Chengdu Shuangliu to Hong Kong, Dragonair flight 821
This was ticketed as the third leg of a Taipei to Chengdu return ticket which in total booked into V class, costing NTD 13,693 (HKD3,181) and accrued 2,680 Asia Miles.
I was booked on CX6121 which is a codeshare flight operated by Air China, scheduled to depart at 8.05 a.m. Unfortunately I did not get to the airport before checkin closed. At that point I had a problem as I wanted to see if I could get onto another flight, but there is not a Dragonair ticket desk and the Dragonair checkin desks are closed. Meanwhile, I suspected that Air China would simply tell me that I had to speak to Dragonair, and anyway I couldn’t even find an Air China ticketing desk.
After some hunting, I found a Dragonair operational office and knocked on the door several times. The staff told me to contact Cathay directly, but I then told them my Marco Polo number and asked them to help me. They contacted the Marco Polo number and rebooked me without charge, swiftly, on the next Dragonair flight, which is 821. It was scheduled to depart at 2.10 p.m. This was six hours later alas, but that is the danger of missing one’s flight in an airport with less than frequent service.
The ground staff in the office were helpful, polite and efficient and I was very pleased by their service.
I then had to wait landside until the checkin counter opened two hours before the originally scheduled time of 2:10 p.m., although even then the board gave a revised departure time of 3:00 p.m.
This was operated by an Airbus A330 (registration B-HLG). It contained the Dragonair regional inflight entertainment system (the same as Cathay’s).
The departure time had been rescheduled to 3.00 p.m. Boarding started around ten to three and at 3.17 the pilot came on the public address system to introduce himself in a mumbling voice – I could not understand most of it, but he seemed to explain that the delay was due to the late arrival of the incoming aircraft. We took off at 3.23. The flight was mostly smooth and outside of Hong Kong there was some delay due to traffic.
In economy the flight looked more or less full.
We arrived at gate 70 in Hong Kong at 5.50, one hour and ten minutes behind schedule.
I received a Marco Polo greeting on this flight and the crew were both friendly and responsive throughout. They did a meal service early in the flight but after that were mostly not visible in the cabin.
Food and Drink
I was offered duck and rice or pork and potatoes. I chose the latter, which turned out to be delicious although oily. It was sliced pork cooked in a sauce, sautéed potatoes and vegetables. The meal was one of the best I have had in economy class in Dragonair.
There was no drinks service offered and I only got a hot tea because I asked for one.
I was happy that I was able to move to this flight after missing my planned one. The service feels increasingly no frills – the total absence of a drinks service is a bad omen, for example. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the meal.
Guest Blogger: Christopher R.