Connecting at Hong Kong

Old Apr 20, 19, 12:45 pm
  #1  
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Connecting at Hong Kong

Hi, we are a family of 5 from the UK coming to Asia in August and flying with Cathay Pacific to/from Manchester and also with a couple of regional flights. All flights are in business class.

On our outbound flight, we will be arriving in Hong Kong at around 07:00 on a Sunday morning and (hopefully) connecting to the CX691 to Singapore, which is due to depart at 08:10. This feels like a tight connection but I was assured by my travel agent that it is doable and that the 1h 10m we have exceeds the minimum connection time at Hong Kong. Anyway, I’m just keen to find out what our chances of making this flight are (assuming the incoming flight from Manchester lands on time).
1) is there a fast track security for connecting passengers in business class cabins at Hong Kong?
2) is Cathay proactive in identifying and assisting customers with tight connections to move through the airport at pace?
3) worst case scenario, there seems to be a load of flights between HKG and SIN and ours seems to be the first of the day, so am I correct in assuming that we’d likely be re-booked onto a later flight fairly easily?
4) assuming we do make the connection, what’s the baggage system like at Hong Kong - how likely is it that our luggage will also make it on the same plane as us?

Sorry for lots of questions - I’m just trying to get a sense of how ‘normal’ this 70min connection time is and what I need to do to prepare for it. I appreciate that there will be lots of ifs, buts and maybes...

Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:29 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Lumpster View Post
Hi, we are a family of 5 from the UK coming to Asia in August and flying with Cathay Pacific to/from Manchester and also with a couple of regional flights. All flights are in business class.

On our outbound flight, we will be arriving in Hong Kong at around 07:00 on a Sunday morning and (hopefully) connecting to the CX691 to Singapore, which is due to depart at 08:10. This feels like a tight connection but I was assured by my travel agent that it is doable and that the 1h 10m we have exceeds the minimum connection time at Hong Kong. Anyway, I’m just keen to find out what our chances of making this flight are (assuming the incoming flight from Manchester lands on time).
1) is there a fast track security for connecting passengers in business class cabins at Hong Kong?
2) is Cathay proactive in identifying and assisting customers with tight connections to move through the airport at pace?
3) worst case scenario, there seems to be a load of flights between HKG and SIN and ours seems to be the first of the day, so am I correct in assuming that we’d likely be re-booked onto a later flight fairly easily?
4) assuming we do make the connection, what’s the baggage system like at Hong Kong - how likely is it that our luggage will also make it on the same plane as us?

Sorry for lots of questions - I’m just trying to get a sense of how ‘normal’ this 70min connection time is and what I need to do to prepare for it. I appreciate that there will be lots of ifs, buts and maybes...

Thanks in advance.
0) You have a good chance of making the connection. In fact, if no delay, you are pretty much guaranteed to make it. The MCT is 50 min.
1) No, but there are many transfer points throughout the terminal. Before landing, the airshow channel will show the gate you are arriving at, and the gate your SIN flight will depart from. Take a look at the in-flight Discovery magazine to familiarise yourself with what route will be the best for you if you are worried about it (or if the flight is arriving a bit late).
2) Yes, if your flight is delayed by more than 25 min. then likely there will be a CX staff waiting for you upon arrival. Look for signs with connecting flight info and names upon arrival.
3) Yes, as long as those flights are not full.
4) CX is usually good at this, but this may be a bit iffy. In case it doesn't make it, go to the SINCX baggage office, leave your address, and it will be delivered to you later that day most likely. In fact, I would personally like it, as it avoids my need to drag bags around.

That being said, if you are worried about connection time and if your flights can still be changed without penalty (either you have a flexible ticket or the tickets are not issued yet), why not book a later flight and enjoy the CX lounges at HKG, which are really good. Although with a 70-min. connection, you can still probably get a bite.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 7:27 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by ernestnywang View Post

That being said, if you are worried about connection time and if your flights can still be changed without penalty (either you have a flexible ticket or the tickets are not issued yet), why not book a later flight and enjoy the CX lounges at HKG, which are really good. Although with a 70-min. connection, you can still probably get a bite.
I second this suggestion.

