Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong To Newark

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

After catching up on sleep at the Regal Airport Hotel, I spent about an hour in the Qantas Lounge before heading to gate 19 for my departure to Newark.

The gate area was swamped, as the gate for the New York JFK flight (which was substantially delayed due to a mechanical — they were handing out meal vouchers) was right next to the gate for the Newark flight.

Departure gate to Newark at Hong Kong Airport

Gate 19 Hong Kong Airport

At 5:20PM boarding was called for the flight to Newark, starting with business class and elite members.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER going to New York JFK

I proceeded down the super long jet bridge, as this most be one of the longest gates at the airport from the actual entrance to the gate to the door of the plane.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER going to Newark

As usual, there was a really superficial security check on the jet bridge. I really don’t get why they bother. First they ask you if you have any liquids, and then they do the most useless search imaginable, where they literally just peek inside of your bag.

Jet bridge at Hong Kong Airport

Works for me, as I was on my way quickly!

Cathay Pacific 890
Hong Kong (HKG) – Newark (EWR)
Sunday, April 12
Depart: 5:45PM
Arrive: 9:40PM
Duration: 15hr55min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 22K (Business Class)

I was excited to finally fly Cathay Pacific’s longhaul business class. I’ve exclusively flown Cathay Pacific in first class on longhaul flights, as the marginal difference in miles is totally worth it to me (when redeeming through American between the US and Asia, it’s 55,000 miles for business class or 67,500 miles for first class). Since I was on a paid business class fare, this seemed like a great opportunity to try out their business class product.

This flight was operated by one of Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ERs in a three cabin configuration, featuring just business class, premium economy, and economy class (there was no first class). If I’m going to be in business class, I prefer it to at least be the top cabin. 😉

The business class cabin features reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are a total of 40 seats, spread across two cabins — there are 26 business class seats in the forward cabin, and then 14 seats in the rear cabin.

Cathay Pacific business class cabin 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific business class cabin 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific business class cabin 777-300ER

I decided to assign a seat in the rear cabin. There are pros and cons to both cabins. I tend to prefer the rear cabin on these kinds of configurations, since it’s smaller and quieter during the flight. The downside is that you have a lot more foot traffic during boarding (since all economy passengers board past you), and you’re served last. But that’s a small price to pay for a quieter cabin on such a long flight, in my opinion.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER business class cabin

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER business class cabin

My seat, 22K, was in the second to last row of the cabin. Since I was among the first passengers aboard, I had a quick look at the premium economy cabin, which was right behind behind me. The seats were in a 2-4-2 configuration, and featured a fair amount of legroom. I’d say they’re not as comfortable as domestic first class within the US, though still a big step up from economy.

Cathay Pacific premium economy cabin 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific premium economy cabin 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific premium economy cabin 777-300ER

Back to my seat — the reverse herringbone seat offered in business class on Cathay Pacific is virtually identical to the one on the American 777-300ER (that’s because American copied it directly from Cathay Pacific).

My previous flight from Male to Hong Kong on the A330-300 featured the same seat in theory, though it was a bit more cramped. The A330 fuselage isn’t as wide as the 777 fuselage, though the cabin still has four seats per row. Therefore the seat does feel a bit more spacious on the 777 than on the A330.

Cathay Pacific business class, seat 22K

The seat featured a fold out entertainment screen, which is a good size.

Cathay Pacific business class 777-300ER, seat 22K

To the right of the seat are the entertainment controls, seat controls, reading light, and power outlet.

Cathay Pacific business class seat & entertainment controls

Then next to that is a small storage compartment for headphones, as well as a mirror.

Cathay Pacific business class seat headphone compartment

Cathay Pacific business class seat mirror

Then below that is an exposed storage compartment.

Cathay Pacific business class seat storage

The ottoman on the 777 feels substantially more spacious than on the A330, whether you’re in the fully reclined position or upright position.

Cathay Pacific business class seat ottoman

Also waiting at my seat was a pillow and blanket.

Cathay Pacific business class pillow/blanket

All-in-all it’s a sleek cabin, especially given how private it feels in the mini-cabin.

Cathay Pacific rear business class cabin, 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific rear business class cabin, 777-300ER

Boarding in the rear cabin does tend to be a bit chaotic, given that all the economy and premium economy passengers board through the cabin. Add in the fact that Cathay Pacific generally boards at most 30 minutes before departure, and it is a bit of a rushed ground experience.

