Cathay Pacific First Class is Just Beautiful

How I booked everything
American Airlines Flagship Dining Room DFW
Etihad First & Business Class Lounge LHR
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments LHR-AUH (Video)
St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH (Video)
Qatar A380 First Class DOH-BKK
Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge (Video)
Cathay Pacific 777-300ER First Class HKG-LAX

Why This Trip Had to End with Cathay Pacific First Class

I decided to conclude my epic and sudden Round the World trip with Cathay Pacific.  With the AAdvantage award chart changes and some other potential pretty big life changes (more news to come…maybe), this may be the last international First Class trip I take for a while, so Cathay Pacific First Class it is!

I like things coming to logical conclusions with great beginning and endings.  My first ever international First Class trip was with Cathay Pacific on my way to Vietnam in 2012 so it made logical sense to wrap this period up with them as well.  For fun I decided to only shoot with a different lens for this flight.  Most of my plane shots are with a 16-35mm wide angle, which is amazing for taking pictures of tight spaces.  The 55mm is the sharpest lens I own and I thought it’d be great for some more detail shots than I typically take.

I’ve covered Cathay pretty thoroughly in other posts (here, here, and here), so I won’t retread too much.

Today’s Flight

I really wanted to relax and enjoy this flight instead of going crazy on the pictures, although it ended up being a mega-turbulent flight.  Despite 150,000 miles in the air this year I’m very much a nervous flyer so this particular flight was immensely stressful for me.  Credit to Cathay and a great staff for making sure my drink was never too empty to help with my nervousness.

Anyway, after I left an amazing visit to The Pier I did the long walk back towards the US gates (gates 1-4).  Above the US gates is The Wing, so I stopped by for a glass of champagne once I saw we weren’t even going through the US security War On Water precheck yet.

cathay pacific first class

Champagne Bar, The Wing

cathay pacific first class

Champagne Bar, The Wing

Eventually I saw them start lining people up for our flight to go through the security theater the US requires.  I made it through with ease and then waited for boarding.

cathay pacific first class

Our flight

After a slight delay we were invited to board and I got to make the most amazing of left turns once again into my favorite First Class cabin.  There’s just something about it that is so simple yet refined.  There are only six seats so you get plenty of attention.  Here’s a picture from a previous post.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review

The entire seat area

This was the first time I was not sitting in a window seat, but my seat was perfectly fine.

cathay pacific first class

First Class Cabin decorations

cathay pacific first class

The orchid for each passenger

While my flight attendant was pouring a glass of Krug for me (yes!) I fell into conversation with a very nice couple who followed some fellow miles and points bloggers.  He had noticed me taking pictures of everything so he asked if I blogged as well and he even was kind enough to act like he had heard of my blog before!  I value experiences and conversations more than posts and pictures so I put the camera down for a while and chatted with my new friends from San Diego.  They were having a blast on their trip and I hope they see this post!  It was great talking to you!

We eventually began our taxi and were in the air before too long.

cathay pacific first class

Taxiing at HKG

The flight attendant came by and informed me that the pilots warned them about some choppy air once we approached Tokyo, so any hot drinks would need to be served before then, which gave us a few hours to complete the dinner service.  My heart kind of sank when I heard that news, although I’m used to air being turbulent around Tokyo.  Anyway, I soldiered on and focused on trying to take some great pictures of the meal service.

We started with a refill of my champagne glass.

cathay pacific first class

KRUG. YES.

This was served with a caviar starter that was both familiar and wonderful.

cathay pacific first class

Caviar service

After caviar I was presented with a simple salad that had a nice bread pairing with it.

cathay pacific first class

Salad

I skipped the soup this time and ordered the steak for my main entree.  Long-time readers know I have a love-hate relationship with airplane steak, but Cathay has always done a pretty good job.  Well, I’m happy to report they cooked it wonderfully!

cathay pacific first class

Look at that steak!

It tasted great!  I was so happy.  Then, the announcement came that we were approaching turbulence and the flight attendants needed to take their seats.  Eek.  However, my flight attendants were great and snuck me my dessert on their way to their seats.

cathay pacific first class

Bread Pudding and ice cream

The next hour or two alternated between Really Turbulent and Worryingly Turbulent.  In reality there was nothing to worry about and finally I just was annoyed by the turbulence instead of being afraid of it (which was actually a really massive step for me).

Eventually everything settled down enough for the flight attendants to come by and make my bed so I could try to sleep.

cathay pacific first class

Proud of my little camera, it was pretty much completely dark in the cabin

The turbulence that was “over Tokyo” actually ended up being over “the entire Pacific ocean” and it didn’t really settle down until we were about 2 hours away from LAX.  I did get some sleep though, so that was good.

