CX897 LAX-HKG Bradley Terminal Situation

Old Apr 9, 16, 6:21 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 248
CX897 LAX-HKG Bradley Terminal Situation

Taking CX897 F on a Sunday. Flt. departs 9:30 a.m. I have never used TBIT (have flown through LAX over 30 years and dread the place) and would appreciate anyone who has first hand experience with the crowd, TSA lines situation at that time in the morning at TBIT - I don't want to show up unnecessarily too early. Finally, anyone who has taken CX897 to HKG F, does that flight start with breakfast or is the first meal already lunch? If breakfast I'll forgo the Qantas F lounge breakfast, but it's tempting. Thank you.
loopflyer is offline  
Old Apr 9, 16, 9:02 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,563
Originally Posted by loopflyer View Post
Taking CX897 F on a Sunday. Flt. departs 9:30 a.m. I have never used TBIT (have flown through LAX over 30 years and dread the place) and would appreciate anyone who has first hand experience with the crowd, TSA lines situation at that time in the morning at TBIT - I don't want to show up unnecessarily too early. Finally, anyone who has taken CX897 to HKG F, does that flight start with breakfast or is the first meal already lunch? If breakfast I'll forgo the Qantas F lounge breakfast, but it's tempting. Thank you.
Unfortunately I haven't done CX897 that I can remember before, but am at TBIT 6-7x annually departing on CX, here are a few general thoughts:

1.) I haven't done CX897 in F. But I was just on CX830 a few weeks ago, which had a 9:15am departure time (vs. 9:30am for CX897), and the "first" meal was lunch. So I think your "first" meal will be lunch too.

2.) Just a reminder, dining is on-demand. If you're not too familiar with CX F they will ask you what you want soon after takeoff. The menu is presented in a fashion that makes it appear in sequence. Further, the FAs often will assume you want something soon after takeoff and often don't spell it out for you that's it on-demand. However, you can set both the timing and menu items to your liking. So you could first order something from the "second" meal on the menu, then have a snack item second, caviar a few hours later, etc. The order of the menu is irrelevant although it looks deceptive.

My point in saying this is regardless of what the "first" meal is, you could easily have breakfast in the lounge and then board, and make yourself a lunch 3-4 hours later, by selecting one of the second mains, an appetizer, one of the snacks, etc.

3.) TBIT departures have improved since the renovation, with the exception of security...which generally still sucks. There aren't many early am departures ex-TBIT so my suspicion is things will be okay. I've departed from the new TBIT perhaps 10 times now, usually late night, and the J/F line can vary from 10 minutes to 25 minutes. Sometimes it is patrolled well - for example, I was there earlier this week and I was funneled right into the front of a security line. Result: 10 minute traverse through TSA, tops. Other times the security line seems to merge with the regular line and you can be up for a 20+ minute, aggravating wait..because you're so close, and moving at a snail's pace. Pretty terminal, same crap software.

However, overall the vibe is a lot nicer now if you're into that thing. Shopping has improved dramatically, there are wide open spaces with high ceilings, feels very "bright", it's actually pleasant to walk through now....versus the prison-esque feel before. If you haven't been to the new version before maybe it's worth an extra 20-30 minutes early.

Lastly, you're almost certain to depart from a "regular" gate. Uncertain on the #, I've been both in the 150s (left hand side) and 130s (right hand side) on CX. At night, they have an unfortunate habit of sometimes leaving one of the birds at a remote stand, which means getting bussed to the gate...which blows me away given TBIT is brand new. But I don't think that happens with CX897.

4.) The QF lounge is nice enough, and if your only option is eating there or not eating at all before the plane, by all means do it. The food in F is good on CX.....but QF F food will be better, it's prepared on the ground after all. However, I think the QF F lounge has been grossly overplayed by the travel bloggers. I've been in there at least 5 times now. Perhaps I'll get flamed for saying this, but I really wouldn't go out of my way for it. I'm not opposed to enjoy lounges in general if time allows....indeed, I do that at HKG these days with Pier F, with I think is a very thoughtfully designed space, with a lot of unique areas, quiet spaces, power outlets, snacks / drinks intelligently spaced around the place. For me, the QF F lounge is utterly uninspiring relative to the hype, the space is basically a massive rectangle. It gets surprisingly crowded in the evenings. For many simple things, you have to go over to the bar and get service...two nights ago, I ended up just asking for a 750ml liter bottle of water from the bar, because otherwise you have these small cups and have to keep going back for refills. My preference, I just don't think it's as thoughtfully done as some of the nicer spaces globally and isn't as cool as described in the fawning blog posts I've read. The food is decent as you'd expect at a good F airport lounge...ie, still not a real restaurant, despite whatever celebrity chef that has stamped his name to it for some royalties. I think the fact they have table service at a US-based lounge has gotten everyone over the top.

