Best Seats In Cathay Pacific First Class

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific offers one of the all around most solid first class products, in my opinion. I don’t think they’re necessarily the best in any one area, but they’re one of the airlines that’s truly “solid” all around from the seat to the service to the food to the bedding to the entertainment to their lounges.

Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Cabana Hong Kong Airport

Back in the day a majority of Cathay Pacific’s longhaul fleet consisted of 747s, though over time they’ve retired 747s to the point that it’s mostly just 777s they’re flying longhaul.

And only a subfleet of those 777s feature a first class cabin.

So, what are the best seats in Cathay Pacific’s 777 first class?

Cathay Pacific 777 first class cabin layout

Cathay Pacific’s first class cabin consists of only six seats spread across two rows.

There are two seats on the left side of the cabin, two seats in the center part of the cabin, and two seats on the right side of the cabin.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER first class cabin

It’s worth noting that the center two seats face the right aisle. In other words, the left aisle is exclusively for the two seats on the left side of the cabin, while the right aisle is shared by four seats. So as you might expect, there’s quite a bit more foot traffic on the right aisle than the left aisle.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER first class cabin

But Cathay Pacific’s first class seats are in my opinion among the most comfortable in the sky. They’re not fully enclosed suites, but they’re private, spacious, and extremely functional both for relaxing and sleeping.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER first class, seat 2A

Each seat also has an ottoman, which can be used as a buddy seat. So if you want to dine with someone else, they can sit there quite comfortably.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER first class, seat 2A

Best Cathay Pacific first class seat when traveling alone

My seat of choice in Cathay Pacific first class is 2A, followed by 1A. The reason is simple — the left side of the cabin just feels more private since the center seats are facing the other aisle. Therefore you just see a “wall” in the center of the cabin, so you hardly even know the other four passengers are there.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER first class, seat 2A

Keep in mind that Cathay Pacific also has “thick” curtains between first and business class, so you don’t see any light from business class (unfortunately they don’t have such curtains on US airlines).

Best Cathay Pacific first class seats for couples

Cathay Pacific’s 777s are one of the few planes where my seat recommendations are the same whether you’re traveling alone or as a couple.

Conventional wisdom would suggest you want seats 1D & 1K or seats 2D & 2K (a center and window seat combination facing the same aisle). But in practice I disagree.

I would choose 1A & 2A, followed by 1K & 2K if they’re not available.

Why? Because if you’re seated across the aisle from one another, you’re not actually close enough to talk. And the center seats are kind of boring, since you have no windows.

Fortunately it’s still easy to socialize and even dine together thanks to the “buddy” seat. So I still think you’re better off selecting the best single seats, and then just dining together on demand.

Cathay Pacific first class buddy seat dining

This makes 1A & 2A especially advantageous, since you literally have the entire aisle to yourselves.

Cathay Pacific first class bottom line

Cathay Pacific first class is one of the most solid products out there. In a way the product is almost too spacious if you’re traveling with someone, since there’s no way to really talk while being seated in your respective seats.

That’s why it’s always 1A & 2A for me when I have the choice, followed by 1K & 2K, and then only 1D & 2D as a last resort. And that’s even when traveling with someone.

As a reminder, keep in mind that seats 2A & 2K typically can’t be assigned online, and instead you have to call to reserve those.

What are your preferred seats in Cathay Pacific first class?

  1. @ D — Because it’s more private. I generally like being in the back of the cabin as opposed to having people behind me.

  2. Do you know if these seating suggestions will apply for the upcoming nonstop service from Boston to Hong Kong starting in May? I assume they would as I imagine they would use the 777 for that as well…

  3. Thanks! This is timely – my wife and I are flying on our first CX F flight next week. We were only about to get 1a and 1d. I’m excited though, I’m just trying to figure out what all to do/ask for while onboard – any tips/must dos?

  4. @ Nic — Hah, there aren’t many “secrets” to enjoying Cathay Pacific first class. It’s a great product. Have lots of caviar and Krug. And remember that Cathay service is very “hands off” between the meals. If the crew is doing their job right you’ll barely see them between the two main meals. So always push the call button if you want something, and they’ll appear within seconds.

    If you have access to the Cathay Pacific first class lounge in Hong Kong, be sure to request a Cabana for a shower. They’re probably the most beautiful airport showers in the world.

  5. Hi Ben, just wondering about access to first class lounge in Hongkong if one fly first class from USA to Hongkong, but only business class from Hongkong to Singapore (since no first class from hongkong to singapore). Will they give you access to first class lounge in Hongkong? Or just to business class lounge? Thanks for your help.

  6. I agree with 2A as the best seat. The right side also gets a lot of noise from the kitchen – so much so that it can be difficult to sleep, particularly as some crews have a bad habit of leaving the curtain open, letting in lots of light. And some slam the doors to the kitchen cabinets so loudly I bet economy can hear them slam. Really aggravating!

    Since the seats are private, it really doesn’t make any difference to couples which seat you are in as you can’t talk easily. That said, right side is better than left because the above issues.

