Old Jun 21, 17, 1:02 am
  #4  
G-CIVC
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX Diamond, AA exExPlat, BAEC Gold, HH Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Starriott Gold, GE
Posts: 2,811
CX 520 HKG-NRT, Business Class

I went landside to collect my BP and process my departure tax refund. The gate this morning was 34, which was a convenient excuse to make the trek to one of the favorite places across FT:



The morning rush was largely over, so the lounge was deserted this morning.


Unfortunately my own layover was not long either, so the visit today could only cover a light breakfast of waffles and fruit followed by a quick shower before it was time to head out. The dragon fruit juice and fruit bowl were meh but the rest were excellent, as is the service as usual.







I was a little late but Japanese flights meant very orderly and quiet passengers without any commotion:



It would be my second time on today's battleship B-HLW, a 2 class A330 fitted with long haul business class and economy without PEY.

Cathay Pacific 520 / Japan Airlines 7046 / American Airlines 8882
Hong Kong (HKG) to Tokyo Narita (NRT)
November 25th 2016
Estimated departure/arrival: 1015 - 1515
Actual departure/arrival: 1014 - 1515
Flying time: 3h 40m
Equipment: Airbus A330-300 B-HLW
Seat 11A

Ah, the ever comfortable realms of 11A, and almost exactly the same seat as on the plane that I just got off. Maybe just a larger footwell now



PDB of Oriental Breeze was swiftly consumed while an oshibori was handed out.


The A330s were older and less fancy, and in CX style, there were no air vents


Still, boarding was so calm despite we were completely full in the back and 80% in J, but we pushed on the dot and were on our way soon after a long taxi to the other end of the airport. As is HKG always, interesting sights on the way out.


The new concourse, predominantly featuring HX and friends

I think I remain more contempt on this side of the airport

Once we established altitude, the FAs sprang into action. The junior crew member soon came by offering me landing cards, and was kind enough to lend me a pen as well as a pair of socks I requested. Then senior purser Joyce, a charming old Japanese lady came by to say hello, distribute the menu before coming back with a beverage cart of which I chose the Billecart Salmon on offer today as my aperitif accompanied with a Japanese style nut mix. Yum yum.





Not long after, the appetizer tray was offered along with a drink refill. This was decent considering ex-HKG meals are notably worse most of the time considering the flexibility and amount of costs they can cut. But Japanese routes perhaps deserve a bit of dignity still.

Without wifi, it was time to resort back to the IFE. At least they still had I am a Singer, one of my favorite reality TV shows with many of my favorite singers this season.


Rather surprisingly, all the main choices today looked good. I couldn't resist the temptation of sea urchin so I went for the Japanese main of baked salmon...even though it was just sea urchin cream sauce



The taste was phenomenal and unbelievable knowing that it was catered out of HKG.

The meal service was going on at a leisurely pace and most pax seemed to be in holiday mood. Some time later, Joyce came by again with cheese and fruit. She noticed me taking a picture of the cart just now, and each time later she asked if I would like to do that again and even adjusted her trolley and asked if the angle worked for my phone. Just your wonderful seasoned and personalized CX service!




After the ice cream and coffee/tea run I looked out of the window to see ourselves steaming across the East China Sea, soon making landfall over Kyushu.




It was time to stretch and relax a bit after a full meal. Only regional blankets were available and not the duvets for long haul flights, but at least there was a pillow.

The A330 lavatory is a bit more old-school but still well stocked and fitted out.


Unfortunately on a flight of such duration, the end approached quickly as a hot towel was distributed again before the captain came on the PA shortly after we flew past Mount Fuji (at a distance):



We soon landed at the shorter runway at NRT rather bumpily and had a brief taxi to our gate near border control. The competition is strong and visible nowadays...



One last shot of my enclave before deplaning:


Immigration was a breeze and I was out in less than 10 minutes.


As usual, it was a great flight with CX. The only letdown may have been being completely ignored nor acknowledged by the ISM throughout the flight, but the rest of the crew did a fantastic job. Interestingly, the flight time was similar to my ORD-LAX leg and it seems that AA still has a long way to catch up on 'regional' flights of such duration.
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