Review: Blingapore – CX 739 Hong Kong to Singapore A330-300 Premium Economy Class

Introduction
CX 739 HKG – SIN 333 W
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
Exploring Singapore
Terminal 1 Singapore Changi
CX 734 SIN – HKG 333 W

Comfort 5/5 Service 4/5 Amenities 5/5 Little things 4/5 Meals 5/5 Overall 5/5

We arrived at Hong Kong Station early 15 minutes before 9, and proceeded to the Economy line. There were two counters open, and the line moved maybe a person per minute.

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Check in line at first

Then a woman in a blue shirt came to the counter, and at the same time the other counter closed. Drats! However this woman seemed to take 10 minutes, and we believed she might have gotten an “82” (that’s the term in Canada). We stood there doing nothing, then after a few complaints to the sole supervisor of the whole process they finally opened the other counter and started the line moving. So basically Cathay Pacific can’t do their ground services for s^&*.

Anyway, we got started on the Airport Express to the terminal, when we got through immigration swiftly and headed to the gate. Boarding hadn’t started yet, so I did some plane spotting.

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AirAsia A320

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China Airlines 737

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Cebu Pacific A320

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Dragonair A330

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EVA Air 747-400 Combi

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KLM 747-400

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Entrance to the Pier (not that I had access)

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Our bird for today

Cathay Pacific Flight 739
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Origin: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 67 Dep: 11:20 (12:15)
Destination: Singapore (SIN) Gate: D34 Arr: 15:05
 (15:50)
Duration: 3 hr 45 min (3 hr 35 min)
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A330-300
Seat: 32K (Premium Economy Class)

Only the front door was open for boarding, so we had to bear the moment of passing through their award winning business class. I took a quick blurry photo.

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Business Class

We eventually made it to the Premium Economy cabin, which looked really cosy. (Interestingly enough my mother liked this more than Business Class, saying it was “cosier”.)

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Premium Economy Seats

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Cabin during boarding

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Cathay Pacific A330 sibling next to us

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TV size and airshow

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A rack that fit an iPhone perfectly

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Ample legroom (and my tiny legs)

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Cocktail Drinks Holder

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Recline button (and my massive hand)

The seat was smaller than I expected it to be, but was soft. I mean really soft. I could have this compared with Westin Heavenly bed padding (I kid, I kid). It was the same padding as Business Class, I later knew, and it felt like it. However it didn’t have the gold-stringed touches I expected (which, in a way, is a good thing).

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The seat cushion patterning

I tried their headphones, which were phenomenal. I’ve never touched Bose headphones, but these sure looked like them (I went online and searched up “Bose QuietComfort” and these sure looked like them). Top notch.

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Phenomenal headphones

I explored the seat a little, which was well designed in the most part. The table was especially innovative with its double-fold function, but I swear when completely folded the table wasn’t totally flat.

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Table (half open)

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Tray table (see the slight reflex angle?)

The cabin looked surprisingly spotless for an Airbus A330 that had been refurbished, and the cabin (with exception of the tray table) sure wasn’t showing its age.

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Still-in-shape Velcro

After we did a pushback, the captain said that they had problems closing door L1, and we taxied to a remote stand to check the door out. He couldn’t have apologised more profusely (unlike my 2012 KA 902 flight to Beijing, where the pilot didn’t even seem to feel bad about it). He switched off the seatbelt sign and gave an announcement telling us to sit back, relax, and they would pump some cold air into the cabin.

Up until then this plane didn’t “feel” like an airplane, if you know what I mean. Soon I realized why. The cabin temperature must have been 30 degrees Kelvins Celsius. It was boiling hot. However we knew that was about to change, so while the door was being fixed (the IFE was off), I did some plane spotting.

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Thai 747-400

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Dragonair A320

The captain kept us well informed, and asked us to freely roam around the cabin. So I wandered into Economy.

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Economy Class

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Full house for today

The toilets were definitely style over substance. They were much more snazzy than the A340 economy bathrooms but seemed small.

