Review: Hong Kong Airlines HX708 Bali to Hong Kong, Economy (Airbus A330)


I arrived at my gate more than an hour before scheduled departure for my Hong Kong Airlines’ Bali to Hong Kong flight. The boarding started 30 minutes later at 1:00 AM. The whole process was a bit haphazard with people cutting lines and not respecting the sequential boarding process.

hong kong airlines bali to hong kong

Hong Kong Airlines HX708
Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) – Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Departure: 01:22 AM
Arrival: 06:13 AM
Duration: 4 Hours 51 Minutes
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 37A (Economy Class)
Meal Service: Midnight Snack

I was flying on Hong Kong Airline’s Airbus A330-200 which has a staggered business class configuration and a 2-4-2 economy configuration.

hong kong airlines bali to hong kong

Waiting for me at my seat was a blanket and a pillow. There was no in-flight entertainment, and there were no power ports. Thankfully I had juiced up all my devices in the terminal.

The seat was comfortable with a 32” pitch. Once I reclined my seat, I was even able to stretch my legs a bit. Not bad. The headrests on these seats were adjustable too.

The lack of an IFE screen meant that the cabin crew had to perform the safety demonstration. I don’t when was the last time I witnessed one in a widebody aircraft.

We pushed back sometime around 1:20 AM were airborne in 15 minutes. The climb was bumpy, with storm clouds in our path. The captain turned off the seat belt sign 30 minutes into the flight when we reached clear skies.

The cabin crew soon after started the onboard meal service. One of the members came up to me informing about my pre-booked vegetarian meal which the airline booked on my behalf. I asked her whether or not I can get the regular meal option and she obliged.

Soon after, I was served a steaming hot pork and cheese bun, which was perfect for a midnight snack. To wash it down, I chose a can of beer when the drinks cart came around. The meal service was completed in 30 minutes which is quite efficient by any standard. After that, the cabin lights were dimmed.

As the air was thin and the cabin cold, I could sleep well. The blanket was thin but not as thin as the ones you get on Jet Airways and the pillow was alright.

I woke up 90 minutes before scheduled arrivals as the turbulent weather woke me up. It was typhoon season in Hong Kong after all. I requested for a cup of tea, and it was served promptly.

And that’s where Hong Kong Airlines shine – they genuinely care about their passengers. I remembered earlier during the flight that the passenger sitting behind me did not eat as the cabin crew was not sure whether the pork buns had nuts or not. It turns out he was allergic to nuts.

If this an Indian airline, the matter would end there. But here, the head purser came down from the forward cabin to assess the situation. He apologised for the inconvenience and enquired whether the passenger plans to fly on the airline onwards from Hong Kong. If yes, the purser said that he’d try accommodating the passenger’s dietary restrictions on the next flight, even with such short notice.

I was in awe when I heard the whole conversation. Flying Indian airlines desensitise you to these kinds of things especially if you fly economy a lot. I don’t remember when the last time was the service was delivered with a smile back home.

We landed in Hong Kong at 6:15 AM, and within no time, I got off the plane.

Bottomline

My experience aboard Hong Kong Airlines was a pleasant one. Though the absence of IFE and more importantly, power ports is a concern, it didn’t bother me as much. The service the was top notch, and on part with some the best airlines around the world. Too bad they are not part of any major alliance, which would make me want to fly with them even more.

The Pros

+Food
+Friendly staff

The Cons

-No IFE
-No power ports

Rating

Comments

  1. What’s the need to criticise Indian carriers? The Indian crew is any day more warm in their hospitality and service and more sensitive to needs of Vegetarians or even Jains. It’s service industry and the service could vary from crew to crew, I had a bad experience with HX and personally prefer an Indian carrier or CX in that part of the world

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