However, I was offered a pre-departure beverage, and selected a glass of champagne.

Cathay Pacific pre-departure champagne

I was further offered a menu and wine list for the flight by Pin, who was the Thai flight attendant responsible for my aisle.

Cathay Pacific business class menu

At around 6PM the captain came on the PA to add his welcome aboard. He had the thickest imaginable New Yorker accent. I love how Cathay’s pilots come from all over the world, and it does always give me a kick when I have an American pilot. He informed us of our flight time of 14hr41min, which he expected would put us into Newark quite a bit ahead of schedule. Furthermore, he explained that there was a strong jet stream, and therefore expected it to be a pretty bumpy flight over the Pacific.

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

Before takeoff I quickly changed into something more comfortable. The business class cabin has a total of three lavatories, including two at the very front of the aircraft, and then one huge lavatory between the two business class sections, on the left side. When it comes to lavatories, size matters!

Cathay Pacific business class lavatory

At 6:05PM we began our pushback with a completely full business class cabin, at which point the safety video began to play. We began our long taxi to runway 7R, which took about 15 minutes.

View on pushback at Hong Kong Airport

View on pushback at Hong Kong Airport

Fortunately there’s no shortage of interesting traffic when taxiing at Hong Kong Airport!

United 747 landing at Hong Kong Airport

Taxiing at Hong Kong Airport

Taxiing at Hong Kong Airport

Traffic at Hong Kong Airport

Traffic at Hong Kong Airport

Traffic at Hong Kong Airport

Once at runway 7R we were immediately cleared for takeoff, and began our long but powerful takeoff roll.

Taking off at Hong Kong Airport

Taking off at Hong Kong Airport

View after takeoff from Hong Kong Airport

The initial climb out was quite smooth, and once we got above the clouds it was looking like a beautiful evening.

View after takeoff from Hong Kong Airport

View after takeoff from Hong Kong Airport

View on the climb out of Hong Kong

Since we had an American captain, it was no surprise that the seatbelt sign stayed on a bit longer than usual. About 25 minutes after takeoff it was turned off, at which point the crew sprung into action to start their service.

Cathay Pacific business class cabin after takeoff

They started by distributing amenity kits.

Cathay Pacific business class amenity kit

And then bottles of Evian water.

Cathay Pacific business class bottled water

My eyes were initially glued to the window, as the sunset outside was beautiful.

View at cruising altitude

Then I checked out the StudioCX entertainment system, and decided to binge watch The Mentalist… again. It’s a bad habit, I tell you!

Cathay Pacific StudioCX entertainment selection

The inflight service manager walked through the cabin and seemed to greet a couple of passengers. In my experience they usually greet all oneworld Emerald members, though this one only greeted two passengers, and I wasn’t among them. So maybe they were Diamond members in Cathay Pacific’s program? The guy seated diagonally across from me was one of those passengers, and got preferential treatment on everything. He was always addressed by name, his meal orders were always taken first, and he was even always served first.

About 40 minutes after takeoff the dinner service began. The menu read as follows:


And the wine list read as follows:





Service began with the appetizer and salad being served from the cart, as well as a selection from the bread basket being offered. The starter consisted of a pretty boring salad, as well as some edible though unmemorable salmon and shrimp.

Cathay Pacific business class dinner starter

Cathay Pacific business class dinner starter — smoked salmon and prawn

Cathay Pacific business class dinner salad — mixed seasonal salad

I also selected some garlic bread.

Cathay Pacific business class dinner garlic bread

I was a bit puzzled by the fact that the service didn’t begin with drinks and nuts, but instead went straight to the meal. I totally get why that was the case on a short redeye from Male to Hong Kong, though odder on a 14+ hour flight.

About 15 minutes after the starter was served the crew came around with drinks and nuts. I ordered a glass of champagne — Cathay Pacific serves Deutz champagne in business class.

Cathay Pacific business class nuts

Rather than taking meal orders, the main courses were all displayed on a cart, which the crew rolled through the cabin with. I selected the steamed cod, which was absolutely fantastic. It tasted almost identical to the amazing pre-arrival meals I’ve had in Cathay Pacific first class on my last two flights from Chicago to Hong Kong and New York to Hong Kong. The dish was flavorful, and the fish was extremely flaky.

