CX business: Regional (772) vs long-haul (A340) - FUK-TPE-ICN | Australian Frequent Flyer
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CX business: Regional (772) vs long-haul (A340) - FUK-TPE-ICN

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PaulST

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I flew from Japan (FUK) to Taiwan and then on to Seoul recently and both flights were meant to be in the regional-layout Boeing 777-200 but luckily the first fight ended up being a long-haul A340 with proper lie-flat seats in business. This has mucked up my flight report so it'll be in two parts:


1. Fukuoka (FUK) to Taipei (TPE) - new herringbone business class:
check my video here:
[video=youtube;Do9xc9b4LUU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do9xc9b4LUU[/video]
Fukuoka is setup in an interesting way. Before you check-in or drop your back, you have to go through a security line. This means that no matter what class you're travelling in, you join quite a long slow lane. After a 20minute wait, I headed through to drop off my bags (priority line for J pax), cleared security again and then went to immigration. I was invited to the JAL lounge so I thought I'd go an grab breaky there.

It wasn't brilliant but i guess it's not a huge airport so I can't expect too much. Minimal food, reasonably alcohol though. It was fairly empty, as was the flight.

I'd heard that CX offers great business class service and this was no exception. The FAs were all friendly, engaging in small talk, admiring my camera, asking where I was from...etc. The captain was an Aussie so they were all keen to point that out.
I was impressed that they learnt my name (esp for such a short flight) even though they got it slightly wrong. :) I wasn't worried but the CSM identified the error later on and apologised.
The food was great - I got the Aussie beef - as was the drink. The desert was frozen so I had to leave that for 20 minutes to thaw but otherwise my wine glass was never left empty and any other concern was dealt with quickly.
The IFE was fine with plenty of English programs to keep me entertained.
The herringbone layout is interesting. It doesn't give you a great view out the window (I had to get into an unpleasant position to take footage on take-off and landing) although that's partially due to the A340s tiny windows. I don't think I've ever been in a modern aircraft with such small windows. It would be give anti-social if you were travelling as a couple but as a single it gives you quite good privacy (esp in contrast with QF's skybed). I must admit I don't mind the human interaction of strangers so I'm probably not a huge fan.



2. Taipei (TPE) to Seoul (ICN) - regional business class:



After the dismal JAL lounge, which CX J tickets get you access too, the CX lounge at TPE was much better. Not amazing, but certainly better.








I hung out here for a few hours waiting for the connecting flight. As with the first flight, the second flight was also delayed by around 20 minutes.


Priority boarding worked well and I did notice that J passengers had their own separate air bridge when leaving the aircraft.


There ended up only being 7 business class passengers so we almost had a FA each. As I've come to expect, CX's FAs are wonderful and this was no exceptions. Friendly, great with small talk, constantly checking in on you and constantly offering food/drinks.


The seats were quite good, I thought, for a regional business class flight. They don't move back into the guy behind you and there's plenty of space under the seat in front to slide your feet into. It's nowhere near lie-flat, but it's not bad.




Drinks were served followed by dinner.
I had braised chicken with scallion fried rice, pak choy which was OK. Not the best J meal I've had, though.



The IFE was fine with the standard noise cancelling headphones. There was heaps of english programs which kept me entertained for the 2ish hour flight.


We de-planed shortly after landing and our bags were the first to arrive on the carousel.


Looking back at our bird:

Over-all the flights were pleasant and I enjoyed having my first experience in the herringbone layout in the A340 as well as my first flight in an A340 itself. I still have a preference for Qantas (in fact these flights were purchased with QFF points) but I certainly have a new-found respect for Cathay Pacific.


I'm flying again in a CX A340 in early Jan so if you have any specific Qs about the new J class, let me know and I'll have a closer look and get back to you.
 

PaulST

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I'm only allowed 10 photos per post so I'm adding this photo here just because I like it.
I took it just after we arrived in TPE. I didn't even realise the Dreamliner was taking off behind us so it was quite a pleasant surprise when I spotted it down the lens.
 
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