I’ve read lots of trip reports on Cathay Pacific First Class, but not too many in Business Class on the SFO – HKG route. I was looking forward to 12 hours of relaxing, watching movies, maybe doing some work, and sleeping…basically, what I normally do at home. After leaving the club lounge, we got to the gate right as boarding began. The woman at the gate scanned our boarding passes and handed them back as if they were delicate flowers.
I was happy to see that despite changing our travel plans, we were all seated close to each other. Everyone had a window seat, with the exception of my dad. I offered to switch with him but he was looking forward to sleeping and wouldn’t find use for the window.
As I sat down, a flight attendant dressed like Sarah Palin during the 2008 election offered me a drink, returning shortly after with a glass of water. Judging by the smell, I was pretty sure it was laced with alcohol.
She made another haphazard round with hot towels and without asking me if I wanted one, dropped it on my lap! Before I had a chance to say anything, she took off. But what are you supposed to say when someone drops a scorching hot towel on your lap? This incident was kind of a metaphor for the service throughout the flight – hot and cold. The flight attendants largely whizzed by, putting everyone on edge.
After this incident, another FA began passing out menus and asked me, “Ms Arghandewal may I ask, are you under 19?” I told her I was not and she laughed and explained, “I’m asking because you look so young!” before handing me a menu containing an alcoholic drink section. In 10 years, when I’m having a mid-life crisis, I will take comfort in this moment…
Next came arrival cards, coupons for in-flight purchases and a UNICEF donation card, which I thought was really nice. Get selfish, entitled travelers to think about something other than their own misery for once. At this point, amenity kits were distributed, which contained your basic toothbrush, paste, socks, mask, ear plugs (why would you need these if you have noise canceling headphones?) and Jurlique skincare products. The bag was kind of cheap and of course I ended up forgetting it on the plane, but I doubt I would have re-used it anyway.
Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat SFO to HKG
The Cathay Pacific Business Class seat is incredibly comfortable. It kind of reminded me of British Airways’ Business Class seat, but with better padding and more space – especially in terms of width. I fell asleep before the FA had a chance to make my bed, but I had no problems getting 7 hours of sleep despite lacking a mattress pad. I also had no idea who was sitting next to me, thanks to the privacy afforded by these seats – a stark contrast to the British Airways Business Class seat, which felt much more exposed.
The seat offered lots of storage space: A compartment underneath the footrest, another one on the bottom right side of the seat, and a place to store small items where the noise-canceling headphones were stored. There were also power outlets and a USB port, which is always convenient when you’re traveling with lots of electronics.
Dining in Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat SFO to HKG
A while after we got off the ground and the seatbelt sign was turned off (something most passengers ignored anyway), an FA came around with a huge stack of table cloths and asked if I cared for a meal. When I said yes, he pulled out my table, dropped two cloths and ran off before I could call him back! I swear, these FA’s could sub for Usain Bolt and nobody would notice…
Business Class Dinner
I have to admit, I enjoyed the food on this flight more than what was served in the First Class cabin on our flight home. I had what was probably the world’s smallest steak (the carrots were bigger than the steak!), but it actually made up in quality. On the First Class segment, I was served the largest steak ever and I would have gladly picked this smaller one as it was superior in quality and taste. I especially enjoyed the steak sauce.
Business Class Coffee
After this, I ordered a latte while watching Terminus get overrun on The Walking Dead. It wasn’t served with pralines, like it was supposed to be, but the world didn’t end like it did in rural Georgia, so all was well.
Cathay Pacific Business Class Snacks
Nine hours into the flight the FA’s brought around a snack tray, which wasn’t too appealing. I instead opted for a cup of soup. The FA offered me a choice between the wonton noodle soup or creme of mushroom, even though it wasn’t on the menu. I ordered the mushroom and was kind of amused by the fact that it was served in a coffee mug rather than a bowl. I guess “cup of soup” is taken literally around here…
Business Class Breakfast
After this, I slept for several hours before waking up in time for breakfast. The FA preparing my tray dropped four table cloths before running off again. This time, not wanting other passengers to go without their tablecloths, I managed to call him back and he rushed over, took the extra tablecloths, and rushed off.
The table was set shortly after and I noticed the napkins and silverware were extremely cold. Like they’d been sitting in a freezer all day. I guess that’s a good thing if the food is really hot, so it can help cool it off? Risking frost bite, I used it anyway. First came a plate of fruit. While we’re all familiar with what that particular dish looks like, here it is anyway…
I’m not sure whether these were hard, cold fruits or frozen desserts shaped like fruits. The strawberries were so thoroughly frozen, I thought I was eating ice cream.
Business Class Breakfast Part 2
Next came the orange juice, served fresh out of an Odwalla bottle, followed by the cereal cart. I skipped it and waited for my omelette. Despite the fact that it sat on a bed of grease, the cream cheese omelette was delicious. Seriously, why doesn’t everyone make omelettes with cream cheese? I’m officially protesting cheddar…
The breakfast service ended about an hour after it started. That’s when the FA’s distributed hot towels reeking of bleach. I really don’t like this hot towel business – even when they’re placed before me rather than dropped on my lap. I’ll wash my hands in the bathroom like I do at home. There’s really no need to get wet fabric involved.
During the meal service, I checked on my dad, who has a lot of dietary restrictions and a few food allergies that make meal selection a real hassle sometimes. I had considered ordering him a special meal, but those can be tricky because of the wide range of foods he has to avoid. Like the rest of us, he doesn’t eat pork. However, beef, mushrooms, dairy, spicy foods, excessively greasy/salty foods, and gluten are also off the table.When I saw beef and stir-fried pork listed under the main course options for dinner, I was worried.
However, the FA’s took great care of him after he explained his dietary restrictions. They brought out a chicken salad along with a main course of chicken curry with rice. After this, they checked on him during meal times and suggested alternative items he might want to choose from that weren’t on the menu.
IFE in Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat SFO to HKG
The one disappointing aspect of this flight was probably the entertainment system. Maybe it’s a question of taste or Hollywood is just putting out terrible movies these days, but I couldn’t find one decent movie to watch. I did give Get Hard a shot, mostly fast forwarding through it because I can’t not finish a movie once it starts – no matter how bad it is. I’d like to think I have a good sense of humor but the movie starred two of the most annoying actors. Plus, Will Ferrell, you are not Jamie Dornan. Nobody wants to see you in any state of undress on the big screen. Ever.
It would have been nice to watch a movie that wasn’t completely revolting. However, I found something to keep me entertained: Season 5 re-runs of The Walking Dead, which can do no wrong in my opinion.
Final Thoughts on Cathay Pacific Business Class
My family and I enjoyed our flight on Cathay Pacific Business Class. After concluding my trip on Cathay Pacific’s First Class, I’ve decided if given the choice, I will stick to their Business Class product in the future. The seat is very comfortable for sleeping or lounging, the food is great and the service, while rushed, is efficient.
If you want to fly Cathay Pacific Business Class to Hong Kong like I did, you’re just a couple of credit card sign-up bonus away: All you need are 50,000 Alaska miles or 55,000 American AAdvantage miles each way. Booking through Alaska isn’t just cheaper – it gets you a free stopover on each one-way award.
Have you flown Cathay Pacific Business Class? What did you like/dislike about the experience?
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