Cathay Pacific First Class Review: HKG-LAX

So, I flew Cathay Pacific First Class again.  After a lackluster trip to Hong Kong where everything was foggy and black and white it was time to come home.  I didn’t really do much in Hong Kong this trip.  I did eat at Tim Ho Wan twice though, and honestly if the entire trip was to eat there I don’t think that’s a wasted trip.  Curious about Tim Ho Wan?  Don’t worry, post coming soon.

I’ve flown Cathay Pacific in First twice, once on the 777 and once on the 747 (in seat 1A).  It’s simply a gorgeous experience.  From top to bottom I’ve enjoyed the absolute heck out of every flight I’ve taken with Cathay Pacific and was hoping this one would be the same.  (Note: this review won’t be as long and effusive/emotional/fanboyish as the past couple, mainly because I was apocalyptically tired and slept through much of the flight and was clutching my pillow for the other part to try and calm down during some pretty sporty turbulence.  Tried to get some good pics though)

After spending some time in The Wing I made my way down to gate number 3, at the very end of the concourse and in the USA security area.  A brief security inspection ensued with one of the most duh lines of questioning I’ve ever experienced:

Agent: “What is this, a tripod?  It looks like a tripod.”
Me: “It’s a tripod.”
Agent: “Oh ok, it’s a tripod.  You’re good to go.”

Feeling much more secure I made my way down the jetbridge to the one part of life that always seems to get me kind of drunk make sense: being escorted to my seat in Cathay’s exclusive 777 6-seat First Class.  I was escorted to my seat and the wonderful flight attendant gave me a quick tour of the seat, showed me where to stow my bag, informed me of the flight time (“Slightly under Not Nearly Long Enough”) and then got down to business.  And by “business” I mean she asked if she could get me somYES I’D LOVE SOME KRUG.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

KRUG GET IN MY FACE

She turned away to help some other customers and I guess I slammed the glass pretty quickly.  When she came back and I was done she chuckled and asked if I’d like another glass.  I tried to make the “flight attendant, my glass seems to have sprung a leak” joke with her but she took me very seriously and presented me with a new glass shortly to replace my defective one.  The new glass appeared with some mixed nuts.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Aw heck yeah Krug

The Aussie pilot got on the PA and said quite a bit but I couldn’t quite listen because the entire time I was thinking about lines from Crocodile Dundee that I wondered if he’d say for me if I asked the flight attendants to ask him.  Some safety stuff blah blah we’d be flying over the (no surprise) Pacific Ocean and he expected “a little chop”.

The seat

Ah, the Cathay Pacific seat.  It’s like resting on a huge puffy pillow that’s softened and fluffified by the tears of your enemies.  My flair for dramatic metaphors notwithstanding, it’s my favorite seat in the sky.  Yes, better than Singapore Suites.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

The enormously wide seat

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

The ottoman seat for your traveling partner and/or feet while you’re sleeping

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

The entire seat area

It had been too long since I’d partaken in the fluffiness and, since that time, Cathay had refreshed the interior.  Gone were the wood trim and grey upholstery, in its place was different wood trim and grey upholstery.

They were even kind enough to label the seats for you in case you forgot which of the six was yours.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Suite 2K

The cabin, although only containing six seats, is very spacious since there are no overhead bins.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

The First Class cabin

And of course, no Cathay Pacific flight in First would be complete without your very own orchid at your seat.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Big ol’ picture of an orchid

The food

We had a quick taxi and took off smoothly, which was about the only smooth part of the flight for the next, oh, eight hours or so.  As the meal service kicked off I was presented with an amuse bouche which was one of the most peculiar-tasting things I’d ever tried.  It wasn’t bad, just peculiar.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Peculiar

The good news about this, though, is the flight attendants did a wonderful job of keeping not only my champagne glass full, but a wine glass as well.  The first course arrived: Cathay’s new caviar service.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Caviar

The presentation was great and the caviar was great with all the fixings on the left.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Caviar Close-Up

From the caviar we went to a spring green mixed salad.  It was very tart.  Not bad per se, just tart.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Tartness

Then it came time for the Steak course.  Remember how in my last post I decried the state of beef aboard planes?  As the flight attendant set it down in front of me my anticipation grew.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Steak steak steak

Could this be the one?  The steak of which I’d dreamt?

