CX: Premium Economy is Here!

Cathay Pacific’s Economy class from the US to HKG is shrinking and shrinking, as the Business Class expands and the Premium Economy finally arrives. Why it has taken Cathay so long to have the latter among the classes offered one does not know, especially that competitors like EVA Air had it almost from the beginning of their existence.

Boeing 747s, the Queen of the Skies, are rapidly being replaced by their younger princesses of B777 for its fuel efficiency. Capacity is reduced: First Class went down from 9 seats to 6. The old Business Class herringbone layout is phased out in favor of the new Continue reading


CX SFO: Night and Day

Finally getting a more clear picture of what’s up with CX873 (SFO/HKG) and CX872 (HKG/SFO.) Beginning July 2012, here is what’s going to happen:

CX873/CX872 are going to convert to a HKG-based crew from the SFO-based one. While they will retain the current operating hours (midnight flights,) they will also discontinue using the B747 and start operating on B777. The conversion to the more fuel efficient B777 will ensure a direct flight to HKG, especially during the winter when they Continue reading

HKG: Qantas and British Airways Lounges: Hi and Bye

Say Hi to the New: At the sixth level of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) Gate 15 is the new Qantas Airways (QF) and British Airways (BA) Joint Business Class Lounge. The Lounge, which originally was combined with the First Class lounge just a floor above it, opened in December 2009 was designed by Marc Newson, Australia’s premier interior and product designer.

Self-Service Beverages and Snack BarMain CorridorChaise-Longue AreaPeeking into the Main Lounge AreaiMac-Equipped Office AreaCommon Washroom Area
Common Washroom AreaPrivate Washroom AreaPrivate Shower AreaPrivate Washroom Area

And Say Bye to the Old: The former joint First/Business Class Lounge on the 7th floor, refurbished in 2009 and is currently a First Class lounge only, will soon be closed for a Continue reading

Express Your Inner Chameleon in Hong Kong

There are countless irritating things in life, but going through a metro turnstile should not be one of them. The flow of commuters often come to a screeching halt when a thoughtless rider had not bothered to prepare his card ready to swipe on the reader, or the clueless commuter had forgotten to top-up (refill the card). Tourists are the usual suspects, but equally guilty are the city’s own denizens, too busy yapping on the cellphone or finishing off a level of Angry Birds.

Hong Kong is not immune to all this. This John Chen‘s CNN-GO article “How to be a Hong Kong Local: 10 Tips on Faking It” pins the above transgression at #9. Read it HERE.

HKG: Third Runway at HKIA

Hong Kong Airport is about to get busier with the planned third runway that had just gotten government conditional approval, pending environmental review. The one matter at hand: The safety of the Chinese white dolphins, which are protected under the social territory’s law. A recent study by the World Wildlife Fund presented findings that land reclamation for the purpose of the building of the third runway would have a negative impact not only on the dolphins but also to the ecosystem and the region’s fishing industry.

Read all about it HERE.

AA: The Next New Premium Class Seats

Back in late January 2012 American Airlines announced that it had ordered and would roll out the new Premium Class design for both the First Class and the Business Class. At first glance of the new business class seats, I told one American Airlines Senior Analyst at DFW of how the design looked eerily similar to the upcoming Cathay Pacific’s new business class seat design, known in the industry as the Cirrus Seats. I asked if the same designer had been used to design the seats for all oneWorld partners’ fleet. He responded by saying that indeed American Airlines had tried to minimize differences across the brands, including the seat design.

See for yourself if you agree with me. With the exception of the color scheme, the Cathay Continue reading

AA: The New Amenities at American Airlines

In August 2011 American Airlines announced the new amenities for First Class passengers on long-haul international flights operated by Boeing 777s and 767-300s, in addition to select flights to and from Europe operated by Boeing 757s.

The package seen here, taken today on the B777 Tokyo-NRT-bound AA 169, came as advertised. From the bottom up: A soft, quilted bed topper, a large pillow, a cozy duvet (light grey,) a light-weight day blanket (dark grey,) and a pair of pajamas. Just like in other true luxury First Class cabin of select Airlines that had done this long before American does (Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific come to mind,) a new turndown service is offered.

The Amenity Kit comes in a newly redesigned pouch with an authentic Eames Office® design pattern. Current provider for the amenities is Dermalogica®, offering skin care products, in addition to the usual socks, eyeshades, earplugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, tissues, towelette, comb and a pen.

Smart Wallet Safety

Smart phone muggings are on the rise. Yeah, that does not sound comforting, and it was one concern I had when returning to live in the US after 6 years in Tokyo.

I was an early adopter of the so-called osaifu-keitai, or smartphone wallet. DoCoMo and Softbank, two of the cell phone providers in Japan, allow users the function of their smartphone as debit cards and/or credit cards for various companies (SuICa and Edy). This was in addition to the phone already acting as a point card (loyalty or frequent-user Continue reading

CX First Class: B747 vs. B777

Cathay Pacific from LAX to HKG has long switched from using the 747 to 777. This was due to the fact that with the 777, it can fly for an approximate maximum of 17 hours, thus, ensuring a non-stop flight to HKG from LAX (15 hours) and from SFO (14 hours). It used to be that during the winter months, LAX-HKG B747 flight most likely must refuel in Korea prior to continuing to HKG.

The SFO-HKG still employs the 747, but as Cathay continues its strive for efficiency, sooner or later SFO will start flying the 777. First Class enthusiasts, take note! Enjoy the Continue reading