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Spring, Fall, and Hopefully Sakura in CX F, SQ NEW and Old Suites, CZ J, and OZ J/F

Spring, Fall, and Hopefully Sakura in CX F, SQ NEW and Old Suites, CZ J, and OZ J/F

Old Mar 21, 18, 10:20 am
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Spring, Fall, and Hopefully Sakura in CX F, SQ NEW and Old Suites, CZ J, and OZ J/F

Hello again, everyone! I'll start off with a quick thank you for those who not only said it was possible, but convinced me to continue traveling, even with the addition of a little one. I'm sure the outings won't be as frequent, but the memories will be just as good, if not better as a family. The destinations on this trip aren't new to us, other than Sydney, but at least we'll get to see how LC#2 likes floating above the clouds at a few hundred miles per hour .

It's been a busy few months with some significant changes, primarily with the addition of our son to the family. Both the wife and I have changed jobs and relocated back to the Los Angeles area to take advantage of free daycare from our parents. Between taking care of our son after work and everyday responsibilities, there is significantly less time to plan, or even get excited about a trip. Gone are the days of packing a month out and daydreaming about sipping on champagne until the FA is front and center with the bottle in your face. Part of the trip is meant to be a reunion, so my older brother and his family are also flying out to HKG from the east coast. But enough of the boring stuff; everyone is on this sub-forum for trip reports! As usual, the itinerary below and is subject to change . And surprisingly, I'm still alive to write this as the wife and I were booked on separate CX flights...until my waitlist cleared a few days ago

I will warn you, installments may be infrequent compared to the past when I could dedicate large blocks of time to edit pictures and write out a wall of text. But if you enjoy this report, here are some of my previous trips that I've posted to hold you over:

3 for the price of 2? RTW Babymoon to Japan, Maldives, UK (JL/EY/LH J/F/Apartment)
Slummin' it to Spain - BCN, PMI for some Park Hyatt, and MAD
The Journey is Half the Fun; RTW in SQ Suites/CX F/JL J/EK F/EY Apartment/AA F
Christmas in Vienna with a Splash of Porsche and FCT - LX/OS Y, OS J, LH F
Escaping to the Southern Hemisphere: A Bora Bora Getaway
Honeymoon In Europe (UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, etc.) - AA/LH/EK F

Itinerary
LAX-HKG on CX F (777)
Intercontinental Hong Kong for 6 nights
SIN-HKG on NEW SQ Suites (A380)
SIN-SYD on Old SQ Suites (A380)
Park Hyatt Sydney for 4 nights
SYD-CAN on MU J (A330)
CAN-HND on MU J (A330)
Conrad Tokyo for 4 nights
NRT-ICN on OZ J (A330)
Grand Hyatt Incheon for 1 night
ICN-LAX on OZ F (A380)



With all that out of the way, the start of the trip will be rather interesting as my younger brother is on the 11AM CX flight to HKG, with my wife and I on the 11PM. Thankfully I'm no longer on the flight the following morning since my waitlist finally cleared at T-5. There is still some annoyance though, which is the fact that I now work on the other side of the 105 freeway (yes, across from LAX) and I plan to work a full day before our departure. So after dropping my brother off early in the morning and working a full day, I will trek back home through 2 hours of traffic, pick up my wife and son, only to make another trip to LAX. Departure is tomorrow so I'll try to have a post up in the QF F lounge before takeoff...stay tuned! And as always...LH44 FTW

Last edited by chongl; Mar 21, 18 at 4:38 pm
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Old Mar 21, 18, 11:36 am
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Subscribed! Looking at your schedule, we will be in Tokyo roughly around the same time as you, hoping to catch the end of the blossoming. Good luck on sakura chasing. They came way too early this year. Looking forward to reading about your trip.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 3:51 am
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Very much looking forward to this, chongl!
I'll be off to Seoul for some Sakura as well in a couple of days.
And of course, Forza Vettel...
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Old Mar 22, 18, 4:00 am
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looking forward too !
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Old Mar 22, 18, 6:38 pm
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Subscribed
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Old Mar 23, 18, 12:26 am
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Looks like I won't be posting an update from the lounge

Originally Posted by thibderoc View Post
looking forward too !
Originally Posted by wtcmor View Post
Subscribed
Thank you both!

