Review: To Peking and Back – KA 974 Hong Kong to Beijing A320-200 Economy Class

KA 974 HKG – PEK 320 Y
GICC Beijing
Exploring Beijing
KA 901 PEK – HKG 333 Y

Comfort 3/5 Service 2/5 Amenities 2/5 Little things 1/5 Meals 4/5 Overall 2/5

I’m not the best or the most good-looking person to serve, so I may not be the best person to comment on service or amenities. However, when flight attendants are abysmally bad (as in refusing a blow- avoiding serving me because they misheard something and thought I was rude), I am one to comment, as like everyone, right?

Dragonair Flight 974
Friday, June 14th, 2013
Origin: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 521 Dep: 16:00 (16:10)
Destination: Beijing (PEK) Gate: E25 Arr: 19:15 
Duration: 3 hr 15 min (2 hr 55 min)
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A320-200
Seat: 41J (Economy Class)

KA 974

Cabin upon boarding (the only picture I took and didn’t accidentally delete)

Boarding was swift, and we left slightly late from Gate 521. We met a lovely old couple upon the ride to the plane, and they were really nice.

The plane, as expected, was not equipped with any PTVs “What the f*&^, it’s an A320?”, and there was just a small magazine that took a few minutes to flip through. I didn’t really care, as I was most interested in the service and how good it would be, like what Dragonair promotes.

This was not the first time I had taken an A320 on Dragonair. Service was always very good, efficient, and the flight attendants were really nice (though not really chatty). As the flight was about to leave, I asked for a pillow, which was given to me. As I deleted that photo as well, the pillow was quite squishy (which is different from squashy – squishy means it’s not rock hard, and squashy means it’s airy and totally fun to squish) and the same colour as the headrest (there’s a slight hint of the headrest’s colour right over there in the bottom right hand corner of the only precious picture I didn’t accidentally delete.)

We took off quite quickly and soon we were in the air. The flight attendants started serving meals. As I just had a good drink at Starbucks Hong Kong Airport (while looking at the majestic Singapore Airlines A380, of course), I declined a meal, and just had a Coke, which I put my vanilla ice cream into – partly to defrost it, but also partly because my friend (and seatmate) said that this made a really good float, which it did. Thanks Matthew. 😉

This is where the unacceptability began.

As the flight attendants were passing over, I asked them when the plane would land, as I have heard of Dragonair flights diverting from PEK to JFK PVG or NAY and arriving 3 hours later than usual. They had a little conversation, and said, “6:20pm.” I said, “So an hour early? That’s good.” They murmured for a bit, and said, “Sorry, we meant 7:20pm.” Still, so far so good.

When the drinks cart came I asked for a milk tea, which was given to me. Then as I returned from the (small) bathroom I asked them if they could take a picture of the business class cabin. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I mumble a bit, so when she replied that there were people there that they didn’t want to disturb, I said, “That’s OK.” (The whole conversation is in Cantonese.) I didn’t get how Eriko (the flight attendant’s name, didn’t you figure?) misheard it. In Cantonese, “That’s OK” is “mou so wai la” and “Don’t you have hands?” is “nei mou sau ga”, so I have no idea how that was messed up. Anyway, she got into a little fuss in the galley, I guess, because another flight attendant (Elaine, I think) comes up and said, “You shouldn’t be so rude to a flight attendant,” and started quietly repeating the situation in her own words.

I mean, seriously?! I was shocked when I heard that, and I decided to let it go for a while. Then I noticed that they thought I was a nuisance, and I had to do something to retrieve my con- reputation back. I saw the flight attendants kind of rushing past the row, so I stopped Elaine again and started to tell her what I actually meant. She apologised, and suggested I go tell Eriko herself. I did, and she nodded and apologised as well. However, it still keeps a sour taste in my mouth for making me feel like a nuisance, which is in one way a misunderstanding, another way abysmal. (Am I off track? Please comment.)

I have to say a big thank you to the person sitting in the aisle seat, who was really nice and non-intrusive throughout the whole incident.

Anyway, trying to recline my seat was impossible – I mean, it was only 29-30″ of pitch, so it wasn’t really her fault, but the lady behind me kept pushing my seat back up…I guess she’s one of the 90% who wants reclining banned on short haul flights. I’m one of the 10%, I guess.

We landed on time, and soon I was on my way to the Geosciences International Conference Centre Hotel in Beijing.


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