Cathay Pacific Lays Off All US Based Crews

The Young Travelers of Hong Kong team strongly discourages all non-essential travel. Stay home and stay safe!

It certainly is not a good time for Cathay Pacific. After struggling through Hong Kong’s ongoing protests, it’s now amidst an unprecedented slowdown in demand for travel. Cathay’s management has certainly been busy this past week, and most recently announced that they would be laying off all US-based flight attendants from June.

IMG_0112Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER

Continue reading “Cathay Pacific Lays Off All US Based Crews”

Review: Thai Smile A320 Economy Class Phuket to Hong Kong

This flight was taken in March of 2019, but I never actually got around to writing up the review. The Young Travelers of Hong Kong team strongly discourages non-essential travel at this time. Stay home and stay safe!

In March of 2019, I had the chance to fly with Thai Smile from Phuket to Hong Kong as I returned from a trip. I never got the chance to write up the flight experience. Considering the somewhat copious amount of free time, and the fact that Thai Smile is one of the lesser-reviewed airlines on the internet, I thought I’d write about my experience.

What Is Thai Smile? 

IMG_1133.jpegThai Smile A320 at Phuket Airport

Thai Smile is a regional offshoot of Thai Airways International. The airline operates a fleet of narrowbody Airbus A320 aircraft flies short-haul low yield and leisure routes. Phuket to Hong Kong is an example of a leisure route that Thai Airways mainline spun off to Thai Smile. Flights are staffed by crews that are paid less than their Thai mainline counterparts. While I’ve seen Thai Smile described as a low-cost carrier, the airline’s offering is more similar to that of a full-service airline. This means that checked bags and meals are complimentary. All things considered, I see Thai Smile as a less premium version of Cathay Dragon.

Continue reading Review: Thai Smile A320 Economy Class Phuket to Hong Kong”

How Was British Airways’ Club World and Club Europe Amenities and Service?

In my last instalment about my recent experience with British Airways in their Club World and Club Europe cabins, I’m going to be talking about the amenities, the entertainment and the service aboard my flights, which interested me for a few reasons. First, British Airways recently introduced new bedding and amenities from The White Company, a British bedding and lifestyle company. This was incredibly impressive, especially considering that most airlines (Cathay Pacific, I’m looking at you) have some pretty lacklustre offerings when it comes to bedding.

IMG_3374.jpgBritish Airways Boeing 777-200ER Club World Cabin

This was also going to be my first chance to directly compare British Airways’ “newly hired” Mixed Fleet crew, who are supposedly much younger and less experienced, as well as British Airways’ veteran Worldwide Fleet crew. I’ve heard a lot that Mixed Fleet crew tend to be less experienced and professional, while Worldwide Fleet crew are generally better, so I wanted to see if this was true.

Continue reading “How Was British Airways’ Club World and Club Europe Amenities and Service?”

How Good is British Airways’ New Club World and Club Europe Dining?

In my last post, I talked about my experience with British Airways’ Club World and Club Europe hard product. To my surprise, I found that the seats weren’t quite as bad as most people have made it out to be. With that in mind, I wanted to follow up on that post by sharing some of my thoughts about British Airways’ new Club World and Club Europe soft product offerings, especially considering the recent upgrades that have been made.

IMG_3374.jpgBritish Airways Boeing 777-200ER Club World Cabin

Last year, British Airways rolled out a new service style for their Club World cabins, which was created in collaboration with Do&Co. While the service initially included an elaborate trolley service, this was cut back in favour of a simpler hand-delivered tray service for convenience. In the meantime, British Airways have also rolled out improvements to their Club Europe dining. Having heard quite good things about both of these meal service enhancements, I was excited to give it a go for myself.

Continue reading “How Good is British Airways’ New Club World and Club Europe Dining?”

British Airways’ Club World Seat Is NOT THAT BAD!

British Airways’ “Club” business class cabins are some of the most extensively reviewed products out there, and the consensus seems pretty simple: it’s not that great. The current “dorm-style” Club World cabin has been panned by everyone and their mother and their Club Europe product is little more than an economy seat with a blocked middle seat and free food.

IMG_3374.jpgBritish Airways Boeing 777-200ER Club World Cabin

However, on a recent trip, British Airways offered some really compelling fares to Europe from Bangkok, so I decided to bite the bullet and try the product out for myself to see how the product fared, especially when compared to some more highly regarded competitors such as Cathay Pacific and Finnair.

Continue reading “British Airways’ Club World Seat Is NOT THAT BAD!”

Review: Thai Airways 777-300ER Economy Class Hong Kong to Bangkok

I recently took a school trip to Surat Thani in Thailand. I flew Thai Airways and Thai Smile Economy Class and documented the experience in this mini trip report series. I was especially interested to see how Thai Airways stacked up against Cathay Pacific’s regional Economy Class experience, given how loyal I am to my hometown carrier. 

