Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Bali and Cathay Pacific - Part 1
I had a business meeting in Bali, Indonesia from April 14-16. My first time to visit this noted tourist spot in Indonesia.
Although Indonesia is probably about 3 hours from Manila by plane (direct flight), there were no direct flights from Manila to Denpasar. My colleagues from the other Asian regions (Taiwan, Hongkong, Japan and Korea) had surprisingly had direct flights from their home countries.
Understandably, there would be limited or no flights to Denpasar from Manila. In the first place, the Philippines is a haven for beaches as well, so there would be no need for the Filipinos to fly there for some sun and fun or for conferences for that matter. Secondly, Manila is NOT a major hub in the Asian region. The flights to and from Manila are predominantly for the OFWs who comprise a majority of the frequent flyers to this side of the continent. You can palpably feel this at the airport where majority of those on the flight are off to their final destination of work. It's a pity because on the flight from HongKong to Denpasar, the plane was full! Full of foreigners who made Denpasar their final destination for fun, relaxation or business!
There were three flight options from Manila.
1. Philippine Airlines - Manila-Singapore-Jakarta- then switch planes to Air Garuda from Jakarta to Denpasar.
2. Cathay Pacific Airlines - Manila-Hong Kong-Denpasar (7 hours flying time)
3. Singapore Airlines - Manila-Singapore-Denpasar (7 hours flying time)
My team and I took Cathay Pacific. It had the shortest waiting time, but it meant that we would have to fly North then fly down South again, passing the Philippines once more.
On board Cathay Pacific's newly configured plane, the business class section is reviewed in this blog.
The plus factors: individual seats (with no one beside you), a larger TV monitor, a larger work area, a lie flat (180 degrees) bed, a foot rest (cum ottoman), several individual lighting areas in one seat, and of course an electric outlet for recharging your gadgets.
And now the negative factors: the individual seats were slanted about 30-45 degrees, which was troublesome because I was disoriented during take-off and landing. Of course, when it was time to touch down, I wanted to look out the window but it was difficult to contort my body. The windows were at my back and the seat was blocking the view to all the windows.
All in all said, the flight was a smooth one, to and from Manila.
I'll blog about Bali in Part 2 of this review.