    I also don’t like when some crew members barrel thru the cabin at night as the floor vibrates with each footstep. They are usually crew from back of the bus in some sort of hurry to get something and they don’t give a damn about the F passengers. I’m a light sleeper at the best of times and I find it extremely inconsiderate.

    Some CX crews are significantly better trained and the noise/clomping/light issues don’t occur, so it’s hit or miss how good the soft product can be.

  7. As always, great job on your blog. We are booked on CX JFK-HKG in J as part of a RTW award redemption with USDM miles (at 100K each; go figure, but you know those US agents – bless their hearts!). Anyway, I take it that if F opens up close to departure that the entire itinerary has to be rebooked in which case we would be at risk of losing the other segments, correct?

  8. @ Mike — Indeed, if you want to upgrade the entire award from business class to first class then you’d have to redeposit and start again, unfortunately.

  9. Nice article! I am booked HKG-SFO in April. Managed to snag 2A online. Has to be one of the best uses of AA miles! My thinking was the same as yours (privacy). Looking forward to the flight and lounge in HKG during 5 hour transit from BKK. Hopefully the “new” first class in on that flight. Thanks!

  10. Lucky, there has been a lot of A380 and Asian/ME carriers First reviews recently, which is awesome, but it’s been a while since you did a review of Asian carrier’s Longhaul Business Class offerings. I was wondering if you were planning to do any reviews for some of these products, especially CX, SQ, KE, OZ or any of the big 3 Gulf carriers.

    Now a Garuda F review would also be a lot of fun too.


  11. We have had good luck using AA miles with CX, found booking on the phone far in advance works for first ( 2 seats) or a few times took business class and changed to first a few weeks before the flight.

  12. Lucky,

    Thanks for helpful and awesome post as always!
    Question: I will be flying in Cathay first class for first time, if I ask for 2nd, 3rd, 4th request for more caviars and different variation of Main Course for dinner/lunch, will the flight attendant feel annoyed and can say they don’t have anymore or run out of it? What is your advice to ask for more caviars and main course dishes without annoying them? I want to maximize my first time experience in first class, as I don’t have much points/miles to splurge and don’t travel frequently, so it might be once in a lifetime chance. Thanks a lot for your help!

  13. Flew 2A from JFK to YVR on New Year’s, IMO it was definitely the better one since it was in the corner and no one was looking at you. However, if the middle and right seats are open, I would pick those since I could have another seat converted into a bed.

  14. @ David — Just ask nicely and if they have extra they’ll gladly give it to you. I’m sure you’ll have a great flight!

  15. I would say they’re the best at bedding for sure, if not service as well. I’ve had nothing but fantastic crews on CX…

  16. Timely post lucky! My wife and I are flying cx f hkg to lax in a few months. We currently have 1A and 2A booked per your suggestions from your Bali trip with your mom back in 2013.

    One question, since 2A is technically a bassinet seat, have you seen seat assignments change a few months or a few weeks out even if a formal bassinet request by another passenger isn’t made? Best to just keep an eye on the booking and if they move us, call back to request the seats again?


  17. 1. First time in CX First, we took row 1 center and right window. When we realized we could not carry on a conversation (altho we did have dinner together), we changed the return to 1 K and 2 K.

    2. Second trip, last month, I can tell you that only one window seat on either side was bookable in advance – the others saved for Cathay elites. I reserved 1A and 1 K – heck, married for 44+ years and we could be separated for 15+ hours! At check-in, the agent proactively changed it to 1K and 2K – we were grateful. At the gate, there was a slight problem boarding and she reprinted one slip. Only after we got on did we realize they had changed the seats back to 1A and 1K. Spoke to the flight attendant on-board – I was pissed that they did this without telling me – seemed very duplicitous. In the end, we ended up 1A and 2A. Perfect.

    3. That said – CX First is wonderful. If we had two middle seats, it would still be wonderful. Whatever you can get – don’t obsess but enjoy!

  18. Lucky when was the last time you managed to call and book 2A? I called up about 6 months ago and wanted to book 1A and 2A but the agent wouldn’t let me because 2A is a bassinet position. I ended up booking 1D and 1K which I didn’t really want.

    Flight is in a couple of months. Is there a point that 2A and 2K are selectable?


  19. Love seats 1A & 2A, but they are all great seats. On our last flight on Cathay Pacific in 1st Classfrom LAX to HKG, 3 of us sat in 2A to dine together, it was so much fun, maybe too much fun ! 2 on the seat a me on the buddy seat, it was awesome !

  20. I reserved window seats in advance, not sure if it’s the Cathay agent on the phone doing the magic or elite status, most likely the latter. You can ask nicely and change with the neighbours once on board. I once vacated a seat for a young boy to be closer to his dad…

  21. Ben, Do you know what the shortest routes that CX often flies a 777 with First is? If I was in HKG anyway on a stopover from another ticket, I’d love to do a quick turn in CX F and get to utilize the awesome F lounges. Only flown CX J so far.

  22. D’oh! I didn’t realize that 2A couldn’t usually be booked online. It was actually empty when I flew, such a waste. I wound up sitting in 2D, like an animal! 😉

  23. @ Pat Butcher — Should be bookable right away. You may just have to call a few times, and will have much better luck with their Hong Kong call center than their US call center.

