FLIGHT REPORT: HONGKONG AIRLINES SGD$800 ERROR BUSINESS CLASS FARE(LAX-HKG)
Updated: Apr 1, 2019
I hope you had a good read on my previous article. The 15 hours premium economy experience on Singapore Airlines. But that trip happened because of this trip. As you could probably understand from my previous trip reports, i am located in Southeast Asia and coming back to it how did i managed to get on this Hong Kong Airlines flight out of Los Angeles?
Much thanks to Flyertalk, i chanced upon a error fare deal between Los Angeles and Asia on Hong Kong Airlines. Asia includes Mainland China, Vietnam, Thailand & Indonesia. In a heartbeat, i decided to "chip in" my support too.
By the time i discover them on Flyertalk forum, it was actually slowly starting to die down. With very limited destinations and departure date to choose from, i went ahead with January 2019 option heading for Shanghai.
Here's the interesting part. While trying to book thru several OTA(Online Travel Agent), i faced a lot of competition from fellow travel hackers.
The fare went away so quickly that i had to rebook over a period of 2 hours. I would usually fail at the payment processing part and then it stated that the price has changed.
I vividly remembered that night when i stayed up late from 2am until about 4am when i finally got hold of these ticket. Needless to say, the sleep that night was especially comfy.
A day later, Hongkong Airlines brought it up on their twitter that stating that they will honour it. A very big mistake from the airline but for us consumers, it was one of the best deal in many years. Transpacific Business Class Flight for as low as USD$577. It just couldn't get any better.
A check on the official Hongkong Airlines website with the same travel date ranges from USD$6,700 - USD$12,500.
But putting this aside, this incident has gained a lot of publicity around the globe. Blog and news station started writing article with title like "Hong Kong Airlines is Honoring Crazy $560 Biz Class Mistake Fare, Airline Mistake Fare Prices $16000 Flight at $675, A Conspiracy Theory about the $560 Hongkong Airlines Business Class Deals "
It gain so much attention to the point that some of friends who don't travel often also heard of this so can you imagine the amount of media coverage they gain from this matter?
After a 3 days stay in Los Angeles, i was ready to head over to China via Hongkong.
Check in was extremely fast for business class as usual but it was a long wait for the economy peeps.
Upgrade was made available to economy passengers. If you have some extra cash and like to indulge in the luxury, you can consider this option after reading my trip report.
Extra legroom seats on the A350 was really attractive. I briefly walk down the aisle after my meal service. The amount of legroom space you are paying are certainly worth USD$109. This upgrade option seems to be a popular option because the entire economy plus seats are full.
TSA immigration wasn't much of a hassle but the lounge at LAX was a bit of a lackluster. There wasn't any hot food but there was a good selection of sandwiches and wraps which was tasty in my opinion. Great thing is i was able to sneak 4 cute mini bottles of water out of the lounge.
Once onboard, i was shivering with excitement. Obviously it wasn't because it was my first time onboard business class but i was the first to board and there was plenty of time for photography.
Finally, here is the Hong Kong Airlines A350-900 Latest Herringbone Business Class Product. Hongkong Airlines have 6 A359 in fleet with 2 of them fitted with these brand new product. Namely B-LGE & B-LGH which was delivered to them barely half a year ago. Fresh looking indeed!
Configured in a 1-2-1 layout, these seat gives all passengers direct aisle access.
Seated in Seat 20A, this is the last row of seat of this whole business class cabin. This is the best seat because there's no toilet behind, everyone goes to the toilet at the forward gallery.
Pillow and Blanket are provided as usual.
Compartment space isn't much of a problem. Plenty of spaces for your belongings around the seat. Reading light & magazines readily accessible at the side. Amenity kit & a bottle of water was provided soon after take off.
This height adjustable armrest doubles up as a small compartment. I managed to store the amenity kit and water bottle inside.
The best thing i like about these herringbone seats is the privacy. No awkwardness stares or anything like that. Full privacy!
Footwell space was pretty spacious. There's also another small storage area beside it.
I tried charging my macbook but i was unable to. Apparently the charger doesn't fit and there was no alternative power socket around the seat. This is something the airline could improve in their next product.
Meal service began shortly starting with Nuts & Drinks followed by Starter. That seafood starter was absolutely amazing! It has Abalone Celeriac Mousse Tart, Sliced Lobster & lemon.
The table height is adjustable. This gives passengers the table level preference while dining. This also mean that you are able to come out of your seat during meal service!
Right after starter comes the soup. This is the Chinese beancurd, ginko and pork dices soup and it's so good that i almost opt to have another bowl of it.
