Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page > Three trips in one: the 10-day 60,000 mile RTW challenge with CX J, QR F/J, BA J/Y

Three trips in one: the 10-day 60,000 mile RTW challenge with CX J, QR F/J, BA J/Y


Old Mar 15, 17, 2:19 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,143
Three trips in one: the 10-day 60,000 mile RTW challenge with CX J, QR F/J, BA J/Y

Hello everyone, from the BA F lounge at ORD waiting for the afternoon CX departure from ORD to HKG!

The next one and a half week will be absolute fun for me because I am embarking on a RTW trip with such a routing and flying hours that I'm still not quite psychologically ready to board my first flight at the moment.

To avoid being overly verbose, I'll be posting this live/near-live because what are some better things to do on some of the very long layovers anyway!

Here's the background of the trip:

As a lot of you probably know, last November the EGP dropped like free fall and for a college student like me, the sub-$3,000 ex-CAI DONE RTW fare was probably my one and only chance to jump on in the foreseeable future, with both price and mobility/flexibility taken into account. It was still a fun experience ticketing it as I procrastinated until the deal was almost gone and basically called every CX/BA worldwide center that were willing to ticket it

When I booked it I didn't know my exam schedule yet (yes, we have finals week before spring break, how brutal is that.) Eventually I realized that I would be done early, so before repositioning to CAI I tagged along a flight home (HKG). Since it is cheap (and EQM/RDM/EQD-aggregating) to start from outports for CX J fares, I normally reposition to JNB which is where I start my HKG-ORD itineraries (yes, double the distance!). A roundtrip turnaround to JNB means I don't have to do that for next fall term, effectively allowing myself a 'six month stopover' in HKG.

Anyway...so part 1 is the CX JNB run (on the 'rents account...) and repositioning to CAI. (AA miles)
Then, I still had 3 days or so in CAI before my original ticketed starting date so I hope to do a bit of sightseeing, hopefully it'll be safe.
Then worst comes to worst. Last month I knew of how I had an important event to attend right after departing CAI for LHR, but it's at SFO! So after departing CAI, I'd have to do a quick run to SFO (for one night) and go back to Europe to continue the RTW afterwards. I'd also have to change my 2nd-4th RTW segments to accommodate that. This was paid by AA miles and Avios due to the last minute and overnight turn nature.

I know you're getting confused so here's the final itinerary (in fact it's not even final as I can't reissue my DONE RTW segments until I fly the first one, and the rest will be at the mercy of QR RM/POS and married segment gods! So this entire thing may be different in the end)

1) ORD-HKG-JNB in CX J since this the return sector for HKG-ORD before this winter quarter
2) turning around to JNB-HKG in CX J as 1st segment for HKG-ORD-HKG(-JNB) for next fall
2a) The 2017 comprehensive guide to all OW lounges in HKG (I'll probably be writing a separate post about this, reviewing every single OW lounge in HKG for the FT community since I have a 18 hour layover in HKG.)
3) Getting to Cairo: HKG-DXB in CX J connecting to DXB-DOH-CAI in QR F
4) A day in Cairo and Conrad Cairo
5) Cairo to LHR in BA A321 ex-BMI J
6) LHR to DUB to LHR to SFO in BA A380 J (yes, it was cheaper to repos to DUB even for an award )
7) SFO-LHR in BA A380 Y (I need your blessings for this leg!)
8) Continuing the RTW: LHR-DOH-MAD-DOH-LAX in QR J followed by LAX-ORD in AA J (all back-to-back because of the SFO event )

In case it's clearer this way (probably not), here's a map of everything together:

I figured out that this totals to a whopping ~60,000 miles of flying distance. I hope I'll survive with my already very stuffed rollerboard! It's almost time to board and I will post about the ORD-HKG CX807 flight (one of my all time favorites and regular flights!) when I arrive at HKG or JNB later. Stay tuned and thanks for now


Persistence is not easy and unfortunately I was not able to report all of this live! But I am writing the remaining segments now

In the end, the routing remained largely unchanged, and I did have to suck it up in BA Y for SFO-LHR but you can read that I survived and thought it was okay

When I changed my RTW ticket at LHR CX desk, married segment conservatism courtesy of QR meant I ended up flying to CDG instead of MAD. So it was LHR-DOH-CDG-DOH-LAX-ORD back to back ultimately...