My breakfast table was set and I started with some croissants and apple juice.

cathay pacific first class

Croissants and apple juice

Cathay Pacific makes wonderful eggs, so I had some of those as our flight wrapped up.

cathay pacific first class

Eggs, bacon, and sausage

cathay pacific first class

Cathay Pacific Breakfast

Wrapping up the flight portion of this trip report, I can look back to one month ago (my departure date for the first flight of this trip) and be nothing but incredibly grateful.  Not just for the flights that I got to take, but all the flights I enjoyed taking to earn the miles sufficient to book these flights.

I know it’s easy to want to compare these First Class flights, but I’d encourage you to take them all!  Each company does it a bit differently and it’s fun to experience the best of each airline.  I’m not sure when I’ll be flying First again but I imagine it just might be on Cathay when I do!

109 Comments

  1. Nice photography!

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    • Thanks so much!

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  2. What kind of camera are you using??

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    • I use a Sony a7rII

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      • Does Sony a7rII lens interchangeable?

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        • Absolutely, it’s very much a pro camera

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  3. Favorite photo is the steak! Will give it a try on my upcoming flight in January 🙂

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  4. Love the champagne bar pic!

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  5. Andy very nice photography.

    We share the same hobbies of travel and photography. I have been inspired to get an A7rii as I was running into the limitations of y NEX 5n.

    It sounds like congratulations may be in order, but I will wait for the announcement.

    I hope that you continue the blog as I have found it very interesting.

    Seasons greetings.

    Trevor

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    • Trevor, many thanks for your kind words and let me know if you have any questions about the rII!

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  6. I like the first champagne picture!

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    • To be different I like the steak one.

      Seasons greetings.

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  7. The orchid picture is gorgeous.

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  8. I love the Sony. What lense size are you using to take your shots?

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    • This was with the Zeiss 55mm

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  9. Fav: Orchid. Flowers are so underrated! The beauty, the scent, the class.

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  10. I like the picture of the orchid- what a nice touch.

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  11. I like the picture of the champagne bar because it brings back memories of visiting the lounge years ago. Actually like all of your photos, keep up the good work.

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  12. I like that picture of the bed, looks very comfortable!

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  13. I like the Krug picture! Mmm Krug…

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  14. That steak picture is awesome.

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  15. I think the photo of the orchid with the shade of light symbolizes what Cathay Pacific’s First Class is all about: serenity in the air – uh, minus the turbulence you had.

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  16. The Caviar picture has to have the best lighting I’ve seen yet.

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  17. i like “The Entire Seat Area” picture.

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  18. My favorite picture was the salad. It should be in a Cathay Pacific ad. Great work on all of them though!

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  19. My favorite is The Entire Seat Area. I’m hoping to book a CX First Class award in the next few days, when my travel date loads. ….Dreaming of sitting in a seat like this.

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  20. Love the pic of the champagne and croissants and apple juice … I hope I get hooked up with the amenity kit

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  21. Surprised to be saying this, but that steak looks really appetizing. Nice color and composition to the photo.

    So far I’ve “only” flown internationally on United Global First and American Business …and I don’t even remember their meals.

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  22. I am split between the first champagne picture and the caviar service picture.

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  23. The bread pudding and ice cream photo. Looking at it made me want to ask a FA for more coffee. OK maybe champagne instead.

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  24. Very nice pics! I think the caviar one is my favorite

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  25. Nice review and very nice pictures. I love the one captioned “First Class Cabin decorations”

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  26. Loved the pic of the correctly cooked steak.

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  27. i love cathay pacific. the caviar picture makes me hungry.

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  28. I love the “entire seating area” pic. Really gives me a good idea of the space you had on your flight

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  29. I like the picture of the window seat, and all that room!

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    • Congratulations JRG, you’ve won! Stay tuned to your email for further instructions.

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  30. My favorite picture is the one where you have your fork stuck into a piece of sausage! True texan.

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  31. I think the “cathay pacific breakfast” picture should be used by Cathay for their ads. Can’t believe how they can serve eggs like that 30,000 ft in the air!

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  32. mmmmmm…….. Caviar……..yummo

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  33. Love the caviar pic

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  34. My fav picture in the blog:

    Champagne Bar, The Wing

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  35. I like “Taxiiing at HKG” most. This picture tells not only what’s inside the cabin but also “the joy of arrival” from the outside.

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  36. Fav pic the one of the orchid – reminds me of singapore 🙂

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  37. The bokeh on the caviar tray is cool, and of course the spoon is the most awesome part of the whole flight! Nice composition and contrast on the plate.

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  38. favorite picture is the seat of course

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  39. Oh, come on…the steak looks to die for! I just wish it had some hot, bubbly bleu cheese melted on top!

