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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.