You may think I’m mad but while many people would get excited about the extensive champagne, wine and cocktails available in business class, one of the best bits about first and business class travel for me is getting to enjoy a large, warm mug of freshly made tea at 35,000 feet. (You can take the girl out of England..)
Of course, this was just one of my favourite parts of my recent business class flight with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to London.
Flying Business Class With Cathay Pacific
I’ve flown with Cathay Pacific to and from Asia several times now and when it came to my recent trip back to London from Sydney they were the first airline I thought of. Although I had never flown business with them before, I knew from previous experience that the food, service and entertainment in economy and premium economy was top notch. On this trip I was lucky enough to discover that business takes this one step further.
The Business Class Seat
Before I dive into the service and food on the flight I must, of course, mention the seat.
Business class on this route comes with a fully flat bed, which is just over 2 metres (82 inches) long.
The seating arrangement, which reminded me of my experience flying first class with British Airways, is incredibly private. I was seated in a window seat (with 2 whole viewing opps to myself) and couldn’t see a single other passenger from within my little booth. If I Ieaned very far forward I could just about make out what the man to my left was eating, but couldn’t see his face from my seated position. (The seats do slide forward if you are travelling with a companion and want to chat though.)
The bed was wide enough for me to curl up in my usual foetal sleeping position, you can curve your knees around the storage compartment and raise or lower the armrest depending on whether you want more space or privacy.
The control terminal for my seat was situated to the right of my head panel. From here, I could change the recline of the seat as well as lie it completely flat – although staff are on hand to make up the bed for you should you need it – and at a glance I could see how much longer we had left on the flight.
Needless to say the legroom was more than ample. I couldn’t reach the footrest at the end of my section unless the seat was in a flat position.
I particularly liked having an extra reading light in the head panel and a secret make up mirror I found hidden in the cubby hole where the noise-cancelling headphones are hung.
The in-flight entertainment system is excellent. The touch screen measures 15.4 inches and has a large library of recent and popular movies as well as world cinema. It wasn’t until the end of my flight I discovered the different sections of over 500 TV shows (I’d mistakenly thought there was just the 1 popular category and later found the drama, comedy, etc sections). I managed to catch up with 4 episodes of The Missing once I realised my mistake though. You can also connect your own ipod or ipad and stream audio and video content to the TV. There is also a USB port for recharging devices.
From take off to landing the staff were brilliant – polite and friendly, onhand to help you with everything. We were served breakfast shortly after take off, which I wasn’t hungry enough to take full advantage of, but I did indulge in a snack later.
I tried to order the Afternoon Tea Set on the menu but they were unfortunately all gone. Instead the staff made me a fresh, juicy Australian grain fed beef burger with Swiss cheese. It was my first burger in the sky and didn’t disappoint.
Later I enjoyed some pesto marinated prawns and chicken breast with caramelised onion sauce for lunch but (you know what my sweet tooth is like) it was the toffee cheesecake for dessert and box of pralines that came around after that really made me smile.
There was also a cheese trolley, which Justin would have loved, but I was too full to try.
To accompany lunch I ordered a glass of the Spy Valley Malborough Sauvignon Blanc. Looking back I wish I had also tried the Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne – it just felt too early in the day at the time!
Meal services are served swiftly as, unlike with BA, staff don’t take your food order but rather come around with a trolley of the dishes already made up. This didn’t effect my order (there was more than enough to go around) but did feel slightly less like a restaurant meal service. That being said, the food was very good and the staff were very considerate about asking if you would like anything else.
The bathroom was immaculate throughout the flight. The products in the bathroom were Jurlique, just like in the in-flight amenity kit, which consisted of lip cream, hand cream and moisturiser.
I made use of the slipper socks but the cabin was dark and quiet enough when I wanted to snooze that I didn’t feel the need for the eye mask or ear plugs.
The flight was such a pleasant experience – who wouldn’t love a marathon movie and munchie session underneath a duvet! – that I was almost sad when it was over. It was the perfect way to travel home for a reunion with family and friends in the UK.
Thanks so much to Cathay Pacific who generously sponsored my flight home as part of the Life Well Travelled campaign and then surprised me with this business upgrade at Hong Kong airport. All opinions, images and snacks consumed are my own. Find out more about flying business class with Cathay on their website.