  24. Ben, i fully agree with your choice of A seats on CX’s 777, but why do you prefer 2A instead of 1A ? I find the F class Galley to be very quiet when seated in 1A, so its not rally a disturbance. 2A has the curtain behind you and then that mini 2 row biz class cabin. Just curious why you find 2A better then 1A.

  25. @ nathan — I always prefer being further back in the cabin because I like to observe what’s going on. Just a general preference.

  26. @RB – How were you able to assign 2A online? It’s always blocked for me. I had to VoIP to the HK call center and I couldn’t understand a word the agent was saying. They were able to assign me the seat, though I have no idea how due to the language barrier.

  27. Any seat in CX F is fine by me! I’ve flown in 1A and 1K in the past and you’re right that the aisle of 1A is more private. However, in a 10+ hour flight, I don’t think it really matters in the grand scheme of things. When I sat in 1K, I found it very private as well. I was more pissed that I didn’t order the egg tarts first thing (since they had ran out of them already after the first meal) than being able to snag seat 2A. 😉

  28. @Joey – When is a good time to order the egg tarts? Dessert with dinner? I didn’t even see the tarts on the menus I’ve looked at.

  29. @ Ken — They typically only cater them for flights departing Hong Kong. I always ask for a couple to be reserved after takeoff as a mid-flight snack, since they usually only cater a few.

  30. Just flew Cathay F for the first time- in fact I’m sitting in The Wing right now. Medium haul. Seat 1A

    Was sort of disappointed after all the stuff I’ve read on here. No amenity kit, no bedding (just a light blanket I found at the bottom of a compartment), no pajamas, the main course tasted like rubber. At least the seat was comfortable.

    Pre-departure I asked for Krug and they brought me a Coke (Not a joke. I’m not the kind of person to complain so I just drank the Coke, but maybe if it was a paid ticket I’d feel differently.) Turns out they weren’t serving Krug- Amour de Deutz instead. Not sure if this is a medium haul thing or fleet-wide.

  31. Hmm… We’re on HKG-HND on their old 747 in the nose this summer. Fingers crossed we get Krug on this segment.

  32. Ahh, oh well. I didn’t even think of booking a JL HKG-HND flight till after booking the CX flight. We do have JL from HND-SFO so we’ll get to try some Salon then.

  33. @ Jon Jovi — Either pair of center seats would be great, though I personally slightly prefer the center seats in row two to row one.

  34. Most of my “F” flights were on the right… usually in 1K. Flew 1A a few weeks ago, and noticed a little annoyance: the dirty linen cabinet is at the front of the mini-cabin on the left side of the plane… just between the mini-cabin and F. After the meal service, you can really hear them disposing of the tablecloths and napkins.

    I personally prefer 1K because it’s closer to the galley. So far I haven’t really heard much preparation noise from the galley, and it’s easier when I need to get a drink refill, etc. I’m not a “push the button guy”… for me it just feels a bit too demanding… like ringing the silver servant bell. So if they FA’s are not in the cabin, I just pop into the galley. (FWIW, I disagree with the ” If the crew is doing their job right you’ll barely see them between the two main meals.” I think if the crew is doing their job right then you’ll never need to push the button! But to each his own preference, right? 🙂

    I’ll have a little of each in April… 1K ORD-HKG, then 1A HKG-ORD!

  35. After reading this review, I’m strongly considering 2A.

    My wife will be seating in 11K(business), is it diffecult to visit her since its different aisle?

  36. Booked a CX sfo-hkg F for my mom, I wasn’t able to assign seat on CX website as you mention for 2a and 2k, but even 1a and 1k is not showing, only two seat in the middle is showing. However i was able to login to Qatar website and assign her the seat in 1a, also it shows 1k is available also.
    Just an observation =)

  37. Family of 4 flying from HKG-JFK in 2 months. I am seated in 1A and wife and teenage kids seated in Business seats 11ADG. Can my wife join me in the buddy seat for a meal?

  38. Looking to book the wife, babe, and I in CX F from JFK -> HKG. Since it is cheaper for an infant to be booked via use of Avios Points (10% of points vs. 10% of price), that’s what I’m hoping to do for one of us. However, I did have a question about upgrading from business to first, depending on availability. I know with AA, once a first class seat opens up, you can call in and have them deduct the difference to upgrade you to first. Do you know if this is the same case when booking with Avios? Would really love to know! Thanks.

  39. Of the 2 times I’ve been in 1K (and there will not be a 3rd) — I can never sleep due to non-stop noise coming from the forward galley. I actually have gotten better sleep in 2D than anywhere else. I’d be interested to hear what are others’ experiences.

  40. Just now… selected 1A online but 2A was blocked of course. Singapore call center gave 2A to me no questions asked, months prior to departure.

  41. Hi Ben, can I ask if I am flying First to HKG but the next segment is business class can I access the first class lounges? it is difficult to find the whole length of the trip first class since to Japan they only provide this service to HND not to mention costly via redemption. My main motivation for trying Cathay is to enjoy the famous lounges at HKG as well as the positively reviewed flight experience

    Many thanks

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