Review: Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong Airport

Introduction: Home QSuite Home
Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Hong Kong to Doha
The Sad State of Transit at Doha Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Amsterdam
Hilton The Hague Family Suite
The Hotel Brussels Panorama Suite/Superior Twin Room
British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels Airport
Qatar Airways 777 Old Business Class Brussels to Doha
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Hong Kong


One of the awesome things about flying Qatar Airways business class out of Hong Kong is that you get access to the Plaza Premium First lounge at Hong Kong Airport. Qatar Airways also offers Plaza Premium First lounge access to those flying out of Kuala Lumpur. It’s a decidedly premium investment in their product, given that the upgrade cost (from regular Plaza Premium lounge access) is otherwise HK$250 per person. Unfortunately it seems like Qatar Airways is trying to be as stingy as they can with this benefit, as the check-in agent said “you’re going to use the Cathay lounges, right?” and I had to specifically ask for lounge passes for this lounge.

If you have no access to a Plaza Premium lounge whatsoever and would like to purchase access to the Plaza Premium First lounge, you can pay a cost of HK$880 for 3 hours of access, HK$980 for 5 hours of access, HK$1,080 for 8 hours of access and HK$1,180 for 10 hours of access. So the pricing for access to this lounge is indeed quite steep, which makes sense, given this is branded as a “first class” lounge.

The lounge is located one level below security (follow the signs to gate 1, and you’ll see the lounge on your way there).

Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong Exterior

Continue reading Review: Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong Airport”

Introduction: Home QSuite Home

Introduction: Home QSuite Home
Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Hong Kong to Doha
The Sad State of Transit at Doha Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Amsterdam
Hilton The Hague Family Suite
The Hotel Brussels Panorama Suite/Superior Twin Room
British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels Airport
Qatar Airways 777 Old Business Class Brussels to Doha
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Hong Kong


This trip report will cover my Qatar Airways itinerary that I flew during our trip this summer. Our objective was to visit various cities in the Netherlands and Belgium, and I booked flights on Qatar Airways specifically to try out the new QSuite, which they introduced in 2017.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Business Class

Continue reading Introduction: Home QSuite Home”

Review: Cathay Pacific’s 10-Abreast 777 Economy Class Tokyo to Hong Kong

Introduction: Revisiting Tokyo…Twice
Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge Hong Kong
Japan Airlines 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
A Tale Of Two Observation Decks: Tokyo Haneda vs. Narita
Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo
Scoot 787 ScootBiz Tokyo to Taipei
Cathay Pacific A350-1000 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific 777 Economy Class Tokyo to Hong Kong


There’s not much I can add to Rupert Hogg’s “resignation” other than the fact that I’m shocked and disappointed by the entire situation, so I won’t be posting about it here.

In 2017, Cathay Pacific stated that they’d be replacing all of their 777 economy class seats with a new seat in a 10-abreast configuration. The first aircraft with these seats emerged in April 2018, and my initial comments of the seat were scathing based on pictures alone. A couple of readers spoke out to me after my initial report, saying that it was unfair of me to judge a seat purely based on the pictures, and the seat itself was more well-padded than they expected. So when I had the chance to get from Tokyo to Hong Kong, I was sure to snag myself a flight in Cathay’s 10-abreast economy class so I could give a firsthand review of the product.

Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777 Economy Class

I was redeeming some expiring Asia Miles for this flight, and successfully got myself a seat on this flight for 10,000 Asia Miles one-way.

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific’s 10-Abreast 777 Economy Class Tokyo to Hong Kong”

Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Tokyo

Introduction: Revisiting Tokyo…Twice
Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge Hong Kong
Japan Airlines 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
A Tale Of Two Observation Decks: Tokyo Haneda vs. Narita
Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo
Scoot 787 ScootBiz Tokyo to Taipei
Cathay Pacific A350-1000 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific 777 Economy Class Tokyo to Hong Kong


There’s not much I can add to Rupert Hogg’s “resignation” other than the fact that I’m shocked and disappointed by the entire situation, so I won’t be posting about it here.

I wanted to spice things up and make my reviews interesting, so specifically sought out a flight on Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000 so I could review the airline’s most updated economy product. Unfortunately on the morning of our flight I received a notification that our flight had been swapped out to an A330, along with a further notification that we’d been delayed.

Especially since I was flying with friends, I was tempted to just put my camera away and not review the flight, though quickly realised that it’s been over three years since I’ve last Cathay Pacific’s A330 economy product. I decided it was worth a revisit, since this seat will still be flying around on longer flights to Australia and the Middle East, as well as various intra-Asia flights.

Our plane rolled into the gate at 10:15 AM, ahead of our new departure time at 11 AM – interestingly I’d flown this exact airframe before (B-HLP), also in economy class to Kuala Lumpur in 2016. Since then, it had received a fresh coat of paint, in Cathay Pacific’s new livery.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Hong Kong Airport

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Tokyo”

Qatar Airways’ Disappointing Non-Refurbished 777 Business Class

I’m currently flying over the Persian Gulf, on my way to Doha so I can return home. Between the derogatory customs department at Brussels Airport, keeping myself updated on Hong Kong’s depressing state, and a general deprivation of natural light/company, it’s been an exhausting day.

