Category Archives: Cathay Pacific

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

The Cathay Pacific lounge at CDG is located right beside the American Airlines lounge, and unless you get your access to the AA lounge via an Admirals Club membership or credit card, you probably have access to either lounge.

The lounge is just a large room, but it’s decorated and furnished according to Cathay Pacific standards. It’s the same color palette for chairs, the same solus chairs, the same white marble bar that you find in these lounges around the world. There’s plenty of seating, with both a dining area and lounge area, and the lounge was overall less crowded in the morning compared to the American lounge next door.

Typical Cathay decor with solus chairs

Typical Cathay decor with solus chairs

Lots of seating

Lots of seating

More seating

More seating

Newspapers

Newspapers

Views from the Cathay Pacific lounge

Views from the Cathay Pacific lounge

Besides the dining room and seating, there’s a computer room, luggage room, and showers. There are some nice large windows with good views of the apron, and electrical outlets were plentiful (albeit with European-style outlets rather than universal ones).

Business center

Business center

Dining area

Dining area

The breakfast options in the Cathay Pacific lounge were not quite as good as the breakfast options next door, but there were some fun drinks like Orangina, canned oolong tea, and canned soy milk.

Breakfast foods

Breakfast foods

Coffee

Coffee

Drinks

Drinks

Alcohol

Alcohol

Carbs

Carbs

Desserts

Desserts

Breads and condiments

Breads and condiments

Drink fridge

Drink fridge

There is a noodle bar in this lounge, but it doesn’t start serving food until 10am. I’m just going to come out and say it, but I really don’t think Cathay Pacific’s dan dan noodles are very good… Lots of people seem to like them, but I don’t think they’re very flavorful, and the little flavor they do have just isn’t quite right.

Noodle bar menu

Noodle bar menu

Dan dan noodles

Dan dan noodles

Even if this lounge is slightly lacking in the breakfast department, it’s significantly better for lunch than the AA lounge (mostly because the AA lounge doesn’t actually transition to a lunch buffet). There’s a salad bar and a variety of hot food options, in addition to the aforementioned noodle bar.

Salad bar

Salad bar

Lunch buffet

Lunch buffet

Overall, it’s a solid Cathay Pacific lounge with better-than-average food for an outstation lounge. If you’re choosing between the two oneworld lounges, I’d probably go to the AA lounge for breakfast, the Cathay Pacific lounge for lunch, and the Cathay Pacific lounge for a somewhat quieter experience.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Bangkok Airport (BKK) Renovated

Cathay Pacific renovated their lounge at BKK recently, and I have to say that this new lounge is a MASSIVE improvement over their old lounge. Their old lounge was tiny and crowded and had bad food options, and this renovated lounge is just so much better. It’s very similar in decor and feeling to their renovated Pier lounge at HKG, and I was such a fan of that lounge that it’s no surprise that I loved this lounge as well.

The Cathay lounge is located near the G gates, and the entrance is relatively understated.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

The lounge is quite long with a variety of seating areas, a cafe-type area, and a noodle bar. To the right is where most of the lounge seating is located. There are a variety of seating options and configurations, and all of the furniture is quite comfortable and functional. There are also outlets everywhere (they’re located in the desks if you don’t see other ones), which is such a great thing to have in a lounge.

Seating area

Seating area

More seating with loungers overlooking the apron

More seating with loungers overlooking the apron

Looking down the lounge

Looking down the lounge

Computer stations

Computer stations

More seating, including the semi-private green chairs

More seating, including the semi-private green chairs

I enjoyed sitting in the loungers which face the windows so you can do some airplane spotting, as well as the semi-private green chairs which are great for getting work done.

Apron views

Apron views

The right-hand side also includes a full-service bar. I’m not a big alcohol drinker, so it’s great that Cathay offers a couple of non-alcoholic cocktails, including their signature Cathay Delight! So tasty.

Full bar

Full bar

Bar menu

Bar menu

Right in front of the entrance to the lounge (so in the middle of it lengthwise) is a cafe-type area with some standing tables, some bar seating, and a variety of lighter foods on offer. There are salads (lettuce, papaya, bean, and fruit), some snacks (mashed potatoes and some sort of macaroni), fresh fruit (including rambutan!), yogurt, sandwiches, cookies, and desserts (creme caramel and pandan cake). I love that they have rambutan on offer (even though I don’t actually like rambutan that much), as I just think it’s so great when lounges can offer local, seasonal fruits rather than just the same old melon selection. The creme caramel and pandan cake were also delicious, although I have a major sweet tooth.