Here are individual links to each part of the TR:
Flight 1: CX807 ORD-HKG Business Class
Flight 2: CX749 HKG-JNB Business Class
Flight 3: CX748 JNB-HKG Business Class
18 hours at HKG
Flight 4: CX745 HKG-DXB Business Class
Flight 5: QR1025 DXB-DOH First Class
Lounge Review: Al Safwa First Class Lounge @ DOH
Flight 6: QR1301 DOH-CAI First Class
Cairo and Conrad Cairo
Flight 7: BA154 CAI-LHR Club World
Flight 8: BA824 LHR-DUB Euro Traveller and Dublin/Hilton Dublin Airport
Flight 9: BA845 DUB-LHR Club Europe
Flight 10: BA287 LHR-SFO Club World
SFO/GH SFO, Flight 11: BA286 SFO-LHR World Traveler and Afternoon Tea at FS London
Flight 12: QR2 LHR-DOH Business Class on the QR A350
Flight 13: QR39 DOH-CDG Business Class on the QR A380
Flight 14: QR40 CDG-DOH Business Class on the QR A380
Lounge Review: Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge @ DOH
Flight 15: QR739 DOH-LAX Business Class
Flight 16: AA2576 LAX-ORD First Class
Wrap up and what's next

Last edited by G-CIVC; May 5, 17 at 5:07 am
G-CIVC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 15, 17, 4:53 pm
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: DTW/MBS/AZO
Programs: AA Ex Plat, UA 1K, Marriott Platinum, HHonors Gold, Starbucks Gold
Posts: 2,189
Have fun with this. SFO-LHR in Y isn't that bad. I have ORD-HKG coming up for the first time (CX 807), and that will be in Y. We will both get through it.
BThumme is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 17, 9:46 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,143
Thanks BThumme for chipping in. Just got off 807 and about to head to board CX749 HKG-JNB from the Pier, not too bad crew and light loads, nice flight overall despite no emerald ooh-and-ahh treatment. I am just a bit too tired and overwhelmed - intentional so hopefully I can sleep well on the flight to Jo'burg.

A 3-hour layover really feels too short when there are such fantastic lounge offerings at HKG.

Let me try to write something substantial if the wifi at JNB allows
G-CIVC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 17, 4:31 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,143
Flight 1: CX 807 ORD-HKG Business Class

This is my 'commute' flight back home so I've done this many times. Therefore no sky-high expectations were set, as usual I got a Lyft from my campus to ORD way in advance as I had to make a few phone calls in the lounge. I'm glad I braved my way to the car instead of bringing my Canada goose all the way to Egypt.

My brother likes to insist that I chose to come here for the easy access to ORD and MRing and I should be glad I didn't go to Cornell or Dartmouth. Well I gotta admit I did use to do ORD-LAX-ORD $80 Tuesday runs leaving from school at 2pm and returning next morning from a redeye

Anyway, after inquiring about why I am from Hong Kong and not China and etc etc, something caught my eye as we approached ORD:

ORD Cathay check in was deserted; service was warm and welcoming as usual, although the port manager that recognizes me was off duty today. Still, I was granted an escort through security and we were through without wait or pressure from yelling/crowding and everything. Well, it's not always a disaster without PRE I guess...

As you may be aware the ORD BA Flounge is an absolute misery with the exception of some decent tarmac views. Well there was a private phone-booth which was phenomenally helpful for me today, and CX agents must have been thinking that emeralds are high-ups, calling and thanking me by name every time I have eye contact with them. So the long wait was not too bad, and our chariot pulled in on time:

B-KPD is one of the most senior 77W frames at CX and unfortunately was not a new addition to my list of CX birds flown. Still, it holds a special place in my heart for being my last PEY to J op ups last year (out of a string of 4) and the only time when I missed a meal service due to sleeping too well

Boarding was a relatively peaceful affair as our loads were light today (I had wished for even lighter loads but weather snafus on the east coast screwed that up). Still, at CX ORD F+J+OWE/OWS have one line and the CX Flounge agent grabbed me away right to the front instead. Wonderful gesture and I really, really love the CX ORD ground staff. They never fail to impress!

