After arriving at the British Airways Executive Lounge in JFK airport, we settled in to wait for our flight. First class lounges--aside from being a gorgeous place where they bring you drinks and snacks while you relax in wide, comfortable seats with flat screen TVs and WiFi--also helped solve one of our first marital disputes. While AJK had in the past been content to make it to the airport while the flight’s doors were closing, I grew up arriving at the airport a full two hours prior to the flight. However, once experiencing first class lounge service, AJK now has no problem starting our vacation a few hours earlier in the lounge. [Also, it’s a great place from which to call recon. In fact, I successfully reconned three cards (for Mrs. AJK) whilst sippin’ Livit 15.]
Ultimately, our flight was called and we made our way to the boarding area where we were promptly greeted by name and shown onto the plane.
We settled into our two seats in the business class section of the Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong with a stopover in Vancouver.
AJK and I both struggled to resist the temptation to lay our seats flat and sleep on the way to Vancouver in an effort to reserve ourselves for an uninterrupted night’s sleep on the flight to Hong Kong. We struggled valiantly but I gave up pathetically after about an hour of sitting in my comfortable seat with the bed icon glimmering at me enticingly. My self-control shattered, I ripped open the blanket, grabbed an extra pillow from the seat in front of me, threw on my pajamas and pressed that button so fast I must have broken some world record. Apparently, AJK looked over at me a few minutes later, saw me sleeping like an angel and succumbed to peer pressure.
We both slept about two and a half hours of that leg of the flight, awakening only to eat dinner and then to land in Vancouver Int’l Airport.
While some passengers disembarked past our sleepy selves, we waited while they cleaned the airplane and boarded a new set of Hong Kong bound passengers. [Note to everyone considering this flight: Don’t. Take the non-stop from JFK instead. Being woken up at what is for you 3-4 am is no treat, and the stop seems to be endless.]
Finally, we took off again for the longer leg of flight. We watched a few shows and then settled in to sleep. The luxury of having a lie flat bed cannot be described. I spent a few moments thinking about the poor souls in coach and how they were undoubtedly wishing for every moment of their miserable flight to be over. Then, I leaned my bed back a little further, took a drink from the outstretched hands of a flight attendant, switched my channel and shrugged off that miserable thought.
After sleeping comfortably for another six hours, I woke up and spent the rest of the flight napping, watching TV, and enjoying my surroundings, and eating breakfast.
We landed in Hong Kong about an hour early and disembarked to a clean and modern airport.
We passed through customs effortlessly and walked out into the baggage terminal. Within minutes, our baggage arrived and we walked toward the train to Kowloon. The Airport Express is the most painless and effortless airport transportation system that I have ever encountered. We bought a group rate ticket (cheaper than two single rates) from the train concierge and boarded the train at the end of the hall. The train travels partially in tunnels and partially in open air on its way from Lantau Airport to Kowloon. The day was overcast and foggy at 6:00 am but we could still make out lush greenery, mountains and Hong Kong harbor. [The train ride took about 40 minutes, IIRC.]
Upon arrival in Kowloon station we disembarked and rode a few sets of escalators up into a classy luxury shopping area. The stores were all closed but just from walking by the windows we could tell they were a couple hundred Hong Kong dollars out of our price range. The W hotel and the Ritz Carlton hotel are both situated directly above the train station, so within minutes we found ourselves in the lobby of the W.
Although it was only 7:00am at the time, they quickly put us in a room and informed us that they would move our bags to an upgraded room while we were out touring. [Though we were booked on a SPG Platinum account, and would have loved to receive a Marvelous Suite at check-in, being that check-in wasn’t officially slated for another 9 hours, we were quite content to get ANY room just then.]