The flight

Having worked at British Airways for the past 2.5 years, and having been on my mum’s concessions at bmi for the preceeding 12 years, I was used to arriving at airports not knowing whether I would be getting on the flight I was booked on or not.  I didn’t have this issue on the day we were due to fly to Manila, but I was concerned about whether or not all our bags would be within Cathay’s specified allowance of 20kg for checked baggage and 7kg hand baggage per person.

My checked bag was close to 23kg the last time I had weighed it and Simon’s 2 bags were close to 25kg. We were allowed one main piece of hand baggage and one extra small bag.  I easily had what could constitute 2 ‘normal’ sized pieces of hand baggage, and they easily weighed more than double our allowance.  I had prepared myself for a hefty excess baggage charge.  When we checked in, the lady behind the counter didn’t so much as raise an eyebrow.  She checked us in all the way to Manila and sent us to the ‘out of gauge’ belt for the 2 backpacks Mr H was checking in.  He had kindly offered to split his belongings over 2 bags so that my backpack could come with us to Asia as well.

I needn’t have worried when I saw some of the bags that people were trying to squeeze into the overhead lockers!

The flight to Hong Kong (on a Boeing 777) felt very long – 11 hours 40 minutes.  And neither of us managed a
huge amount of sleep.  We had a 55 minute slot in Hong Kong to catch our connecting flight to Manila.  As we neared Hong Kong, the entertainment screens began listing which gate connecting flights would be leaving from.  The minutes were ticking away and by the time we landed we only had about 30 minutes to make our flight.  We didn’t make it.  As we got into the terminal, there was someone from Cathay there with boarding passes printed for another flight to Manila, leaving in 2 hour’s time.  There were also 2 vouchers to be used on refreshments.

Part of the entertainment system on our flight from London to Hong Kong included a view from a camera placed on the undercarriage of the plane.  Hong Kong airport is built on reclaimed land, surrounded by the South China Sea.  For a large part of the descent you look like you’re going to land on water.  It was both terrifying & exhilarating to watch.

The flight time from Hong Kong to Manila is about 1.5 hours, on a Boeing 747.  I was really surprised that it would be such a big plane for such a short flight.  Clearly a lot of people travel between Hong Kong and Manila. We were given a snack on board – a sort of pasty with some unidentified, yet delicious, filling.

Unfortunately, because of our missed connection, it was dark by the time we approached Manila, so we didn’t get much of a view.

We were met in Manila by a driver from Mr H’s new employer who took us to our apartment.  It was such a relief to get to our apartment almost 24 hours after we’d left our flat in Wokingham.

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