I’m Flying Out Of HK On A Weekend. Should I Change My Flight?

Hong Kong has been under turmoil lately, where protesters and police have been at odds. The original protests back in June triggered a police overreaction (due to fears that Occupy Central would resurface), so protests have turned into a vicious circle of events that consist of protesters blocking the streets and throwing petrol bombs, riot police overreacting and hurting innocent civilians as well as protesters, protesters protesting against police violence by blocking streets, throwing petrol bombs, and calling police “triads” etc.. The protesters have also come up with five demands for the government, which the government has yet to show signs of acting upon.

Being the center of Hong Kong’s trade, the airport has become a key target for protesters in September, in hopes of pressuring the government to act upon their demands. Protesters consider the airport a safe space for protests, given the police force cannot arrest people or throw tear gas there; ultimately this caused the airport to close and cancel all flights twice last month. While the court has issued an injunction that prevents protesters from hosting any sort of event in the airport (more details here), protesters have found a way to play the system, by blocking roads towards the airport instead of protesting directly inside the airport.

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RANKED: The Best Business Class Seats In 2018

As I’m incredibly busy over the next few days and am also doing some spring cleaning with the blog and my YouTube channel, I’d like to re-post some of the guides I’ve written for your viewing pleasure, as well as post some new ones that I’ve had lined up. I’ll be back next week with some new aviation content, but for now, enjoy!

Over the course of the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to sample every single “generic” business class configurations there is out there. By “generic”, I’m talking about business class configurations that a number of airlines operate. I’m effectively ruling out specific custom-made configurations, such as Qatar Airways’ QSuites, Delta’s Delta One Suites, British Airways’ weird forwards-backwards configuration, etc.. I plan to try those out soon, though for now I thought it would be fun to visit a quick ranking of all the business class seats we’ve flown here at YTHK so far.

(For the record, based on reviews alone I’d predict that QSuites and Delta One Suites are both ahead of the competition compared to all of the products listed below. Here’s to hoping I can prove that sometime soon.)

While economy class is all about the price these days, there is lots of competition for the best business class seat out there

I figured I’d start from the worst and move on up. So here we go:

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Don’t Make The Same Mistake I Did With The Heathrow Express

This morning I landed at London Heathrow after sampling Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic’s 787. I spent a couple of hours at the Revivals Lounge (review to come), and decided to make my way to the Heathrow Express, so I could get to Paddington and connect to Bath, where I am now.

While I still made my connection at Paddington with a lot of time to spare, my dad and I made a huge mistake at the platform. Turns out a bunch of people had made the exact same mistake as we had, though I couldn’t find any reports of the same mistake being made online. I figured someone would have to write about it at some point, so here’s my experience with the Heathrow Express (or lack thereof).

London Heathrow Airport

I’m usually one to criticise people for not listening to instructions, so I’ve beat myself up about it all day. Here we go.

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This First Class Experience Costs Less Than A Snickers Bar: Is Hong Kong MTR’s East Rail Line First Class Worth It?

File this under “OMG this is so extra but I had to do this at some point”.

If you’re not a hardcore premium travel geek and/or you don’t live in Hong Kong, this probably isn’t for you either.

But for those of you who are both of what I listed above, you must’ve taken the East Rail Line. And you must’ve seen the yellow signage towards First Class and wondered what that experience was like.

Hong Kong MTR East Rail Line First Class

After wrapping up a short stay at the Beas River Chalet Hong Kong (which I won’t be re-reviewing, as I’ve just done so last year and I spent a total of around 10 hours on the hotel grounds), my parents and Hailey wanted to spend a little more time taking advantage of the hotel pool, and they brought a bunch of friends with them too. With work to do over the next few days (for those of you wondering when my next flight reviews will be out, I’m finally flying out on Friday night), I had to use the East Rail Line to get from Sheung Shui back to Hung Hom, which is a ~20 km, 40-minute journey.

This began my 40-minute First Class rail experience that brought me ~20 km and cost me less than a Snickers bar.

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My Experience Contacting Three Airlines: What’s The Best Way?

Before a flight, there are many issues that may arise which require you to contact the airline – those being special meals, seat selection, special requests or accommodations, or just the simplest of things you have to know, such as whether baggage can be checked to your final destination. Since each airline can be contacted in a multitude of ways, knowing the best method can save you tons of time and energy. For example, you can avoid wasting hours on the phone waiting for an agent that won’t help you at the end of the day.

It’s worth noting that I wrote this post based on my extensive experience contacting various agents of the respective airlines on a variety of occasions over the course of many months. You may have a different experience contacting these airlines.

What is the best way to contact the airline for information and/or help on Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines?

