Flight Review: Cathay Pacific First Class New York (JFK) to Hong Kong (HKG)

During our recent trip to Asia, we decided to treat ourselves and experience Cathay Pacific’s first class on our flight from JFK to HKG. Back in May, I applied for the British Airways Visa Signature Card with the 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus. We booked these seats for 75K British Airways Avios a piece (100,000 from the credit card sign up and the remaining 50K were from Dad’s account), merely days before British Airways made the Avios changes in November 2011. The entire flight experience was phenomenal to say the least.

When we booked the tickets, I was in seat 1A (left side of aircraft), and Kevin was assigned seat 1D (middle). However, when we boarded the plane, we realized that there was a wall in the aisle dividing our seats. Luckily only 3 out of the 6 seats in the first class cabin were occupied, so Kevin was able to switch his seat to 2A, directly behind mine. A word of advice for couples who plan on traveling first class on Cathay Pacific: book seats 1A and 2A; it’s almost separated in a way from the rest of the cabin, which was great in providing extra privacy and comfort.

Immediately upon boarding, we were impressed with the impeccable personal service and attention from the crew. Amenity kits, pajamas, and a welcome drink and snack were distributed as our personal belongings were stowed away in our seat closets by the cabin crew. The seat itself was incredibly spacious – large enough to even comfortably fit two people.

For the duration of the flight we dined (SO much food) and wined together, watched movies, and I even got a solid 8 hours of sleep. Although the thought of 15 hour flight seemed dreadful at first, we enjoyed ourselves so much, that the flight flew by too quickly!  Take a look at some pictures from the flight below:

Seat 1A: My home for the 15 hour flight to Hong Kong - SO spacious and roomy.

Seat 1A: My home for the 15 hour flight to Hong Kong – SO spacious and roomy.

Stowing my purse, shoes, and some of my belongings underneath the "foot of the bed" (also serves as a guest seat during dining).

Stowing my purse, shoes, and some of my belongings underneath the “foot of the bed” (also serves as a guest seat during dining).

Kevin and I in my seat before departure

Kevin and I in my seat before departure

Excited to have all this room for myself!

Excited to have all this room for myself!

Rocking my slippers from the PJ set & a glimpse of the large TV/entertainment center

Rocking my slippers from the PJ set & a glimpse of the large TV/entertainment center

The large TV & Personal closet to the right

The large TV & Personal closet to the right

Personal reading light, drink ledge, and seat/entertainment controls

Personal reading light, drink ledge, and seat/entertainment controls

Amenity Kit for Women:

Packed inside a designer TRUSSARDI leather clutch, designed exclusively for Cathay Pacific, my first class travel kit included:

  • Products from Aesop, a high-end Australian skincare brand (B & Tea Balancing Toner, Rosehip Seed Lip Cream, Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream, Geranium Leaf Hand & Body Balm)
  • A bamboo “Cathay Pacific” hair brush, earplugs, and cotton pads
  • A dental set  including a biodegradable toothbrush, Colgate toothpaste, and a single serving of mouthwash.
Amenity Kit for Men:
Packed inside a stylish Ermenegildo Zegna pouch, also exclusively designed for Cathay Pacific, Kevin’s first-class amenity kit included:
  • Products from ACCA KAPPA, a new Italian skincare line (Sandalwood Lip Balm, Anti-Age Face Moisturizer Sandalwood, Facial Mist Sandalwood).
  • A “Cathay Pacific” shoe horn, wooden comb, and earplugs.
  • A dental set  including a biodegradable toothbrush, Colgate toothpaste, and a single serving of mouthwash.
The in-flight pajama set included matching slippers and an eye mask. The pajamas were also exclusively designed for Cathay Pacific by Shanghai Tang, a Chinese luxury fashion brand, and were available in S, M, L. The pajamas were incredibly comfortable, and we found ourselves using them again several times during our trip.
The Cathay Pacific First Class Travel Kit for Women

The Cathay Pacific First Class Travel Kit for Women

The Cathay Pacific First Class Travel Kit for Men

The Cathay Pacific First Class Travel Kit for Men

Shanghai Tang First Class Pajama Set

Shanghai Tang First Class Pajama Set

Pre-flight drink (the oriental breeze) and warm nuts

Pre-flight drink (the oriental breeze) and warm nuts

The food on the flight was never-ending and tasty (with the exception of the beef tenderloin which was just OK). There were so many courses and options that we were full right after the salad, and neither of us could finish our main courses. We also had to refuse dessert, which is a rare occurrence for me in itself. Below is the complete dinner menu. We both chose the courses the “International Favorites” section.

Dinner Menu

Caviar and fine smoked salmon starter

International Favorites:

  • Truffle potato soup
  • Caesar Salad with marinated jumbo prawns
  • Grilled USDA prime beef tenderloin with creme de cassis onion marmalade, mashed potatoes, baby carrots, asparagus, and artichoke or Rigatoni with gorgonzola cheese sauce and mixed vegetable
Chinese Favorites:
  • Double boiled duck with winter melon soup
  • Cold plate – vegetarian duck
  • Stir-fried lobster with scallion and ginger, served with steamed jasmine rice, kailan with black mushroom and carrot flower
Cheese and Dessert:
  • Cambozola, St. Paulin, Goat Cheese, Yellow Cheddar
  • Fresh seasonal berries with creme fraiche
  • Toffee pudding cake with butter scotch sauce, vanilla ice cream, and raspberry coilus
  • Black sesame sweet soup
Tea and coffee, pralines, and chocolate truffles
Me at the "head" of the table. Kevin was my guest while we dined together in my seat. PS - you can also see I'm rocking those PJS already.

