Sarah Atkinson flies CX198 from New Zealand to Hong Kong.
Plane: A very well-worn A340. Late last year, Cathay started running their flash new A350 into Auckland.
Class: Deep Economy.
Flight Time: 11hr 30min.
Price: Return airfares start from $1165.
My seat: 65K and 65H (window and aisle). It was a tight squeeze.
Fellow passengers: A mix of Kiwi families, couples and a large group of Chinese tourists (hopefully with very empty pockets). Two hours in we had the pleasure of having a kid vomit on us from across the aisle ... lovely.
How full? To the brim.
Entertainment: The usual suspects with screeds of "pre-roll" ads before any show or movie ... you have to really commit when jumping between titles. I settled on Eddie the Eagle and loved it.
The service: The staff were polite and friendly, and quickly fixed the small issue of us being covered in vomit.
Food and drink: Lunch was whiting with parmesan potatoes and steamed veges — delicious! I thought all fish served on planes was basically destroyed before it reached your plate, so was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't. I tucked into the hokey pokey ice cream to remind me of the home I wouldn't see for the next six weeks while we went travelling.
Toilets: Small, but tidy.
Luggage: One bag weighing 23kg.
The airport experience: Easy and no hassle. Flight was delayed by 30 minutes due to a late arriving plane. I was in good spirits, so no drama. Quick to get on and out once the gates opened.
Would I fly again: Yes, but in hindsight I would have paid more for the Premium Economy; our seats were noticeably worn in comparison ... and hopefully there would be a lack of spewy kids. I'd love to try out the plush new seating aboard the A350.