Review: Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER New York JFK To Hong Kong

Introduction
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER New York JFK To Hong Kong
Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Dragonair G16 Lounge Hong Kong Airport
SriLankan Business Class A330-200 Hong Kong To Bangkok
SriLankan Business Class A330-200 Bangkok To Colombo
SriLankan Serendib Lounge Colombo Airport
SriLankan Business Class A330-300 Colombo To Male
Beach Palace Hotel / Ui Inn Maldives
Domestic Maldivian Moonimaa Lounge Male Airport
Maldivian Dash 8 Male To Kooddoo And Park Hyatt Boat Transfer
Park Hyatt Maldives Park Villa
Park Hyatt Maldives Park Pool Villa
Park Hyatt Maldives Park Water Villa
Park Hyatt Maldives Breakfast & Diamond Cocktails
Park Hyatt Maldives Resort Overview
Park Hyatt Boat Transfer And Maldivian Dash 8 Kooddoo to Male
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 Male To Hong Kong
Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong To Newark


Cathay Pacific departs from Terminal 7 at JFK, which is primarily used by British Airways and United. My flight was at 10AM, so I decided to get to the airport quite early in order to avoid rush hour. That way I could get some work done from the lounge, given that Cathay Pacific doesn’t have wifi aboard.

I arrived at the airport at 7AM, and proceeded to Cathay Pacific check-in.

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New York JFK Terminal 7 check-in

Cathay Pacific’s premium check-in is located at the far left of the terminal, right next to British Airways’ first class check-in.

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New York JFK Terminal 7 check-in

There’s a premium security line there, which was completely empty at the time, so I was through in minutes.

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New York JFK Terminal 7 airside

Cathay Pacific uses the British Airways Galleries First Lounge at New York JFK, which is rather underwhelming, as it’s basically a dark dungeon. Since I’ve reviewed it before I won’t write about it again.

The Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong boarded from gate 4 at 9:15AM, which was 45 minutes before departure.

Cathay Pacific 841
New York (JFK) – Hong Kong (HKG)
Friday, April 3
Depart: 10:00AM
Arrive: 2:00PM (+1 day)
Duration: 16hr00min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 2K (First Class)

At door 2L I was greeted by one of the business class crew, who escorted me left towards my first class seat, 2K. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love first class on Cathay Pacific, and I especially love the 777-300ER cabin. There are just six seats spread across two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration.

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Cathay Pacific first class seat

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Cathay Pacific first class seat

Once settled in one of the first class crew came by to offer me a pre-departure beverage. I ordered a glass of Krug, which was accompanied by an amuse bouche.

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Cathay Pacific first class pre-departure Krug and amuse bouche

The amuse bouche Cathay Pacific offers on the ground is a nice touch. This one consisted of mango and prawn, and was tasty.

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Cathay Pacific first class pre-departure amuse bouche

Shortly thereafter I was offered pajamas, slippers, and an amenity kit. I love Cathay Pacific’s pajamas and slippers.

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Cathay Pacific first class pajamas

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Cathay Pacific first class & slippers

And while their amenity kit is nice in the sense that it’s provided by Aesop, the quantity and variety of products as such is a bit disappointing.

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Cathay Pacific first class Aesop amenity kit

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Cathay Pacific first class Aesop amenity kit contents

As boarding continued three of the other five first class seats eventually filled up. There were people seated in 1A and 2A, and then oddly there was a guy in 1D. Despite 1K staying open, he kept his middle seat.

The guy in 1D was puzzling, because he was dressed in a several thousand dollar suit which he didn’t once take off during the flight. He even left on his tie. During boarding he asked the flight attendant what time we were landing in Hong Kong.

“We are scheduled to land at 2PM, sir.”
“But it’s 10AM now. Are we flying for 28 hours?!”
“No, there is a 12 hour time change between New York and Hong Kong.”
“What? They have a different time there?”

Alrighty then…

The crew didn’t seem especially busy, but despite that they didn’t bother to offer me any sort of a drink refill while on the ground, which is quite disappointing when you board 45 minutes before departure.

