Cathay Pacific’s New Refreshed First Class 777-300ER

Last July Cathay Pacific announced that they would be refreshing the first class cabins on their 777-300ER aircraft. Long term, the 777-300ER will be the only aircraft in the fleet featuring first class, given that they’re in the process of retiring their 747s at the moment, which are the only other planes with a first class cabin.

While I’ve flown Cathay Pacific first class dozens of times over the years, prior to yesterday the last time I stepped on one of their planes was when I flew with them from Hong Kong to San Francisco last June for my mom’s Bali birthday trip.

I’m now just on the tail end of my quick trip to Sao Paulo to sample Korean Air first class and TAM first class, and last night flew from New York JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific first class.

While I’ve flown New York to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific first class before, I lucked out and got the new first class cabin this time around.

The new product is virtually identical to the old first class product. I’d say it’s lipstick on a pig, but perhaps the more accurate statement would be that it’s a little bit of extra makeup on an all natural supermodel. Please note that below I’m posting pictures of both the old product and new product, so be sure to read the captions to see which it is (in general I’ll put the old product on top and new product on the bottom).

Cathay Pacific’s new first class 777-300ER seat

Cathay Pacific’s first class cabin on the 777-300ER still has six seats, spread across two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration. They’re the only airline I can think of with three across seating on their longhaul 777s (Japan Airlines has three seats per row in first class on some of their regional 777s), so it is a very spacious product.

Cathay Pacific’s old first class 777-300ER cabin

Cathay Pacific’s new first class 777-300ER cabin

Cathay Pacific’s new first class 777-300ER cabin

Contrary to popular belief the new seats aren’t leather — they’re a very similar material to the old product. I do think the colors are a bit more stylish than the old product, though, and the seating material is super comfortable (though the old one was as well).

Cathay Pacific’s old first class 777-300ER, seat 2A

Cathay Pacific’s old first class 777-300ER, seat 2A

Cathay Pacific’s new first class 777-300ER, seat 2A

Cathay Pacific’s new first class 777-300ER, seat 2A

Fortunately the bedding remains the same, as I find Cathay Pacific has among the most comfortable seats in the sky for sleeping.

Cathay Pacific’s old first class bed

Cathay Pacific’s new first class bed

Cathay Pacific’s new first class 777-300ER seat controls

They’ve also switched up the seat controls somewhat. While the entertainment controls remain the same, the seat controls have gone from being a simple display with a few buttons, to being touch screen. The seat controls were intuitive and practical before, so the new touch screen isn’t actually more practical, but more style over substance. That being said, I don’t think it’s worse, either. They’ve also changed the wood console from more of a “flat” looking wood to a “shinier” one.

Cathay Pacific’s old first class seat and entertainment controls

Cathay Pacific’s new first class seat and entertainment controls

On the touch screen you can choose to adjust three setting — the recline position, the massage function, and the lighting.

Cathay Pacific’s new first class seat controls

Cathay Pacific’s new first class seat controls

Cathay Pacific’s new first class seat controls

Cathay Pacific’s new first class seat controls

Cathay Pacific’s new first class pajamas

Along with the introduction of their refreshed first class cabin, Cathay Pacific also switched up the amenities they offer in first class. The first change was that they stopped offering Shanghai Tang pajamas in first class, and have instead started offering PYE pajamas.

Now I know a lot of people weren’t happy about that change, because Shanghai Tang is undeniably a more recognized brand. That being said, unless I wanted to be a Chinese emperor during the Ming Dynasty for Halloween, I kinda feel like their pajamas weren’t especially stylish.

Cathay Pacific’s old Shanghai Tang first class pajamas

The new PYE pajamas, however, are super comfortable and a bit more stylish, so I actually prefer them. Admittedly they do look a bit like Kim Jong Un’s “signature” outfit, but at least we’re not forced to get his signature haircut as well….

Cathay Pacific’s new PYE first class pajamas

Cathay Pacific’s new first class amenity kits

Cathay Pacific changed up their amenity kits from ACCA KAPPA to Aesop, though to be honest the differences are very minor, and I don’t think there’s a clear winner there.

Cathay Pacific’s old ACCA KAPPA first class amenity kit

Cathay Pacific’s new Aesop first class amenity kit

Cathay Pacific’s new first class Bose headphones

Cathay Pacific finally has some high quality headphones in first class — they now have Bose Quiet Comfort headphones, compared to the old cheap ones they used to have.

Cathay Pacific’s new first class Bose headphones

Cathay Pacific’s new first class bathrooms

While they were already fairly stylish before, their new first class bathrooms are even nicer, in my opinion.

Cathay Pacific first class 777-300ER bathroom

Cathay Pacific first class 777-300ER bathroom

Cathay Pacific first class 777-300ER bathroom

Cathay Pacific first class 777-300ER bathroom toiletries

Cathay Pacific’s new first class champagne

Just kidding, though almost scared y’all, didn’t I? Cathay Pacific has long served — and continues to serve — Krug in first class. Hands down my favorite first class champagne.

