Sometimes the best laid trips get sidelined by delayed, cancelled or other technical air travel difficulties. When you have a long journey with many legs to it, the chances of problematic issues increase exponentially. Connections have to go just right for you to keep the entire trip intact. As a rule, transferring on one airline to a codeshare partner shouldn’t be an issue but thrice now flying through Asian airports (most especially Hong Kong), has been problematic. Twice before I figured out a work around, this time I was not so lucky.
On this flight, Cathay Pacific gets my ire. The gate agent assured me I would make my connection as she handed me my onward boarding pass but as I ran to the gate, the agent declined my admittance even as the door was still open. Needless to say I assured them that a re-booking was not all they were going to have to handle.
Like a stack of cards, my onward final flight from Jakarta, airport meet and greet service, excellent seat assignment and one night hotel at my booked resort disappeared into thin air. Cathay finally took responsibility and issued me a hotel voucher and meal ticket however couldn’t protect my previous seat selection. I glanced at the new boarding pass, seat 73K?!! Back of the plane little girl. I couldn’t be too mad since I had known the connection risks starting out. My “meet and greet” and hotel agreed to adjust the date to the following day, however I did get stuck with a $200 flight change fee for the final airline flight out of Jakarta (and would have a hellish layover in Jakarta). Ah well, at least I wasn’t adding a one night airport hotel to that cost.
Waking in the morning, boarding pass in hand, I quickly scooted through security to the Cathay Pacific first class lounge. One benefit of flying American Airlines so much is that as an Executive Platinum member, Cathay recongnizes the One World Saphire status for admittance to their upper level lounges. Cathay’s Hong Kong first lounge near gate 63 is a class act! Aside from Qatar’s Doha Business/First lounge, it’s currently my second favorite, with British Airways First in London, rounding out my top three I’ve visited, (I need to fly Emeritis). Once inside, I used entry to sign up for a massage and enjoy a cooked to order breakfast.
The design of this lounge is very soothing and welcoming.
The selections on the serve yourself area are terrific.
I sat down to eat at the full service dining room and put my massage beeper on the table. Sipping my champagne, I kept glancing at my massage beeper but it looked dead to me. No vibration or flashing lights for me so I proceeded to order some eggs and such. The omelette was a wee bit overdone on the outside but nicely soft on the inside. I wasn’t much keen on the beans or toast but ate the eggs and accompanying sausage.
And of course, that called for a hit of Perrier Jouet along with some juice of carrot and ginger to wash it all down.
Cathay’s lounge routinely quotes 2+ hour waits for their complimentary 15 minute massages. In fact, last time I came through it was a 3 hour wait. This time I figured as it was super early in the morning my chances would be better. Alas no, I arrived at 7:00am and their first opening was for 9:15am. My flight boarding was 8:40am but I signed up anyway and hoped for a cancellation. Good ol’ Lady Luck! Just after finishing eating, they beeped me at 7:40am! I decided against the “neck and head” massage since that always messes up my curtly hair, and decided on a 15 minute reflexology foot massage.
They have a nice small area for the massages. No wonder there is such a long wait since there are just the few stations.
I settled in and let my feet soak in the warm water awaiting my rub!
What heaven! The accupressure was exactly what I needed. It’s amazing that the nerve pressure to your feet can relax other trigger areas in your body. Such a simple thing goes a long way when traveling 20-25 hours…
Afterwards, I walked to the bar and had one more glass of bubbles while keeping watch for upcoming flight information posted on the display board. Made my way to the gate to board. Nothing like being the only woman of color in the priority line behind all Asian men. Was nice to board early but then I had to walk all the way back to seat 73K🤨
I will credit Cathay’s onboard experience. Three separate attendants came to my seat and addressed me in economy class. The first to aplogize for the flight was being slightly delayed due to weather, the second asking if I wanted something to drink post take off before anyone else and the third to bring me a glass of champagne from the front cabin. I wasn’t sure if this was standard for One World Saphire members or if there were some hellish notes in my record locator but I was appreciative none the less. Onward to Jakarta!✈️