At the Airport
I got to the airport a couple of hours before departure. Charles de Gaulle has a a convoluted design, so I first had to take the shuttle train to terminal two, then walk to the very end of the terminal – no short distance – as that is where Cathay has its checkin counters.
There was a fair sized queue at checkin, and from there it was another walk to departures, where there was a long, slow-moving queue at security. Many people complain about Charles de Gaulle in terms of functionality – I have had good and bad experiences, but this was not one of the better ones.
Departure was from gate 51, and proceeded smoothly.
This flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER (registration number B-KPT). There was a blanket and good sized pillow at the seat upon boarding.
We pushed back slightly late, with what looked like a full load in economy class (as it has been on every Cathay flight I have taken between Hong Kong and the City of Light). The flight had a French captain, which personally I do not like as I trust Anglo-Saxon captains more than their French counterparts with safety, but it did have the advantage for Francophonic passengers that announcements from the flight deck came in French as well as in English.
We arrived into Hong Kong slightly ahead of schedule.
There was a drinks run after takeoff, followed in short order by lunch. Breakfast came a couple of hours before arrival, which left me awake for a bit longer at the end of the flight than I needed.
Food and Drink
Here is the menu for this flight.
The lunch was decent but not outstanding. I skipped breakfast as I found the prospect of one more Cathay breakfast unappetising after being in France.
I find it unfortunate that flying from one of the great gourmet nations of the world, Cathay did not do more to incorporate French food into the options. There was no cheese, the wine was not French and so on – small points which could easily be fixed, for a much more French dining experience. I don’t expect a premier cru wine in economy class, but I do think more effort should be made to reflect the origin of the flight in this case. (I think that this I generally true for Cathay, but bothers me more on a flight from France as that country has such an abundant gastronomic culture).
This was a bog standard Cathay flight. I try not to fly Air France given their safety record but aside from that I would be tempted to try them on this route next time as Cathay offers so little to make for a memorable experience.