This review is part of a series on my travels to Hong Kong and Beijing China in February 2019
Cathay Pacific 386 Business Class Seat 19K
Boeing 777-300ER Four class configuration
As part of my larger adventure, A Trip To Nowhere; Sprinkled In With A Bit of Disney. I was continuing my tour of Asia and today’s stop was Hong Kong to Beijing China flying Cathay Pacific in Business Class. This entire trip had me excited, but this segment had put me on another level. This was my first time ever flying Cathay in anything other than premium/economy. I’d read and heard so many great things about their service and offerings in premium cabins and I was truly excited to finally have a chance to try it out.
I’d had an amazing time at The Wing lounge and about 10 minutes prior to boarding I headed to Gate 2 which happens to be right next to where I was lounging. Boarding commenced on time and started with people who needed extra time to board. At the gate they were performing passport checks at the three stanchioned lines for First Class/One World Emerald, Business Class/One World Sapphire/Ruby and an Economy Line. Naturally, I waited in the business class line, and as soon as they checked my ticket and passport, they nicely insisted I wait in the First/OW Emerald line due to my emerald status. I had no problem waiting where I was, but they like many non-US carriers follow the published rules and wanted to make sure I got the perks I was supposed to have. It was a nice touch, although not necessary. Finally, it was time to board the plane and I was ready to go for my three-hour flight to China.
This flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER in a four-cabin configuration and offered the “normal” business class seat not the regional seat that some planes offer intra-Asia. If you’ve had the luxury of flying American Airlines on their 777-300 in business or the Airbus A321T that does the LAX/SFO-JFK route in first, this is the same seat. This is the type of aircraft that’s usually used on long haul premium heavy routes. On this plane business is a 1-2-1 configuration with a total of 53 seats spread across two cabins with the mini cabin only offering two rows of seats. In my case I had window seat 19K which is almost in the middle of the main cabin. I picked it because I find the mini cabin noisy and I wanted to be equidistance from the economy cabin and the bulkhead where there could be bassinets. Basically, I was looking for a quite seat, and I think I had found it. I’ve flown this seat on American about half a dozen times, so I was pleasantly surprised that Cathay’s seat was virtually identical to theirs. For starters, there’s a fair bit of storage opposite the isle closest to the window, this is also where the tray table is stored. On that same side there’s a mirrored cubby that houses the headphones and the hidden headphone jack too. In front of the cubby you’ll find the seat adjustments controls and power. You’ve also got a fair bit of legroom and footwell space too. Above the footwell, is the larger size tv that can be flipped out of the storage area for easier viewing. Lastly to the right of the seat is an adjustable armrest. Basically, you’re ensconced in your own little world.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of the seat in lie-flat mode, but if you needed a rest and wanted to stretch out this seat is for you. Plenty of width and legroom for my 6’ frame and XXL frame. Also, the seat had a comfy pillow and on request a heavy blanket too. But due to the length of flight, no amenity kit was provided ☹.
Studio CX is Cathay’s entertainment system, it offers movies, tv, games and music. With over a hundred options for movies and tv shows. They also sort them by genre western, Bollywood, HK etc. which is super helpful. For me after a 13-hour flight the day before, there was just not much to watch, so I ended up watching reruns of Superstore. But hey at least it’s a semi-funny show. The tv has a tethered remote and a touchscreen too. In this case both sucked!! Neither were responsive and it took many pushes of the buttons to get something to happen. But hey it was a three-hour flight, so who cares right?
After getting settled in my seat the flight attendants came by and offered a hot towel and a choice of orange juice, water or bubbly. I was well hydrated so I passed. Then shortly after takeoff breakfast service commenced, with a three hour flight the staff was working hard to serve all of us in a timely fashion and still provide excellent service.
First they came by with a tray that included a croissant, butter, jam, yogurt and fruit
Then shortly they cam by with a tray that had all four options on it and I was able to pick what I wanted. What I liked about this, was that I could see what the options looked like before I choose, because I was not sure if I wanted the noodles or the dim sum. Since I’m a sucker for stir fried noodles, once I saw what it looked like the choice was obvious.
And boy was I not disappointed!! I think I’d eat about almost anything if it included stir fried crispy noodles. This is one of my most favorite Chinese dishes for sure. This was it for the meal. I imagine based on the fact that it was a breakfast flight and a under three hours there really wasn’t much else to offer. Needless to say it was the perfect amount of food for me since I stuffed myself in the lounge prior, and really didn’t need another meal. But was not going to turn it down either. I’d like to say I’m an equal opportunity eater.
For my first premium flight on Cathay I was happy. Service was efficient but still friendly. The seat was extremely comfortable, and the food and entertainment were just right. I can imagine that on a longer flight that this environment would be perfect. I felt that the staff from the gate to the plane were really great. Taking the time to make sure I was in the right line to board to the purser coming by and saying hello early in the flight was a nice touch too. He thanked me for my loyalty to One World and made sure I knew that if I needed anything to just ask. Overall this was a pleasant flight, and if I were to try and compare that to a US premium cabin short haul flight in the same type of seat this would hands down win every time.