Cafe food area

Cafe food area

Salads

Salads

Fresh fruit and small snacks

Fresh fruit and small snacks

Desserts, yogurt, drinks

Desserts, yogurt, drinks

Sandwiches and cookies

Sandwiches and cookies

Finally, at the other end of the lounge (or the area to the left as you enter) is the noodle bar. The noodle bar has tons of seating with both booths of varying sizes as well as some communal tables. They have the typical dan dan mien that you expect from Cathay Pacific, but they also have pad thai on the menu as well as some dim sum. I also LOVE the fact that they have a separate vegetarian menu.

Noodle bar seating

Noodle bar seating

Communal tables and booths

Communal tables and booths

Noodle bar

Noodle bar

Noodle bar menu

Noodle bar menu

I sampled the veggie pad thai, the sago dumplings, and the mushroom noodle soup. The veggie pad thai unfortunately tasted ketchup-y and lacked the wok hei (wok breath) that makes pad thai so great, but at least they had the full selection of pad thai accompaniments (peanuts, limes, sugar, chili flakes, vinegar with chilis, etc.) so you can adjust the flavoring. The sago dumplings were absolutely delicious, though, and the mushroom noodle soup was decent as well. The portions are on the smaller side, so don’t feel shy about ordering multiple portions! I saw a table of two guys put down about 10 dishes between the two of them.

Veggie pad thai and sago dumplings

Veggie pad thai and sago dumplings

I must sound like a total Cathay Pacific fanboy given how much I’ve raved about their renovated Pier lounges at HKG (both the business class and first class lounges), but I just think Cathay Pacific has done such a good job with their rebranding and lounge redesigns. This lounge is no different. I love the design, and the lounges just feel so cozy and have such solid amenities. If I have any criticisms, the wifi is a bit slow, the lounge can get a bit crowded, and the cushions in the booths have this weird thing where they’re not attached in the backs so if you sit forward too far the cushion comes up. But this is an awesome, awesome lounge, and one of my favorite non-hub airline lounges that I’ve visited.

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Economy Class A330 BKK to HKG

I’ve flown Cathay Pacific’s A330 within Asia in business class multiple times (including on the reverse direction of this route), but this time I was in Cathay Pacific’s economy class on the A330.

Boarding was a bit of a zoo. They put on the boarding passes that you should get to the gate 40 minutes prior to departure, but boarding didn’t actually start until 20 minutes prior to departure. At BKK, you do scan your boarding pass upon entering the gate area, though, so you don’t need to scan your boarding pass again to board the plane.

I unfortunately don’t have many pictures of the cabin because boarding was the aforementioned zoo and the cabin was quite full. After getting comfortable, the service manager on the flight came up to me to welcome me and give me a bottle of water, which I thought was a nice touch. I believe she greeted all oneworld Emeralds on the flight.

Cathay Pacific’s in-flight entertainment system (Studio CX) has a great selection, but they do play ads before movies. At least you can fast forward through them. There was also a power outlet at every seat.

Personal IFE

Personal IFE

I had pre-ordered a vegetarian special meal, and the VGML was fine. It was vegetables, some tomato-y sauce, and polenta. It was served with fruit, soy milk (yum!), bread, and juice.

VGML

VGML

Even though this was only economy class, I felt like I received great service. I was referred to by my last name by multiple different flight attendants (e.g. when I went to the bathroom and when my tray was cleared), and the flight attendants were gracious, attentive, and seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs. It probably helped that I had oneworld Emerald status on this flight, but flying on Cathay is such a stark departure from flying on American carriers. The service in economy class on this flight was better than the majority of my domestic business class flights in the US. A great product in the air and awesome lounges in Hong Kong (even for business class passengers or oneworld Sapphire members) make Cathay Pacific one of my favorite airlines to fly.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific’s RENOVATED The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

I’m currently transiting through Hong Kong airport, and I have the good fortune to be transiting just a week after Cathay Pacific reopened their Pier Business Class Lounge. I’ve reviewed the renovated Pier First Class Lounge before, which is one of my favorite airport lounges in the world.

