Tag Archives: cathay pacific

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.

Trip Report: Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco (HKG to SFO)

CX 872
HKG to SFO
Depart: 12:30am
Arrive: 10:15pm
Duration: 12h 45m
Aircraft: Boeing 77W
Seat: 1A

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).

Seat 1A

Seat 1A

Super wide seat

Super wide seat

Foot area

Foot area

Seat controls

Seat controls

Fresh orchids

Fresh orchids

IFE screen and storage

IFE screen and storage

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.

Decor of first class cabin

Decor of first class cabin

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.

Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

Former first class Zegna male amenity kit and PYE pajamas

Former first class Zegna male amenity kit and PYE pajamas

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.

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

Alcohol

Alcohol

Caviar

Caviar

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.

Hot pot rice

Hot pot rice

Berries

Berries

Chinese dessert

Chinese dessert

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.

More caviar

More caviar

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.

Bread basket

Bread basket

Scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs

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.

Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Bridge Hong Kong Airport Lounge (HKG)

The entrance to the Bridge is right in front of you as exit the train that takes you to the higher-numbered gates. You go down a small escalator, and then you have the choice of going left or right. To the left is the coffee bar, shower suites, an IT bar, and the Bistro; to the right is the Bakery, the long bar, and a TV lounge. Both sides are pretty similar in terms of seating, but if there’s a specific amenity that you’re looking for, go to the respective side. For myself, I usually head to the right to get some egg tarts from the Bakery (I may or may not grab a couple to take with me on my flight because I’m a fat kid).

Entrance to The Bridge

Entrance to The Bridge

I love the seating and decor of the Bridge. Coupled with the fact that it’s pretty large with the two sides and the large windows with views of the apron make this one of my favorite airport lounges for sitting.

The Bridge seating

The Bridge seating

Cool decorations

Cool decorations

More seating

More seating

It’s also worth noting that this is one of the better lounges for sleeping (this is maybe less true now that the first class side of the Pier has reopened) because of the TV lounge area which has enormous couches.

Giant sofas in TV lounge

Giant sofas in TV lounge

The Bakery has a darker motif, and while the food selection isn’t nearly as extensive as the Wing or Qantas’ Business Class lounge in Hong Kong, I’m still usually pretty satisfied with the options. And they have egg tarts.

"Bakery" area

“Bakery” area

More hot food

More hot food

Salad bar in the Bakery

Salad bar in the Bakery

Bakery items

Bakery items

Sandwich options

Sandwich options

There’s also a large bar on the right side of the Bridge. There’s randomly some hot food options at the bar, and they usually have some special drink on offer.

More food

More food

Long bar

Long bar

Seating

Seating

The left side of the lounge has another dining area called the Bistro. Again, the food selection isn’t as extensive as other lounges, but I’m usually satisfied with the options. No egg tarts on this side, though.

Hot food in the Bistro

Hot food in the Bistro

Salad bar in the Bistro

Salad bar in the Bistro

More food

More food

The left side is also likely the better side to get work done because they have Solus chairs and a computer area.

Seating

Seating

Workstations

Workstations

And of course, if you’re fueled by caffeine, there’s a coffee bar at the end of the lounge. I don’t drink coffee, but I do eat dessert, and they had a dessert at the coffee bar that I didn’t see anywhere else in the lounge.

Coffee bar

Coffee bar

Views of airplanes

Views of airplanes

Overall, I really like the Bridge. I don’t think this lounge gets nearly enough love given that it’s not a first class lounge, but I very happily go here when it’s convenient. Cathay does a great job with all of their lounges in HKG (well, except for the Dragonair lounge), and the Bridge is no different.

Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Cabin Hong Kong Airport Lounge (HKG)

The Cabin is one of Cathay Pacific’s business class lounges at the Hong Kong airport, and it’s conveniently located below gate 23. The lounge is pretty long and has large windows overlooking the apron along one side, so it’s potentially a great plane watching location during the day. At night, the lounge is a little dark, or at least it feels that way because of the large windows.

