[Travel] Cathay Pacific The Pier, Business Class Lounge

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Travelled to Hong Kong again last month and flew back with Cathay Pacific on their A350-900 Premium Economy cabin. That was good. But I enjoyed their lounge the most.

CX Lounge Map

CX Lounge Map

In Hong Kong International Airport which is the home hub for Cathay Pacific, there are not 1 but 4 Business Class lounges for departing passengers.

  • The Wing, Business (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 1-4): Noodle Bar, Long Bar, Coffee Loft, Shower Rooms, Workstations
  • The Bridge (Level 5, Terminal 1 near gate 35): Bistro, Bakery, Long Bar, Coffee Loft, Shower Rooms, Workstations
  • The Cabin (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 23): Health Bar, Deli, Workstations
  • The Pier, Business (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 65): Noodle Bar, Tea House, Food Hall, Coffee Cart, Shower Suites, Relaxation Rooms, Bureau

So with my Marco Polo Club Elite Silver membership, I can go to any of these lounges for free. So which 1 should I go to? As my flight is near gate 65, The Pier, Business is a natural choice as it is near to my gate, newly renovated and with the best facilities across all these lounges. Will be keen to try out The Cabin in the future.

CX Business Class Lane

Checking in at CX Business Class Lane

CX Business Class Counter

CX Business Class Counter

CX Lounge Invitation Card

CX Lounge Invitation Card

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge Reception

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge Reception

Artwork on display

Artwork on display

Signature Dan Dan Noodle in Noodle Bar

Signature Dan Dan Noodle in Noodle Bar

Dim Sum and Wonton Noodle

Dim Sum and Wonton Noodle

JING Tea and Cakes in Tea House

JING Tea and Cakes in Tea House

Relaxation Rooms

Relaxation Room

Food Hall

Food Hall

Coffee Cart

Coffee Cart

Luggage Lockers

Luggage Lockers

Bureau

Bureau

[Travel] Cathay Pacific (CX) Premium Economy Class HKG-SIN: Booking Award Flight

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Another flight in 2 weeks time again to Hong Kong. As usual, flying out on Singapore Airlines Suites on boxing day morning using my miles. Will be in The Private Room on Christmas night to enjoy my Christmas dinner.

So what’s new on this trip? Let’s start off with the return flight. This time round, I will not be returning on a Star Alliance carrier. I will be returning to Singapore on Hong Kong’s flag carrier: Cathay Pacific. (CX)

So why CX?

  1. It’s Hong Kong’s flag carrier. I have been to Hong Kong quite a few times but have never tried it. Have friends who are fans of CX. All ask me to give them a try.
  2. CX took delivery of their Airbus A350-900XWB recently. So got to give this plane and CX’s new cabin product a try. I’m an Airbus guy.
  3. Got my Marco Polo Club Silver status for free. (Usually cost: USD100 and flights worth 300 club points.) Thanks to a corporate benefit from CX for the company I work for in my day job. Benefit: Business Class lounge access for any travel on CX’s flight. SCORE! Will be going to the Pier!

    Marco Polo Club

    Marco Polo Club Silver (OneWorld Ruby BTW!)

  4. Miles transfer. Most banks in Singapore only allow transfer of credit card points to 2 programs: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and CX Marco Polo Club/Asia Miles. (Citibank and American Express allows transfer to more programs while Standard Chartered allows transfer over to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer only at a pretty lousy rate of transfer.)

So I transferred 10,000 miles from UOB using 5,000UNI$ (Due to block redemption requirement.) and 14,000 miles from Citibank to redeem a Premium Economy Class ticket on CX’s A350-900XWB from Hong Kong to Singapore one way for 260HKD. (SG$49.16.) That’s a total cost savings of 7200HKD. (SG$1,361.35. 97% savings!)

CX Redemption

CX Redemption

CX Cost

CX Cost

Let’s see if I can score an upgrade on this flight…

[Travel] Singapore Airlines SQ976 A330-300 SIN>BKK Business Class 7 May 2016

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Is not my first time travelling on A330-300 Business Class with Singapore Airlines. (Did that to Hong Kong before. My 1st adventure in a premium cabin.) However, it is my first time travelling with Singapore Airlines on my birthday in a premium cabin. So this is how it went. In this post, I will focus more on new experiences and some interesting points.

Blue Ticket

Green (Old Economy Class. Now is Premium Economy Class. Not done that yet.)/White Ticket Checked. (Economy Class.)
Blue Ticket Checked. (Business Class.)
Gold Ticket Checked. (Suites.)
Only left Red. (First Class.)

Champagne

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne served at SilverKris Lounge Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. Same as inflight.

Gate E20

Gate E20.

A330-300

A330-300.