Cathay Pacific business class dinner main course — steamed cod

Cathay Pacific business class dinner main course — steamed cod

Once the main course was cleared, the crew came through with the cheese and fruit cart, whereby they did the plating at each individual seat, which is always a nice touch.

Cathay Pacific business class dinner dessert cart

I requested a cheese plate, and went along with Pin’s suggestion for a glass of white wine.

Cathay Pacific business class dinner cheese course

After that, the crew came through with the dessert and coffee cart. As was the case on the last flight, the tart was plated at each seat, and the whipped cream was dolloped onto the plate there as well. I was also offered a praline from a box.

Cathay Pacific business class dinner dessert — pear crumble streusel tart

It took about 2.5 hours for the meal service to be complete. Service was definitely a bit on the slow side, though the crew was friendly, well intentioned, and quite attentive. I still don’t really get why they don’t do a drink service before the meal, though.

After dinner I decided to watch a few episodes of Family Guy.

Cathay Pacific StudioCX entertainment

Around this time we were approaching Japan and hit some pretty serious chop, as seems to be the norm, in my experience. This time the other captain, who was Australian, came on the PA, to explain that the turbulence would stick around for a couple of hours, and there wasn’t really anything that could be done to avoid it. So the cabin crew had to be seated for well over an hour as we roughed it out.

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

Eventually I decided to recline my seat to try and get some shut eye. I successfully managed to sleep for a few hours, until we were well past the international dateline. Fairly impressive, given that I slept for much of the day in Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

When I woke up we were almost exactly at the halfway point of our flight.

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

While I wasn’t really hungry, I did have a look at the snack menu, which read as follows:


That’s certainly not as good of a snack menu as Cathay Pacific has in first class, though I guess that’s not really surprising. There was also a snack basket in the galley with chips, peanuts, chocolate, and fresh fruit.

Cathay Pacific business class snack basket

I ordered some vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream, which was served within minutes (though as you’d expect it was rock hard).

Cathay Pacific business class snack — Haagen-Dazs ice cream

About an hour later I ordered some Hong Kong style milk tea.

Cathay Pacific business class Hong Kong style milk tea

Before I knew it we were approaching the coast of the US, flying almost exactly over Seattle.

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

Cathay Pacific airshow enroute to Newark

I managed to nap for a couple more hours, and woke up with just over two hours to go to Newark. I browsed the entertainment selection again, and stumbled upon Big School, which is a British comedy. Usually I don’t much fancy British comedies, but this was hilarious. I ended up watching a few episodes.

Cathay Pacific StudioCX entertainment

A bit over 90 minutes before arrival, breakfast service began (which makes sense if you’re thinking of the flight in terms of Hong Kong time, but in terms of Newark time, not so much). The breakfast menu read as follows:


I started with some coffee and a berry smoothie.

Cathay Pacific business class breakfast starter — coffee and smoothie

That was followed up with a fruit plate and a selection from the bread basket — I chose a croissant.

Cathay Pacific business class breakfast starter — fresh seasonal fruit

Cathay Pacific business class breakfast starter — fresh seasonal fruit

Next the crew brought around all kinds of cereal and yogurt on a cart. I selected some peach cereal and muesli.

Cathay Pacific business class breakfast starter — peach yogurt and muesli

For the main course I ordered the sundried tomato and feta cheese frittata, which was every bit as disgusting as it looked.

Cathay Pacific business class breakfast main course — frittata

About 30 minutes before landing the (American) captain came back on the PA to give us updated arrival information, anticipating we’d be arriving about half an hour early.

At this point I changed back into my jeans and t-shirt, and stowed all my belongings.

View approaching the US

View approaching the US

The sun set on us pretty quickly, so by the time we landed it was dark. We had a gorgeously smooth touchdown on runway 22L at 9:05PM, and then made it to our gate at 9:10PM.

As I walked towards immigration I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the La Compagnie 757 parked next to us.

La Compagnie 757 at Newark Airport

Cathay Pacific business class bottom line

Ultimately Cathay Pacific business class was exactly what I expected. Cathay Pacific has a fantastic hard product and great entertainment selection. The food was edible though nothing special — certainly not to the level of Austrian, Etihad, Qatar, Turkish, etc., in business class.

And the service was generally friendly, though I did sort of feel like I was part of an assembly line.

