Trip Report: Hong Kong to Shanghai Pudong on Cathay Dragon Flight KA874, Business Class

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We have previously reviewed this route in economy class. Here we review business class.

Ticketing

I booked this in the couple of weeks before travel for 15,000 Avios and £31.90 ($330). We previously outlined why British Airways’ Avios are good value for short haul redemptions on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

At that point there was good availability for a number of flights on the day in question. Travelling to Shanghai, however, one always need to consider the likelihood of delay and accordingly choose a flight which might not be too delayed. In general, the later the departure time, the more risk there is of delay.

Equipment

This was operated by an Airbus A330-300 (registration number B-HLA).

The seat had a decent proportion and some recline but was not particularly spacious or private for a business class seat (if this is desired, a Cathay Pacific flight to Shanghai might be better). The seatback television had the usual decent range of Cathay entertainment.

Flight

The flight looked to be full in business class even though it was an early afternoon flight.

Prior to boarding, the boarding time was pushed back by twenty minutes or so. Once boarded, the captain informed us that the delay was due to air traffic control and by the time we departed we were three quarters of an hour late. The flight to Pudong was smooth but we never made up all of the lost time, and arrived twenty five minutes behind schedule.

Service

There was a full range of newspapers at the entrance to the plane. The way that Cathay has been promoting Press Reader of late, I fear that they may be toying with getting rid of these so am glad that that for now at least they retain them.

Cabin crew offered a pre-departure drink. Once the seatbelt signs were off, they swung into action and wheeled out the meal trolleys in pretty efficient fashion. The meal service was quick and the cabin crew kept an eye on the cabin later to offer drink refills.

Food and Drink

The crew distributed card menus, although the English on the seasonal menu sounded more like what one would expect from a mainland airline using Google Translate. Is no one at Cathay Dragon House proofreading parts such as “a series of new dishes for Business Class passenger’s enjoyment up in the 30,000 feet sky”?

The starter was fine. The main course was okay but not great, especially as the beef had the consistency and to some extent strength of flavour of pork rather than beef.

Conclusion

This was a comfortable enough hop to Shanghai, with the usual responsive Cathay Dragon service.

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