Chongqing to Hong Kong, Dragonair flight 841, Business, June 2016
This was ticketed as the third leg of a Bangkok-Chengdu/Chongqing-Bangkok return ticket which all booked into Q class, costing THB 10,440 (HKD2,300). I bought it at the Cathay ticketing office in Bangkok. The ticket gave no indication of how many Asia Miles it would accrue, annoyingly.
One thing about this ticket was that it cost HK$500 more if the connecting flights involved an overnight stay in Hong Kong (even totalling less than 24 hours) than if the connecting flights were on the same calendar day (even if the length of connection was the same, or greater). I had not heard of this before, but the Cathay office said it was standard practice.
I took the metro (line 3) to the Jiangbei Airport terminus station, which was smooth. Exit 1 is signposted for the small international terminal, but once outside there is an open air walk of several hundred yards to the terminal. It was a dry day so that was fine for me.
The checkin was very busy and I checked in all the way to Bangkok and was given an upgrade to business class. I had some problems with my passport at immigration control and the Dragonair groundstaff came and spent a lot of time and effort helping me with the officers. They were excellent.
This was operated by an Airbus A321.
For some reason the inflight entertainment options felt richer than usual. I watched The Bourne Ultimatum, noticing for the first time that at the Heathrow scene there is a Cathay tailfin visible.
The inbound flight was delayed due to weather in the Hong Kong area. The departure was thus repeatedly delayed until finally it settled at 8.00 p.m., almost three hours late. I received an SMS from Cathay advising me of a forty five minute delay on the subsequent Bangkok flight but none for the delay on this flight.
We boarded through gate 2, and the plane was full. It was a smooth flight all the way down to Hong Kong, where we landed at the remote terminal at 10.40 p.m., versus a scheduled arrival time of 7.20 p.m. From there it’s a bus ride to immigration.
The crew felt mechanical and rather absent-minded. They were friendly without being warm, the meal sequencing was a bit off, they spilt wine on my tray when pouring it, and so on. So it wasn’t a bad crew per se but it also wasn’t a particularly good one. After the meal service they mostly vanished from the cabin.
Food and Drink
The starter was tasty. For the entrée I had the beef, which was a decent sized chunk of beef with well cooked potatoes – tasty and filling.
This flight somehow had a typical fag end of the weekend from China feeling about it – it was significantly late, the crew was ambivalent and so on.