Priority both on and off the ground.

Priority both on and off the ground.

Deliciously Wholesome: Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom

Deliciously Wholesome: Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom by Zhu Jun. (Book The Cook.) Not a common choice says the Stewardess. But good pick. Side dishes: Thai Style Salmon and New York Cheesecake as Dessert.

Hidden Menu: Birthday Cake!

Hidden Menu: Birthday Cake! Have to call in to SQ to request. Available for all classes of travel.

Packed for off flight enjoyment. (AKA: Supper)

Packed for off flight enjoyment. (AKA: Supper.)

[Travel] Bangkok Bookings

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For those who have been following this site on Facebook, (If you have not, please follow it with a like. I promise to do more Facebook Live as it now support Android on unverified pages too!) you should have seen that I have booked a trip to Bangkok as usual on Singapore Airlines using miles.

SQBKBusMiles

17,000 KrisFlyer Miles + SG$102.80 for flight out on Business Class.

SQBKBusCost

Normal cost? SG$1,050.80! Save SG$948! (90% Savings.)

SQBKEcoMiles

10,625 KrisFlyer Miles + THB2,722 (SG$108.97) for return flight on Economy Class. Paid THB707 (US$20 or SG$28.30) more for Exit row seat.

SQBKEcoCost

Normal cost? THB6,797! (Inclusive of Exit row premium.) Save THB4,075. (SG$163.13. 60% Savings.)

So this leads to a total savings of SG$1,111.13 (84% Savings!) with 27,625 KrisFlyer Miles. Comparing it to savings on my previous trip to Hong Kong on Singapore Airlines Suites/Economy Class with KrisFlyer Miles, this is not as worth it. However, I got some special plans.

SQSecretMenu

Notice something special? I have Booked The Cook as usual but this time it will be Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom on their Deliciously Wholesome Menu. You can also see a special meal requested: Birthday Cake! You can call in to KrisFlyer Membership Hotline to request if you are flying close to your birthday or significant anniversary dates.

Hotel wise, TripAdvisor and Agoda called upon again to help me with decision making/booking, This time round, I book using Agoda’s UOB portal and that got me 7% off my stay at U-Tiny Boutique Home Suvarnabhumi Bangkok which is currently ranked 7 on TripAdvisor. Review looks good and I will be contributing my review as well.

Agoda UTiny

Booked on 1 of their 3 Executive Garden Access Rooms. Shall see how good is this.

Upon arrival in Suvarnabhumi Airport, I will be able to go on Immigration Fast Track as I am travelling on Business Class. Airport Transfer will also be provided by U-Tiny. Upon arrival back home, JetQuay will be waiting for me.

Look forward to reviews here and have a good week ahead!

[Travel] Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong

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Hope you have enjoyed my recent review of Singapore Airline SilverKris Lounge The Private Room at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. I always believe that travel experience and service from an airline starts from ground and ends with ground. From check-in to lounge to boarding to in flight and eventually disembark. Airlines will need to deliver a good experience to delight passengers. Singapore Airlines remains on top of my list when it comes to this. Whenever I fly with them, I enjoyed their service. It is still a great way to fly.

So I flew with Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong in end January 2016. It was my second time travelling on Suites on this route. So I am familiar with this product and what it offers. It is the shortest route (4 Hours at max.) on Singapore Airlines that offers Suites product and they are the first airline to fly Airbus A380 with Suites offering before their middle east competitors.

Boarding

Boarding at Singapore Changi Airport is a smooth and efficient affair. After security screening at gate, I comfortably waited for boarding announcement for Suites, First Class, Business Class and PPS members. PPS stands for Priority Passenger Service which is the elite frequent flyer program offered by Singapore Airlines. Need to spend SG$25,000 with them on premium cabins within 1 year to qualify. (Ouch. Personally thought that unless travel super frequently for business. Otherwise forget about qualifying for this. Even KrisFlyer Elite Silver status is also a bit far fetch for me.)

After boarding announcement was made and ground agent scanned my boarding pass, I am on my way to plane on aerobridge. So far I never had to take a bus to board or disembark a plane in Singapore Changi Airport and I have to thank (But no thanks!) Doha Airport for giving me a chance to do that when I boarded a plane which has Doha as a home hub. (Quite easy to know which 1.) For that experience and many other unpleasant things that add up, that airline went into my condemn list. (That experience is enough for me to write a horror story. Will write about it when I feel like.)

At end of aerobridge, lovely cabin crew were there anticipating arrival and gave a warm welcome.

