Review: OneWorld Extravaganza – CX 401 Taipei Taoyuan to Hong Kong 777-300ER Business Class

Introduction
W Taipei
CX 401 TPE – HKG 77W J
CX 251 HKG – LHR 77W W
Sofitel London Heathrow
BA 572 LHR – MXP 319 Y
Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice
The Style Florence
St. Regis Rome
Le Anfore Lounge Rome
CX 292 FCO – HKG 343 J

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

Again, this is by my friend Jason, who I must thank for entertaining you. He landed in London Heathrow Terminal 3 at 13:45 HKT, but that report will come later since it has 120 pictures and I want to keep this report spread out as it’s kind of “live” as it happens. This, along with the W Taipei installment will also be kind of picture lacking, so I apologise in advance for giving him the photo “shopping” list too late. I’ll take on the challenge again of sharing purely his thoughts in my words…


Our flight was originally scheduled on an Airbus A340-300, so I decided to skip the shell seats while possible and upgrade myself with Asia Miles into Premium Economy. However, fortunately for most (including me, stay tuned), the flight was subbed by a 777-300ER…

Booking a Taipei to Hong Kong Premium Economy flight

Unlike the Hong Kong to Singapore route, the Taipei to Hong Kong route in Premium Economy is only marginally more than Economy. Not a big deal if you’re on an A330 or 777-300ER, but certainly a big deal if you’re on an A340 or 747-400, which the prices still stay the same.

A Premium Economy seat for the sub-2 hour flight costs one person HK$4,112.

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Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Class Booking Fare Details

You get 551 Asia Miles for taking a Premium Economy flight on the route.

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Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Class Booking Mileage Accrual

I almost jumped back when I saw that the Economy fare was HK$3,763, which is only HK$349 cheaper. Enough to let you grab a flight to Singapore on Jetstar, but given that Hong Kong to Singapore is twice more in Premium Economy than Economy for revenue, this is a ridiculously good steal (for Premium Economy passengers, of course).

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Cathay Pacific Economy Class Booking Fare Details

Well, as kind of a tradeoff, in Economy you only get 50 less Asia Miles than you get for Premium Economy.

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Cathay Pacific Economy Class Mileage Accrual

So, might as well upgrade myself after I realise this awesome steal, and especially to avoid the shell Economy seats (even for a sub-2 hour flight), I grabbed one of the few remaining Premium Economy seats. Good call!

However I totally forgot that there are still nice agents in the airline industry that would do something to my OneWorld Emerald status.

Cathay Pacific Taipei to Hong Kong Premium Economy (or rather, Business) Experience

Fully expecting to see the familiar squishy green seats once again, I headed to the airport. Upon the check-in counter I was subsequently upgraded to Business. “You’re OneWorld Emerald, madam,” she said to my mother, as she issued us Business Class boarding passes. That took about 15 minutes (Cathay does have multiple check-in counters, thankfully).

I had taken both new and old Business Class seats and really enjoyed them, so I was looking forward to my trip (it was scheduled to be an A340). Things only got better when I realized our flight was upgraded to a 777-300ER – and it was the Spirit of Hong Kong 777!

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER

I couldn’t wait to get on the plane – it would be my second time in the new seats, and given that my first time was so long ago (2011 – when the seat first went to and fro from Hong Kong and Sydney), I was keen to try it out again…

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Road to cloud nine! (not in the Ethiopian sense… 😉 )

Cathay Pacific Flight 401
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Origin: Taipei (TPE) Gate: B7 Dep: 19:20 (19:45)
Destination: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 67 Arr: 21:05
 (21:00
)
Duration: 3 hr 55 min (3 hr 40 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 11K (Business Class)

My first impression of the cabin on the 777-300ER, despite having had the same cabin on the A330, was wow. This was notably bigger and more spacious than the A330.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER business class

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER business class

I settled into 11K, a bulkhead seat. There’s not much extra space than the other seats, but there’s infinite space in these seats anyway so I wasn’t bothered.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER business class airshow

The plane pushed back, and we were number one for takeoff.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER pushing back

Unfortunately, upon taking off, my camera ran out of battery and I had to search for my phone…grrr!

After that, I stepped back into Premium Economy (where lulu was) and had a chat with him (the seat next to him was empty). During that time I took a few pictures of the cabin (with my phone) and noticed the nice curvature on the 777 (which Alvin had admired on a much longer flight).

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER premium economy

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER premium economy

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER premium economy menu (lulu’s seat)

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER curvature

Shortly after I headed back to my seat (after a flight attendant asked me if I would be having my meal and told me to set my table). After I slid out my table, the flight attendants set it up.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER business class appetizer

Soon after the meal trays were rolled out. I chose the chicken curry, which was nice and flavourful.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER business class meal

The service throughout the meal was fine. The flight attendants were friendly, but they were undoubtedly going through the motions. There weren’t any special touches, but that’s acceptable for a sub-2 hour flight.

I reclined the seat and slept for a while before landing (my phone’s battery drained out as well, so sorry for the lack of pictures). While I didn’t take pictures of the bed, it was really spacious. Here’s a picture from One Mile At A Time:

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER business class reclined seat

The flight landed smoothly and on time, and I was on my way home for a week and a half long “layover”.

Bottom line on Cathay Pacific business class

The seats are phenomenal. That’s one thing I’ll point out immediately.

Other than that, everything in business class was just fine – the service, the meals…there was no “X-Factor” to them. However, as short as this flight is, business class is all about the seat, so I’d still take business class on the 777-300ER on this route any day (even without getting bumped up from Y+), of course.

 

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