Flying Cathay Pacific, but not to Hong Kong…

Continuing my quest to fly “Fifth Freedom Routes”, I flew Cathay Pacific to get me down to Singapore from Bangkok, despite visiting Hong Kong a few days earlier, I did not fly Cathay at the time and flew Sri Lankan Airlines, which was a great experience. I needed to fly back to Singapore to catch my Malaysia Airlines flight.

The flight was operated by a new Airbus A350-900 (Reg. B-LRA),  a type I flew with Cathay’s OneWorld partner Finnair from London to Helsinki.  I had high expectations from this flight, which I again took in Business Class in aide of maintaining my British Airways status.

Having boarded, I discovered the seat is identical to those of Finnair on the A350, however, the colour scheme is inline with the Cathay branding. I was in solo seat 18A facing the window.

The seat was very comfortable, providing privacy, space and a direct view out the window, as when you have a window seat, you want to look out the window.

Following take off, I quickly discovered Cathay Pacific staff fully recognised my BA OneWorld Emerald status and two senior cabin crew came to introduce themselves. Very impressed, as this rarely happens on BA these days. I was even addressed by my surname. (Which is a challenge for most people to pronounce).

The food menu looked nice and I selected the prawns.

Thanks to my status, my food was served before other passengers too, I am liking Cathay Pacific!

Overall the flight was uneventfull. There was onboard Wi-Fi, but this was not free, unlike with Finnair. As the flight was relatively short, I did not bother.

Cathay is a great airline and I was impressed with the seat, the service and the food.




And now for something more exotic

Sri Lankan Airlines is the choice of my flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong. Got a great deal on the flight only £220 rtn in flat bed business class and 80 tier points.

Todays plane is a bit older. According to Google it is 17 years old and named “City of Pulasthi Pura” reg 4R-ALD.

Just board and here is my seat 2A
Comfortable enough for the 2hr flight.

I did not use the reclining features for this short flight, but my fellow passengers did. The noise of the chairs motors showed their age. Can’t imagine hearing that in the middle of the night.

Promptly after take off we were served lunch. I had a lovely Chicken Teryaki with rice accompanied with some Piper champagne, when offered you say: Yes!

The flight was good, with lovely service of the cabin crew, whom were all wearing saris with an exposed mid section. Traditional, but wonder how cold they get during the flight.

Verdict: would  fly again, maybe even on long-haul.


I flew back with Sri Lankan to Bangkok to spend 2 days in the chaotic city, that is really the only word I can use to describe Bangkok.

The return flight was operated by the exact same aircraft, and again the service was great and very attentive with again good food.  The flight attendants, again wearing their Saris were so kind to passengers whom did not speak English and could make a selection from the menu due to the language barrier.  To solve this, two flight attendants brought out the 4 options to show them.  First time I have seen that!


Even after 20 years, Flying Royal Jordanian continues to be an interesting experience.  

The first time I  flew RJ was between New York JFK in 1997 on another fifth freedom flight. I was in Uni in the US and there were some super cheap deals flying from Boston via New York on TWA and on to Amsterdam.

Now 20 years on, I am again getting settled into a super cheap seat on RJ on a fifth freedom route. Instead of a Lockheed TriStar L1011, I am on. New Boeing 787, in Business Class. KL to Bangkok was a mere £120 one way. I could just not pas this up. (Also as I get 40 tier points with BA toward my status renewal).
Having flown my share of Business Class flights, the seats are not dissimilar to those on older Finnair planes with a 2 2 2 layout with all seats angled in pairs to create room.

Service on this flight was okay. It started with a UHT O, but ended on a high with nice champagne and a light meal.

Only thing I am not sure about is the comfort of sleep I would have gotten, as the seat was narrow ending in a point with very little room for feet.