At 9:45AM Captain Steve came on the PA to welcome everyone aboard and inform us of our flight time of 15hr8min, which he anticipated would put us into Hong Kong well ahead of “shed-jewel.”

I love how many nationalities of pilots Cathay Pacific has — in this case the captain was Australian, while there were two female Chinese first officers (I’ve never seen that before, and thought it was pretty cool) and an American second officer.

Since we started boarding so early we also pushed back a bit ahead of schedule at 9:55AM. I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw that there was an Aerolineas Argentinas A330 parked right next to us.

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Aerolineas Argentinas A330 New York JFK

As we pushed back the safety video began to plan. The inflight service manager, Didi, made her welcome aboard announcements. She had among the most insincere announcements I’ve ever heard, which I guess shouldn’t really be surprising when she started her announcements by saying “flight attendants are here primarily for your safety.” Everything she said sounded insincere and uninterested.

We began our taxi to runway 22R, whereby we saw a fair amount of interesting traffic, including a Hawaiian A330 and a Jet Airways 777 (being operated from Abu Dhabi on behalf of Etihad).

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Taxiing New York JFK

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Taxiing New York JFK

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Hawaiian A330 and JetBlue A320 New York JFK

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Aeromexico 737, Delta 737, and Jet Airways/Etihad 777 New York JFK

By JFK standards we made great time, and by 10:15AM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 22R.

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Taking off New York JFK

It was a fairly stormy morning, so we hit quite a bit of chop on our climb out.

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View after takeoff from New York

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View after takeoff from New York

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View after takeoff from New York

Once we made it above the clouds I decided to browse the StudioCX entertainment system and decide on something to watch.

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StudioCX entertainment system

I ended up watching St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray. I have mixed feelings about the movie, but overall I liked it… I think.

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StudioCX entertainment system

Menus were distributed about 20 minutes after takeoff. Interestingly that was done by the first class flight attendant and not the inflight service manager. Usually the ISM at least comes around and greets each first class passenger, but this one was nowhere to be seen.

I placed my lunch order, hoping to eat fairly soon so that I could catch some shuteye, as I barely got any sleep the night before.

The lunch menu read as follows:

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And the wine/drink list read as follows:

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Service began with drinks. I ordered a glass of Krug, which was served with cashews.

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Cathay Pacific first class Krug & nuts

As the flight attendant was about to set the table we hit some moderate turbulence (not moderate chop, but actual moderate turbulence), so service had to be suspended. I had to hold onto my glass so it didn’t fall, as anything that wasn’t secured was just about flying through the cabin.

We had consistent turbulence for the next hour, so the service had to be suspended all along. Apparently there were some people throwing up in economy, though everyone in first class managed to hold it in.

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View at cruising altitude

About 90 minutes after takeoff the meal service finally began. It was still a bumpy ride, but not nearly as bad as before.

Service began with my table being set, which included a bread basket.

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Cathay Pacific first class lunch table setting

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Cathay Pacific lunch bread basket

For the starter I had the caviar, which was as good as always.

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Cathay Pacific first class lunch starter — caviar

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Cathay Pacific first class lunch starter — caviar

Then I had the salad, which came with salmon. It was one of the best salads I’ve had on a plane. It’s sort of funny that Cathay Pacific used to offer salmon with the caviar, but it seemed on this flight they were offering it with the salad instead.

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Cathay Pacific first class lunch salad — salmon and quinoa salad

For the main course I ordered the halibut with mint risotto. The fish wasn’t terrible, but it was rather dense and chewy. The sauvignon blanc I had with it, however, was excellent.

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Cathay Pacific first class lunch main course — grilled halibut

Then for dessert I had the carrot banana souffle with dolce de leche ice cream and a cappuccino. The ice cream was rock hard, and I found it a bit odd that they gave me a plastic container with toasted almonds, rather than putting it directly on the dessert.

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Cathay Pacific first class lunch dessert — carrot banana souffle with ice cream

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Cathay Pacific first class lunch dessert — carrot banana souffle with ice cream

To finish off the meal I was offered a hot towel and a variety of chocolates.