Given the option, I’d absolutely redeem an extra 12,500 American miles for Cathay Pacific first class over business class. That being said, Cathay Pacific first class isn’t as readily available as it used to be, and Cathay Pacific is still excellent about releasing business class award space. So I’d look forward to flying with Cathay Pacific again in business class.

If you’ve flown Cathay Pacific business class, what was your experience like?

  1. I appreciate this review, as I will be flying CX business from HKG-JFK later this year (there has been no F availability…). Excited to try it out!

  2. I had to smile when I saw the glass of smoothie. I used to think CX blend their own smoothie but on my last flight in F, I asked the FA about the ingredients of the strawberry smoothie and she showed me the Odwalla bottle LOL

  3. Excellent review as usual! Surprised this flight flew over the pacific instead of the North Pole like the jfk rt..or does jfk route also flies over the pacific?

  4. I’m always relieved when I’m served rock hard ice cream on planes. The alternative, melted ice cream, can’t be fixed, whereas I can always let the hard stuff thaw out a bit.

    Continental used to be horrible at serving ice cream that was nearly room temperature.

  5. I’m hoping to go to China in a couple of years and was considering CX even though it would mean an extra stop vs. flying directly to/from PEK/PVG on AA. Would you still choose CX over AA on this route given this experience?

  6. Thanks for the thorough review, as usual! Was curious to see how CX J would stack up against your experience in QR J. Based on the review, it seems like though the hard product is fairly similar, QR wins out on the soft product. Would that be your assessment as well, Lucky?

  7. Your assembly line comment is spot on. So much so that the last time I flew to Singapore about a month back I chose AA with an SWU to F via NRT vs. CX via HKG. I may be in the minority – but I’ll take AA’s old F with individual air vents and ‘personal’ service to the CX assembly line when the opportunity presents itself.

  8. @Lucky – Great review, one that really helps us corporate travelers understand the business class product offering of CX. As far as bedding is concerned, can you comment on any differences between this flight to HKG-EWR vs. the MLE-HKG flight? For sleeping did you notice any difference in bed size between the 333 and 773?

  9. Excellent review! Getting excited about my CX J flight AMS-HKG later on in the year.


  10. Has this multi-part trip report come to an end? (Did we start it in 2014?) ;-)Highly informative and entertaining! Looking forward to what’s next.

  11. I’m flying CX business tomorrow from TPE-HKG-JFK. I flew it on the way over and enjoyed it. Looking forward to flying it back.

  12. @BrooklynBoy,

    While the QR soft product is better, I found the CX J seat much more spacious and private than QR’s. I felt more rested after flying on CX JFK-HKG on their 777 than on QR’s A380 from Bangkok to Doha even though the flight was twice as long. Lucky, is the upper deck of the 380 narrower than the 777? Maybe that is a factor as the seating on both is 1-2-1.

  13. Great review, thanks.

    I haven’t flown CX in many years (based in SFO, I’ve resigned myself to being *A’s b!+*#), so I don’t know how their cabin service flow normally works w/r/t the meal being served before the drinks.

    I’m wondering, though, if the captain, knowing the weather en route, told the FA’s to start the meal service as soon as possible to make sure they had it complete by the time they hit the bumps, so they inverted the service a bit.

    Out of curiosity, was the gap between the service of the starters and the service of the mains longer than you’d think was normal? That would be consistent, in my mind, with trying to rush the service, but still being constrained by the physics of how long it takes to heat the meals.

    Thanks again for the TR!


  14. @travel4b,

    Thanks for the input! Surprised to hear that the CX seats were more spacious, but maybe it does have something to do with the size of the A380 upper deck relative to the 777 frame.


    It’s because Lucky flies mainly OneWorld partners, to maintain his Executive Platinum status with AA and to make the best use of his miles. He has flown TK a few times, though, and you can see the trip reports on the website.

  15. I’ve been looking forward to this review. My wife, daughter and myself are on this exact flight in J about a month from now. Thanks for all the info…Charlie

  16. On my last three flights in CX J they also served the meal before rolling around the drinks and nuts cart and I thought that was a bit strange. You’d think it would take less time to set up.
    But my biggest gripe is the desserts. I wish they would invest in something decadent and not just always some type of fruit pie.

  17. I don’t know… i always feel odd bringing my own PJs on a flight… I either wear the one they give me, or (if they don’t give them out) I do not change at all.

    how do others feel about this?

