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Getting To Perth From Hong Kong

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I believe only the rather overpriced Cathay Pacific offers direct flights from Hong Kong to Perth.  As we were only going for a week, we chose to suck it up and pay the exorbitant prices. However, if you don’t mind flying indirect, you can fly for half the price with Malaysia Airlines, Scoot, Jetstar and Air Asia.

Chinese New Year is a very popular time to travel to Western Australia so make sure you book these flights far in advance (I booked ours 10 months in advance as I am a nutter).  I booked my flights through Daryl at Concorde Travel.

Flying with Cathay Pacific

Prior to your flight, if you are a Marco Polo club member, you can phone and reserve your seats. Luckily I did this as the system had seated us erratically around the plane. This is a huge bugbear of mine, I do not understand why airlines can’t seat families (who are all traveling on the same group ticket) together.  But I digress.

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Also be sure to book your children’s meals in advance.  And should you be so inclined, the Hindu Vegetarian meal for adults. It is delicious and so much better than the other rubbish they give you! Plus you get it in advance of all the passengers too.

At 7 hours flying time, it is not too bad.  CX171 departs Hong Kong at 2:50pm and arrives in Perth at 10.30pm.  We tried to force the kids into sleeping the last few hours of the flight but they weren’t having any of it. If you’re after a bassinet, there aren’t many onboard the A330-300.  Make sure you do whatever you can to secure them in advance, here are my tips on how to book a bassinet.

Cathay offers two options for a return flight which do vary depending on what day you fly home.  We chose the day flight, CX136 which departs at an unfriendly 7:10am and arrives back in Hong Kong at 3:10pm.  As we had to get up so early, we chose to spend our last night at the convenient Ellard B&B which was an easy 10 minute drive from the airport.

Similarly to US bound flights, Australian flights have an extra layer of security before you get onboard so you may need to dispose of your waters etc.  You also can’t take any food into Australia, they are extremely strict being island and all that.  So eat everything before you exit the plane!

Onboard

The Cathay A330-300 has seen better days.  However, it is a 2-4-2 formation which I like. I had requested a middle 4 for us but I actually think spreading over two ‘2s’ gives you more space as a family.
IMG_3129 Cathay Pacific always has a fantastic onboard entertainment system, one which you can use from take-off (yes that’s Frozen on loop for you!).  On the return journey they also came round with some kids activity packs.
Don’t forget to pack kids headphones. I love our LilGadgets ones, which have a volume control, splitter and are very comfortable.
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Overall our flights were fine, if a bit bumpy. My only gripe was with the cabin temperature so make sure you pack lots of layers.  Seeing everyone around me huddling in arctic temperatures, I did speak to cabin crew to ask them to warm up the cabin.  They did try to correct the problem but then it seemed to turn arctic again.
Arrival at Perth International Airport
Be prepared for long queues at immigration if you aren’t an Australian passport holder.  Having landed at 10.30pm, my kids were very sleepy and basically just sprawled all over the carpet.  If you want to try to beat the queue the only thing for it is to get seated as close to the front as possible and then leg it off the aircraft. I did try to pull the ‘it’s late at night and my kids are sleeping’ card to get to the front of the queue but staff weren’t that interested!
If I am landing late at night into a new city, I always find it’s easier to take a taxi and organise car hire for the next day.  We hopped in a cab at Perth Airport to take us to our apartment in Fremantle which took about 25 minutes. We were exhausted by the time we got there (around midnight) and this was the scene as we fumbled around for the lockbox!
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