I’ll just go ahead and say that I think the Pier Business Class Lounge might be my favorite business class lounge in the world. It’s a GORGEOUS lounge with everything that you might want in a lounge. People often rave about Turkish Airlines’ business class lounge in Istanbul airport, but I think the Pier is way better.

The Pier Business Class Lounge is located near Gate 65. It’s just one gate further past the entrance to the Pier First Class Lounge. It’s true that this gate might be a little inconvenient depending on your departure gate, and the people mover in the airport only goes one way, but it’s really not that far of a walk to walk from the Pier to the Wing (maybe 15 minutes if you walk briskly).

Entrance to the Pier Business Class lounge near Gate 65

Entrance to the Pier Business Class lounge near Gate 65

I was immediately impressed by this lounge. I love the decor and feel of the renovated Pier lounges. They use much darker and richer colors than they use in the Wing, and the Pier Business Class lounge just seems to keep going on and on.

Entrance hall the lounge

Entrance hall the lounge

Directing you to some of the many rooms of this lounge

Directing you to some of the many rooms of this lounge

One thing that’s a nice feature is that they offer luggage lockers if you want to store your bags for a while. Helpful if you don’t feel like leaving your bags unattended in the lounge.

Luggage lockers

Luggage lockers

As you enter the lounge, there’s an office room of sorts on the right hand side if you want to get some work done. There are computers available for use, as well as comfortable semi-private chairs. And there are tons of outlets everywhere, which is great.

Bureau/office area of the lounge for working

Bureau/office area of the lounge for working

Looking from one end of the lounge down to the other

Looking from one end of the lounge down to the other

As you walk left from the entrance, you first come across the Food Hall. This seems to be an area for western options. For breakfast, there was everything you might expect for a western breakfast (e.g. eggs, hash browns, baked beans, sausage, muesli, pastries). They also have paninis, which is somewhat novel.

Food Hall

Food Hall

There’s a coffee bar staffed with a barista in this area as well.

Coffee bar

Coffee bar

Seating in the Food Hall

Seating in the Food Hall

Salads and such

Salads and such

Cheeses and meats

Cheeses and meats

Western hot breakfast items

Western hot breakfast items

Muffins

Muffins and sweet breads

Pastries

Pastries

Paninis

Paninis and rolls

Drink fridge

Drink fridge

Past the Food Hall is the Bar area. Lots of comfortable seating and a very large bar.

Bar area

Bar area

Bar

Bar

Seating in the bar

Seating in the bar

One of the things that’s incredible about this lounge is the size and variety of seating options. There’s countertop seating, two-person tables, communal tables, lots of sofas, etc. And everything that I sat in was super comfortable. The seating along the windows also features great views.

Seating along the windows

Seating along the windows

Apron views

Apron views

Lots and lots of seating

Lots and lots of seating

Past the bar is the Noodle Bar. This is a staple of many Cathay Pacific lounges around the world. The Noodle Bar features Asian food items (e.g. they had fried rice, stir fried vegetables, congee, and assorted dumplings available for breakfast), as well as a noodle bar where you can order made-to-order noodles (e.g. dan dan noodles). The Noodle Bar opens at 7:00am while the lounge opens at 5:30am.

Seating in the noodle bar

Seating in the noodle bar

Dim sum in the noodle bar

Dim sum in the noodle bar

Noodle bar

Noodle bar

Past the Noodle Bar is the Tea House. The Tea House had teas (obvi), but also a number of Asian and western sweets (e.g. glutinous rice balls, apple cake, earl grey tea cookies) and some tasty-looking juices.

Seating in the tea house

Seating in the tea house

Sweets at the tea house

Sweets at the tea house

Juices in the lounge

Juices in the lounge

Tea menu

Tea menu

Past the Tea House, there’s a desk where you can request a shower, and then at the far end of the lounge is their relaxation area. There are a number of comfortable loungers where you can rest and perhaps take a nap. It’s not super private, but it’s significantly better than what most lounges offer.