Originally Posted by JohnRain View Post
Very much looking forward to this, chongl!
I'll be off to Seoul for some Sakura as well in a couple of days.
And of course, Forza Vettel...
I seem to be a year behind your travels, so maybe I'll be Sakura chasing in Seoul next year

Originally Posted by sempervivum View Post
Subscribed! Looking at your schedule, we will be in Tokyo roughly around the same time as you, hoping to catch the end of the blossoming. Good luck on sakura chasing. They came way too early this year. Looking forward to reading about your trip.
Awesome...good luck to you as well. The cold weather seems to have dampened the bloom slightly, so hopefully we have a good chance for some nice viewing.
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Old Mar 24, 18, 5:27 am
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We left the house at 5:20 PM and arrived at the QuickPark structure around 6:30 PM, which is located just about a block away from LAX, adjacent to the Hyatt. After finding parking, we took the shuttle over to Tom Bradley International Terminal and were dropped off at the arrivals level. By the time we wheeled our luggage up to the departure level, it was a few minutes before 7PM, with check-in opening at 7:15PM. I took the time to snap a few pictures inside and outside the terminal until we got our bags checked and boarding passes in hand.





















Luckily, the security line was short, and we breezed through for the most part. A quick left turn and elevator ride up led us to the Qantas F Lounge, which has eluded me for a while. Seeing all the great feedback and seemingly phenomenal offerings made me envious. I was more antsy than usual since we had to fly out of SFO last year for our JL F flight, so I've been wanting to get my foot in the door ever since. It's a classy space with many seating options, but we made a beeline for the food.













Bar offerings





Flowers



And chow time! Obviously I had the salt and pepper squid as the starter





We both went non-alcoholic with the passion club. It was rather forgettable



The squid was a bit overhyped and more chewy than I expected, but still pretty decent



Angus steak



Now the sides were delicious. The mac and cheese wasn't as heavy as your traditional version, and the spinach and mushrooms were flavorful with just the right texture





Dessert time...vanilla ice cream sundae and chocolate praline tart





Afterwards, we sat down in the middle section of the lounge, closer to the hubbub of the sit-down dining area so that any noise our son made would be drowned out, or at least comparatively muffled. A lovely couple next to us chatted us up and were great company, even holding and playing with our son for a bit. They left shortly before we did to catch their QF flight to SYD.



We weren't too far behind them as we left the lounge 10 minutes before boarding.



Thankfully no food court required



By the time we got to Gate 134, we were expecting boarding to be called, but nope...boarding was delayed as was the flight. Approaching the new boarding time, another delay was announced...in all, we departed roughly 1.5 hours behind schedule thanks to some holdups during taxi. i'm writing this in my lie flat seat, so we'll see how much time we make up in the air, if any. And it looks like the answer is none





A Virgin Australia bird hanging out opposite our gate



Next up, the lovely CX F flight to HKG...

Last edited by chongl; Mar 24, 18 at 5:35 am
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Old Mar 25, 18, 5:11 am
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Very nice lounge-offerings!
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Old Mar 25, 18, 6:48 am
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I am definitely in for further reading :-)
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Old Mar 25, 18, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Very nice lounge-offerings!
Agreed. Having good, made to order food is a very nice option. I haven't had the opportunity to try the new AA Flagship lounges, so ignorance is bliss for me

Originally Posted by AhogZ View Post
I am definitely in for further reading :-)
Thank you for following
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Old Mar 25, 18, 5:08 pm
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Anyhow, we boarded through 1L, with much of the J traffic trudging through (not sure if this is normal practice with CX?). A glass of PDB champagne and some nuts were a great start, although I'm a bit disappointed that the cost cutting has eliminated the amuse bouche. When we pushed back, there seemed to be more delays with taxiing before finally throttling up the engines for takeoff. I was dozing in and out as it was well past midnight by this point. Once we reached cruising altitude, the crew sprung into action and set up the bassinet in 2K, whereas I had my seat prepared for supper.