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Cathay Pacific first class hot towel and chocolates

As far as the service goes, it wasn’t actively bad. But at the same time the crew had no charisma, no charm, and clearly just seemed to be going through the motions. They were quite attentive during the meal service in the sense that plates were proactively cleared, drinks were proactively refilled, etc. But there was no smiling and no asking how anything was.

After lunch I wanted to get some shut eye. At this point we had about 12 hours to go to Hong Kong, and my goal was to sleep for as much of it as possible.

While Cathay Pacific doesn’t have fully enclosed suites, they do offer one of the most comfortable beds in the sky, in my opinion. The bed is so wide and spacious, and the bedding is top notch. So in general it’s easy to get a lot of sleep.

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Cathay Pacific first class bed

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Cathay Pacific first class bed

I slept extremely well for about four hours, and then woke up somewhere over the top of the world due to turbulence. I was hoping to be able to fall back asleep, but for whatever reason I couldn’t. Grrrr, especially since I knew it would be a really long day upon arriving in Hong Kong.

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Airshow enroute from New York to Hong Kong

Since I couldn’t sleep I decided to browse StudioCX again. They had quite a good music selection.

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StudioCX entertainment system

Since I was awake I figured I might as well order some milk tea. I also had a look at the snack menu, and decided to order some Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

The snack menu read as follows:

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Cathay Pacific first class snack — Haagen-Dazs ice cream and milk tea

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Cathay Pacific first class snack — Haagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream

After that I did something I try to force myself not to do. Because it’s a bit of an addiction, and once I start I can’t stop.

I watched The Mentalist. Even though I had seen all the episodes before, that didn’t stop me from literally binge watching nearly an entire season again. Oops.

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StudioCX entertainment system

Occasionally I had a look out of the window, and there was almost this brilliantly dim glimmer across the sky which my camera couldn’t do justice to.

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View enroute from New York to Hong Kong

A few more episodes into The Mentalist I ordered the shrimp quesadillas from the snack menu. Much to my surprise the quesadilla was well executed, which you wouldn’t expect on a plane.

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Cathay Pacific first class snack — shrimp quesadilla

I also had some berries with creme fraiche for dessert. Judge me all you want, but I binge eat when watching The Mentalist.

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Cathay Pacific first class dessert — fresh seasonal berries with creme fraiche

A handful of episodes of The Mentalist later, we were 90 minutes out of Hong Kong, and it was time for the pre-arrival dinner.

The dinner menu read as follows:

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The starter consisted of a fruit plate, which was good.

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Cathay Pacific first class dinner starter — fresh seasonal fruit

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Cathay Pacific first class dinner starter — fresh seasonal fruit

I was also offered a bread basket, though it was different than the one I had with the main meal.

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Cathay Pacific first class bread basket

For the main course I had the sea bass. On my last flight in Cathay Pacific first class from Chicago to Hong Kong I had the sea bass pre-landing, and it was incredible. Possibly the best fish dish I’ve ever had, be it in the air or on the ground.

This one was equally good. Absolutely freaking delicious. Heck, in the future I’m just going to see if I can have the pre-landing fish dish with the main meal service instead.

I had the same excellent sauvignon blanc I had with lunch to accompany it.

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Cathay Pacific first class dinner main course — steamed sea bass

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Cathay Pacific first class dinner main course — steamed sea bass

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Cathay Pacific first class dinner main course — stir fried kailan with carrot

Lastly for dessert I had the red berry mascarpone cake, which was pleasantly light.

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Cathay Pacific first class dinner dessert — red berry mascarpone cake with raspberry coulis

At 1PM Hong Kong time Captain Steve came on the PA once again to give us updated arrival information. He informed us we would be landing at 1:30PM, and should be at the gate about 20 minutes early. As is the protocol at Cathay Pacific, he finished the announcement with “cabin crew, 30 minutes to landing. That’s 30 minutes till landing.”

As we began our descent I changed out of my pajamas and stowed everything I had taken out during the flight.

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View on descent into Hong Kong

We hit quite some chop on the descent, thanks to the thick cloud coverage over Hong Kong.

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View on descent into Hong Kong

We had beautiful views on our final approach.

