Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific 777 First Class In 10 Pictures

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Hello from London!

I just flew Cathay Pacific first class from Hong Kong to London, which was fantastic as always. I’ve reviewed Cathay Pacific first class many times before, so won’t be doing a full review again. Instead I’ll just share my general thoughts, especially in light of the recent minor first class service changes that Cathay Pacific has made.

Cathay Pacific’s 777 first class cabin consists of just six seats, spread across two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration. While Cathay Pacific doesn’t have fully enclosed suites, they do have among the most private and spacious first class products out there. I don’t think I’ve once found myself wishing that the seat had a door — that’s how private it is.

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Cathay Pacific 777 Regional Business Class In 10 Pictures

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Yesterday I flew Cathay Pacific’s regional business class for the 4hr20min flight from Bali to Hong Kong. I won’t be writing a full review of the flight, though figured I’d share my brief thoughts on the experience.

The flight was operated by Cathay’s regional 777-300, which unfortunately doesn’t feature the same excellent first class and business class products found on their longhaul 777-300s.

The 777-300 has a total of 42 business class seats. These are spread across six rows in a 2-3-2 configuration. These seats are fairly new, so at least the cabin looks modern. It’s unfortunate when premium cabins have middle seats, though I suppose for a fairly short flight that’s not too big of a deal.

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OMG: There Was A Valentine’s Day Flash Mob At My Gate!!!

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I’ve shared several videos of airport and airplane flash mobs over the years, though never in a million years did I think I’d witness one in person at an airport. Well, I guess if you fly enough…

I flew Cathay Pacific today from Bali to Hong Kong, and sensed something was a bit unusual. At check-in there were a bunch of heart shaped balloons, which didn’t seem too unusual for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t think much of it at the time.

Then I got to the gate a few minutes before boarding, and saw more heart shaped balloons. I also saw some photographers.

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You Can Now Apply For The New Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card

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As I first wrote about yesterday, Cathay Pacific is in the process of introducing a credit card in the U.S. market. They provided some hints suggesting this would be announced today, and sure enough the application page for the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card is now live.

The details are similar to what I wrote about yesterday, though there are a few things that make this card pretty cool.

Here are the basic things to know about this card:

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Cathay Pacific Is Introducing A U.S. Credit Card Tomorrow

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I’m always excited to see new credit cards products introduced. Competition is (almost) always a good thing for consumers, and lately we’ve really seen credit card companies raise their game and increase perks.

While no credit card is perfect, there are plenty of reasons to consider picking up a card. Some cards are worth getting for their big sign-up bonuses, others are worth getting for the return they offer on everyday spend, and others are worth holding onto for the long term perks they offer.

For a while there have been rumors that Cathay Pacific will be introducing a U.S. credit card, and it looks like that will finally officially be announced tomorrow.

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Cathay Pacific’s Minor First Class Service Cuts

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Cathay Pacific has one of my favorite first class products in the world. While they don’t have fully enclosed suites, they have a very consistent product, and among the most comfortable beds in the sky.

Cathay Pacific has been struggling financially, especially as they’re facing increased competition from both Asian low cost carriers and Gulf carriers, which are hurting their yields. Beyond that, they have pretty sparsely configured cabins. For example, on the 777 they have nine seats per row in economy, while 10 has become the new standard (though there are reports that they’ll be changing that).

Let’s take the Vancouver to Hong Kong market, for example. Cathay Pacific has 340 seats on their three cabin 777s (and only 275 seats on their four cabin 777s), while Air Canada has 450 seats on their three cabin 777s. Between the generally low fares in the market and Cathay Pacific not being able to command much of a price premium in economy, they’re really losing out.

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SO CUTE: Two Travel Geeks Get Married On A Cathay Dragon Flight!

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Okay, this is ridiculously cute. A travel-obsessed couple who met on a travel forum recently got married on a Cathay Dragon flight. It’s so so so so so so cute, and made my Monday:

I’m curious about the logistics of all this, though regardless, it put the biggest smile on my face, and almost made me a bit teary-eyed when they started talking about one another.

This is easily one of my favorite airline related videos ever.

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Could Cathay Pacific Launch A Vancouver To Miami Flight?

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For years there have been rumors of Cathay Pacific considering launching flights to Miami. A nonstop flight would cover a distance of about 9,000 miles, so doesn’t seem economically feasible, especially given Cathay Pacific’s poor financial performance on longhaul flights.

However, there are some media reports suggesting that Cathay Pacific is hoping to launch flights from Hong Kong to Miami via Vancouver, which would require a renegotiation of the bilateral air agreement between Hong Kong and Canada. This is an interesting rumor that could make sense on a couple of levels.

