It’s been 17 long years since I last sat in the departure terminal of Hong Kong International airport and a lot has changed. Sadly, this time, I won’t be enjoying the sights, sounds and bustle of the island itself though I should really book in a short trip here later this year because I imagine there will have been a great many changes. One that hasn’t changed, perhaps worsened, is the dense smog. I took a photo on the “clear” side of the airport terminal to give you an indication. The other side was unrecognisable!
The first leg with Cathay Pacific was a solid one. Not spectacular however, it wasn’t poor either. So what did I like about it? Well, for starters, their check in kiosks and boarding processes are spectacular. Fast, efficient and fuss free. Just what this experienced travel junkie loves more than anything.
On board, there is ample overhead luggage space. The staff are quite laid back and friendly. Let’s face it, many flight attendants these days put being pretentious and glamorous ahead of offering courteous customer service. Thankfully, there were no heads up backsides for this leg of the journey. The food however was, if you can say, a major let down. Both dinner and breakfast were soggy and tasteless which made me glad that my flat mate had stuffed me with a delicious Polish endured chicken schnitzel before I left home.
On the plus side for Cathay Pacific was the in flight entertainment on offer. More movies than you can poke a stick at in fact. Better still, many of them were recent releases so even a staunch movie buff like myself had plenty of options. Ironically, I fell asleep and stayed that way for most of the 8 hour flight, waking just in time to watch live coverage of Southampton v Arsenal! Yep, Cathay Pacific now offer live sport on board. Subject to availability of course.
On a sanitary level, the toilets were clean, spacious (for airplane standards at least) and offered free toothpaste, brushes and fragrances to keep you smelling as fresh as daiseys! Of course you are provided with the customary pillow and blanket though the headphones on offer were fantastic. A push for more enjoyable entertainment experiences is one area few airlines work hard on. Thankfully, Cathay Pacific excel in this instance. It would take a harsh critic to feel let down by that element of their service.
I’m unable to report back on the drink service provided as I was dead to the world for the best part of the flight though from what I did see, there was always an opportunity to secure that much desired thirst quenching drop to wet the whistle. I was a thirsty lad at breakfast time and had my orange juice and water topped up no less than three times! Marvellous that.
In summarising, Cathay Pacific are an efficient carrier who, thus far, deliver a fantastic service at a more than reasonable price (my return trip to London was only $1,300) whilst making sure you are catered for every step of the way. My thoughts now move to what the standard of food will be like on the Hong Kong to London leg……