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United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

Toronto, Canada
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United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

I managed to find 2 tickets in November (one from Cathay Pacific and the other from United and both of them cost relatively the same price. United has a stopover for 1 hr. and 45 min in Chicago O'Hare while Cathay Pacific has a fuel/tech stop in Anchorage before continuing to Hong Kong.

Which airline would you say is better?

Also, is the Hong Kong international Airport an efficient airport? I heard bad things about how it is not up-to-date and sees a lot of plane crashes.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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1. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

Hi,

OK.. Let's take this part by part.. First the airport.. ".. is the Hong Kong international Airport an efficient airport? I heard bad things about how it is not up-to-date and sees a lot of plane crashes."

I don't know what you're looking at but the new HKG airport, which opened to the public in 1998 is a masterpiece of design and functionality and usually rates in most peoples opinion of one of the top 10 or top 5 airports in the world.. Crashes? I think you're referring to the old Kai Tak which did have several accidents on property-- for a variety of reasons..

So, from an airport standpoint-- there is absolutely nothing unsafe about HKG and from a efficiency standpoint, would one of the best in the world at present time-- you could do far, far worse...

Ok.. Now to the flight..

I'd pick Cathay... *HOWEVER* do be aware that most of their long-haul aircraft have a rather new design which is unconventional.. It's known as fixed-back design so the back of your seat doesn't actually move or recline back, rather your seat bottom slides forward giving the feeling of recline or "bucketing".. It's hard to describe without actually feeling it..

Overall, the reviews are largely a "love it" or "hate it" response.. Some love it since the seat back in front of you can't/won't recline, there is never a seat-back in your face.. Other hate it because they feel the lack of true recline makes it uncomfortable.. again, no absolute right or wrong here, just how you perceive it and how it "fits" for you.. But just be aware of it, and perhaps do some independent reading to see if you might be inclined to like it or not..

If you think that this type of seat will be a "hate it" for you, then I'd go with UA.. The big plus there is you can get into what UA calls an Economy Plus (or E+) seat.. which is still a regualr economy seat, just that it has more leg room-- advertised as "up to 5 inches"... and on a ORD-HKG flight which is 14+ hours-- five inches can make ALL the difference.. Do know that unless you meet one of a few select groups the E+ seats do come with an additional charge and it's based on distance and market.. My best guess/estimate is that it would be around $150 or so dollars each person, each way..

As to the stop issue.. Generally you are 'safer' with non-stops from a delay and misconnect standpoint.. and since the ANC stop is only a technical stop and involves no change of plane there really is no chance for your bags to get mishandled in transfer and for you to miss your connection-- there is none.. Where as these risks are all present if you take the UA option, as both you and your bags would have to make the transfer in ORD..

On a purely statistical basis alone, the overall probability you'd miss-connect in ORD is very low, *but* there are lots of variables that go into that equation like daily weather how long your connection time is and such.. I would note that if you miss the ORD-HKG flight there is no other same-day option for you to get to HKG.. you're effectively stuck until the next day..

Lots to think about, but I'd give the most thought to the seat factor as you'll be forced to be in it, on it, for 14+ hours...

Travel Safe,

Edited: 03 August 2010, 04:03
Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

Where did you hear about plane crashes at HKIA? Even back at the Kai Tak days, there were very few accidents. Today's airport is consistently rated as one of the top airports (top two between HKIA and Singapore) in the world.

CX will generally give you better service and a much better entertainment system. As GOPBI mentioned, some people love the new seats while others hate it. I'd say the split is 80% positive, 20% negative.

Hong Kong, China
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3. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

Hkia puts most airports to shame.

I would pick Cathay. Better everything compared to us airlines.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

Your information about the tech stop for Cathay is about 3yrs out of date. They no longer do this since they use the 777-330ER planes on this route.

There are two non-stop daily flights from YYR-HKG now. Or, you can go via YVR on AC if you want to change planes. And there are plenty of cheap tickets available - so they are not that hard to manage to find.

The best choice is clearly Cathay and a relaxed 15hr flight - their inflight service with food and AVOD is superior to United.

Edited: 03 August 2010, 06:14
Bangkok
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5. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

Hi,

HK, good point.. I wonder if the OP was accidentally looking at CX's JFK-HKG with the YVR stop..

Travel Safe,

Luzon, Philippines
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for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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6. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

According to Skytrax, HKIA is way much better than the best airport in North America. HKIA is an official 5-star airport while no airport in North America even has a rating of 4-star --> airlinequality.com/Airports/…hkg.htm

According again to Skytrax, United Airlines is just a 3-star airline while Cathay Pacific is a 5-star airline --> www.airlinequality.com/Forum/cathay.htm

london
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7. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

I dont think there has been a single incident at HKIA, so quite you got your information from, is patently incorrect.

As for a choice between United or Cathay, even with the new style seats, of which I am not a fan, it's a no brainer in my opinion. Cathay all the way

New York City, New...
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8. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

You didn't mention which class of travel but for my money Cathay Pacific is far superior, like unscalable wall superior, to United in Business and First.

In Economy I'd go with United because of Economy Plus, and only because of Economy Plus!

london
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9. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

What is the cost of Economy plus as opposed to Economy ?

Nashville, TN
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10. Re: United or Cathay Pacific for Toronto to Hong Kong?

Economy Plus tickets themselves are the same price as regular economy. The Economy Plus seating can be purchased at a surcharge during the booking procedure or at check-in. You might wish to check out these FAQ's before making a decision. faq.ua2go.com/display/4/kb/browse/cat.aspx…