Anyone who has followed my blog or Twitter stream for some time now will know how much I love to fly Cathay Pacific. It’s not just the direct flights to my hometown of Adelaide from Hong Kong that I love, it’s the entire flying experience.
On my latest trip with them, from London to Melbourne, I was silly enough to book my flight four days before I was due to depart… during the middle of the Olympic period.l worst still I was paying with frequent flyer points, which dramatically limited my flight options. Thankfully Cathay had a flight out of Heathrow to Hong Kong –but only in first class. With no other option I booked it.
Showing my boarding card to the airhostess as I stepped onboard I was personally escorted to my seat and transported to another world where orchids hang from walls, trouser presses are housed inside personal luggage lockers and where mood lighting in my magazine pocket exists. Oh, and there is high ceilings – that’s right ladies and gents, there is no overhead down here!
Sitting in my private enclave I must have looked the fool marvelling at the vast range of choice in magazines and newspapers to keep me occupied, and gadgets I had at my disposal – hello back massage! Everyone else was settled into their seats working or napping and I had my camera out snapping away happily.
One thing, which did take me by surprise, was the amenities kit. I’ve found that when travelling in business with Cathay and other airlines they stuff it with airline socks, bulky masks and things I don’t want or need so it was refreshing to find a simple sleep mask, hairbrush, and a variety of products from the Aesop range, all inside a stylish leather bag made by Italian company, Trussardi.
Sleeping suits (pyjamas) and slippers are also available onboard and have been customised by Shanghai Tang with a very oriental design and small high collared necklines. Whilst a very nice touch, I did find that the size pants I got were much to large in the bottoms whilst the top was too large still gapped in all the wrong places leaving me worried I would expose someone in my sleep.
One of the definite perks of sitting in the nose of the plane, aside from the beautiful uninterrupted-by-wings sunrises, is the privacy. With only nine suites available, the area each passenger has is spacious and private with high walls you can fall into an uninterrupted sleep at any time or continue working throughout the entire flight.
Speaking of sleep, at any point during your flight you can have your bed made up for you. Yes, you have a flat lie bed complete with bedding – a thin mattress blanket, soft duvet, and fluffy pillow – yes, all those adjectives are necessary
If sleeping isn’t your thing then stay awake and watch one of movies onboard. Cathay Pacific’s entertainment system is fantastic and always has a great choice of new releases. On my flight I watched The Five Year Anniversary’ ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ all which hadn’t been released on DVD at the time. There are also quite a good selection of movies in Cantonese or Mandarin (or with subtitles) on board as well as music, TV shows and games.
To know what movies or other inflight entertainment will be shown on your flight be sure to checkout Cathay’s inflight movie page.
I also enjoyed the extra space to spread out. A similar configuration to British Airways First and the new Cathay’s new business class, Cathay’s First class offers even more space which meant that whilst watching movies I could curl up on the seat much like it was a couch, and whilst working I could lay the armrest (which folds up to make the couch) down to seat my drink and snacks.
Whilst Cathay, regardless of class, has fantastic service it is of course a step above the norm in First. My champagne glass was filled almost as soon as I had drained it (I promise I only had a few glasses!) and the four-course dinner was definitely a step above the normal airplane food, as my table was instead laid out with a table-cloth and silverware.
One problem I do have with Cathay’s evening meals is the seafood overload in the menu. Perhaps I was unlucky or should have special ordered my meal (but why would I do that when I don’t have any allergies nor have any specific eating requirements other than a dislike for seafood?) but thankfully the cabin crew were able to find an alternative and instead I got a simple salad, some pasta and two desserts – yes, I think they know the way to a girl’s heart.
Thankfully the breakfast was better with fresh fruit, bread baskets and a proper English breakfast options were available along side salmon and congee.
Cathay Pacific’s latest marketing slogan is: ‘People: they make an airline‘ and that is something I fully believe when travelling with Cathay. No matter what class you are travelling with their staff are friendly, helpful and will make your flight with them memorable as my flight when I got the chance to live the suite life.
To learn more about Cathay Pacific’s first class cabin or any of their other cabins take a look at their website.