Airport Lounge review: New Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge at YVR

Unimaginable before and after. That’s what I thought when I first saw the press release photos of Cathay Pacific’s new lounge at YVR airport. Cathay Pacific Airways, the largest airline in Asia recently opened a lounge for business class passengers in YVR airport. I’ll reviewing and comparing this lounge and their old lounge in this post.

They used to own a lounge at YVR airport near the international departure security check, right above Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounge (which is currently under renovation). It was somewhat nice lounge as I didn’t have to walk a long distance from the security check and was very easy to access. However, I also had some points that I didn’t like about their lounge. Overall, I can see a lot of improvements in the new lounge and it’s fair to say that the new lounge is much more travelers friendly environment.

Here are some photos of the lounge.

It had contemporary simple design with their old lounge concept design, the large white bar-style table with orange and red sofas. It still looked nice but as you may feel the design is a bit outdated. In addition, it wasn’t large enough if all business class passenger enter in the lounge, especially right before the night flight to New York depart. I also didn’t like that it didn’t have shower facilities in it. So even though, I wanted to take a shower before the long flight to Hong Kong, I had to go to Plaza Premium Lounge or took shower in advance before heading to the airport.

So, it’s time to see the new one. Here are some photos of the new lounge.



Wow!

It’s large, gorgeous, and relaxing environment. I can see a lot of improvements from the old lounge.

The design follows Cathay Pacific’s most recent lounge design, designed by Studioilse led by Ilse Crawford. Very contemporary design with warm wooden wall gives more relaxing atmosphere to passengers who are about to enjoy their journeys.

There are some big changes in the lounge. The lounge is equipped with 2 shower rooms for the passengers who are about to take long flights, the noodle bar with selection of Asian noodles, dim sums and all day breakfast menu. The computers with printers are also new feature, which are very useful for travellers who want to print some important documents, such as travel inquiries and hotel booking confirmations.

I tried Wonton noodle, dim sums and a glass of champagne at the noodle bar in the dining area. It tasted very authentic Chinese wonton noodle and champagne tasted great! There were also enough seats at the dining area and the passengers who want to relax and who want to eat are nicely separated and the lounge provided very relaxing atmosphere at the relaxing seating area. They used to serve champagne only in the first class lounge, however they started providing selection of champagne and wines in business class lounge too. So the services other than seating and spacing also improved a lot.


I’m pretty sure that in this lounge, people would plan to eat and drink before taking flight and sleep in the flight instead of eat in-flight meal, which don’t usually taste better than food on the ground.

The only one negative point about the new lounge is that they removed the first class lounge and made business and first class lounges together. So that, the first class passengers may feel a bit less privileged. However, the new lounge has pretty high standard and you can experience first class lounge service in business class lounge.

Summary

If you’re traveling from YVR airport international terminal with OneWorld airlines and have OneWorld sapphire or emerald status, or flying Cathay Pacific’s business class, you definitely try the new lounge. Relaxing and having good food before flight can make a huge difference in the flight. It changes traveling much better experience and helped to travel well.

Peer Review for Pacific West Photography

 

Pacific West Photography is a great website to discover the beautiful nature of the British Columbia and the west coast culture. Pacific West Photography has an Instagram page, which features beautiful photos she has taken. In terms of the social media use, there is the link of the Instagram with the icon, which makes easy for the audience to visit her Instagram page. I think using only Instagram is a great decision, as her website mainly focuses on the beautiful nature of the British Columbia and Instagram is a much better platform to share photos in public, comparing to other social media platforms.

On her Instagram page, she posted photos she has posted on her website. Each photo has a lot of hashtags that helps to bring the audience into her Instagram photos. She also has the link to her website on the bio. The bio of the Instagram is very simple but describes enough about what her Instagram page is about. The contents of the Instagram is very well-related to her website contents. Regarding her Instagram page, I would suggest two things she can improve to make it better. The first point is the comments for her food photos. Her Instagram page has some food photos which she introduced on her website in details, so that audience who have visited her Instagram can go to her website to discover in depth of the recipes she writes. Since she posted many great photos of food, she could have written “link in bio for the recipe” to guide her Instagram followers and audience to her website to make the traffic more active. The second point is her communication with her audience and followers. She gets a lot of positive comments on the posts to compliments her beautiful contents. However, it seems like she has not replied to most of the comments she gets. So, I would recommend her to reply even very short words such as “Thanks!” to show that she actually care about her audience and followers. If she replies specific comment, the person who commented gets a notification and it increases the chance to bring that person back to her Instagram page. Social media is a place to communicate with the audience and followers, so if she shows her caring attitude toward her audience, they more likely to come back to her page and check new posts.

Overall, Pacific West Photography Instagram page has great contents and a lot of followers. Her use of hashtags and beautiful photos has potential to increase the access to her blog page through the link in bio. She may need minor improvements for the response for the comments, and the comment to introduce recipes of the food she posts. However, other than those, her Instagram page is great and very enjoyable to see all those beautiful pictures.

 

Flight Review: CX888 YVR-JFK Premium Economy Class

Welcome to another flight review blog! This time, I’ll be reviewing a flight from Vancouver to New York, JFK airport. An interest thing of this flight is that the flight is operated by Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong based airline, as a part of flight from Hong Kong to New York via Vancouver. If you love aviation news and follow the aviation industry and know a lot about YVR airport, you can easily guess that this flight spot in at the gate 73 for the security reason.

