Review: Royal Brunei A320neo Economy Class Hong Kong to Brunei

In November 2018 I had commitments in Bandar Seri Begawan, and also headed off to a jungle resort in Ulu Temburong National Park, a national park in Brunei. This was booked as part of my fourth and final trip with school – you can check out my reports in previous years of my trips to Myanmar, Fujian, and Yunnan here. Once again, my parents funded this trip, and I’ll reiterate once again that my goal in life is to be able to use the tactics I learn in this industry to give my parents such experiences in the future, for pennies on the dollar.

Royal Brunei Airbus A320neo Brunei Airport

With that in mind, I was booked a HK$3,800 roundtrip economy class ticket on Royal Brunei, which operates the only nonstop flight between Hong Kong and Bandar Seri Begawan. I was thrilled to see that I’d be flying their new A320neo, which I was excited to review – I quickly did a little research, and found out that Royal Brunei had installed PTVs on their A320neos, which isn’t usually the case in economy class on narrowbody aircraft in Southeast Asia. For your reference, business class starts selling from HK$6,900 roundtrip on this route.

Here’s my review of the product, which will work a little differently from the other reviews I’ve written in the past.

Continue reading Review: Royal Brunei A320neo Economy Class Hong Kong to Brunei”

EVA Air’s NEW 787 Business Class Seat — WOW!!

Greetings from Taipei! Last Saturday, I flew to Hong Kong and right back onboard EVA Air’s brand new 787. EVA hasn’t been flying their 787 for long, and I was actually flying them on the third day they operated the plane. While I was seated in economy, I had the chance to check out EVA’s brand new business class product.

EVA Air Boeing 787 Business Class Cabin

I booked these flights so I could check out the new products onboard EVA’s newest flagship plane, and I’m proud to say that I found the new seats to be both stunning and beautifully designed.

What is the brand new business class onboard EVA Air’s 787 like? Watch the video and read below to find out!

Continue reading “EVA Air’s NEW 787 Business Class Seat — WOW!!”

SNEAK PEEK: Cathay Pacific’s NEW Business Class Dining Concept

I’m a fan of Andrew from Expatriate Days’ photos on Instagram. Earlier this month he had the chance to fly Cathay Pacific’s inaugural flight from Hong Kong to Washington Dulles on the new A350-1000, which included Cathay Pacific’s new dining concept. I reached out to Andrew to see if he could provide his thoughts in a post, and he was kind enough to oblige.

Here they are below. While all opinions below are his, I largely agree with them (I’ve been more critical of Cathay Pacific’s current premium product than he has, though). Thanks, Andrew! 🙂

In September, I had to fly from New York to Shanghai for business. The month of September must be a busy travel time as premium cabins were largely full on more desirable carriers — JAL, ANA, Cathay, even the U.S. carriers.

I couldn’t book myself onto one of the five Cathay flights from New York, but luckily space was available on the flight from Washington D.C.— Cathay’s longest flight by distance — and on the inaugural flight no less. The flight nicely coincided with the dates that I needed to fly, so as a result, I got to experience two new Cathay features: the A350-1000 service (with updated reverse herringbone seating and inflight WiFi) along with the new Cathay business class dining concept.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 Washington Dulles Airport

Continue reading “SNEAK PEEK: Cathay Pacific’s NEW Business Class Dining Concept”

Up Close With Hong Kong Airlines’ New A350 Economy Seat

Yesterday I got to tour one of Hong Kong Airlines’ own Airbus A350s. While Hong Kong Airlines currently already flies four A350s, they were meant to be delivered to Azul, so feature a different onboard product. So the rest of Hong Kong’s 21 A350s from hereon out will be delivered with a different product to the one on the first four.

The biggest hype was surrounding the business class product, so yesterday I gave an extensive tour of the airline’s new business class product. However, I realised that the economy class product was also different from what the airline offers on their other A350s, so I thought I’d be bereft in my duty not to check them out as well.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A350 Economy Cabin

So, how is Hong Kong Airlines’ newest A350 economy class product?

Continue reading “Up Close With Hong Kong Airlines’ New A350 Economy Seat”

Hong Kong Airlines’ NEW A350 Business Class

Today I had the chance to have a look at Hong Kong Airlines’ new A350 business class product. I’ve flown Hong Kong Airlines’ A330 with their staggered business class configuration, as well as their A330 with their ex-Singapore Airlines business class configuration. Hong Kong Airlines has a ton of different business class configurations, and this is the one that they’ve been planning to introduce on all of their future longhaul aircraft since 2016.