We are an Australian family of four (with two primary school aged kids) who are going the opposite way in two months time (PER-HKG-LHR), and our usual plan is to stop off at the lounge to have a shower, get a bite and let the kids have a run around. We find having two to three hours between the flights at HKIA works well with the above plan.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Lumpster View Post
1) is there a fast track security for connecting passengers in business class cabins at Hong Kong?

No fast track security for connecting pax, but the checkpoints for transit passengers are *usually* well-staffed and queues are short. Over the past 5 years I don't think I spent more than 15 mins each time for security. Needless to say if you could separate all electronic devices, liquids, or dispose of large amounts of liquids beforehand, security would be much easier, too.

Originally Posted by Lumpster View Post
2) is Cathay proactive in identifying and assisting customers with tight connections to move through the airport at pace?
Yes they do. I did a 30-minute connection in HKG with the help of a ground staff several years ago. They will escort you through security and then onward to your connecting gate.

Originally Posted by Lumpster View Post
3) worst case scenario, there seems to be a load of flights between HKG and SIN and ours seems to be the first of the day, so am I correct in assuming that we’d likely be re-booked onto a later flight fairly easily?
I would assume Cathay had minimal difficulty in handling this should the delay affect your onward flight. Given the multiple flights to SIN daily, I wouldn't worry too much. Of course depending on the loading of flights that day and/or any potential IRROPS before that, there is always a small probability of waiting for the second or third flights after. However, this would give you ample time to explore the lounges in HKG.

Originally Posted by Lumpster View Post
4) assuming we do make the connection, what’s the baggage system like at Hong Kong - how likely is it that our luggage will also make it on the same plane as us?
If you arrive within MCT, luggage should be able to keep up. If not, ground staff at SIN should assist in delivering your luggage to your stipulated address on arrival.

Personally I almost always leave a 2-hour gap for a shower and a bite in the lounges. 50- or 60-minutes is doable, although slightly stressful. However, Cathay is quite reliable under these circumstances; as you have other SIN flights to fall back on, I wouldn't worry too much.

Enjoy your flights!
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Old Apr 20, 19, 9:51 pm
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Other posters have provided good info.

HKG is an excellent transit airport, and you don't have to have a heart attack like you may be familiar at LHR. The only catch is, as a fellow above said, you don't have much room for error obviously. If you're on time or even 20 minutes late you won't have a problem. It will start to get close with a 25 minute delay, and somewhere around 35+ you're in trouble. So it really just comes down to the timeliness of your inbound flight, or if you get "lucky" maybe your second flight is delayed.

If you have the time, search for transit, MCT, transit time, connection, short connection, etc. Both myself and other posters have written about this extensively. In general know this: all arrivals are downstairs, all departures are upstairs. There is only one airside terminal whose buildings are all linked, well signed and extremely convenient. You're looking at tops 15 minute walk or train ride (basically one end of the concourse to the other) for CX to CX connections. So a "transit" practically means passing security checkpoints that get you from downstairs to upstairs in the same building. I say this, because sometimes a checkpoint can be clogged. Maybe a few planes arrived nearby. all transit checkpoints take you upstairs, and it's possible given your departure flight it won't even be a detour.

So as the other posters say, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different transit checkpoint locations and gates. CX uses exclusively gates 1-80. No 200 gates, no 500 gates.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 10:38 pm
  #6  
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CX216 is about as likely to land at about 6:3x as much as 6:5x, never at or after 7 for the last 10 days.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 11:03 pm
  #7  
 
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I have had an experience at HKG, where my first flight was delayed - on a ticket with a 1hr scheduled transit. I was flying ADL- HKG - PVG.
upon landing at HKG, ground crew gathered everyone making the transit to the next flight and (literally) ran with us through the airport to the flight. At the security screening, an empty line was opened up just for us and we ran through and boarded our next flight.
Assuming your flights are on the same ticket, in my experience, CX will look after you at HKG.

