Ordering A Birthday Cake On Cathay Pacific

While most people don’t realize this, some airlines will let you order a birthday cake if you’re traveling on or around your birthday. It’s something I’ve taken advantage of a few times for loved ones, because it always catches them off guard and puts a smile on their face.

Ford got a cake when he flew Emirates first class from Dallas to Dubai (I’m not sure why they put my name on there rather than his, but…).

Emirates-First-Class-3

Meanwhile my dad got a cake when he flew Singapore first class from Singapore to Melbourne.

Singapore-First-Class-11

They even sang happy birthday to him.

As I said above, it’s just something that can make a loved one smile, since most people don’t realize this is a possibility (and on many airlines it isn’t). In both the case of Emirates and Singapore, the cakes are complimentary, and you just have to phone up the call center to request them.

For another data point, reader Alok shared his experience with me by email of getting a birthday cake on Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific does offer birthday cakes on demand, but you have to pay for them — they cost 300HKD.

Cathay-Pacific-Cake

Here’s what he had to say about the experience:

I wanted to share with you the birthday experience on CX. I flew from LAX-HKG on Jun. 22 in business class and I pre-ordered the birthday cake in advance. It cost $39 USD on the CX website.

On the flight, the purser asked my wife when they could bring out the cake. My wife suggested probably in the middle of the flight when my son would be awake. The purser then brought out the cake and a glass of champagne. I am surprised it was only the purser who brought the cake — no other flight attendants joined in. Also, there was no candle on the birthday cake. However, the cake tasted great — it was coffee flavored. It was more than one person can eat so I shared it with the cabin crew.

At the end of the flight, the cabin crew (about 10 people) came by and gave me a birthday card signed by the entire cabin crew. It was very thoughtful.

Anyway, I have attached some pictures from the flight. It seems your Singapore and Emirates birthday experience for your dad would probably be better than Cathay Pacific but I am sure it dependent on the specific cabin crew.

I would consider doing this again for a special occasion (i.e. milestone birthday) or to impress someone who has never experienced anything like this.

Cathay-Pacific-Cake

Bottom line

You can add Cathay Pacific to the list of airlines that offer birthday cakes, though unlike Emirates and Singapore, they charge. For a special occasion, it seems like a nice way to surprise someone, even if it’s an expensive cake.

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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Comments

  1. And somebody tried to call me entitled a couple weeks back when I was disappointed Etihad had confirmed they would have a cake for my son. I was on the A380 from AUH to LHR.

    When I was onboard they had not gotten the request. So the chef in first actually made a nice plate out of some little cakes of the first desserts. Really nice guy.

  2. If I had to pay $40 for a cake, id rather just pick the cake I really want for the person and carry it on board.

  3. We were flying business class on Qatar back to the US in May on my birthday so my husband contacted Qatar and asked if they could do a cake or something special for my birthday. They told him no. So much for 5 star service.

  4. I wish I had known about this a few weeks ago! I just flew Cathay Pacific business class between JFK and Vancouver a few days after my birthday. This is good to know for the future, though.

  5. We will fly BA first (TATL) in August, a few days after my wifes birthday (round 40!). Could you please tell me whom to contact asking for a cake? Would be a nice surprise!

    Thanks

  6. Wait…did he order himself a birthday cake? I don’t know why that strikes me as bizarre, but it feels almost tragic.

  7. Alok ordered a birthday cake for himself?

    Is it free on SQ and EK only for business and first class passengers? Can you even order the cake if you’re travelling in economy?

  8. I called EY once to try to arrange a cake for my wife. The rep on the phone snootily informed me that they did not have a “department of birthday cakes”. OK then…

  9. I had seen “cake” as a line item on the Cathay website but there’s no other explanation. Nice to see what it’s all about! That cake looks pretty decent. Not sure it is worth HKD300 but it is a pretty nice surprise for someone.

  10. @ Nick – Have you ever transported cakes by air? Between keeping them cool and ensuring they stay upright when going through security, bringing cakes aboard planes is no easy task. It’s not like driving your car from the bakery.

  11. I flew United business on my birthday and if I’m not mistaken one of their semi-zombie flight attendants threw in an extra napkin during meal service. Not the same as a cake, but I appreciated the gesture.

  12. Actually, now I’ve just seen ford’s cake with the candles I’m a bit freaked out. What if turbulence is encountered, the candles fall and light the place up?

  13. Was flying on my birthday with LH in C and got a “birthday” pillow mention during short haul service (which everyone got aswell). On the flight to SEA the purser came over with some flowers (from the gallery decoration) and some candy (from there aswell) and wished me a happy birthday.

    @CM that should be some of the LED lights that look like real candles

  14. I travelled Cathay Pacific Zurich to Hong Kong First on my 50th birthday day i didnt request anything nor asked for anything but was offered a Box of chocolate and a Marco polo card signed by captain and entire crew.

  15. My wife & I were travelling SIN-KIX in economy with SQ on our 48th wedding anniversary. Without telling us, one of our daughters contacted SQ & requested a surprise, which turned out to be a very rich cake, a glass of champagne each & a card signed by all staff. These were delivered by 4 staff who wished us a happy anniversary & chatted with us for a few minutes. After having a slice each, we asked that the remainder of the cake be shared by staff

  16. Do you have to request in advance for the cake? Cause last time flew on TG on my wife’s bday and didnt get anything not even a greeting card. Flew bkk-kix on thai first. Wonder if sq would be the same?

  17. Once I was flying overseas and I didn’t get a cake for my 31st birthday. I wanted to die. It was so embarrassing knowing that other passengers wouldn’t know it was my birthday.
    JUST.WANTED.TO.DIE

  18. For $40 they don’t even give you a choice of flavor? What if you’re not a coffee drinker and don’t like the taste of coffee? Then that’s $40 you just spent for a cake for the crew.

  19. Could you do a cake for another occasion, like an anniversary instead of just a birthday cake?

  20. I last flew United Global First on my birthday and the crew was incredibly gracious and one lead flight attendant created a wonderfully colorful birthday card out of a linen napkin. The whole crew including the Captain then all signed it. Prior to this while again flying United Global first to China over the North pole the crew all signed the actual flight map the Pilot used to chart the plane. I have found United crew very gracious if you just mention its your birthday. ANA first also created an impromptu birthday cake for me while flying to China. I’d generally just mention its your birthday and roll the dice.

  21. @A.Martin – Of course, why on earth would an airline load cake in its galley for each and every flight it performs?

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