A Royal (dis)HHonor: Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to Singapore

Introduction
Aloft San Francisco Airport
Cathay Pacific Lounge San Francisco
Cathay Pacific First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to Singapore
St. Regis Singapore
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge Singapore
SilkAir Business Class Singapore to Koh Samui
Conrad Koh Samui
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Koh Samui to Bangkok
Le Meridien Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge Bangkok
Royal Jordanian Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco


We landed at around 6:40AM, and by the time we cleared transit security and found ourselves at The Wing it was 7:10AM, meaning we had less than 20 minutes in the lounge before we needed to head to the gate for our 8AM departure. This was actually my first visit to The Wing since it was renovated, though I’ll share most of my impressions of the lounge with my return trip report, where I had a much longer (and more eventful) layover than on the outbound.


The Wing seating

Once in The Wing I requested a cabana so I could grab a quick shower. My gosh, these are probably the nicest shower rooms in any airport, and that includes those in the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.


Cabana


Cabana


Cabana

At around 7:30AM we left the lounge for gate 23, where we’d be departing from. It’s only about a five minute walk away, and after flying for so long it was certainly nice to get a bit of movement.


Hong Kong terminal


Nice morning lineup


Wouldn’t mind going to New Zealand instead…

By the time we got to gate 23 boarding was just beginning, starting with first and business class.


Gate 23


Our plane to Singapore

Cathay Pacific 691
Hong Kong (HKG) ā€“ Singapore (SIN)

Sunday, March 24
Depart: 8:00AM
Arrive: 11:50AM
Duration: 3hr50min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 1D (First Class)

Upon boarding the two first class flight attendants, Karen and Wannaporn, warmly welcomed us and directed us to our seats. Karen was Chinese and Wannaporn was Thai, and both were extremely enthusiastic and friendly, much more so than the last crew.


Seat 1D


Seat 1D

I quickly settled into 1D and before I could even sit down was offered a beverage by Wannaporn. I ordered a mimosa — I know, I’m totally classless for “watering down” Krug, but I figured that was better than straight champagne the whole flight, given that I had aspirations of doing things in Singapore.


Mimosa

I was also offered a hot towel.


Hot towel

While the first class cabin stayed empty for most of boarding, all six seats were taken by departure time. The captain came on the PA to inform us of our flight time of 3hr11min, which he anticipated would put us into Singapore early.


Flight time


Airshow

For our departure we taxied to runway 7R, which took maybe 10-15 minutes. Since it was a daytime flight I was able to watch the nose camera, which certainly makes taxiing a bit more interesting.


Nose camera

Once at 7R we were immediately cleared for takeoff and rocketed off.


Nose camera


Nose camera

On the climb out I played around with the entertainment system, and eventually ended up in the “documentary” section. I watched a show called “The Boy Who Can’t Forget,” about, well… a boy who remembers everything. It was fascinating/bizarre/odd/awesome/creepy.


StudioCX

As we climbed out the menu and wine list were distributed, in addition to the Singapore landing card.


Menu, wine list, and landing card

To start I had a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and Hong Kong style milk tea, which I was so cruelly deprived of for the second half of my flight from San Francisco. šŸ˜‰


Orange juice and Hong Kong style milk tea

At that point the table was set and breakfast service began. The menu read as follows (and the wine list was the same as on the flight from San Francisco, so you can find that here):

I wasn’t very hungry given that this was my second breakfast, so decided to stick to a continental selection. To start I had a fruit plate with fresh squeezed orange juice and a bread basket, which consisted of a muffin, danish, and croissant.


Fresh seasonal fruit


Bread basket

The table was set with the standard handwritten note.


Handwritten note


Handwritten note

I then had some strawberry yogurt.


Strawberry yogurt

And then finally some corn flakes.


Corn flakes

While I had a fairly simple breakfast, I have to say the service was phenomenal. Both Karen and Wannaporn were extremely attentive, friendly, constantly smiling, and always looking to engage in small talk.

After breakfast there were about 90 minutes left in the flight, so I watched an epsiode of “Undercover Boss.”


StudioCX

And then lastly I watched a show called “The Hollywood Complex,” about kids that move to Hollywood in hopes of getting discovered.


StudioCX

Our descent was smooth and there were nice views of the bay as we approached the airport.


Airshow on approach


Nose camera on approach


Nose camera on approach

We touched down on runway 2C about 20 minutes early, and had a quick taxi to our gate at terminal one.

As usual in Singapore, clearing customs and immigration was a delight, with no queues and friendly agents.


Terminal two airside


Terminal two landside

We hopped in a taxi to the St. Regis, reasonably well rested given we had traveled almost 10,000 miles, and ready to explore the city for the afternoon.

