How does the Boston to HK flight work?

Old Mar 31, 17, 11:46 pm
  #1  
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How does the Boston to HK flight work?

Hi - I'm considering the Boston to HK flight CX811 as part of an upcoming trip, as the price and direct flight are both attractive.

However I'm curious as to how people have worked the 0145 departure into their plans?

Do you get a late checkout from the hotel and then hang around the airport for several hours? Or pay for an extra night and stay at the hotel until say 10pm?

What time does the flight check in open? 11pm?

Really curious to see how people have made this work for them, as it strikes me as a very awkward departure time.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 11:55 pm
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On the contrary! It's actually quite normal. CX does two of those nightly from LAX and SFO, and one each from BOS, JFK, YVR and YYZ. For the arrival time - early morning - it is impossible to beat these schedulings to land and start a day of meetings. They are extraordinarily useful for a subset of us who travel mainly for business. Work all day, dinner, go to airport, fly back to HKG, sleep most of flight, work full day on landing.

Not to mention virtually every ex HKG departure for Europe on CX is scheduled this way, and many for North America!

They are just killer for arrival timing. And they also help CX match up a proper rotation for the plane, for example your BOS flight rotation starts in HKG leaving HKG at 6pm or so in the evening (aka 6am Boston time), lands 10pm or so into BOS, and hence is only on the ground a few hours before flying back to HKG. This helps increase utilization of the plane, lowering cost per seat mile. Airlines like CX and EK blow US airlines out of the water for aircraft utilization, often by as much as 1-3 hours daily, due to their longhaul operations and efficient timings.

I'll add, CX didn't pioneer this....You fly virtually any major longhaul airline and midnight departures are very "normal"!!

Anyhow, I usually check out normally (or get a late check-out), then have a dinner and drinks arranged either with business or friends, and then go to airport not too long before the flight. Although apparently there is a new BA lounge at BOS which is an upgrade from the old dump BA used to have.

The other option is obviously pay an extra night.

Enjoy your flight.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 12:06 am
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Hope you get a commission from the airline for that ad.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by Offshore171 View Post
Really curious to see how people have made this work for them, as it strikes me as a very awkward departure time.
Arrange late checkout. Have your meetings during the day, return to the hotel to shower, relax, maybe a cocktail, etc. Then have dinner in the North End (Italian). The North End is a fun neighborhood, good for walking, and really close to the airport (in driving time), so when you're ready to go, Uber or taxi will serve you just fine.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 3:00 am
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Ok to add to the above, it's a family break with the kids, not a business trip.

We would be connecting through to Sydney. Frankly I'd rather transit in HK than LA or Dallas, and the CX price is good, hence looking at the CX option.

We have OWE status - is there a decent lounge in BOS that CX pax can access?

I think I can just about make it work with a late checkout and a longish loiter in the lounge (if available), as long as I can get the luggage checked in at a reasonable hour.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 4:25 am
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Originally Posted by Offshore171 View Post
We would be connecting through to Sydney. Frankly I'd rather transit in HK than LA or Dallas, and the CX price is good, hence looking at the CX option.

We have OWE status - is there a decent lounge in BOS that CX pax can access?

I think I can just about make it work with a late checkout and a longish loiter in the lounge (if available), as long as I can get the luggage checked in at a reasonable hour.
I agree with you on the connections. I commute to BKK, and BOS-HKG-BKK is by far my easiest option. Get the bulk of the flying out of the way on a really long leg, then just a quick 2 flight over to BKK.

I don't like any of the lounges in Terminal E (the international terminal at BOS). I've been in two or three, and have yet to see a window. I find them crowded and closed-in.

Where are you staying? Now knowing that it's a family vacation, I'd recommend a variant of my earlier recommendation. If you're staying downtown, check out and leave your bags at the hotel. Go someplace fun/good for dinner (Prudential Center, North End, Chinatown, etc.) then grab a taxi, go back to your hotel to retrieve your bags, and go to Logan.

