The flight from Hong Kong (HKG) to Bangkok (BKK) was the final leg of an early March visit to Thailand, my favorite international destination. I looked forward to the flight because it was on an A350-1000, a fairly new addition to Cathay’s fleet.
The flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to HKG and the transfer at HKG opened my eyes to the way some places were viewing coronavirus much more seriously than we were in the US. Walking through HKG created anxiety. Almost every passenger (except me) and all airport workers and flight crew had on a mask. Concourses and shops were devoid of the usual crowds and activity. Even though no one was coughing or sneezing and all had been scanned for fever, I couldn’t help viewing everyone as a potential health threat. They probably looked at me the same way.
My flight boarded at Gate 3. I spent the very short layover in the Cathay Pacific Wing First Class Lounge. It is located on the Mezzanine overlooking Gates 1- 3. The Wing is an outstanding first class lounge. This time I had no time to shower or enjoy the free a la carte restaurant.
Showers in The Wing are called The Cabanas. They are the classiest airport showers anywhere. The Cabanas are as big as a small hotel room. In addition to tub and separate shower the cabanas have a couch, makeup area, robe and slippers, closet, and separate lavatory.
Cathay Pacific Flight CX619 HKG – BKK
Boarding began at 08:40 for a 09:10 departure. Scheduled arrival was 11:15, 3 hours and 5 minutes from departure. The distance between HKG and BKK is 1049 statute miles, 912 nautical miles or 1,688 kilometers.
The equipment for this flight was a new A350-1000. Here is Cathay’s seating plan arrangement and premium economy seating chart for this aircraft.
My seat was 31K, a bulkhead seat. Premium economy seats are a whopping 20 inches wide and pitch is 40 inches. They are roomier than first class seats on domestic A320s and 737s and I think more comfortable, too.
Comfort stems from 8 inches of recline and calf and footrests. Seat controls, video remote and headphone jack are on the side of center console. A/C and USB ports are conveniently located on the front of the console.
A padded footrest can be extended or retracted.
For bulkhead seats, a large, high-def video monitor is mounted on the bulkhead above the stowed bassinet. Unlike video screens stored in a console, these monitors need not be stowed for taxi, takeoff, and landing. In addition to the wide range of movies, TV shows and audio, I enjoyed on the 777-300ER flight to HKG, Cathay A350s also have live TV.
Headphones were the only amenity on this flight.
Pre-departure service was limited to a personal welcome and thank you from Jenny, the Inflight Manager. The lack of amenities and pre-departure beverages were due to the short duration of the flight and Cathay Pacific’s tenuous financial condition brought on by months of Hong Kong protests and reduced demand because of coronavirus.
Captain Mark Smith pushed from the gate right on time at 09:10. During taxi, he stated that air traffic control was delaying takeoff.
While the plane was taxiing, a child in the middle section of premium economy rushed to the lav. It looked like he was not feeling well. Flight attendants and his mother were able to get him out after a few minutes. After takeoff, a flight attendant consulted his mother and took his temperature. Yikes! My coronavirus anxiety had abated until that incident.
Takeoff was at 09:27 on Runway Seven Right. Captain Smith announced the flight time to BKK as 2.5 hours.
Breakfast was served at 09:55. This was my second breakfast of the day counting the flight from LAX. I appreciated the antiseptic towelette most.
Lavs looked new and also had hand lotion and face moisturizer.
During cruise, I enjoyed the views at 35,000′ and kept up with the latest coronavirus news on live TV.
We arrived on a reasonably clear day in Bangkok. There was a view of the central business district on final approach.
The flight touched down on Runway 19R at 10:55. We parked at Suvarnabhumi Airport Gate G3 at 11:00.
The incident with the child in the bathroom during taxi freaked me out a bit. It was somewhat reassuring that a flight attendant took his temperature and determined there was no reason to isolate him in the cabin or turnaround the flight. Other than that, the flight was uneventful and went quickly. It was good to finally arrive at the destination after nearly a day of travel and constant concern about the coronavirus.