Old Jan 28, 11, 1:54 am
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: CGK
Programs: FlyingBlue | Krisflyer | SPG | HHonors
Posts: 990
Cathay's Lounge in Hong Kong

CX838 Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok HKG - Vancouver International YVR
24 Dec 2010
B747-400 B-HUD
Scheduled ETD/ETA: 1625-1150
Actual Time of Departure/Arrival: 1659-1156
Seat No: 82K

Checking in the station was effortless since there was not much people and I headed to the Business Class counters, handing over my Marco Polo member card and my passport. With e-ticketing, it has always been easy to check-in for flights with one less stuff to bring for the flight. I was greeted with a warm welcome and I put my 2 huge luggage onto the weighing scale. As expected, the larger of the 2 exceeded the weight limit and I had to repack the luggage and move some of the stuff into my cabin baggage. Luckily, the check-in agent was nice enough to close one eye on the final weight as it exceeded the maximum permissible weight by a little bit. As mentioned, all these luggage were filled with snacks and gifts for my siblings in Canada. With check-in completed, I was able to head down to the Airport Express platform and wait for the train heading to the airport.

A ride in the excellent Airport Express linking the airport to downtown

It was perhaps a 5 minute wait as a train arrives at the station and I was able to board the clean and spacious cabin. With storage space for luggage and the light load, I got to occupy 2 seats and was seated comfortably as the train made another stop at Tsing Yi before an express ride to the airport. My first experience years ago with the Airport Express endeared me to this mode of transport between airport and the city and I always wonder how amazing it would be if all cities has such infrastructure linking the city centre with the airport. That would definitely make travelling more convenient!

Boarding Pass and Lounge Invitation

Upon reaching Hong Kong International Airport, I went ahead to find check-in row 2 as I wanted to pass on my mileage claim form to the Asia Miles desk which could be located in that area. In fact just beside Row 2 of the departure hall lies the amazing Cathay Pacific First Class check-in desk. The counters without the baggage conveyor and weighing scale for luggages just shows the gap between Business and First, and maybe one day I might journey in that Class. But that would be for another day as I am perfectly satisfied to be travelling on Business in an ultra longhaul flight. While I was queueing up at the Asia Miles counter, a family checking in for their flight queued up behind me. Initially thinking they were waiting for the Asia Miles agent as well, I thought nothing of it until another family member came looking for them to direct them to the correct check-in counter. After maybe about 10 minutes of wait, I got my turn and handed in my request form.

Cathay Pacific's First Class Check-in Counter at HKIA

With that settled, it was time to head past immigration. Since there was no fast track immigration in Hong Kong, I just had to queue up like the rest and was lucky enough that immigration and security check was quite fast considering it was a Christmas eve. First stop after immigration was The Wing, as I proceeded to have lunch of Dan-dan Noodles. Being a Christmas Eve, there were also servings of cookies for patrons. Since the noodle came in a small bowl, I got another bowl of Japanese noodle and requested for the Ebi Tempura to be placed on a separate platter. The lounge was suprisingly not crowded at all and when I enquired about the renovation to take place at The Wing, the lounge agent wasn't able to provide more details, though they did mention the luggage storage area and the first floor lounge section has been closed. From the Wing, I made my way to The Cabin and visited the new lounge. While it had modern stylish seats, there wasn't a noodle bar in The Cabin and it was pretty small with many guests using the iMacs at the lounge. I didn't take any photos of the lounge interior, and proceeded to browse for automobile magazines in the PageOne bookstore around the airport.

Christmas Cookies at the Wing

Entrance to the Cabin, Cathay Pacific's newest Lounge at Hong Kong

Eventually, I ended up at The Pier, the 3rd of 4 Cathay Pacific's Lounge. The Pier is perhaps my choice of lounge in Hong Kong, though the location was a bit out of the way. My favourite part of this lounge was the Long Bar which provided nice views of the tarmac and if one is lucky enough that day, they might end up sitting face to face with a Jumbo Jet. I got dessert of Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream along with a cup of Latte while seated at the Bar to spend the time before my boarding. Ten minutes before my scheduled boarding time, I proceeded to my gate which is closer to The Cabin, and suprisingly, there was already a long queue for boarding, even in the Business Class line. It seems to be another full flight for CX to Vancouver.

Saying Hello to a CX Jumbo Jet at the Pier

Ice Cream and Cafe Latte at the Pier

The Jumbo Jet operating the flight that day was one old bird with the registration B-HUD in Cathay's fleet. With Cathay's extensive purchase of 777-300ERs, it seems that Cathay might even retire their Jumbo Jets. Even with its age, I still find the 747 to be one graceful plane! And I shall have the experience of being seated in the Upper Deck on a Business Class cabin. My first seating in an Upper Deck was on a JAL flight between Narita and Vancouver, though it was an Economy Cabin even at the top.
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