Flight Test

Flight Test

Flight Test


22 October 2016



Shanghai (Pudong) to Hong Kong.


Dragonair’s loyalty program is the Marco Polo Club rewards scheme. Passengers can earn points flying on Dragonair, Cathay Pacific and oneworld alliance airlines.


Economy, 46D. The flight is full, so I’m pleased with an aisle seat.


Two hours and 10 minutes. A hold- up at Shanghai Pudong International Airport causes havoc and many flights are delayed or cancelled. Consequently we leave and arrive two hours late.


Dragonair flies the Shanghai Pudong to Hong Kong route 91 times a week, with partner Cathay Pacific flying the same route an additional 21 times. Dragonair also flies Shanghai Hongqiao to Hong Kongninetimesaweek.


Dragonair has three different configurations for its A330s. The A330-300 A33C has a decent-sized business cabin, with 42 seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. 

The economy cabin accounts for 265 seats, with the 2-4-2 configuration turning into 2-3-2 towards the rear of the plane. In economy the seat pitch is 81 centimetres and width is 45 centimetres.


Economy passengers can check in a total of 20 kilograms, with no restriction on the number of pieces. Silver Marco Polo Club members can check in an additional 10 kilograms, Gold members an additional 15 kilograms; and Diamondmembersanadditional20 kilograms. Regardless of fare class, carry-on allowance is 5 kilograms for all passengers.


There are plenty of movies to choose from, spanning western, Chinese, Asian, arthouse, family and more, but I decide to watch TV on my 23-centimetre touch screen. Most of the choices are Chinese sitcoms, but I find Game of Thrones and get through two episodes. There’s a decent selection of music and games.


Dragonair was named as Skytrax’s World’s Best Regional Airline four times in a row (from 2010 to 2015; in 2016 the airline was ranked as 22 best overall), so I’m keen to see what the fuss is about. The economy seatsfeelcommodiousenough.And even with the person in front of me reclining all the way back, the seat pitch is adequate.


Delayed flights can often equal irritated customers, but the flight attendants are onto it and ensure that everyone is happy once on board. Overall efficient and friendly service make for a pleasant flight to Hong Kong.


I choose chicken with rice for dinner and receive juicy chicken chunks doused in soy sauce served alongside steamed rice and a few slivers of bok choy. Fresh fruit and Haagen-Dazs ice-cream follows.


From late November 2016 Dragonair will be known as Cathay Dragon, pictured top. We’re promised a freshened-up look featuring modern Chinese design elements and menus that take inspiration from China and Hong Kong.


Once on board the flying experience is smooth. Although the plane is full, service is quick and always comes with a smile. I look forward to experiencing the revamped Cathy Dragon product. See

Tested by Tatyana Leonov, who flew courtesy of ILTM.


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