I wasn’t looking forward to my flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane, mainly because it was the second leg of a long journey that began in Singapore at 1.20am in the morning. I was particularly dreading the six-hour layover between flights and was not at all happy about waiting around in Hong Kong International Airport. But fortunately, flying Cathay Pacific Business Class meant I had access to one of five lounges (The Wing, The Bridge, The Cabin, The Pier or The Arrival) in Hong Kong Airport. Here’s my Cathay Pacific Business Class review.
Located at gates 1 to 4, The Wing was impressive. The lounge’s sleek designer décor was appealing to the eye and I quickly decided it was a pretty cool spot to hangout.
I managed to snaffle one of the 35 Cathay Solus Chairs, which are curved work pods designed for single travellers seeking a little privacy.
These seats were pretty popular and I was lucky to find an empty booth.
I settled in to answer emails and type out some notes. The pod was comfy and the design enabled me to concentrate on work without being distracted while enjoying the other benefits of the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge.
At the Noodle Bar, I snacked on Chinese buns and noodles. The Noodle Bar is a high-ceilinged space with tranquil bamboo features.
Another area called The Long Bar has views of the runway while the Coffee Loft has a glass cabinet displaying baked pastries and they serve real coffee. Yes, the coffee here passed my taste test!
Downstairs, there’s an IT area with workstations and showers. However, I enjoyed my experience so much I didn’t even have a chance to have a shower. I had a lovely time in this Cathay Pacific Business lounge. Where did my six hours disappear to?
Cathay Pacific Business Class boarding
The flight was delayed by 35 minutes and an announcement was made in the lounge.
Fortunately, the gate was conveniently located right outside the lounge so there wasn’t much walking to do. This meant that I was able to hang out in the lounge for as long as possible, which is one of the benefits of flying Cathay Pacific Business Class.
Boarding was orderly and swift. No complaints there.
The flight attendants welcomed passengers with smiles on their faces and once in my seat, I was offered champagne (Champagne Deutz Brut Classic), juice, water or beer.
Of course, I chose a glass of champagne!
Cathay Pacific Business Class Review seat (18G)
Cathay Pacific’s Business Class seats convert into a fully flat bed two metres (82 inches) long and 16.5cm (6.5 inches) wide.
A lot of thought went into the design of this Cathay Pacific Business Class seat, which I found both comfortable and functional on this flight. However, I’d be interested in testing the seat on a longer flight to see if it’s still as comfortable after a few more hours in the air.
There was a control panel at eye level and the buttons controlling the seat were easy to operate. At the touch of a button, I was able to adjust the seat from the upright position to lie flat.
The entertainment system control, power point, USB, AV input and iPod jack were also on this panel. Not having to grope around at hip level for the controls was such a bonus, especially as I was rather tired.
There was ample storage space for all my bits. A side cabinet housed a headset and there was a well-placed vanity mirror.
There was also with enough room for a smartphone, pen, passport and other things one travels with.
The cabinet door doubled up as a privacy divider. As I was travelling alone (and didn’t particular feel like chatting to a stranger), I found this helpful. But if you’re travelling as a couple, choose the two centre seats.
I slipped my shoes in the storage space under the seat. There was enough room to fit a small bag too.
The amenities kit
One of my favourite parts of writing this Cathay Pacific Business Class review was trying out the amenities kit.
A small striped Agnes b. pouch contained travel samples of Jurlique products (Balancing Day Care Cream, Citrus Hand Cream and Lip Care Balm), toothbrush and eyeshade, toothpaste, earplugs, socks and cotton pads.
I felt that the amenities kit was adequate but not overly impressive.
The food and wine
Cathay Pacific has partnerships with top restaurants (such as Tosca, T’ang Court and Michelin-starred The French Window and The Whisk) to create special menus for passengers.
For starters there was sesame smoked salmon with marinated prawn, mixed salad with artichoke.
There were four choices of mains: braised chicken with flower mushroom, kalian and seamed jasmine rice; grilled Australian beef tenderloin with red wine sauce, potatoes, French beans and capsicum; seafood curry, steamed rice with shallots and kaffir lime leaves, stir-fried mixed vegetables; saffron and ricotta tortellini with tomato concasse and pesto sauce.
For dessert, a selection of cheese (fourme d’ambert, arenberger and French Brie) with spiced pear paste followed by fruit and a banana cheese cake with raspberry coulis. My chicken was tasty. No complaints there.
Although I am not an expert at choosing wine, I do like a drop of red wine. I decided to try the promotional offering from Portugal.
The Cabriz Reserva Dao DOC 2010 was extremely palatable. Dao region has a concentration of elegant reds, high altitude, granite soils and cool climate with diurnal temperature.
According to the tasting noted provided, this wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tints Roriz and Alfrocheiro grape varieties, using a long skin maceration process, matured in French oak.
It’s elegant, smooth and complex on the palate and has a pleasant, long finish. It was well matched to my chicken dish and very drinkable.
The two other reds on the menu were Cheval Noire Saint-Emilion 2011 and Fox Creek McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012.
Oriental Breeze is a non-alcoholic sour-plum tea and cranberry juice based drink. Cloud Nine is a combination of vodka, Cointreau and sprite with a touch of lemon.
The flight attendants were friendly and attentive. They addressed me by name and were helpful.
I was impressed with the profile of a staff member on the wine promotion menu. Flight Purser Naomi Kawashima is also a Senior Sommelier from the Japan Sommelier Association.
Each seat has a 15-inch TV screen. There’s a library of 100 movies, 500 TV shows, CDs, radio channels and games in nine languages.
The noise-cancelling headsets were decent but nowhere near as good as my Bose Quiet Comfort 15.
Travelling on Cathay Pacific Business Class is perfect if you’re on a business trip.
Seats have a universal power supply outlet and a multi-port connector with an RCA port, an iPhone/iPod connector and a USB port.
The RCA and the iPhone/iPod connector allowed me to connect my devices and watch video through the TV screen.
The bottom line
Having flown Cathay Pacific Business Class a couple of times, I’d have to say it’s not perfect but so far it’s certainly in my top three airlines for Business Class flights.
Skytrax’s airline of the year, Cathay Pacific, flies to more than 180 destinations in 42 countries and territories.
Christina Pfeiffer was upgraded to Business Class by Cathay Pacific
Discover Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific’s home base is Hong Kong. To travel from Hong Kong Airport to the city, it’s worth trying the Hong Kong Airport Express.
Have you flown Cathay Pacific? We’d love to hear about your experience too.