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Mirror

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Toilet

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Nobility Hand Cream

We eventually pushed back from the remote stand at 12:15, and the captain apologised profusely for the delay (again). I stared out the window.

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Traffic upon taxiing

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China Southern A321

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United 737 (I thought all these fifth freedom routes departed at night?)

We were number three for takeoff after a Dragonair A330 (not pictured below) and a China Airlines 747.

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China Airlines 747

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Idle Korean Air 777-300ER next to us

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Hong Kong Airlines A320 behind us

Takeoff was swift.

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Views upon takeoff

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Screen upon takeoff

I began to find out more about the seat after the seat belt sign went off. The power plug had a little bulkhead above it restricting access for my wall climber computer plug to plug into it, which struck me as being poorly designed.

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Power plugs

Shortly the meal service began. I was slightly amused that we were being presented with a breakfast menu, as it was already one o’clock in the afternoon.

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Breakfast menu

However we were served lunch, contrary to what the menu said. I was fine with that, but I don’t know if that was more of a fluke or the norm.

Anyway, on CX 197 I said that my pasta in tomato sauce was excellent but lacked cheese. You (like me) will be surprised to know that the pasta in tomato sauce I picked was pretty much the same, except…

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Lunch, shell pasta with CHEESE! (and a few strings of spinach)

The other choice was a chicken curry, which my mother was served.

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My mother’s meal

Then followed an ice cream, the first I’d had on an airplane which wasn’t rock hard (I don’t think I’ve ever had a melted ice cream on an airplane either). It was just right. Kudos. Unfortunately I consumed it before I took my camera out, which tells you how good it was (it was just chocolate).

The service was quite good, but not memorable (compared to the service I got on the inbound – stay tuned for that). To sum it up, they were nice, but seemed slightly stressed due to the hour delay. 🙂

It’s worth mentioning while I earlier mentioned that the cabin was really hot before takeoff, I realized that the cabin was now freezing. To sum it up, a blanket and my fluffy jacket covered over me did not stop the chills I was getting from the air cabin temperature.

During the meal service I told myself I would watch Mary Poppins, since it was too appealing. And I daresay that I like Mary Poppins now as much as I liked Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs which he watched along the way to Auckland.

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Mary Poppins

While my dad played Mahjong, he reclined his seat. There was ample space in front of my mother, about as much legroom as a traditional economy seat (upright) had, which is saying a lot.

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Mahjong

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Space in front of my mother

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13 inch MacBook, to scale on the tray table

Recline was a lot, equivalent to a Virgin Australia Business Class seat (that said, the two seats are not far from identical).

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My seat when reclined

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View from the Wing

Soon enough we were descending into Singapore.

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Bad picture of mood lighting in Business

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Views upon descent

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Views upon final descent

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Views upon final descent

We touched down 45 minutes behind schedule and were once bombarded presented with sincere apologies from the pilot regarding the 55 minute delay. The taxi took a decent amount of time, but there was a lot of interesting traffic nearby.

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Traffic upon taxiing

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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380

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Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321

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Crowne Plaza Changi and Singapore Airlines Boeing 777

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KLM Boeing 777

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Airshow upon landing

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The Emirates Airbus A380 beauty

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Qantas Airbus A330

We parked next to a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777

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Into the fairly snazzy Singapore Changi Terminal 1…

Overall this was a great flight. I could say that the service could be slightly more personal (stay tuned for the inbound), but this was quite a nice flight. What really left a sour taste in my mouth though were the power plugs, which would be unacceptable for longer flights. Cathay, all you have to do is shave away the bulkhead so I can put my power plug inside – it’ll look less aesthetically pleasing, but I’d like to charge my computer in Premium Economy if it’s possible in Economy. Otherwise, I think Cathay did a good job making these comfortable seats and having good service, so I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Premium Economy on Cathay Pacific again on longer flights, putting the power plugs aside. (Admittedly I do think that for such a short flight Premium Economy is totally unnecessary, but it was worth a try…)

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