Hoarding points and accumulating points can be fun. I’ll explain more later on. Time for a holiday! So here is the itinerary for the first part of our holiday/wedding stuff we had to do. I’ll review the Mel to BNE in this post.
- MEL -> BNE (Qantas Domestic)
- BNE -> HKG (Business)
- HKG -> CTS (Business)
- CTS -> NRT (Jetstar Domestic)
- NRT -> HKG (First Class)
I’m pretty obsessed with points nowadays. You want to think about what credit cards to use at each merchant and you tell IK NO don’t use that card for god sake thats only $1 to 1 ! It seems like role reversal nowadays. The males likes to get the best deals, and the women just don’t give a damn. Anyway after accumulating alot of points, We’ve decided to go B class to HK. Easier said than done.
Firstly, its peak season during December, getting a award spot on the days you want is like winning lottery. Almost IMPOSSIBLE. So I had no choice but to take a flight from Melb to Brisbane to transit to HK. At least we’ll get there. So off we went and checked our baggages in the qantas domestic counters and told them we’re going to HK. Luckily since they’re one world, the bags will just go straight through. THEN we got a message from my travel agent saying “your flight to HK has been delayed for 2 + hours now”. I was like WTF… It means our departure time is around 3:30am Melb time. GREAT… He told me you should complain etc. anyway I was able to get something out of this (But I’ll tell you later). So we got plenty of time and the flight from Melb got delayed due to wild thunderstorms. So we went into the Qantas Club. This is the 2nd time here and it’s not bad. We used 2 x Qantas Club passes we get every year from the Westpac Earth credit cards. The international qantas business class lounge is better I have to say. Started off with some champagne and some pasta and salad. Not much variety in the lounge, just some sandwiches and currys.
You do get a nice view of the tarmac and the domestic Qantas planes at the lounge.
The lounge gets fairly busy even on a weekday. Other than a qantas passes, you can get in if you have status with Qantas or oneworld airlines. Don’t think I’ll ever fly enough to get status. So after a few champagnes and some food, we went to Brisbane.
One thing I don’t like about Brisbane airport if you’re transiting is that you have to take a bus to the international terminal. Bit like Sydney. If you’re not flying with qantas, you have to pay as well! I think $5/ person. Get real! anyway, Brisbane was stinking hot and wet. We got to the international terminal and it was fairly pleasant and modern. Since we already checked in and got our boarding passes, immigration wasn’t a big wait and was able to get into the Qantas business Lounge. There is no Cathay Lounge in Brisbane so they share it with the Qantas Lounge. Since we have like 3-4 hours to kill, we were worried the lounge may close at a certain time. We asked the attendant and they said we’ll close when you leave. How’s that for customer service. I feel for them, I mean you don’t get to leave until 2-3 in the morning.
Theres much more options with food here. There was a curry rice, lots of grog, bar snacks, cheeses, self serve grog in the fridge etc. They even had a shower. My mate loves his lounge showers and I definitely needed one. Getting here after work and waiting for hours doesn’t help. Showers were nice, clean, but the water wasn’t that strong which was a shame.
Had some beef curry rice, pasta and mini pies with champagne. Nice little supper meal before the flight!
Seats were fairly comfortable and there were a few MAC computers you can use as well. You get a bit of a view from the top of the shops and bit of the planes through the windows.
Finally, it was boarding time we went and lined up to get into this beauty. Cathay is reknown for it’s business class seats and I have to say its a very solid product. Last time I was on business was from Seoul to HK and it was wayyy too short. This time 8 hrs or so, so looking forward. So this is the Airbus 333. It has Business Class seats, Premium Economy and Economy. Doesn’t have first class in these planes.
Few things I like about the new CX B class seats rather than the coffin class (I’ll review later)
- Reversed herringbone seats so the seats angle in. So you get that privacy from other passengers.
- Lie flat seats (I mean 181cm, and still had a bit more room left)
- Good entertainment and big screen
Here’s what it looks like.
