Review: Kyushu Karnival – KA 381 Fukuoka to Hong Kong A330-300 Business Class

Introduction
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Dragonair 380 A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Fukuoka
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Seikai Beppu
Dining at Seikai Beppu
Exploring Beppu
Hoteiya Yufu City
Dining at Hoteiya Yufu City
Exploring Yufuin
Lounge Fukuoka Fukuoka
Dragonair 381 A330-300 Business Class Fukuoka to Hong Kong

Comfort 4/5 Service 5/5 Amenities 5/5 Little things 5/5 Meals 5/5 Overall 5/5

Dragonair Pacific Flight 381
Thursday, August 7th, 2014
Origin: Fukuoka (FUK) Gate: 54 Dep: 16:35 (17:40)
Destination: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 63 Arr: 19:10
 (19:45)
Duration: 3 hr 35 min (3 hr 5 min)
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A330-300
Seat: 17C (Business Class)

I was actually half hoping to have a review of the old business class configuration up here, so I was almost disappointed when I saw the new business class leer around the corner.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

Upon being seated a flight attendant approached me, said hello (as a teenager I love it when flight attendants treat me as an adult and not a tiny little toddler) then presented us with antiseptics.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Antiseptic

I was also offered orange juice (and my sister apple juice, which she spat out again due how unbearably acidulated it was).

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Greeting Beverage

Immediately I knew this was a great crew, with one exception (more on that later).

There was nothing interesting about the view outside.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Window View

I asked for a blanket, and was almost immediately offered one. Dragonair’s business class blankets are perfectly substantial for shorthaul daytime flights, but hopefully they have thicker blankets to, say, Bangalore.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Blanket

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Airshow

Not long after we boarded the doors closed and we pushed back, waiting a while. My eyes were glued to the Delta 767 next to us.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Delta Boeing 767

While we waited, all the crew were busy having small talk with the younger passengers (i.e. my sister), cleaning up the cabin and taking drinks/giving refills. There was one plump woman wearing pursers’ clothes (was she the purser? I don’t know 😉 ) that was just walking up and down the aisle, like an officer going past jail cells to make sure they were all behaving. No words were exchanged, and while I thought she had something to do, this continued on the whole flight. Not that I was pissed or anything (of course the other flight attendants made up for it), but it was just interesting.

After waiting a bit, we taxied around to the runway, which took around 15 minutes.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Taxiing in Fukuoka

The entertainment selection, while extensive, was nowhere near impressive, and featured a lot of movies with actors I hadn’t heard of. The TV selection was great, though the movie selection was abysmal. I ended up flipping on the Airshow for the whole flight.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Entertainment Selection

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Entertainment Selection

My sister watched a movie, though,

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Screen

Slowly, we taxied to the runway.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View from Window Fukuoka

Eventually we had a view of the domestic terminal. Why can’t I ever score a 787? 😦

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Fukuoka Domestic Terminal

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Fukuoka Domestic Terminal

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of ANA Boeing 737-800

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Fukuoka Domestic Terminal

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Fukuoka Domestic Terminal

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Fukuoka Domestic Terminal

We took off very smoothly, and I had an amazing view of the city on the way up into the clouds.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

Apologies if my sister’s toy Melody gets into some of the pictures.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Fukuoka Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Airshow

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Airshow

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin after Takeoff

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin after Takeoff

The load was rather light, so the whole middle seat column was left untaken.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin

I visited the toilet briefly before my table was set. As an older plane, the toilets were pretty old, but at least they had Jurlique amenities, which I like.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Toilet

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Toilet

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Toilet

At this point menus were passed out.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Menu

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

While my parents tucked into some Piper-Heidsieck Brut, the appetiser cart was rolled out, which featured roasted beef tenderloin with couscous salad and a yuzu noodle with wasabi and leek. The cook on the beef tenderloin was perfect, the couscous was light and fluffy and the yuzu noodle was refreshing, tangy and spectacular.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Appetiser

Served with the appetiser were packaged nuts and alongside I ordered a Hong Kong style milk tea. As much as people rave about the milk tea, I found it pretty low quality.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Nuts

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong Style Milk Tea

I made a small joke with the flight attendant during the main course, which I deliberately surveyed each entrée dish and said it was a hard choice. She acknowledged my attempt and chuckled, and told me to take my time. Thanks.

I went with the seafood Japanese ramen noodle, which, if wasn’t the best choice, was a great choice, and is pretty much my second favourite airplane meal after the inbound chicken orzo pasta. I don’t know what’s up with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, but I found they really elevated their international meals this year.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Entrée

Dessert, sadly, with a cup I had to soak in my milk tea to try to melt the ice cream inside with, didn’t make the impressive cut.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Ice Cream

It was delicious, though, after it thawed.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Ice Cream and Airshow

Service was, as explained before, phenomenal. Everyone (except the purser) was trying to engage in small talk with the passengers, and at the same time managed to roll out the food in just over an hour into the flight. This, by far, wins the best non-special service I think I’d ever had.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin during Dinner

Meanwhile, my sister was feeling a little unwell (as she always does while airborne), so proceeded to sleep throughout the meal service. One of the flight attendants serving our aisle set up a snack display for my sister when she woke up. I ended up eating all the snacks, but that is a great touch…

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Kids’ Snack Display

After the meal service I visited the economy class cabin, which I’d seen a couple of times but never actually sat in (I have now, but I hadn’t then). It looked pretty comfy (and was pretty comfy, more on that in the next trip report).

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Economy Class

After that I hopped over to the mostly vacant right (west) side of the plane for a sunset watch, which was as amazing as the flight itself.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin during Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin during Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

I thought I better get used to the nose of this bird, as I’d be flying the A330 in business class a lot next year.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Wing

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Location during Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin during Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin during Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Sunset

The sun soon went down, and not long after, the captain told us to buckle up and put our seats upright before landing in Hong Kong. Interestingly he said “cabin crew, twenty-five minutes till landing”, as opposed to the “cabin crew, thirty minutes till landing” call that captains usually make.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin after Sunset

Prior to landing, I sat in the front seat waiting for a toilet (I was actually hoping to photograph the right aisle toilet as well, which I’d never visited). The cabin crew on the other side of the aisle asked me if I was feeling okay, as it was about my fifth time in the toilet on the flight. While I felt a little uneasy at first (I used the milk tea as my defence), it’s those small touches that make you feel most at home.

The cabin crew did their cabin check, and didn’t forget to thank us for taking the flight after I got back from the toilet once again. About right after they got back to their crew seats (and about exactly when the captain told the cabin crew to get seated for landing) we began our descent into Hong Kong about half an hour behind “shed-jewel”.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

Though the weather was foggy, the views were awesome, and the flying weather wasn’t bad either.

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iDragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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iDragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Approach

We touched down at about 19:40.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Final Approach

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Taxiing

We arrived at gate 63, which my sister and I were one of the first to leave the plane.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300

Overall, this was an amazing flight. The service, food, and hard product were all amazing. That said, I also had comparable food and service on the inbound, so overall I’m impressed with the changes in Dragonair’s business class cabin (since I last flew with them up front in 2012).

Also, this trip was phenomenal. Staying in ryokans and feeling a different “culture” was not only rejuvenating, it was interesting and the cities showed a more relaxed, though still busy way of living. I wouldn’t hesitate to return to any of the cities I visited this trip, and definitely have plans for my parents’ anniversary in the future.

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