Signage

Signage

While the Wing was quite crowded, the Cabin was not nearly as much, and it was easy to find a seat. While the seating might not be as “fancy” as the Wing, there are a variety of seating options depending on if you want to get work done, sit by yourself, or get a good seat with a view of the apron.

Dining area seating

Dining area seating

Solus chairs

Solus chairs

Seating that looks out onto apron

Seating that looks out onto apron

There’s no noodle bar in this lounge, but they still have a number of hot food options. One distinguishing feature of this lounge is its juice bar. I didn’t particularly enjoy the smoothie that I got, but it can be nice to have the option.

Hot food options

Hot food options

Bakery items

Bakery items

Salad bar

Salad bar

Bar with juice and smoothie options

Bar with juice and smoothie options

One downside of this lounge is that it doesn’t have any showers, so if you’re looking for a place to shower after a long flight, do not head to this lounge. But other than that, it’s a good lounge overall with some cool views and interesting food and beverage options.

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

I’ve visited the Wing a number of times over the past year, but these pictures are from my first visit, which was late at night prior to the midnight bank of departures. Thus, the lounge was crowded given the relatively easy lounge access rules, and I had to hunt to find a seat. This also meant that I didn’t take that many pictures of the lounge itself.

There is one seating area that doesn’t seem to get too crowded, which is the slightly odd space between the dining room and the business class side of the lounge. This is one of my favorite places to sit because there typically aren’t as many people, and I’ve spent a number of hours at the bar seating overlooking the apron getting work done.

Less crowded seating area

Less crowded seating area

The lounge features a full bar and a smaller champagne bar, and people do go around offering to get you a drink if they see you without one.

Bar

Bar

Champagne bar

Champagne bar

One of the benefits the Wing has beyond Cathay’s other lounges in Hong Kong is a formal dining room with both an extensive buffet and an a la carte menu. The food is pretty good for an airport lounge, and there are tons of choices. The staff is also willing to accommodate dietary restrictions, so even though there might not be that much that you want to eat on offer, they’re totally willing to make something to order that suits your preferences.

Dining area

Dining area

Made-to-order menu

A la carte menu

Hot food station

Hot food station

Lots of desserts

Lots of desserts

Fresh fruit and sweets

Fresh fruit and sweets

More hot food

More hot food

Salad bar

Salad bar

Hot food

Hot food (on another day)

People rave about the cabanas, and they are quite nice (and the perfect place to spend some “quality time” with another person). But they are also sometimes hard to snag given how busy this lounge can get. If you’re just looking to get clean, the shower rooms are possibly the nicest shower rooms I’ve seen in an airport, although no one seems to talk about them much because the cabanas exist.

Hallway of showers and cabanas

Hallway of showers and cabanas

Shower suite (not a cabana)

Shower suite (not a cabana)

Cabana shower

Cabana shower

Cabana shower and tub

Cabana shower and tub

Cabana lounger

Cabana lounger

Cabana

Cabana

Overall, except for the crowding issues (which might be alleviated now that they’ve reopened the first class section of the Pier), this is a good lounge. The cabanas and shower suites are great, the food is pretty good with plenty of options, and the service tries to please. That being said, I think most of the oneworld lounges in HKG are pretty good, so I wouldn’t specifically make the trek out to the Wing if it weren’t convenient to the gate I needed to go to, and I’ve happily spent layovers at the Bridge or the Cabin, even though those are technically “business class” lounges.

Review: Dragonair G16 Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

After the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, my next stop was the Dragonair G16 lounge, which is right beside the Qantas lounge. I would not stop here unless you’re playing HKG airport lounge bingo, as there aren’t many redeeming qualities of this lounge, particularly with the Qantas lounge right next door. In fact, when I entered this lounge, the lounge dragon was somewhat surprised to see me and strongly suggested (in the nicest way possible) that I go to a different lounge.

Entrance to the G16 lounge

Entrance to the G16 lounge

This lounge does have a lot of seating. There are lots and lots of seats that they cram into the space. Like the Qantas lounge, it’s also open to the rest of the terminal, so it has a spacious feel.

Seating in the G16 lounge

Seating in the G16 lounge

More seating

More seating

Work stations

Work stations

More seating

More seating

The lounge also has a noodle bar. I’ve always thought that Cathay’s noodle bars aren’t quite as good as I want them to be, but a made-to-order food option is always a welcome sight in a lounge. Especially considering the sad state of the other food options in this lounge.

G16 noodle bar menu

G16 noodle bar menu

Food options

Food options

Hot food

Hot food

More hot food

More hot food

Drinks and snacks

Drinks and snacks

Another notable quality of this lounge is the private workstations. While there are some computers in the general seating area, there are a number of individual cubbies where you can have a bit of privacy if you’re looking to get work done.

Private work station

Private work station

Private work stations

Private work stations

Overall, I’m not sure why you would go to this lounge when there’s a significantly better lounge right beside it with the same lounge access rules. If you want a quiet place to work or you really want a bowl of noodles, you might stop by, but honestly, just go to the Qantas lounge.

Trip Report: Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 KUL to HKG

CX 724
KUL to HKG (Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong)
Depart: 5:40pm
Arrive: 9:35pm
Duration: 3h 55m
Aircraft: A330-300
Seat: 15K

The boarding time was stated as 4:40pm, but that’s just when the gate opens and you can start going through the additional security check at the gate. Boarding didn’t actually start until 5:20pm.

A333 to take me to HKG

A333 to take me to HKG

Business class was a 2-2-2 configuration on this plane for a total of 42 seats. The cabin was relatively full with only 6 empty seats. I was offered a pre-departure beverage of water, champagne, orange juice, or guava juice.

My seat, 15K

My seat, 15K

2-2-2 business class seating

2-2-2 business class seating

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

IFE screen

IFE screen and leg room

I’m a big fan of Cathay Pacific. The seats looked new and stylish, although they’re just basic recliners, so they probably wouldn’t be too comfortable on a long flight. But for a 3.5 hour flight, the seats are fine.

They served dinner on this flight, and I had pre-ordered an AVML.

Business class menu

Business class menu

Menu continued

Menu continued

Drink menu

Drink menu

For my AVML starter, I received a plate of chickpeas, beans, peas, raisins, and onions mixed together with a small side of asparagus. It was a bit odd, but it was reasonably tasty and healthy.

AVML starter

AVML starter

My entree consisted of rice, dal, and paneer. Like most Indian food on planes, it was decently flavorful and spicy.

AVML main course

AVML main course

Ice cream for dessert

Ice cream for dessert

The seats don’t recline that much, and the leg rest doesn’t have a foot rest, but again, for a non-longhaul flight, I think these seats are perfectly fine. The IFE is the same as it is on longhaul flights, so there’s a great selection, and the screen was quick and responsive.

Seat fully reclined

Seat fully reclined

Cathay Pacific is known as one of the best carriers in the world and for good reason: they offer a great, consistent product. Even on a regional business class flight, you know you’re going to get a good, solid experience with great service, and this flight was no different.

Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge KUL (Kuala Lumpur) Airport

I was flying Cathay Pacific from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong, so I decided to stop by the Cathay Pacific lounge at KUL. This is a super standard international business class lounge, and you should almost surely go to the Malaysia Airlines lounge instead of this one (if you’re accessing the lounge via status or class of service, you will also have access to the Malaysia Airlines lounge).

Entrance to Cathay Pacific Lounge at KUL

Entrance to Cathay Pacific Lounge at KUL

Cathay’s lounges have a consistent aesthetic, and this one is no different. iMac work stations, a number of seating areas, and even one of those bars for seating.

Computer stations

Computer stations

View of lounge

View of lounge

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

More seating

More seating

There are some decent hot and cold food options, although the food options in the Malaysia Airlines lounge are more extensive.

Drinks and snacks

Drinks and snacks

Cups of noodles

Cups of noodles

Salad components

Salad components

Hot food options

Hot food options

More hot food

More hot food

Sparse alcohol selection

Sparse alcohol selection

The wifi is decently fast, there are power outlets scattered around the lounge, and it’s not too crowded given that there’s also the Malaysia Airlines lounge, but I can’t think of any good reasons why you would use this lounge over the Malaysia Airlines lounge. This lounge is fine.