Thai Airways check-in counters in Hong Kong are located in Terminal 2, which is shared with many most low-cost carriers. Check-in was efficient, and there was no line save for our school group. I was ushered by the station manager to the Royal Silk check-in counters. The ground staff were friendly and efficient and was sent on my way through security and onto the train between Terminal 2 and Terminal 1.

59763442_340602059932011_6468738390119415808_n-1Thai Airways Hong Kong Airport Check-In 

Continue reading “Review: Thai Airways 777-300ER Economy Class Hong Kong to Bangkok”

I Flew Cathay Pacific’s New Narrower Economy Seat…and Hated It

TL/DR: Although I can’t blame Cathay Pacific for their new 10-abreast Economy seats, I had an awful experience, and I will be avoiding them like I do with all my school deadlines.

Hello from Hong Kong! I just came back from a short trip to Tokyo and had a fantastic time. This trip was especially noteworthy since it was my very first time flying on Cathay Pacific’s newly retrofitted regional Boeing 777-300 aircraft. In a bid to drive up profits, Cathay has begun rapidly retrofitting it’s Boeing 777 fleet with new “densified” Economy cabins, which squeeze in an extra seat per row. I wanted to book this flight to experience the new cabins myself to see if Cathay delivered on their promise to “ease the pain” of the reduced seat width in the new seats.

img_5635Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 Hong Kong Airport

So, I finally flew the flight last Wednesday – and yeah, the experience wasn’t the best. Here are my first impressions:

Continue reading “I Flew Cathay Pacific’s New Narrower Economy Seat…and Hated It”

Review: The Opposite House Beijing Studio 70 Room

In June, I travelled to Beijing in order to position for a cheap Premium Economy fare to New York. I had the good fortune of staying at The Opposite House, a member of Swire Hotel’s “House Collective” brand through a one-night free offer by booking through Visa Luxury Hotels and Citibank. We booked in a Studio 70 room, which is an upgraded room which normally retails for around CNY 3,000 a night. All in all, we paid around CNY 1,500 each night for our stay. 

We arrived at the hotel at around 10PM after arriving in Beijing on a heavily-delayed Cathay Dragon flight. We had taken a cab to Sanlitun, which was a 20-minute drive from the airport. This area of Beijing is most-known for its nightlife, which is especially popular with expats. The hotel is specifically located as part of Taikoo Li – a large shopping complex where you’ll find many major regional and international designer brands.

The hotel’s exterior is decked out in blue and green glass tiles, which I personally thought looked really cool and simple. I’ll note here that most of the pictures of the hotel interior were taken the night that I arrived when I was really tired and groggy, so I apologise in advance for the crappy quality.

IMG_5920The Opposite House Beijing Exterior

The hotel’s entrance doors are designed in the traditional Northern Chinese style, which was one of many local design touches sprinkled throughout the hotel. We were welcomed by two bellmen who were dressed in grey wool waistcoats, jeans and black t-shirts. They were dressed so casually that at times that we thought they were just random people on the street.

Continue reading Review: The Opposite House Beijing Studio 70 Room”

BOOK NOW: Cheap Cathay Pacific Fares From Mainland China to New York City

As part of Cathay Pacific’s latest push into the mainland Chinese market, they are now offering a series of cheap fares for travel between Beijing or Shanghai to New York. While this doesn’t really sit well with Cathay’s improved yields, I’m not exactly complaining.

Cathay Pacific’s 777 business class, which you’ll get on a majority of flights from Hong Kong to the U.S. – not the world’s best experience, though a very, good seat

These fares are for travel during December of this year. While dates tend to vary, I recommend heading over to Cathay’s website where you’ll find a published “matrix” of fare information with information about the cheapest days to fly. These fares generally tend to pop up with a departure date from early December onwards and a return date from after the 23rd of December, although it’s best to check dates that you will be travelling on.

Continue reading “BOOK NOW: Cheap Cathay Pacific Fares From Mainland China to New York City”

Finnair’s Nordic Sky WiFi

I flew Finnair (yes, for the third year in a row) to Europe. While I won’t be reviewing my flights, I’ll be writing some posts about my experiences. On my flights, I had the chance to check out their Nordic Sky portal on both my long-haul flight from Bangkok to Helsinki and my regional connection from Helsinki to Prague. The portal was redesigned last year to make it more user-friendly, which rolled out along with new restrictions on WiFi usage on oneworld elite and Business Class passengers. With that in mind, I thought I’d review the internet service and the WiFi portal.

IMG_0056Finnair Airbus A350 Business Class Wifi 

Continue reading “Finnair’s Nordic Sky WiFi”