CX 883

Cathay Pacific flight 883 is an 11:55pm flight out of LAX with an expected arrival time of 5:45 AM in HKG 2 dates later (due to the time difference and travel time). It’s one of 4 daily flights operated by CX out of LAX to HKG, with the 4th flight added just 2 months ago to meet growing demand. The flight is usually operated on a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (I think I remember when the flights used to be on B747’s and the simple green and white stripe livery). Of the couple times I’ve flew out on this specific flight, it’s never been delayed due to a late arrival, but really only because of slow boarding procedures. The 10-15 delayed departure time has no affect on the arrival time in HKG because of the leeway scheduled into the arrival time. And as you leave LA at night and arrive in HK in the morning, you’re ready to hit the ground running for a full day in HK, provided you’re able to get some shut eye on the flight. My flight took off the night of Aug 18th and arrived in HKG the morning of Aug 20th.

B777-300ER docked at gate 130. The “brushwing” livery and aircraft were part of the 1990’s rebranding scheme. The B777-300ER has slowly been replacing all B747’s, with the last long-haul flight expected to be retired Sept 1 2014.

I was actually disappointed by some aspects of the economy class (Y class) IFE/seat design when I took a good look at it. While the large touchscreen panel was good for viewing, extended interaction with the touchscreen eventually became a tiresome task as my arm had to extend to navigate through the menus (Admittedly, this was done as I was scrolling through the extensive library of tv shows and movies offered by CX’s IFE, named Studio CX). Additionally, a universal outlet was no where to be seen in front of me (even with the table down), with only a usb port available for usage. Unless I overlooked something, this is a serious downgrade from an older flight I once had with the outlets. The headset for the IFE is located at the end of the armrest, accepting any regular 3.5mm headphone jack, doing away with the cumbersome two/three-prong jacks that were once all so popular.

 

My view for the flight. The aforementioned headphone jack.

Studio CX main screen.

The 13hr 50min flight is served with 2 meals, with supper served about an hour into the flight and breakfast served a couple hours before arrival. The economy class meal, as to be expected, was nothing amazing, but suitable for consumption to help stave off any bouts of hunger for the duration of the flight. As it’s been a while since I’ve flown anything but CX, I have nothing to compare the food against. But there was enough taste in the food, and it still tasted like what it looked like, so that meets expectations.

Supper consisted of an appetizer of “Smoked salmon with potato salad” and the entree of “Braised beef with cranberry sauce, parsely potatoes and mixed vegetables.” There was a small cup of Haagen -Dazs vanilla ice cream for dessert, and I chose to wash down my meal with a Miller Lite.

Breakfast included a side of “fresh seasonal fruit, fruit yoghurt, and a ham frittata with salsa, streaky bacon, red skin potatoes and creamed spinach.”

Not particularly applicable to the common flight operated by CX on a daily basis, but should any flight happen to attempt arrivals during storms, the descent could get a little rocky. Even though my last arrival in HKG was accompanied by a hoisted T8 signal (Aug 2012, right after they hoisted a T10 for the first time in many years), that arrival was a calm simple approach compared to what I flew into HKG with this time around. Heavy wind, rain, and lighting/thunder forced our pilot to call off the first attempt at landing and we had to circle back to make a second approach. Each trip into the airport involved rocky turbulence, unexpected loss of controlled altitude, and an excessive amount of screaming children claiming that we were going to die. The second approach tacked on about 20 minutes to our flight and put our arrival time at about 5:45am HKG time. I had a chance to talk to some of the pilots after we landed and they mentioned that this was one of the more troublesome landings they’ve experienced. The elements put up a good fight, but we were never really in harm’s way, as the last in-flight incident involving weather was back in Feb 1949. The last casualty of any CX flight dates back to June 1972.

Cockpit. Thanks to the head stewardess and pilots for allowing me to take a peek inside.

It’s always a short walk from gate to arrival area because HKG is CX’s main hub (CX is also the main/flagship carrier for HKG). Getting through customs was a breeze for me as I hold a HK ID card, and the baggage always gets processed and onto baggage claims in a reasonable amount of time. I think it’s less than 20 minutes from gate to arrival area?

In short, I’ve always had a good experience flying CX from LAX into HKG.

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CX 883 || It Begins

Smugmug (HKTW2014 album)

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