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View on descent into Hong Kong

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View on final descent into Hong Kong

And then a super-hard touchdown in Hong Kong at 1:30PM sharp, and a 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate.

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Taxiing in Hong Kong

The traffic in Hong Kong always keeps my eyes glued to the window, and this time was no exception.

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EL AL & Cathay Pacific planes Hong Kong

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Cathay Pacific & Jet Airways planes Hong Kong

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Taxiing in Hong Kong

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Asiana 747 Hong Kong Airport

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Takeoff queue Hong Kong Airport

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Taxiing in Hong Kong

Eventually we pulled into gate 4, which is at the very end of the terminal.

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Pulling into gate in Hong Kong

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Airshow from New York to Hong Kong

The first interaction I had with the inflight service manager was at the door, when she said “bye.”

Cathay Pacific first class bottom line

In the past I’ve called Cathay Pacific first class one of the most consistent first class products in the world. And for the most part it is.

Cathay Pacific’s first class hard product is excellent, even though it has been around for well over a decade. Cathay Pacific’s entertainment and food are very good as well, all things considered. And they also offer one of the most comfortable beds in the sky, in my opinion.

But this crew disappointed me. While the flight attendants were efficient, they couldn’t have appeared any more uninterested in what they were doing. And while I don’t want to put all the blame on the inflight service manager, her attitude over the PA and the fact that she didn’t once come through the cabin to see how everything was is pretty telling.

I still love Cathay Pacific first class, and will be very sad if/when they restrict first class award redemptions.

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Comments

  1. Didn’t know that Cathay flew nonstop to Hong Kong from JFK. Is there still a stop in Vancouver?

  2. Thanks for a great report Ben. Could you review for us the number of miles this required, and the options for booking this trip with miles? Thanks. David O

  3. generally speaking, i find chinese women to be crude and bossy especially when you compare them to other east asian groups. and cantoneses are the worst in all of china.
    for this reason, i stop taking cathay pacific for my trip to hong kong.

  4. @ steven k — Keep in mind that most Cathay Pacific flight attendants aren’t Chinese. A vast majority of Cathay Pacific cabin crew I’ve flown with are from Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

  5. @ Nolan Snoeyink — They do indeed. They typically have four flights a day — three are nonstop, and one routes through Vancouver.

  6. @ David O — Thanks! I redeemed 67,500 American AAdvantage miles for one-way first class. The other best option for booking this would be Alaska Mileage Plan, as they charge 70,000 miles for one-way first class between the US and Asia. The benefit of booking through Alaska is that they allow stopovers on one way awards, so you could stop in Hong Kong for as long as you’d like and then continue onwards.

  7. Have you noticed that food service is better when departing from the airline’s main departure city instead of the USA airport? I have traveled on CX First from SFO, and Turkish and JAL in business to IST/HND but rode economy home, and have been told by friends it’s better when departing from the foreign hubs. Unfortunately, when being economical with miles redemptions, it’s more fun to arrive in style than to depart.

  8. Quick nit picky grammar comment-you use “disinterested” twice when you probably mean “uninterested.” Disinterested means unbiased, “a disinterested third party will decide” while uninterested is not interested. 🙂

  9. @ Robert ZinSF — As a general rule of thumb that’s definitely true, because an airline has more quality control over their catering at their hub. But in the case of Cathay Pacific specifically, I’ve actually found catering to often be better out of the US than out of Hong Kong. Not sure why.

  10. As a Captain myself I sometimes wounder what the CX crews are doing just sitting there getting the SHIT beat out of you. In the US we change altitude and about 80% of the time that works. I have been a passenger on CX many times where if it was not nailed down it was on the ceiling. My last one from Hong Kong to London we were in constant moderate with sever for over an HOUR! Everything is First Class was on the floor and the cockpit crew never said one word not one.

    People were freaking out and scared. Couple hours later I chatted up the First Officer in the galley. I said from one pilot to another maybe next time say something to calm the people down. He just shrugged his shoulders. It was the 2nd worst turbulence I have been in over 25 years of flying. Seems to be a trend on CX and I do not know why.

