Cathay Pacific Flight Review: Manila to Hong Kong

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Checking-in had never been easier and faster as I made my way through all the mandatory queues in just five minutes in spite of the snaking lines. I accomplished most of it even before I stepped inside Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 for my trip to Hong Kong aboard Cathay Pacific.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Three days prior to my departure date, I paid my travel tax at Robinsons Galleria and the day after, I received an email from Cathay Pacific offering online check-in. So when I finally arrived at the airport, I went straight to the bag drop counter where I was the only one in line.

Immigration was also faster this time with local and foreign passport holders segregated and all counters were open with short queues except one which had none. I hesitated joining it wondering why it was being avoided but I took my chance and five seconds later, I was headed towards the security check but not before noticing how some people transferred from their original line and followed my lead.

As I had two hours to kill, I headed straight to Skyview Lounge, which I am able to access thanks to my membership in an affiliated loyalty program. So there I was, an economy passenger, enjoying the perks of business class. However, I was disappointed at the sight of the most limited food offering I have seen at a lounge. There was just the vegetable rice, noodles, chicken adobo, crackers, and sandwiches but the taste more than made up for it. Don't take my word for it; take the sporadic burps erupting every now and then across the room.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
After my breakfast, I asked for the wifi password and was disappointed that it was out of service. Good thing I had my own pocket device. But entertainment inside was not scarce with one group sharing their conversation with the entire room with their loud voices and another group of senior ladies having a hard time taking selfies that another guest rose from her seat to help them.

Twenty minutes before boarding time, I headed out to my designated gate and noticed how the business class area was cordoned off with wider leg room compared to ours.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
 Now for some reason, people started lining up before any announcements were made so by the time it came, the narrow passage leading to the ramp was already crowded by those waiting for their row number to be called while blocking the path for the legit.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Then it came time for my boarding and I was dismayed upon realizing the mistake I made booking myself a seat online. I misread the diagram thinking I had gotten myself an aisle seat. Good thing it was a two-seater row so I had the window seat.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Because I suffer from vertigo, I need to recline my seat somewhat so I pulled the lever giving myself a surprise when the bottom seat slid out instead. Good thing I did not slide together with it.

The seat wasn't the most comfortable as it made the TV screen, which was usually at eye level, now a bit higher so I had to look up making me fearful for a potential vertigo attack. It subsequently made my movie viewing more like an audio experience as I settled for listening to it while glancing at the screen from time to time to see if the image matched the one in my head.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Then came our snack of a turkey wrap, mango juice and cookie. The turkey wrap was okay but the cookie was a welcome surprise as it was tasty and flavorful. I inspected the packaging to see where I could buy some more in Hong Kong but nothing was indicated.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
The remainder of the trip was smooth considering we had two warnings of turbulence where the crew had to postpone their duties to get to their seat for safety.

When we were about to descend, naturally, we were told to open our windows but upon landing and waiting to disembark, we were asked to close them to conserve the energy inside the plane as it was 34 degrees Celsius outside.

Copyright Photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
I usually fly our local airlines going to Hong Kong as they are almost always cheaper but with the other services that Cathay has to offer, the minimal extra charge is definitely worth it---just as my editor had told me. Lesson learned: Always listen to your editor!

---THE PARANOID TRAVELER---

5 comments:

  1. Ahh, another entry from the whiner.

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  2. I enjoyed this review. It's informative and spiced dry humor. The writer gave a clear perspective of what his trip was like.

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