Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cambodia April 2012 - Dragonair 206 Business Class (HKG-PNH)

***This post is part 6 of a full trip report. The index can be found here*** 

I arrived at Gate 26 with plenty of time to spare. The gate area actually had very few people, and I assumed this wouldn't be a full flight. After snapping a few photos of our Airbus 330-300, boarding finally commenced as Business Class was called.

Dragonair 206
Airbus 330-300
Hong Kong (HKG) - Phnom Penh (PNH)
Friday March 30, 2012
Departure: 2:30 PM (scheduled) / 2:37 PM (actual)
Arrival: 4:05 PM (scheduled) / 4:38 PM (actual)
Duration: 2h 35m (scheduled) / 3h 1m (actual)
Seat: 11K (Business) 

My first impression of Dragonair's Business Class was that it looked a little dated. But for a scheduled two and a half hour flight, I really couldn't complain. The large recliner seats had plenty of pitch, and the padding felt very comfortable for the duration of the flight. Perhaps it was just the color scheme and strange pattern on the fabric that made the seats look a bit tired. Unfortunately, there was no AVOD, or even PTVs for that matter, only a large projection screen at the front of the cabin displaying the airshow.

Despite being such a short flight, a full meal service was planned (take note U.S. airlines), starting with a welcome drink - I decided to go with orange juice. Soon after takeoff, the table trays were set, complete with tablecloth, silverware, and glasses.

A fresh fruit plate was the starter, and a choice between Thai green curry chicken or seafood pasta with bouillabaisse sauce served as the main. I went with the pasta as I had been craving something a bit more Western. While nothing to shout home about, it was simple, filling, and tasty. It's always a bit difficult, however, to eat pasta on a plane without splattering the sauce everywhere... and unfortunately, I was wearing a white t-shirt that day. Dessert consisted of delicious Häagen Dazs cappuccino truffle ice cream along with jasmine tea.

I decided not to partake in any alcohol, although Dragonair did offer a wide variety of cocktails and wines. Actually, while writing this trip report and looking over the menu again, I really wish I had tried the KA Signature Drink "Dragon Sunrise", which is a mix of gin and fresh guava and lemon juice. After the meal service, the remaining time felt a bit boring without an entertainment system, so I just organized my trip paperwork, double checking my hotel bookings and making sure I had everything I needed for Cambodia's visa on arrival.

Unfortunately, as we neared Phnom Penh, the pilot came over the intercom and announced that there would be a delay since the President of China, Hu Jintao, had just landed at the airport minutes before. With security detail, a welcome ceremony, and other formalities, it would be a while before our plane would be allowed to land. So round and round we went in a holding pattern above Phnom Penh. In fact, I actually started feeling a little nauseous from all the turning. As my trip in Cambodia progressed over the next few days, I realized that Hu Jintao would have virtually the exact same itinerary as me, and incidentally became a constant disruption to my travel plans!

Hu Jintao's chartered Air China 747-400

Finally, after about half an hour of flying around in circles, we were allowed to land and deplane. The visa process was quick and easy - way more efficient than the mess I experienced at Hanoi last year. Just have your passport, photos, and arrival form ready along with $20 USD and you're good to go. Afterward, I picked up my checked bag from the luggage carousel, and was genuinely shocked that it made it all the way from San Francisco in one piece! A quick exit from the airport and I was officially in Cambodia.


  1. Great trip report thanks for sharing. I'm doing the same flight in Feb 2013 so good to get a sense of what to expect.

    1. Thanks for reading kezza. Glad I could share some helpful information!