Review: Kyushu Karnival – KA 380 Hong Kong to Fukuoka A330-300 Business Class

Introduction
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
KA 380 HKG – FUK 333 J
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Seikai Beppu
Dining at Seikai Beppu
Exploring Beppu
Hoteiya Yufu City
Dining at Hoteiya Yufu City
Exploring Yufuin
Lounge Fukuoka Fukuoka
KA 381 FUK – HKG 333 J

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

Boarding began finally at 11:30.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 (our flight to Fukuoka)

This was the longest jetbridge I had ever been on. Seriously, the gate C62 at London Heathrow Terminal 5 has competition.

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Jetbridge to Dragonair Airbus A330-300

We boarded right before they closed the business class doors, and were greeted with a smile as we went in the aircraft. Phew, we didn’t have to board via the Economy doors. 😆

Dragonair Pacific Flight 380
Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
Origin: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 50 Dep: 11:20 (12:30)
Destination: Fukuoka (FUK) Gate: 54 Arr: 15:35
 (16:30)
Duration: 3 hr 15 min (3 hr)
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A330-300
Seat: 11C (Business Class)

Dragonair does not have seatmaps on SeatGuru, but the Cathay Pacific version is similar. Ignore the row numbers and the two seats in front, and you get what Dragonair operates on this route. Business Class is all in one cabin.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat Map

I’ve seen the cabin before, but this was my first time in it. Usually there are either recliners or angled flat seats, but rarely are there “combos” of these seats (i.e. angled seats). ANA and La Compagnie are examples of where these seats can be found, but they angle quite a bit more than Dragonair’s version (that said, ANA runs their angled seats on ten hour flights, La Compagnie for nine, and Dragonair’s longest flight on these is six, so it’s fair).

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

My seat was at the second row of the cabin, 11C. My sister sat in 11A, next to me, where she enjoyed the planes taxiing up and down.

Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat 11A

Peeking through Economy, they also had their new seats. At least my friends don’t have to suffer (we were travelling with another family).

I explored the seat, helped by the new Business Class Seat Guide.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Screen

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Legroom

I found the table design rather awkward – you slide it out in a “diagonal” way to take it out, and have to push it in at an angle. It took me a few minutes to fuddle with it before I got the hang of it.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Folded Table

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Unfolded Table

Much like Premium Economy (the two seats are actually quite similar in some design terms), there’s also a cocktail holder, which is also prone to Billecart-Salmon Brut spilling and swearing. 😉

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cocktail Holder

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat Guide

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat Guide

Much like Premium Economy, the new Business Class included a recess that could be used to reach the overhead bins. The light next to it is for flight attendants to do their pre-takeoff/landing checks – when the seat is in upright position, the green light turns on.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Foot Recess

The armrests were leather capped and comfortable, and weren’t that much to speak of.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Armrest

There’s a good place to store phones or cameras, which I used throughout the flight.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Phone Storage

The headphones were okay, I guess.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class headphones

Soon after we boarded we were presented drinks. I chose an orange juice and my sister went with the apple juice. The former was fine, but the latter was really sour.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Beverage

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

My sister didn’t down the drink and instead gave it to me, and after a few sips I had to give it back to the male purser.

Along with drinks we were also passed antiseptics. Dragonair doesn’t give hot towels, which is understandable as it’s a short haul flight. My problem with antiseptics is that I usually forget about them, and this was the case on my outbound and my inbound. 😆

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Antiseptic

Before takeoff we had a view of the cockpit, which I always get really giddy about.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Cockpit

Soon the door closed, and the safety video played as we pushed back.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Safety Video

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views of Runway

The cabin was rather full (in stark contrast to the inbound…stay tuned).

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin

After the safety video StudioKA was turned on, which I find to be the norm for Dragonair flights nowadays.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class IFE

The selection was extensive but there weren’t any movies I really liked. I settled on “Horton Hears a Who” (though I didn’t finish it).

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class IFE Selection

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class “Horton Hears a Who”

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

Takeoff was smooth, as the weather was good, and we were up in the air really soon.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views during Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views during Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views during Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views during Takeoff

I had a look at the menu once we levelled off, and it read as follows:

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Menu

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Menu

The wine/beverage list read as follows:

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Drink Menu

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Screen during Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin during Takeoff

I briefly visited the lavatory after takeoff, which was sizeable and featured Jurlique amenities. I liked the fact that it “curved” into the nose, as it made the experience special.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Lavatory

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Lavatory Amenities

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Lavatory Air Nozzle

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Lavatory Sink

While the Jurlique amenities were pretty good, they didn’t “remove the day”…

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Lavatory “hydrating foaming cleanser to remove the day”

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Lavatory Citrus Mist

My table was soon set. I was given an appetiser, which was smoked salmon, some scallop, chicken, avocado salad and yuzu noodles. The salmon, scallop, chicken and the yuzu noodles were spectacular, whilst the salad was only okay.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Meal Appetiser

About thirty seconds later the purser came with the breadbasket. I chose a black piece of bread, which was soft and warm.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Meal Bread

The amount of cutlery was…let’s just say it was quite a lot.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cutlery

I ordered an iced milk tea after the purser gave me the bread, which he immediately obliged. I wanted to see what the hype was about.

Not long after my appetiser was collected, the main courses were rolled out on a cart for us to choose. I chose the herbed lemon chicken and orzo pasta, and the chicken was juicy and the orzo pasta spicy. The dish didn’t have any flaws to it, and it was one of the few airplane meals I scraped the sides off after finishing.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Meal Main Course

The biggest letdown of the flight was actually the milk tea. Either I’ve figured out their secret, or Dragonair and Cathay Pacific give out different kinds of milk tea.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Canned Milk Tea

Following my main course, the dessert was rolled out. I chose some ice cream, which was caramel biscuit and cream flavoured. It was the only dessert selection available, which was a letdown, but this isn’t longhaul Cathay Pacific…

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Dessert

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Dessert

The purser was spectacular. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for everyone else, as they seemed to be lagging behind on speed. I’m not complaining, as service was just as quick as I’d hoped, but these are just my observations…

After lunch, two hours into the flight, I reclined my seat, which didn’t go back that far (but was comfortable enough).

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Reclined Seat

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin Post-Meal Service

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Airshow

I slept for a while, until the captain’s announcement for thirty minutes before landing.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Pillow

While there was nothing thrilling to watch, I did like the playlist function that all StudioCX and StudioKA flights have. I used it all the way to Auckland, to Singapore and back, from Kaohsiung and I used it on the outbound and the inbound on this trip. Tells you how much I love it… 😉

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Playlist

When the captain announced for thirty minutes until landing I looked out the window, and was looking forward to a windy, rainy stay in Kyushu. No complaints, as I’m fine with that unless I’m at a beach destination.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

Despite the weather our arrival was smooth, and after we stopped at the end of the runway the purser came and thanked us for choosing them on the flight (not that we had a choice). 😆 The weather wasn’t good, but we were still looking forward to the rest of our trip.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Landing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Taxiing in Fukuoka

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Approaching Gate

Then we were off to the Grand Hyatt to spend our night.

Bottom line on Dragonair New Business Class

I found Dragonair’s business class to be comfortable, the service excellent (but not spectacular) and the meals really good.

That’s pretty much all I expect from shorthaul business class, and Dragonair pleasantly surprised me on their polished service in business (given that their economy service is…).

While I won’t be retrying the product anytime soon, or have any aspirations to, I’d fly it again in a heartbeat given I got a good points rate that I could afford.

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