Assuming my Doha to Hong Kong flight doesn’t get swapped out, my Brussels to Doha flight is the only flight that I have scheduled in Qatar Airways’ non-refurbished 777 business class cabin (the remaining flights are all in their QSuite, which I love). While I’ve flown the leased LATAM A350 aircraft that Qatar occasionally flies, which features a similar configuration, this is my first time in Qatar Airways’ non-refurbished 777 business class product. It’s weird to think that Qatar Airways came to prominence as one of the world’s best airlines while flying most of their ultra-longhaul routes with this seat.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Brussels Airport

The reason I say that is that, as much as I love Qatar’s soft product, I can’t overlook how disappointing this hard product is even on a six-hour night flight from Brussels to Doha.

Continue reading “Qatar Airways’ Disappointing Non-Refurbished 777 Business Class”

Why Are EU Tax Refund Counters So Rude To Asians?

Hello from Brussels Airport! I’m currently sitting down with a beer at the British Airways lounge waiting for my Qatar Airways flight to Doha. And I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty mad.

Two years ago, at the tax refund counter at Munich Airport, I had a borderline traumatic experience where we were mocked and laughed at since we didn’t have our goods out. Following experiences at Zurich and Geneva we assumed we didn’t actually need to take our goods out to show customs, and that backfired on us big-time – not only were we mocked, but we also almost missed our flight, as they were deliberately trying to waste our time by making fun of our inability to read the German on our receipts.

Mentally prepared to face something similar at Brussels Airport, we had prepared everything to show the man at the counter. So instead of leaving traumatised, I was just left…ticked off.

Either way, I’m concerned about the blatant discrimination of Asian-looking people at tax refund counters.

Continue reading “Why Are EU Tax Refund Counters So Rude To Asians?”

China’s Next Retaliatory Act On Hong Kong Involves Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong is going through a bit of a rough patch right now (to put it lightly), and China is largely displeased with the way Hong Kongers are rioting against them. In my last post where I described how this weekend’s airport protests would affect those flying in and out of the airport, I talked about how I was in no way a supporter of any violence that was going on, though at the same time agreed that Hong Kong was facing high stakes.

I know that protesters overestimate their ability to overturn the government and lead Hong Kong autonomously, and they think they’re starting some sort of cutting-edge revolution. What they fail to realise is that China has the ability to wipe the entirety of Hong Kong out in a second. As of now, Hong Kong phones are already getting cleared when getting into China, to stop any footage of the protests from getting into the country.

Well, the first of China’s retaliations have hit, and it targets Cathay Pacific. From now on, crewmembers involved in protests will no longer be allowed to operate Cathay Pacific flights overflying Chinese airspace.

Now, how does this work?

Continue reading “China’s Next Retaliatory Act On Hong Kong Involves Cathay Pacific”

Hong Kong Airport Protests: What Should This Mean For Your Flight?

Update: The protests will start at 1 PM local time on Friday, August 9, and more or less continue until Sunday night.

Update: The allegations of boarding pass checks are correct, and there’s currently a bottleneck at the departures area as most staff are busy manning the arrivals area; those travelling out of Hong Kong this weekend are advised to get to the airport at least 3 hours before departure.

That being said, YTHK is happy to report that most departing travellers have reported that the process lasted under a minute, and posed no risk of missing your flight.

Photo credit: Danny Lee, my friend from SCMP

In this post:

Continue reading “Hong Kong Airport Protests: What Should This Mean For Your Flight?”

Review: Cathay Pacific A350-1000 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong

Introduction: Revisiting Tokyo…Twice
Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge Hong Kong
Japan Airlines 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
A Tale Of Two Observation Decks: Tokyo Haneda vs. Narita
Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo
Scoot 787 ScootBiz Tokyo to Taipei
Cathay Pacific A350-1000 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific 777 Economy Class Tokyo to Hong Kong


As I hinted at in the introduction, I originally booked a flight on an internationally configured A330 back to Hong Kong, which was switched to a regional 777-300. A week before departure I managed to bag award space on one of Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000 routes between Taipei and Hong Kong on the day, so I went ahead and switched my flight to this one for 1,000 Asia Miles per person.

It only occurred to me later that I’d flown my very first flight on an A350 with Cathay Pacific on the exact same route almost three years prior to this flight, at the exact same flight time (the flight number had changed since, though, and this flight was part of a fifth-freedom flight from Osaka, whereas my last A350 flight with Cathay Pacific wasn’t).

After getting off my flight on ScootBiz, I needed to head over landside to retrieve my luggage, before re-clearing immigration. Taipei Airport’s customs department is an absolute sh*t show, and the agents were also rude, barking for us to hurry up while we were frantically putting our electronics back into our bags. The immigration department wasn’t much better, as they were testing out a new electronic system that – kindly speaking – wasn’t exactly running like clockwork.

Taipei Taoyuan Airport Immigration

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific A350-1000 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong”

Qatar Airways’ QSuite Is As Good As I Hoped It To Be

WOW! Hello from 34,000 feet somewhere over Iran. I’m currently trying out Qatar Airways’ QSuite between Doha and Amsterdam. I flew to Doha this morning, where I managed to sample QSuites for the first time; I believed that a review of the “world’s best business class product” was long overdue.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Business Class 

Mainly I was looking forward to playing some sort of devil’s advocate, since I’ve heard unanimous praise from various trusted bloggers. It all seemed too good to be true.

It wasn’t. Obviously I’ve tried enough business class products so that I can come up with a couple of (nitpicky) criticisms with regards to the seat, though there’s no question that this business class product blows any other that I’ve flown out of the water.

This is as close to perfection as business class gets.

Continue reading “Qatar Airways’ QSuite Is As Good As I Hoped It To Be”