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Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Review & Experience

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Review & Experience

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Review

This was our first flight with Cathay Pacific since 2010 and our first in their Premium Economy service. We initially flew to New Zealand in 2010 in Economy and only later found out about Cathay Pacific Premium Economy. So this time we opted for it. We were flying in a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777.

The Premium Economy seats were one row behind the emergency exit and had good leg room and they were very comfortable seats.

Cathay pacific premium economy

We enjoyed Champagne on arrival followed by refreshing Hot towels also – a nice treat when you have been traveling a lot during the day. Following this we had drinks and snacks about 20 mins into flight. A nice start to the trip.

The Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Menu was asian oriented and very nice. It included a small chopped salad, bread roll, and the main course was an Asian inspired Cod dish. The hot meal was served with rice, peppers and mushrooms and it was of restaurant quality. If I had paid for this on terre-ferme I would have been very happy. For airplane food this was top class and very much in line with the Premium Economy experience. We even got a piece of Green and Black dark chocolate to enjoy with your cup of tea or coffee after the meal.

Meal with Cathay Pacific Premium Economy

For Breakfast there were Chinese noodles on the menu but I wasn’t that hungry and opted for fruit and bread. Sometimes you can over indulge when flying and I felt very much like keeping things simple for breakfast. But the Chinese noodles did look very appetising indeed.

The reason I wasn’t overly hungry was that I had I managed to enjoy 6 hours sleep so I really didn’t feel the journey. I do not normally sleep for more than 3 hours on normal flights but the comfort was very nice.

The only down sides on the aircraft was the lack of individual gaspers. (Those small air conditioning vents which you can aim / twist on and off) as the aircraft got a bit hot half way into the journey. It would be nice to control your own air flow / air con. Also in premium economy the route to the bathroom is not that obvious as you pass from left to right you go via the bulkhead separating business and premium economy classes but you also need to be wary of peoples feet in this area.

The TV/Movies were good but since I slept so well I didn’t watch much, just a few episodes of Big Bang Theory and And episode of Fraiser. It would have been nice to have a few recent Blockbusters but that really doesn’t have a huge impact on my overall enjoyment of Premium Economy.

The staff were very courteous and really were attentive to our needs. I would especially combed them on their smile and demeanour through out the whole flight.

I would certainly fly Cathay Pacific Premium Economy again as it is an excellent level of service.

Perhaps next time I will save a bit more and travel via business or first class.

 

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Review – Overall

I really enjoyed the return flight from London to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. The staff were amazing as was the food and I would have no hesitation on flying with Cathay Pacific again. For the extra money paid for Premium Economy, they certainly make you feel a million dollars and the food was amazing.

I have outlined my scores below taking into consideration the commentary above.

Service: 10/10

Food: 10/10

In-flight Experience: 9/10

Comfort: 9/10

Overall: 9/10

 

If you have any questions on my Cathay Pacific Premium Economy review and experience just drop a comment below.

Why Premium Economy is now my first option for long distance flights

Why Premium Economy is now my first option for long distance flights

Why Premium Economy is now my first option for long distance flights

I enjoy a regular long haul holiday, in the past heading to places like Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. All these flights are quite a long distance, over 11 hours on average. On our initial holidays we used the economy option and I recall one particular flight, about 5 hours after take off, I awoke somewhere over Russia to find the whole left side of my body had almost gone numb, as I had fallen asleep in an twisted foetal position against the window bulkhead.

Most modern airliners are comfortable these days but in economy class I often find it hard to sleep or even get comfortable. When booking with our travel agents, Trailfinders, I was given the option of Premium Economy. I thought it would be very expensive but for the relative change in price, it is actually a very nice step up. After-all not everyone can go Business or First Class. (I did price those options but for us it was just that bit too high.)

Why Book Premium Economy?

Our previous Premium Economy flights were with Qantas, and that includes a private cabin of between 32 and 40 seats, dedicated flight attendants, extra legroom, lots of room near your seat for storage, larger seats which recline more than economy, complimentary sparkling wine when you board, continuous refreshment service and self-serve bars, available on the Qantas A380 and refurbished B747 aircraft … and much more. I was totally amazed at the level of service !!

Premium Economy with Qantas Airlines

On arrival at your seat… Premium Economy with Qantas Airlines – April 17 2011 ; Airbus A380

We really enjoyed it and I got about 6 hours sleep on the London – Singapore flight.

My Travel in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 – Premium Economy again!

This year we fly with Cathay Pacific, London Heathrow to Hong Kong, then Hong Kong to Sydney, then Auckland to Hong Kong and then Hong Kong to London – all of which are Premium Economy. I will be adding a blog about that as I have heard that the Cathay experience is amazing. They recently were voted the “Worlds Best Airline” so congrats to the Cathay family on that one !

We were to fly with Cathay to Bali in 2002 but the Bali bombings occurred 28 days before we flew so that was cancelled, but we later flew with Cathay to Hong Kong in 2010 for our honeymoon. Therefore I am very much looking forward to being on board the very nicely liveried Cathay 777’s in Premium Economy style.