  11. @ Tim — Funny you say that, because I also consistently find Cathay Pacific flights to be the bumpiest. Might just be a function of the amount of flying they do over the Pacific, but it does seem like they don’t really try to change altitude to find smoother air. I guess they sort of take the cargo pilot approach.

  12. lucky–you know Cathay F is dine on demand right? You can pick anything off the menu you want and tell them to bring it whenever. The menu perhaps is a little deceptive the way they order it and categorize it. 4/5 flights in F most of the cabin eats the meal right at takeoff and another pre-landing. But Cathay intends F to be dine on demand. You can pick and choose anything for any time, whether from the “first” or “second” meal, or snack.

    For example…eggs and caviar are a lot better together!

  13. While I (used to) like Cathay Pacific a lot, my most recent experience with them – business class on an Airbus A330 from Qatar to Hong Kong – was terrible. The flight itself was ok (with a great cabin crew, excellent seats but unimpressive food), I will remember it as one of my worst flight experiencesever (so far), because of the total incompetence that Cathay Pacific displayed when we had to deal with multiple, unexpected and very frustrating flight delays (24 hour in total) at Doha’s airport. I wrote a trip report about it here: http://wp.me/p4d1XU-fD0

  14. Re the dense and chewy halibut, denseness is a quality that many prize in halibut, it is not flaky at all, which contributes to its being a fantastic deep fry fish (Just go to the Alaska State Fair). As for it being chewy, perhaps the fish was parcooked or completely cooked during catering, and then heated through for serving. I suppose this is one of the hazards of serving food at 30,000 feet in a small galley.

  15. I can almost hear the fax going off on the Aerolineas Argentinas plane.
    I noticed they changed their livery.

  16. Great photos – especially of the food. They really brought the meal to life and show that, even though the service was a bit indifferent, at least they did a nice job of plating the food.

  17. Unless I’m misinterpreting the flight map, this flight went “left to right” JFK-HKK. So you’re saying that the three nonstops fly eastbound, but the one-stop via YVR flies westbound? Interesting. It appears on the antipode site that HKG is more or less directly north of NYC’s antipode, so either way would work.

  18. The AM nonstop JFK-HKG flight used to offer breakfast items as an option. Appears to no longer be the case?

  19. Nice pics, Ben. 3 Qs:
    1.New camera?
    2. How do you take the caviar? Caviar on Bilni, then the cream and garnish on top?
    3. I thought JFK-HKG had to be 2 awards as 67.5 AA miles is transpacific, no?

  20. The nuts are in a container because some people are allergic and don’t want any cross contamination.

  21. Thanks Ben I’m looking forward to try CX business or first class on my trip to Asia next year. However as I try to redeem with BA avios it asks for 100K miles o/w for business only…and 142K to Bali! I have plenty of BA avios especially as I can accumulate my family’s miles and we fly a lot together. Yet should I start accumulating miles on AA instead as it seems they’re much more generous in their award redemption? Thanks in advance.

  22. @ Max — Yep, British Airways has a distance based award chart, while American has a zone based award chart. So while British Airways can be a great value for shorthaul awards, American will be a much better value for longhaul awards.

  23. @ Abe —

    1) Nope, same camera.
    2) I mix it up. Sometimes just directly off the spoon, sometimes on a blini with garnishes, etc.
    3) Nope, that counts as transpacific since it’s nonstop.

  24. @ Ryan — That’s interesting. No breakfast items here. Though I believe the flight used to leave a bit earlier (maybe based on daylight savings time), at around 9AM?

  25. @ colleen — The route is virtually due north, so it is indeed a somewhat different routing than when going through Vancouver.

  26. I stumbled on your twitter account and enjoy your writing. I do not fly much anymore but were I to go to Hong Kong I would have to think long and hard about using Cathay after your review especially if I were paying for it. The issue that stood out for me is the attitude of the crew.Thanks for reporting

  27. Thanks Lucky. I’m new and still learning. I said hello at FTU Dallas this year. I’ll be back for FTU advanced in Sept. I just flew this week Cathay Biz LAX to HKG to BKK on the 777 with Alaska miles. I took a hard look at those 6 seats up forward. I also flew Cathay Biz in Feb. Both times I was greeted by name by the ISM and FA. I’m surprised by the snub in the 1st class cabin. I lucked out on the flight home and got JAL first on the 777 from TYO to LAX. I’ll check your reviews, but I had a great flight.