Chairs in the relaxation room

Chairs in the relaxation room

Overall, Cathay Pacific did an INCREDIBLE job with this renovation. The lounge is beautiful and functional and an awesome place to spend some time before your flight. Lots of delicious food options, tons of seating, outlets everywhere, decent wifi, showers, areas to take a nap and relax, etc. What more could you ask for?

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge (Renovated) Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

I’ve reviewed every other oneworld lounge in Hong Kong (the Wing, the Cabin, the Bridge, the Arrival, the Qantas lounge, and the Dragonair lounge), as well as many other lounges in Hong Kong (the Plaza Premium lounge, the United lounge, the Thai Airways lounge, and the Singapore Airlines lounge). I’ve even reviewed the old Pier lounge. But this is a review of the renovated Pier First Class lounge, and let me say that I think this is my new favorite airport lounge in the world. Holy moly is it great.

Entrance to the Pier

Entrance to the Pier

This lounge is beautiful. My photos do not do it nearly enough justice. It looks and feels like a cozy, luxury hotel. The lounge never felt crowded while I visited, and there’s lots of seating. The tables beside the chairs contain hidden power ports. The chairs themselves were also just super comfortable!

Hallway

Hallway

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

Bar

Bar

Work station

Work station

The lounge has shower rooms and day suites. The day suites are pretty basic, as it’s just a small area with a curtain, so there’s not much noise insulation, but no one was using any of them when I asked to take a look. The attendant said that you can use one for 1.5 hours. The shower rooms maybe aren’t as fancy as the cabanas at the Wing, but I certainly have no complaints about the shower rooms.

Hall of day beds

Hall of day suites

Day bed

Day bed

Shower

Shower

The food options in this lounge are both extensive and awesome. There’s a huge dining room with table service as well as a self-serve buffet in a separate room. For the self-serve buffet, think of the cold section of a good buffet at a luxury Asian hotel. For breakfast, there were pastries, breads, fruits, salmon, cold cuts, etc. For lunch, they had delicious-looking tarts and some savory cold dishes. Make sure to check the fridge for jars of more foods.

Service cart

Service cart

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Well-stocked fridge

Well-stocked fridge

Coffee

Coffee

Desserts

Desserts

Lunch foods

Lunch foods

The dining room is incredible. It’s easily much better than the dining room at the Wing, and I’d say I like this dining room better than the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney or the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai. The Wing always felt crowded to me (maybe because the tables are so close together), but the Pier’s dining room is spacious and gorgeously appointed.

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

There’s a full made-to-order menu, and they even have a separate (smaller) vegetarian menu! I had some bircher muesli and juice for breakfast, and both were good. For lunch, I had a salad, eggplant with mapo tofu, and some mango sticky rice, along with a non-alcoholic ginger forest to drink. This meal was great, and I would happily pay money for this food (to me, this is a huge compliment to airport food). This food is actually good food.

Dining menu

Dining menu

Muesli

Muesli

Salad

Salad

Eggplant and tofu

Eggplant and tofu

Mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice

One final perk of the Pier is that they offer complimentary 10-minute massages. I chose the neck and shoulder massage, and the masseuse was very good.

Again, I think this is my new favorite lounge in the world. The lounge itself is beautiful, the amenities are awesome (incredible food options, free massages, day beds), and the service throughout the lounge was friendly and attentive. My only (incredibly minor) complaint is that the carpet in the hallway is really soft, so I found it oddly difficult to wheel my bag around. But seriously, I would go out of my way to use the Pier over the Wing, even if it meant trekking back to the low-numbered gates because the people mover only takes you in one direction.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge LHR Terminal 3

There are 3 oneworld lounges in Terminal 3 of London Heathrow, and they’re all pretty close to each other. My personal favorite is the Cathay Pacific lounge, which is reviewed here. (Note that this lounge is currently closed for renovations and is scheduled to reopen in June 2016)

Entrance

Entrance

The lounge isn’t huge, but I’m impressed by it. In the times that I’ve visited, it’s never been very crowded, so that may have contributed to my positive impressions. But there’s plenty of seating, and it just feels calm and serene.

Window seating

Window seating

Main seating area

Main seating area

Seating

Seating

Seating

Solus chairs

View of the apron

View of the apron

The drink options are extensive for such a physically small lounge. The liquor selection might not be as good as the British Airways Galleries First lounge, but I don’t drink much, so that doesn’t matter to me. What does matter to me is that they have fun non-alcoholic drink options like coconut water, mango juice, and soy milk.

