Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air – Toronto to Chiang Mai

Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air -Toronto to Chiang Mai 


Cathay Pacific Flight 829, Boeing 777-300ER


Class, Seating and Toronto Airport

Airports can cause a large amount of stress and anxiety before you even get on your plane. On this occasion, we had a lovely meal and relaxing several hours at Toronto Airport’s Acer Restaurant and Bar. Having a pleasant experience before you board really does make a difference.

But let’s be frank. Economy class in a night-time long-haul flight is still pretty unpleasant, no matter how good your pre-flight meal is, your in-flight meal is, or how lovely the flight attendants are.

Our flight to Chiang Mai in Thailand was 14 hours and 52 minutes. We enquired at the help desk in Toronto’s Pearson Airport about first class or business class upgrade prices, but they were all sold out. The lady serving us said that’s pretty common on this flight, and it was jam packed, which is also very common. So bear this in mind if you book economy thinking you may be able to pay for a later upgrade.

The seating onboard is spacious in economy terms, and the recline is good for napping. I won’t get into the insufferable debate on reclining here, but we had breakfast at Hong Kong airport with the person behind me, so I’m clearly not too much of a recline jerk! 😉

Hong Kong Airport has a very large food court with many cuisines available, and free wifi, so don’t be disheartened if you have a long layover here. It’s efficient getting through customs, and you’ll have enough entertainment.

Food & Service

The check in, boarding staff, and flight attendants were all efficient and well mannered.

We were served supper and a breakfast onboard.  My supper was rice, steamed broccoli and carrots, and some sort of zucchini in tomato pasta sauce. It came with a roll, side salad, and fruit salad.

My breakfast  was similar: rice, some sautéed spinach, and more red and green vegetables – slightly better than dinner.

My meals were disappointingly bland. Asian countries and Asian carriers are capable of such fantastic vegetarian and vegan food, that I felt a bit let down.

However, it was still palatable – which is more than can be said for a lot of economy class meals. The vegetarian and vegan meals are always acceptable in the worst case.

And apologies for the blurry photo of the Cathay Pacific supper meal here – it was 3:00AM Toronto time and I wanted nothing more than a nap! 🙂

Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Flights Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong


I was really pleased with the in-flight entertainment on Cathay Pacific. I try to take long-haul flights as an opportunity to watch movies and television that I wouldn’t usually watch.

I watched two art-house films: Frank, and Only Lovers Left Alive. Music was as a central theme in both movies, but they were such different films, and brilliant in their own ways. There was also a large selection of blockbuster and foreign films.

Baggage Allowances

No restriction on the number of pieces Maximum combined weight (See Note 1):
First: 40kg (88lbs)
Business: 30kg (66lbs)
Premium Economy: 25kg (55lbs)
Economy: 20kg (44lbs)

Taken from Cathay Pacific


Dragon Air Flight 232, Airbus A320 (twin-jet)

Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Flights Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong
After a pleasant layover of a 2.5 hours in Hong Kong where we got through security, had breakfast, and checked our emails close to our gate, we got on board our Dragon Air Flight 232 for the 1.5 hour flight between Hong Kong and Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The 8:00AM flight was a swift one to Chiang Mai. We were boarded quickly, the flight was quick, and we exited quickly and got our luggage quickly. It was extremely efficient and felt all over and done with in the blink of an eye!

There are no personal TV screens available, but it’s a tiny plane, and a quick flight. We flew at a gorgeous time of the day, so it was nice looking outside at the sun and the clouds and the mountains.

Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Flights Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong


We had a breakfast meal (second breakfast, yay!) on this flight.  The vegan meal was a delicious fruit salad, a roll and juice, and a somewhat perplexing breakfast muffin made of blueberry jam and dried banana slices. I say perplexing as I’d never really seen combinations like this before, but it surprisingly tasted okay!

Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Flights Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Flights Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Flights Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong

North Nomad’s meal was bacon and egg pie with mushrooms, which also came out in a slightly perplexing form:  a square of egg frittata, when we’d expected the bacon in it. He didn’t seem as happy with his as I did with mine.
Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air Flights Toronto to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong


Dragon Air’s baggage allowance matched up with our Cathay Pacific allowance:

Adults/Children No restriction on the number of pieces Maximum combined weight (See Note 1):
First: 40kg (88lbs)
Business: 30kg (66lbs)
Economy: 20kg (44lbs)

TOTAL FARES: CAD 2,180.52 for two adults. Base fare $888, Carrier surcharges $148.10, taxes $54.16

Would We Use Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air again?

Service was pleasant and efficient, the meals came out quickly (though the Cathay Pacific ones were bland), the seats seemed spacious and comfy for economy, the flight was on time, and our baggage wasn’t handled roughly (unlike some American airlines we’ve been with where my year old Samsonite luggage was shredded!).


8 thoughts on “Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air – Toronto to Chiang Mai

  1. I really like Cathay Pacific, and the Hong Kong airport, where I’ve slept overnight while awaiting a flight more than once. 🙂 I’ve actually never had a meal on an airplane that I would consider worth eating, though, so I just bring my own snacks since I know I don’t like airplane food.

    • Hong Kong airport is pretty fantastic, isn’t it? 🙂 Usually the vegan and vegetarian meals (as long as you avoid congealing eggs) are good on flights, so when I get an average one I’m kinda disappointed. 😉

  2. Great review! I’ve never taken a flight that long, my longest was a couple of hours down to mainland Spain with a stop over at Mallorca. I can absolutely get why you’d want lots of space on long flights.

    Alex – Funky Jungle

  3. I used Cathay Pacific to fly from Thailand to Hong Kong years ago, and they were great. I wouldn’t use any other Chinese airline but Cathy are enormously reliable. As for Dragon Air, I’m not in the least surprised that the service and meal were delicious. I think pretty much every Thai airline, budget or otherwise, leave European models standing!

    We flew with NokAir from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Outstanding and only $30 per person! We flew AirAsia from Bangkok to Bali. Brilliant. I’ve flown them before and as long as you book early, they’re a bargain. $50.00 and a 5 hour direct flight! Every other airline; $230 and a 12 hour flight with stopovers in either Malaysia or Singapore.
    ‘Love the food photos. 🙂

    • We’re yet to visit Europe together, but I’m dying to compare European carriers with American carriers. I was basically appalled at all aspects of American airlines, so I’m curious to see how the European side holds up!

      And I’ve been so impressed with Asian flights, both in quality and prices. They really know how to do travel well.

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