Friday, March 25, 2016


LEAVE Friday March 25th 2016

RETURN Monday March 28th 2016

The trip begins.  Had a relaxing time at the Admiral's Club gate C20. Ate bagel and coffee. 

AA1004 DFW-AUS at 7:05AM. First class. Sat down and did refresh of my next flight and simultaneously a text message came through saying 10:10 AM AUS-DFW got cancelled. Bad news. If I take this flight to AUS, how will I get back in time to catch my 12:05PM flight to Hong Kong?  I don't check bags for this reason. I pulled my bag from the overhead and left the plane. 

I talked to the gate agent. Not helpful. She said you booked the Homg Kong on a separate ticket and it is not connected to this ticket and there is nothing she can do. She told the other agent to x me out of this flight. I said hold on. She said you are goin DFW to AUS and then coming back to DFW to get flight to HKG and then to KUL?  I said yes.  Three agents are looking at my record on the screen. You can imagine what is going through each of their heads. The same exact thought. What in the world. There was no  smile recognizing the coveted Executive Platium mileage runner. No welcome, we really thank you for being a valued customer. 

She said what do you want me to do?  I said this flight lands in AUS at 8AM, what time is the next flight back to DFW other than the 10:00 that got cancelled?  She said if you land at 8:00, you can catch the 8:45 and you will be back in DFW and have 2 hrs to catch the moon flight to HKG. I said take it. She said she can only do coach even though I have a confirmed first class seat. I said coach for a 36 min flight is fine. 

I walked back on the jetbridge and my cell phone rang. Unknown number. It was the AA Admirals Club in AUS telling me the 10:00 AM is cancelled and would I like to take the 8:45, I said the agent just put me on it, it must have just refreshed for her, she said oh, yes, I see it. There is only 1 seat left in first, not sure I will get it. 

Flight left on time. Just coffee and water on plane, shirt 36 minute flight. Landed at  7:42AM. 

Went to Admirals Club to check in for 8:45 (same exact plane I just off of) and get HKG boarding pass. Met the person who called me. Here is the screen 

8:15AM Boarded AA1004 AUS-DFW, sat in regular coach seat row 12 aisle.  Very tired. Glad I paid $160 for this ticket otherwise I'd have to drive 4 hours and I hate people driving in the left lane and texting at the same time and not paying attention. 

Looks like flight coming back AA138 on Sunday still has some seats not assigned.  It looks like I will be sitting in coach coming back, this is not a good sign.  There are usually 30 to 40 to 50 people on the upgrade list 

Landed at 9:30AM in DFW. Went to Admirals Club in D. Since I am Executive Platinum and traveling internationally, I am allowed access to the brand new FlagShip Lounge that is inside the Admirals Club. 

Too bad I don't drink

Blueberry smoothie, mango smoothie (really really delicious), carrot smoothie.  Hindsight, this was a serious mistake.  I am lactose intolerant and I was in the bathroom on the plane most of the flight.

Parfaits, I did not try these

Muffins (were good) and scones

At 10:45 the brunch was taken away and  the lunch was brought out. This is red pepper hummus (allergic to red pepper, so I did not try)

Brisket sandwiches 

Watermelon infused salad

Southwest salad

Chicken with orzo salad and olives

And dessert

It is 11:11AM and I am stuffed 

Time to head downstairs, boarding starts soon

Boarded AA 137 DFW-HKG, a 777-300ER.

  Very nice seat in row 11. I like the right side window to Asia so I can see the auroras. 

I got my upgrade several days ago, but look at this list.  Only 16 on the list is good.  Very short list.

NOTE to self: do NOT get 11 again.  Missing critical window.  Can't see out.  Dummy me did not check seat guru.  I could have picked any of the last 5 rows on the right side.

This five spice dressing did me in for the entire flight, was in the toilet most of the flight

This is the first flight I did not have the sundae

We went straight north
1,608 miles traveled, 6,743 miles to go to HKG
520 MPG ground speed, 554 MPH true airspeed, 30,000 ft altitude
352 degrees heading (360 degrees is straight north), -61.6 degrees F temperature outside, 35 MPG headwind
12 hrs 49 min to HKG, 2 hrs 56 min since departing DFW
3:21PM in DFW, 4:21AM in HKG, 5:10PM estimated time of arrival in to HKG