Liquor

Liquor

Beverages

Beverages

Refrigerated beverages (including soy milk!)

Refrigerated beverages (including soy milk!)

The food options are also extensive, and it reminds me of a mini Asian hotel buffet. For breakfast, they have English breakfast items (e.g. baked beans, eggs), a noodle bar, smoothies, congee, pastries, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. So lots of options, even though it’s a small space. The rice pudding I had was delicious, and the dan dan noodles were very peanut buttery, which I liked (even if it’s not authentic).

Written menu

Written menu

British breakfast foods

British breakfast foods

Continental breakfast items

Continental breakfast items

Cereals

Cereals

Pastries

Pastries

As for getting actual work done, there were a decent number of power outlets, and it wasn’t very crowded, so there’s lots of space to spread out. The wifi speed was decent with about 3-4 Mbps down and 1-2 up.

Again, this is my favorite oneworld lounge in LHR Terminal 3. Maybe it’s just because I’m Asian, but I think this lounge has the best food options, and it’s not as crowded as the other oneworld lounges, so it’s the most peaceful and pleasant to just sit in.

Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 HKG to NRT

I had the pleasure of flying Cathay Pacific’s A330-300 from Hong Kong to Tokyo. This was three-class configuration (business class, premium economy, economy) with lie-flat seats in business class.

The seats are reverse herringbone, and they’re almost identical to the seats in Dragonair’s first class cabin on the A330. This plane felt a little bit older, and there’s more leather in the finishings. For flying from Hong Kong to Tokyo on Cathay, there are a lot of choices in terms of planes and configs, but this is the nicest in business class–for first class, you have to fly to Haneda instead of Narita.

Cathay Pacific A330-300

Cathay Pacific A330-300

The business class cabin was pretty full. I was offered a pre-departure beverage and a blanket that was unwrapped in front of me. They also passed out hot towels, as opposed to the wet towelettes that you get on Dragonair.

As other examples of small things that can make service great, I asked for a pen from one of the flight attendants who happened to be filling out paperwork. She literally just gave me the pen that she was using. The in-flight service manager also came around to greet me and thank me for flying Cathay.

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

Business class seat

Business class seat

Seat controls

Seat controls

IFE screen and foot space

IFE screen and foot space

Shoe storage

Shoe storage

Fair amount of privacy

Fair amount of privacy

When the beverage cart was going through the aisles, I noticed that the flight attendant had a cheat sheet attached to the cart with passenger last names, special meal orders, and indication if the passenger was a oneworld emerald. For my beverage, I asked for a chilled Hong Kong style milk tea, which is not on the menu, but they produced a good beverage for me. Not as good as the canned stuff on Dragonair, but I appreciated the effort.

Food menu

Food menu

Drink menu

Drink menu

Chilled Hong Kong style milk tea

Chilled Hong Kong style milk tea

For my meal, I pre-ordered an AVML or Asian vegetarian meal. First up was spiced chickpeas on something that was cold and green and mushy. It was perhaps made of smashed peas. The roll was served nice and warm, but the silverware was bone-chillingly cold.

AVML entree

AVML entree

For my main course, I was served some rice with lentils, okra, and green beans. It was tasty, spicy, and cooked well. I was very happy with this dish.

AVML main course

AVML main course

For dessert, they first offered fruit and cheese from a cart. Then it was Haagen Dazs ice cream with coffee and tea. And then pralines. The meal service was pretty lengthy, as it took them about two hours to finish up on a flight that’s less than 4 hours of flight time.

Cathay is definitely one of my favorite airlines. The service is great, the hard product is great, and the food can be great.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific The Arrival Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

I’ve reviewed essentially every oneworld departure lounge at Hong Kong airport, but this was my first time stopping by Cathay Pacific’s arrivals lounge at HKG, appropriately named “The Arrival”.

To get to the arrivals lounge, you should follow the signs to “Pay-in/Shower lounges”.

Signs to the arrivals lounge

Signs to the arrivals lounge

Gotta go down a floor

Gotta go down a floor

The Arrival is located just across from the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge. The entrance to The Arrival is considerably smaller!

