Cathay Pacific Is Rolling Out Dine On Demand In Business Class This Year

While I love Cathay Pacific’s first class product, their business class product isn’t as industry-leading. While their reverse herringbone seats are great, I find the service leaves a lot to be desired. The food is fine/unmemorable, but the service very much feels like an assembly line. So you don’t really get any personalized service, but rather the service is just reactive.

Cathay-Pacific-Business-Class-777-4

Don’t get me wrong, I think Cathay Pacific has great flight attendants, but rather that it’s just the system that they have in place isn’t really conducive to providing a great experience.

Cathay-Pacific-Business-Class-777-9

The good news is that Cathay Pacific will soon be offering dine on demand in business class. It was reported a while back that Cathay Pacific would be testing out dine on demand in business class on a couple of routes, as follows:

  • CX343 and CX344 between Hong Kong and London Gatwick from May 1-31, 2017
  • CX807 and CX806 between Hong Kong and Chicago from June 1-30, 2017

They hope to learn from those experiences, and use that to formulate their business class service going forward. Here’s a video featuring Cathay Pacific’s flight attendant trainers talking about the new service concept:

The good news is that it looks like Cathay Pacific is hoping to roll out dine on demand in business class throughout their system starting in late 2017. AusBT notes that Cathay Pacific hopes to learn from the two month trial, and then starting in Q3 or Q4 of 2017, roll out the service on further flights.

This should come in the form of a staggered rollout, given that it will require new flight attendant training. However, I suspect once they’ve figured out the exact service they want to go with and start to roll it out, it should be pretty quick.

Dine on demand for Cathay Pacific business class is long overdue:

  • Cathay Pacific has a bunch of ultra longhaul flights leaving in the middle of the night, so it’s especially important to be able to eat when you want, since many people want to sleep right after takeoff
  • This will allow Cathay Pacific flight attendants to provide more personalized service and make passengers feel like they’re being treated as individuals rather than being treated as part of an assembly line

So I can’t wait to see this rolled out, and am especially curious how they adjust the menu to reflect this (I suspect we’ll see more substantial snack items on the menu).

How much do you value a dine on demand service concept in business class?

Comments

  1. dine on demand was an amazing feature. Once on LH F HKG-MUC that departed close to midnight, i woke up roughly 7 or so hours into the flight. Before I even turned on my seat light or hit the call button, the FA already pro-actively came over and asked if I wanted to dine. THAT’S world class service.

  2. Does the reverse herringbone seats trump everything else not with a reverse herringbone suites?

    For example, would you take great service on a transpac operated by SQ with the tight cubbies/awkward sleeping angle or a reverse herringbone flight with meh service?

    AA has a 77W for now (LAX-HKG), so that might be in the running.

    For me, hard product is #1.

  3. @beachfan : there are excellent all-aisle access ones like SK, EY, the upcoming DL D1 Suite with a door etc that aren’t reverse herringbone at all.

    or take LX. They don’t even have all-aisle access, but the “throne” seat on the 77W possibly beats any other J out there.

  4. @beachfan, I find meh service in most business class perfectly fine and is generally leaps and bounds ahead of economy. I fly business for the physical comfort more than anything.

  5. “Assembly line.” That is a perfect descriptor. In fact there are times when I feel the Cathay business class is downright chaotic as the attendants races around….

  6. @henry LAX

    Good points; I should have added I was thinking Transpac options only. It seems like CX is now better than SQ on hard product. But there is JAL, KE, so maybe I was too focussed on SQ.

    LX throne seat is now restricted to LX elites, so not that relevant for me.

  7. I believe the video is meant to be viewed by the staff and not shared with and viewed by the public. Not that it contains sensitive matters but I hope you can take this into account.

  8. @ Québécois — Fair enough, but it is widely being shared publicly, and I don’t think it has anything sensitive in it. If they really cared about it being private, putting it on YouTube with a link that can easily be shared probably isn’t the ideal solution.

  9. Don’t beat around the bush. CX Business Class stinks! I flew HKG-EWR yesterday and the meal service prior to descent (keep in mind it lands approx 10pm) was a continental breakfast!!!!!??

  10. I’m going to be flying business class on CX806 on May 28, so I’m just barely going to miss out on this. 🙁

  11. So I only fly CX to visit the F lounge in HKG airport. In fact, I’d rather save the miles/cash on J travel and either fly F or Y; the lounge and legroom makes Y worthwhile, but CX J is just a horrible experience, specifically due to the lack of dine on demand. I’m super glad to hear they’re fixing that!

  12. The video is unlisted on YouTube so I do not think it was intended for the general public. Making excuses to share that video on this public blog do not make it ethical to do so.

  13. On a recent trip around the world I was in Cathay Pacific business class after two Qatar flights. Yeah, CX 1-2-1 seats are great on the 777-300ER versus QR’s 2-2-2 on the 777 and the a300 I flew, but the meals and service were far better. On the CX flight from HKG to JFK we pushed back a bit late at 5PM but right after take off I, seated right behind first, was asked to choose my meal because they were starting dinner service immediately, well before 6PM local time. Having just visited two lounges where I ate some snacks, I wasn’t ready to eat for another hour or more. So, could I order an entree and have it saved? Uh, no. I got the last and only choice of meal but that was okay. I would have probably wasted whatever I was served otherwise. Their announced changes are certainly for the better.

  14. Just flew Qatar from CPT to LAX via DOH.

    The dine on demand menu was abysmal on both flights and given the length of the DOH-LAX flight (15.5 hrs) was insufficient for the length of the trip.

    Dine on demand us useless if there is nothing you would ever want to eat (or of unacceptable quality) on the menu. Only three entrees – there was a vegetarian tofu dish, a chicken biryiani, and an overdone steak. No fish, seafood or decent pasta. The size of the meals was “snack sized”. On the LAX flight the meat was two dollar-sized lamb chops combined with overcooked mushy couscous.

    So we are not flying Qatar again and will stick with CX or another Asian carrier.

    Glad to hear they will start the on-demand service but we fly out of LAX late at night so my wife will definitely want dinner immediately and I will probably wait a few hours so this will work well for us. Hopefully will be in place by end Nov.

  15. Hmm… Am I wrong? But I remember CX do provide good hot snakes between meals, like noodle soups and burgers, which is totally fine for me. I know it’s market competition matter, but for a business class product, the core for me will always be the hardware/a better sleep/standardized(assembly line). Want a personal touch? that’s what F for. Compare to better service, I’ll prefer low prices, after all, it is called business.

  16. @Lucky Does this catering renovation apply to KA flights as well? I think the regional flights could definitely use sprucing in J. For example, instead of plopping down haagen daz. They need to have a normal dessert like most full service airlines do.

  17. I’ve had the opposite experience from @Alan on Qatar – biz class eat what/when you want has plenty of choices and they seem to cater generously enough that I’ve never been disappointed. Cathay was my favorite airline for many years (as was British, decades ago) but I think the Qatar in-flight service in biz stands out.

  18. As a long term CX diamond member the first thing they need to do is sort out the flight attendants stomping up and down the cabin when you are trying to sleep. But agree the food needs an upgrade.

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