The first thing you need to know about Cathay Pacific is that they have a business connection to the more well-known British Airways. This means you will find some similarities in your first class flying experience if you’ve flown British Airways in the past. But Cathay Pacific has its own unique style, generally highlighted by the food and food service offered. The longer your flight, the more likely it is you will be pleased with the First Class service, since spending 12 or more hours on a plane can quickly wear on the infrequent traveler.
As a cautionary word, do not judge the First Class flying experience with the pre-flight lounge offerings when you are waiting to board. As was just mentioned, British Airways shares some of the space which means an average sized lounge can get crowded rather quickly, especially if things get backed up.
Once you get on the airplane your experience changes dramatically. There are only six First Class seats. That means plenty of room in many ways – in your seat or getting up and walking around a bit. On a 15 hour flight this is a definite luxury. On a personal experience note, forget SeatGuru’s recommendations. Go for either 1A or 2A if you can get them.
There are two lavatories for the six people, so the idea of waiting doesn’t come to mind. Some people complain they are a bit small, but you shouldn’t expect to be sending any significant amount of time in there. Besides, your temporary bout with claustrophobia will be immediately relived once you return to your seat. That seat converts into a bed, so you will see that your seat may actually fit two – though this is not permitted by law.
There is no issue of getting a window seat because each First Class seat has three windows to choose from. Having only six seats in First Class is definitely a dividend for you. The seat section has an in-flight touchscreen entertainment center, which includes a power outlet and USB charger port. If you carry a lot of mobile devices with you, there is plenty of room to store it underneath the Ottoman or in the small closet.
There is the wide range of new movies and TV shows available on your 15 inch screen. The sound quality of your flight will be improved with the Cathay Pacific provided Bose noise-cancelling headphones.
The combination of Flight Attendant service and food makes this in-flight “dining experience” exceptional. Should you never fly Cathay Pacific again, this is likely the part of the flight you will always remember. Your dining table can be extended to accommodate another person for the meal. This is a feature not found on many other airlines. The meal starts off with Krug champagne, and you find your near empty glass is promptly refilled.
For the main course you can choose from a steak or fish entrée, coupled with prawn, a salad, or an avocado soup. The general reviews on the main meals are only average or slightly above average. So why is the food so memorable? Because it is everything that comes after! Maybe Cathay knows that a big finish is far better than a mid-meal rush that is bound to fade.
Following the main meal is a cheese plate, served with grapes and sweet jam. Then you have two desserts coming. The first will have you offered a bread pudding with ice cream. The second will be along the lines of ice cream and Johnnie Walker Blue. There are several other dessert options, but Cathay knows that ice cream is the perfect food.
Multiple meals will be served on the longer flights, but you can expect the same “finishing with a bang” approach to the food and food service.
You will want to take a nap on these long flights, so your seat extends out to a bed, complete with mattress pad and a plush comforter. Here, the flight attendant service is exceptional because they keep the First Class section cool, allowing you to curl up and sleep without overheating. You get a set of pajamas that are amazingly comfortable, so much that you will want to take them with you. The good news is – they let you. There is also the amenity kit with some nice touches, standard for First Class passengers.
Every airline has at least one unique First Class feature to offer passengers. Americans are fanatical about their food, and Cathay aims to please in this area. But just sitting in your wide First Class seat is more than enough to make your long flight enjoyable. The idea is for you to forget you are actually more than 30,000 feet in the sky, and Cathay makes that possibility a reality. When you finally land you get to carry out your pajamas to remember your experience by.