Reverse herringbone seats are some of my favourite seats in the industry – I actually prefer them to Apex Suites due to the extra storage space. I’m glad to say that Hong Kong Airlines’ newest A350s have a very nice iteration of reverse herringbone seats.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class 

Continue reading “Hong Kong Airlines’ NEW A350 Business Class”

Review: Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong

Introduction: A Wandering Seoul
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)
Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (East)
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (West)
Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong

After visiting both of Korean Air’s dismal new lounges at Incheon Airport, it was time to head home to Hong Kong. I got to gate 252 and enquired to the gate agent if I could be assigned a first class seat, since they were selling them as business class seats on our flight (I did something similar on our outbound flight on the 747-8, and got lucky). Unfortunately I got a firm no from the gate agent – while he was cold, the gate agent showed me the system on his computer screen to prove that those seats were reserved for full-fare business class passengers (we were booked into the lowest fare bucket), which I thought was a very responsible thing to do.

While the majority of “our” gate area faced parked at the gate next to us, from the corner of the gate area I spotted the 777-300ER that would be flying us home.

Korean Air Boeing 777 Seoul Incheon Airport

I was “gate lice” for around 10-15 minutes since I wanted to get better cabin pictures, and soon they started up boarding for the infirm, followed by business class passengers. There was a rather old man in a wheelchair that had brought his family of around nine people, and they were all seated in business class, which I found rather interesting (and was happy about, since I always feel terrible when an infirm passenger is seated in economy).

Continue reading Review: Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong”

Review: Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)

Introduction: A Wandering Seoul
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)
Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (East)
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (West)
Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong

While I had booked myself in business class on the Korean Air 747-8, as I detailed in a separate post, Korean Air opened up their first class seats for business class passengers to select two days before departure. That’s quite standard for a few airlines on shorthaul flights, though this was the first time I’d flown a three-cabin flight with a two-class service. At the check-in desk I was denied a seat in the first class cabin (the plan was actually to get the rest of my family seats in the empty first class cabin, as I still wanted to review the Apex Suite), as the seats “weren’t for sale”.

I left the SkyTeam lounge at 1:15 PM and made it to gate 60 by around 1:30 PM for our 1:35 PM boarding time. Going to the gate desk, I decided to slip in a sneaky question if I could have a seat swap. To my surprise, without even giving her my boarding pass, she recognised that I was traveling in a group of four, and gave me a new boarding pass for seat 2A.

I believe the check-in desk decided to contact a higher-up after we expressed discontent, as we were misinformed by the call center that we’d “definitely” get the first class seats if they were available. The higher-ups then confirmed to them that we were indeed allowed to assign seats in first class, so they paged the gate agents to make the change for us. At least that’s what I believe ended up happening.

I was going to seat the rest of my family in the first class cabin and stay in business myself so I could review the Apex Suite, but what was I to do? Complain? At that point, people had already started lining up to get on the Korean Air 747-8, so I followed suit.

The gate agents, while friendly, were not very helpful in suppressing my excitement by stating that the last row of first class was also empty.

Korean Air Boeing 747-8 Hong Kong Airport

Continue reading Review: Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)”

Review: JetBlue A320 Economy Class New York to New Orleans

In April of this year, I took a trip with my school to New Orleans. On the way there, we flew with JetBlue. While JetBlue gets a lot of attention for their phenomenal “Mint” premium product, their regular Economy product hasn’t been covered as extensively. As such, I thought it would be interesting to report back on my experience with what is considered to be one of the best Economy experiences in the United States. 

We arrived at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK around four hours before our flight. Since we were travelling in a large group, we were given a small roped off check-in area in order to streamline what would have been an undoubtedly messy process. The ground staff weren’t the friendliest but were patient enough when it came to dealing with eighty high-schoolers.

Security was a breeze and the TSA was uncharacteristically friendly. Afterwards, I grabbed some lunch and roamed the terminal with some of my friends, before heading to our boarding gate.

IMG_5252JetBlue A320 at New York JFK Airport 

When we arrived at the gate, the A320 waiting to take us to New Orleans was already waiting for us. I appreciate that JetBlue has pimped out its gate areas with plenty of power ports and comfortable seating, which makes for quite a nice change especially when compared to some of the dumpier terminals at JFK… (Terminal 7, I’m looking at you).

Continue reading Review: JetBlue A320 Economy Class New York to New Orleans”

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”