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What Makes A Good Regional Business Class Seat?

There are plenty of resources out there on what makes a good longhaul business class seat. Among many factors, a few things many frequent flyers I know find most important in a seat are a comfortable fully flat bed, storage, privacy, and direct aisle access. A few business class seat configurations do this very well. Reverse herringbone seats come to mind.

It’s no secret that I give Cathay Pacific’s regional business class seat a hard time, and for good reason. I don’t like the seat – it’s hard as rock, storage space is limited, and the seat doesn’t recline into a comfortable position. In fact, I consider Cathay Pacific’s own premium economy class seat to be nearly as good.

img_2538Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Regional Business Class

After flying shorthaul around Asia on numerous different airlines, I’m starting to realise that Cathay Pacific isn’t behind the industry standard because their seat is actively bad. Southeast Asia simply has too much competition for regional flying. That’s no fault of Cathay Pacific’s, though I have flown in quite a few regional business class seats that I’ve found substantially better.

Over the course of quite a few flights featuring medium-haul configurations, I feel like I’m starting to pick up some values that aren’t coherent with what airlines say passengers want. I’d like to share them here, purely to see if you agree with me.

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5 Of The World’s Best Business Class Hub Lounges

Over the past few years I’ve been incredibly lucky to try out quite a few business class products, and with that entailed going to their hub business class lounges as well. I’ve been to a range of lounges and come out with a variety of impressions, and find it such an exciting addition to the airport experience, especially when airlines put effort into it.


Last year I listed the top 10 things that I look for in an airline lounge. Many airline lounges I know feature a large number, if not all, of these features in their own quirky variations. The five lounges featured below all have at least a majority of these features.

Too many times over the past few years, I’ve come out of a lounge thinking “hmm, this could potentially be one of the best in the world”. I haven’t visited all the business class lounges that I believe would make this list, though I don’t have plans to visit any of them in the near future. For that reason, here are my five favourite business class hub lounges, and I’ll share lounges that I believe potentially make the list as well.

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Exciting New Routes and Equipment Coming To Hong Kong This Year

Hong Kong has long been a pretty exciting city to fly out of. Being based here in quite a while, it’s really nice to have the option to fly airlines’ latest A380s, A350s, and 787s, due to the size of Hong Kong’s market. Hong Kong Airport also gets service from a large number of airlines, which becomes really fascinating, especially when it comes to choosing connections upon flying longhaul.

That said, airlines keep changing their equipment and updating their schedules, and some of these changes get me pretty excited. As the first quarter of 2018 comes to an end, some new aircraft are flying to Hong Kong, which frequent flyers will potentially find really good options.

I thought I’d round up some of these options, all of which I’ve spotted on Airlineroute sometime within the past week.

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Should You Book Your Flight Based On Time Schedule? If Yes, How?

My parents have had a rather rigid set of rules when it comes to picking flights based on time: pick an outbound flight that arrives in the morning or early afternoon that doesn’t depart Hong Kong before 9 AM, and pick an inbound flight that departs in the late afternoon that arrives Hong Kong sometime before 12 AM. This works well on certain shorthauls, when there are 10+ flights a day to pick from, but it’s certainly less effective when flying longhaul.

Sometimes I’m stuck without a choice, or pick by airline (if I’m flying from Zurich to Hong Kong in economy, for example, nothing is enough to get me on Swiss’ 3-4-3 economy product).

img_4897Swiss has a cramped economy product that I’d probably avoid despite ideal flight times (not that Cathay Pacific won’t either in the near future)

However, I’m starting to find out that some of my choices are still based on flight times, and sometimes they depend on the configuration as well. I’m not too sure if this is useful for the bulk of you as you have your travels planned already, but summer is also a good time to plan travel far into the future, so I decided I’d throw this post out as somewhat of a guide of how I pick my flights (again, if you disagree, take my opinions with a grain of salt).

There are so many moving parts to flights that I’m only going to talk about choosing flights based on timetable for direct flights. There’s a lot to be said about choosing flights based on timetable for connecting flights, though I’ll save that for a later post later in the year.

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I Got A Technology Upgrade!

In February I wrote about the nine travel essentials that I have with me at all times. I’m one of the most wired people I know when I travel, thanks to the amount of travel writing I do and the amount of work that I like to leave until last minute (fellow IB students rejoice). Preferably I’d be connected 24/7, though I’d at least like to have working internet when I’m situated at a hotel and need to catch up on work.

img_5236It’s not atypical for me to have my computer wherever I go

However, over the last week, I got myself a little technology update, which changes the travel essentials that I bring with me from now on – and I hope that I can bring the update towards the effectiveness of this blog as well.

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