I knew it would be a great flight when the galley purser approached me before I stepped on greeting me in Cantonese. Remember, never speak in Mandarin to a HKer but CX crews have never screwed up on me

And since boarding was done through door L2, I had the giddy feeling of turning left. Soon I was settled in my personal enclave of the famed 11A. People on the CX forum may know, if it's taken, I just book another date instead. As is basically customary not long after I settled down a junior crewmember came around with standard offerings of PDBs including Champagne, water and cranberry juice. I took the juice feeling like whatever. Not too bad.

We departed punctually to the dot and soon rolled off a snow-blanketed ORD into the West with no further delay. Our routing today was to the East ('Europe' side) and soon we were trailing next to the coast of WI and MKE:

Senior purser Jenny came by to say hi while distributing the menus. Again, got the language right immediately. No special greeting as an Emerald (weird) but generally the service was highly hospitable throughout the flight so that didn't induce me to complain. The ISM was nowhere to be seen for the entire flight.
The junior crews came by with amenity kits and bottled water before Jenny appeared with a cart for the pre-meal bar service. All very routine and standard.

Despite all the bashing (and truth) about CX's third world catering, the ORD caterer is actually one of their best outport caterers and as usual the meal components were all perfectly edible today. The salmon was fresh and seasoned appropriately, the beef cheeks were tender and soft if only a bit bland, desserts were improved over the past. I started with the standard offering of the very solid Deutz champagne as is on all US routes, then paired the beef with CX's odd-month mocktail Oriental Breeze, wrapping up with pralines and hot chocolate and a showing of La La Land.

Service was done around 2.5 hours into the flight, not too quick nor too slow. I then settled for a nap as I had planned to adjust to Hong Kong time as soon as I can for the next couple days.

Here's a moderately edited candid shot I modified later of how much I love CX J as a bed for sleeping (when you know how to do it right )

As perfectly as I wished it would be, I woke up at around lunch in HK time and partook in the famous in-flight snack, prime beef burger (as I do every time)

For those that are not frequent CX fliers, the galley snacks (in all cabins) had an appearance and branding upgrade last year but came at a cost of a sizeable reduction in portion:

As I waited for the burger to heat up I chatted with the crew about how the Chicago route is getting the new trial dine-on-demand service. We were pretty much in sync in terms of our negativity and concerns towards that

The SP and galley FP joked with me together about their company and it's really these moments that I like CX the most about, crews that are people but not robots. The SP was so witty she reminded me of those hipster moms of your friends that you used to be jealous of

I continued watching an extremely famous HK soap opera series (c.1999) from where I left off on my Dec/Jan JNB-HKG-ORD run. Unfortunately it seems that even with ORD-HKG-JNB-HKG-DXB on CX in one go I won't be able to finish it

Soon it was time for the second service as we traversed over the North Pole well into China. On top of the standard service flow nuts were given out again before the joke of a few chunks of 'fresh seasonal fruit' which CX thinks is an appropriate appetizer (even in F):

Normally I don't drink before arrival but since odd-numbered months meant no Cathay Delight, I ordered the Deutz again and drank sparingly carrying it through my main course choice of steamed fish (fantastic) and pecan pie (also fantastic):

I'm too lazy to check the CX F menu thread but I believe F also gets these for their '2nd' service.

Again the meal service was paced appropriately and left everyone with an hour or so to wrap up and prepare for arrival into HKG. We pulled into our arrival gate 31 again to the dot meaning that this flight really did almost tally up to 16 hours gate to gate. Nothing too chaotic weather-wise at HKG.

After F was let off, I went through the deserted transit security at gate 27 and was back airside in 5 minutes or so after belts off.

Overall a solid (not fancy, but still very nice) way to kick off the frenzy!
G-CIVC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 17, 6:24 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,143
Flight 2: CX 749 HKG-JNB Business Class

With the amount of stuff I was carrying (for ten days) the first place I went after clearing security was The Pier J. We've waited almost 20 years for storage lockers to finally show up at CX lounges

I then satisfied my 2-month craving for Cathay Delight and settled at a corner of the very quiet Pier J lounge to catch up emails and texts. It's really one hell of a lounge and I'm sure it'll be giving the QF lounge tough competition.