I choose the Chicken option as main course. It's breast part stuffed with pepper, mozzarella chesse with sweet potatoes and seasonal vegetable. The taste was as consistent as their starter and soup. Absolutely delicious!
I ended my meal service with Chocolate Cake. Other options includes Haagen Daz ice cream and Cheese plate.
Soon it was time to have a sleep. Didn't intend to sleep for long because i will arrive in Hongkong around evening time and by then it would be bed time.
Before that, i was curious to see what's inside the Amenity Kit. It has all the necessity like flight socks, earplugs, eyeshade, toothpaste, lip balm and moisturiser.
I woke up just 2 hours later and was a little bit hungry. At the right moment, the stewardess started walking down the aisle offering snacks to passengers who are awake.
I took this opportunity to ask for a cup of chinese tea as well as one of their mid flight snacks. The dim sum choice was a disappointment. The Glutinous rice barely made it but the Chee cheong fun was the problem. The skin is too thick and meat was very dry.
Soon it was sunset and dinner service began. Roughly 2 hours before landing.
I choose to have the Char Siew Rice (Roasted Pork Rice) and it was amazing. The egg was unexpectedly runny with the yolk flowing over the rice( i like them this way) and the meat was tender. Unforgettable meal with a awesome view.
2ND LEG of the trip(hongkong-shanghai-hongkong)
My Flight to Shanghai was operated by a A330. I really didn't expect this lounge looking configuration. Heck i didn't even know that Hongkong Airline has them in fleet. It was a flat bed product but there's lack of adjustable headrest. Great & Comfortable for regional flights.
The flight out of Shanghai was operated by another A330 but i gotten the newer business class product. This particular product can be seen in Malaysia Airlines A330-200(Ex Air Berlin) as well as several airlines. This product is also currently fitted in the first four A359 that Hongkong Airlines had in fleet. Meaning to say, this product was previously on the HKG-LAX route until the new herringbone product came in on the two latest A350-900.
RETURN FLIGHT FROM HONGKONG TO LOS ANGELES
One way upgrade from Hongkong to Los Angeles was priced similar.
For starter, i had the Foie Gras Sachima and it was totally not my cup of tea. Roasted tomato soup wasn't my thing either but it was creamy and tasty enough for my tastebud.
For main course, i went with the pork option after my previous experience with the char siew rice but to my disappointment, it tasted so-so and less tasty as i expected. The cheese plate was great and that compensated the somewhat disappointed lunch.
Halfway thru the flight, i ordered the deep fried bun with pork and it was delicious! A must try if you are flying with HX.
Breakfast was acceptable. The dimsum catering out of Hong Kong can't go wrong. Afterall, Hongkong is the land of dim sum.
Overall, it was a amazing experience on Hongkong Airlines. It wasn't because of the cheap fare but really the cabin crew was attentive and they served with a smile. They are constantly asking if everything is okay and if i needed anything. It's a pity that they are operating these flights with a loss. Mistakes does happen to everyone but how does one turn it to a positive thing. That's the most important thing.
I initially would have expected a lousy food catering because logically, an airline would shrimp as much as they can since they had already sold the ticket at a huge loss. But the food was ok and i believed they have won the hearts of many travellers who took advantage of this deal. Hongkong Airlines even encourage us to share our experience on social media.
Given a chance again, i would definitely fly with Hongkong Airlines again. Thanks to the Fortune Wing Club Gold status match, i was able to get those extra legroom seats for free and lounge access for me and another travelling partner. This benefits is also extended to you if you fly on any of the airlines under Fortune Wing Club.
Unfortunately, Hongkong Airlines in currently in debt. Hong Kong’s air transport licence regulator recently publicly expressed “grave concerns” over the carrier’s financial health,
after it was sued by two companies for more than HK$150 million (US$19 million) in unpaid fees for rented planes.
As of press time, Hong Kong Airlines is cancelling more long-haul flights. From June, flights to Vancouver will be cut to three a week from a daily service. The Los Angeles service will see two of the seven flights a week cancelled. Additionally, the San Francisco route has been reduced from four flights a week to three between September and October.
This mistake fare saga didn't make things better for the airline but nonetheless i wish them well in recovery because they indeed had the potential to go on par with their direct rival, Cathay Pacific. I personally felt that the crew service on some of the sector was much better than Cathay Pacific.
I will write on how i spent the Fortune Wing Club Miles that i earn on this flight soon so stay tuned!
Meantime, cheers and happy flying!