Tracey Bond is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Auckland.

Flight Check: Hong Kong to Hanoi on Dragonair

Tracey Bond flies from Hong Kong to Hanoi, Vietnam, on Dragonair flight KA295.
The Dragonair Airbus A321-231. Photo / Creative Commons
The Dragonair Airbus A321-231. Photo / Creative Commons

The plane: A321

On time: An hour behind schedule.

My seat: 11K. We were randomly upgraded at the gate to Business Class: score. For those of you wanting to know what the secret to getting the upgrade was, well, we missed an earlier plane due to a visa mix-up (our fault) and were lucky to be re-booked onto this flight, so maybe the ground staff felt sorry for us. A note on the actual seat: Vietnamese silk cushions were a lovely touch.

Fellow passengers: A mixture of Hong Kongers heading away for the weekend, businessmen returning from the International Gem Fair and commuters heading home.

How full: Fairly full. Hard to tell once the Business Class curtains were closed.

Entertainment: With a flight time of just an hour and a half there's not much time to kill on this flight, but there was a selection of TV shows, games and music. It's the same system as on sister airline Cathay Pacific which means compulsory adverts at the start of every show. Thank goodness for the fast-forward button.

Food and drink: Signature cocktail on arrival. For dinner the starter was parma ham with rockmelon followed by a choice of braised chicken with Beijing onion, steamed rice and broccoli, or seafood with basil cream sauce casarecia pasta. Dessert was a choice of Haagen Daz flavours. Full bar service with wines and spirits from around the world and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.

The toilets: The flight was so short there was no time to check them out.

Luggage: Carry-on allowance for all classes is 5kg. Check-in allowance is 20kg for economy and 30kg for business. Members of the Marco Polo Club (Cathay Pacific's airpoints membership scheme) get an extra allowance depending on their membership tier.

The airport experience: Hong Kong Airport is like a small, self-contained city. Don't be fooled by your gate number - it could be a train-ride away. There are lots of shops to while away the hours, including a full-size Zara if your budget doesn't stretch to Chanel. The food court can get pretty busy - particularly the cheaper options like McDonald's. Worth noting that there are plenty of water fountains.

Would I fly this again: I'm not sure I'll get this lucky again, but yes, in a heartbeat.

- NZ Herald

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