As far as the flight goes, it was a typical Cathay Pacific flight, which is to say it was excellent. Do three hour flights get any awesomer than this one?

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. I don’t mind the brevity of this TR, given that this is about the hundredth-sixty-eight time you fly this precise product šŸ™‚ (and I have read all of your TRs of it because I’m addicted to them).

    But it might be a good idea to take one for the team at some point and fly their J product, too (reverse herringbone), in long-haul? I know you’ve flown it short-haul, but on my last trip from HKG to SFO I wondered around the J cabin and, although the mini cabin felt ok to me, the main J felt kind of too busy and rather claustrophobic, despite the fact that it’s a great J seat. I wonder what it feels like to fly in there for 13 hours.

  2. @ Foivos — And I plan on doing that. Have been doing my best to try new products so far this year (minus this trip, which remains the best use of AA miles there is), and will continue to do so. Next up are China Southern and Korean Air.

  3. @ EFG — I respect that, though I’d also say that if you want to read trip reports about destinations my reports aren’t for you. I try not to bore people, but I also recognize that there are MUCH better destination reviews out there than anything I could write. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case with airline, lounge, and hotel reviews, which is why I focus more on them.

  4. Flight attendant introductions:

    Flight attendant: “Wannaporn”

    Ben: “Um…no thanks.” šŸ˜‰

  5. Hi Lucky!

    Love this report, and love CX F!

    I’m flying CX next year LAX-HKG-SIN. The transpac is in F, but can’t seem to bring up F for the HKG-SIN on any flight other than the 744. I’m booked in J on the 777-300ER leg on the return; how can I snag an F seat?

    I looked (award and revenue) on various sites (EF, CX site, BA site) but can’t bring up F for flight 716 SIN-HKG (on a Monday in Feb).

    How did you snag the F seat?

  6. @ beachfan — In February CX716 actually seems to be operated by a regional 777 with the regional business class seats. That aircraft doesn’t have any first class seats.

  7. @ Lucky Some skyteam TRs coming up! Looking forward! Keep it up, man, your trip report index is developing into the bible of travel planning for some of us I believe.

  8. @ Lucky ā€” Is caviar available on non-morning CX F departures to destinations within Asia?

  9. @Lucky–Six more trip reports before you re-cap for us the Royal Jordanian flight from hell. How are you feeling about “living” that experience again via your TR? Did the airline ever reach out to you? I’m sure your story was referred to them. Great series of reports so far! I need to try CX some day.

  10. @ Peter — I know I probably sound like an idiot, but this is the toughest trip report I’ve had to write. After I write every installment the Royal Jordanian flight plays out again in my head. And hopefully with that installment I can provide a bit more of my reasoning, now that it has been well over a month.

    Never reached out to them and never heard from them, because I’m not really sure there’s anything they could do.

    Thanks for asking!

  11. @ Lucky — Perhaps writing about it in the TR will provide some measure of closure for you. Good luck and hang in there!

  12. I saw an earlier comment indicating which SFO => HKG flights were 747s vs which were 777s; can you clarify? I’m booked on CX first class later this year, and the booking still shows 747 as the equipment; I hope that doesn’t change – something about the 777 F layout doesn’t look all that appealing to me.

  13. @ Patrick — Whatever the schedule currently shows is probably what will stick. As of now the redeyes are 777s and daytime flights are 747s.

  14. Lucky:

    As soon as you write the Royal Jordanian section, I bet the flashbacks will start to fade … I was on this 6 person plane in the Northwest during a storm with 50 mile per hour winds and we took an approach that was diagonal the runway to account for cross winds. Anyhow, once I landed I told everyone I could about the experience, but it finally started to fade once I wrote it down – some magic in the process …

  15. Awesome TR as always! I hope to fly CX F someday but will live vicariously through your trip reports in the meantime.
    I’m curious whether they write those handwritten notes in Chinese too (for Asian passengers?) or is pretty much everything in air travel nowadays done in English? Have you ever been on a flight where the safety announcements weren’t spoken in English?

  16. why cx uses the 300er for such a short flight and I though intra asia flights are just two class configurations only.

  17. @ Joey — Hmmm, given that many flight attendants don’t speak “Chinese,” I would guess they do them all in English. I could be wrong though.

    Just about all airlines I’ve flown have had safety demos in English as well.

  18. @ Choi — I would guess they have some extra long haul aircraft that aren’t being utilized between long haul flights, so rather than keeping them on the ground in Hong Kong they’re flying them within Asia.

