Cathay Pacific 777 First Class In 10 Pictures

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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I love their caviar and Krug service, which is fantastic. I also love that you can dine across from one another.

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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).

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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.

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Cathay’s breakfast service is also excellent, with their freshly prepared eggs.

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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.

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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.

Bottom line

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?

Comments

  1. I have my last 67,500 mile trip coming up! I got lucky with TWO Equipment swaps.
    BKK-SIN-HKG-JFK
    BKK-SIN was a 777-200 now an A350!!
    SIN-HKG was an A330 with Intra-Asia Business, now a 77W with First (called and switched to Z)
    HKG-JFK was lucky to find a 1st class seat so far ahead of time!

    So this should be a great last hurrah for me in CX 1st for only 67,500 miles since I will get to try out the A350 plus 20 total hours scheduled in first class. Both stops with a full 24 hours!

  2. I agree with you on pork. Can’t believe people eat an animal that eats it’s own feces. It’s the only animal on the food chain which does that.

  3. I share your experience about the turbulence. Don’t know what it is about CX (and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense), but I feel there always is more turbulence on my flights with them.

  4. By far my greatest flight experience and award redemption was one year ago when I redeemed 72,500 Alaska miles to fly seat 1a Cathay Pacific from Chicago to Hong Kong – stopped for 5 days – continued on in business class to Johannesburg. I’ve never had such a purely fun experience on a solo flight before, probably thanks to the Johnnie Blue.

    Big thanks again to Lucky for helping answer several questions during my booking process.

    Let’s see how well it compares next month when I fly back to South Africa on Qatar and eventually to Europe, in coach, with a long layover in Doha. Uhhgg. I got sucked in to a great cash price.

  5. Flew same flight in business and first earlier this year and have to say that although first class was great I didn’t think it was *that* much better than business. That’s not saying bad things about their first class but rather praising their business class. Wouldn’t every pay the extra miles to fly their first class, especially post AA devaluation. JAL’s first class was much better in my opinion.

  6. Their seats can use some updating. The PTV’s on the A350 are an inch bigger than the ones in F. Well they are looking into a new design along with a new regional product.

    Back to the seat, it was real comfortable! A lot of space to toss and turn! As for the food, meh, same Cathay food but in F. I guess I forgot to ask for caviar on my flight from HKG-YVR. The snacks were the same pretty much like in business but had additional snacks like egg tarts and crab cakes which I had. Unfortunately, they don’t offer the balik salmon which I would love to have along with the hot pot rice.

    On all my flights in F, they treat you way better in first than business. The service is more personal. The staff on my YVR-JFK flight were fantastic. They even gave me an extra pair of pajamas as well as an extra amenity kit! Very nice.

    P.s. Did you get a hot milk tea?! Also, I think its time for you to review their A350 😉 Currently they serve Gatwick, Dusseldorf along with regional destinations like Ho Chi Minh, Manila, Taipei, Singapore and Bangkok

  7. Have to wonder what I’d rather have, an attentive cabin crew member in the area of the cabin you’re in or someone who will be willing and more than happy to come over when you need them. Etihad for sure don’t have either in Business class.

  8. Cathy Pacific has many strong points as well as a the odd broken link. To their everlasting credit, they are one of the few that still maintain a First Class offering. I’ve flown FC with them a couple of times and I’ve never found a significant fault. Two FAs for six seats, one on the galley and one working the aisle(s), is overkill. They do it with such grace that one never notices. Still, I suspect that their FC facilities are on the way out, in favor of the far less expensive BC. Even with only six seats at the pointed end, they cannot maintain this degree of service much longer, especially when the majority of the competition has already eliminated FC. With a chuckle, I have to wonder what airline will be the very last to offer a genuine FC product. –Place your five-cent bets now and please explain your reasoning.

  9. you should also post Ford’s picture from his Instagram.

    Funny how you pay for all his flights but he never features you there?

  10. Haven’t flown with Cathay in First yet. But a year ago our 9am J flight from HKG to NRT was very sad. Uncomfortable angled flat seats, zero alcohol available, and by the time they got to us all that was left to eat was some sad looking Dim Sum. We were very glad we’d eaten breakfast in the Haven. So this year we made a point of flying JAL instead.

    But our JAL FC NRT-LAX flight last month was puzzling. Very nice plane and seats, and quite friendly service. Yes, they were pouring Salon champagne, which was wonderful. And they were happy to give us second portions of Caviar. 🙂

    But the FC “Western Main Dish” options were minced hamburger (yes the menu even said “Beef Hamburg”), Chicken Wing with Foie Gras, (not wings, “wing”) and steamed Cutlassfish Roll with Burdock. Burdock? So we foolish ordered the hamburg. No, not a hamburger in a bun, just a round ball of plain ground beef, which frankly was even less appetizing then it sounds. 🙁

    Ironically, the Japanese menu had a Beef Filet, which the person seated across from me had, and it look yummy. I hadn’t read far enough down the Japanese side of the menu, since it began with things like Simmered Tofu Leaves with Common Orient Clam, and Mushrooms mixed with Pine Nuts, whereas the Western side started with Caviar.