Decided to catch some shut eye

Went very close to north pole

3,644 miles traveled, 4,855 miles to go to HKG
547 MPG ground speed, 547 MPH true airspeed, 32,000 ft altitude
312 degrees heading (360 degrees is straight north), -70.6 degrees F temperature outside, 1 MPG tailwind
9 hrs 11 min to HKG, 6 hrs 47 min since departing DFW
7:12PM in DFW, 8:12AM in HKG, 5:23PM estimated time of arrival in to HKG

Time to check out the snack bar

1/2 way point
4,250 miles traveled, 4,255 miles to go to HKG
548 MPG ground speed, 550 MPH true airspeed, 32,000 ft altitude
220 degrees heading (360 degrees is straight north), -65.2 degrees F temperature outside, 0 MPG headwind
we had like zero head / tail wind almost the entire journey
8 hrs 2 min to HKG, 7 hrs 54 min since departing DFW
8:19PM in DFW, 9:19AM in HKG, 5:21PM estimated time of arrival in to HKG

Time to eat again

5,326 miles traveled, 3,181 miles to go to HKG
545 MPG ground speed, 544 MPH true airspeed, 32,000 ft altitude
204 degrees heading (360 degrees is straight north), -67 degrees F temperature outside, 1 MPG headwind
we had like zero head / tail wind almost the entire journey
6 hrs 3 min to HKG, 9 hrs 53 min since departing DFW
10:18PM in DFW, 11:18AM in HKG, 5:21PM estimated time of arrival in to HKG

Landed in Hong Kong at 5:24PM, one hour early

8,735 miles traveled, 0 miles to go to HKG
43 ft altitude
15 hrs 55 min since departing DFW
4:24AM in DFW, 5:24PM in HKG

The plug is a problem.  The prongs don't stay in.  I had to improvise.  I always bring international adapters.  I plugged in the 3-prong HKG adapter and then my US 2-prong and this way it stayed in and did not fall out.

Row 11 is just to the left of the A.  You can see a window is missing.  Do not sit here if you like looking out the window, like I do.

Thank you pretty plane and AA for bringing me safely to HKG.  I don't know how you do this every single day.  Great team is required to pull this off.

You exit the plane and go down the ramp
The ramps to the left and right are for when you get on the plane

The Cathay Pacific ladies are always waiting for you.  Not like other airlines where there might be one.  Here there is a whole team.  And wanting to be proactive and wanting to be helpful.

They know exactly who is connecting to what and what is the exact flight status.  My flight is the second from the top and they have hand written the new departure time to the left and the original departure time to the right

My flight

The CX staff is SOOOO helpful.  They WANT to help.  They GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to help.  I was escorted to the transfer desk W1 just to the right of where we landed.  I stood in the first class Cathay Pacific line and there was only one person ahead of me.  She gave me boarding pass to my next flight and pass to the lounge.

This is for the lounge for tomorrow, Sunday morning

Just behind me is a entrance that says transfers, you show your new boarding pass and passport and they scan it and in you go.

Another station, you put your luggage and scan it.

Now you are in the departures area.  You go up one escalator, go to the right and head to gate 63 to The Pier Lounge.  As a OneWorld Emerald, I have free access. 

Take escalator down

This was completely overhauled last year, it is immaculate

Got pager for massage

Menu. This is all free

Went to the restaurant for a bite to eat

I got the tuna starter while waiting for my massage. All free

The menu is extensive

If you don't like any of this, there is another room you can pick, anything you want, all free

My pager buzzed and I went for my back, neck and head massage

So I wanted to eat sushi.  The Pier does not have sushi.  The Bridge does not have sushi.  They only have pizza and other stuff.  I walked all the way back to gate 2 to The Wing.  The train only goes one way.  It does NOT go the other way.  It takes 20 minutes to walk.

This is the private dining room

Do NOT ask what the prices are.  It is all free.  If you don't like the buffet, you can order from this menu.  It changes daily.

Beef Tenderloin.  They brought out a new one after I had taken this photo

I had to rush back like the Rabbit as I had a foot massage appointment.  It took 30 minutes to walk back, I should have taken the train.

First your feet are put in a tub of hot soapy water.

My flight was supposed to leave at 8:30 but was delayed to 10:30PM so I had extra time to enjoy food and massage at HKG airport.

Boarded flight 2-class A330-300, they were full but still did not upgrade me. But they gave me first row of coach, there was no premium economy. They charge extra for the seat I got. As soon as the door closed, the pursar came by and sort of squatted low so her eyes were my level. She asked Mr <>, I said yes.  She said thank you for flying with Cathay Pacific. I said thank you. She then gave me an Evian bottle of water. 

We were 3 hrs late arriving