If there's a Red Sox night game, you have plenty of time to see the game or most of it (most start at 1910), retrieve your bags from the hotel and still get to the airport for an 0145 departure (depending somewhat on where you're staying - if you're anywhere downtown or in the Back Bay you'll be fine). Eat at Fenway Park.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 6:57 am
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I would store my luggage at the hotel and kindly ask to use their gym showers in the evening before heading out to the airport. I have never been rejected anywhere even though I had already checked out.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 7:13 am
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although not exactly this BOS flight, I once did YVR-HKG on similar timing (2am departure?). What I did was check-into Fairmont airport hotel around 2pm and wondered in Richmond but ate in hotel and just relaxed and napped. Then set my alarm 90min prior to departure and stroll down to check in.

I thought that was money well spent. It was end of our journey and wanted to take it easy instead of packing with activity for last minute.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 6:34 pm
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How do you handle the early HKG arrival time? Hotels won't let you check-in at 8 AM...
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Old Apr 1, 17, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Dieuwer View Post
How do you handle the early HKG arrival time? Hotels won't let you check-in at 8 AM...
*Go to The Arrival lounge to take a shower upon landing (if you have access: OWE, CX DM or CX GO, J or F tickets), you can freshen up and then no big deal if you can't check in until 1 or 2pm

*Go to the Plaza Premium lounge upon landing to take a shower, if you have access

*Just go to the hotel, drop your bags off at the bellhop, and do something for a few hours until they'll let you check in. Usually hotels will let you use their gym / spa even if they won't let you check-in yet. You can usually shower here. If they won't permit that, AND you don't have arrival lounge access, AND you won't pay for an extra night, it's really not the end of the world....

*Or, pay for a hotel the night before, if you really need to sleep immediately upon landing
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Old Apr 1, 17, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Dieuwer View Post
How do you handle the early HKG arrival time? Hotels won't let you check-in at 8 AM...
Depends on the hotel and your status there. SPG, for example, has Your24, which allows you to set your own checkin/checkout time. You then have the room for 24 hour periods starting with your actual checkin time.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 10:34 pm
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I'd skip the BOS lounge. It's a generic lounge offered by a ground handler.
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Old Apr 2, 17, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Depends on the hotel and your status there. SPG, for example, has Your24, which allows you to set your own checkin/checkout time. You then have the room for 24 hour periods starting with your actual checkin time.
Most hotels offer the same for regulars / status members, or at least the early check-in even if it's not necessarily advertised or a published benefit. Whenever I have a very early arrival anywhere, I choose a hotel where I have status and then just try my luck for the early check-in. It works out 90% of the time.
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Old Apr 5, 17, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Offshore171 View Post
Hi - I'm considering the Boston to HK flight CX811 as part of an upcoming trip, as the price and direct flight are both attractive.

However I'm curious as to how people have worked the 0145 departure into their plans?

Do you get a late checkout from the hotel and then hang around the airport for several hours? Or pay for an extra night and stay at the hotel until say 10pm?

What time does the flight check in open? 11pm?

Really curious to see how people have made this work for them, as it strikes me as a very awkward departure time.
One would think many if not most people on the BOS flight are living in Boston and not all staying in hotels.

Since these flights arrive in the morning in HKG they make quite a lot of sense.

Check-in will no doubt be at least 3 hours before departure since they no doubt will say you should check in at least 3 hours before departure.

As for flying these transpolar overnight routes I find it best to set my personal clock to HKG time and stay awake, eat, sleep accordingly. On YYZ-HKG (same departure time) I stay awake until about 9 p.m. HKG time then sleep until 4 a.m. for breakfast, as it lands at around 5 a.m.
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Old Apr 7, 17, 8:01 am
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I live in the Boston area so can't help with the questions about what to do, but the suggestions above look good to me.

At that time of the evening there are very few flights so Terminal E is very quiet. Security lines are non-existent. The BA lounge is still pretty busy and nothing to get excited about but most of the shops and food outlets close around 11-12 so there's nothing else to do either. I typically aim to arrive closer to 2h before departure than 3h.

The Plaza Premium lounge at HKG mentioned above does not need any membership, you can pay to enter. Something like US$20-30 if I recall correctly. Don't pay the extra for the breakfast as it's completely underwhelming. The showers are worth it though.
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