The key questions about Premium Economy!

Is Premium Economy Good? In my view yes!
Is Premium Economy Worth The Money? It depends on what deal you are getting!
Will you ever go back to traveling economy? If the flight is more than 8 hours, no. I will always enquire about an premium economy option!

 

If you have any questions about my experiences please drop me a comment below.

Please read Part 2 to this blog post – The Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Review & Experience

Pre-flight Airline Safety Announcements (Should the Truth be included?)

Pre-flight Airline Safety Announcements (Should the Truth be included?)

Everyone knows the pre-flight airline safety announcements…. What you should and should not do on the flight, as well as what to do in an emergency. But would it not be better if the truth was thrown in also for a more realistic airline safety announcements.

As a little bit of fun, it just might go a little like this….

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are very welcome abroad your flight today, on board this (insert aircraft type here) series aircraft.

To fasten your seatbelt …. In fact if anybody by now does not know how to fasten their seatbelt please leave the plane now, as you don’t deserve to be on a plane.

This aircraft has 8 emergency exits – 2 at the front , one left , one right , 2 at the rear , one left , one right and 4 over wing exits 2 left , 2 right. It should be fun watching all 300 of ye scrambling for a gap barely able to fit one person , especially if the wings are on fire and you have to find an alternate exit.

In the sudden loss of cabin pressure, at about 39,000 feet, your lungs may puncture and blood vessels on your skin will burst almost immediately being exposed to a huge pressure difference no to mention temperatures as cold as -50 C. Oxygen masks will drop from the panel above your heads.  If you are still conscious , pull on the mask to start the flow of oxygen.  Stop screaming, place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally.  Oxygen will continue to flow even if the bag is not fully inflated. Oh by the way, there’s only about 12 minutes of oxygen in those passenger tanks, sorry!

In the unlikely event of us landing on water (very unlikely as our journey today is 90% over land today and in all probability we will be landing sideways in a field going at 670kph) … your life jacket is under your seat.  Plunging at speed towards the ground, the G Forces of 8 G mean the in all reality you will not even be able to reach for your lifejackets as your body will weigh 8 times its normal weight.  If you do manage to get them place it over your head, tie the straps at the front.  Do not inflate the lifejacket inside the aircraft as this will jam you into your seat and you will just have to watch all the sensible people leave the aircraft from your seat.

The lifejackets has a light and a whistle to attract attention …. as if 3 miles of burning wreckage won’t get you enough attention.

Please read the safety card in your seat pocket for further reassurance.

We hope you enjoy your flight.”

I don’t think this new style airline safety announcement will take-off (excuse the pun).

In truth, the airline safety record these days is very good and millions of people travel on aircraft without incident. I love flying and I never fear going on a flight, quite the opposite. The above actually came to me on a flight so it is actually dark humour on my part.

 

Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

My Top 5 things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand has had it’s share of troubles in the past few years and I visited here in 2011 and 2014. In 2011 we were not able to access the city due to the damage. In 2014 we were able to access the city centre and we found that the residents of Christchurch were Most welcoming. Although certain parts of the city were restricted during our visit, we still had a busy three days here. You should find a lot more than 5 things to do in Christchurch and we would have loved to extend our three days visit.

Even after these huge events there are still plenty of things to do in Christchurch, and these are my Top 5 Things to do in Christchurch, in no particular preference…

Take a Tram Ride

The ticket shop for the Christchurch tram was located only a few minutes around the corner from where we stayed, at the Novotel Christchurch. The Tram actually drives through the shopping mall where the tickets are sold, which is an ingenious feat of engineering when you see it.  Much of the tram infrastructure was damaged in the earthquakes but this line from New Regents Street to the Botanical Gardens.

Christchurch Tram

There is excellent commentary on board and you certainly learn a lot about Christchurch and it’s history.  The ticket is hop on, hop off and is great value for the day – this should certainly be one of your 5 things to do in Christchurch.

 

 

See the Botanical Gardens

At the end of the Tram trip we arrived at the botanical gardens. The gardens are located on the River Avon and welcome over 1 million visitors per year. There are many walking trails and you could easily spend a few hours here. One of the highlights is the Native New Zealand gardens with stunning ferns and native plants. Also, don’t forget to take a trip to the Visitors Centre which was opened in April 2014 and encompasses a cafe with delicious food and botanically themed gift shop which has lots of very nice gifts to bring home. The visitors centre is also a hub for the operational side of the Gardens, with a working nursery, potting shed, herbarium and reference library. If you enjoy plants, nature or just seeing something different then the Christchurch Botanical Gardens should be one of your 5 things to do in Christchurch.