  18. @Lantean, I’ve been wondering about this myself. Didn’t get them on a TK flight back from IST, but it was a daytime flight so it didn’t seem odd. On an EI flight to DUB I brought some PJs but didn’t change because nobody else was changing. But that was a relatively short flight and I wouldn’t get much sleep anyway. If I’m going to fly ORD-HKG I’m going to want to change into PJs regardless of whether others do or not just so I’ll be comfortable.

  19. That HK smog could be a photo filter. No difference from pictures I’ve seen 10, 20 years compared to yours.

  20. @Sc

    The “default” route is over the pole because its shortest, but when flying eastbound (from Asia to the US), they often fly across the pacific to take advantage of the Jet stream as a tail wind, which can cut the flight time (and fuel consumption) significantly: it’s not unheard of for there to be over an hour difference in flight duration eastbound vs westbound.

    TL;DR: winds.

  21. Thanks, Ben. We’re flying HKG – BOS J next year although that is a true three-class plane but still good to get an idea of what to expect.

  22. @ Lantean — Not sure what you wear when you board, but personally I’d rather not sleep in jeans on a 15 hour flight. Sometimes I’ll bring shorts and a t-shirt, while other times I’ll put on pajamas.

  23. @ greg99 — Definitely a reasonable theory. That being said, service did seem to be drawn out, in terms of the amount of time it took between courses. I definitely think it could have been a bit faster.

  24. Flew this route, in the exact same seat, a few weeks ago. Loved being able to see the food before choosing, but hate how long food service takes (3hrs for my flight). The one thing that surprised me was EWR: how nice it was for arrival (immigration et al) and overnight layover in the airport (I wasn’t going to get a hotel for 5 hours). All the staff were very nice. I certainly expected worse for NYC.

  25. @ 31583 — I’m mostly a oneworld flyer. I’m a fan of Turkish, though their hard product and service isn’t that great, in my experience, so it’s not an airline I go out of my way to fly. I do love their lounge in Istanbul, though.

  26. @ Willbw02 — I think the sleeping surface/seat itself is the same, though the area around the seat is slightly larger on the 777. So you definitely feel it when reclined in terms of shoulder space.

  27. @ BrooklynBoy — Yep, exactly right. Qatar has the better soft product all around, in my opinion.

  28. @ Lea — I’d say so, assuming the American flight is operated by the old product. If you can get American on the new product, I might just do the direct flight.

  29. @ Sc — Yep. Typically the westbound flight is polar, while the eastbound flight is over the Pacific, assuming there’s a strong jet stream.

  30. Hey Ben,

    Great report once again. I have to say that the meals on CX are going downhill which is unfortunate and the service nowadays is a hit or miss. The seat is great but the food – well, not so much especially their breakfast offering which has been awful in my opinion. I guess the great thing about CX is the frequency if you need to get to a point in Asia which is unbeatable in my opinion.

    Curious to know, how was the rice in terms of texture, etc. The rice I had on my last several sectors was hard in some parts. Also, did you happen to get the captain’s name by any chance?

    Forgot to add that CX has downgraded their snack offering in First recently. It’s now on par with its Business Class offering. Before they had those egg tarts, and that hot pot rice which I really wanted to try. Oh well. Cost cutting…

    Thanks again. Cheers

  31. I looked up the CX Diamond benefits and they’re not special. You fly 120,000 miles and you have to have flown at least 60,000 miles on CX the year before and 30,000 the previous, so it’s a three-year commitment before you’re considered top tier. You get zero (count ’em) systemwide upgrades. And the award chart costs 130,000 miles for first (110,000 for round trip first).

    So on CX, you get no upgrades, fly 20% more, and pay 110,000 miles for second rate AA F. And on AA you pay 62,500 for top notch F on CX. Seems like AAdvantage members are advantaged. At least on CX metal their own diamonds get a little more attention.

    Does CX even fly F on any route but HKG-ORD anymore? Seems like it’s disappearing in favor of J.

  32. @Owen

    F is on all flights to JFK, BOS, ORD while certain flights to LAX and SFO get F while other flights have J as the highest class. All flights to YYZ and EWR get J only. The nonstop flight to YVR gets J only while the flight that continues to JFK gets F.

  33. The seat suites look superior to BA First LHR-JFK. There looks to be space to keep knick nacks securely with even a small webbed pocket for extra-small things. A vast improvement on BA where there is NOWHERE to store small things, which makes it too easy to lose them! 🙁
    Also I was unaware CX were doing HKG/EWR; I have been checking only HKG-JFK ! Is it a new route?