    Not sure if this is the place to ask. On my Biz flight to BKK I was sitting next to a american who was in the 1st class cabin from LAX to HKG. He told me he gets 2K from his company to get a 1 way ticket LAX to BKK. He said he bought his 1st class ticket last minute from a Hong Kong broker for $2300. He thought the broker somehow gets the tickets from people with Cathay points. He wasn’t sure. Have you used these brokers yourself? Again sorry if this is a basic question. I’m reading as fast as I can.

  28. My experience flying CX in F on SFO-HKG was similar in terms of the crews. They did their job and fulfilled all their duties, but there was nothing special beyond that. The hard product was great, food was good (not excellent), but I found service to be disappointing for F.

  29. Another great report by Lucky. Recently flew CX J BKK-SIN for the first time on CX. As reported seats are hard in their new regional J . Service was good, crew friendly , attentive. One of the best 2 hour flights I’ve had. Also flew JAL F SFO-HND. Good service, but just OK food. Flew ANA F SIN-NRT-SEA 777-300ER, only 2 seats taken both flights. Service great, very attentive cabin crew, food good, onion soup notable as was Waygou beef. Was looking to taking CX F but glad I stuck with Japanese carriers. Culturally, Japanese are much better at service decorum than the Chinese.

  30. I have heard that there are usually difference in service level between US-base crew and HK-base crew. The ones from US are usually more relax… while the ones based in HK is going through some union “things”…

  31. @ Danny — Yep, there definitely are “cultural” differences between HK and US based crews.

  32. @ Joe Alborn — Yeah, sounds like he’s using someone who buys miles and then resells them. That can be really risky, since it violates the rules of the frequent flyer programs. Happy you enjoyed the trip!

  33. A fair few minor service faults and some minor food faults on no longer leading edge hard product. Not a great record (in Business, acceptable, but First has a higher bar).

    Is CX caring less because it’s First cabin is mostly redemption these days?

    Things are getting very competitive in First market – unwise to trade on former glories.

  34. Hi Ben

    I have an award flight on cathay pacific booked with AA miles. If the employees end up going on strike in august and that affects my flight, would AA allow me a free change?

  35. Catering on CX out of JFK tends to be better since it’s catered by DO/CO. Ex-YVR flights are catered by CLS Catering Services.

  36. Do you order everything, including caviar? Or do you ask for the things where there are several options, like lunch, to choose from?

  37. @ Mateusz — You generally choose between options, but if they have enough available you can usually get seconds or try more things.

  38. @ dan — Yes, assuming your flight is impacted they should let you make a free change as a result.

  39. Oh, I wanted to ask if you have to order the caviar to get it? Or, in order it is the only starter and you don’t ask for it- you get it?

  40. @ Mateusz — Well you have to order everything. They won’t serve you anything you don’t ask for.

  41. @ Mateusz — You can order what you want when you want. After takeoff they’ll take your order and ask what you’d like. You can order one thing or 10 things, it doesn’t matter.

  42. Great piece! I totally agree that the service is a little bit robotic.
    Amenity is disappointing, I remember they used to have really nice ones.Why can’t they commission Chanel or LV to do a special Kit???
    I flew from JFK to HK last Jan and the Chinese food (Ginger/Scallions lobster stir fry) and Snacks (Minced Pork casserole) were excellent.
    In terms of attendant’s service for First, I think Thai & Ana are better. I felt a little embarrassed that i have to ask for more Krug when I feel my glass should be filled like magic whenever it is low. Also, the entertainment system sucks (same selection of movies to & from HK) and the planes are a little bit too old. And there was a creepy experience on the flight—they let 2 First Class passengers sleeping together in the same bed!!!!!! Having said that Cathay still beats services from any American airlines hands down!!!!!