Go Punting on the Avon

Of all the items on my ‘5 things to do in Christchurch’ list, this was one of the most relaxing. We noticed a few signs along the river for Punting. Now, I never punted in my life, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out to be a relaxing and a memorable experience. On a chilly July afternoon (it’s New Zealand’s winter), the temperature was about 8C. We arrived at the offices for ‘Punting on the Avon’ and we were welcomed by a gent in 1920s style clothing. Having paid a small fee, which I felt was great value, we were welcomed on-board and we were supplied with a nice warm blanket and 2 hot water bottles, which was a really nice touch.

Punting on the Avon, Christchurch, New Zealand

The punting trip was about an hour from the time we arrived and we got to see the River Avon at a very relaxed pace, while listening to some local history along the way. This was one of the highlights of the trip to Christchurch, as well as being the most relaxing.

Visit the ReStart Mall

One of the terrible outcomes of the earthquakes were that many of the buildings in Christchurch were damaged or demolished. These included shopping malls which were unsafe or unusable. Therefore retail outlets used an ingenious method for getting back info business. Using huge steel shipping containers, shops and outlets have been able to re-open with great effect.

Restart Mall, Christchurch, New Zealand

Not only is the ReStart mall a colourful and enjoyable place to shop but the stores which are there give great value. We did some of the best shopping in the ReStart mall. You can find great value in shoes, clothes, and souvenirs. The shops here are also different ; not the usual stock you see elsehwere. Also, check out the Hummingbird Café for great coffee and food. The breakfast is very good!

Eat at Cafe Valentino

After the walking, shopping, exploring and punting you will be hungry. If you are looking for good food in Christchurch, you have to eat at Cafe Valentino. Great food, extensive menu and great staff. The mussels were on special on one of the evenings and on the other it was a chicken dish.

Christchurch in conclusion

Christchurch, New Zealand is one of the places which, before I went, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Furthermore, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it due to the sad events of the earthquakes. To me it was just the place we were flying into. But, having been there, having seen the city, having met the friendliest of people… I look forward to returning.

It is a great place to visit and I wish I had more time to spend there and with the great people of Christchurch!

 

POI Map for Christchurch, New Zealand

The map below shows the above 5 locations which may help with your trip to Christchurch.

Re-start Mall

Re-start Mall

Botanical Gardens, Christchurch

Botanical Gardens, Christchurch

Punting on the Avon

Punting on the Avon

Cafe Valentinos Restaurant

Cafe Valentinos Restaurant

Christchurch Tram

Christchurch Tram

Cockpit view of Boeing 747 Landing at Kai Tak, Hong Kong

Cockpit view of Boeing 747 Landing at Kai Tak, Hong Kong

This is a great video of a Boeing 747 landing at the now decommissioned Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong.

I actually flew from Hong Kong International (Chek Lap Kok) to Kai Tak and landed a 737-800 back in April 2011 which was brilliant and in this video I recognise Chequerboard Hill where I started the turn in to land at Kai Tak flying over the buildings. … my flight however was in a fully equipped 737 simulator and not the real thing, but the flight sim experience in Singapore was realistic enough.

This video shows the full view from approach, turn, and finals.

Hotel Opera Cadet, Paris, France : Paris Hotel Review

Hotel Opera Cadet, Paris, France : Paris Hotel Review

Hotel Opera Cadet, 24, rue Cadet, 75009 Paris, France : Hotel Review

Hotels in Paris are usually small and basic but the Hotel Opera Cadet is one notch above that. The hotel is ideal for the traveler who is looking for a friendly hotel, with good breakfasts and nice clean rooms. The customer service was excellent and the staff do speak English (although we always try to speak French when in France).

The Opera Cadet is located about 5 mins Metro ride from the Galleries Lafyette near the Opera district and the hotel is 1 minute from Cadet Metro stop down a quiet side street. Check-in is very efficient with the English speaking staff. The rooms are a good size (not huge, but adequate), with features such as TV, Air Conditioning (which can be very useful in July and August), a nice bathroom and some rooms have a small terrace which overlooks Rue Cadet. Rue Cadet is a small street with local traders, fruit shops and some very nice bistros at the end of the street which are enjoyable and cheap to eat in.

Hotel Opera Cadet runs a buffet breakfast service and breakfast is available from 7:30am to 10:30am with a wide variety of food to cater for all tastes. Friendly waiting staff are on hand to provide teas and coffees. A courtyard area at the back of the breakfast area allows for Al-fresco breakfasts – very Parisienne.

WiFi is available but WiFi costs €5 per hour and reception is limited to the main areas of the hotels, and was not available on 2nd floor.

Hotel Opera cadet, Rue Cadet, Paris, France : hotel Review

The Opera Cadet Hotel in Paris is one I will be returning to again, not only for the location, good breakfasts and nice staff, but also due to the fact that it is quiet, comfortable and great to come back to after a long day walking the streets of Paris.

Hotel Opera Cadet : Rated 3 star (continental rating)
Would Return: Yes
Would Recommend : Yes
Website : http://www.operacadet.com/

 

  • Service 94%
  • Breakfast 85%
  • Room 89%
  • Would Return? 90%

Hotel Location

Hotel Opera Cadet