Old Jun 21, 17, 6:18 am
  #7  
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 543 HND-HKG, Business Class

I had seriously considered taking a taxi or Uber to the airport, but frugality caught me again last minute. I ended up taking an Uber (1200 yen for 5 minutes...) to the monorail station and made my way to HND arriving with around 2 hours to spare.

As always, HND is one of my favorite airports, but today the crowds suggested that either the Japanese also celebrated Thanksgiving, or the terminal was approaching capacity




It was great that there was an F counter at the CX check in just for emeralds as today's jet would be a 2-class regional config. Not so great that emeralds do not get priority lane, so I had to join the lines which were nonetheless not annoying.

First stop was the JAL F lounge for some light bites and a glass of Sky Time, their very fruity kiwi mocktail. I always love the tarmac views and the rather minimalistic design there.





More light bites and I also grabbed a bottle of water as I moved to the CX HND lounge, one of my favorite CX outport lounges, and where CX actually beats the base carrier in some sense, just like at BKK.



Not a lot of pictures as I've reviewed the two HND lounges I frequent (JL F and CX) previously here at post #8 .

Today's gate would be 145, the very same one where I stepped on the CX 747 in F one last time some two months ago. Today's battleship has also seen its age, but unfortunately is a tad less charming than the jumbo jet...so there was no need to head there early. I just left when boarding was announced in the lounge.


B-HNE. She's turning 20 soon!

There was actually a long-haul 3-class 777 out of NRT this morning but I waited and waited and failed to see any award inventory, so I settled for this notably inferior 2-3-2 regional configuration, although I definitely earned some extra sleep time departing from HND instead

Cathay Pacific 543 / Japan Airlines 7031 / Qatar Airways 5841
Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Hong Kong (HKG)
November 27th 2016
Estimated departure/arrival: 1045 - 1500
Actual departure/arrival: 1041 - 1509
Flying time: 4h 58m
Equipment: Boeing 777-300 B-HNG
Seat 11G


Many of the 42 in J today were Japanese pax and were in their seats already as I settled down. A junior FA was walking around offering PDBs so I took a glass of grapefruit juice...OJ, water and champagne were all available too.




It is indeed rather tight and uneasy, but the loads probably tell you why this configuration replaced the 747 and not a 4-class low density 777...


The safety video was screened and we pushed to the dot and were off in 25 minutes or so, not bad at all for a large airport like HND. Ah, and the saving grace of an outside camera


As this is a pure regional aircraft, the headsets and blankets were of the disappointing style...but it's still better than AA at least, lol.


The ISM Gabriel, a very nice and well groomed lady came by to say hello with her emerald greeting in Cantonese. Fantastic and I knew it would be a great flight at least on the service side. Soon, the Japanese senior purser came around with the menus. I then chose the same aperitif of Billecart salmon with a Japanese style nut mix - both tasty :





Another purser took over for the meal service as I was on the right aisle. Linens were laid and the appetizer tray was served along with garlic bread afterwards.



The seat may suck but the service and food did not, especially with catering out of Japan. Both the prawn and duck breast were not too chewy and tasted fresh.

The main course of braised wagyu beef soon followed, doused in Koshu red wine sauce served with Japanese rice. OMG, that was wonderfully presented and tasted good too, almost literally melting in my mouth.


This older configuration meant more sufficient manpower and I was offered a drink refill during the main course, of which I chose Oriental Breeze and carried it over to the next courses of cheese and fruit:


There was a bit of bump, which was understandable as we trailed the coast of Japan throughout the meal service. It took a bit longer than usual but we still wrapped up in less than 2 hours with HD ice cream and green tea again:


There must have been enough blankets catered as the temperature was rather low today, and I dozed until we were just a bit from HKG:


A final round of juices and water were offered before we began our descent into HKG, arriving at almost 5 hours after wheels-up.


We pulled into the gate just a little bit behind schedule where I again headed landside to process my departure tax refund as I was connecting on separate tickets. I would also have to check in with the AA counter to see if my upgrade could clear apart from getting my e-ticket receipt.

All in all a decent flight with great CX service as usual, although the seat and equipment remains much to be desired. But if they can fill the plane, who cares?
G-CIVC is offline