Flight Report
CX 685 Hong Kong - Mumbai
Business Class

Welcome Back

4 years after my last visit to Mumbai, here I am again. Same flight number, but with an earlier departure time. I arrive at the airport with no queue for Business Class check-in and reached the windows air-side just before sunset. Here is a new visitor to Hong Kong - American Airlines.

3 A380s

I spotted 3 airlines with A380 planes parked at the terminal today : Qantas, Emirates, and Air France. Emirates actually had 2, with Air France next to them.

A New Lounge

After some plane spotting, I turn my attention to a new Cathay Pacific lounge for a quick bite. I never noticed one here before, and I couldn't even find a sign with the name of it. The entrance looked spectacular - right at the fork of the Y-shaped terminal.

It wasn't very crowded today and there was a decent selection of foods, including soups, dim sum, and lots of desserts. I didn't have time to check out the rest of the lounge though, but I'll be back here a few more times before year-end for some more exploration.

New Business Class

Boarding was punctual and I was happy to find the new Business Class instead of the old regional type on my last flight to Mumbai. The crew came with hot towels and a new signature welcome drink. I still love Cathay Delight but the Pacific Surprise is quite delicious with a strong hint of passion fruit.

6 hours is quite endurable in this environment. With an earlier departure,we would land just before midnight - a more manageable time although it will still be quite late by the time I reach the hotel.

We took off towards the east, then turned south. It was a clear night and the views were lovely.

Stuffed in the Air

Warm cashews first arrived, followed by a delicious appetizer of balsamic vinaigrette salad and smoked duck breast. The crew offered various types of breads and offered naan to me.

There were 4 types of mains available - 2 Indian choices, a grilled lamb chop, and prawns with black truffle paste. The rice was quite hard but the prawns were decent. The portion was quite small but what followed stuffed me beyond full.

The dessert cart came by with fruits and cheeses and I opted for a bit of everything. I started eating cheese since a prior Business Class flight and it is a must-have every time I fly now. I did not realize a lychee and mango mousse cake came afterwards and I got a slice, too.

Shopping in the Sky

Cathay's entertainment system has an extensive choice of programming. However, my focus was on the types of items on its shopping catalogue. Will you buy handbags, earphones, festive mooncakes, and chocolates on board? I guess this wasn't as bizarre as the pots available on Hong Kong Airlines' in-flight shopping booklet.

Stuffed in the Air

Time flew by and soon we were bouncing on descent into a wet Mumbai. There is a new international terminal and Business Class passengers have an expedited line for immigration. The immigration officer still took a while to sort out everything, but at least the hall was big and people didn't bunch up shoulder to shoulder. I had issues with the customs line last time but it was less painful this time. Everyone still had to put their luggage into the X-ray machine for scanning but the line wasn't so bad anymore and the area was a lot more spacious. A marked improvement from 2010!

2010 CX 685 Flight Report

Meanwhile, the slums are still here. The poverty problem is still rife.

The Prince of Wales Museum has a new name - a very lengthy name. The collection is quite good although it has been a long time since I encountered a photography pass requirement.

I still can't believe these historic machines are still on the street.

I returned to the Taj - first time after the terrorist attacks. The pool-side lounge is still screaming Old World.

Meanwhile, the Gateway of India has been cordoned off and visitors need to go through a security booth but no checks were being conducted.