Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Seoul – How Is Cathay’s Redeye Service?

Last summer, I flew with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Seoul on their daily red-eye service and checked out their watered down “midnight service”. Cathay Pacific operates a handful of redeye flights to cities in North Asia, including Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, etc., as well as from a few southeast Asian cities to Hong Kong, such as Singapore and Jakarta. If you’re booked on one of those flights, this is along the lines of what you’ll get.


I had checked in online, although an error message meant that I had to head to the check-in counter to collect a paper boarding pass which was quick and efficient. As it turns out, the flight was slightly overbooked and there was a chance that I would be upgraded. Afterwards, I made a beeline for The Pier, where I enjoyed a short nap in the relaxation rooms and took a quick shower.

IMG_0092Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Class Lounge Food Hall

I left the lounge at around the published boarding time and arrived at our departure gate, only to find that boarding hadn’t even started. After a lack of boarding announcements for another 30 minutes, an announcement was made that the flight would be delayed for a further 40 minutes due to mechanical issues. While I understand the reason behind the delay, the lack of communication was irritating and really annoying. The fact that the aircraft was on the ground for five hours before our flight only added insult to injury.

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Seoul – How Is Cathay’s Redeye Service?”

Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong

Introduction: Spending The Night With A Virgin
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London
Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge London Heathrow
Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room
Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong


While I’d flown Virgin Atlantic’s premium economy class on the 787 countless times, I’d only flown their economy product once prior to this trip. Since we didn’t have any bags to check and had already checked in online, we got straight off the Heathrow Express and made a beeline towards immigration. My dad headed towards the Upper Class immigration channel (he couldn’t use the Upper Class Wing, since the Wing is used as a drop-off point for car transfers only).

After that and waiting for a while at the VAT refund stand, he guested me into the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, which is hands down my favourite airport lounge in the world. While the experience I had was exemplary, I’ll refrain from reviewing it again here, so check out my review from last year to learn more about the lounge.

The gate was scheduled to open at 8:55 PM for our 9:55 PM, though Heathrow’s Terminal 3 has one of those annoying holding pens where boarding doesn’t start for another 30 minutes. I figured I’d just head over around the half-hour mark, and got to gate 17 at around 9:30 PM. At that point everyone in the holding pen had already lined up to board.

From the holding pen I was able to grab pictures of our 787 under the sunset. One of the friendly gate agents approached me so she could look out of the window as well, saying “beautiful, isn’t it?” I asked if she was referring to the sunset or the 787, to which she replied, “both”.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 London Heathrow Airport

There was quite a hold-up at the jetbridge, which I’m not used to, since I usually race to be first onboard for cabin photos.

Continue reading Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong”

Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London

Introduction: Spending The Night With A Virgin
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London
Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge London Heathrow
Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room
Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong


My dad and I got to the airport at 10:30 PM for our 11:55 PM flight. We’d checked in online and weren’t carrying any hand luggage, though we were sure to quickly drop by the check-in counter, where there was no line, so we could get our lounge passes. While Virgin Atlantic used to operate their own Clubhouse at Hong Kong Airport, that made way for the AmEx Centurion Lounge, and Virgin Atlantic now uses the Plaza Premium West lounge (I tried to get into the East lounge so I could re-review it, though I was redirected).

While the Plaza Premium West lounge has a nice airline-invitation-only area, it was 10:45 PM, so I just decided to get some work done in the gate area. I decided to line up at around 11:10 PM and a few other people followed suit, and boarding began with Upper Class passengers at 11:15 PM. Since airlines almost never begin boarding punctually, it was a pleasant surprise to be able to board at the scheduled boarding time of 11:15 PM.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Hong Kong Airport

I made my way down the jetbridge with my backpack and my carry-on, more than ready for the Upper Class experience.

Continue reading Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


We made a beeline for the Finnair non-Schengen lounge after stepping off our flight from London. Given that the United Kingdom is part of the EU but isn’t part of the Schengen agreement, there was no need to clear immigration or security when connecting onward to our flight to Hong Kong, which was great.

IMG_1145Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki 

We arrived at the lounge during Finnair’s afternoon departures rush, meaning that it was absolutely jam-packed. As such, I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures and reviewing the lounge. After failing to find a seat, we left the lounge to do some shopping. I wish Finnair would either expand seating options in their lounges, given how serious of an issue overcrowding is in Finnair’s Helsinki lounges. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside a Finnair lounge that was empty.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


Finnair operates out of London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, which is also used by American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Virgin Atlantic. We arrived at the airport a couple of hours before our flight and headed to Travelex’s VAT refund desk, which ended up giving Alvin’s VAT refund experience at Munich airport a run for his money, and resulted in us losing a couple hundred dollars’ worth of refunds. Anyways, I digress…

I decided to go check-in early while my mother was holed up at the VAT refund counter. For some reason, the agent refused to check all of the bags under my name and insisted that my mother had to be with me to check any of our bags.