Then I headed over to Pier F for a light dinner (which ended up being 3 courses...that's me) before showering and heading over to the nearby gate for boarding. As I said, when you have all of these, a 3 hour layover feels painfully too short

The salmon confit was nice and balanced in terms of its rawness. The seafood soup with rice had too much rice and too little seafood. The chilled mango sago soup...well...nice try but again meh.

Time ran out quickly and I knew I would be back in 2 days so there's not much to share for this layover

As I posted in the CX forum there were some upgrade shenanigans (or so I believed) but generally the flight was not full. Was told that quite a couple didn't make it from PVG/PEK.

Was borderline going to sweat but I arrived at gate 41 only to see this:

Tonight's chariot B-KQE. Yay for a new addition to my rollcall but the problem of a JNB run is you get a double count of the same frame...

Anyway, sooner or later boarding was called in a fairly organized manner and I was in my 11A in no time. I was greeted warmly by the ISM Rita who glanced at my mobile BP and said 'you do know your way sir ' - again I knew she wouldn't be a bad one!

The JNB flight is operated by a 3-class 77W (77G in Cathay speak) which is different from the 4-class 77H that does most American routes. 11A on the 77G is not as fabulous as the 77H but still offers a larger footwell and good privacy as well as being first off the plane.

The 77G is undercrewed by nature so some faces that ended up being unfamiliar helped with the boarding process including PDBs, of which I chose Oriental breeze which was a bad choice having brushed my teeth earlier... Due to the light load again we pushed back on time and rolled away before midnight for a 2340 departure, not bad at all for HKG.

As soon as the belt light got off kits and Evian were given out using trays swiftly.

ISM Rita came by as I was about to start bingewatching the TV drama again - she informed me of winning the lottery, I was the only emerald onboard tonight and there were no CX DMs!!!! JNB is quite a DM-heavy route so I was surprised. Then SP Tina from Thailand came by and gave a special welcome too, while handing out the menus. OMG the other big oneworld legacies please please learn a bit.

If you have seen me on the CX forum, I am one of the biggest bashers of the 'dips and berries' supper service that CX has been serving since 2014 with those plastic packaged grissini dips. At the same time I guess it's a love-hate relationship - one-tray services are indeed great for departures at such hour, and it would show here.

A great thing about the JNB flight is the ZA red they have, Mont du Toit. It's probably the only drinkable red/white they serve in J across the network. So I carried it through from appetizer to cheese, and it also functioned well as a sleep aid afterwards. The main course of steak with bernaise sauce was a bit too tender and lacking in flavor, but given HKG catering, anything that I don't end up throwing up I know I should be 'grateful'. I was expecting the light meal option of Lobster salad from Tosca @ RCHK, but I guess these marketing gimmicks were too expensive to last long. Unfortunately Tina knew nothing about it.

The merits of the supper service came through when the lights went out at around ten minutes past 1am. Now I've had an extravagant near-full meal in AA J departing at midnight but that continued until like 3am. So I can understand why there is popularity for the supper option. I wrapped up quickly after the cheese course and pralines and once again set up my bed like the worst brat ever thanks to the accommodation of the ISM:

Slouching in my bed I watched one more episode of the TV show before I saw a stunning sight out of the window: can you recognize this sight?

I don't remember what happened next because the next moment I realized the remote control was showing 2 hours out of JNB. The strategy of sleeping less on my incoming flight worked well after all. Within a few moments the mood lighting mimicking sunrise(?) was set in place and the crew began a drinks run of orange juice and passion fruit/strawberry smoothies for the breakfast service. We had already made landfall over Africa.

Breakfast, while filling, is again not an extravagant affair on CX. But at least it fed me reasonably well. Knowing how disastrous the egg option can be ex-HKG, I went for the dim sum which was again borderline tasteless but still okay. The lor mai gai (chicken glutinous rice) as you can see did not have enough content in it.

ISM Rita came back to check with me and said she noticed that I slept well. I sure did . The sun was hovering over the horizon/Indian Ocean as we gradually descended into JNB. We touched down and taxied to the gate for a while, arriving at the new pier of the terminal around 15 minutes ahead of schedule. As we waited for the jetbridge to connect, I chatted with some of the crew about their plans in JNB and all that and wished them a safe and happy trip/rest.

