Review: Incheon to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific CX417

At the Airport

The checkin staff were really fast and efficient. There was no queue. Security at Incheon has got worse over the past five or so years and now routinely involves a fifteen to twenty minute wait, as it did on this occasion. Passport control was fast. The plane was due to depart from gate 49, around five to seven minutes’ walk from security.


The flight was operated by a Boeing 777-200 (registration number B-HNB). The seatbacks had a USB port and there were power points beneath the seat. The screen on these planes feels fairly small, although Cathay does carry a good range of inflight entertainment.


The flight was about eighty per cent full in economy class.

We pushed back from gate 49 about half an hour late, due to flow control en route. We had a smooth journey down to Hong Kong and arrived there about fifteen minutes behind schedule. We arrived at a low numbered gate close to immigration.


The crew on this flight came across as a bit disinterested and were invisible for much of the flight. They did a meal service and that was it.

There were native Korean speaking cabin crew and announcements were in Cantonese, English and Korean.

Food and Drink

There was a choice of chicken or beef and I chose the beef. It felt like a lunch not breakfast meal though I found ice cream an odd choice of dessert so early in the day. Cathay continually proffers the same ice cream on its flights – some variety would be welcome. The beef was in symmetrical slices and tasted good. I suppose that it is a good choice on flights out of Korea, where beef is such a popular dish.



This was a simple, unremarkable hop with Cathay. The fact that I thought the beef was so good reflects on Cathay’s generally mediocre food – on Korean Air on the same route, I would have been nonplussed by the meal I received on this flight, as well as the service.

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