The seat and F cabin
















Managed to snap this 6 second exposure while we were sitting ducks...turned out better than I expected




Charging and other ports




A light and small cubby




Seat controls for reclining into a bed and returning upright for takeoff/landing/taxi




Footwell for storage. There is also a door that swings open from the aisle side that can store a carry-on as well as hang up any clothes you may have. I just stuffed our folding stroller and my jacket in there, but didn't snap a picture




The customary orchids weren't there when we boarded, but were placed into the holding spot just prior to takeoff




Bassinet in 2K




Amenity kit






Shortly after takeoff




Tonight's menu

















Caviar, delicious as always



Personalized message from the crew



I opted for the HK style milk tea as drink of choice since the Cathay Delight wasn't on for the month of March



Clam chowder was a little on the salty side, but still quite good



Some Glenmorangie Signet...Wasn't feeling the JW Blue just because I have a bottle of my own, but not one of the Glenmorangie



Nice detail on the glass



The salad and smoked duck was decent



Contemplating what to watch over supper



The braised veal cheeks were delicious and presented wonderfully



Dessert was the black sesame sweet soup



Once mealtime was over, I asked the FA to make my bed so I could do some catchup and write the text for the report, since I had already missed posting in the QF lounge like I had hoped. I began editing pictures around 3:30AM, trying to ward off sleep until it was the equivalent of 8 or 9PM HK time to ease the transition when we arrive. I lasted maybe 45 minutes before succumbing to fatigue





Wokeup across the international date line and ready for a snack!





The bowl of noodles hit the spot, accompanied by more HK style milk tea



Watching "Chasing the Dragon" while I ate



Pralines



Our son looking out the window...jet setter in the making



About T-2 hours, breakfast was served, starting with a plate of fruit. We asked the FA whether they recommended the dim sum, or the lobster congee...we ended up with the former and it was pretty decent considering it's still airline food at the end of the day. Combo'd with still water, a smoothie, and Ying Yang custom made . I just asked the FA to mix a little bit of coffee in with the milk tea







Preparing for landing





On approach during a hazy day



And we're finally here! Taxiing towards our gate, arriving roughly 1.5 hours later than scheduled. Good thing we didn't have a connection to make





This beauty was parked nearby



And awaiting our luggage before exiting landside. So much for priority as our second bag took forever to come out. I was on the cusp of asking the airline where my bag was when it was finally spotted on the carousel





Miraculously, our son did really well on the flight, and got positive comments from fellow F passengers and the purser, saying how well behaved he was. Mrs. ChongL did a fantastic job taking care of him the entire time, but even in F, she was understandably exhausted when we arrived. The bassinet was DOA for us as well since baby ChongL would wake up as soon as we put him down in it, but we made use of it as storage space during the flight. Otherwise, baby was sleeping on the seat adjacent to mom (thank you wide seats on CX F!). Also, since we were in 1K and 2K, we shared the aisle with the middle seats and both those passengers interacted with our son a little bit, and the purser even asked if she could hold him (which she did ). We weren't sure how our son would react on his first flight ever, let alone long haul, so we were crossing our fingers he would be manage-able. Whenever he made a small peep, we would try to quiet him down or pace the aisles to eliminate any potential disruption to the other pax. This approach seemed to work well (thank goodness!) and kept the peace for the flight. The LAX-HKG is the longest flight on the trip, so at least that's out of the way, but we hope he stays as good as he was on the upcoming legs.

Next up: Intercontinental Hong Kong and pigging out over a few days
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Old Mar 25, 18, 7:55 pm
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Excellent pictures as always! Must be really interesting now that you're travelling with the young one
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Old Mar 26, 18, 6:31 am
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Great to see that little one was nice and quiet during the flight...
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Old Mar 26, 18, 10:22 am
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Great report Chongl. Glad to see you back in the skies this time with a +1. Congrats.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 11:58 am
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How much did you have to pay for the infant? 10% of full-fare F?
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