  43. I even find business class seats are impossible to grab on CX through BA portal. Any suggestions ?

  44. Ben – quick question…I have heard that CX is not good about switching altitudes to avoid turbulence. Do you think Japan Airlines has the same issue, based on your experience? Even though I fly 200k miles a year, I hate turbulence, and it does seem to have had a major impact on the trip you reviewed here.

  45. @ frank — Which routes are you trying to book and how far in advance? I find availability is generally excellent.

  46. Lucky – wrt your comment above about BA being distance based v AA being zoned based. I thought the “new” award chart for BA was zone based? And aren’t they the same, ie., the zone is actually allocated based on distance? If I am off the plot here please clarify.
    Your review is excellent. What is your first choice now for F from East Coast – HKG and West Coast – HKG?
    I asked you a couple of months ago about a tutorial re: which FFP website(s) to access for which specific airline F and J awards, ie, AA v Alaska for CX. Is that type of tutorial available from any of you “experts” and if so can you direct me there? I find that bit of information to be most important and the hardest to find. Tx

  47. @bobtrial:

    Yes, it’s dine on demand. However, you occasionally need to be assertive about it.

    I will often eat before I get on the flight… especially when departing from HKIA and The Wing. So, when I board, I don’t want to eat right away. I’ve had them give me an annoyed look when I say I want to eat later. I’ve also had them pester the heck out of me until I finally order, presumably so that they can get their meal prep out of the way and be able to ignore me for a few hours.

  48. I’ve flown almost a dozen segments in CX F. Deleting one sentence from your post pretty much sums up 90% of the flights:

    “As far as the service goes, it wasn’t actively bad. But at the same time the crew had no charisma, no charm, and clearly just seemed to be going through the motions. …. But there was no smiling and no asking how anything was.”

    The thing I find interesting is that the domestics will send me a follow-up survey after every flight. CX doesn’t seem to give a rip! Of course, a crappy flight in CX F beats a good flight in domestic F. 🙂

    I think the ISM really sets the tone, and your post is just one more illustration of that hypothesis.

  49. @ bobbieddie — British Airways recently changed their pricing, but it’s still a completely distance based award chart. I’d say Cathay Pacific is still the best option for travel to Hong Kong. For searching that space you’ll want to use the British Airways website.

  50. Lucky, thank you for this informative and detail reviews. I just came back to San Francisco from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific First class and had similar experience. Our 2 flight attendants only speak to me when necessary – never any personal greetings such as good evening or good morning. I also had a hard time understanding one of the flight attendant I believed her first language is Japanese. However, I love Cathay Pacific’s food both served in First and Business Classes. I don’t usually eat dessert, but the ones they served were delicious.

    My outbound was on Cathay Pacific Business class which the I think service is more personal and in my opinion is better that First Class. That is really weird.

  51. Do you have any experience with CX policy on allowing guests seated in business to visit friends seated in first? Just for a drink or maybe for a meal?

  52. I was looking for J RT flights on Cathay ex-CMB for about 2100-2300 to JFK. Are those fares legitimate?

  53. @Lucky- Thanks; looking forward to getting on a repositioning flight from PVG. The fares seem to go much higher when you book further out.

  54. Hi Lucky. Does CX use two jet bridges on arrival at HK, like JL and SQ do for first class passengers to deplane?

  55. @Lucky My wife and I will be flying to HKG next year from USA. What’s the best CX Aircraft and Lounge to fly out from ?

  56. @ Ton — Cathay exclusively flies the 777-300ER to the US, so the plane really doesn’t matter. That being said, I’d say the Qantas First Lounge, which Cathay Pacific uses at LAX, is the nicest lounge in the US. So all else being equal I’d give LAX the advantage.

  57. Hi. After having read the above report, I’m torn between choosing CX F or JL F – heading to Hongkong.
    I read JL recently revamped their aircraft…if you were me, not having flown either in F class, which would you choose? Thanks in advance!

  58. Hi Lucky,
    Thanks for the detailed review, the Salmon Quinoa Salad looks really appertaining! Just wonder did any of the crew recognise you? You know, I always imagine what to say if you happened to be on my flight. I mostly operated on HKGJFK (about three times a month), hopefully one day I can have the chance to serve you onboard.
    Cheers!

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