This was ticketed as a one-way flight between Taipei and Hong Kong. I booked it on the airline’s website a couple of days before travel for NTD 4,593 (HK$1,126). This booked as a Cathay codeshare into L class and earned 501 Asia Miles and 5 club points in the Marco Polo programme.
The timing was a bit later than I wanted. I chose this flight because Cathay’s service on this route has been in decline in my opinion and I wanted to try another carrier. I looked at China Airlines and EVA but this ticket was cheaper, and as Cathay Dragon’s catering is not the same as Cathay’s I thought that it might be worth trying to compare the difference.
I arrived at the airport some hours before my flight, checked in and was given seat 26C.
At the Airport
I then used the busy Cathay lounge. For a while I was seated at the bar and was surprised how many people came up and asked for champagne, only to be told, “we only have sparkling wine”. Some passengers changed their mind on that basis, while others took the sparkling wine. Cathay’s recent cost cutting has shown in its reduced service and this struck me as an interesting example, especially given that the Taipei lounge is a First Class as well as Business Class lounge.
The flight boarding was delayed by about twenty minutes. When I made it to the gate (B6) it was almost empty. At the ticket check, I got the red light and was given a new boarding pass, for business class in seat 12C. So much for comparing the economy class Cathay Dragon and Cathay products!
This was operated by an Airbus A330 (registration B-HYO). The seats are the regional ones which recline somewhat but not to any great angle. There was a USB port. There was a seatback television with the normal good range of entertainment.
With the late boarding we had a late departure. The captain put this down to the incoming aircraft arriving late (which will happen if you have so little flex in your schedules). The flight was smooth but if anything we lost further time, so arrived in Hong Kong at 11.20 p.m., twenty five minutes late. In addition, we arrived at remote stand 106, so had then to be bussed to immigration.
The business class cabin was decently busy but with spare seats, including the one beside me.
Upon boarding, there was a sizeable, comfortable pillow at the seat.
I was offered a drink and asked for champagne, which the flight attendant soon brought. The purser came and welcomed me. The cabin crew looked a bit tired but were nonetheless friendly and swift in good service for the most part, except after dinner drinks when I had to remind them of my request.
Food and Drink
The food was decent but not outstanding, the salad was good but the pan fried chicken thigh dish was undistinguished in appearance and nothing special in flavour.
It’s always nice to be upgraded and this was a pleasant flight. The delay seemed to be the airline’s fault and that bothers me, as at that time of night arriving half an hour late can make it significantly less convenient for me to travel onwards. The Cathay Dragon service remains friendly and helpful.