Flight Report: HKG-KIX on CX 566

CX 566 HKG-KIX 001

Where Diego parks himself in Cathay Pacific’s new long-haul business class seat on a regional flight from Hong Kong to Ōsaka.

Overview

  • Airline and flight number -> CX 566
  • Route -> HKG-KIX (leg 2/2 to final destination KIX)
  • Date -> 02 April 2013
  • Departure time -> 0145 scheduled
  • Arrival time -> 0625 scheduled
  • Equipment -> A330
  • Travel class -> Business
  • Check-in and boarding -> Priority boarding; separate boarding bridge and entrance. (No check-in done for this leg as I’ve been checked through to KIX from my starting point in MNL.)

Seating

We were flying on a regional route, but our bird was equipped with Cathay Pacific’s new long-haul business class seat.

CX 566 HKG-KIX 002

Sorry I couldn’t get a better shot – hard to do in a smallish plane and with a line of other passengers marching in behind you. We’ll have to look at the seat in pieces.CX 566 HKG-KIX 004

CX 566 HKG-KIX 005

The seat had more buttons, switches, and thingamabobs than the Galactic Emperor’s throne. (And I’ll bet he didn’t have the benefit of a personal TV or lie-flat sky-bed.)

CX 566 HKG-KIX 003

I tried it in various configurations, from straight-back (take-off mode) all the way to lie-flat, and various points in between. Hard to give a proper assessment on such a short flight (there were some features I didn’t get to try), but I can imagine a long-haul passenger will be quite happy with all the various options for relaxing and sleeping.

The dining table slid out from underneath the cocktail table near the window. Big enough for most purposes, but slightly larger would have been better.

There were storage options aplenty, including a small locker near the aisle for shoes (too small for me though), a coat hook, a compartment near the leg area (complete with a small net for a water bottle), and a little cabinet near the window (used for keeping the IFE headset but with room for other personal articles as well).

In-flight entertainment

CX 566 HKG-KIX 007

HKG-KIX may have been a regional route, but it was on the rather long side (about 4 hours) so we were given the full range of entertainment options, including movies. The TV screen was stowed in a wall recess and folded out towards you when in use; no problems for the most part but the awkward position (and the need to keep it stowed during take-off) meant that I could barely watch the pre-flight safety video. (NB: No central screen in the front cabin; none that I saw at least.) I popped out the remote control from the side panel and happily flicked through the choices, settling on The Hobbit for most of the flight.

The headphones – well-built, apparently noise-cancelling (or at least noise-insulating) – were tucked away in a small cabinet by the window. Great for keeping them out of the way during meal or work time.

Catering

This evening’s (or should I say morning’s) choices were as follows:

Starter

Mixed salad with Kalamata olives and Japanese yuzu dressing

Main Courses

Onion stewed pork spare rib with steamed jasmine rice and Shanghainese pak choy

Baked ling fish with sansho miso sauce, Japanese rice and mixed vegetables

Cheese and dessert

Cheese selection

Fresh seasonal fruit

Chocolate and caramel mousse cake with vanilla sauce

Tea and Coffee

Pralines

CX 566 HKG-KIX 006

Contrary to my usual practice, I decided to dive in and give the fish course a try for once. Still not a fan of seafood, but my compliments to the chef: the fish was beautifully cooked and lacked that strange, for lack of a better word, “fishy” odour and taste that I find somewhat unsettling. Dessert was better than in the previous leg, though I still found the texture too light for my taste. Didn’t have any coffee or pralines (wasn’t offered and neglected to ask); instead I went for the cheese plate – served with crackers and slices of fruit – and found it an excellent way to end the meal.

Extensive wine list as usual, but I gave it a skip for this flight, contenting myself with a cup of hot chocolate.

Service

Smart and attentive, though perhaps not quite as prompt as in my earlier MNL-HKG leg. My jacket was taken away for storage but much later after boarding; for a while I even thought they wouldn’t offer to do so at all. Overall, the service on this leg was less obvious and appeared to be as unobtrusive as possible – no surprise as, given the time, most passengers would rather be sleeping.

Overall impression

Nearly full marks all around, from hard product to service. You certainly won’t find me complaining (much) about that excellent seat! The catering was good; denser cakes would be nice, though I’ll concede this as a highly subjective point which Cathay will be hard-pressed to please everyone on. I’ll gladly fly CX on this route again if the fares are reasonable.

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One response to “Flight Report: HKG-KIX on CX 566

  1. Pingback: Flight Report: HND-HKG on CX 549 | Within striking distance·

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