If this matters, let's say I have an extra hour or two with nothing to do in Hong Kong pre-flight. Since Pier F opened, I have found myself going to HKG and using Pier F. Ex-LAX, with the shiny new QF F, my departure habits haven't changed at all since the QF F lounge was created....I still find myself trying to get there at the absolute last minute, get my BP, clear security, and walk to the gate. That lounge just doesn't do anything for me. Could just be personal preference.

Last edited by QRC3288; Apr 9, 16 at 9:14 pm Reason: cleaned up some grammar and spelling, added last paragraph
QRC3288 is offline  
Old Apr 9, 16, 10:50 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA EXP, LT PLT; QR PLT; Bonvoy LT TIT
Posts: 12,345
Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
2.) Just a reminder, dining is on-demand. If you're not too familiar with CX F they will ask you what you want soon after takeoff. The menu is presented in a fashion that makes it appear in sequence. Further, the FAs often will assume you want something soon after takeoff and often don't spell it out for you that's it on-demand. However, you can set both the timing and menu items to your liking. So you could first order something from the "second" meal on the menu, then have a snack item second, caviar a few hours later, etc. The order of the menu is irrelevant although it looks deceptive.

My point in saying this is regardless of what the "first" meal is, you could easily have breakfast in the lounge and then board, and make yourself a lunch 3-4 hours later, by selecting one of the second mains, an appetizer, one of the snacks, etc.
Exactly. Don't think of the menu as a menu for a meal. Think of it as an inventory of what's been loaded. You can have what you want when you want.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Apr 10, 16, 12:45 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 248
Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
Unfortunately I haven't done CX897 that I can remember before, but am at TBIT 6-7x annually departing on CX, here are a few general thoughts:

1.) I haven't done CX897 in F. But I was just on CX830 a few weeks ago, which had a 9:15am departure time (vs. 9:30am for CX897), and the "first" meal was lunch. So I think your "first" meal will be lunch too.

2.) Just a reminder, dining is on-demand. If you're not too familiar with CX F they will ask you what you want soon after takeoff. The menu is presented in a fashion that makes it appear in sequence. Further, the FAs often will assume you want something soon after takeoff and often don't spell it out for you that's it on-demand. However, you can set both the timing and menu items to your liking. So you could first order something from the "second" meal on the menu, then have a snack item second, caviar a few hours later, etc. The order of the menu is irrelevant although it looks deceptive.

My point in saying this is regardless of what the "first" meal is, you could easily have breakfast in the lounge and then board, and make yourself a lunch 3-4 hours later, by selecting one of the second mains, an appetizer, one of the snacks, etc.

3.) TBIT departures have improved since the renovation, with the exception of security...which generally still sucks. There aren't many early am departures ex-TBIT so my suspicion is things will be okay. I've departed from the new TBIT perhaps 10 times now, usually late night, and the J/F line can vary from 10 minutes to 25 minutes. Sometimes it is patrolled well - for example, I was there earlier this week and I was funneled right into the front of a security line. Result: 10 minute traverse through TSA, tops. Other times the security line seems to merge with the regular line and you can be up for a 20+ minute, aggravating wait..because you're so close, and moving at a snail's pace. Pretty terminal, same crap software.

However, overall the vibe is a lot nicer now if you're into that thing. Shopping has improved dramatically, there are wide open spaces with high ceilings, feels very "bright", it's actually pleasant to walk through now....versus the prison-esque feel before. If you haven't been to the new version before maybe it's worth an extra 20-30 minutes early.

Lastly, you're almost certain to depart from a "regular" gate. Uncertain on the #, I've been both in the 150s (left hand side) and 130s (right hand side) on CX. At night, they have an unfortunate habit of sometimes leaving one of the birds at a remote stand, which means getting bussed to the gate...which blows me away given TBIT is brand new. But I don't think that happens with CX897.

4.) The QF lounge is nice enough, and if your only option is eating there or not eating at all before the plane, by all means do it. The food in F is good on CX.....but QF F food will be better, it's prepared on the ground after all. However, I think the QF F lounge has been grossly overplayed by the travel bloggers. I've been in there at least 5 times now. Perhaps I'll get flamed for saying this, but I really wouldn't go out of my way for it. I'm not opposed to enjoy lounges in general if time allows....indeed, I do that at HKG these days with Pier F, with I think is a very thoughtfully designed space, with a lot of unique areas, quiet spaces, power outlets, snacks / drinks intelligently spaced around the place. For me, the QF F lounge is utterly uninspiring relative to the hype, the space is basically a massive rectangle. It gets surprisingly crowded in the evenings. For many simple things, you have to go over to the bar and get service...two nights ago, I ended up just asking for a 750ml liter bottle of water from the bar, because otherwise you have these small cups and have to keep going back for refills. My preference, I just don't think it's as thoughtfully done as some of the nicer spaces globally and isn't as cool as described in the fawning blog posts I've read. The food is decent as you'd expect at a good F airport lounge...ie, still not a real restaurant, despite whatever celebrity chef that has stamped his name to it for some royalties. I think the fact they have table service at a US-based lounge has gotten everyone over the top.