However, our bags did not make it onto that flight and arrived on a separate CX flight two hours later (CX or KA flies almost hourly into PVG).
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Old Apr 21, 19, 5:18 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
Other posters have provided good info.

HKG is an excellent transit airport, and you don't have to have a heart attack like you may be familiar at LHR. The only catch is, as a fellow above said, you don't have much room for error obviously. If you're on time or even 20 minutes late you won't have a problem. It will start to get close with a 25 minute delay, and somewhere around 35+ you're in trouble. So it really just comes down to the timeliness of your inbound flight, or if you get "lucky" maybe your second flight is delayed.

If you have the time, search for transit, MCT, transit time, connection, short connection, etc. Both myself and other posters have written about this extensively. In general know this: all arrivals are downstairs, all departures are upstairs. There is only one airside terminal whose buildings are all linked, well signed and extremely convenient. You're looking at tops 15 minute walk or train ride (basically one end of the concourse to the other) for CX to CX connections. So a "transit" practically means passing security checkpoints that get you from downstairs to upstairs in the same building. I say this, because sometimes a checkpoint can be clogged. Maybe a few planes arrived nearby. all transit checkpoints take you upstairs, and it's possible given your departure flight it won't even be a detour.

So as the other posters say, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different transit checkpoint locations and gates. CX uses exclusively gates 1-80. No 200 gates, no 500 gates.
I fully agree.

And the most important consideration is to be fully relaxed about it.
There will be a lot of transit pax from Europe on this CX691. And the next flight is CX759 at 8:30.
CX is very good in handling delays and rebooking in case that happens.
You are in J and bags will make it as fast as you.

Of course, my message would be different on the inbound. I would pad a larger connection time before the longhaul to MAN to reduce the risk to spend an extra day in HK.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 10:14 am
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Please note that the length of HKG terminal is almost a mile long. Walking this distance takes some PAX a lot of time.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 11:10 am
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Thanks all for the fantastically helpful responses. Needless to say that as we are on a holiday and there are 5 of us, we are on the cheapest business class tickets without any options to change the connections. In fact, I had initially tried to get the 2nd flight of the day to Singapore, which leaves 30 mins or so later than ours, to build in a bit more slack - however, the flight costs went up by literally a couple of thousand GB pounds, hence I was prepared to chance my arm in the expectation that the airline would step in and fix things if it goes wrong!

On the way back home, we have a few days in HK before flying home on the direct Manchester flight, so fortunately there is no connection risk and we can hopefully arrive at the airport early, relax and enjoy the Cathay lounges before our 1am departure.

Thanks again for all of your advice, it’s much appreciated.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 11:27 am
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hkg/hkt

Arriving on cx873 business class , departing on KA212

what are the odds of using one of the CX lounges in HKg, I have onwworld Sapphire card ?
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Old Apr 21, 19, 12:33 pm
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What do you mean by "odds"?

You are able to use any oneworld business lounge at HKG under oneworld rules assuming a same day connection.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by murphyjunk View Post
Arriving on cx873 business
Originally Posted by murphyjunk View Post
class , departing on KA212

what are the odds of using one of the CX lounges in HKg, I have onwworld Sapphire card ?


Originally Posted by christep View Post
What do you mean by "odds"?

You are able to use any oneworld business lounge at HKG under oneworld rules assuming a same day connection.
If murphyjunk has sapphire then it doesn't matter whether it is a same-day connection or whether it is economy or business. KA is a oneworld affiliate and provides all standard oneworld élite benefits.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 1:53 pm
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Oh, true, sorry. Strange that he doesn't know that.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 1:59 pm
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Possibly, the query’s more about the connection time- whether that would afford a lounge visit.

With the inbound being early, frequently..despite the KA flight leaving from un-ideal gates, I’d reckon that the 140minutes will afford a very leisurely breakfast and a Long shower, with plenty to spare- unless the poster’s really unlucky with delays on the inbound.
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