Old Jan 28, 11, 1:34 am
  #1  
quirrow
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: CGK
Programs: FlyingBlue | Krisflyer | SPG | HHonors
Posts: 990
Circle Pacific on oneworld: CGK-HKG-YVR-JFK-LAX-MEL-SYD-CGK

Introduction

Browsing through the oneworld website, I was contemplating a round-the-world trip but without the time to apply for so many visas for the numerous countries I am planning to visit, I made do with a Circle Pacific ticket which allows me a single price fare to visit some of the cities I had wanted to visit. The plan was to spend Christmas and New Year with my siblings in Vancouver, before heading to New York and Los Angeles, and returning to western Pacific via Qantas to Melbourne and Sydney. Since I would be taking Cathay Pacific to Vancouver, I had a stopover in Hong Kong, which I will make use to catch up with friends in that place.

My flight routing will be like this:

CX776 CGK-HKG
CX838 HKG-YVR
CX888 YVR-JFK
AA001 JFK-LAX
QF094 LAX-MEL
QF422 MEL-SYD
QF041 SYD-CGK

Having had a taste of the regional Business Class on Cathay Pacific during my Bangkok trip, I opted for the Olympus Business Class configuration. This gave me a 20th December departure via an Airbus A340. Just as well since this will be the only A340 on the routing and I had taken enough of the regional A330 and B777 that Cathay uses. This though limited my departure to 20th Dec, with 4 nights stay in Hong Kong and a Christmas Eve flight to Vancouver so that I reach there by 24th. Fortunately my travel arrangements was good to go, and it was just as well since I would be expecting a 747 upper deck seating on my flight to Vancouver from Hong Kong.

And so here begins my trip review of my first taste of CX's soon-to-be-renewed Olympus Business Class journey:

CX776 Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta CGK - Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok HKG
20 Dec 2010
A340-300 B-HXE
Scheduled ETD/ETA: 1450-2030
Actual Time of Departure/Arrival: 1504-2022
Seat No: 16K

It was a relatively empty check-in counter at Soekarno-Hatta when I arrived, and a couple of people were waiting in the economy class check-in section. Having checked in online, and holding a Marco Polo Club membership meant I could check in on one of these fast lanes in addition to the Business Class queue. One passenger each was queueing in the 2 lanes which meant I picked the Business Class section. It was around a 5 minute wait while the CX agent that controls the queue tries to make small talk with me. Perhaps to keep me occupied or due to curiosity, I won't know. I had 2 luggages which I had to check-in, with one of them stuffs and gifts for my siblings in Canada. While I know getting a tag for one of them straight to Vancouver might not be possible, there is always no harm in trying. As expected it is not possible since my stay in Hong Kong was pretty long to begin with. No matter then as I check in both luggages and the friendly check-in agent requested that I weigh my cabin carry-on since I had another camera-cum-laptop backpack. The cabin luggage was filled with some snacks that I didn't want to ruin inside the larger suitcase which I checked-in in addition to a pair of windbreaker for cold weather in Hong Kong which I was told to expect. Thus it was quite light which meant it was tagged with no problems at all. Interestingly, my last international flight out of Soekarno-Hatta through Lufthansa also requested I tag my backpack, as I had only my backpack as carry-on luggage at that time. I was also offered a Hong Kong arrival card, which I have no need of since I had filled one at home already. I was thinking the tagging could also have to do with the tremendously large amount of luggage I have.


CX776 seen on my way to the Airport, operated by an Airbus A340 today

I proceeded to the immigration counter after taking the boarding pass and the lounge invitation. I passed the fiscal check for Indonesians with no problem but the queue for passport control was horrendous as the queue for Indonesians was long even though there were 5 lanes open while the ones for Foreigners was short despite having just 2 lanes. It might be due to the large volume of Air Asia flights departing and the holiday season in Indonesia as well. One family was being escorted by an Air Asia agent as it seems he is late for boarding and tempers soon flared as he tried to vent his frustration at the immigration officers - bad mistake - in my opinion.


Boarding Pass and Lounge Invitation in Hand

Around 30 minutes later, I passed immigration and proceeded to the choice of the Premier Lounge or the Pura Indah Lounge, both of which are located beside each other. I asked if I could enter both lounges, but the lounge agent just rejected that notion which left me with the Pura Indah Lounge which was nicer and has better selection of food and English language reading materials, though it had no views of the tarmac which the other lounge has.


Food and Snacks in the Pura Indah Lounge

It seemed, though that most passengers on the CX flight agreed as the Pura Indah Lounge was much more crowded that the Premier Lounge. Having had a short lunch break at my cousin's place before I headed to the airport, I wasn't particularly hungry. I just got myself a small bowl of Mie Ayam (Chicken Noodle), Ayam Kecap (Chicken in sweet gravy), vegetable quiche and some morsels of snack. The only thing worth eating was the chicken and I got myself more of that, while the other food were just good for small bites. I got to grab a copy of CNN Traveller and was just starting to connect to the internet when the boarding call started. I just left some time to check my e-mail before packing the laptop back inside and head towards the boarding gate. However, once I reached boarding gate D2, they were just starting to board those on wheelchair, and a queue was already forming for business class passengers.


Airbus A340 Nose Cone, an EVA Air 747 can be seen leaving for Taipei at the back
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