Hong Kong and Singapore are probably one of the easiest airports in the world for a transit. Not only are they easy to navigate, they are essentially one huge terminal linked together with the addition of people movers. Once we were out in the terminal, not only was there free wifi but it was kind of intuitive on where to go next. One tip when transiting in Hong Kong International Airport is that there are several transit security checkpoints for arriving passengers to use to get to the departure concourse. If one is busy just head onto the other one as there would usually be one without much queues. This allowed us to get to ‘The Wing’ in time for a meal and some refreshments. Cathay Pacific has just completed the renovations at ‘The Wing’ lounge which is located close to gates 1-4, and it has been fitted with the new ‘Solus’ chairs that was introduced in ‘The Cabin’. The Noodle Bar has also been renovated with a small bamboo grove in the center and a lot more open seating space. In addition, there is also a Bakery and quieter reading corner at the end of the lounge. The shower area in the lower floor has also been refurbished.
I will add in older photos from my first visit to ‘The Wing’ since its renovation as I did not take any new photos of the facility in this visit.
The shower room in the lounge is equipped with amenities by Dermalogica, while the shampoo and body wash are those mounted on the wall dispenser. Other bathroom amenities like toothbrush, cotton buds and shaver, with many others available on request from the bathroom attendants who are always eager to help. The shower room would definitely not be out of place in a 5-star hotel, and that was all that matters.
As I mentioned earlier, the Noodle Bar is now more spacious and over my last few visits, it was never fully occupied. Besides cook-to-order noodles, there was also a buffet counter serving soup, several hot dishes and fried rice or noodle. Guests could also get cracker, fruits, water, soft drinks and beer from this counter.
Though my favourite feature of the lounge is probably the bakery area where there is a bar counter serving various coffee and tea beverages along with some cocktails. There was also assorted pastries from the counter and Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream available here. Fronting the bakery counter is a shelves stocked with newspapers and magazines catering to business and lifestyle genres. The variety is probably one of the widest I have seen anywhere and this alone makes it one of my favourite place to spend time by catching up on the news while sipping some espresso.
Anyway this was a reltively short transit as it was close to 8:45pm by the time we arrived at The Wing, which left us just enough time to get a bowl of noodles and ice cream before heading out for the short flight to Xiamen.
KA616 Hong Kong HKG – Xiamen Gaoqi XMN
Airbus A320-200 B-HSD
We were able to obtain priority boarding due to Marco Polo Club status and thus got settled in the seat quite fast after reaching the gate. The load for this late flight out of Hong Kong seems to include several shoppers who were buying a lot of stuff from the luxury boutiques in Hong Kong and were stuffing the overhead compartments with the results of their shopping spree.
There was a small business class cabin in the front which is configured 2-2 while economy is in a 3-3 seating arrangement. Nothing special here for a narrowbody but Dragonair still manages an inflight snack service for this one-hour flight. The snack service was obviously distributed in a hurry after take-off which was delayed by the air traffic in Hong Kong at this time of the night. Service was fast but friendly and the meal tray includes a bag of minced meat sandwich which was delicious, a pack of crackers and a small container of orange juice. Definitely more than enough for a short one hour flight.
Descent into Xiamen Airport followed soon after the stewardess cleared the trays and this meal service seems like a perfect distraction for the short flight. From landing to the gate, it was a relatively quick affair and that is the good part of arriving in a small regional airport I guess.
While this flight is really short, it maintains the high standards of Dragonair and shows that Cathay Pacific is really competent in managing an airline. The transit in Hong Kong was easy and wonderful which adds on to the whole experience while Cathay Pacific’s lounges in Hong Kong would really entice people to pursue status in the Marco Polo Club.