Got the usual, remote, little light, and controls for the seat. Seat controls can be a bit fiddly at times I found. You can also charge your phone/computer and a AV port. (dont know why you need that). There was also plenty of room for your computer / ipad etc on the side table.
CX lillies for each seat. Nice touch.
Theres this indent in each seat, so it makes it quite private. The arm rest does come up otherwise it makes it a relatively spacious business class seat.
Yay flying to HK after a long long delay…
So I got pretty comfy quite quickly, watching a few movies with the CX noise cancellation headphones.
Ahhh, proper menus in business class. I apologise, I did take the menu, but didn’t know where it went since I’ve been back from my trip.
They also give out Agnes B Amenity kits. Includes jurlique lip balm, day care lotion and the cirtrus hand cream. Other things include socks, eye shades, shoe horn and tooth brush/paste.
I’m pretty full but I want to try a bit of everything as I’m on holidays.
A bottle of water for my trip as well nu pure spring!
Menu is quite large indeed.
Alright here it comes. Table cloth is a must, glass of water is a must. Started off with some appetisers, fruit, crackers with dips.
CX is well known for its bread. I chose garlic bread.
For the mains, I had some prawns and fish I think it was…
This is a must on any cathay pacific flight. on B class and F class only ofcourse. This is the Cathay Delight. Which is a combination of kiwifruit and coconut milk mocktail. I could down a few of these any day.
After supper I was expecting dessert and cheese. Didn’t even come… My god, I wouldn’t be happy if I was paying for a full price B class ticket worth 4-6k return. So went to sleep in lie flat mode and watched a few movies.
Breakfast was pretty good. Again fruit, toast, yoghurt, FRESH OJ, another Cathay Delight and had some omlette with sausages. I find the mains in cathay just so so, the appetisers and the little things around it are usually pretty good.
The B class is a SOLID product indeed. I slept a few hours at least and didn’t have much trouble.
Heres what the seat looks like.
Now I did mention before that our fight got delayed right? My travel agent said you should complain about it. I thought, no point complaining to the staff at the qantas lounge, and we already checked in so I went on the website and wrote a letter a week or so later outlining the following
- Delayed for 2.5 hours without reason / warning. I mean my travel agent told me! Waited HOURS in the airport.
- No cheese / Dessert served. (I even got evidence !) No pics of cheese or dessert! You owe me Cathay!
So What reply did I get? They were apologetic and I was given 5k Asian miles points in compensation. Do you think thats a reasonable compensation? I wrote another letter for IK a few weeks after and she got 100USD Cathay voucher. I think I’d rather 5k points.
Anyway once we got to HK, the best little perk about HK airport is, if you’re travelling Business, First of have status, you can go into the ARRIVALS lounge. Yes lounge when you get to your destination. How good is that?! This is located underneath the Airport Express. One, I wanted to check it out and two, the beauty about the arrivals lounge is you can have a nice shower before you hit town. Given we arrived fairly early, it was a good excuse to have a shower first.
Much smaller than all the other lounges, but theres a few computers there, small selection of foods, and most importantly SHOWERS. there’s even a shower attendant you mops up your mess and puts a new bath mat and towel and other amenities as well. (Tooth brush, cotton, Q tips etc) Showers had good stream and had the iconic stone all over it.
Food selection were pretty poor I have to say. But not to worry, plenty to eat in HK!
- Despite the long wait, I enjoyed the B class product. Maybe better flying during the day to enjoy ZA AMBIANCE a bit more
- Qantas lounge in BNE aint bad, not as good as Melb one though or sydney.
- Points required for this – 80k asian miles or 120k Qantas I think. If you play the right cards, get the credit card sign ups its not that hard to do . Hard to swallow because I also forked out 12000 points to get to Brisbane. So bloody steep!
- Love the idea of Arrivals Lounge. 2 lounges during one trip! (well 3 really including my qantas club visit)
- Would I fly Cathay again? No brainer. HK is a great place to transit to other destinations, plus its my home town, so good to go back here and then.