Right across is the Plaza Premium lounge

Right across is the Plaza Premium lounge

Entrance to The Arrival

Entrance to The Arrival

This lounge is super functional but not a place where you’d want to dilly dally too long. They have a lot of shower rooms, so you can shower after a long haul flight before you get into town. There isn’t much comfortable seating to just hang out because that’s really not the point of the lounge. A possibly oddity is that there are no toilets except for in the shower rooms, which further reinforces the idea that this lounge isn’t somewhere you’re supposed to hang out.

Bar seating

Bar seating

More seating

More seating

Dining area

Dining area

Shower room

Shower room

They have both a small buffet and a made-to-order menu. The buffet has plenty of desserts, some salads, fruit, and a soup. I enjoyed the fact that the fruit stand had whole fruit on it, as it seemed a little more for show than anything else because who really wants to commit to an entire dragonfruit? But I was undeterred and ate a whole mango, which was pretty delicious.

The made-to-order menu had noodle soups, bento boxes, and western options. I opted for one of the Japanese bento boxes and thought it was pretty good. I was also a fatty and sampled all of the desserts: the mango pudding was more like jello with chunks of fruit, which I liked; the other desserts were not worth eating.

Desserts

Desserts

Fruits and salads

Fruits and salads

Soup

Soup

Made-to-order menu

Made-to-order menu

Japanese bento with deep-fried vegetable cutlets

Japanese bento with deep-fried vegetable cutlets

Overall, this is a functional arrivals lounge. You can get a shower and grab a quick bite to eat before you head into the city. It’s not somewhere where you’d want to pass a lot of time.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Penang Airport (PEN)

The Penang airport is a pretty nice airport. They advertise having free wifi, and there are lots of USB charging stations. It’s not a particularly large airport, so it doesn’t take too long to get to the gates either.

On this trip, I stopped by the Cathay Pacific lounge prior to my departure. All of the lounges are on the second level.

Signs to the lounges

Signs to the lounges

Cardboard cutouts at the lounge entrance

Cardboard cutouts at the lounge entrance

The Cathay Pacific lounge is small, but functional. Cathay (or more specifically Dragonair) operates two flights a day out of Penang to Hong Kong, so it was busy right before departure although never felt overcrowded. This is maybe not surprising to other people, but it really did seem like most everyone in the lounge was traveling for business. Perhaps to cater to that, I appreciated that there were power outlets everywhere! Each of the small stands/tables between seats had two outlets.

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

View of seating and dining area

View of seating and dining area

Workstations

Workstations

Dining area

Dining area

There were a variety of foods on offer for breakfast: congee, some hot food items (e.g. pancakes, fried rice), some cold items (e.g. salad, pastries, sandwiches), and some packaged food. I generally feel like I can identify most foods that you might encounter in a lounge, but what I thought was syrup most definitely was not syrup, and the apparently vegetarian fried rice actually had dried fish in it. So you might want to ask a lounge attendant about the specifics of the food if you have any allergies.

Food

Food

More food

More food

More food

More food

Packaged foods

Packaged foods

Drinks

Drinks

The bathroom situation was two single standalone rooms. This wasn’t great for a relatively busy lounge. Given that probably 90% of the lounge occupants were male, I wouldn’t feel bad using the women’s restroom if you’re a guy.

Overall, this is a small but functional lounge. There’s some food, plenty of outlets, and wifi. One note was that the wifi was slower than the free T-mobile connection I had on my phone.

Review: Cathay Pacific First Class ORD to HKG

I know that Cathay Pacific First Class has been reviewed to death, but this flight was one of the best flights I’ve ever had. The flight attendant was absolutely incredible, and I ordered a VGML for this flight, so that will at least be novel. I’ll skip the pictures of the hard product.

The 77W taking us to Hong Kong

The 77W taking us to Hong Kong

On this flight, I was pretty sure that the first class cabin was just people who had used miles. There were two youngish American couples in first class plus me. I booked my ticket at the last moment, so unless these couples were rolling in it, I imagine that they had booked their tickets pretty far in advance for their honeymoons or something.

Cathay’s seat is one of my favorite first class hard products. It’s giant and comfortable. It’s not an enclosed seat, but I’ve never felt that privacy was an issue with these seats.

