I Flew Cathay Pacific’s New Narrower Economy Seat…and Hated It

TL/DR: Although I can’t blame Cathay Pacific for their new 10-abreast Economy seats, I had an awful experience, and I will be avoiding them like I do with all my school deadlines.


Hello from Hong Kong! I just came back from a short trip to Tokyo and had a fantastic time. This trip was especially noteworthy since it was my very first time flying on Cathay Pacific’s newly retrofitted regional Boeing 777-300 aircraft. In a bid to drive up profits, Cathay has begun rapidly retrofitting it’s Boeing 777 fleet with new “densified” Economy cabins, which squeeze in an extra seat per row. I wanted to book this flight to experience the new cabins myself to see if Cathay delivered on their promise to “ease the pain” of the reduced seat width in the new seats.

img_5635Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 Hong Kong Airport

So, I finally flew the flight last Wednesday – and yeah, the experience wasn’t the best. Here are my first impressions:

Continue reading “I Flew Cathay Pacific’s New Narrower Economy Seat…and Hated It”

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Cathay Pacific Promises Inflight WiFi On All Longhaul Flights By End 2019

Every now and then we see airlines give ambitious plans that they don’t manage to follow through with. You know Qatar Airways’ beautiful QSuite? That was supposed to be rolled out by 2015, but didn’t make an appearance until 2017 (expect a review of that mid-year, by the way). Remember Cathay Pacific’s first A350? That was supposed to come out in January 2016, but it made its inaugural flight in June.

One of the pet peeves I’ve always had when flying Cathay Pacific is the almost-universal lack of WiFi. I wrote about this at the beginning of the year, as I was irritated by the fact that none of Cathay Pacific’s longest flights featured WiFi. While this is ultimately a first-world problem, inflight WiFi makes the inflight experience much smoother for those traveling on business.

Cathay Pacific’s flights to New York are 16 hours long, and run by 777s; albeit comfortable, these planes don’t feature WiFi

Continue reading “Cathay Pacific Promises Inflight WiFi On All Longhaul Flights By End 2019”

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:

Continue reading “RANKED: The Best Business Class Seats In 2018”

K-Pop Fans Mob A 747-8 To Get Wanna One Autographs, Delay Flight By An Hour

Korea culture has its fair share of attention in Hong Kong – our city singlehandedly has such a large part of the entire genre’s fanbase that Mnet’s annual K-Pop awards have been hosted in Hong Kong for the past four years. I don’t listen to K-Pop (unless I’m jamming to it as part of a band), but I sure do notice the extent of our fanbase. I figured I’d share an aviation-related example, which I found rather ridiculous, but isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things (well, unless someone missed their connection).

On Saturday, boy band Wanna One flew home on Korean Air after performing for the Mnet awards. A few fans managed to track down their inbound flight, and booked refundable tickets in first class, business class, as well as economy.

Korean Air Boeing 747-8 Hong Kong Airport

Continue reading “K-Pop Fans Mob A 747-8 To Get Wanna One Autographs, Delay Flight By An Hour”

How To Use Your Bonus AAdvantage Miles From Hong Kong

For the next couple of days, American Airlines is offering a 120,000-mile bonus for every 150,000 miles that you buy from their website (with smaller bonuses for smaller increments). If you have an AAdvantage account over 30 days old you’re eligible to purchase, but the bonus reduces every day after that (I’m not actually sure what they’re on about, since the website suggests the bonus is “reduced every day for the first 12 days”, but the bonus has stayed at 120,000 miles all along). This represents a value of 1.77 American cents (HK$0.14) per mile, which is pretty good (it reduces the value of a 150,000-mile roundtrip to Europe to US$2,660, or HK$20,800).

I’m sure most of you have already taken advantage of this offer, so that’s not the point of this post. Instead I want to point out some really nice redemptions that you can make with your extra miles (now that the promotion is almost over, and I’m sure those of you who usually take advantage of these deals have already done so).

