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

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Coronavirus Update: I’m Fine, And I’m Coming Home

The coronavirus situation over the past month has been shocking, saddening, and indeed has affected me quite a bit. I’ve been refraining from commenting on the current situation for a few reasons:

  • I’ve been busy figuring out my own arrangements in the meantime, especially since Imperial College has completely moved to remote operations (exams included)
  • I’ve also been emotionally affected – I learnt overnight that many friendships, including a relationship, would move to long-distance; even the prospect of writing about coronavirus got painful, especially when it started to expand in Europe
  • I can’t really add anything to what’s already being reported out there

While I’m devastated about the effect the virus has had on many countries in Europe, the best thing I can do right now is focus on how I can stay out of the vicious cycle of infection.


I’m in London right now, having stayed put so far, considering that as the best option. But the sad reality is creeping up that I don’t know how long I’ll be here for. With being in student halls alone fighting for food as the only other option, the best thing to do for me is to go home.

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Coronavirus Updates: How Is Hong Kong’s Air Travel Affected So Far?

The latest world news has been the escalation of the coronavirus spreading across mainland China. Obviously that’s incredibly tragic and hits close to home for me, but there’s no point dwelling on the misfortune on the situation. The coronavirus has hugely affected the travel industry and I thought I’d take the time to compile all of the effects of these changes specific to Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific has largely cut flights to China

The effects of the travel industry on Hong Kong haven’t been massive so far, though it’s worth taking precautions to stop the spread of the virus from affecting your travel plans. This is probably not a great time to visit most east Asian countries for travel – not especially because of the coronavirus, but also because of general national insecurity, e.g. lack of face masks, no groceries left on shelves, etc.

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Incredible Deals To Be Had Out Of Hong Kong Following Dismal Protest Situation

Most of you are probably familiar with Hong Kong’s protests at this point. For sixteen weeks protesters and police (and, of course, the government) have been at ends, resulting in violent clashes that have been littered all throughout the city’s most populated areas. This, obviously, doesn’t bode well with Hong Kong’s economy, and there’s also an ongoing trade war between the US and China, which brings Hong Kong’s economy into its first recession in quite a while.

This is terrible news for businesses, though certainly a good time to spend. SCMP came up with a latest report with some deals that are to be had out of Hong Kong, most of which are in economy class and somewhat last-minute – so I thought I’d share them for those of you who needed it.

American Airlines tickets to Los Angeles are going for ~HK$1,200

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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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