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We had a long walk to our gate from The Pier lounge, since our plane was scheduled to leave from gate 18. The flight to Korea was originally scheduled on a long haul configuration a330, but was swapped last minute to a regional 777-300. What luck! =(
There was already a pretty big crowd when we got to the gate. Boarding began shortly after we arrived.
Boarding started with Business Class, Marco Polo elites, and Oneworld elite members. We were one of the first few passengers to board.
One interesting thing to note is that Gate 18 has a super long jet bridge, so the walk from the gate to the plane took quite some time. Thankfully, we got a pretty nice 180 degree view of the plane.
Alvin and I were seated in bulkhead seats 12A and 12C, while our friends were seated right behind us in 14A and 14C.
There was a pillow and a small blanket waiting in our seat already.
The IFE controllers were docked on the inner side of the seat, and looked a bit dated. I didn’t end up using the IFE very much.
The seat controls were extremely basic, and definitely showed signs of wear on the buttons. You could adjust the angle of the footrest and the angle of the seat back.
The tray tables folded out from underneath a flap on the armrest.
The TV screens for the bulkhead seats were mounted on the wall. This made the screens feel a bit small, and were much more susceptible to glare. It also felt weird that a majority of the cabin could see what you were watching on your screen.
The TV screens for non-bulkhead seats are mounted on the seat directly in front.
The purser and flight attendants came by shortly after for an introduction, and offered us a pre-departure drink.
Menus were also distributed once everyone was seated. Push back was right on time.
It’s always a treat for the eyes while taxiing out of Hong Kong Airport, since there are a wide variety of airlines here. I especially liked the Finnair a350 and South African a340-300.
We had a rather long wait on the taxiway, since it was rush hour leaving Hong Kong around this time. After about a 20 minute wait, we were lined up for runway 25L for take off.
The engines sounded nice, but I definitely prefer the sound of the a350 and 777-300ER engine roar. After our initial climb, the flight attendants started the meal service right away with drinks and warm nuts.
I’ve already come to expect the consistent service that Cathay Pacific is known for. This time, however, our expectations were exceeded with a stellar crew, as both the senior purser and flight attendant serving our aisle were amazing, and extremely friendly to talk to.
Appetizers were served shortly after with a side of salad and a choice of bread. I opted for the garlic bread as usual. Our flight attendant gave us extra portions too since she saw how excited we were for garlic bread!
The entrees were then brought out on a cart, and I ended up selecting the slow-cooked Wu Xi pork ribs, while Alvin selected the Bibimbap. I found the pork to be surprisingly good, and ended up finishing the whole plate.
I also ordered one of Cathay Pacific’s signature drinks, Pacific Sunrise, while Alvin ordered a Cathay Delight. The Pacific Sunrise had a tangy taste to it and was fairly interesting, but I think I will stick with the regular champagne next time.
Meal service was followed shortly after with a cheese plate and fruit platter.
Last but not least, we also ordered a Haagen Dazs ice cream and coffee to top off our meal.
The entire meal service took most of the flight time. By the time we finished, we had about 45 minutes to landing.
I decided to set my seat to the lounge position and watch the air show a bit before our arrival to Korea. The seat does not turn fully flat, but was comfortable enough for lounging on a short flight.
We had a pretty nice view of the approach to Korea, and managed to take some photos of the surrounding islands near Incheon.
We landed on runway 33R and were treated to a really nice sunset view of the airport.
Overall the regional seat by Cathay Pacific is perfectly fine for the short flight to Korea. We would have loved the internationally-configured planes with the lie flat seats, but last minute equipment swaps happen quite frequently with these intra-Asia routes. The food was as expected with Cathay Pacific, and I would say the experience was very consistent. What really stood out to us this time was how attentive and genuinely friendly the crew was! Hopefully I’ll bump into this crew again on my future travels.
Check out our video trip report of this flight on our YouTube channel!
What do you guys think about Cathay Pacific’s regional business class? Have you ever encountered a last minute equipment swap? Comment to let us know. If you want more reviews like this one, subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates and flight/hotel reviews.