Gate Display

Gate Display

Priority Lane

Priority Lane

Gate

Gate

Airbus A380

Airbus A380

In cabin

As soon as I set foot on plane, cabin crew escorted me to my Suites: 3D. As I am travelling solo, ground agent did ask me if I like to have a window Suites instead. In any other class, I will have asked for that. For Suites, no way! Unless Suites 3C or 2C is taken. Why? When Suites 3C or 2C is not taken when you are on either Suites 3D or 2D, you can enjoy an expanded feel of roominess. On long haul flights or when travelling with a companion, you can even request for 2 Suites to be combined into 1 with full flat bed deployed for 2. (Not converted from seat.) If not all 12 Suites are occupied, you can even have luxury of requesting for 1 Suites to be used for living/dining room and another 1 for sleep on long haul flight. (First come first serve!)

Suites Plan

Suites Plan. Lower deck front of plane.

Suites 3D

Suites 3D. Small closet for jacket which cabin crew will gladly help you stow your jacket into. Blinds can be pulled down for Privacy.

Empty Suites 3C

Empty Suites 3C. Divider can be pulled up for privacy.

Around Suites

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancellation Headphone

Bose QuietComfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphone in compartment, ports and power socket.

Seat Control

Controls

Seat Control

Seat Controls on armrest.

Leg rest or Stool for guest

Leg rest or Stool for guest. Pillow etc by Givenchy. Hand carry luggage stows below here as there is no overhead bins. Magazines and safety information on side.

Full stretch

Full stretch

Door

Door

Food and Beverages

Welcome Drink: Krug Grade Cuvee

Welcome Drink: Krug Grade Cuvée

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Table set

Table set

Fruit Platter

Fruit Platter: Pomelo, Raspberry and Blueberry

Special K and Pastries

Special K cereal in skim milk and Pastries

Book-The-Cook: Nasi Lemak

Book The Cook: Nasi Lemak. Recommended by my friends who are in service and ex Singapore Girl. Good recommendation. Had this as I have tried Boston Lobster Thermidor in my first Suites flight.

Dessert: Warm Banana Crumble with Chocolate Ice Cream, Canilla Sauce, Fresh Fruit Salad and Blue Mountain Coffee

Dessert: Warm Banana Crumble with Chocolate Ice Cream, Vanilla Sauce, Fresh Fruit Salad and Blue Mountain Coffee

In Flight Entertainment System (KrisWorld)

Personally find in flight entertainment system to be lacking in content and sound quality. Especially if it is middle east airlines. Censored movies…Thanks! I prefer to bring my own Asus Transformer Book T100 Chi with movies loaded and use Sennheiser PXC310 Noise Cancelling Headphone nowadays. However, Singapore Airlines KrisWorld is one of the better In flight entertainment system around.

KrisWorld Controls

KrisWorld Controls

Screen and leg rest

23″ Screen and leg rest

Flight Map

Flight Map with Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Screen

23″ Screen

Benefit of empty Suites next door

Benefit of empty Suites next door: 2 screens!

Conclusion

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites may have been caught up by middle east competitors in terms of hardware like newer Airbus A380, more lavish Suites, in flight shower, bar etc. However, 1 thing remains in Singapore Airlines favor: Service. Service in Singapore Airlines A380 Suites is very personalize and attentive. Team of Stewards and Stewardesses make sure you are well taken care of. They check in from time to time to see how they can help you and make your journey a comfortable 1. I also enjoyed my conversation with them about the flight, experience, Hong Kong and even food/drinks options. They make good recommendations. Some of them are even certified Sommeliers.

This flight is also a test to crews’ capability. As it is only a 4 hours flight, crew delivered nothing short of the impeccable service offered on A380 Suites on a long haul flight.

Suites

Suites

Stairs to upper deck

Stairs to upper deck

Disclaimer: Drink Responsibly.

Welcome to Have Cards Will Travel

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Lot of friends know me as lobang king, mileage guy, credit card guy and many other nicknames. They will often ask about which credit card to get/use to maximize their returns and I do post on Facebook about using miles earned from credit cards to fly in premium cabins like SQ Business Class and Suites. (SG$38.50 + 31,875 miles vs SG$2,768.50 for Hong Kong one way Suites ticket on SQ sounds good? Savings of SG$2,730.) So after some thinking, I decide to set up this site to share more about:

  • Credit cards that I own. 25 and counting…
  • Travel reviews.
    Airport, airport lounges and cabin products.
  • Membership cards.
    Some deals are just not available with credit cards.
  • Mobile applications.
    Some mobile applications can be life saver when I want to find deals or globetrotting.
  • Gear.
    Typical geek here.
  • Deals. (Duh…)
    What’s lobang king without deals.

Please note that posts here are not paid advertorials unless stated.

So before I end this post, will like to share this picture of a credit card that I own (No more…) which feature a mantra that I believe in.

Frank

I like the quote. But not the card anymore.

Disclaimer: Use credit card responsibly.