Me at the “head” of the table. Kevin was my guest while we dined together in my seat. PS – you can also see I’m rocking those PJS already.

Caviar and fine smoked salmon starter

Caviar and fine smoked salmon starter

The table setting

The table setting

We received personal, hand-written note cards from the cabin crew.

We received personal, hand-written note cards from the cabin crew.

Truffle potato soup

Truffle potato soup

Caesar Salad with marinated jumbo prawns

Caesar Salad with marinated jumbo prawns

Grilled USDA prime beef tenderloin with creme de cassis onion marmalade, mashed potatoes, baby carrots, asparagus, and artichoke

Grilled USDA prime beef tenderloin with creme de cassis onion marmalade, mashed potatoes, baby carrots, asparagus, and artichoke

Goat cheese platter

Goat cheese platter

Fresh seasonal berries with creme fraiche

Fresh seasonal berries with creme fraiche

Sleepy time!

Sleepy time!

Kev Reading and Relaxing in 2A

Kev Reading and Relaxing in 2A

While we watched movies together, we decided to give some of the mid-flight snacks, which could be ordered any time throughout the flight, a try. Kevin also wanted to try some of the dim sum from the breakfast menu as well.

Snacks

  • Wontons in noodle soup
  • Smoked duck with mango chutney and spicy cheese vegetable spread on brown bread
  • Vegetable somosa with cucumber mint raita
  • Hot pot rice with chicken and Chinese sausage served with chicken broth
  • Haagen-Dazs ice cream
Wontons in noodle soup

Wontons in noodle soup

Vegetable somosa with cucumber mint raita

Vegetable somosa with cucumber mint raita

Imperial fried noodles and Chinese dim sum

Imperial fried noodles and Chinese dim sum

About two hours before landing, we were served breakfast. At that point we were stuffed from all of the food we were eating so far, so we kept it light.

Breakfast Menu

Starters:

  • Orange or apple juice
  • Strawberry energiser
  • Fresh seasonal fruit
  • Natural or fruit yoghurt
  • Assorted cereals

Main Courses:

  • Free-range eggs ~ freshly scrambled, fried, or boiled, served with your choice of pork sausage, streaky bacon, sauteed potatoes, spinach or mushrooms
  • Imperial fried noodles and Chinese dim sum
  • Abalone and Chinese mushroom congee, steamed prawn rice roll with soy sauce

Bread Basket: Assorted breakfast bread and fresh toast with preserves, honey, and butter

Coffee and tea

Orange juice, strawberry energizer smoothie, and fresh fruit

Orange juice, strawberry energizer smoothie, and fresh fruit

Abalone and Chinese mushroom congee, steamed prawn rice roll with soy sauce

Abalone and Chinese mushroom congee, steamed prawn rice roll with soy sauce

The Arrival Lounge

Upon arrival, we had an hour before the Airport Express train began running so we decided to visit Cathay Pacific’s first class arrival lounge to freshen up, shower, and grab a cappuccino. The lounge was pretty hard to find and small, but it was enough for what we needed in a short time. The showers were fantastic and fully stocked, and there were plenty of food and snacks.

The Arrival Lounge

The Cathay Pacific First Class Arrival Lounge at HKG

Inside the Cathay Pacific Arrival Lounge at HKG

Inside the Cathay Pacific Arrival Lounge at HKG

Food/Drinks

Food/Drinks

Bathroom/Shower

Bathroom/Shower

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Comments

  1. says

    Great report and it’s always best to share first class with someone else too!
    Is this the flight that stops in Vancouver? I know one Cathay flight does and was going to book just this segment of it actually fairly soon.
    Happy Travels

  2. BothofUs2 says

    Great report looks like a lot of fun! I’m forwarding to the wife and will suggest for future trip, thanks

  3. Samuel says

    Angelina, you should’ve been a bit more adventurous and chosen the Chinese menu options. Much much better. This is what Gary @ View from the Wing does for his Cathay F flights ;)

  4. says

    Wonderful review…very detailed. My wife and i are taking the same flight in oct. Your review has made my excitment level that much more heightened.

  5. says

    @Tiffy Pie: Tiff, it was certainly big enough to make a Tiffany sandwich… maybe a even with two Tiffany patties. LOL

    @Chuck: ::Blush::

    @Jayson: Yes, was like a mini love seat!

    @Jonathan: Thanks, it was certainly an experience!

    @Chris – we lucked out and were able to secure 2 award tickets on the non stop from JFK to HKG. On the way back we flew with the stopover in Vancouver… economy though :-/

    @Jamison & BothofUs2: Thank you! We really enjoyed the experience.

    @Samuel: I’m usually the adventurous type, but there was too much duck on the Chinese menu & that’s rarely a favorite of mine LOL

    AAdvantage Geek: Thanks so much – food was pretty impressive for airplane food!

    Paul: Your wife and you will be in heaven on the flight! Be prepared for her to be spoiled after it :-P

  6. Ray says

    A wonderful trip report. Now that bed, you can sleep comfyly for a good 7-8 hrs. I can imagine how you guys felt on your way back in coach. :) I’m taking the same flight soon but in J. Maybe they can upgrade me lol. Goodluck to both of you.
    Cheers!

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