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Steakappointment

It was better than American’s steak, I’ll give you that.  The steak just wasn’t very good though.  It was flavored real well but the texture was tough and it was overcooked.  Anyway, I wrapped up the first meal service and decided to lay down and try to sleep while the turbulence was turbulenting.

The sleep

The seat lies down flat, which makes entry/egress pretty easy if you need to awake and use the restroom.  As you’ll see in this picture the bottom part of the main seat connects with the ottoman seat to form Voltron the bed mode of your seat.  Here’s what it looks like lying flat.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

Seat in full recline

Once the flight attendant sees you making ready for bed he/she will add a mattress pad and small comforter for you.

Look at how comfy that looks!

Look at how comfy that looks!

Wrapping up a great flight

This is what flying can be.  It’d also be nearly impossible for US carriers to replicate, so companies like Cathay are constantly trying to woo business away from the Big 3 in America: United, American, and Delta.  That said, First Class cabins are indeed dwindling on Cathay Pacific as well.  Rumor also has it that Cathay will begin restricting partner award redemptions for First Class (strictly a rumor at this point), so I was glad I got to fly it when I did.  A wonderful flight with a great crew, it’s just hard to beat.

I enjoyed my time on Cathay again and hope to do it again someday!

17 Comments

  1. Nice:
    “It’s like resting on a huge puffy pillow that’s softened and fluffified by the tears of your enemies.”

    Reply
    • Andy

      good to see you back in a more luxurious first class – American looked a bit disappointing.
      I’m doing Mel – Zur Cathay business in September – can’t wait.

      Reply
      • Haha, thanks! It was a relief, and I have no doubt you’ll have a blast on your MEL-ZUR flights!

        Reply
  2. Incredible photos. Looks like you had some good natural light from the window. What lens are you using? Looks super wide angle to me. Any special post processing other than your usual Lightroom flow?

    Nice work!

    Reply
    • Thank you kind Jeff. Using the Sony 16-35 at varying stages of super wide angle. Nothing crazy in post, but I’ve started using Color Efex Pro (part of Google’s Nik Software) to add some contrast

      Reply
      • Good to know. I have the Sony 24-70 and it’s great for landscapes, but a pain on planes.

        Reply
        • Man I love the 24-70, I’ve rented it a few times. I have my eye on the new Batis 25mm prime, may get rid of the 16-35 to fund that.

          Reply
  3. Rock on!

    This is the ultimate experience. I found the food delicious on board, but I avoid the meat and just eat the Chinese portion.

    Nothing beats Krug. The IFE is excellent and the service is spectacular.

    It’s the best redemption of miles today (I’m not a bling guy so Emiritas is not for me.)

    Reply
    • I think I agree with you Michael, although my two flights in SQ Suites were freaking awesome

      Reply
  4. How have I not found this blog before? Quality photography and quirky without being too *holds up spork*-ey. Good stuff!

    Reply
    • Thanks Ben, and welcome! I’m normally over on Prior2Boarding.com but am being featured on Boardingarea.com this week. Come and stay a while!

      Reply
  5. What Hyatt would you recommend in HKG, the Grand Hyatt or Hyatt TST? I’d use a DSU and will be with my wife and we’ll have our baby daughter with us.

    Reply
    • DEFINITELY the Grand Hyatt, not even close

      Reply
  6. Fabulous review and photos. Must. Buy. New. Camera. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks! Sony just went and announced a camera yesterday that I really really really want, but it’s $3200. So, I’ll sell you my current one for $3199?

      Reply
  7. Andy, Great article and great photos! My name is Chris and I’m the creative director for Homes and Living Magazine. I was wondering if we could feature some of your photos. We’re doing an article on the top first class cabins around the world. Get back to me at your earliest convenience.

    thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Chris, thanks for reaching out. Shoot me an email at andystravelblog at gmail dot com and I’ll see what I can do to help.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Get the latest updates daily!

You have Successfully Subscribed!