I’m a bit late on this, but better late than never. I like to share a quick “10 pictures” summary of my flights shortly after I take them, before I write a detailed trip report (which usually comes a couple of weeks later).
Last Wednesday night, Ford and I flew from Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Singapore in Cathay Pacific first class, which is one of the pre-devaluation American AAdvantage awards we booked (for 67,500 miles one-way per person, while the cost now is 110,000 miles).
Now, I’ve reviewed Cathay Pacific first class many times in the past, and used to fly it all the time. However, this year I’ve been making a concerted effort to try as many new airlines as possible, and now that I look at it, my last flight in Cathay Pacific first class was about 11 months ago.
What has changed about Cathay Pacific first class since then? Well, the one thing that changed is the plane’s paint scheme, as it was my first time flying a rebranded Cathay Pacific plane.
Other than that, Cathay Pacific was exactly as I remember it. The airline is damn consistent.
Cathay Pacific’s 777 first class cabin has just six seats, and remains one of my very favorite hard products in the world. While the seats aren’t fully enclosed, they’re extremely private and feel spacious (perhaps thanks to the fact that they’re not fully enclosed).
Cathay Pacific has the most comfortable bed in the sky. As always, I slept so well thanks to the bedding, and the size of the sleeping surface.
The only challenge to sleeping on Cathay Pacific is that I find their transpacific flights to consistently be turbulent (more so than any other airline, which I realize is probably more my bad luck than anything). Fortunately this was by far the smoothest transpacific Cathay Pacific flight I’ve ever had, so that wasn’t even a challenge. I got a solid seven hours of sleep on this 14+ hour flight. Not only was it among the longest “nights” of sleep I’ve had on a plane, but it was also probably the highest quality sleep I’ve had. I woke up feeling refreshed, rather than groggy and yawning.
As far as the food goes, I continue to have mixed feelings about what Cathay Pacific offers for their main meal. They’ve had the same format for as long as I’ve been flying them.
While the pre-takeoff amuse bouche is relatively new, the rest of the service isn’t.
I love their caviar and Krug service, which is fantastic. I also love that you can dine across from one another.
But other than that the food is just boring. They’ve had a similar salad with prawns for years, their soup is okay, and the main course options are between beef and pasta, and both are unmemorable. While there are Chinese options, they always either involve pork (which I don’t eat — I view pigs the same as dogs) and/or fatty meat (which I don’t like).
Perhaps that’s all a good thing, because it simply means I end up not over-eating too much in Cathay Pacific first class. I have a few glasses of Krug, the caviar service, and then the berries with cream for dessert, all of which are top notch.
Cathay’s breakfast service is also excellent, with their freshly prepared eggs.
The amenities were also the same they’ve offered for a couple of years, including an Aesop amenity kit and a comfortable pair of pajamas.
Service on this flight was excellent, as I find to consistently be the case on Cathay Pacific. The first class crew on this flight was Hong Kong based (some of the economy flight attendants were Los Angeles based), and they were charming, poised, and friendly.
As usual, Cathay Pacific has a very different service mentality than most other Asian airlines in first class. On other airlines flight attendants come through the cabin every few minutes throughout the flight to see if you want anything, while on Cathay Pacific the flight attendants make a point of staying out of the cabin between meals to minimize noise and light disruption. However, if you push the call button they’ll appear with seconds with a big smile.
I’ve received many reader emails over the years from people complaining about horrible service in Cathay Pacific first class, saying they weren’t checked on for 10 hours. Naturally they were a bit surprised when I explained Cathay Pacific flight attendants do that on purpose — perhaps some crews could do a better job communicating that.
As far as I’m concerned Cathay Pacific offers one of the world’s best first class products. The airline isn’t perfect and has some areas where they could improve, but I do think they offer one of the most well rounded first class products of any airline. I consistently arrive extremely well rested after flying Cathay Pacific.
Between the exceptional hard product, intimate cabin, great bedding, friendly crews, and good food (specifically the caviar, dessert, and breakfast), Cathay Pacific first class continues to be a great way to fly.
If you’ve flown Cathay Pacific first class lately, what was your experience like?