Review: Cathay Dragon flight KA450, Hong Kong to Kaohsiung

Ticketing

This was the outbound leg of a return fanfare booked a couple of months before travel for $1,124.

At the airport

I arrived at the airport a couple of hours before the flight was due to depart. The Cathay Dragon checkin counter was quite quiet so I checked in immediately. The boarding pass indicated seat 18C, in economy class.

Equipment

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The plane was operated by an Airbus A330. When I boarded I noticed that row 18 was in fact the final row of business class seating.

The chair was comfortable and came with a pillow on it. There was a seatback television with Cathay’s usual wide range of entertainment options, as well as a plug and USB port.

There were two sections to the business class seating, and during the flight this one was divided from the front one by a closed curtain. So, although the seating was business class, the lack of pre-departure beverage, the economy class meal and the fact that I was greeted by the economy cabin leader added up to the fact that the seat was an economy class seat which just happened to be using a business class cabin seat. I was grateful for the much more comfortable seat than I would have had in economy class, anyway, and on such a short flight the difference in food and drink wasn’t much of a concern.

Flight

We pushed back on the dot at 9.15 p.m. It is a short flight to Kaohsiung and our route took us directly across the South China Sea, with just a slight turn up to Kaohsiung on approach. The flight was smooth and we arrived at the terminal just a couple of minutes after the scheduled time of 10.40 p.m. As the airport is fairly small, there was only a short walk to passport control and little queue there.

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Service

The crew was decidedly average by Cathay Dragon’s standards. As I left the plane, the inflight service manager was standing at the door, but with her back turned and talking, so not saying farewell to passengers – in my experience, that has often correlated with average crews both on Cathay Dragon and Cathay Pacific.

She had come up and greeted me during the flight, as had the cabin crew member in charge of economy.

Food and Drink

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The meal service started after the seatbelt signs were turned off, though took some time to reach me. I was not offered a choice of meal, simply given the tray and told that it was chicken. The chicken came with rice and an odd medley of vegetables. The meal was fine, nothing special. The dessert was a biscuit, which is a bit miserly, but it was at least a tasty Kee Wah biscuit.

The meal was served on a tray on which the little trays take up unnecessary amounts of space, which can make it harder to arrange at the table. The plastic cutlery consisted only of a fork and spoon, for some reason there was no knife.

There was no drinks service offered on this flight except for tea and coffee. I asked for and received a wine, but I didn’t see any other passengers doing the same.

Conclusion

This was a comfortable flight, thanks to the seat and the smoothness of the flight. The crew made little impression and the meal was middling.

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