Every time I do the JNB run I freak out a bit seeing how overwater the flight path is. But nevertheless I tend to sleep quite well on the 749 so once again it was a solid flight with CX
G-CIVC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 17, 8:41 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,143
Flight 3: CX 748 JNB-HKG Business Class

I was the first off 749. Those of you ever arrived at JNB before know how long a walk it is. Well, it was even longer to reach the sketchy corridor down to flight connections where I've been grilled before for doing a turnaround. This time, there was a group of clueless tourists and the officials saw me coming, waved me up, stamped and didn't look twice.

Then came the second challenge, which was waiting for the CX counter to open in the dark, dark dungeon of the transit area. Since I only purchased this leg a few days ago they had to verify my CC. Since I don't know when the opening time was pushed back to 7:30 from 7:00am in the past. This ended up being disastrous as the CA flight from PEK arrived and the rest is fairly self-explanatory.

Anyway, I managed to end up at the Shongololo lounge which CX contracts at JNB. The wifi unfortunately was weak so I would not be able to upload or write anything let alone call AA on Skype to switch to QR for the next segment, if you read my post in the QR forum. Here are some random snaps of the offerings:

After a couple times visiting to turn around, I think JNB is a solid airport overall with the exception of CX staff. That includes how they have the tendency to board at T-60 but with absolute chaos. Luckily after a big deal of policing and yelling and etc some lines were formed. Given the departure gate of A3 today it was hard to take a picture of KQE.

Anyway, as I booked this leg very very late (essentially i was hedging on the rand, which I failed!) the only window seat left was 23K, the very last one. Oh well, at least it's a window. On the 77G, the second cabin has 3 rows and is sort of like an expanded mini-cabin, and it indeed was quiet throughout the flight. Row 23 also offered stunning views of the engines.

Some more CX trivia: for 40 J class passengers on the 77G, there is only one junior crewmember. Today it was Calvin who was energetic and welcoming, directing me to my seat. He soon came by again with PDBs which I chose Champagne over OJ or water. Note the interesting feature at the JNB main gates where you can see the reflection of the plane very well

There seemed to be some communication difficulties between the crew and the ground staff. Boarding at T-60 didn't help on time performance - we weren't able to close doors at departure time. There was some seating problem in this completely full J cabin today. Right before the doors closed, two ID pax (pilots I think) were booted from their seats but I mind my own business...

Anyway, a few minutes past departure time we managed to push back and taxied to the end of the runway before pulling into the African skies again. Meanwhile, the ISM Miho came by and said hi, thanking me for my loyalty towards oneworld.

The roaring GE90s did go into full force.

It took a while before service began. Perhaps as this was a mid-day departure there was no need to rush. Calvin came by again with kits and bottled water, while Senior Purser (the youngest I've ever seen) Cindy came by, distributed the menu and greeted me, asking me to let her know of anything I need.

The service definitely felt a bit slower and less attentive being seated in the very back. Anyway, pretty standard stuff - the chicken roll appetizer was okay, it had some flavor but that was it. The salad was meh with the not so appetizing vinaigrette. They did not take order for DMs or Emeralds and I was expecting them to run out by the time they reached me, but every choice was available so I went with my intended choice of Chinese style beef paired again with the ZA red that I liked a lot. Cheese and fruit were again flavorless but the desserts were above average in CX standards. There were basically no drink refills so that wasn't very ideal but I can see how the crew were already huffing and panting, and by the end of service two crew from Y came up to help.

By the time we were done, we had veered off the coast of Africa - it seems our rather Northernly path today would let us just go above Madagascar. Anyway, I found the translation for Dzaoudzi in Cantonese to be quite amusing

Here's a lav shot - there's a big big lav in the aft cabin section, but pax on the G/K side had to traverse across the galley to get there which was quite inconvenient.

As I set up my 'day bed in the sky', Calvin came up with the suggestion of using the PEY (thin) blanket instead of the J class duvet as a mattress pad - which actually worked well as it was much less stuffy after doing that

The rest of the flight was spent bingewatching the TV drama and chatting with the ISM (who spoke perfect Cantonese!) - she really treats her job as a career and knows a lot about aviation, like all sorts of different aircraft variants and things in different airlines! Had a great convo with her about how us CX FFs don't really look forward to DoD coming to CX.

