Cathay Pacific Unveils New First & Business Class Soft Product

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific has been working on refining both their first and business class products over the past several months. This has been a process, as they have already rolled out new dining in business class, and now they’ll be rolling out more changes. While some of these improvements have already quietly been introduced, the airline has today officially unveiled the changes.

Cathay Pacific describes these as an array of thoughtfully chosen enhancements to their soft product, including an improved dining experience and better amenities for resting.

Admittedly based on the press release it can be tough to figure out how much of an improvement this all represents, because the descriptions of everything is a bit hippy-dippy. For example:

These enrichments are designed to offer passengers a more holistic, sensory experience that begins from the moment they begin their journey.

A large part of this elevated product is due to Cathay Pacific’s new collaboration with luxury UK lifestyle brand Bamford, which has delivered a range of new amenities, including new travel kits and plush bedding.

So, what should we expect?

Cathay Pacific’s New First Class Service

Cathay Pacific says that they’re relaxing the mind, body, and spirit with their first class changes, to give customers a complete, personalized journey as lavish as the experience they would enjoy on the ground.

Among the changes to Cathay Pacific first class:

  • There will be a new “service moment” upon boarding in the form of a welcome reception tray, including a personalized welcome note, a hot towel, and a glass of refreshing sparkling jasmine silver needle tea from JING
  • Wellness extends to the menus, which will include lighter options for the main and breakfast meals, including healthier options like superfood bowls, lighter protein side dishes, cold pressed juices, and more
  • There will be new tableware, including china from Noritake, cutlery from Robert Welch, and full-size wine glasses from Riedel
  • There will be refreshed amenities and bedding from Bamford, including a 600 thread count mattress and duvet, a soft full-size pillow, and branded male and female amenity kits
  • There will be Botanic Pillow Mist from Bamford with the turndown service

Some of this is pretty minor, like pillow mist, but I am very excited to see them refreshing their meal service in first class, which I feel otherwise hasn’t changed in about a decade.

Cathay Pacific’s New Business Class Service

Cathay Pacific says that their new business class product is a “complete sensory experience.” Among the changes to Cathay Pacific business class:

  • There will be a new range of bedding developed by Bamford, including a soft mattress topper along with a larger, plusher sleeping pillow, and premium quality slippers
  • There will be a new 400 thread count pillowcase and a two piece duvet
  • In regional business class, there will be a new day blanket and plush pillow
  • There will be new amenity kits, which will be unisex and will be available in four colors that rotate throughout the year
  • This complements the refreshed long haul business class dining concept that completed its roll out earlier this year

These all sound like great changes. I’ve heard pretty good things about the new dining concept, so when you combine that with better bedding and wifi being rolled out throughout their fleet, Cathay Pacific’s business class is looking better than ever before.

Improved Inflight Entertainment

Cathay Pacific has also recently unveiled a huge inflight entertainment expansion, which is available in all cabins.

Bottom Line

While there’s no doubt that at least part of this is marketing, this all sounds pretty good to me. Cathay Pacific has already rolled out a (long overdue) new dining concept in business class. Now we’ll also see new bedding and amenity kits in first & business class, as well as an improved dining concept in first class.

I’m excited to be flying Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000 business class from Hong Kong to Toronto soon, so that I can review these new services. This also makes me want to fly Cathay Pacific first class again, to see what has changed.

What do you make of these Cathay Pacific service changes? Has anyone flown with them recently, and if so, did you notice any changes?

Comments
  1. I don’t understand why anyone thinks Robert Welch cutlery is a luxury product. Go to a serious cutler like David Mellor instead.

  2. The service was rolled out a few months ago; there are a few long Flyertalk threads about it on the CX it with tons of information, from many folks who have flown it already. The new hard product is a great upgrade both in J and F, fwiw. Flown on both in October.

  3. Where is the stuffed Whinny the Pooh bear holding a little red book? Did not Cathy Pacific renew their loving devotion to Beijing?

  4. Am I the only one here avoiding HKG and CX? Sure the airport was only totally shut down for one day so far but now people are being killed on both sides of the unrest. I’m a bit surprised to see Lucky planning travel on CX soon.

    I’ve changed all my Asia flights since July to TPE/SIN now on UA SQ and BR instead (being SFO/SMF based). Will be losing AA EXP too but wasn’t willing to risk it.

  5. Maybe I missed a previous post, but can you share a little more about the “huge inflight entertainment expansion”? It’s been a couple years since I’ve flown with them but Studio CX always offered a ton of option, more than most other airlines.

