At the Airport
The checkin desk had a queue which took a couple of minutes to clear. Based on that queue it did not look as if the flight would be very busy but in fact the ground agent informed me that the economy cabin was almost full.
At the desk was an advertisement offering one-way paid upgrades to extra legroom seats for 3,200 yen ($223) and to business class for 33,300 yen ($2,317). (A good deal on HK Airlines if one makes multiple trips to Tokyo is their airpass)
There was a middling sized queue at security and again at passport control – at Narita, this seems to vary depending on the time of day as often there is no queue at security. The flight was due to leave from gate 14, just a few minutes’ walk from passport control.
The flight was boarded by groups, not something I am keen on and see no reason for it in Asia.
The flight was operated by an Airbus A330 (registration number B-LHD). It had a reasonable sized seatback screen, with USB outlet, but I could not get the entertainment to work using either the controller or the touchscreen. Staff distributed earbuds before takeoff. The seat had a slight recline and not much legroom.
The plane interior was in slightly worn condition – the seatback top was heavily scratched and the toilet nearest me had a large crack in the mirror, which was taped over.
The economy class cabin was indeed full around me. The flight pushed back on time and headed south down the Japanese coast. We then proceeded down over the northwestern part of Taiwan and towards Hong Kong, where there was a little turbulence prior to arrival. We landed slightly ahead of schedule, at the midfield terminal which necessitates a train to passport control.
The crew was fine but a bit more rushed feeling than on other Hong Kong Airlines flights I have taken. There was a meal service, and when it was cleared up, warm (not hot) tea and coffee were available although not proactively offered to passengers.
Food and Drink
The meal was a choice of noodles or chicken. I took the chicken and it was sliced chicken – tasty enough but nothing special. It came with fresh fruit and yoghurt. I would have liked it if the crew had been more proactive in offering drinks, especially given that this is a flight of almost five hours’ duration.
This was a pretty basic inflight service. It was fine but unremarkable and the food was not up to what Japanese airlines serve on the route.