Route: London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Departure date and time of flight: 8th January 2009 at 20:50pm
Flight Number: CX256
Flight duration: 12 hours 15 minutes
Class: Economy Class
Aircraft type: Airbus A340-200
Punctuality of the flight:
The plane departed bang on time and landed around 5 minutes prior to the listed arrival time. In terms of punctuality, you cannot get any better than this.
Any baggage issues:
No issues- the bags arrived on time and in one piece.
Comments on the check- in staff and any issues:
The check in staff were polite, smiled and very professional. There was no problem what so ever. I had arrived around two hours before departure.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Choice of drinks (standard- tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice, lemonade or coca cola). As with most of the airlines in China, the drinks (coca cola, orange etc.) were all branded under the Cathay Pacific logo. A lovely choice of Whiskey, Vodka, Beer and Cognac were also on offer. Oh, you cannot resist those tempting pretzels for the flight. The packaging is all branded in the Cathay Pacific logo.
Comments regarding the first meal:
Dinner was served around 40 minutes’ after departure from London. The crew would have been very busy on this flight as it was full- even the normally empty Business Class and First Class seats were all taken. The main meal consisted of an attractive portion of braised chicken breast served with fine boiled white rice, chopped chestnuts and some asparagus. I usually dislike Asparagus because of its shape, its unattractiveness and its taste. However on this occasion, it seemed to have blended in neatly with the chicken breast and the rice- and with some butter to melt the asparagus as it entered the mouth. You just can’t argue with a salad dish that contains a healthy slice of smoked salmon with broccoli and bush tree lettuce- priceless.
For dessert, the chefs at Gate Gourmet treated us to a lovely sponge cake that had an unquestionable tangerine topping flavored with Australian honey. Butter with a soft whole meal bread roll provided the side helping. Now, because it was approaching Chinese New Year, so we were treated to some awesome fortune cookies- though without the actual fortune messages tucked inside the cookies- it instantly reminded me of Hong Kong. For those with a sweet tooth, a bar of Arnott’s “Tim Tam” chocolate was presented. The presentation of this meal was immaculate.
Comments regarding the drinks service:
A second round of drinks was offered after the meal. Alcohol was served.
Comments regarding the in-flight snacks (if any):
Passengers’ could help themselves to “pot noodles”, Arnott’s “Tim Tam” chocolates and Arnott’s biscuits’.
Comments regarding the second meal (if any):
A delicious breakfast was served at around an hour and a half prior to landing at Hong Kong airport. The main dish contained a fabulous scrambled egg, a lovely portion of button mushrooms, a nice tomato and two neat slices of British bacon. For a One World airline like Cathay Pacific this was one of the best breakfasts’ I have had on a flight. Accompanying the meal was an attractive looking pot of apricot yogurt. Lovely piece of soft bread- it was warm, and the bread melted as I put it in the mouth.
As with all airline meals there was a pot containing a few fresh slices of fruit (and yes, they were fresh).
Comments on the in-flight system (if any):
The IFE system of this flight was full of an interactive extravaganza of movies and songs.
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
The staff were very professional, always had a smile on their faces and were quick to respond to any kind of request from the passengers. The meal and the drinks were served at the right time without any delay. The beauty of the meal service was that the timing between the main meal and the drinks serving was timed perfectly so that passengers would not need to finish eating their meal in order to get the drink. So the drinks arrived just in time after the meal.
Improvements that could be made:
Perhaps have mood lighting when the aircraft is flying in between different time zones (morning, afternoon and evening) - hey, I could honestly find nothing else wrong with this flight!
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
The Airbus A340-300 was clean, and had a fresh smell. The seats were coloured in the Cathay Pacific green colour. The aisles were also clean. In the toilets, Cathay Pacific uses toiletries provided exclusively by “Murad” (refreshing cleanser, Vitamin C “body cream”, and “perfecting night cream”).
For this long haul flight each passenger was treated to a sleeping bag that contained a pair of socks, eye-shades and a tooth care bottle (containing toothbrush and toothpaste).
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best):10
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
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B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
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