Review: British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels 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


We had arranged an airport transfer, and made it to Brussels Airport at around 1:45 PM. We first needed to run some of our items through tax-free, though unfortunately we had to deal with some condescending people at the tax refund counter. This isn’t a fault of Brussels Airport and rather is just a result of lower-class EU culture, since I’ve heard horror stories in multiple places across the EU from people of almost every race; the bottom line is that you need to keep your mouth shut and lay all your goods in front of the tax refund counter like a buffet.

Apart from the tragic state of what tax refund officers have become, Brussels Airport was quite pleasant otherwise, and we were checked in all the way back to Hong Kong (though they had a hiccup during check-in, as we were holding Hong Kong passports and the system indicated we were Chinese, and they needed to confirm that Hong Kong was indeed part of China – how ironic, given the situation here). I found the airport to be quite efficient, and the staff were also much friendlier than I’ve experienced at other European airports. We were also able to go through fast-track security, so we took advantage of that, and were through in less than 10 minutes.

Afterwards we headed towards the British Airways Galleries lounge, which was located by the B gates shortly after immigration. The lounge is located a level above the main terminal, so I found the curved stairs that headed up towards a variety of lounges.

British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels Entrance

Continue reading Review: British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels Airport”

Review: The Hotel Brussels Panorama Suite/Superior Twin Room

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


In Brussels we decided to stay at The Hotel Brussels, due to its great location and competitive pricing. The Hotel Brussels is located adjacent to the Parc d’Egmont, which is walking distance from the city center and many tourist attractions. I loved the location of the hotel, and it was a key reason it quickly emerged as a top contender for us. While we never used the metro, The Hotel is also located right next to Louise station, which is on lines 2 and 6 of the Brussels metro.

The Hotel Brussels is by far the highest-rise building on the Boulevard de Waterloo, and the exterior looks quite modern. Originally branded as a Hilton (the hotel opened in 1969, so we were there for its 50th anniversary), the hotel underwent a complete renovation in 2011, which was when it started sporting its current facade.

The Hotel Brussels Exterior

Continue reading Review: The Hotel Brussels Panorama Suite/Superior Twin Room”

Review: Hilton The Hague Family Suite

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


For our few nights in the Netherlands we decided to stay at the Hilton The Hague. I’ll be the first to admit that my loyalty is all over the place when it comes to hotels, and I’m also not the best at maximising my points opportunities when it comes to hotel stays. Many of the hotel options in Amsterdam seemed pricey, so I scouted around; I knew that a couple of my friends live in The Hague, and found a decently priced Family Suite (around HK$2,500/night) that would accommodate all four of us at the Hilton, so decided that it was the best option for our four-night stay.

The Hilton The Hague is located in The Hague Central, across the street from Hoogstraat, a street with many shops, decent restaurants, and good pubs. The hotel’s exterior is a little on the drab side, though almost not in an unpleasant way, since there’s something cute about how rustic the brick exterior looks.

Hilton The Hague Exterior

Continue reading Review: Hilton The Hague Family Suite”

Review: Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Amsterdam

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


After a disappointing transit at Doha Airport, we headed over to gate C5, where our flight would be departing. While I have my issues with Doha Airport (mainly the WiFi), it still comes across as almost psychedelically modern on first glance, with high wooden ceilings and the occasional train passing by overhead. The C gates occupy the “center” of Doha Airport (with the A and B gates on one end and the D and E gates on the other), so this part of the airport felt particularly open and airy.

Doha Airport C Gates

The gate agent scanned my boarding pass, and thanked me for choosing Qatar Airways. Doha Airport has “holding pens” where boarding passes are scanned before you enter a dedicated waiting area for your flight, so I waited. Eventually boarding was delayed for 10 minutes (until 7:15 AM), though at 7:15 AM boarding was called by zone, starting with business class passengers and Qatar Airways Privilege Club frequent flyers.

Continue reading Review: Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Amsterdam”

Review: Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Hong Kong to Doha

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


Boarding was scheduled for 12:30 AM ahead of our 1:20 AM flight. I’d been monitoring our aircraft until it departed out of Doha – an hour late – so I knew it was going to feature QSuites ahead of time. My biggest gripe with booking the QSuites configuration is that you’re not guaranteed it, as many flights get swapped out last minute. Heck, as of writing, this exact same flight has been swapped three times in the past 7 days, which represents a 57% QSuite probability – not too much of a “guarantee”, if you ask me!

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Hong Kong Airport

Anyway, we were on a QSuites flight, fortunately (we didn’t have any equipment swaps in all four segments of our booking, which I largely consider to be a blessing). Boarding was called shortly after it was scheduled, at around 12:35 AM; I was the first one in the Qatar Airways QSuite.

This was going to be a fun Friday night (or Saturday morning)!

Continue reading Review: Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Hong Kong to Doha”

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 ScootPlus 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 ScootPlus Tokyo to Taipei”