We spent about an hour in Cathay Pacific’s “The Bridge” Lounge at Hong Kong’s Chep Lap Kok International Airport after arriving from Singapore earlier that morning. After a few drinks and a quick bite, it was time to head to the gate to board our flight on American Airlines’ new B777-300ER in business class.
But let’s back up for a second.
Unlike my outbound trip from Dallas to Hong Kong, I did not clear the eVIP Systemwide upgrade for this flight several days ahead of time. In fact, we did not actually clear this upgrade until 25 hours prior to the flight. This flight was extremely elite heavy, so there were quite a few (dozens, actually) of Executive Platinum customers on this flight who didn’t clear the upgrade. We had the advantage since we were on a connecting flight from Singapore (up until late April, connecting passengers had priority on the AA upgrade standby list — that is not longer the case). Luckily, the three of us appeared to receive three of the last six seats in business class.
We arrived at the gate to see one of the longest lines for the Executive Platinum boarding group that I’ve ever seen. That group was seriously rolling 75 people deep. The boarding line was delayed even more by security checking everyone’s carry on bags before boarding. All water bottles were taken away – that’s always an annoyance when flying back to the States from Hong Kong.