Cathay Pacific first class is one of the best first class products out there. The relatively open seat design is considered by some to be lackluster in comparison to many of the newer international first class products out there which feature completely enclosed suites. In my personal opinion however the Cathay Pacific seat is fantastic and I’ve had some of the best sleep I’ve ever had on a plane in that seat. Any shortcomings that may arise from the hard product is more than compensated for by the soft product. The crew was absolutely phenomenal in every sense. From the moment I boarded to the time I left I was constantly looked after and their proactive service was amazing.
This flight required quite some time of preparation to book since Cathay doesn’t like to release many award seats until close to departure. Finding availability on the JFK-YVR route wasn’t too difficult, it just had to be timed right. This ticket was booked using 32,500 AAdvantage miles pre-devaluation.
The flight doesn’t depart until 9:55PM and I was a bit too enthusiastic about my arrival to JFK as check-in didn’t open until approximately 6:30PM. I may or may not be writing this trip report a bit late but at the time Cathay operated out of Terminal 7. First class check in was in that back section where British Airways has their premium cabin check-in. The entire process was relatively smooth until I hit the premium security line which was about 40 people deep and moving slowly. Not that premium I’d say. As a first class passenger I had access to both the British Airways first and business class lounges and BA preflight dining. The British Airways first class lounge is a dark and dreary room that I’d feel sorry for any passenger having to sit in. I immediately left and went into the far superior business class lounge. At least that had proper lighting, seats, and power outlets.
Preflight dining wasn’t too much to rave about. On the menu was clam chowder, Thai style chicken, and your standard sides. When bored might as well eat right? Though some would say that I prioritize eating too much. As of early 2017 Cathay Pacific is moving operations to Terminal 8 at JFK so with that will come a much better terminal and access to the AA Flagship lounge which is definitely much nicer than that drab BA lounge.
Upon boarding, I was immediately shown to my seat by a flight attendant and immediately brought over pajamas and an amenity kit. I was surprised I got the pajamas considering that I was only flying to Vancouver but hey, I’m not complaining.
I was immediately offered some Krug which I continued to enjoy for the duration of the flight. With flight attendants insisting you keep drinking $200 champagne who can say no?
The Western menu choices didn’t seem too appealing to me at the time so I went with the Asian option. At that time, I really didn’t know how to use chopsticks and was too embarrassed to ask for a fork so I had to learn fast. Needless to say the meal was quite good.
For an hour or so I continued watching some movies while dozing off, I had gotten up to use the lav and the flight attendants must have read my mind because once I got back just a few minutes later my bed was made with the mattress pad and everything.
Hours later I woke up and went back to the lav, all that champagne was working its way through. When I got back all the bedding was taken away and seat back in seat mode. Plus I had another cappuccino waiting. Flight attendants also put in a lovely orchid at your seat while you’re asleep.
This was by far one of the best first class flights I’ve taken. The proactive service was unmatched. Next on the list is to fly it all the way to Hong Kong