Due to the timing of the flight (noon departure, early morning arrival in HKG) a lot of people didn't sleep until a lot later in the flight, as did I. Therefore breakfast was done low-key at around 2 hours prior to arrival where Calvin constantly patrolled the cabin, spotted awoken pax and asked them for their entree preference. Then the entire breakfast was served in one tray. I felt this was better than turning on all the lights and making a cart-after-cart scene. I went with the egg dish but it was again not very flavorful, as were the other sides. Oh well, I had 18 hours of HKG lounges ahead in front

Although the cabin lights were completely out again after breakfast to allow certain pax to maximize their sleep further, the sun was soon creeping out and after a few turns and jiggles and views of Tai O and the money-sucking scambridge we landed on 7R a minute ahead of schedule, docking at the gate around 10 minutes late.

This flight was again enjoyable but perhaps a little bit less than the first two ones. Nonetheless again solid service, very attentive and caring of FFs and elites which I appreciate a lot. Actually just prior to descent I saw a report of criminal behavior in the back so kudos to the ISM for enforcing strict safety and protecting her crew well in these situations (didn't see police anywhere after arrival tho and the entire thing was not noticed by any pax in the other cabins. Good job)
G-CIVC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 17, 6:32 pm
Four Seasons 5+ BadgeSPG 5+ Badge
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Programs: Some
Posts: 5,528
many CX-flights
offerendum is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 17, 7:17 pm
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 92
Having flown CX J a few times in the past 6 months, your enthusiasm for the airline is amazing. Good luck and I appreciate the trip report!
miuk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 19, 17, 4:17 pm
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: London
Posts: 277
This is off to a really fun start, really love your level of detail. Looking forward to the rest.
Spymon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 17, 12:45 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,143
Hi there, since this should be a live report Just to say I'm still alive, settled in Cairo but have been a bit fatigued from a 5-day streak of being airside - I'll write again soon!

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
many CX-flights
Originally Posted by miuk View Post
Having flown CX J a few times in the past 6 months, your enthusiasm for the airline is amazing. Good luck and I appreciate the trip report!
Thanks offerendum and miuk I am one of the biggest CX fans out there But just got blown away more by my first QR experience!

Originally Posted by Spymon View Post
This is off to a really fun start, really love your level of detail. Looking forward to the rest.
Thanks Spymon for your positive encouragement!

Last edited by G-CIVC; Mar 20, 17 at 9:44 am
G-CIVC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 17, 10:32 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,143
18 hours at HKG

My Jo'burg flight arrived at 7 in the morning and the onward flight to DXB wasn't until 1:30am. For those of you on the QR forum you may have saw my desperate calling regarding switching to the QR red-eye direct to DOH instead, unfortunately that plan did not realize in the end.

Anyway, when people post threads about long layovers at HKG, the consensus is always to get out of the airport and explore the city. But for me as an HKer the airport is where I will sightsee

As mentioned in the 1st post I hope ultimately I will manage to put together (using these valuable 18 hours and my previous 93481209458102945 hours in these lounges) a comprehensive review-guide spin-off thread - if it comes to fruition I'll be sure to attach the link back here.

For now, I'll keep it short and briefly go over how the 18 hours were spent. I'll limit it to a paragraph or so and three pictures for each lounge :

The JNB flight docked near the e-gates so I just went thru and checked in at the departures F-check in since I know the security line would be shorter compared to the main transit one (JNB is one of the last CX morning arrivals, so there were already a lot of people around.)

I was soon done and made the trek to Pier F by 7:40am. I first took a shower to freshen up and change - not good and I forgot to mention in the post for flight 2, the ventilation, water pressure and temp controls were all weak. Then I had a big breakfast which tasted a lot better than their lunch/dinner offerings. Lounged a bit and noticed the Betsy beer on offer. I dunked it in one go and it must have been because of that I did pass out nap a bit in the day suites, of which I was the only occupant. Before that I had an eye massage and it was great and soothing. There were less than 10 pax the entire time I was there. Wonderful wonderful and I love the Pier F (little did I know about Al Safwa then!) See how easy it was to have spent half a day already

Before the lounge 'hop' actually took off I headed to the Pier J to lock my bags at the lockers. Since it was a Saturday there were probably more leisure flyers so the lounge was a lot more crowded than the F lounge. I just had some light bites and a glass of Cathay delight and hopped around from here to there. Again a massively stunning and solid lounge, one of the very few things CX has done right recently.

