boarding

I was the first person at my gate. I noticed that most of the flights at neighbouring gates were either cancelled or delayed as well. However, boarding was on time (according to the delayed flight time), and while I was waiting in line, one of the crew members upgraded me to business class after checking my boarding pass and passport.

The seat

The seats in the business class cabin are laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration. My seat, 15G, was an aisle seat in the middle row. The cabin’s red colour scheme appears a little bright at first, but it’s welcoming and matches well with Hong Kong Airlines’ brand colour. The purple pillow and blanket complements the red covering quite nicely. Each seat comes with a three-pin plug socket, a snake-shaped adjustable reading light, a sliding tray, a touch-screen IFE, and a bottle of mineral water. There is also ample storage space for your shoes and handbag or backpack underneath the IFE. 

Aisle Seat

The seat reclines to a full bed and there’s a massage option too, which I regret not trying as I only discovered it right at the end of the flight. 

Hong Kong Airlines Business Class

Which seat to choose?

My personal choice would be the window seat in the middle of the aircraft. The window seat offers more privacy, and you may be treated to some nice views of Bangkok’s skyline upon landing.

Window seat

The flight

Before take-off, the pilot apologised for the flight delay and the flight crew started serving a selection of drinks (water, orange juice and iced tea) as soon as we sat down in our seats. 

The menu was distributed right after boarding, and the meal was served soon after take-off.  I really enjoyed the artwork on the menu. The illustrations on the cover and the corners of each page were very creative. 

business class menu
Business Class menu meal options

We were offered a starter of seasonal fruit. For the main course, we had a choice between chicken piccata with mushroom rissotto (see below for photo) and dan dan noodles with minced pork in spicy and sour sauce. (Business Traveller Asia-Pacific’s editor Michael Allen tried the dan dan noodles on his recent flight to Hanoi, so you can click here to see a photo of that dish.)

Dessert was a dark chocolate raspberry mousse. Along with the meal, we were also offered an assortment of breads to choose from. 

Business Class Meal

Right after take-off, we were also offered a selection of newspapers and magazines. I chose Time magazine because it was the only English-language option.

I was pretty absorbed in Time magazine throughout the flight and decided not to watch a whole movie through the IFE system, but I did browse through it to see what movies the airline had. The IFE was fast and the interface was easy to use. The film selection was reasonable, though I struggled to find any movies released this year. Most of the new releases seemed to be from 2018, which isn’t ideal if you’re looking to catch the latest releases.

I thought the service was very high quality; the crew offered drinks frequently throughout the flight and offered to help with my luggage, too. They made frequent trips down the aisle to check on people.

Landing

Before we landed, the pilot warned that there would be turbulence during our descent into Bangkok, but there was not really any significant turbulence in the end. We landed smoothly. 

Verdict

This is a great option for a short-haul flight to Bangkok. The standout features were definitely the friendly service, comfortable seat and the small details like the artwork on the menu. It would be good to have some more new releases in the movie selection, but since this flight is relatively short I was pretty happy just reading my magazine. 

Fact file

Price Return business class fares at the start of September begin at HK$4,361 (US$556)

Flight No. HX 775

Configuration 1-2-1

Seat width 20 inches

Seat recline 180 degrees

Departure 1105 (delayed)

Flight duration 3 hours 

Contact hongkongairlines.com

 

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