Review: Cathay Pacific First Class HKG- LHR in the 747
After I flew to Asia three days ago with the der Lufthansa First Class in the 747, today I went back to Germany by oneworld. A maybe uncommon combination of two one way tickets, but exciting indeed.
Check-In in Bangkok and the first part to Hongkong
After the St. Regis was so kind to take me from the airport, I arrived after 2 hours way too early, but traffic was much more easygoing than expected. The check-in counters are divided into economy, business and first class, so I took the first class counter. Checking in is actually not correct since I already was, so I had a little chat with the Madame at the counter and got my ticket. The machine was supposed to be completely full on the first party of the flight. So only 15A was available, which is OK within a 2-3-2 seating in the 777-200.
I asked for another place, but she answered „it’s full unfortunately”. OK, so I was quit until she then asked me where I’d like to sit. I wished to sit in row 12 (Why there is no row 1-11 in the plane was not clear to me. If you have an idea, please comment) and suddenly I got the answer to be reseated, which is done so for status clients. Hm, very nice, even though I do not know how the one who sat there originally found it.
Security control is located directly behind the check-in area M, at least for crew and premium passengers and so I went through it within minutes. Afterwards I went through a few shops and on to the lounge. Cathay has an own lounge between Gate D and E, together for business and first class passengers. Nothing spectacular, but a small lounge with view, computers, WiFi, snacks and beverages.
When the time came I went to Gate E2. Impressive, how people wait in line every time. So the queue was pretty long until only 4 people were left. The others were sent to the eco queue. Nice that there were two gateways to enter, so people had time to stow their luggage.
In the 777-200 Cathay flies a “regional business class”, which is a short- to mid-flight product and different than in the A330 there is no flat bed, which of course doesn’t make sense on a 2:25 hours flight. But I was quite impressed by the comfort of the seat, as it was bright and skewable to the side, without constraining the backseater. The Canadian sitting on 12K besides me couldn’t believe it either. But in the end nobody wanted it because we had some turbulence during the flight. So my need of screaming passengers and roller coaster rides was fulfilled. I didn’t care but a few others were seriously scared.
In the end the seat stands in no comparison to the Lufthansa camping seat of the Europe cabin (and yes, it is an A320 too, but even the seat at British Airways is way better regionally). Service began right after reaching travel height and was very courteous.
First the Pursurette entered the cabin and welcomed all one world emerald (and the comparable Cathay status) passengers by name and introduced herself, asked for pillows and sheets and just took care very nicely.
After landing in Hong Kong I followed the transit signs to security control. There was hardly anything going on, so it took just a few minutes. On the way to the Cathay lounge I strolled through some shops. For passengers there are several lounges, but first I went to “the pier” lounge, which is located in the basement but nothing special. It’s located near Gate 63 and quite a journey to the other lounge, which is “the wing” opposite to Gate 1-3. When I stood by the Gate and asked about my flight, a gentleman who took a woman with him took me too. Usually you have to pay 60 HKG (2 EUR) for the golf car service.
The lounge „The Wing“
The new first class lounge „the wing“ is located left of security control, if you start your journey in Hong Kong. It’s divided into different areas, Champaign bar, showers for refreshment, café and pasta bar. Quite exciting, because they have freshly made Asian noodles in all kinds. When you order you get a round receiver, which twinkles and cheeps when the food is read. Super delicious were the noodles “Shanghai”, as were all the other food and beverages.
After a show trip to the shower for refreshment, I got an espresso in the café and some cookies, cake and sandwiches.
If I would drink alcohol, the Champaign bar would be a good choice. The complete lounge is quite open and breezy. You can also see the ceiling of the Terminals and look down to the waiting area, similar to the terrace in the Concorde Room or first class lounge in London by British Airways in T5.
Part two, on to London in the 747
Priority boarding is defined a little different in Hong Kong. There are queues for economy and business class, in which I stood. The 15 passengers in front of me would have entered surely fast, but a lounge employee came to me letting me know there is a counter for first class. This is rather uncommon, opening a third counter, but so I had been first in the cabin.
The seats are arranged in half opened suites in a 1-1 seating on the main deck upfront the 747. Only the last row is a 1-1-1 seating, which adds up to 9 seats in first class. Already when I entered I had a warm and neat impression. After I was received at the door I was taken to suite 1K, on the right side of the plane. The big advantage of row 1 is nobody has to past you, except the passenger on 1A. I personally like this seat the most, so it was kind I had the chance to change it at online check-in from A2 yesterday.
Even though the cabin is packed it was not loud or restless at all, so the 12 hours went by completely relaxed. I was asked whether I’d like to have a drink, which is easy to answer with “regular coke”. Additionally I got warm almonds, very nice.
Different than for example at Thai or Emirates there were no enclosed suites with doors but half restricted seats. Even though the bed in Lufthansa‘s 747 is unbeatable, the seat is quite open and can be booted up (like in the 747-8). This semi-open type is my favorite and also used by British Airways and Qantas.
Noticeable is the huge wardrobe, in which you can store mountains of stuff. You also find enough space below the ottoman, because there is no shelf in the ceiling. On the inside of the seat you find storage for magazines, which you can also put into the wardrobe. You can also put the amenity kit or your shoes there.
You can modify the seat into fixed positions for take-off, landing and bed with the control pad. There you also find the massage function and back rest modification. Positively is the function concerning the bed, because you can make it softer or harder, which makes sleeping way more comfortable, especially if you like to sleep on your stomach.
Besides a big light from the ceiling there are two reading lights, which can be modified in three steps. The seat itself has a gigantic width, so you can almost put two persons in it, but a guest can also take place on the ottoman, so you can talk or eat something together.
Besides the remote control on the right (or left) side you find a shelf for headphones there. To every seat belong three windows, which can be darkened. On the outer wall there is a vase with an orchid (at least I think it is one).
If you want to sleep after als this eating, you just have to say it and a couple of busy lizzie come by and make your bed. On top you get a mattress with soft and warm sheet plus pillow. This is just slightly worse than “the real bed in the LH 747”, which is only available in a few machines.
It’s a night flight, but of course there is a supper service as well. I’m definitely not hungry at 1am in the night, but especially for the blog readers, I tried the food for this post and the pictures.
Firstly we had caviar with classic side dishes, but without wodka, and some Balik salmon and small potatoes. This was already very tasty and since I didn’t like to have soup, I went on with the salad. It was so crispy fresh I had the feeling to just have harvested it. It was garnished with backed goat cheese and tasty lime olive dressing.
I also needed to have the main course, because they had US Prime Beef with potatoes, glazed carrots, mushroom ragout and sauce béarnaise. It was so delicious. Just stupid that you’re full at one time, but you know I take the risk to show you some ;-).
After that they served fresh berries that were just cut in the galley and cheese. It is served on a board and can be assembled individually. With it comes bread or a cracker, as you like. The choice of cheese consisted of Cambozola, Comte, Double Gloucester and Chaumes, while the letter was my favorite.
Now I’m close to explode and disclaim pralines but stick to an espresso.
After I then had time to sleep I decided to get breakfast the next morning. Therefore I was asked whether I’d like to be woken up, which was done 60 minutes before landing. The morning started with fresh orange juice and a mango passion fruit smoothie. Additionally they served cereals with yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Since I was still full from dinner I decided to get the Chinese breakfast with Dim Sum and scrambled eggs. Side dishes can be chosen by oneself. They have bacon, sausages, potatoe cake and cheese or cooked egg. I almost forgot the shellfish, while I didn’t need that for breakfast.
Of course there are also all kinds of breads and toast. Now an espresso an day started perfectly rested.
The Inflight Entertainment
As always I hardly used it. The choice of movies, games and news is extensive and offers something for everyone. The flightmap can be seen on the picture below, well done, even though not as nice as Qantas has it in the A380.
The Amenity kit and pajamas
The amenity kit is handed over before take-off, coming with the advice there are other things to get on request. It came with shaver, creams, eye and nose drops and much more. The kit itself is a decent bag of the brand Zegna, which can be also used for other things. It feels like high-quality.
Besides a wooden comb there are also the usual suspects: tooth paste and brush, mouth water, cream and face water, lip balm, ear protectors and a shoe horn. Cosmetics come from “Acca Kappa” and they distinguish between ladies and men kits.
I really like the pajamas from Shanghai Tang, which come in brown with light and costly knobs, which I’ll surely use again. You also get slippers in the same style. There are no socks, but they can be received by request.
Service and conclusion
From entering the cabin untill leaving it is was a pleasant stay with great service. The three stewardesses were really nice, which never seemed fake or played. AS soon as you had to leave bed to go to the toilet, somebody came to make it and asked whether you need something.
I was constantly talked to by name and really enjoyed the flight. I was impressed by the little hand written menu. It’s so simple: just wish a nice flight and good appetite is a just the cherry on the top. Of course you can live without that but this makes it special. Thanks a lot Cathay for this flight. I’m looking forward to the next one in October.