IMG_0001Finnair London Heathrow Priority Check-In Counters 

Soon enough, my mother arrived and we were sent on our way through priority security which was a breeze. Although we had access to Cathay Pacific’s London Heathrow lounge, we were running a little tight on time so we did a bit of souvenir shopping.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki”

Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong

Introduction: Feaster Easter in Japan
Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka
Hilton Osaka Executive Suite
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Wa-Yo Room
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Dining
Asuka Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong


Today we were flying one of Hong Kong Airlines’ ex-Singapore Airlines A330s, featuring an angled flat business class product. On the outbound I reviewed Hong Kong Airlines’ longhaul business class hard product, which almost all of their longhaul routes feature, as well as a large number of the airline’s shorthaul routes. However, as the rate of increase of the airline’s routes exceeded the rate of which their A330s were being delivered, Hong Kong Airlines had to lease some A330s from Singapore Airlines, which operate exclusively regionally. (Hong Kong Airlines also has a few other types of business class seat on their A330-200s.)

Despite the fact that these A330s feature an inferior product, they’re actually less dense than the airline’s longhaul A330s. These A330s feature 30 seats between doors 1 and 2, whereas their longhaul A330s feature 32 seats within the same space.

Our A330 was parked at gate 5, and I had a clear view of our aircraft home from the Wing Express, the “people-mover” taking me to our gate area.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330 Osaka Kansai Airport

Once a boarding call was made at the Asuka Lounge, I made a beeline to the gate, where they were finishing up boarding for the infirm. Due to the sheer amount of families traveling to Osaka for leisure during Easter holidays, there were quite a few wheelchairs for the ground crew to fold up. However, the gate agents were efficient, and my boarding pass was scanned shortly after. Excitedly I made my way down the jetbridge towards door L1.

Continue reading Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong”

Review: British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


We started heading towards our gate as boarding was called in the lounge. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is notoriously poorly designed and difficult to navigate, and it took a good 15 minutes of navigating a series of walkways before we eventually made it to our gate just as pre-boarding was starting.

IMG_0818British Airways Amsterdam Airport Boarding Signage 

Continue reading Review: British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London”

Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka

Introduction: Feaster Easter in Japan
Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka
Hilton Osaka Executive Suite
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Wa-Yo Room
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Dining
Asuka Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong


Hong Kong Airlines operates three types of business class seats on their A330s. Their regional A330-200s are outfitted with their regional business class seat, their regional A330-300s are ex-Singapore Airlines and carry a business class seat identical to Singapore Airlines’ (old) regional business class seat, and their longhaul A330s feature their staggered business class product, which I was seated in on this flight.

While booking, Hong Kong Airlines’ longhaul A330-200s and A330-300s carry the codes 33V and 333, so attempt to book yourself on a flight operated by one of these equipment codes (or, of course, the A350) whenever you’re flying Hong Kong Airlines and seated in business class.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330 Hong Kong Airport

I think it’s worth noting that Hong Kong Airlines’ “Manage Your Booking” system (or lack thereof) is terrible. There’s technically an area where you can select your seat as a “value-added service”, though all the seats are blocked off on the system. This was especially a nuisance since our equipment was swapped a total of three times, so I had to select seats four times.

Continue reading Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka”

Review: Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


We arrived at Helsinki Airport after a short walk from the Hilton Helsinki Airport around 70 minutes before departure. We headed straight for Finnair’s Priority counters to drop off our bags. However, because we were traveling during the summer holidays, there were quite a lot of people in line and it took a bit of time before we were helped by an agent.

IMG_0003Finnair Helsinki Airport Priority Check-In 

The agent wasn’t the nicest, and we were soon sent on our way through priority security. We headed straight to our gate, as boarding had already started. However, we discovered that our gate area was one hot mess of people lining up in the hopes of boarding early. Eventually, Group 1 Priority boarding was called and we headed down the jetbridge.

We were welcomed by the Chief Purser standing by the door of our brand new Airbus A321.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


We arrived at Bangkok Airport at 7:55, around 3 hours before the updated departure of our flight to Helsinki. As it turns out, the inbound flight had been held up at Helsinki Airport because of a mechanical issue, resulting in a 2-hour delay for our flight. The delay meant that we were going to be missing our onward connection, which you can read more about here.

IMG_9815Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Finnair Drop-Off Point 

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki”