In this trip report I review Cathay Pacific First Class on the B777-300 JFK to HKG. On my trips between Asia and the United States, I have had the opportunity to fly Cathay Pacific First Class a few times. Cathay Pacific features in my top 10 best airlines for longhaul Business Class and I have also reviewed the Cathay Pacific business class on the Boeing 777-300.
For the route between New York and Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific uses the Boeing 777-300. Cathay departs from New York’s JFK Terminal 7. At the airport, Cathay does not have a lounge. Instead, it uses the JFK British Airways Galleries First Lounge, which I have already reviewed. When departing from Hong Kong, there are many Cathay lounges to choose from, such as The Pier First Class Lounge HKG or The Wing business class lounge HKG .
Cathay Pacific operates a 4 class service on their 773s. There is a total of 6 seats in the first class, comprising of 2 rows of 3 open suites. There are 53 reverse herringbone business class seats, 34 premium economy seats and 182 economy seats, bringing the total seat capacity to 275. With the Cathay Pacific 747 flying its last commercial flight on October 1st from Tokyo Haneda International Airport to Hong Kong, the 773 is the only Cathay planes left with their renowned first class service. For comparison, I reviewed Cathay Pacific First Class on their 747 from Hong Kong to Tokyo before as well.
Compared to the the 747, the First Class cabin on the 777 is wider but shorter. For my most recent flight in August, I sat at the first window seat on the right side. On my other trips, I have also sat on the left side of the plane.
The first class seat in the 777 is the same one with the 747 – it is an open suite with a wide 36 inch seat and 81 inch pitch, that is the distance from one point of a seat to the same point of a seat in the row behind. The seats face inwards to the windows like the reverse herringbone seats, so there is a sense of privacy. The seat controls are on a small LCD touch screen on side of the seat next to the remote control and a small storage space. The seat can be lowered into a fully flat bed via the seat controls.
On the opposite of the seat is a small footrest with a small pillow. The footrest is actually large enough for a guest to seat and join you for dining. There is even a seatbelt there in case of turbulence! There is also a power socket and USB port near to the small footrest.
After seating, the air hostesses serve a welcome drink and an amuse bouche. Normally, I start with a glass of Krug champagne. However, in my trip in August, I opted for water instead. There is also often an accompanying note from the crew with some personal notes like “Welcome back”. I find this a nice gesture.
After the welcome drink and food, the air hostesses then distributes the amenity kits from Aesop, pyjamas and slippers. The pyjamas and slippers change colours every few months, and in my recent trip, it was navy blue. The amenity kit contains a dental kit, earplugs, a wooden comb, and moisturising cream.
Shortly after taking off, the air hostesses came to take our food order. On the route between New York and Hong Kong and vice versa, there is a 2 meal service – one after take off and one before landing. There are usually a few different Western and Asian starter to choose from as well as main course and dessert choices to choose from, and you can even mix and match them to your liking. In between, you can also order some snacks such as noodles or burgers. Needless to say, there is also a good selection of alcohol, from Krug to a diverse wine list to Johnny Walker Blue Label whisky.
In my August trip, I opted for a light salad and assorted dim sum for my meals as I was not very hungry. In other trips, I have had the full three course meals, from caviar to main courses to desserts, chocolate pralines and cheese. Cathay also serves Haagen Dazs ice cream anytime you want, and not just after meals. Although they change the menu constantly, most of the meals I have had onboard Cathay Pacific First Class have been very delicious. Also, if you depart from Hong Kong, definitely order the egg tarts!
On the long 16 hour flight, I also took the opportunity to watch many movies and tv series on the large 24 inche monitor. The Cathay entertainment system, StudioCX, has a good mix of relatively current and classic movies and shows. Cathay also provides noise cancelling Bose headphones which are comfortable and good. With such a long flight, I also took the opportunity to sleep a few hours on the lie flat bed. The bedding and blanket that Cathay provides in the First Class is very comfortable.
In my multiple flights with them, the service that I receive on Cathay Pacific is consistently top notch. I would not hesitate to recommend their First Class product!
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This review was written by Luxury Travel Diary contributor Lenard Lim.