Krug in the old Cathay Pacific first class

Krug in the new Cathay Pacific first class

Bottom line

Cathay Pacific’s first class product has been around for years now, and it’s still industry leading. It provides an amazing balance between privacy and spaciousness, and features among the most comfortable beds in the sky. Stay tuned for the full trip report, as this sector had some of the best service I’ve ever had on any airline.

Have you flown in Cathay Pacific’s new first class cabin? If so, what did you think?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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  1. They’ve had the Aesop amenity kits for a while. That’s what I got on my trip over there last year. I love the citrus face moisturizer so much that I almost bought some!

    I like that they eliminated some of the faux wood trim.

  2. We were able to just sample both of the back to back (ORD-HGK and HGK-SIN). We noticed the differences that you did so clearly loved them both. Such small changes (e.g., different vases) makes wonder why go through it?

  3. I’ve flown JFK – HKG twice in First, old product both times. It might be marginally better, but I have to say those were some of the best flights I’ve ever been on.

    On one, there were only two of us in the cabin. So, so peaceful.

    Though yes, when all 6 of you are wearing the Tang pajamas, it does look a bit like an Army.

  4. My wife loves the Aesop brand, but seems nearly impossible to find. Does anyone know the best place to purchase in-store?

  5. @ Gary — Makes sense. Figured they’d treat JFK-YVR as a longhaul since it is in just about every other way, but guess that’s one exception (along with caviar).

  6. This is so awesome!!!! I lucked out and got B-KPR last summer on hkg-jfk. I look forward reading your trip report on this leg!

  7. Great review!
    Any idea why they cancelled this flight on 3/27?
    And what type of compensation do you get in such case?

  8. @ R B — No clue why they cancelled it, though this flight is consistently late. That’s because they schedule a tight turn in New York, and almost always the inbound is late and/or there are departure/arrival delays in New York. Compensation depends entirely on cause, whether it’s related to weather or something in Cathay Pacific’s control.

  9. Just flew the new F a few days ago SFO-HKG. Nice flight. Nice service. Nice seat. Nice meal. Don’t drink on flights so didn’t bother with the Krug.

    F space is harder to find now that they’re pulling 747s out of service. Had to transfer MRs to AsiaMiles to find space for 2 on my preferred routes on my last redemption for next February.

  10. Most US routes, but you won’t be seeing this new F on the 747s. Beware that not all 777s are reconfigured.

    This seat was really nice, but to be honest it’s really comparable to the one before the reupholster. They’re two different styles: the old one was classic and woody, this one is a little more “modern wood chic”. As for the bathrooms though, I see a clear winner there.

  11. I think their male overnight kit looks terrible! I’d rather take the kits from their C class. The new PYE PJ is also not my cup of tea. I always thought the Shanghai Tang PJ’s have nicer look and much more stylish.
    The seats, foods, and services are, however, remain very much the same (excellent) throughout the years, with or without the facelift.

  12. kind of off topic but does anyone know if they have kid sized pajamas? Travelling in first this summer with my 5 year old.

  13. @ Mike S. — It’s not tied to any particular routes given that it’s an identical configuration to the old product. So there’s no way to know in advance if your aircraft is scheduled to have it or not. I believe a bit more than a handful of their 777s have the new product now.

  14. A minor point, but I think they also did away with the hanging shoe bag/cubby in the closet. To me it seemed like a step backwards.

  15. It’s nice when airlines just fine tune their product (if it isn’t broke dont fix it), instead of a complete overhaul. I’ll have to try this product out

  16. @carl aesop is an Aussie brand,specifically from Melbourne although with stores all over and I’ve seen their stores and concessions in London. I’ve never seen them in the states.

    Nice excuse to burn some miles on a long haul shopping expedition.

  17. I flew the old F on a CX 747 HKG-MNL last evening. I was the only one in F. The lead FA said I should spend 15 minutes in each seat :) It was an abbreviated service of course due to the 1:45 stage length, but I figured it was one last chance to experience the CX 747. And well worth it!

    Before boarding began I queued up in the F/J line rather late (spent as much time in THE WING as I could (h/t Lucky!)). The agent who was roaming the line checking passports was horrified that I would be there, yanked me out of line, and right to the front of the queue. For a minute I thought my UA GS status was transferred :)

  18. Looks nice although this is just a re-skinning so the seats weren’t replaced, IIRC.

    P.S. How many of us would rather see CX go to 8 seats in F (1-2-1 config) so there’d be more award availability?

  19. Aesop has stores in the US– in SF, NY and LA at least, and I’m sure in some other places where you’d find international brands.

    @Lucky– did you get the PYE pajamas in navy or gray? I’m lucky to have gotten both!

  20. Flying CX F SFO to HKG mid-August then HKG to ORD late August. I’m hoping for “refreshed” F so as to compare with the “old” F. I would love to see them take out a J row and add it to first to make 9 instead of 6 suites. We were able to get 2 F awards for each August flight.

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