I took CX690 from Singapore Changi Airport to Hong Kong and flew in economy. I arrived quite early at the airport as I was coming off a cruise that docked early in the morning. Cathay now uses the new Terminal 4 of Changi airport and it is indeed a stunningly beautiful and efficient airport. I prefer dealing with an actual person to check in as I have One World Alliance status and can use priority check in but actually almost everything at Terminal 4 is automated and you can easily go from check-in to boarding without dealing with an actual person since they have check in machines, luggage receiving machines, photo and finger print coded to your boarding pass, and even automated boarding gates. Check in was quite quick as a Cathay staff from another section came over to assist me when she saw me waiting while three other passengers in front of me took a long time at the priority check in counter.
Prior to boarding, I took a look at the many shops on the air side of the terminal and took some photos of the stunning beautiful new terminal. There is a section for traditional goods stores where the storefronts are decorated like a row of old Singaporean shops with the difference that the second storey is actually a giant video screen the periodically plays a traditional wedding story video. After shopping, I went up to the Cathay lounge which is the updated version with the noodle bar found in the newer Cathay lounges. There was a lot of food offerings in the noodle bar section and in an adjacent section with Western style food so one will be well-fed in the lounge. There was also lots of seating but during the busiest period about an hour before the flight, newcomers had a bit of trouble finding an open booth or table in the noodle bar section (though there were seats available but just at booths or tables that already have another guest there).
The flight was slightly delayed by about 10 minutes as the incoming flight was a bit late in arriving. Boarding was fairly efficient and as Cathay uses a priority boarding system that actually sub-divides the priority passengers into further distinct groups (ie. First Class, Cathy Diamond and One World Emerald, then another line for Business Class and other lower status tiers on Cathay and One World), I boarded very early and had lots of time to settle in and get my carry-on into the overhead bins.
The flight was operated using an Airbus 350 so I was happy that I would finally get a chance to try the A350 and compare it to the now familiar B787. The economy section had a 3x3x3 configuration and I sat in the aisle seat in the middle section. The flight was very full and every seat I could see was filled including, unfortunately, the middle seat next to me. Notwithstanding the fairly full flight, room in the seat during the 3 hour or so flight was not bad and line-ups for the washroom was never more than a couple of people at worst. The entertainment system is different from the one Cathay uses on the B777 that I am used to. It was still touch screen and video on demand, but instead of a fast forward button, you touch the point on the line showing the full length of the movie and it jumps to that point so you cannot use fast forward to scan a part of the movie quickly as you could on the B777 system. The washroom is also different and I must strongly side with the Boeing design over the Airbus design in terms of ease of use and comfort.
Lunch was served on the flight and I had a rice with chicken dish that tasted like a mild curry. As with almost all Cathay food offerings, it was quite good. After the lunch was served, flight attendants handed out Haagen Daz ice cream. Unfortunately she ran out just as she got to my row and when she retrieved more from the galley, she forgot the rest of my row and skipped to the row behind me. I had to pop up to the galley in the back to request the ice cream. Similarly the purser or attendant in charge of the economy section neglected to give me the usual greeting and bottle of water that is offered to One World Emeralds eventhough she managed to greet the Emerald sitting in my row and section on the opposite aisle seat so again I had to point this out to them.
Our flight was moving well and quite a bit ahead of schedule when we ran into a hold pattern ordered by Hong Kong airport due to traffic congestion so we ended up touching down just a couple of minutes before the scheduled arrival time. We had a far gate so it took probably about 10 minutes to get back to the main terminal baggage claim area. However, our luggage was still not delivered yet and it probably took another 10 minutes of waiting after reaching baggage claim before luggage from our flight started coming out.
We got a very good price for the flight so overall even with the slight service hiccups, it is still a good product.