Flight Review – KA104 Hong Kong to Kathmandu

Airline: Cathay Dragon
Gate: 522
Seat 12A: (Regional Business window)
Plane: A330-300
Boarded: 18.38 (Scheduled 18.30)
Bus to plane: 18.51
Pushback: 19.39
Departed: 19.55 (Scheduled 19.10)
Arrived: 22.20 (Scheduled 22.00) 24.35
Duration: 4 hours 40 minutes
Distance: 2,937 kms

This flight boarded from ground level Gates that require tarmac boarding for this regional flight. The first bus which included all priority boarding passengers (business class and status members) boarded using the front boarding stairs. The second bus, with only economy passengers, boarded mid plane (the economy section). However later buses all used the front boarding stairs.

The Seat
Business class is in a 2 – 2- 2 formation. The seat is a shell seat design which means when you recline the chair slides forwards rather than backwards into the passenger behind. The added leg rest swings up into a “lazy Z” position and you have a comfortable product for the journey but no lie flat seating. The seat pitch was 45 inches and width 20 inches.

I was seated in 12A (window) my seat mate in 12C (aisle) moved seats before take off. I had showered and bathed multiple times in last 12 hours I swear! I then realised he wanted to sit with a friend meaning I scored a window seat with a vacant aisle once again.

The seat had a nice seat recline and touch control vide screen. There was a USB Charger and power outlet in seat. The warm cabin so provided blanket wasn’t needed. Two toilets at front of business class cabin.

Meals
Juices offered in business while boarding was still occurring.

The meal was served 15 minutes after takeoff. The starter was Gravlax salmon with sweet potatoes and a mixed salad and bread. I selected to have the Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2017 to go with the meal. I selected the Murgh Badami, dill pulao and Masala bindi (chicken curry with basmati rice). The meal finished with an ice cream. The food was good (in particular the salmon, but I was very full from the earlier lounge visits).

The Service
The flight attendants were top notch, very polite, suggesting which wines go best with dinner, topping up wine, water and soft drinks on several occasions.

Entertainment System
I watched Incredibles 2 and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Rick & Monty on good sized seat back touch screen. Good selection of Western and Asian movies and TV shows.

The Flight
The flight was late in leaving Hong Kong Airport but made up time to only be 20 minutes late. We hit air turbulence multiple times during the flight, nothing serious but lead to suspensions of services approximately six times.

Arrival
There are no air bridges at Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu Airport) so another set of stairs to the tarmac and a bus ride to the terminal.

I needed to get a visa on arrival, first you use a kiosk machine of which several were broken.

Next you line up to pay the visa fee (for me is was $25 USD for 15 day visa). Finally you line up for Immigration Control. This entire process took roughly 40 minutes, definitely try to pick the right line.

From here you move down to Customs and go though metal detection to get into the baggage area. The baggage area itself is nearly too hot and crowded. After waiting for my bag for 20+ minutes and with bags still be delivered we were informed some bags were sitting near the carousel awaiting pick. This luckily included my bag but I could help but think how long at that been there.

After landing at 20.20 I finally left the airport just after night. Walking outside the airport is was organised chaos with people everywhere. My transfer driver was awaiting me with a fellow G Adventure traveller. Turned out they had been waiting for me for 30+ minutes (benefits of already having a visa).

Summary

A good use of points to get to a fairly remote place in Kathmandu. Glad I sleep overnight in Hong Kong before this flight and got to use the various lounges to relax. The Cathay Pacific business regional product is very good, with the service being outstanding, the good to the right standard and the entertainment system more than enough to keep you entertained. As long as you aren’t expecting lie flat seats then you should be very happy with this product, just set your airport arrival experience expectations to a lower standard.

About Nathan

An Australian World traveler who has been fortunate enough to experience 56 countries so far. https://nathanburgessinsights.com/travel/
This entry was posted in Asia Trip 2018, Flight Reviews, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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