0115 Singapore / Hong Kong Time
1315 Eastern Time
I am currently at 34,000 FT, FL340 lounging in the awesome Cathay First Class, just off the shore from Seattle and San Francisco enroute to JFK. With a pot of peppermint tea, here I am sharing about my Cathay Dragon flight earlier in the day. I was on KA221, A320 flying from Da Nang to Hong Kong in transit to JFK. As I mentioned earlier in the previous post there was no queue and the check in, immigration as well as security was smooth, furthermore it is impressive that Cathay have a dedicated First Class Check In line even though there is no first class out of Da Nang. HAHA perhaps they know that there are plenty of us flying First on the error ticket routing through here. In fact the Flight was late upon arrival, the boarding time was 9.10am and the plane just arrived as I reach the gate. I even got to see it land. Boarding only started about 9.35am, 20 mins later than scheduled.
It was a single aisle plane with 6 Rows of Business Class in a 2-2 Configuration for a total of 24 seats. I was in seat 11A, second row in business class. Most of the business class seats were taken up. Being the first on-board I was glad that I am able to take some nice pictures of the empty cabin. The crew seems polite and above par, where there were a personal welcome by the Purser when she presented the menu.
Economy was in a 3-3 configuration!
The boarding was a little chaotic, further hampered by everyone boarding from a single door, probably due to this, service was slightly impaired and welcome drinks were only served after boarding was done, there was a choice of orange, apple juices as well as a Strawberry milkshake. Champagne was also available upon request. There is no offer of refill and glasses were kept upon push back, perhaps due to the late departure.
There was also no offer from the crew to hang my jacket until a delightful stewardess saw that I was holding on to it, furthermore she is not one of the J Class crew! It seems that the service aren’t that standardised. Now the seats, it is better that what you will find on domestic US First Class. The seat was decked out in Cathay colours, another point of them streamlining the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon products. They were fabric seats as per the norm on Cathay. This might be an issue for maintenance in the near future. The cabin was warm on the ground, thankfully there are air nozzles installed which is so appreciable. The seat itself is spacious and comfortable with an adjustable headrest and a good recline, especially for a short day flight. Each seat came with a pillow.
I love that there is a gap between the windows and the seat, such that you could further stretch your legs, this way it seems like best of both worlds for choosing the window seat.
For some seats tips, the bulk head seats are the best, having extra leg space in Row 10.
Leg room was decent and comfortable. The seats were also rather designed in a way that it will suit the recline. Which are controlled by buttons located on the side of the arm rest. The seat is awesome for lounging. There was a USB port as well as a socket which was located in between the seats.
My main issue is the lack of compartment to house personal stuff on the seat. There was no real place to put your stuff beside the middle arm rest which is shared with your seat partner. It is tiny and also where the drinks are located. There was this tiny space between the seats in front of you, but they were so tiny that it could not fit anything.
Headphones were provided and placed on the seat compartment alongside the magazines, they were just Cathay brand but still comfortable and rather noise cancelling. Kudos to Cathay Dragon for having IFE installed on their seats, something that is not available on Silkair. Ahem! The screen size was a good one furthermore the quality was good as well. Sadly the Cathay IFE system is rather limited.
Here are the menu for the flight!
Service was friendly as I mentioned earlier, however no actual towels were given and only packaged wet wipes. However I was constantly addressed by name during service which is commendable. J Class was served by the purser as well as 2 crew. The table came out from the seat in front of you, right under the IFE.
The meal service started almost immediately after levelling out, given how short the flight was it started out with a fruit plate, yogurt and a choice of pastry, all served on a plate. After that the crew will bring out both choices of the main course to let you choose, it is nice to see that they actually bring on this practise from their big sister, Cathay Pacific itself, seems that it is actually a lot of work, for every pair of seat, the crew got to make a separate trip back to the galley after a choice is served.
I really love the style of getting both main courses and allowing the passenger to have a look to let them choose, this is an awesome way to do it. Something my beloved SQ should learn from. I choose the western option which is the Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Pork Sausages, Bacon, Potatoes and Grilled Tomatoes. The seafood noodles looks disgusting. I had a few nicks and bite, since it isn’t too nice. The croissant turns out to be the best part of the meal since it is flaky and crispy.
I had a couple more glass of champagne before getting a cup of joe at the end of the meal. It is nice that drinks were offered after the meals too.
Soon we were in Hong Kong and we had a rather on time landing despite a late departure. Everything went well and the doors were open pretty quick, but it turn out to be a mobile stand. There isn’t a premium bus, so you got to wait with everyone else. There off I go towards to clear transit security before heading for my lounge hopping, which will come very soon! I promise!