This was the return leg of a Hong Kong to Dublin ticket which I had purchased on Ctrip a couple of months before the trip for $4,876 all in. This was cheaper than with Cathay directly. The price also shows what a difference it makes flying from the British Isles without having to pay Britain’s air duty.
At the Airport
There were long queues for security. Before departure I used the Dublin airport executive lounge by dint of my Marco Polo status. It was a bit underwhelming though I hadn’t realized on entering and turning right that I was in the worse part of the lounge. Turning left would have offered a manned bar and better food options.
The gate was 303, a couple of minutes’ walk away. The gate was busy but boarding was orderly and swift.
This was operated by an Airbus A350-900 (registration number B-LRJ).
There were pillows and blankets at the seat on arrival. The entertainment system had a good selection.
Once onboard I wished I had waited longer to board, as large groups of loud mainlanders shouted at each other across the plane seats. Things settled down once boarding was complete.
There were only a couple of empty seats in economy class as far as I could see. We pushed back slightly after schedule but had a smooth flight and arrived at one of the gates close to immigration in Hong Kong around forty minutes early.
After takeoff there was a quick drinks service, followed by a meal service. Breakfast was served about an hour and a quarter before landing. Between times, the cabin crew occasionally came through the cabin with noodles and water. Overall, the cabin crew was not highly engaged.
Food and Drink
The crew handed out paper menus which read as follows:
For lunch I had the sea bass which overall was tasty even though the presentation was uninspiring.
For breakfast there were, as usual in economy on Cathay, only two choices on the menu and the Chinese option had run out. I went for the western option, which was quite good (though lacking elements of a Full Irish, which I would have appreciated). The Irish yoghurt tasted streets ahead of the low-fat yoghurt served on routes from the United States.
The timing of this flight made for quite an enjoyable journey – lunch, a snooze, then an early arrival into Hong Kong. I was surprised at how busy it was.