Check-In & Boarding 

As usual, check in at YVR airport. At the check in counter, I and my friend were told that the flight was completely full and they upgraded us from economy class to premium economy class! It was a great surprise as I and my friend participated a volunteer activity for a whole day and was very tired. 


During the boarding, we got to line up on the premium economy class passengers’ priority queue as a part of premium economy class benefits. Usually, cathay Pacific’s boarding process is as follows, the first group is people who need assistance and with children,  the second group is first class passengers, millage club diamond members, One World emerald members, the third group is business class passengers, millage club gold and silver members, One World Sapphire members, the fourth group is premium economy passengers and millage club green members, and then the fifth one is economy class passengers. 

Seat & Amenities

The aircraft was Boeing 777-300ER with 4 classes, which is called 77H. It has 6 first class seats, 53 business class seats, 38 premium economy class seats and 175 economy class seats. As you can imagine, the first class and business class takes almost the half of the airplane and there are not that many economy class seats comparing to other types of 777 or other airlines’ 777-300ER. So, it’s understandable why economy class was overbooked and we got upgraded to premium economy.

The seat configuration is 2-4-2 in Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which is a typical configuration for premium economy (and economy class is usually 3-3-3 or 3-4-3).


The seat has extra legroom, width and recline comparing to a regular economy class seat.

On the seat, there were pillow, blanket and amenity pouch, since it was a night flight, which left Vancouver in the night and arrived in New York in the next morning. In this flight, because the flight time was only 5 hours, I had to choose whether I sleep 5 hours to prepare myself for discovering NYC or enjoy food & movies. 

Well, I chose to watch the first half of the movie I picked and being awake until the meal service ends, and then got 3 hours of sleep.

Shortly after we settled down on seats, a flight attendant served a welcome drink from the choice of champagne, orange juice and water. I picked up champagne and cheered with my friend.


In-flight Meal

In-flight meal choices were very similar to economy class meal choice, which are often beef/pork, chicken, or vegetarian. I picked up chicken with mashed potato. It came with shrimp salad, bread and cheesecake.


After, the meal service, I slept for about 2 and a half hours and woke up 25 minutes before anding announcement. Shortly after that, the plane landed safely to JFK International Airport and spotted in to Terminal 7. I personally like JFK Terminal 7, as it’s very different from other airports’ terminals I usually use. It used to be owned by British Airways (BA) and operated exclusively British Airways flights. It also has Concorde Room for BA First Class passengers, which I dream to enter one day hopefully.

After landing, I went through the US immigration and customs, and then picked up Uber to the hotel in Manhattan.

Summary

It was very comfortable 5 hours flight with the better seats and larger legroom. I could see a lot of differences between regular economy class and premium economy class. Now, I can understand why they call it “premium” economy class, instead of just calling it “economy plus.”

Process Post 9

This week, we had a guest speaker, Tod Maffin from engageQ. He talked about the crisis management on social media channels for corporations and organizations.

In the age of social media and online communications, responses for customers/users/clients on social media channels need to be very careful and thoughtful in order to avoid social media crisis, such as Twitter War.

He mentioned “SWARM” the way to communicate with people on social media channels. SWARM stands for

  • Speak like a human
  • Win-Win
  • Avoid a public fight
  • Rights the wrong
  • Make friends

The first point, “speak like a human” is a very basic skill to understand customers’ feeling. If a customer gets a message/email which seems like written by an AI or copy and pasted text, the customer more likely to get angrier and the situation gets even worse.

Win-win is that both of customer and company win together as solving problems in the way benefits both of them. However, customers may be just angry and if that’s the case, a company cannot do much or it is hard to help to let company win at the same time.

Avoid a public fight is another very useful advice from Tod. As many organizations use social media, they need to minimize the risk that someone spreads negative information/comments on social media, where everyone in the world can see.

Rights the wrong is very significant for a company. If a customer is misinformed or has wrong information, correct the wrong information can be very helpful to let the customer understand why the things went wrong.

Finally, make friends is a great opportunity to change an angry customer to a loyal customer who loves the product/service a company provides.

In the future, when I expand my website services, those 5 key points to keep good customer relation becomes very significant. This information is also important for dealing with any customers in general in my life.

3 Nights 8 Days Trip Part 7 (Last Part)

Welcome aboard!

Day 8: On my way to home.

Finally, it comes to the end of my journey.  Since, there is no direct flight from Singapore to Vancouver, I transited in Hong Kong. So, that means I visited Hong Kong International Airport 4 times in a week.

It took 4 hours from Singapore to Hong Kong and 12 and a half hour from Hong Kong to Vancouver.

DSC02717DSC02745

Luckily I got the first low of Premium Economy class on my way back to Vancouver. So, it was comfortable and after the first meal service, I fall into a long sleep and when I woke up was just few hours before the second meal service.

DSC02719DSC02724DSC02748DSC02749

As always,it was hard to take a good picture of in-flight meals because of the lighting. After a long journey, I safely arrived Vancouver International Airport.

DSC02750DSC02752

When I saw it was raining, I felt that I came back to Vancouver. I pretty enjoyed my short one week break with a lot of flights, which I loved.

I had planned this trip because I wanted to let people know trip can be made any styles. It doesn’t have to be a week cruise in Mexico or 5 nights 7 days in Paris. It could be 3 nights 8 days in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Many of my friends told me that I am crazy about making travel plans, but I want to visit as many places as possible in my life with short breaks I get. That’s one of the reasons I plan this trip.

Thank you for reading long series of blog posts!

Have a nice day!