One of the most comfortable seats in the sky

One of the most comfortable seats in the sky

I’m also in love with Cathay’s amenities. When I took this flight (a very long time ago), they had just switched amenity kit providers, so the first class amenity kit was made by Aesop. They still have the PYE pajamas, which I love.

PYE pajamas and the new(ish) Aesop amenity kit

PYE pajamas and the new(ish) Aesop amenity kit

I asked for a Hong Kong style milk tea, but for some reason, they couldn’t serve that prior to departure (I’m really not sure why since they just make it from a powder). And they also couldn’t serve me sparkling water. So I ended up with some green tea to go with my VGML pre-flight appetizer. At first, I thought it was fruit in a mousse, but it was in fact hummus and vegetables. I enjoy both of those things, so I thought that it was tasty.

VGML appetizer of hummus with vegetables and some tea

VGML appetizer of hummus with vegetables and some tea

I could immediately tell that Carrie, the flight attendant serving the first class cabin, was awesome. In most cases, I think you can tell very quickly if the flight is going to be remarkable or not. She was fun and gracious at the same time. She also offered to let me try the non-VGML appetizer of crab, after she confirmed that I was okay with eating something not vegetarian. If you like crab, you’d probably like the appetizer, but I preferred the hummus.

Normal crab appetizer with avocado and citrus

Normal crab appetizer with avocado and citrus

Menu for the flight

Menu for the flight

Non-alcoholic drinks

Non-alcoholic drinks

Drink menu

Drink menu

I think that Cathay’s caviar service is great. They have blinis, all the fixings, and a Cathay Pacific-branded caviar spoon. You might notice a glass of Krug in the photo, which was poured because Carrie insisted that I drink some champagne.

Caviar service

Caviar service

No metal spoons here

No metal spoons here

For the main course, the VGML was an Indian-inspired dish of chickpeas, rice, and eggplant. It’s essentially a business class meal plated as a first class dish. But the food was tasty, which is what matters. I would order and eat it again, and I’d be happy to eat this at an Indian restaurant.

VGML entree of chickpeas, rice, and eggplant

VGML entree of chickpeas, rice, and eggplant

For dessert, I took advantage of the red bean soup. They’ll serve it hot or cold (I chose hot). This is a super Asian dessert and super comforting to me.

Red bean soup for dessert

Red bean soup for dessert

Berries and cream

Berries and cream

They lowered the cabin temperature after the meal service, so the cabin was nice and cool for sleeping. No overheating this time. After sleeping for a couple of hours, I woke up and decided to have a snack given the length of the flight. First up was the fruit plate and berry smoothie.

Fruit plate and smoothie

Fruit plate and smoothie

I then asked for the wonton noodles with two fried eggs on the side. Cathay offers made-to-order eggs for their breakfast service, so I wondered if they’d bat an eyelash if I asked for some fried eggs to accompany my noodles. I think the flight attendant was a little confused at first by exactly what I wanted, but I did get the noodles and eggs so I could add the eggs to the noodles.

Asked for the noodles with two fried eggs

Asked for the wonton noodles with two fried eggs

Right before landing, we had breakfast. The VGML breakfast consisted of a cheeseless omelet with peppers and onions and an assortment of sides (spinach, potatoes, tomato, and mushrooms). I’m not sure why they include an omelet in a VGML since a VGML is supposed to be free of eggs and dairy products, but the omelet was pretty tasty. The sides were less tasty. In general, I think the mid-flight snacks are tastier than the second meal service items, so I wouldn’t hesitate to order those instead of breakfast.

VGML breakfast of a cheeses omelet with peppers, onions, and sides of spinach, tomato, potatoes, and mushrooms

VGML breakfast

Given that Carrie noticed how excited I was about the flight, she brought me one of the new (at the time) business class amenity kits. The business class kit contains Jurlique products, and the bag is a little nifty.

Contents of the business class amenity kit

Contents of the business class amenity kit

Overall, this was one of the best flights I’ve ever taken. So what makes service good? For me, it’s the small touches: always being addressed by name, making sure not to interrupt when you’re in the middle of something, being gracious, attending to small details like the position of items on the table, reading the passenger to know how to interact with them, noticing when you need things before you know you need them. This was the most proactive Cathay crew I’ve had, and they were one of the best crews I’ve ever had on a flight.