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”

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”

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”

Review: Scoot 787 ScootBiz Tokyo to Taipei

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


One of the pet peeves people have in life is that you always want what you can’t have. I think this became true for me when Scoot pulled their 787s out of Hong Kong, instead substituting them for A320neos. While some low-cost airlines such as Malindo still offer a business class cabin to Hong Kong, none of the major low-cost carriers besides British Airways offer premium cabin service to Hong Kong anymore, which is a bit of a shame.

So when Cathay Pacific failed to open up any direct award space between Tokyo and Hong Kong, I knew that flying Scoot’s fifth-freedom flight between Tokyo Narita and Taipei was on my bucket list. This made me all the more excited when I got to Tokyo Narita’s Terminal 2 at around 9:30 AM.

Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal 2

Continue reading Review: Scoot 787 ScootBiz Tokyo to Taipei”

Review: Hotel Century Southern Tower 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


I’m glad I manage to do what I do on this site, which is review a bunch of airlines and hotels from a well-informed perspective. I always aim to fly new airlines and stay at new properties whenever I’m presented with the need (or the opportunity), and have been fortunate to fly a variety of new airline products and stay at a variety of hotels over the past few years.

This wasn’t always the case. My parents love Japan, and as a kid we would always fly to Sapporo for a ski trip  during the winter and visit Tokyo during the summer, using the miles Dad earned for his business trips to redeem flights on Cathay Pacific. During our Tokyo visits, we’d always stay at the Century Southern Tower, as it was affordable, had a great location, and had a room that could accommodate all four of us. I learned a lot about hotels from this place, and after so many years of writing, I thought it was “unfinished business” that I hadn’t written a review of this place. So we booked a twin room at the Century Southern Tower for ~HK$1,900 a night (our first three nights cost HK$1,800, whereas the last night cost more), and rolled up to the hotel at around 10:30 PM after our flight on Japan Airlines.

The Hotel Century Southern Tower takes up the top 15 floors of the Odakyu Southern Tower, which is a minute away from Shinjuku station, near the New South Exit. It’s accessible through a large pedestrian street called the Shinjuku Southern Terrace, which is a really nice walkway (on a nice day).

Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo

Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo Entrance

Continue reading Review: Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo”

A Tale Of Two Observation Decks: Tokyo Haneda vs. Narita

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


Airports are exciting places. Sometimes it’s fun to gaze at airport terminals and wonder about how everyone you see will be scattered all around the world by this time tomorrow. Sometimes it’s fun to watch departures boards, looking at all the places you’re literally a plane ride away from. But as an aviation geek, one of the things that’s been nearest and dearest to my heart is watching planes roll by the tarmac, wondering where they’ve been yesterday and where they’ve been tomorrow.

Most cities have one large airport. Tokyo houses two. I prefer one airport to the other in almost every regard, though both of them feature outdoor observation decks, which is what I wanted to dedicate a separate post to.

Continue reading “A Tale Of Two Observation Decks: Tokyo Haneda vs. Narita”

Review: Japan Airlines 777-200 Business 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


After briefly checking out a couple of lounges, it was time to fly to Tokyo in Japan Airlines’ business class. We were able to see our 777 from the Qantas lounge, since we were departing from gate 6. Since I wanted to be first onboard and people were starting to line up just as I reached the gate, I didn’t get the opportunity to take a great photo of the plane from the gate, however.

Japan Airlines Boeing 777-200 Hong Kong Airport

Continue reading Review: Japan Airlines 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Tokyo”

Review: Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge 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


In 2015, Cathay Pacific opened a couple of lounges under a brand new design, which they created in partnership with London-based design brand Studiolise. While many newer lounges worldwide have upped their game recently, I don’t think any lounges have been as widely appraised as Cathay Pacific’s since this partnership started. In 2016, Cathay Pacific opened The Pier’s business class section at Hong Kong Airport, which serves as their flagship lounge alongside the adjacent First Class section. I had the chance to visit The Pier shortly after it opened, and it continues to be one of my favourite lounges today.

The same year they closed the G16 lounge, a lounge that used to belong to Dragonair but was redundant now that Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon shared the same lounge access policies, for renovation. I visited the lounge shortly before it closed, and yeah, it was a bit of a dump. In March 2018 the lounge reopened as The Deck, which was their second lounge in Hong Kong designed under the same ethos.

The lounge is located by gate 6 (Hong Kong Airport changed their gate numbers slightly – gates 15 to 22 have become gates 5 to 12, as they’re building a footbridge to the North Satellite Concourse and renumbering gates 501-510 as gates 13-22), where signage leads passengers up an escalator and into a slick matte-finished entrance.

Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge Hong Kong Entrance

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge Hong Kong”

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”