Unlike my previous flight, my return flight had no BKK stopover (phew….). Hong Kong International Airport has city check in counters at their Airport Express Stations in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Station. It has check in facility for many major airlines (which is listed here). I decided to do one dim sum stop before flying back and boy it wasn’t the best decision. My flight departs at 4:40pm and I did my city check in at 12:30pm. Unfortunately, my dim sum stop took longer than expected (we waited for 1 hour before we were seated and we were still in the restaurant at 2:30pm!). However, there was no regret as the dim sum was good (we tried the dim sum in Maxim Palace in City Hall). We got back to the station at 2:50pm and we managed to catch the train (the train leaves once every 10 minutes). The journey to HKIA took about 25 minutes and with the boarding pass in hand, we can go straight into the departure area. Even though HKIA has a courtesy lane, they are not meant for premium customers. Thankfully, getting through security was a breeze and the wait was even shorter for the immigration (thanks to the autogate).
After getting the obligatory gifts for my staff and my partners, I was down with just 30 minutes from departure. Cathay has 4 lounges in HKIA (The Cabin, The Pier, The Wing and The Deck). As I was short of time, I went to the one nearest to my gate and it happened to be The Deck. The Deck is pretty small (compared to The Pier and The Cabin when I was there back in 2013). They still have a nice cosy lounge area and an open dining area. Despite being small, their signature Noodle Bar was there.
We were the last 2 or 3 to board the plane, as we boarded just 10 minutes before closing. For the return flight, I managed to get the bulkhead seats (which I could only select during the online check in 48 hours before). Once on-board, we were served the welcome drinks (which included their signature drink). The cabin was very empty, I estimated less than 10 passengers in total. We used the same A330-300 (no A350-900 again unfortunately). The cabin layout and seats are exactly the same as my CX711 flight.
Unlike my previous flight, we were served warmed nuts on this flight. Not long after take-off, we were served dinner. Meal service on this sector was more proper, where table cloth was laid down. Though the food were still served on tray, we started off with our appetizer, followed by our main (choice of 3 mains), cheese and fruits and lastly ice cream.
Beverage selections were exactly the same as what we had to Hong Kong, with Piper Heidsieck being the champagne, and choices of white and red (2 each) and a dessert wine. Tea selection was from Jing while the coffee was from Illy. One of Cathay’s favourite is the Hong Kong milk tea.
The food was good, and the chicken was nicely done – it was not overcooked to the point of being tough (common problem for airplane food). The garlic bread again was excellent.
The return flight was certainly more pleasant as the meal service was more proper and better presented. The crew were also extremely pleasant and friendly too. Unlike SQ’s seats, the bulkhead seats does not offer any distinctive advantage over other seats as the foot rest is equally narrow (unlike SQ’s bulkhead foot rest which is much wider). The TV screen however is slightly further away from the seat.
I would not mind flying Cathay again to Hong Kong, given the miles required works out to be 15,000 miles less than SQ’s (for a return flight) and their noodle bar is excellent. It is a pity though that there is no First Class between Singapore and Hong Kong given the good reviews their First Class cabin has garnered. I would recommend using Avios over Asia Miles as the miles required is 10,000 less per sector.