Hong Kong to Taipei, Hong Kong Airlines Flight HX284, July 2016
This was booked as part of a Hong Kong Airlines airpass, which cost HK$6,300 for three round trip business class flights between Hong Kong and Taipei. This is a very competitive price for a business class return on this trip. A lot of Hong Kongers are critical of Hong Kong airlines and it has been several years since I last flew them, so I was curious how this flight would be.
At the airport
I checked in at the Hong Kong Airlines desk in aisle K at Terminal One. The queue at the economy class checkin was very long but fortunately there was no queue at the business class area and I checked in immediately.
The flight was operated by an A330. The interior décor feels stereotypically Chinese, with a lot of red and yellow colour on show. The inflight entertainment was fairly extensive though the menu function meant one had to scroll through the selection item by item, which for example for the music selection meant scrolling through up to one hundred and eighty items to find the one one wanted.
The seat was spacious and comfortable, though the design is rather boxy. I was in seat 11H and as the seats are slightly staggered that meant that there was a gap between my seat and the window, so the window was actually some distance from the seat.
The flight departed from gate 208 in the midfield terminal. It pushed back just a little late.
The business class cabin was about half full at most. Perhaps because of the layout of the seats, it felt pleasingly quiet.
The captain introduced himself shortly after takeoff. It was a smooth flight and we touched down on time. At that time of day, gone midnight, there was no queue for immigration upon arrival.
On boarding there was a large blanket and pillow at my seat. I was offered a hot towel and soft drink. I asked for a champagne but was told that alcohol could not be served on the ground on this flight.
After takeoff there was first a drinks service with nuts, then a meal service. The meal order had been taken before departure but there was some wait before the meals came. The flight attendant came by with the bread basket do late I had almost finished my entrée.
The crew were friendly but could have been more polished.
Food and Drink
The food selection was a bit odd and I opted for the chicken lasagne, not a dish I would expect to be offered on Hong Kong airlines (or indeed any airline) but in fact very enjoyable.
The still wine list was uninspiring and I stuck to champagne. The spirits list only slightly better, though I did try the Glen Moray whisky and in fact found it very palatable.
This flight surpassed my admittedly low expectations. It was very comfortable and quiet and the cabin crew was friendly.