  6. I flew the A350-1000 between AKL and HKG this past Tuesday. I though the amenity kits were, well, amenity kits. Not exactly worth raving about, but if you forgot a toothbrush on board, ok. Lotions were nice. Restrooms were new and very nice w/ windows. Very bright and airy feeling (during daytime, at least). Bedding was good enough – certainly better than the AA J bedding on my PEK – LAX flight later that day. The CX 350-1000 just seem nicer, especially compared to CX’s 77W’s, which I flew HKG to PEK. Those birds need a heavy overhaul.

  7. I flew CX in First last week SFO-HKG and the new bedding (especially the huge pillow) is fantastic.

    However, I really miss the Aesop amenity kit and the Aesop products in the lavs. I didn’t really like the Bamford amenity kit – the fragrance was too much in the moisturizer etc.

  8. I flew Cathay first today! It was nice. 9AM JFK departure is not my favorite.

    Food was good, service good, wifi reliable except losing it over the pole. Actually very fast wifi when it was going.

    Best place they could improve is ground game (for which they basically have none). I want easier, more understandable and luxurious access to everything. I would take that over pillow mist any day.

    They should have planned out my stay in HKG, given me a map, booked amenities at lounges, etc.

  9. @cpdc I wouldn’t recommend anyone make non essential travel to hong kong at the moment. That being said i think HKG is still fine to transit through and ill use it. There is much more security in the airport now that i don’t feel there is a risk of a repeat of past events. Of course SIN is a great airport to transit.

  10. The new tableware in First looks so boring compared to the old beautiful ones 🙁

    @DaKine I’m not aware of *any* airlines doing that for their passengers so I’m not sure that’s a valid criticism against Cathay Pacific. I know the cities of Hong Kong and Singapore have sponsored layover trips that you can do, but not any airlines.

  11. I don’t know why in the world they would switch from Aesop (for that matter, it’s available in Park Hyatt Tokyo as well) or Jurlique to Bamford, which I don’t even know a single bit about this brand.

  12. @ Andrew

    Neither did I until recently…but I do see it’s sold in Liberty and Selfridges in London, both rather posh shops. They also have a standalone store in the Royal Exchange, for those that don’t know, that’s an upmarket shopping complex in the City of London.

    It’s the same family as behind JCB diggers.

    I do love Aesop, so sorry to see them go.

  13. The rest of us are appreciating the core components of food and bedding, while someone is eagerly bitching about……………………silverware! *eye roll*

  14. Just flew CX 715 to Sin from JFK. $20 for wifi for the whole 16hr flight was a good deal, but it dropped when we flew over Greenland and Russia so if you have to get stuff done doing it early or late in flight. No need to be voiding CX, but would avoid HKG as a stop if just for personal.

  15. Cathay F is a genuine treat!! (and the brand of cutlery or glassware is not what rocks my world about this fantastic product. If it improves, even better! Even the A350 in J is quite acceptable over the water.

  16. Typical Swire supply chain simplification. CX’s parent Swire is using Bamford at its House Collective boutique hotels for a long time. No question why it is simplifying its supply chain companywide.
    Same for ice cream. Swire is the regional dealer of Movenpick ice cream in SE Asia. Looks like an upgrade but actually downgrade.

  17. @the nice paul

    Your brand snobbery does not impress the average, well travelled, discerning reader. I simply cannot imagine a scenario where a passenger would refuse to dine using this brand (or any other for that matter), can you?

    It is perfectly decent flatware regardless of brand. One would have thought a sneaky CX flight attendant had surreptitiously substituted your silverware for a plastic ‘takeaway’ spoon and fork, the way you whine like a mule.

  18. @Andrew and @JDS:

    A company that labels itself a “lifestyle” brand is generally to be avoided – makes me think of brands that advertise solely on Facebook or Instagram. If you have to appeal to a broad spectrum of audiences, then you’re not a specialty in anything. It’s like the restaurant with a 10-page menu; if you can’t be great in one or two things, you’ll certainly not be good in myriad things. That said, I’ll miss the Aesop products for sure.