  34. I’ve flown CX long-haul J a few times and had very similar experiences to you. Unbeatable hard product, reasonable food, distant and slow service. I do think SQ have better service than CX as they will bend over backwards to help you whereas CX are polite but don’t do anything extra. I don’t think the SQ J hard product is as good as the CX J product.
    In terms of considering transiting SIN and HKG they both have their advantages and disadvantages. SIN is easier to navigate and seems more compact and while the SilverKris lounge in T3 is great, there is not the variety of good lounges like CX & QF have in HKG (but it seems to take ages to schlepp from one to another!).
    I’d probably give a slight edge to CX J over SQ J mainly because the hard product is just that good, but they’re both 2 of the worlds best airlines.

  35. It seems the consensus is that CX’s soft product is not the best, but their J seat is about the best out there. To me that’s the most important element. @Lantean, I was surprised that CX doesn’t offer PJ’s to J passengers on a 16 hour flight (JFK-HKG). No way that I’m not changing into something more comfortable like a nice tee and nice sweatpants for that long a trip. Of course, then there are the people that fly J – or F – and board looking like they are headed to Walmart, but I digress. I know that ANA still offered PJ’s to business class passengers last year on transpacific flights. I’m curious what other Asian airlines do on long-haul flights. Lucky?

  36. @travel4b:

    >I know that ANA still offered PJ’s to business class passengers last year on transpacific flights.

    They did? Didn’t get offered any when I flew with them October.

  37. @ travel4b — Hmmm. Off the top of my head I know that EVA offers pajamas in longhaul business class, though can’t think of any other carriers.

  38. @ Mike O. — Didn’t catch the captain’s name, unfortunately. Sorry. The rice was surprisingly good, though I didn’t eat all of it — I stuck mostly to the fish.

  39. @Steven L, @Lucky:

    As I recall, the flight attendants didn’t offer them but they were available if you asked. I’d say a third of the J passengers wore them on the flights I was on (IAD-NRT-IAD).

  40. I was offered pyjamas by Qantas in business class on a MEL – LAX flight. I was surprised too, I had even brought my own PJs to wear. I even preferred them to the pyjamas I got in F on another QF flight. Also, doesn’t Virgin Atlantic offer pyjamas in business class too (no personal experience here)?

  41. Virgin Atlantic does offer pajamas in Upper Class. If it’s a day flight you can ask for them. I found them more comfortable than Thai or ANA first pajamas.

  42. Glad to hear your turbulence didn’t start until the meal was finished. Otherwise, a service nightmare.

    As a mention, your pear tart was served with clotted, not whipped, cream. Usually served with scones/strawberry jam (my fav!). Not so foo-foo sweet. Sounds pretty good.

    Did the cabin run “hot”?

  43. Sorry to ask; but is business class on the 777-300ER better on Cathay or Singapore in terms of hard product.

  44. Great review of your CX flight to Newark. Because of business in Manila, I fly the LHR-HKG-MNL route almost every month. I normally fly business for work, but have been upgraded to First numerous times. There is quite a difference between the two, but CX’s business class is still very good. The service is always the same, but their seat on the 777-300ER is outstanding. Also, I noticed that you mentioned that the Chief Manager only greeted a few people. I am a CX Diamond member and have noticed that as well. Being a Diamond member, it is nice at times on a full flight to be able to choose your meal ahead of time. But I believe SQ has the same perks for their Solitaire PPS members as well.
    Great review and I really like your site as I travel too much for work as well. Looking forward to more reviews!


  45. @ Zach — That’s a toughie. I’d say I prefer Cathay’s hard product, unless you can get a bulkhead on Singapore, in which case I prefer that seat… I think.

  46. I have no hesitation in changing into pjs on a long flight for rest or sleep. I will be taking my (home laundered) QF or BA First class set, just to add to the irony, on my upcoming CX flight to JFK.

  47. How much better is Singapore’s Suites than business class on a revenue ticket? I was just wondering since J is 2300 from Tokyo to LA and 10k RT on the Suites. I flew Singapore on a revenue ticket several times before, mainly in J and the Normal F, but how much better is it in your opinion?

  48. @ Zsch — There’s definitely a difference, though it’s not more than four times as good for sure. Definitely not worth that much of a premium.