For one, Cathay Pacific already operates two to three daily flights between Hong Kong and Vancouver, so extending one of those flights to Miami wouldn’t be that costly. Furthermore, Vancouver to Miami is a pretty big market that’s presently not served nonstop, and Cathay Pacific already flies from Vancouver to New York (which is without a doubt the most comfortable way to fly within North America).

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Details Of The New Air Canada & Cathay Pacific Partnership

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One trend we’ve seen among global airlines the past few years is that the major alliances have become less important, while individual partnerships and joint ventures have become much more important. As a result we haven’t seen much growth of the global alliances, while we have seen a lot of new partnerships.

Air Canada seems to be thinking outside the traditional alliances at the moment. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about their new codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia. The intent is that Virgin Australia is codesharing on select Air Canada flights within Canada, while Air Canada is codesharing on select Virgin Australia flights within the Pacific region. The partnership makes a lot of sense, given that right now Air Canada doesn’t really have a partner for passengers looking to connect beyond their Sydney and Brisbane hubs.

Air Canada & Cathay Pacific have just announced a new codeshare agreement, which works in a very similar way to Air Canada’s new partnership with Virgin Australia. This new partnership applies for tickets booked as of January 12, 2017, and for travel as of January 19, 2017.

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Yay: Cathay Pacific Is Relocating To Terminal 8 At JFK

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While this is fairly specific, I think it’s great news for a vast majority of people.

Cathay Pacific will be relocating from Terminal 7 to Terminal 8 at JFK as of January 15, 2017. For those of you not familiar with JFK, Terminal 7 is dominated by British Airways, while Terminal 8 is dominated by American, and is also significantly nicer.

The fact that Cathay Pacific is moving to Terminal 8 is great for those connecting from American Airlines flights, given that they won’t have to clear security again when connecting. Previously you’d have to exit Terminal 8, take the AirTrain to Terminal 7, and then clear security there again (which can be brutal in the evenings).

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Sneak Peek: Cathay Pacific’s New London Heathrow Lounge

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Cathay Pacific has been refreshing many of their lounges worldwide, which has led to some pretty impressive spaces, like the new “The Pier” lounge in Hong Kong, which is one of our favorite airport lounges.

The new Cathay Pacific Heathrow lounge had a “soft opening” yesterday, and is scheduled to fully open to passengers on December 7th. Reader Clint happened to have a long layover at Heathrow Terminal 3 yesterday, and was kind enough to share some quick photos.

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The Dragonair Brand Will Be Phased Out As Of November 21, 2016

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Earlier in the year I wrote about how Cathay Pacific is planning on rebranding their Dragonair subsidiary as Cathay Dragon. For those of you not familiar, Cathay Pacific has a wholly owned subsidiary called Dragonair, which primarily operates routes within Asia on behalf of Cathay Pacific.

Dragonair is said to resonate more with customers in mainland China. So from a customer’s perspective it’s not necessarily a low cost carrier, but rather just has a different vibe. In reality Cathay Pacific’s biggest benefit with keeping the brand around is that it has a lower cost structure, as Cathay Dragon employees are generally paid less than Cathay Pacific employees.

So Cathay Pacific’s plan has been to rebrand Dragonair as Cathay Dragon. The reason is to create more of a brand connection between Cathay Pacific and their subsidiary, given that many people didn’t realize that Cathay Pacific owns Dragonair.

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Are Last Minute Cathay Pacific Award Seats Being Blocked?

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Cathay Pacific has one of my favorite first class products in the world, so I always try to stay on top of their award availability trends. They have just six first class seats on their 777-300ER aircraft, so it’s quite an intimate cabin. Typically in advance you can hope to score at most one first class award seat, while within a few days of departure you’ll reliably see them open up additional awards.

Until recently this has been a pretty consistent pattern. I’d typically check Cathay Pacific award availability through the British Airways award search tool a few days before departure, and if there were still a few seats for sale, they’d almost always make them available as award seats.

Something strange is happening right now — British Airways doesn’t have access to any Cathay Pacific award seats within six days of departure. It doesn’t matter when you’re searching online or calling British Airways, they just don’t have access to the space. This applies across all their routes, and all classes of service.

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Cathay Pacific’s U.S. Based Flight Attendants Want To Unionize

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Cathay Pacific has foreign flight attendant bases, including some in the U.S. Actually, they’re the only Asian airline I know of to have U.S. based flight attendants.

I’ve flown with Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco based Cathay Pacific crews. In some cases flights are entirely staffed by U.S. based crews, while in other cases they mix the staffing on a flight, and have crews that are part U.S. based and part Hong Kong based.

In my experience, in general U.S. based crews are more informal and fun, while Hong Kong based crews tend to be a bit more proper and poised. However, sometimes it’s tough to tell the difference between flight attendants based on where they’re based, since it’s not like the U.S. based flight attendants are exclusively American, and it’s not like the Hong Kong based flight attendnats are exclusively from there.

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