  19. I feel surprised that I’m the only one disliking CX’s new J catering… From my perspective it is a clear cost-cut measure to reduce the loading factor of mains, both by lessening the amount of them and by replacing them with items that were available only in the snack menu. This also led to a shortage of snack menu items. Several times I waked up in the middle of a long-haul flight only to discover that things like dumplings or roasted duck noodles have been run out…

    Also heard that CX changed the brand of the caviar served in F to a much cheaper one. Haven’t tried it out personally and would love anyone to tell me more about it

  20. LOL.. So this new First Class; is basically just changed sheets, crockery and cutlery?!! The rest of the ‘enhancements’ feels like just a ‘re-arranging of the deck-chairs.’ That picture of the FC meal and table set-up, lacks the look of opulence! Instead reeks of ‘cost-cutting’.

  21. Flew CX from SEA to HKG September 10 on an A350. Didn’t notice any improvement over previous flights other than being on a new ac.

    Possibly before the upgrade?

    Nothing special about the food or soft product.

  22. I flew LAX-HKG F last week and am impressed with the changes. I especially like the new bedding. I slept for 8 hours straight on the new mattress pad, something I’ve never done in years flying F. I like the Bamford amenity kit as well, the case is easier to shove into a suitcase than the boxy Aesop one. They still have comfy PYE pajamas. Kudos to CX!

  23. @ M. Brody

    I thought mules whinnied/ brayed rather than whining?

    Anyway, I’m not objecting to anyone using cheapo cutlery. What I’m objecting to is Cathay using cheapo cutlery but *claiming* it’s some sort of luxury item, as if we should feel mightily impressed.

    But cutlery isn’t just about brand snobbery: have a think about concepts like weighting in the hand, or how these metal objects feel when coming into contact with some of the most sensitive bits of the human anatomy (that’s your lips and tongue, before you go getting any crude ideas). A master cutler produces flatware that you probably won’t even notice you’re using. But Robert Welch will likely produce unbalanced flatware that may look fashionable but will feel clunky or behave in ways you may not expect (often falling off a plate because of the balance issues).

    Is it the deciding factor? Hell, no. But I’m not generally a fan of airlines that pee up my leg then try to persuade me it’s raining.

    @ Pauline

    Quite right: you focus on the bits of the experience that you think are important (though it’s a bit egocentric to then claim that your favourite bits are “core” while everyone else’s are, presumably, peripheral).

    I’m curious, though, that you call me out for raising the quality of their brand choice here, while ignoring everyone else arguing the toss about the branding of products in the amenity kit.

    Double standard, no?

  24. Flew HKG-JFK in J last week, and liked both the new menu and the new bedding. The amenity kit still had Jurlique products. Don’t know Bamford but dropping Aesop from F does feel like a downgrade, although, as of last week, Aesop hand soap and lotion were still offered in the lounge.

    I totally understand people wanting to avoid visiting HK these days (although the hotel bargains are pretty incredible, and the city is still much, much safer than most in the world). But avoiding CX and HKG is just silly; save for one day it’s been business as usual, except for added security at the entrance to the terminal (which does not affect transfer traffic). There are far more air travel disruptions from weather in the US or strikes in Europe.

  25. Flew jfk-yvr yesterday on the mistake fare. Didn’t continue onto HK, which was a bit of a mess but they ultimately let me off the plane, so it worked as planned. Waiting to see how the miles credit.

    The new bedding is excellent. I was a big fan of the old stuff but the pillow was weak. This one is better than the one i have at home (hopefully they keep these refreshed so they don’t break down over time).

    I actually like the new amenities, but I’m not a huge Aesop fan, so maybe I’m weird. Since I started flying first, face mist has become a part of my routine so I appreciate it.

    The food… I thought the old stuff was just meh and I think this is more of the same. The wines and champagne are pretty good. Dessert was the best part of the meal. Obvi this was the overnight short flight so probably not the best showing but still, meh selection.

    Overall, good experience especially for the price I paid and Bc I wasn’t planning on using the return so the transcon made for a nice weekend trip to hopefully put me over 200k EQMs this year.

  26. Flew HKG-BOS Sunday, great flight. The service first of all was great, but let’s get to the upgrades

    Bedding- my god this was great. The mattress pad was so soft and heavenly, duvet was great as well as the pillow. The pillow mist was nice, but really didn’t add much.

    Amenity Kit- Guess I’m the odd man out but i prefer the new amenity kit. Better design and contents were the same as the Aesop one just made by a different company. The scent was a bit strong but not close to being a decision factor.

    Food- oddly enough we had the same board type menu and nothing updated, but the food was delicious.

    Didn’t really note the tableware as letting that even change your mood is dumb unless you payed full revenue, which i doubt anyone here does. HKG is also so safe. It was my first time and i spent two hours walking around and taking picutres. Overall fantastic experience.

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