CX713 BKK-SIN 29/APR B747-400, 2A, First
The aircon eventually came back on when the new crew boarded, and the new ISM immediately came to greet me. We struck up a conversation and the charming lady offered me a walkabout of the aircraft while it was still completely empty. I gladly agreed and, walking all the way down the aisles, started to get a feeling of how massive the 747s really are. I also test-sat in the Y and upper deck C Class seats and exchanged greetings with all the FAs on duty in these cabins (the ISM guiding me usually introduced me with “this is our First Class passenger taking a tour of the aircraft” which I found a bit intimidating). A quick peek into the cockpit rounded off the tour, and by the time I returned to my seat, boarding was about to begin. I had only been gone for about 10 minutes, during which they had managed to freshen up my seat again, as I found out from the new “sterilized” stickers on my headphones. My SCMP had also gone, which was okay as I was through it anyway. Boarding got underway, and the ISM returned with the three FAs taking care of the First Class cabin on the next sector and introduced them personally to me. It turned out that one of them was a trainee (read: a well-versed flight attendant who had flown countless hours on Cathay and was now considered experienced enough to perform the First Class duties) who was technically not yet allowed to serve F pax, but instead was supposed to watch and learn. The ISM then said something I never had the luck of hearing before: “You see, Mr. airoli, these three charming colleagues will be taking care of all the passengers in our First Class cabin. Today, that is only you.”
It goes without saying that this completely made my day. I celebrated my luck with a glass of champagne and eagerly anticipated the flight ahead. When the doors were closed and the safety demo started playing, I really felt like in my own private 747, as there was absolutely no one else in sight. Except of course for the one F/A who came around on cue to point out the nearest exits. As this was my very own safety demo, I duly paid attention and was rewarded with a refill on the champagne. There’s something funny about the combination of safety demo and bubbly refill… as if they don’t trust into their own procedures! During taxi, the familiar wine list and the menu below were presented to me:
Being hungry, I ordered “the full monty” with the lamb as my entrée. The F/A taking my order was pleased with my appetite and continued to add that I could even have a little “orgy” (her words!) on board as they had apparently been fully catered and thus had heaps of food on board. Of course, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. (Just kidding!) Seriously though, I thanked her for the offer and said that I’d get back to her should I still be hungry after the ordered meal. The flying time of slightly over two hours turned out to be absolutely perfect for it allowed my meal to be had without a rush, but without much “spare” time either. My table was laid as soon as we climbed over 10’000 feet, and stowed away at around the same altitude during descent. I asked for the window shades throughout the cabin to be left open and thus enjoyed a panorama of the blue skies and the clouds below “CX713” definitely was a gourmet restaurant with a fantastic view!
Being the only passenger, I dared doing what I’d never done before: I took meal pictures! I will let them speak for themselves and won’t comment on the food any further. Let me just add that I was touched by the personal Bon Appetit note that “my” three F/As had written and placed on my table, and that the only very minor disappointment was the Sauternes that I was offered with the cheese, only to learn minutes later that it wasn’t available after all. Some port did just fine.
This most certainly was my best ever flight with Cathay and probably the most enjoyable flight I ever took. Attentive as they are, the crew members definitely noticed my satisfaction and thus again “randomly selected” me for a customer survey. It’s not hard to imagine how I graded them… Landing was about 30 minutes behind schedule, and despite not wanting to leave at all, I was the first off the plane. Naturally, I did not disembark before throughoutly thanking “my” crew for this memorable flight.