  19. I see you thought the wing cabana’s were the nicest (or among the nicest you encountered).

    It’s the one aspect of BA that I prefered – the cabana’s in the concorde lounge (and overall, my experience in the CCR was miles better than yours).

    The BA cabana’s are more conducive to a nap or lounging while watching TV. The CX cabana’s are really just for showering.

  20. @ beachfan — To clarify I think the Cathay Pacific Cabanas are the nicest airport shower rooms in the world, and not necessarily the nicest “relaxation” rooms. While the BA Cabanas are better for relaxing, all reports I’ve read suggest the actual showers are horrible and noisy.

  21. “Good morning Mr Lucky, would you be interested in some great Thai porn with your caviar?”

  22. ā€œGood morning Mr Lucky, would you be interested in getting banged by some great Thai boxers with your caviar?ā€

  23. Lucky,

    Since they eliminated Cx f from my home airport of YTZ, I am tempted to redeem for Cx j to avoid customs and transit through ORD or JFK. So you think this is a fair idea or is it worth the extra transit hassle to get f. I loved Cx f but the j looks very good!

  24. I did work with Wannaporn once in a flight and I remember her of course for this obvious reason šŸ™‚ This is her Thai name and she is very very nice and sweet to crew and passengers!

    @ Joey – When we write cards to passengers we would write them in English most of the time. We would even speak to passengers in English first because it’s really hard to tell which language a passenger prefers. If a passenger doesn’t seem to respond with English, then we will start playing the guessing game.

  25. The showers in the CCR BA cabanas are fairly nice, but the drains do make a funny sucking sound.

    Like you, I find a shower after a long flight before my next connection to be a real boost, so I’ve sampled many.

    The showers in the T3 arrival lounge at LHR are not in the same league – functional but not luxe.

  26. I wish I can have your good life!
    what is the secret to having this freedom and flexibility in life to go anywhere you like at whatever time and not having to pay for it.

  27. Who ever designed those shower rooms did a fabulous job making them look bigger than they probably are.

    Wannaporn? Don’t laugh ya’ll, when I was growing up in Thailand, my nanny was called Sumshit, and no I’m not making that up.

    Lucky, do they not cook egg dishes for breakfast on inter-Asian flights?

  28. I agree with some of the comments above, while I love these TRs, the same old routes and airlines has become a bore. I encourage the blogger to seek out new products and airlines this year.

  29. @ avid reader — Appreciate the feedback, and that’s what I’m trying to do. Even in this trip I flew SilkAir, Bangkok Airways, and Royal Jordanian for the first time. This year so far I’ve flown Singapore Suites, Austrian business class, Brussels business class, Turkish business class, and LOT business class, all for the first time.

    So I’m trying!

  30. @ wwk5d — Hah, the shower rooms are actually huge.

    Sadly I don’t think they cook eggs aboard on the intra-Asia flights. šŸ™

  31. @ Blueline7 — I really don’t think you could go wrong either way. Cathay Pacific has industry leading business and first class products, and I don’t think you could go wrong saving some miles and not having to deal with the hassle of transiting the US. So I’d say go for the direct routing out of Canada.

  32. I don’t care if you fly the same flights every week. Your trip reports get me through the work day….don’t….stop…

  33. You *never* have to apologize for drinking a mimosa! Unless something has changed recently you aren’t getting Krug intra-asia anyway, though I think I had a bottle once as a fluke.

  34. @beachfan are you sure it wasn’t Lucky you heard making the “funny” sounds in the BA Cabana shower?

  35. @lucky Very good news then! I’ve never seen anything but the inferior Amour de Deutz on the menu intra-asia.

  36. @lucky: I just booked CMB-SIN-HKG-SFO. First two flights are in J and HKG-SFO is in F. If there any “one” thing you would definitely recommend for the experience?

  37. @ Murtuza — Cathay Pacific is pretty solid all around — nothing about the experience that’s “amazing” and you can’t miss, but also nothing that should leave you disappointed.

    I’d say the one thing might be to visit “The Wing” and get a cabana shower room (as opposed to the standard shower room).

  38. Hey Lucky – I don’t know if you remember, I but I told you I was pretty sure that my wife, mom and I were in The Wing at the same time as you, that day…well, I see my mom in your photo of the main lounge. She’s facing away from you, closest to the bar, with the handle of my wife’s rollaboard just to her left.

  39. Good report. Are you sure you had Krug (albeit diluted) though? Regional flights with F eg HND-HKG which I have taken only serve Deutz iirc, Krug (and caviar) is restricted to F on the true longhauls. Not sure about HK-Oz.

  40. @ bahrainLad — I was surprised as well, but am positive it was Krug. Saw the bottle and it was even on the menu.

Leave a Reply

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