Hong Kong to Bangkok, Cathay Pacific Flight CX617
This was the outbound leg of a return which I booked a week before for a total price of HKD 3,058. The whole trip earned reduced miles (524 Asia Miles). As the travel period coincided with the extended Mid-Autumn festival, I had limited choices of flight when I booked. I had booked it through the Cathay website – I prefer to use a travel agent but Cathay often doesn’t offer its best prices through them.
I was in economy and there was a long queue to board. I was able to use the Marco Polo queue which saved time. The gate agent had told me that the plane was busy and was at checkin unable to request a seat move I had requested, but at the gate I was issued with a new boarding pass which reflected the desired seat change.
The plane was an Airbus 330. In economy the plane featured Cathay’s horrible old “shell” seats. The advantage of these is that you are unaffected if the passenger in front of you reclines, as you recline within the shell. I have always found these to feel cramped and also dislike the grey plastic aesthetic. They do have some fans, I understand, but I have been happy to see them less frequently. On a regional short haul flight like this one it’s not as annoying as one a long haul. I am a Boeing over Airbus fan and one of the reasons I don’t like Airbus is that at the start of the journey, for twenty minutes one hears the noisy slamming shut of overhead cabins by passengers and also by cabin crew. This was very much in evidence on this flight.
The interior although not too tatty could also have benefitted from better care. Above my seat, for example, the light fitting was sticking out at the wrong angle, providing a peek up behind it.
We took off around forty five minutes late due to Hong Kong airport being busy and consequently arrived late into Bangkok. Arriving at Bangkok as it approached midnight, we were then bussed to the terminal. I have flown this route dozens of times and this is the first time on any carrier I have been bussed – it’s not premium and doesn’t match the service level I would expect from Cathay. That said, walking from the gate at Suvarnabhumi typically involves walking hundreds of yards, so one benefit of the bussing was arriving closer to the immigration counter.
The cabin manager wandered around greeting Marco Polo members in front of me and behind me, but she did some minutes later get to me. I requested a couple of newspapers and they were promptly brought. Overall the cabin crew was quick and neutrally friendly.
Food and drink
Cathay doesn’t offer menus in economy class on a flight like this, even of their flimsiest variety. The cabin crew thus expend of time listing the choices to passengers, which I think slows the service down. With no menu, you are choosing your food somewhat in the blind – I was offered simply “fusilli (pasta) or fish rice” and opted for the fusilli. I had no idea what the wines were but given how poor I have lately found them to be on Cathay opted instead for beer. The dessert was simply a biscuit. That’s often the case on Cathay between Hong Kong and Bangkok and I find it fairly disappointing, not to mention repetitive.
The food service was fine and relatively fast. I also got another drink afterwards.