The Ultra Long Haul Polar Flight JFK-HKG

Published by

After spending a few days in upstate New York, USA, I finally headed home on Saturday, 22 Nov 2008. The story started at New York John F Kennedy International Airport where I boarded Cathay Pacific flagship Boeing 777-300ER for the 13,000km, 16-hr flight to Hong Kong, nonstop over the North Pole. That’d be fun! 😀

Saturday, 22 Nov 2008

The day breaks at JFK Terminal 7, Cathay Pacific’s home in New York.  (Trivia: JFK has 9 terminals!).
Image

At Gate 3, BA172 is ready to leave for London Heathrow.
Image

I soon find my way into a Boeing 777-300-ER, operating as flight CX841, JFK-HKG nonstop.

Image

They have this bulky seatbelt …
Image

… which is in fact an airbag. Yeah, I feel safer but the thick and heavy contraption makes wearing the belt a tad less comfy.
Image

The seats next to me at economy. Pretty good.
Image

View across the cabin.
Image

Next to us, BA172, a Boeing 747-400, lumbers towards Runway 31L, as a sibling also flies back to the UK.
Image

I love the Blues, all at Terminal 5. I’m told they rebuilt a new one at the site of the old classic TWA terminal. Last night I came in from Syracuse with jetBlue into this modernist terminal. Good airline.
Image

Can’t get enough of the Blue … especially after Red overdose here in Malaysia. :D
Image

We stroll past the iconic JFK control tower.

img_7502

Traffic jam for Runway 31L at a very busy JFK. We are #15 in the queue, and this is a typical day at the office.
Image

Take-off at last, and a view of more JFK terminals.
Image

From JFK Runway 31L, the plane climbs steeply which gives a great view of Manhattan … 

img_7513

… while making a tight 270-degree loop to the left (over the Atlantic Ocean), before crossing Long Island for the north.

Image

The plane heads north and soon passes over Labrador City in Newfoundland, Canada.
Image

And this is the wild northeastern tip of Canada. Beautiful!
Image

A while later we hit the Baffin Sea.
Image

Truly awesome!

img_7534

Brunch is served and soon after, I’m given this handy pouch, … 

Image

… and inside – water, an apple, and dried fruit – to munch before the next meal, which is several hours away.
Image

As folks settle down for the long journey, I go to the galley at the back to stretch some muscles and to chat up the amois. :D
Image

And return to check out the state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system.
img_7588
We are soon cruising over the Baffin Sea, sandwiched by Baffin Island (Canada) and Greenland (Denmark), with contrail of the starboard engine making an impressive sight.
Image 
Ice sheets can be seen on the sea surface.

Image

This has to be Inuit and Polar Bear territory.
Image

The sea is beginning to freeze.
Image

Ice floes can be clearly seen.
Image

Further north as it gets colder, the floes come in larger pieces.
Image

And even further up north, the noon sun sinks lower above the horizon.
Image

It gets darker as we go deeper into the Arctic Circle, where in winter, the sun never rises. It’s early afternoon local time.
Image

Our little puppy is climbing to the top of the world from North America.

Image

Yes, we are virtually at the North Pole, after squeezing in between Greenland and Baffin Island.
Image

How cold is it out there 32,000ft above the Pole?
Image

What my own GPS tells me – we are at almost 90 degrees North. Just 2.5 degrees short of the North Pole.

Image

My own (maroon) GPS trace just before we glance the North Pole, till the Mongolian border.
Image

Zooming in, and our nearest position to the North Pole is just 280km away.
Image

So six hours after leaving JFK, the plane is within sight of the North Pole, and barely 10 hrs after that …

Image

… it lands safely on time at HKG at 2.15pm, 23rd Nov 2008.

img_7612

We duly park next to a plane just fresh in from Tel Aviv.

img_7618

Traversed route as shown after landing at HKG.
Image

Biz class of CX841 B773ER, end of flight at HKG.

An hour after landing at Hong Kong, I board a connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur. Sunset over Melaka Straits, from flight CX721, a Boeing 777-200, as we approach KUL.

On finals for runway 32L, KL International Airport.

Touch down at runway 32L, from onboard cam.

 Time to disembark after being away from home for 9 days! 😀

img_7635

 

> THE END

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “The Ultra Long Haul Polar Flight JFK-HKG”

  1. Tiamon 09 Mar 2010 at 2329

    Thanks for this! Im actually taking the same flights tomorrow morning (CX841 and 721 to KL) and didn’t know the flight from NYC to HK would be so scenic. Anything to make the long flight less painful is a bonus.

  2. Yuzwanon 16 Sep 2014 at 1719

    This is truly amazing!. After stuck on reading trip report in Airliner.Net, i think yours is better than some of our fellow Malaysian in the website (Most of them is Chinese) . Well, but as an aviation lover, more details photo of the plane is highly appreciated. BTW, IT IS SOOO NICE TO READ YOUR TRIP REPORT

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Custom Search