  49. I was lucky enough to be invited to take delivery of Cathay Pacific’s 50th Boeing 777-300ER at the Boeing factory outside of Seattle. We then flew the delivery flight to Hong Kong. A great experience with a top notch crew on a practically empty flight – 5 Boeing engines, several Cathay Pacific executives and about 35 guests. 14 hours to nap, party and take part in one of the best business class experiences in the sky!

  50. @Owen – You were incorrect on CX loyalty program. You can get from lowest tier (Green) to the top tier (Diamond) within 4 months if you know how. CX resets your membership year as soon as you do enough miles for the next tier up. So if you can do 30k miles in the first month, you move to Silver in the next month straight away. Then do another 60k in the second month, they move you to Gold in the next month, and then 120k after Gold, you can reach Diamond. Yes, you have to time it right and travel a total of 210k miles, but it is not a 4-year commitment like you said (more like 4 months). Also, when you are a Diamond member, you can get free upgrade at check-in, subject to availability.

  51. I’m taking this exact flight after Christmas so I’m curious how did you order what you said you “ordered”. Did you have to ring the FA button then they come to take your order?

  52. @ Glenn – Just press the FA button (on CX that’s the norm, they won’t be offended, though some of my experiences weren’t rather as good).

  53. Love how detailed you are with all your pictures and experiences. One question that you can answer pretty easily. My partner and I are flying LAX-HKG on Cathay Pacific Business class. We always try to travel first or business class whenever we travel, but this is our first time flying on Cathay Pacific. My question is, I’m 6′ tall, is the bed when laying flat accommodating to someone who is my height? Or, will I feel cramped and have to bend my knees (and lay on my side) just to be able to lay down?

    Also, you mentioned in your post that you like to sit in the second part of Business class because its smaller and less traffic once you’re in the air. Do you find that since you’re so close to Premium Economy that those passengers are using the Business class restrooms causing more waiting lines and foot traffic?


  54. You’d think a travel expert would know why they do the security check on the jet-bridge. US bound flights are not allowed to have liquids over 3oz. But Hong Kong airport security doesn’t screen for luggage so they always do it separately for every US-bound flight (or countries that also require similar liquid restrictions). Hardly superficial, they’re not looking for bombs or guns.

  55. hi there

    can u tell me how much miles i will get for a cathay Business flight from Frankfurt to Manila ( Round trip)
    Thank you
    reich karl

  56. Hi – I am trying to find out what cheese I had flying Business Class London to Perth via Hong Kong. It was a hard cheese and bright orange colour and I think the name of it was the name of a person. May be Tom something, the first name was quite short. It was the best cheese I have ever had!

  57. The Security check on the jetbridge is required by the US government for all flights originating in Asia I believe.

  58. I am also displeased with CX’s assembly line approach. I flew BKK – HKG in CX business last year and was finishing a glass of wine about 40 minutes before landing. The flight attendant came along with their trolley and took the wine away, without a word of warning. I would have appreciated the opportunity to finish the last swig of wine. Other airlines usually give you a 10 minute warning!

  59. CX is one of the most overrated airlines I have ever had the displeasure of flying. Your comments about their service being like an assembly line are spot on.

    I flew CX business from BKK-HKG last year. I was finishing a glass of sauvignon blanc about 40 minutes prior to landing, when I heard the rattling of the drinks cart making its way down the aisle. Without a word of warning, the flight attendant took away my glass of wine. It did not occur to the flight attendant that I may have liked to finish the few last swigs that were left in the glass. It couldn’t have hurt the flight attendant to inform me that we will be landing in 40 minutes, and that she will be coming back to collect my glass shortly.

    Most other airlines give at least 10 minutes warning before they start removing drinks. In fact, I remember one Qantas flight where I was poured a glass of wine 20 minutes before landing, and the flight attendant didn’t even come back to collect the glass! He joked with me at the end that he could hear my glass tinkling as we touched down, and then asked me if I wanted to take the bottle home.

  60. I’ve tried to find CX award space many times over the last few years. I’ve never seen an F seat, and only rarely find J seats, but I also can’t afford to wait until the last minute because then the fares are astronomical. I had the misfortune of flying ORD/HKG once in Coach on CX, and that is a “never again” option for me.

    How far in advance do you usually book your reward seats? I have AA and CX accounts.

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