    Having gotten up quite early to make it to the airport for the connecting flight, and being in the wrong time zone since 2 days before we’d flown into HKG from Berlin, we weren’t sharp enough to check the menu for the snacks: curry, ramen, or even a Club Sandwich.

    Next time we won’t be so clueless when we don’t like what we ordered. Regardless of how tired and out of sorts I may feel, I’ve got it burned into my brain: Just keep ordering something else until you get something you like. 😉

  11. Flew them back in May. Fantastic experience all around, and very consistent to your reviews. Only real difference from yours was that my pajamas were maroon.

  12. Maybe pigs make wonderful pets, as dogs do, and maybe you have one of your own, which would be commendable, but learn that there is nothing fatty about pork meat and that generally has less fat in it than in beef. Notice that I cannot believe that a sophisticated guy like you would be ranting about pork for religious principles which are so thoroughly dated and meaningless.

  13. @John – You’ve clearly never owned a dog (from puppy) otherwise you’d be well versed in preventing them from eating their own shit. In fact if you have 2 you’ll often find one waiting at the other’s rear end as they squat trying to get eat protein-rich nugget straight in their gullet.
    You have to be fast & quick as a dog-owner to train this out of them.

  14. @ Stefan — Six in one hand, half a dozen in the other. Depends on the route, but perhaps *slight* preference for Cathay first?

  15. @ Mike O. — Hah, of course I had milk tea! And yes, need to do the A350. Sadly wasn’t operating between HKG and SIN on the day we needed.

  16. @ Emilio — Those were two separate statements. I don’t eat pork because I view them differently than other animals, it has nothing to do with how fatty the meat is. Instead I was saying the other meat they serve (from other animals) is often fatty.

  17. @ Justice — LOL! If only you knew how often he asked and how I refuse (almost) every time. I’d much rather be the person taking the picture. But thanks for your thoughts…

  18. Lucky, thank you for all of the sage advice.
    Beating Matthew’s arrival in FL I took the last JetBlue out a day early. Friday i flew CX JFK-HKG in 1st and HKG-BKK in Business on a 350. Agreed. I deeply slept a full nine hours. One word; magical. Service was stellar and I found the food great. (I don’t fly as much as you Lucky) That stated, going to the 350-900 in Business for the second leg, I found myself feeling a bit cramped in the new Business class seats. There is annoying seat guard that automatically pops up at shin level during take off and landing. It takes you by surprise. Its like a safety guard on an amusement park ride.Yes, there’s lots of new electronic toys. The headphones were not effective at noise cancellation so I used my own. Wifi was available at $9.95 for the segment. The wifi service is not mature yet as it cut out numerous times during this relatively short segment. The staff were very good and they swarmed Business class making sure everyone was happy. Mixed feelings on the 350 as of yet. I’m flying the same segments at the end of the months on the return. Perhaps then..
    Thanks again…

  19. Agree on the turbulence. We had a LAX-HKG-JNB-HKG-LAX itinerary in Sept with stopovers in HKG each direction. Both the LAX-HKG in first week of Sept and the HKG-LAX at end of Sept were exceedingly bumpy. To a point that not only I could not sleep but was wondering what might happen next!

    Food offering is ALWAYS the weakest link in CX product imo. Dont know why but it has never been at the level of the service. I too, miss the Balik Salmon and the Hot Pot Rice. The snack offerings have gone downhill a lot even in F and pretty poor in J with only 2 options which one of it was Haagen Dazs ice cream…

    On this trip I actually had food poisoning on the LAX-HKG part – ate the berries with cream after breakfast main about 100 min to landing.. About 45 min into landing I had a very bad feeling in my stomach. Even we were descending I had to rush to the bathroom and threw up big time – something I have never had for decades even on land, and never in the air. Upon deplane I grabbed a bag just in case and sure enough I threw up again on way to town. Really bad ending of an otherwise pleasant but not superb, flight.
    ISM was very nice on the outbound LAX-HKG flight – she insisted to give a pair of PJ to husband who sat in 11A and I was able to cross cabin to check on him periodically (I informed the ISM and FAs right upon boarding the sitting scenario). The ISM on the inbound was a no show – I dont even know whether it was a she or a he. No introduction nor personal thanks. FAs though, were all nice on both flights – outbound was HKG based, inbound was Los Angeles based. Being ex-HKGer, I often had more chats with them naturally.
    We have one more CX F in January when we finish a trip to Middle East and fly home HKG-LAX. Should be the same old same old as we experienced in several years.
    CX is loosing money now so it would be hard pressed for it to do more improvement. In fact the cost cutting on the J products on our HKG-JNB-HKG is very evident comparing to last year’s HKG-LAX flight. Rumors on further cuts if the financials do not improve soon.

  20. Sorry to double dip on comments folks.
    After the doors closed on Friday’s CX JFK-HKG segment, the purser moved a 19 year Army private on his way back to his unit in Korea from a center last row economy seat to one of the empty 1st suites. This guy was over the moon. I’ve witnessed this on Domestic carriers but this is the first time on an International carrier. Setting aside one’s view on politics or armed conflicts, kudo’s to the Cathay team for giving this young guy the experience of a lifetime.
    Greg

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