If this matters, let's say I have an extra hour or two with nothing to do in Hong Kong pre-flight. Since Pier F opened, I have found myself going to HKG and using Pier F. Ex-LAX, with the shiny new QF F, my departure habits haven't changed at all since the QF F lounge was created....I still find myself trying to get there at the absolute last minute, get my BP, clear security, and walk to the gate. That lounge just doesn't do anything for me. Could just be personal preference.

Thanks for the rundown. Haven't flown CX F before, so the 'on demand' is nice; only flew CX J intra Asia two years ago, and it was a good experience. Yes, I mention the QF F lounge as it appears to be the only F lounge at TBIT for CX and other One World carriers to use. I read a bloggers report with pics of his visit in March at b'fast time and the eggs and pancakes looked pretty good - he thought so too. So, I'll drop by for the food, and do the 'on demand' later in the 14 hour plus flight. Thanks again. P.S. from the pics I concur about the overrated - boring actually - decor/layout of the LAX QF lounge. I'll only spend about 1.5 hours or so there.
loopflyer is offline  
Old Apr 10, 16, 1:23 am
  #5  
sxc
Moderator, Cathay Pacific
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: CX Green, BAEC Gold, QF Gold, Hyatt Glob
Posts: 9,711
However, I think the QF F lounge has been grossly overplayed by the travel bloggers. I've been in there at least 5 times now. Perhaps I'll get flamed for saying this, but I really wouldn't go out of my way for it. I
Just wondering if you have been to the SYD QF F lounge? I consider this one of the best lounges available and the food quality is top notch. I consider the LAX version to be a cut down version of the SYD version. All the food I've had is very good. Yes the rest of the lounge is decent, not spectacular, but I wouldn't say disappointing.

Also I find the food and coffee more Australian style, and as an Aussie, after a week of US food, it's a good change
sxc is offline  
Old Apr 10, 16, 6:07 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco
Programs: QF Platinum, Former CX Diamond, TG Gold, HH Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Amex Platinum
Posts: 168
I've flown 897 if F twice in the past two months. Both times left from gate 133. Both times I arrived at LAX at around 07:30am, checked in and through security in 15 minutes. Maybe a dozen people ahead of me in security on both occasions. Menu lists breakfast and dinner but I ate dinner after takeoff, slept and then ate dinner again before landing in HKG - there was only one item unavailable for my second meal, the salad, but everything else was. 6/6 seats occupied both times. IMHO, meager breakfast offering in the QF LAX F Lounge compared to the SYD F Lounge, however I never intended to eat anything. Just had coffee and OJ.
frankyguy is offline  
Old Apr 10, 16, 6:34 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,563
Originally Posted by frankyguy View Post
I've flown 897 if F twice in the past two months. Both times left from gate 133. Both times I arrived at LAX at around 07:30am, checked in and through security in 15 minutes. Maybe a dozen people ahead of me in security on both occasions. Menu lists breakfast and dinner but I ate dinner after takeoff, slept and then ate dinner again before landing in HKG - there was only one item unavailable for my second meal, the salad, but everything else was. 6/6 seats occupied both times. IMHO, meager breakfast offering in the QF LAX F Lounge compared to the SYD F Lounge, however I never intended to eat anything. Just had coffee and OJ.
Thx for the update. Good to know it's breakfast on CX897...I would've assumed otherwise.
QRC3288 is offline  
Old Apr 10, 16, 8:37 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 77
As an F passenger, you can ask the CX staff for an escort through security and up to the lounge. They can bypass the TSA lines. As others have stated, the TSA lines are short when 897 departs so an escort may not be necessary.
antkleve is offline  
Old Mar 21, 17, 3:52 pm
  #9  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Escondido CA USA
Programs: AS, UA, HY, Hil, Merr
Posts: 3,058
I love that this post is about 897, but if I can revive it, what of these items apply to bus class passengers? Same lounge? Same on demand dining? Rapid passage thru check in and TSA? Thank you.
ranles is offline  
Old Mar 21, 17, 4:28 pm
  #10  
Moderator: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: MPC,CA,MU,AF
Posts: 8,162
Originally Posted by ranles View Post
I love that this post is about 897, but if I can revive it, what of these items apply to bus class passengers? Same lounge? Same on demand dining? Rapid passage thru check in and TSA? Thank you.
Unfortunately, none of the above.
cxfan1960 is offline  
Old Mar 22, 17, 9:40 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,297
Originally Posted by ranles View Post
I love that this post is about 897, but if I can revive it, what of these items apply to bus class passengers? Same lounge? Same on demand dining? Rapid passage thru check in and TSA? Thank you.
Just give you some tips on the bolded part as the other 2 questions the answers are No on both - there is NO rapid passage thru TSA no matrer which class you are in.

