Cathay Pacific was founded in 1946 in Hong Kong, and is seen as synonymous with the people of Hong Kong and representing it as Asia’s world city. The airline consistently provides polite, efficient service, no matter what class you choose to fly. It’s nonstop customer service.
Words like polite, efficient, and customer-focused are not necessarily words that one associates with airlines these days. But for Cathay Pacific, they are true descriptors.
My first experience of Cathay Pacific was way back in 2001. I checked in for a late night Business Class flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong, and as the gate agent handed me my boarding pass, she proceeded to apologize. On behalf of the airline, she apologized for the aircraft being parked two gates further than it usually was.
I think my jaw dropped, and I must have stared at her for at least three minutes—what felt like an eternity. I actually asked her to repeat what she just said! This interaction set the tone for a long-term relationship that lasts until today with Cathay Pacific still being my airline of choice whenever I head to Asia.
Cathay Pacific was founded in 1946 in Hong Kong, and is seen as synonymous with the people of Hong Kong and representing it as Asia’s world city. The airline consistently provides polite, efficient service, no matter what class you choose to fly.
Cathay Pacific operates an all wide-body fleet from its Hong Kong home base to 137 global destinations. Their fleet is modern, and consists of Boeing 777-330ER, Airbus A350, and Airbus A330 aircraft. On board, all the cabin tones are subtle and pleasant, making for a relaxing flight, and the onboard in-flight entertainment is superb.
For the aviation geek like myself, most Cathay aircraft have a tail and nose gear camera, so that we can look at the world outside. As mostly a Business Class flyer, my preference is for a window seat, because of my experience as a pilot and my curiosity about the world that’s moving around me.
Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay operates a limited First Class cabin seat on its 777 aircraft on select routes. Cathay’s First Class seat is one of the widest in the sky, measuring a whopping 36 inches wide and reclining to 81 inches long in the sleep mode. It’s so wide that when fully extended, you can roll over in your sleep without falling off the seat! It also boasts a massage function. There’s also an 18.5-inch in-flight personal TV, and a personal ottoman, so a companion can dine with you during the flight. With caviar and champagne as the First Class appetizer, the service is personal and impeccable.
Cathay Pacific Business Class
In Business Class, the seats are laid out in a herringbone configuration in a one to one arrangement on all long haul aircraft, and the seat converts into a flat bed of 82 inches long and 21 inches wide. The onboard service usually commences with champagne or juice before takeoff. And the amenity kit is handed out which is tasteful and full of travel essentials. Once airborne, the drink service commences and walnuts are supplied. The main course is always à la carte, chosen from a widely varied menu with portions that I find more than adequate. On a personal note, I think Cathay provides the best hot garlic bread in the sky on any airline. Dessert or a cheese plate follows—I usually accept the cheese plate with a fine port.
Cathay Pacific Lounges
Cathay’s airport lounges globally were recently revived and have set the standard now for others to follow. As a founding member of Oneworld Alliance, Cathay Pacific allows Oneworld status members to use their lounges as well. When I’m either at JFK or Heathrow, I often do so.
Cathay Pacific also owns and operates its regional associate airline, Cathay Dragon, which boasts the same tasteful service and similar menus. The only real variance is in the seats which recline, rather than lay flat and the fact that Cathay Dragon operates regional A330s and A320s. Overall, in my opinion, Cathay’s polite service makes flying less stressful as an experience, and I actually look forward to it. I strongly recommended Cathay’s loyalty program, the Marco Polo Club, which has lots of advantages.
TLW Tip: Here’s a tip that most people don’t realize: Travellers can book redemption flights on any of the Oneworld Alliance partners, using Marco Polo points, often for less points than the partner airline, and definitely for lower taxes due to the fact that the ticket is issued in Hong Kong.