Hong Kong Express Airlines Experience

a large jetliner sitting on top of an airport tarmac.

Ah, the joys of budget travel. Hong Kong Express (HKE), which happens to be the low-cost sibling of Cathay Pacific, doesn’t provide complimentary drinks or meals inflight.

A group of people standing in line at Hong Kong Express Airlines.

While the check-in process was a breeze, I had to cough up a hefty USD$50.00 to check in my bag since I missed the 48-hour window to add baggage to my online booking. Ouch.

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Before takeoff, a friendly crew member swung by to inquire about my preferred meal delivery time. Opting to pre-order meal helped me save 20% vs onboard prices. Here’s a sneak peek at the inflight menu:

Not long after takeoff, two carts emerged in the cabin – one at the front and one at the back – to kick off the meal service.

A box and water bottle on a table.

I opted for the Japanese chicken with rice which came in charmingly simple packaging. The food portion was ample and I was pleasantly surprised to receive a bonus water bottle.

And props to the crew – they managed to complete the first service in just 10 minutes. For subsequent services, they ditched the trolleys and instead walked around the cabin displaying the menu by hand.


Speaking of the cabin, it was clean but definitely cramped. I couldn’t help but notice that the last row of seats was almost infringing on the emergency exit pathway. But hey, more seats equal more revenue, right?

Hong Kong Express Airlines Review: Airplane seating with back refrigerator.


Surprisingly, they were a step above their Cathay Pacific counterparts. Every time they sauntered through the cabin, they had a tray in hand and a grin on their faces. They didn’t shy away from customers or hard work, either.

During my short 3.45-minute flight, they managed to squeeze in three inflight services and a duty-free run. Plus, they patrolled the cabin every 30 minutes.

Overall, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my Hong Kong Express experience. While the inflight menu may not be what it used to be, I’ll chalk it up to the Covid times. Kudos to the crew for going above and beyond to make this budget flight a pleasant one.


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