Fly QSuites to Europe for the value of HK$20,800, or fly twice if you already have a bunch of miles at hand

Continue reading “How To Use Your Bonus AAdvantage Miles From Hong Kong”

A Great Way To Spend Your KrisFlyer Miles

Last week I booked an itinerary for myself that gave me a direct turn to Taipei for 40,000 KrisFlyer miles. Now, I know that that’s not a good deal, but it seemed like a good chance to try the EVA 787. After reevaluating I decided I was an idiot, and I probably should’ve flown Singapore Airlines to Singapore as a direct turn, so I’d be getting more value for each mile I was spending. Turns out it gets worse. 😉

You can fly from Hong Kong to Perth for 65,000 miles, and on the way you’d get to try out Singapore Airlines’ 787 business class, new A380 business class, and old 777 business class with reasonable layovers each way.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Hong Kong Airport

Continue reading “A Great Way To Spend Your KrisFlyer Miles”

YASS – Hong Kong Airlines’ New Economy Meals Show They Understand Their Brand

I love good airline branding, as it represents what I love about airlines. Airlines have – or are at least supposed to have the unique opportunity to show a certain country’s culture off to its passengers. This makes flying fifth-freedom flights or one-stop itineraries especially fun (say, flying Egyptair from Hong Kong to Bangkok or Qatar Airways from Hong Kong to Munich through Doha), as it exposes you to a culture that you otherwise wouldn’t be visiting.

Airlines have many opportunities to do this – through their cabin design, their service elements, and their food. Obviously there are more opportunities to do this in premium cabins than in economy, but there’s a huge opportunity for airlines to potentially get creative in economy, which most airlines waste. Specifically, that’s through food.

On Tuesday Hong Kong Airlines invited me to have a look at their new economy menu. My expectations weren’t high, but I quickly realised that their new economy class catering is exactly what I’m looking for with airline maximising their culture immersion opportunities.

Here are the Hong Kong options on offer:

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BOOKED: EVA Air 787 Business Class (I’m An Idiot)

I’m an idiot sometimes.

This December break I found my schedule freer than I was expecting, and I also saw that my social media following was going quite well, so I decided to do a review trip to show my thankfulness. Obviously I’m a high school student so I’m broke (to say the least), but from previous travels I managed to rack up quite a number of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. Since I can’t be away from home for too long, I decided to book myself into a same-day return Star Alliance shorthaul business class product, so started looking at options.

I came across a Singapore Airlines roundtrip ticket from Hong Kong to Singapore and back for a total of 55,000 miles. This would seat me in business class on their 777-200 and 777-300ER, and would get me home in time (as well as letting me spend some time in my favourite city in the world, even if I wasn’t actually leaving the airport). However, for some reason Singapore Airlines wouldn’t let me book a ticket on their website, so I started looking at other options, thinking that it was to do with my unaccompanied minor status (which, being 17, I’d have to fill out a waiver form for).

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class 

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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”

Review: The Opposite House Beijing Studio 70 Room

In June, I travelled to Beijing in order to position for a cheap Premium Economy fare to New York. I had the good fortune of staying at The Opposite House, a member of Swire Hotel’s “House Collective” brand through a one-night free offer by booking through Visa Luxury Hotels and Citibank. We booked in a Studio 70 room, which is an upgraded room which normally retails for around CNY 3,000 a night. All in all, we paid around CNY 1,500 each night for our stay. 


We arrived at the hotel at around 10PM after arriving in Beijing on a heavily-delayed Cathay Dragon flight. We had taken a cab to Sanlitun, which was a 20-minute drive from the airport. This area of Beijing is most-known for its nightlife, which is especially popular with expats. The hotel is specifically located as part of Taikoo Li – a large shopping complex where you’ll find many major regional and international designer brands.

The hotel’s exterior is decked out in blue and green glass tiles, which I personally thought looked really cool and simple. I’ll note here that most of the pictures of the hotel interior were taken the night that I arrived when I was really tired and groggy, so I apologise in advance for the crappy quality.

IMG_5920The Opposite House Beijing Exterior

The hotel’s entrance doors are designed in the traditional Northern Chinese style, which was one of many local design touches sprinkled throughout the hotel. We were welcomed by two bellmen who were dressed in grey wool waistcoats, jeans and black t-shirts. They were dressed so casually that at times that we thought they were just random people on the street.

Continue reading Review: The Opposite House Beijing Studio 70 Room”