I then moved on to the Bridge where it was not as crowded but there were still people in every zone. I took the opportunity to grab a slice of pizza as lunch and it did live up to expectations - not bad at all. But since only sofas were left and not the comfy Solus chairs (individual workstation 'suites') I decided to head out to the next stop pretty soon, having the intent to do some 'work' (aka writing the above posts up) on mind.

So I ventured to the Cabin at gate 23 where the BA A380 arriving from LHR was veering head in. The A380 is an ugly plane but you know it is the 747 successor when people all suddenly rose and started snapping pictures of it...
I ended up settling at a sofa bench facing the tarmac behind the juice bar, plugged in and enjoyed myself for a while. (That's the only bit of the Cabin that I like!)

Soon, it was time to move on as I wanted to grab dinner at the QF lounge. However, it was extremely crowded and only bar seating was left - this is totally different from all my past visits where I had often been the only passenger. But in the afternoon/evening the QF pax do show up and wow, they do have the ability to fill up the whole lounge. The QF lounge has a quality > quantity buffet along with some made to order 'main' dishes for dinner. Unfortunately the choices were not really to my tastes tonight so I just partook in its signature caramel cheese cake (more than once) before ducking out to my next stop. Before leaving I quickly got a shower room but my conclusion is that the QF showers are not as good as the CX lounges ones - fortunately it was still better than LAX QF F, but they were pretty similar - lacking in amenities and bare-bones.

Almost finished! I traversed the crowded food court area to the opposite side of the airport where the Wing was located. Ah, that feels-like-home feeling. With the exception that the Wing F lounge again was eerily quiet, a big difference from when I fly back to ORD (which is normally on a Sunday/Monday morning.) I went to the Haven restaurant to have a simple three-course dinner of which only the main was served on order - it was a duck breast that tasted fine. Didn't regret coming over from QF. The other buffet food were not that bad too. To wait for my gate to show up and reprint my BP (aka to satisfy my OCD) I hung around at the Wing J next door for a while where I enjoyed the new mini Satay bar and people watched. After settling the BP I officially gave up on waiting for QR J to open so I got a cabana and chilled there until it was time...

...to get back to the Pier J to spend a 'last hour' there. Well, not just to grab my bags but I also managed to print some stuff that I might need in Egypt, as well as take a pre-flight shower and maybe a last-minute midnight snack in case I slept on the plane right away. Everything was done perfectly in less than an hour It was only then, as I took my first shower at the Pier J, that I realized how much better the water pressure, ventilation and temp controls were compared to the Pier F. I'll be sure to come again. The Dan Dan noodles were not weak compared to the Wing either.

I stayed until the lounge closed at 0030 where I leisurely strolled to the gate an hour ahead of departure.
G-CIVC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 17, 12:01 pm
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: DCA, HNL, SYD
Programs: UA 1K 2MM, AA EXP, DL Diamond, AS MVP75, AmEx Cent, Misc Hotel Bling, Moms love me
Posts: 4,624
Originally Posted by G-CIVC View Post
Thanks offerendum and miuk I am one of the biggest CX fans out there But just got blown away more by my first QR experience!
Blown away by QR over Cathay? That has to be a first!
ironmanjt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 17, 2:09 pm
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: JNB
Programs: Flying Blue, Miles and Smiles, Hhonors, ICHotels
Posts: 787
This looks epic!
Looking forward to the rest of your TR!!
roadwarrier is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 17, 3:38 pm
Join Date: Apr 2012
Programs: AA EXP, UA Gold, SPG Plat
Posts: 336

Good taste in TVB drama! Part 1 was much better than part 2.
caimaster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 17, 2:31 am
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 409
Fantastic TR G-CIVC, I'm really enjoying reading this adventure. Oh and there are plenty of my fave places to spend time mentioned too...the lounges!
Charlie26r is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 4:21 pm.

Home - News - Forum - Hotel Reviews - Glossary - Contact Us - Airport Code Lookup - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy - Advertise on FlyerTalk - Archive - Top

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by Flyertalk.com. Copyright 2017 FlyerTalk.com. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.