Cathay Pacific First Class on the Boeing 747-400 : CX543 Tokyo Haneda to Hong Kong
After my arrival from the USA into Tokyo Narita I checked in at the airport Hilton for an overnight stay. My onward flight would be departing from Haneda, quite a distance away so it meant a very early start the next morning. I specifically chose Haneda as Cathay offers First Class on that route but they don't from Narita.
Firstly, the hotel. Hilton Narita is a short free shuttle bus ride from the airport and they have excellent rates. I payed the equivalent of approximately $100 AUD for the night. It would be even cheaper at today's exchange rates. The hotel is quite isolated but does have free shuttles to the nearby town. I was just here to relax so stayed in my room and ordered room service which was pretty ordinary.
|Simple but decent room (excuse my mess!)|
After a decent night's sleep I was up to get the first shuttle of the morning back to Narita. From there I would connect to the airport limousine bus service to Haneda at 7am. It all went like clockwork and I was at Haneda by 8.30am, a little over two hours before my scheduled departure to Hong Kong. Perfect!
|A cold morning in Narita waiting for the shuttle from the Hilton|
|Bus stop 15 - departures to Haneda from Narita|
|08.34 AM - Arrived at Haneda for my 10.45am flight to Hong Kong|
|Cathay Pacific Check-in|
|The JAL First Class Lounge - Haneda|
Soon enough the aircraft operating my service was towed from its remote stand parking position to a gate near the lounge. I had a good view of her as she arrived.
|B-HOV Boeing 747-400 being towed to gate|
|The 3 forward windows in the nose section would be mine today|
The lounge was pretty boring so I went for a wander. Soon enough it was time to board and I was first in line. The earlier you board the more champagne you can drink is my policy! I was warmly greeted once on board by a Japanese female crew member. She escorted me to me to seat 1K in the nose of the 747. I was immediately impressed with the seat. It's a sort of open suite and looks very classy!
|Looking across to 1A|
|Seated in 1K|
|Nice wood panels give a classy look - there is a storage area in the centre|
|Looking to my right at an ANA 767|
|Farewell from the ground crew|
|Lunch Menu - Western Option|
|Lunch Menu - Japanese option|
|Fellow F passenger and a flight attendant checking out Mt Fuji|
Once I was settled in the extremely polite cabin crew came around to take drinks orders and I continued with the champagne. Some warm nuts and snack mix were provided as well.
In First Class you can dine whenever you wish and the crew did come and ask if i was ready to eat or whether I wanted to leave it for later. I was quite hungry so I told the crew to get things started. The tray table is very large and the table cloth was laid and bread basket was delivered. There was a hand written note on the table from my two flight attendants thanking me for travelling with them and wishing me a pleasant flight.... this little personal touch really impressed me and I'm still talking about it to friends months later. What amazing service! Here is how the meal service went:
|Ham with mushroom salad|
|Ham with mushroom salad|
|Roasted Tomato soup|
|Chicken Breast with Polenta|
|Fruit and cheese|
|Green Tea Ice Cream with Vanilla sauce|
The flight was a little under 5 hours so by the time the meal was complete we had around 2.5 hours remaining. During that time I kept drinking champagne and nothing was too much trouble for my lovely Japanese crew. I also received a visit from the inflight manager, a lovely Philipino woman who asked whether I might participate in a survey and in return I was offered USD5 off a duty free purchase. Since I was buying a Hong Kong Express pass onboard I decided to take the survey. Needless to say they scored very highly!
Eventually this heavenly flight had to come to an end and the captain announced our arrival information for Hong Kong. We soon were on descent and touching down to a pleasant afternoon in Hong Kong.
|It's over all too soon. Welcome to HKIA|
Other than the lack of special arrival service in Hong Kong, this flight was one of the absolute best I have been on. I really hope to travel long haul on Cathay First Class in the near future.
I also have a You Tube video of this flight and you can see it here: