Cathay Pacific - Business Class
It's not often that we wish for a long-haul flight not to end! But having crossed the Pacific this summer with Cathay Pacific on their popular Vancouver (YVR) to Hong Kong (HKG) route, we were happy to have become re-acquainted with one of our favourite airlines.
Cathay is no stranger to YVR. It operates double dailies to HKG and daily flights to New York JFK. We took the late night flight, which departs YVR just after 2am and arrives in HKG a day later at 06:15am. Cathay uses a four-class Boeing 777-300ER. The 13-hour flight offers two meal services and snacks throughout.
The departure was several hours delayed on our travel day but this was due to ATC complications at JFK, from which the flight originated. Hence, we were overjoyed once we spotted the trademark brush wing logo at the gate. In Business Class Cathay allows each passenger 30kg of checked luggage or two pieces. Qualifying passengers departing Vancouver can now enjoy the new Business Class Lounge, which is just a few minutes walk from the departure gates. It offers a separate space for First and top tier frequent fliers.
Boarding was smooth and efficient: premium class passengers board first, along with top tier frequent flier members. The crew welcomed us on board with a glass of champagne. From then until the landing announcement was made we were never neglected. The one time we used the crew call button we were greeted with a smile in less than 30 seconds. Nice!
While flying Cathay and other Asian airlines we always opt for the Asian meal option. Dinner was offered just 30 minutes into the flight - quite impressive! The starter consisted of humous and bread sticks. Bread rolls and a fresh berry desert bookended the main course of cod and steamed rice and Asian vegetables. For breakfast we gulped down the Asian noodles, accompanied by tasty prawns and bok choy - and Lee Kum Kee Guilin-style child sauce!
The wine selection did not disappoint - and on our Savvy wine pour index Cathay scored an impressive 8 out of 10!
This was our first time to sample Cathay's refreshed Business Class. Configured 1-2-1 there's plenty of space to move around. The pods are comfortable and conveniently played out - everything within easy reach and there's plenty of storage space for gadgets. Cathay obviously consulted business travellers when they designed these pods. The seats have a generous 82-inch (208cm) pitch, and width of 21 inches (53cm). We appreciated the flight time elapsed clock on the remote control device, as well as the plethora of jacks for power and video/audio!
The most impressive feature is the huge screen - the pop-out 39.1cm (15.4-inch) is a touchscreen TV comes with good quality noise cancelling headphones. The StudioCX entertainment system offers 150 films including 30 new releases - in addition to more than 500 TV shows, TED talks, 888 music CDs, audio books, 22 radio channels, and 70 games. A feature length movie and the brilliant interactive map - coupled with two front cameras kept us busy during our waking hours.
For us the highlight was discovering that Cathay serves top quality burgers on this flight. Even though we were not starving between the dinner and breakfast service we could not resist trying this rarity in the skies. It was worth it! The patties are partially pre-cooked on the ground (there is a skillet on board) but assembled in the air as they are ordered. Being burger and bbq aficionados we gave top marks to this dish for taste, for the tasty bbq sauce and for the fact that the buns remained dry and in-tact!
Watch My Savvy Traveller's Michael Bociurkiw talk about Cathay's Business Class in this 38,000 feet video!