Cathay from Shanghai to Melbourne via HK on a Friday night

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JB expat

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So I'm booked on a Cathay (Dragon Air) flight that is supposed to land in HKG at 10:25pm. My connection departs HKG at 12:05am. One of my HK-based colleagues said it is doubtful that I will make my connection due to the fact that Shanghai flights typically depart 2 hours late on Friday evenings. Is she correct? If she is, am I better moving my HKG to MEL flight to the 10am on Saturday morning - landing me home very late on Saturday night? I don't want to get bumped and find out they cannot put me in business on the next flight (first world problem). I really wanted to be home by Saturday lunch time but I also cannot depart Shanghai any earlier. If I do put a night in HKG between, should I just stay very close to the airport? Anyone know what the Regal Hotel is like - trip adviser was mixed. Thoughts?
 

TonyHancock

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Delays at PVG are very common. CX should put you on the next flight, if that is the next day they will provide hotel accommodation which almost certainly be The Regal at the airport.

My most recent experience was going the other way when PVG was so congested my flight from HKG was delayed for 16 hours. They put me up at The Regal and I paid extra myself for lounge access.

The Regal is OK. The rooms are a little dated. The Executive Lounge, if the refurb has been completed, is pretty good. It overlooks the Runway. If not it is a bit rubbish and shares the lobby bar as a temporary measure.
 

MEL_Traveller

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So I'm booked on a Cathay (Dragon Air) flight that is supposed to land in HKG at 10:25pm. My connection departs HKG at 12:05am. One of my HK-based colleagues said it is doubtful that I will make my connection due to the fact that Shanghai flights typically depart 2 hours late on Friday evenings. Is she correct? If she is, am I better moving my HKG to MEL flight to the 10am on Saturday morning - landing me home very late on Saturday night? I don't want to get bumped and find out they cannot put me in business on the next flight (first world problem). I really wanted to be home by Saturday lunch time but I also cannot depart Shanghai any earlier. If I do put a night in HKG between, should I just stay very close to the airport? Anyone know what the Regal Hotel is like - trip adviser was mixed. Thoughts?

There really is no way to know what is going to happen! But your friend is correct - anything after midday is likely to suffer from delays if it is a 'delay day'. They usually begin at an hour and range upwards to 2, 3 or more hours depending on the reason for the delay (if it's weather, can be the longest as flights to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore seem to bear the brunt). Any day can be affected, not just Friday.

While you might have a point, booking a later flight would secure business class, I don't know if there's all that much reason to do so. As TonyH points out, CX will reaccommodate you and will usually provide a hotel (a hotel may not always be possible depending on how many people are also delayed). CX often holds connecting flights in any case... so if the delay was two hours, the onward flight might be delayed an hour to (giving you an immediate connection plane-to-plane in HKG).

If CX provide a hotel, take it. If they can't, going anywhere is fast and easy. There are a range of hotels both local, in Kowloon and Hong Kong central. All reached in an hour or less and all within or close to what your insurance would pay (usually ~AUD250 for the night).
 
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