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  40. My favorite photo is of the first class seat from behind – you can truly appreciate the suite nature of the seat from that angle. It certainly does inspire envy!

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  41. Love the pic of the krug !

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  42. I really like the picture of the steak. It would be nice to eat one cooked that well even at home.

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  43. Love the depth of field on steak pic

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  44. Love the champagne bar picture because it recalls memories from my honeymoon when we made a stop at the wing

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  45. The pouring Kruger pic got my vote

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  46. Loved the photo of the bed. Very inviting.

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  47. That caviar looks so good!

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  48. The steak picture is great! Makes it look so good!

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  49. I like the bread pudding and ice cream photo! yum

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  50. Caviar service of course! Counting down the months until I get to experience that.

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  51. Loved the photo of them pouring champagne into your glass. Gorgeous!

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  52. The orchid photo is my favorite.

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  53. The entire seat area…best pic of the space that I’ve seen.

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  54. My favorite has to be the Champagne Bar because I have never seen one (last time visit to the Wing anywhere was 2013…)

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  55. I have really been enjoying your trip reports and photos this week. The only really great first class flight I have experienced was Singapore Suites. Hoping to fly in these first class cabins myself someday soon!

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    • Thanks so much Patti!

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  56. Love the champagne bar pic

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  57. Like the The entire seat area

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  58. The picture of the entire seat area is sweet!

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  59. I like the champagne bar pic from above at The Wing. Great place to hang if your solo and want to socialize.

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  60. The orchid flower for sure…

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  61. I like the steak picture. The steak looks delicious.

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  62. The Krug Photo!

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  63. My favorite picture is the champagnes one!

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  64. The entire seat area looks so spacious!

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  65. Caviar looks sooooooooo tempting!

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  66. I am partial to the caviar photo.

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  67. The steak pic is a winner!

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  68. fav is the Krug pic, but thats because I love my Krug

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  69. the caviar pic looks yummy

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  70. The salad.

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  71. love the dessert pics.

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  72. Favorite picture is the one with the orchids at the seats! Simply elegant!

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  73. “Krug yes” is my favorite photo. You beautifully captured the pour.

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  74. I love the picture of that cozy first class bed. Great photos overall!

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  75. caviar photo is my favorite. no other first class cabin I’ve been to had caviar like that. I was lucky just once and had some sprinkled on my plate.
    You have really nice photography skills. I was about to ask how you get such great pictures but someone beat me to it.

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  76. My favorite is the “Cathay Pacific Breakfast” picture. Looks delicious.

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  77. I love the Taxiing at HKG photo. Focusing on the planes outside really captures the anticipation before taking off. Great technique!

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  78. I like the steak picture!

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  79. The bucket of champagne…. Doesn’t get better than that!

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  80. Man your pictures are stunning! In every post lately! That Sony A7rII really looks like a fine camera!

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  81. The orchid is cool

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  82. I love the photo of the steak. I agree about not ordering steak normally due to it being well done. However, your picture may change my mind. Your review makes me plan to use my Advantage mile for a November 2016 flight LAX to BKK on via HKG CX. Been torn between burning through 4 award tickets for my family both ways or going first class ( if availability opens up in last week before departure) I appreciate being able to participate in the giveaway!! A great waiting gift as I wait till next year!

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    • That’s great to hear! It’s such a great experience.

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  83. “The entire seat area” reminds me of how comfy the area is, like my own personal “nest”

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  84. The bed picture is nice, looks very inviting.

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  85. Definitely the view of the entire seat area – slightly wider lens used? Or curvature of the plane? Either way, looks great.

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  86. I love the pic “The entire seat area”, looks like it taken with wide angle, thus reflecting and showing how huge and spacious the CX F seat is, I almost can feel the spaciousness!

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  87. Fav pic has to be Taxiing at HKG. Such a unique perspective!

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  88. Love the orchid picture, but they are all great.

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  89. Wow! Want to travel like that one day!

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  90. I like the shot of the entire seat area, awesome!

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  91. Love the shot of the Krug pouring.

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  92. When looking at extravagant award tickets in F lately, my priority has been trying to figure out how to get an Apartment. Your photos of Qatar F seating and Cathay F seating have made it so that I really don’t care which one I eventually book. Thanks, Andy.

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  93. I love the Look at that steak! picture. It looks amazing!! I wish I had some right now. I have never been anywhere with food like that. chasnpon48 at yahoo dot com

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  94. Caviar service

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  95. Champagne Bar, The Wing

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  96. I like the pictures of the food.

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  97. Absolutely love your photos. You and Shutterwale have the best photos and because of that I follow all of your trip reports.
    I will be flying CX First for the first time and am really excited about the trip.

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    • Thanks so much, enjoy CX First!

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