In the morning the TBIT check point is very crowded - very long line snaking all the way out the terminal. If you have Pre-Check, you would be better off to use T4 check point and then use the corridor to TBIT - much faster this way. IIRC the corridor also leads you directly to the area where the lounges are. Business class passengers use the Oneworld lounge. Breakfast offering is very basic. Actually even at the QF F lounge the sit down restaurant breakfast is not a big deal - you have a few options out of the menu but still basic breakfast foods. Last time we were there the waiter got my order totally messed up. I wanted the egg / meat on one option but wanted some additional veggie that was on another option per the menu. He said no problem. But when the food was delivered, it was the 2nd option breakfast, which I only wanted the veggie part of it. The bar was indeed open even before 9am if that is your thing.

We flew out of TBIT in Feb and found out we made a big mistake to use TBIT check point - you do not see how bad the line it is from the little area just outside the check point - in it the line snakes 4 or 5 deep. There was a TSA personnel right by the entrance, telling people if they are not departing from TBIT, DONT use this check point as it would be very slow. No Precheck line but another TSA personnel kept announcing TSA Precheck no need to take off shoes, or laptop out of bag, etc. The whole area was like a zoo.

When we finally cleared the security and were up to the top floor where you could look down the T4 check point - there were literally no line at all, not even the regular line - almost empty with only 3 or 4 passengers!

Next time if we have to catch a flight in the morning flight bank from TBIT I would use T4 thru security where there is TSA precheck and much less passengers using it.

Last edited by Happy; Mar 22, 17 at 9:45 pm
Happy is offline  
Old Mar 22, 17, 9:44 pm
  #12  
sxc
Moderator, Cathay Pacific
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: CX Green, BAEC Gold, QF Gold, Hyatt Glob
Posts: 9,711
I read in the Qantas forum that there is also a security checkpoint into departures on the arrivals level at the bottom? This is mainly for those who need to claim their luggage and then bag drop it after customs, but is available for anyone and is usually not very busy. Is this true?
sxc is offline  
Old Mar 22, 17, 11:56 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,297
Originally Posted by sxc View Post
I read in the Qantas forum that there is also a security checkpoint into departures on the arrivals level at the bottom? This is mainly for those who need to claim their luggage and then bag drop it after customs, but is available for anyone and is usually not very busy. Is this true?
That is exactly where we went after reading in QF forum and had scouted it before - apparently it totally depends on what time of the day. When I looked it up the day before after arrival from HKG, that check point was virtually empty in the early afternoon. So I thought great we would use it for our 9am flight tomorrow.

WRONG, Like I said you could not see how long the line was from outside the entrance where you only saw a few people - the actual line inside was looping around at least 4 times if not 5! Because many people have lots of stuff to bring the screening went very slow. Most of them were connecting passengers after getting off their international arrivals and cleared immigration/custom. Every few minutes the TSA personnel sitting right behind the entrance was telling people to walk to their departure terminals would be much quicker. More than a few times he had to look at people's BPs and explained to those how to walk to their terminals as many had not the slightest clue. I almost wanted to walk out but my husband said just to wait it out... Double Wrong as it took almost 30 min before we were thru.

Then when we saw the near empty T4 check point from above, we were kicking ourselves to be too "clever' to try the arrival level check point.

Trust me, the corridor is a life saver to avoid the TBIT nightmare during the flight banks that concentrate at certain periods of the day. Outside those periods that check point is deserted, like the early afternoon the day on our arrival.
Happy is offline  
Old Mar 23, 17, 7:58 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: PSP
Programs: AA Executive Platinum, United
Posts: 1,079
So if you are originating in the am at LAX on CX with checked luggage would the best bet be to drop luggage at CX counter in TBIT and walk back to T4 for TSA?
pssteve is offline  
Old Mar 23, 17, 8:33 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX DM A3 Gold
Posts: 1,137
Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
If this matters, let's say I have an extra hour or two with nothing to do in Hong Kong pre-flight. Since Pier F opened, I have found myself going to HKG and using Pier F. Ex-LAX, with the shiny new QF F, my departure habits haven't changed at all since the QF F lounge was created....I still find myself trying to get there at the absolute last minute, get my BP, clear security, and walk to the gate. That lounge just doesn't do anything for me. Could just be personal preference.
I feel the same way about the Pier F vs. LAX QF F. However I a do agree LAX has gone from being the armpit of major US airports to being tolerable.
KACommuter is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread