Flight Review – Cathay Pacific CX711: Hong Kong to Singapore by Airbus A350-900

Having completed checking-in at Hong Kong station on the MTR Airport Express Line, it was a simple affair at Hong Kong International Airport to head for our Cathay Pacific flight back to Singapore. CX711 offers a near-perfect flight timing from Hong Kong, departing at 4.10pm and arriving in Singapore at 8.05pm. And what better way to fly back than on the new Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900.

Boarding passes were collected at the Cathay Pacific In-Town Check-In counters at Hong Kong MTR Airport Express station earlier in the morning.

There are two sides for departure immigration at Terminal 1. Head to any of them, as the terminal will be channeled to a central area before heading to the gates anyway.

The main central area is where you will have to figure out where to head to for your departure gate.

Thankfully, our flight was to depart from Gate 15, just a minute’s walk from the main shopping and dining areas, without the need to get on a train or bus to the gate.

B-LRN ready to depart as CX711 to Singapore.

A Singapore Airlines A350-900 also ready to depart for Singapore as SQ861 just one gate away. Unfortunately, my wallet does not allow for this flight.

Bye 9V-SMJ, see you in Singapore.

Getting ready to board at Gate 15.

And because I was lazy to take out my boarding pass from my bag, I just used the mobile boarding pass flashed on my phone instead.

A typical Business Class seat on board the Cathay Pacific Airbus A350. Not sure why there’s a “Do Not Occupy” sticker placed there though.

The Premium Economy Class cabin on board the Cathay Pacific Airbus A350. I like the simple yet stylish Cathay Pacific logo on the bulkhead.

The Economy Class cabin on the Cathay Pacific Airbus A350.

Nice welcome screen for the StudioCX in-flight entertainment system featuring Marina Bay Sands.

The prepared cabin, ready for departure.

Cathay Pacific uses their standard safety video prior to departure.

Cameras are available on board allowing views from the tail and bottom of the plane.

Goodbye Hong Kong. ):

In addition to the usual tray table, Cathay Pacific Economy Class on A350s have a unique slide-out tablet and cup holder. Of course, if you have a phone instead of a tablet, you could use it too. It also offers easy access to the USB port located on the screen.

With new WiFi-enabled planes, the in-flight entertainment system offers live satellite TV, in real time just as how it would have been viewed on the ground.

After the seat belt signs have been turned off, the crew comes around to distribute a round of drinks and peanuts.

At cruising altitude, the interior lightings turn to a light purpley-orange kind of colour.

This is similar to the colour of the clouds outside.

SMS and data services are also available on board. Remember to switch off data roaming or put it on airplane mode altogether to prevent bill shock.

Let’s fiddle around with the WiFi.

WiFi costs US$9.95 for an hour or US$12.95 for the full flight. You also get to see the flight path of the plane in one of the tabs.

Around an hour into the flight, dinner is served. Two choices are available this time: The western Seafood Pasta option or the local Curry Beef with Rice.

Seafood Pasta sounded too good to resist.

No regrets choosing this. The pasta was nicely presented with an adequate amount of sauce. Not too dry like typical airplane food, nor was it like the disastrous Lasagna on Scoot.

And the local option – Curry Beef with Rice.

As most passengers decided to close their window shades after the meal, the interior lighting switches to a darker and more pronounced colour shade.

Inside the toilet of the A350, the automatic taps are a familiar sight.

Hand creams were provided as well.

Safely arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 4. With the camera on the tail, you could watch the arrival procedure till exactly when the aircraft is ready for disembarkation.

A last look at the Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 Economy Class cabin.

The rear view of the Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 Premium Economy Class seats. This looks sort of similar to the regional Business Class on board the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 (73Z) New Regional, just slightly slimmer.

At Terminal 4, the little petals on the ceiling guide you to the arrival hall thanks to the ingenious louver design and maybe some magical pixie dust from Disneyland.

Where Tinkerbell the petals stops, take the escalator down to immigration and baggage reclaim, or the transfer lounge for your connecting flight.

If your final destination is Singapore, head on straight to immigration and baggage reclaim. If you have a connecting flight, turn right.

If you are connecting on an airline departing from Terminals 1, 2 or 3, get on the free shuttle bus to Terminal 2 and proceed to the transfer desk at your departure terminal.

If you are connecting on an airline departing from Terminal 4, proceed for security screening and head upstairs to the departure transit lounge.

Unfortunately, my holiday ends in Singapore, so it’s straight on back home.

Once that’s done, head on straight (or take that almost mandatory Singaporean detour to DFS) to pick up your bags.

Since this is Changi Airport, the bags were all ready on the baggage carousel before us, which leaves us with a short stay in this area. Oh well.

Oh, the Petalclouds weren’t moving anyway, so nothing much to watch while waiting too.

From here, it’s a shuttle bus ride to Terminal 2 to get on the MRT back home.

Overall, it was a great flight on Cathay Pacific’s newest aircraft type with a wide range of entertainment options and fantastic Economy Class plane food. At the time of my booking about half a year ahead, the airfare was comparable to budget airlines so it was great on my wallet too. Factoring in the overnight flight timing available, for full-service airlines between Singapore and Hong Kong, this might possibly be my top choice.


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