Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong and a major player on the heavily-utilized Singapore – Hong Kong route with up to 8 return flights daily. It also operates the only overnight flight between the two cities which while is too short to have a proper sleep on it, it offers the most time-effective journey if you’re looking to maximise your time in both cities.
Cathay Pacific departs from Terminal 4. To get to Terminal 4 from the MRT, take the exit to Terminal 2 Arrival Hall and get on the Changi Airport Terminal 4 Free Shuttle Bus Service.
The T4 Free Shuttle Bus leaves every 10 minutes from 5.30am to 1.00am, and every 20 minutes from 1.00am to 5.30am.
The journey from Terminal 2 to Terminal 4 takes about 10 minutes.
If you are travelling with a FAST-ready (Fast and Seamless Travel) airline, this may be the last time that you interact with a human being (your bus driver) as the next interaction may be when the cabin crew greet you as you board your flight.
The bus drop-off point is near check-in row 4, which is the exact middle row of all 7 check-in rows available.
Cathay Pacific uses the FAST-ready Row 6.
No conventional counters here, just head to any available kiosk to begin your check-in process.
Tap on the airline that you are flying with, which in this case, only Cathay Pacific is available since they have the whole row to themselves.
Once you have gone through the usual check-in stuff that you have to accept liability for, you will end up with the baggage tag page. Count your bags properly and print the baggage tags accordingly. Remember to print exactly the amount you need!
The kiosk then spits out your baggage tags one by one.
There are instructions on the baggage tag which is a very simple two-step process, but a friendly dnata agent may come up to you to assist you in tagging them.
Once that’s done, your boarding passes will be printed.
If you have check-in baggage, head forward to the baggage drop off machine and follow the prompts on the screen there. But our very friendly dnata agent helped us all the way through the process, which made it totally hassle-free.
If you do not have any check-in baggage, you can head straight to immigration and bypass this stage.
Once that’s done, head for immigration. If you are eligible to use enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS), you are also eligible to use the new automated immigration system at Terminal 4.
Insert your passport, followed by scanning your boarding pass. Once inside, the system will match your thumbprint and capture your facial image to match your identity with your passport, and also for the next step in the process at the boarding gate.
Once complete, proceed for centralised security screening. As there are no gate hold rooms at Terminal 4, one screening after immigration is all you need to enjoy the departure transit lounge and to board the plane – that means you can buy drinks inside the departure transit lounge and bring it onto the plane without any worry about the liquids, aerosols and gels restrictions.
There are lots of seats to lounge around in the departure transit lounge, and also many shops and dining options if you wish to have a walk around.
The centrepiece in the departure transit lounge on the way to the gates, Steel in Bloom, is a 6 meter high installation featuring intricate botanical motifs modelled in steel, in line with the overall petal theme in Terminal 4.
From here, we got on the Intra-Terminal Transfer Bus service from T4 to T2.
We had about an hour in the SATS Premier Lounge 2 at Terminal 2 before heading back to T4 to catch our flight. The food selection was a bit… disappointing, but we have been informed anyway.
The most prominent and local feature in T4 would be the Heritage Zone, inspired by Peranakan shophouses nestled around Singapore. If there’s anything to be impressed with T4 by, it would be this area.
In line with the Peranakan facade, the toilets here are also Peranakan-themed from the lights to the flooring, making it potentially the most memorable airport toilets in the world.
Fitting with the heritage theme, Peranakan Love Story is a tale of two young adults set in Singapore in the 1930s. This musical features local talents such as Dick Lee, Adrian Pang, Benjamin Kheng and Koh Cheng Mun.
Video courtesy of FlightTravels.
Whoever said airport seats are boring?
Wide-body aircraft depart from Gates G18 to G21.
When the short walk began to feel a little stale, since it was Changi Airport and things aren’t usually that way, this little Entertainment Corner came up just before the gates. Ah, Changi as how I know it.
The Xbox Kinect offers sports gaming experiences in case you need a workout before your flight.
There are also Virtual Pinball, Retro Arcade Machines and a classic car racing game if you wish to have an arcade experience.
After exploring Terminal 4, despite being a smaller terminal than the 3 main terminals combined, the boarding calls for CX714 were indeed the last thing we’d want to hear. Luckily, the Entertainment Corner was just adjacent to our gate.
CX714 to Hong Kong departed from Gate G20 on my trip.
Once boarding calls are made, just get in line and proceed for boarding. No gate hold room system is in place here, which makes it less stressful since there’s significantly less procedures just before boarding the plane.
At the boarding gate, scan your boarding pass and have the machine take another picture of you to match your identity when first scanned at the immigration counter, and you’re good to go.
Head down the ramp to the aerobridge.
The petal trail ends on the aerobridge just before boarding the plane.
Local Hong Kong newspapers were available to take just before boarding the plane. However, most of it has been taken since we were the last few to board. Oh well, not that I needed or understand it anyway.
The interior of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 (73Z) New Regional Economy Class.
The New Regional Economy Class are shell seats which slides forward into itself when you recline it. The positive side of this is that the person in front of you does not recline into your personal space. However, the downside is that it’s not a true recline but rather a slouch forward, and your knees may hit the seat in front of you when you do decide to “recline”.
The route to Hong Kong.
Quite a reasonable amount of legroom with the seat in the “upright” (unslouched) position.
The StudioCX entertainment system was free to use during this flight as per normal, but I didn’t bother with it since sleeping might be more important at night.
The live view of the takeoff from the screen.
Once the seatbelt signs have been switched off, it’s time for a short hop to the toilet.
Very clean to use. There are also hand and face creams to use to moisturize your skin in-flight.
While it looks like it’s an almost empty flight, most screens are off as most passengers would be sleeping instead of watching a late night movie.
Despite being a very short red-eye flight, snack boxes are served. This is great since you can choose to take it off the plane should you not want to eat anything at 2am.
A small but tightly-packed snack box.
The snack box consists of a fruit cup, a pandan cake, a 4-finger Kit Kat, a ham and cheese sandwich and a box of orange juice.
SAF personnel would consider this Cake Pandan as truly a night snack indeed.
Disembarking from the aircraft with the on-time arrival into Hong Kong at 5.05am.
Walking past the New Regional Business Class. Looks more like a slightly bigger Premium Economy seat to me.
With the early arrival into Hong Kong, immigration was pretty empty, and the bags were ready on the belt once we were done with immigration. CX714 is truly a time-effective overnight flight, getting you from Singapore after the day has ended and into Hong Kong just before the city comes alive.
From here, it’s off to ride on the best rapid transit system in the world at a fraction of the normal price!