Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Our Cathay Pacific first class experience flying HKG to SFO

We just returned from an international trip to Tokyo, Taipei, and Okinawa.  Thanks to American Airlines AAdvantage miles, we were able to fly home on Cathay Pacific’s first class.  Here is our experience flying Cathay Pacific first class.

Even before boarding the plane, we got to check out The Wing First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International airport.  This was hands-down the best airport lounge that we have ever been to.  The furniture was extremely stylish and comfortable.  Servers are constantly walking around serving you free drinks like champagne, wine, hard alcohol, water, and various juices. 

We had dinner in the large dining area, which is serviced and catered by The Peninsula Hotel.

As usual with airport lounges, there was a buffet with various hot foods, salads, and desserts.  I was impressed to see a carving station with freshly sliced hot turkey.  This being said, we found the buffet food to be very lacking in taste. 

The dining area also offers an a la carte menu, which really is the way to go for freshly prepared food.

I ordered the sautéed king prawns with spinach cream, blackcurrant chutney and prawn butter.  Definitely high-end restaurant quality.  I enjoyed the prawns so much that I ordered it a second time.

My wife ordered the braised marinated beef cheek with red wine sauce and potato gratin.  Also high-end restaurant quality.  Her beef cheek was extremely tender and flavorful. 

After we ate we went to check out one of the Wing’s 5 cabana rooms.  The room was very spacious, and included everything a hotel room would have: showers, bathtub, sink, private bathroom, daybed, desk, toiletries, fresh towels, and robes. 

The cabana room was almost as big as our hotel room at the Sheraton Miyako hotel in Tokyo.  We took a nap on the bed and then freshened up afterwards.  Because there are only 5 cabana rooms, they kindly ask that you stay no longer than 1.5 hours, so that other guests can use the facilities.

After freshening up in the cabana room, we were ready for our flight!

We flew on a 777-300ER plane, which had only 6 seats in first class, in two rows of three seats.  We had a LOT of room to stretch out in our seats.  Of the 275 passenger airplane, only 6 seats were dedicated to First Class. 

For the entire duration of our flight, we had a personal flight attendant named Phillip.  He serviced all of our needs, and was not overbearing.  As soon as we got seated, we were offered Krug champagne.  Anytime I needed something, like more champagne, food, or blankets, Phillip responded to the call button extremely quickly. 

Our cabins each had fresh orchid flowers.  Each cabin had a closet and hangers for our clothes.  Each seat had an ottoman, which doubles up as another passenger seat (so that two passengers can face each other while sharing a meal).  

There was so much legroom available that my fully stretched feet could not even reach the ottoman (I’m about 5’10” tall).

There is a wall outlet and USB port to allow you to charge electronic devices.  

The chair had a back massager.  Yup, it was running the entire time we were seated.  I just wish it provided a deeper massage. 

I was provided an Ermenegildo Zegna amenities kit, which included Aesop lip cream, shoehorn, wooden hair comb, earplugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash.

My wife was provided a Trussardi amenities kit, which included a wooden hairbrush,  Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream, Aesop Rind Concentrate Hand & Body Balm, Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream, makeup pads, earplugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. 

We were both asked our clothing size and then given PYE 100% organic cotton pajamas, slippers, and eye mask.   We changed into our pajamas the first chance we got.  The fabric was very soft, plush and extremely comfortable. 

The provided Bose Quiet Comfort 15 acoustic noise canceling headphones were great, helping us enjoy our inflight entertainment – completely cutting off all cabin noise.

The amuse bouche provided was a tasty crab and salmon jelly. 

Shortly after takeoff, we were offered supper.  Philip opened up my table and added a table extension.  This allowed us to face each other while we enjoyed our meal.   

First Philip brought out caviar and champagne, with various breads and garnishes of blinis, chive, cream fraice and chopped egg.

This was followed by fresh caesar salad with smoked panacetta.

After some in flight turbulence cleared up, we had the roasted butternut squash soup.

For our main course, we both chose the grilled USDA certified angus beef striploin with béarnaise sauce and red wine sauce, portobello mushrooms, potatoes and asparagus.  While the meat was huge, it was a bit dry. 

By this time, the both of us were too full to have dessert.  Philip set up our beds shortly after that and we were fast asleep.  I don’t sleep well on flight usually, but I slept like a baby for over 6 hours, it was magnificent!  The bed was extremely comfortable, with 2 pillows, a down comforter and tons of room to stretch out.

When we woke up, Philip asked if we wanted to have brunch. 

We had fresh seasonal fruit.

We had a fresh assortment of croissants, muffins, breads, and toast.

My wife had the freshly scrambled eggs with roasted potatoes, sausage, and roma tomato.

I enjoyed the assorted dim sum with chili sauce, which included pork siu mai with scallop, seafood dumpling, chicken and ham in bean curd skin, conpoy vegetable dumpling, and beef meatball.  It was very tasty and fun to have dim sum in the skies!

Philip sensed that we were both hungry after brunch (guess he noted how fast we scarfed down our food!) and asked if we wanted anything else.

My wife had some Haagen Dazs Belgian chocolate ice cream.  Tasty.

I ordered the grilled Australian prime grain fed beef burger with swiss cheese and pickled gherkin (cucumber).  Delicious.

When we weren’t eating, I had a chance to watch 2 movies on the flight: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Hercules. 

We were treated like royalty the entire flight.  Philip kept bringing me Krug champagne, sparkling water for my wife, and cashews and pralines for both of us.  While first class is an amazing experience, I would only pay for first class with points.  Our flights cost us 135,000 American Airlines miles for the two of us.  If we were to book this exact same flight on Cathay Pacific, it would have cost $26,728.22 for two tickets.  

Since we will not be traveling for a while, I thought this would be a great experience for the two of us… it did not disappoint!

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