Old Mar 22, 17, 3:39 am
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX Diamond, AA ExPlat, BA Silver, HH Diamond, SPG/Marriott Gold, Hyatt/IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,449
Flight 4: CX 745 HKG-DXB Business Class

Oh dear, there is so much CX. But this is the last CX segment of this whirlwind trip. I didn't enjoy it as much and of course it was of shorter length so there's less to write about.

Apart from SFO-LHR in BA Y, this sector actually had been keeping me quite worried over some time because I heard about frequent theft activities on routes between the ME and HKG. So I may have looked very cool all the time...

I was worried that 'thieves' may have made their way to the J cabin. There were around ~10 op ups tonight as I was stalking EF along.

This was the 3rd last CX departure for the night, the lounges were closing down and HKIA felt eerily quiet as I walked to the gate. It seems that most of the flight was occupied by Chinese migrant workers/people visiting them, but there were some Arabs and businessmen as well (excuse my ignorance)

Boarding was called 30 minutes before departure. Because of my nervousness - perhaps combined with the uncertainty heading to the 'unfamiliar' places from ones that I do all the time (JNB, HKG), and the tremendous difficulty of placing my carry on into the A330 overhead bin, I was sweating all over and just took water as PDB. The HK flight purser was speaking to me in English all the time which made me somewhat uncomfortable...and pax were speaking to her in Cantonese!

I picked the front-most seat 11A over the mini-cabin in the back again as I was afraid of potential theft. It also features a larger footwell as on other fleet types. We rolled off from a very dead HKG less than 15 minutes after scheduled departure time, and soon after that fast track arrival cards were distributed, in addition to kits that were given on ground.

This flight was surprisingly done the most to-the-book in terms of greetings; the filipino SP and ISM Marilex both gave dedicated personalized greetings thanking me for my loyalty. Unfortunately the service interaction was minimal as you can see I can't even recall the name of the SP. Oh well.

I continued to binge-watch At the Threshold of an Era when the supper service commenced. It seems that although the departure was of an ungodly late time, almost everyone partook in it, maybe because they kept most lights on.

The supper offering was actually a bit different from the European/JNB standard offering - pita replaced grissini, and there was a third Arabic hot entree instead of a light meal option. Being somewhat nervous and uneasy I decided to play safe and chose the Chinese option of steamed halibut which was a bit on the bland side. I paired with a glass of Billecart, a bubbly that I really like.

Perhaps my looks really expressed my feelings so the SP came around and asked if I was okay or wanted anything else like cheese. I said I was fine. I think I did take a praline or two but the meal service soon wrapped up and given the tiredness of my 18-hour layover, I guess I dozed off soon.

Although I was somewhat sad I couldn't switch to the QR HKG-DOH nonstop, I thought to myself at least on CX I could get a solid night's sleep. Unfortunately that wasn't the case as ~2 hours to arrival the lights were turned on again and I was awoken by a lot of banging and clanging of cutlery when we were served 'continental breakfast':

I found that rather pathetic compared to HKG-Australia flights which have a shorter block time but you still get 2 hot meals. If this was 'light' then it would have made more sense to do it discreetly like how it was done on JNB-HKG without having to disturb the pax. Later, I expressed my dissatisfaction with the ISM who profusely apologized by at the same time was defensive by saying that this was the 'preferred option' by most pax. Not for me I guess

Once breakfast was done it was hard to get back to sleep again so what I could do was to enjoy the sunrise over my first glimpses of the Arabic lands:

We had a bit of ATC hold but landed and arrived at the gate ~10 minutes ahead of schedule. Despite the haze, both the skyline of Dubai and the A380 array at DXB were stunning sights for a first-timer. We taxied to the renovated(?) Concourse D where I was the first off the plane after the ISM apologized again as we were waiting for the jetbridge to be connected. Next up, much better times with my first QR experience....


I wasn't able to say that the crew were giving their very best on this flight. I mean, they were doing their required jobs and duties but maybe that was it. The greetings, while substantial and appreciated, did not help much for my enjoyment of service after all. Which once again reaffirms that these greetings are not the most important but rather how the service is actually delivered.
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