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After spending a strong 6 days in Beijing, pushing the bounds of the 144-hour Chinese language transit with out visa (TWOV) obtainable within the Chinese language capital, my youngsters and I had to transfer on. In any other case we’d be in a little bit of scorching water with the Chinese language authorities. Fortunately (okay…not fortunately, it was nicely deliberate), I’d booked us a flight to Hong Kong flying Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system to the particular administrative area (SAR).
I booked the flight as a part of a enterprise class award ticket utilizing 50,000 Alaska miles and ~$70 in taxes and costs per individual. The complete itinerary was PEK-HKG-SFO. Utilizing Alaska’s superior award coverage that permits a stopover on a one-way award, I used to be in a position to mix each our onward leg from Beijing and our return flight right into a single ticket.
Despite the fact that Hong Kong is technically a part of China, as a SAR, it does qualify as a legitimate onward vacation spot for the needs of TWOV. Useful to know. On the entire our expertise utilizing the TWOV in China went very easily.
- 1 Arriving at Beijing Capital Airport for our flight
- 2 Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system class seat
- 3 Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system service
- 4 Different ideas
- 5 Conclusion
Arriving at Beijing Capital Airport for our flight
We’d flown Delta 767 financial system class into Terminal 2 of Beijing airport from Seattle (SEE: Delta 767 financial system class assessment: Seattle to Beijing), so I didn’t have a lot of an concept what we have been coping with flying out of Terminal three. I needed to make sure that we had loads of time to work out the airport, move by means of immigration, and never be rushed getting to our flight. We had points checking in because the tickets didn’t embrace our center names, and I didn’t need to danger lacking the flight. I used to be additionally wanting ahead to probably having fun with one of many Precedence Move lounges.
I opted for a taxi from the Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing. It turned out to solely be 13 CNY (~$2) greater than the metro plus airport categorical choice. Completely value it for each a quicker journey (on a Sunday morning) and far much less strolling. We entered the large Terminal three of Beijing Capital Airport.
We’d taken off a bit sooner than anticipated, and given the speediness of the drive to the airport, we had arrived a full Four hours earlier than our flight. The youngsters and I made our means to the Cathay Pacific check-in counter, the place we encountered an issue: it wasn’t but staffed. The Cathay desks subsequent door have been open, however the desk for flight 391 to Hong Kong was not. They’re fairly particular with the signage.
It was a bummer to have to wait an hour, particularly with youngsters. Nevertheless it wasn’t the top of the world. I stayed with the luggage and other people watched whereas they wandered via a number of the outlets. Time ticked by slowly, however quickly we have been standing in line because the brokers have been preparing.
One of many employees then proceeded to affirm not as soon as, however twice that we have been certainly flying premium financial system and in the appropriate line. I assume perhaps most individuals with youngsters don’t fly in something above coach? Positive, that’s often our MO, however not when I’ve the miles to use for a greater expertise.
Verify-in was fast as soon as the brokers have been prepared. No passport points in any way. We made our approach by way of the airport and off to immigration and safety in Terminal 3E. I questioned if we’d have an problem leaving, however apart from getting a number of bizarre glances from the immigration brokers, our passports have been stamped and we have been on our approach. Undoubtedly going to work this TWOV into future journey plans if I can, probably to go to Shanghai. It took us 50 minutes from when the Cathay Pacific counter opened till we have been by way of safety and immigration.
Lounge and boarding our Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system flight
I opted to go to the Air China First Class Lounge earlier than our flight (SEE: Air China First Class Lounge Beijing Airport Evaluation). There are a couple of Precedence Move choices at Beijing Capital Airport, however this one is shut to the center of Terminal 3E, making it straightforward to get to your flight. Our gate was lower than a 5-minute stroll away. In contrast to home lounges, the lounge could be very good. It has loads of seating, respectable meals, and an ideal view of the airport. Flying a Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system ticket doesn’t entitle you to lounge entry.
We made our approach to the gate proper at boarding time. One drawback turned immediately clear: our Boeing 777-300ER was nowhere to be seen. There have been no gate bulletins, both. The employees had both made them earlier than we arrived, or the delay wasn’t going to be lengthy sufficient to actually matter a lot.
Our plane arrived on the gate inside 15 minutes. Individuals nonetheless had to deplane, clearly, however at the very least it was right here. It might have been good to know that we might have stayed within the lounge at the very least one other half hour. Whereas we waited, the gate employees confirmed once more that we have been certainly in premium financial system. Twice. Belief me, I do know which line to get into.
Boarding ended up beginning about 45 minutes late, which wasn’t too horrible. I’d heard concerning the vital delays which are typically skilled touring into, out of, or by way of Beijing, so I assume we have been fairly fortunate. The youngsters have been excited to be heading down the jetway once more. I used to be as properly. This was my first time each flying a Boeing 777-300ER and flying a real premium financial system product.
In some methods I used to be glad that there weren’t enterprise class seats on this phase of the itinerary. It was a reasonably brief daytime flight that basically didn’t make flying enterprise class all that mandatory (when you can name flying enterprise class a necessity), and it let me expertise a second product.
Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system class seat
The Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system cabin is specified by a 2-Four-2 association. It’s pretty small, with solely 34 seats. The plane flying CX391 that day was a four-class 777-300ER. I’m unsure if that is regular. It looks like overkill to me to have a first-class cabin for a flight of just a few hours. The premium financial system cabin was solely about half full.
