HKG to SFO
Duration: 12h 45m
Aircraft: Boeing 77W
Just going to warn you that this is going to be a shitty trip report because my pictures aren’t great, but I’ve reviewed Cathay Pacific’s First Class product before (albeit on the 747 instead of the 77W) with better pictures. The differences between the 747 and the 77W are marginal in terms of hard and soft product. To me, the main difference is that there are only 6 seats in the cabin on the 77W instead of 9 on the 747. The cabin has a 1-1-1 layout in first class, with the center seats facing toward the right, so people generally prefer sitting on the left-hand side of the cabin since it feels marginally more private.
The flight was delayed about 20 minutes for operational reasons, which was caused because we were waiting for connecting passengers coming from Guangzhou. Since this flight departs after midnight, I just wanted to get on the plane and pass out.
When I boarded, I was shown to my seat, and I immediately found the flight attendant to be super bubbly. I also noticed that I had definitely flown first class before with another one of the passengers, but I was pretty darn sure that he was a person flying for business and not a miles/points enthusiast (he could be both, but it seemed like he was not flying on miles either time).
Cathay has a great first class seat. It’s not a suite, but it’s spacious, private, and not claustrophobic. The seat is incredibly comfortable, and it’s not too hard or too soft. The IFE is large and responsive, and I appreciate small touches like a fresh flower at every seat.
I was offered a pre-departure beverage and an amuse bouche of duck mousse. They also passed out headphones, an amenity kit, and pajamas. I LOVE the PYE pajamas. They are hands down my favorite airline pajamas, and they come with awesome slippers (like I regularly wear a pair of PYE slippers around the house and bring a pair with me on long-haul flights). Sizing seems pretty close to American sizing, so I would go with whatever size you normally wear.
I essentially passed out after we took off, but the flight was pretty turbulent, so they turned on the seatbelt sign about once an hour and made an announcement each time. About halfway through the flight, I decided to eat something, so I had the caviar, the hot pot rice, some berries, and the Chinese dessert. This was shortly after they changed from the caviar and balik salmon plate to just caviar, which I didn’t mind. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of smoked salmon (except from Willows Inn), so I liked the new preparation.
The hot pot rice was fine. It’s definitely comfort food and not fine dining food like you might find on ANA or JAL first class.
A couple of hours later and it was time for breakfast. I asked if they had any more caviar and was rewarded with more caviar. Never hurts to ask.
I then had some croissants, fresh fruit, and scrambled eggs. It’s impressive that they can make eggs to order in first class, and they offer some good quality products like Tasmanian honey.
Cathay Pacific has been reviewed to death in the blogosphere, but it’s a relatively accessible first class redemption and they offer an incredible, solid product. I can’t really find fault in anything that Cathay does as they have a great hard product, amazing service, incredible lounges, and a great hub airport. I happily fly Cathay in all classes of service, and first class always feels like a treat.