Hello from Hong Kong, where I’ve completed the next leg of my journey and am now relaxing at The Pier.
Although it was only a short three-hour flight from Beijing to Hong Kong, I was reminded once again how wonderful Cathay Pacific First Class it…it has been a few years since I last flew from London to Hong Kong in first class and I had forgotten how amazing service on Cathay Pacific is.
Literally, from the moment I stepped on to the moment I stepped off, the three ladies working first class exuded the perfect blend of professionalism and warmth. Warmth is sometimes missing from Cathay Pacific, but there was no shortage of it on this flight.
Cathay offers a rather unique six-seat first class cabin on its 777-300s. These open suites are among the most comfortable (well-padded) first class products in the sky. Furthermore, the clever use of large closets in every seat means no overhead bins and therefore a much more open and spacious cabin.
The multi-course lunch service included Champagne (William Deutz Brut Millesime 2009), a duck and goose liver appetizer (beautifully presented, but not for me), lobster cream soup, grilled king prawns, delectable cheese, and hazelnut chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. Delicious bread and cappuccino as well.
Cathay Pacific (like Austrian and SWISS) demonstrates that catering from Mainland China does not have to be bad. U.S. carriers are simply too cheap, it seems, to cater nicely out of PEK and PVG. Even the fresh-squeezed orange juice out of PEK was just perfect.
And here’s something simply revolutionary for Cathay Pacific. Not only was wi-fi available onboard, even over Chinese airspace, but it was lightning fast!
That’s simply amazing…and quite an improvement for a carrier that resisted wi-fi for so long.
We landed ahead of schedule in Hong Kong, where I am now enjoying what has instantly become one of my favorite first class lounges.
Next up: Colombo in business class aboard Cathay’s A330.
Looks beautiful, comfortable and quiet. Three key elements to first class.
Love CX F and the consistency. Lara put it well. I’ve only had one slip-up service-wise in dozens of flights with them. A few years back, after the seatbelt sign was turned off, I got up from 1A to go use the lav. In the galley, an FA abruptly stopped me and shouted “you have to go back to your seat right now!” The other FAs informed her the seatbelt sign had just been turned off. She looked horrified and later I saw the purser berating her; I felt bad because it seemed like an honest mistake albeit not a very well-handled delivery.
Looking forward to a few flights with them courtesy of the Vietnam mistake fares. Missing the days when my clients paid for these seats on a monthly basis…
Just flew Cathay F last month, and I found the catering on board and lounges have declined so much. Service was great, though.
@Matthew do you think some of these airlines are reading the blog and know that you are coming and put their best crews in place or at least tell them there is an important person on the flight? That’s what happened to you and @Ben on China Eastern if I recall correctly and with @Ben on El Al.
I think Ben is in a different league than I am. While I would be flattered if that were the case, I don’t think so. The China Eastern case was unique because we were live blogging and it hit Weibo. For my own privacy, I’ve delayed these posts by a few days, so actually I did not post my “intro” until I was already in China. Unless my name is flagged in the system, they did not know I was coming.
Looks awesome!! However how does an open spacious cabin square with everything I’ve read about everyone in first and business wanting privacy to the extent that they complain about not having doors? Just seems so odd to me.
I like doors, but don’t think they are required. The Cathay first class seat is one of my favorites.
Looks very nice. I am planning a trip that would include this Cathay route but in reverse and am strongly considering splurging the Avios for F rather than ‘mere’ J.
The recent devaluation hasn’t helped my choice mind…
Hi Matthew. It seems an amazing cabin and airline I’ve never flew with.
Did you paid for this ticket or it was an award one? I can’t get a single award seat available with miles from WO partners.
Hi Sonny, I used AA miles for this ticket. CAN-PEK-HKG-CMB for 50K. First two segments in first, final segment in business class.
How was your stay in CMB? Is that a stopover or spent sometimes ?
I’m willing to bet CX double caters shorter flights to mainland China such that they maintain consistency in their product. That’s not to say that the US3 aren’t cheap when they use contractors in PVG and PEK, because they absolutely are – in every way possible, but they likely can’t double cater for long hauls to the US. As much as it pains me to cut the US3 any slack, I think you might be off on this one.
Could be, but take a look at the first picture above. Looks like a catering truck. Also, the FA warned me before serving the OJ (I asked her if it was fresh when ordering) that she cannot vouch for “Mainland orange juice”.
I’m glad you didn’t eat that disgusting duck/goose dish: it’s made in the cruelest way, by force feeding the birds until their livers are grossly enlarged. Only those ignorant of what’s involved would consume such a thing.
As for Cathay: it’s been a very , very gradual decline from the time it was widely regarded as being the best airline in the world. I suspect it started after the opening of the new airport, with the significant increase in slots ( ie competition); and also the dramatic increase in mainland carriers on international routes. In the Kai Tak era, Cathay was king.
I still like Cathay ( vile duck/goose dish notwithstanding)