I had us booked in seats 33A, 33C and 33D. The youngsters have been in a pair of seats close to the window and I used to be throughout the aisle. It was an analogous configuration to how we flew on a Delta 767 from Seattle to Beijing. I used to be lower than thrilled with how this turned out on our earlier flight, primarily as a result of it was onerous to hear the youngsters once they wanted one thing. Hopefully this might be higher. What is going to they assume once we fly enterprise class house from Hong Kong in any respect reverse-herringbone window seats??
The Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system seat is snug, undoubtedly a step up from major cabin. The seats are nonetheless not particularly broad, however Eight-across is definitely higher than 9-across. I lucked out and had two empty seats subsequent to me. The armrests between all however the middle seats are strong and immovable.
The premium financial system seats have a great quantity of pitch, six extra inches than the 32 inches provided within the financial system class cabin, to be actual. At solely 5’10”, I can comfortably slot in virtually any financial system seat already, so this was wonderful.
At every seat was a pair of headphones wrapped in plastic. The in-flight journal was additionally wrapped in plastic, one thing I’ve by no means seen earlier than. It’s by no means occurred to me to maintain the journal extra sanitary. I assume I’m okay sharing those on U.S. flights with dozens of different individuals.
The in flight leisure system might both be managed as a touchscreen or managed with the controller offered underneath the armrest. It’s all the time bugged me that planes set up contact screens, primarily as a result of it may be annoying to the individual in entrance if the individual behind them is tough with it.
The IFE display is about 10 inches in measurement. The choice of western cinema was greater than sufficient for a short-haul journey like ours from Beijing to Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific presents numerous good child movies, together with a number of from Pixar studios. There have been some motion flicks as properly, together with the very current The Meg, which I ended up watching. The meh would have been a a lot better identify.
There’s additionally at-seat energy and a USB port as properly for maintaining your units charged. Glad I’d overpaid for the brand new charger since I ended up leaving the one I’d introduced on the lodge our first night time (SEE: Hilton Beijing Evaluate).
One of the best options of the Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system seat are how a lot it reclines and that it has a footrest. The footrest comes down from the seat in entrance of you. It makes sleeping a lot extra snug. I reclined considerably, however not all the best way. There was a man behind me, and given the quantity of reline I noticed on a seat throughout the aisle in entrance of me, I figured he’d be a bit irritated if I did.
For his or her half, the youngsters have been excited to have a bit more room and luxury for the journey. I informed them not to get used to it. 🙂
General, it’s an ideal seat. I’d be very completely happy flying this product on a long-haul flight throughout the Pacific between the U.S. and Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system service
The very first thing provided by the flight attendants earlier than we’d even departed have been blankets and Hong Kong arrival playing cards. Meal service began about 30 minutes into the flight.
From what I might inform, the service within the premium financial system cabin didn’t appreciably differ than what is obtainable in the primary cabin. I don’t know if that is regular, or if this can be a function of short-haul premium financial system versus long-haul premium financial system. Service began a bit over half an hour into the flight. Like on the Delta flight, I couldn’t talk with my youngsters with the cart in the best way, so I trusted that they’d ask any questions to the flight attendant concerning the meals provided.
The beverage choices have been fairly regular: delicate drinks, espresso, tea, and a pink or white wine. Flying all the time excites the youngsters, because it is among the pretty uncommon occasions they get to drink soda.
The meals was pretty good. I went with the pork and rice choice. My daughter went with the opposite choice, which was penne pasta with salmon. She completed it shortly, which is uncommon. The youngsters are usually sluggish eaters. I favored the pork whereas my son didn’t look after it very a lot. However take his opinion with a grain of salt. 🙂
The accompaniments included fruit, ice cream and a roll. Following lunch there was a tea and occasional service about half an hour later. I settled in to watch a film, which barely gained out over making an attempt to take a nap.
One of many solely points that stood out to me from our Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system flight is the rest room. It’s not as a result of it’s extra-small as on an AA 737MAX. The lav is an ordinary measurement and the cabin crew have been attentive and stored it very clear.
The difficulty is getting to the rest room. There’s one toilet for the premium financial system cabin, and it’s situated on the best aspect of the plane. To get to it from the left aspect, you will have to cross in entrance of the center row of seats on the entrance of the cabin, which might be bothersome to vacationers in these seats. Alternatively, you’ll be able to stroll again into the financial system cabin to use their lav. There isn’t any different good route, because the galley in enterprise class is between the ahead “mini-cabin” and the aft enterprise cabin, so it doesn’t present a simple route to the lav.
We touched down in Hong Kong at 5:22, not to date behind the scheduled arrival time in any case. It appears Cathay budgets for delays on their Beijing route. The solar was nearly to set as we made our method down the jetway and towards immigration.
On the entire, Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system class is a strong product. The seats are very snug, with enough recline to permit for an honest sleep. I didn’t even max mine out. The leg and foot rests actually make a exceptional distinction. That is concerning the good degree of consolation for a long-haul flight, for my part. I simply want the worth level was a bit higher, though Cathay Pacific’s premium financial system does go on sale from time to time.
The service and meals in Cathay Pacific 777 premium financial system are respectable as nicely, and I might fortunately fly this product once more in a heartbeat. The youngsters loved it, too, and it is perhaps probably the most economical approach to cross the Pacific when it comes to miles, because it solely requires 35,000 Alaska miles from the U.S. to Asia.