At the Airport
As this flight checks in after midnight it was more difficult to get to the airport than I had expected as I was planning on taking an S1 or S56 bus from Tung Chung without remembering that they close overnight.
So when I arrived about an hour and ten minutes before the scheduled departure time, I was the only passenger at the HX checkin in row A. That was a relief as often when I have been there in the past it has been mobbed. At this hour the airport is quiet, so security and passport control was empty.
The gate was 213 but to get there, as the ground agent explained, one must first go to gate 520 and then take a bus, so it is a faff.
The plane was an Airbus A320 (registration number B-LPI).
The configuration was pretty basic – there were no USBs, plug sockets or drinks holders. There was no seatback screen, but communal overhead screens showed a game show during the flight.
I had expected that the flight might not be busy because of its antisocial timings. But a lot of HK people like pseudo-redeyes to Japan as they can maximise their time there and reduce their accommodation bill. All eight business class seats were full and economy class looked like it was full.
We boarded on time but sat on the ground for reasons which were not really explained. We left a little over an hour late and arrived in Narita more than an hour late. On arrival we arrived at a bus gate from where a bus took us to the terminal for a long queue at immigration (although Japanese airports are generally efficient, I find that they often have immigration queues of twenty to thirty minutes).
There was quite a bit of turbulence during the flight.
Despite the late hour and delay, the cabin crew was excellent. They were well-poised, friendly, efficient and helpful.
Shortly after the seat belt signs went off they went through the cabin with a meal service.
Food and Drink
There was a choice between chicken and pasta. I chose the latter. It was fine, but the soba noodles and dessert were excellent – overall, the food quality surpassed my expectations. There was also a drinks service including beer and wine.
The late hour of this flight makes for convenience and annoyance at the airport. The service was good and a full meal was served despite the late hour. So overall this flight is worth considering.