Francis Cook flies Auckland to Hong Kong on CX0197.

The plane:

A Cathay Pacific A320 Airbus. Not as flashy as the 777, but serviceable.

Price: Return in Economy Class starts from $1569. Premium Economy at $3109 and Business Class from $5809.

Flight time: About 11 and a half hours.


My seat: My economy ticket was upgraded to Premium Economy, which was pleasing. At the boarding gate it was upgraded again to Business Class, which made me ecstatic. Middle row, right near the front.

Fellow passengers: Sleepy. It was an overnight flight and after a brief chat with my friendly neighbour and some dinner, it was lights out.

How full: Business and premium economy were brimming, while economy looked mostly full.

Entertainment: A decent selection, including the new Star Wars. I watched The Big Short and the latest season of Archer.

The service: Tops. I was referred to by name throughout the flight by the lovely stewards.

Food and drink: Main course was a beef curry which was easily the best inflight food I've had and a selection of good wine and beer came around. I had a couple of New Zealand savs, to put me to sleep.

Toilets: More or less the same as economy, if not slightly larger. The flight was quite turbulent, which presented a challenge for males so at times tiptoeing was required.

Luggage: Seamless.

The airport experience: We were lucky enough to be granted use of the Cathay Lounge for our four-hour wait. Indulged in Champagne, noodles and icecream - didn't want to leave.

Would I fly again: Yes. I slept for eight hours in my seat/bed. While the flight was bumpy, I've never been so comfortable in the air.