Cathay Terrific: Flying Business Class with Cathay Pacific

When you only have a few days to spend somewhere you want to make the most of them, which is why flying through the night and arriving first thing in the morning is a great idea. The only slight downside is that after flying through the night you may not be your sparkiest for the first day anyway and could find yourself fading early.

This is a problem that I felt vanish into thin air when I discovered that I had been upgraded on my Cathay Pacific flight from Sydney to Hong Kong. Oh sweet business class, you do put a spring in my step.

When I shared the happy news with my flight guru, Mark, he gave Cathay Terrific as he calls them the big thumbs up. “You’re going to love it,” he promised, and I decided it was time to find a glass of champagne in Sydney airport to celebrate that fact.

After sharing a pic of my glass of bubbles and boarding pass on social media (yes, I couldn’t help myself) some friends were quick to second and third Mark’s opinion, with one saying how she loved how private their business class seats were.

When it came time to board the A330-300 I excitedly took my seat and started checking out my base for the next nine and a half hours.

That’s Entertainment in the Sky

The first thing that struck me was just how much space there was. In fact, my TV screen seemed a long way away.

As other passengers boarded I sent a text to Mark, who had asked me what seat I was in and being a bit Rain Man with planes immediately knew I was in a middle one behind bulk head.

After telling him the TV was a little far away he texted back, “I know. Ask them to move you to economy so it is nice and close.” He then explained that after take off everything would be fine after I pressed the silver release button to bring the 15 inch screen closer, and that I could move my seat forward quite a bit without lying down. Phew. Problem solved.

As I sipped a glass of champagne I perused the entertainment options and found around 100 movies and 500 TV shows to choose from, including entire series of some great shows I’d been meaning to catch up on. I do love a good TV marathon so I knew they’d be hard to resist.

Then staff came through the cabin and handed out the amenities kits, with the ladies option including some very welcome Jurlique products with a mini Balancing Day Care Cream, Rose Hand Cream, and Lip Care Balm, along with toothbrush and paste, earplugs, eye mask and socks.

Having been tempted to buy one of the Jurlique facial mists in duty free, I was happy to find a full sized one in the business class bathroom to use during the flight. And while the Sydney – Hong Kong leg doesn’t have a first class, I was pleased to discover that the first class amenities kit on other Cathay flights features products from another one of my favourite Australian skin care ranges, Aesop.

Stretching Out in Cathay Pacific Business Class Flat Beds

When you’re in business class it almost seems like a waste to sleep and miss out on it, but knowing that I had my first Hong Kong experience waiting at the other end I promised myself I would only be allowed to watch one movie and enjoy dinner, then it would be bed down, eye mask on.

Knowing Cathay Pacific’s pyjamas are only available in first class, I was prepared with my Givenchy set from the Singapore Airlines Suites and was soon ready for bed with my face lightly misted with Jurlique goodness.

I’m an average height kinda gal and sometimes on flat beds my toes have touched the end of the bed, making me wonder how tall people feel in that situation. That definitely wasn’t happening here. There was so much room still under my feet that instead I was wondering how tall you’d have to be to reach it.

It turns out the answer is very tall. Cathay Pacific’s flat beds are just over two metres long (82 inches) and with the armrest extension down become 70cm (27.6 inches) wide, making them one of the longest and widest beds in the sky.

This was one bed where stretching out and rolling over was not a problem, and I was soon fast asleep somewhere over an ocean.

The Wing: Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Airport Lounge

One of the joys of flying business class is of course the chance to start a trip in style in the lounge. Cathay Pacific has half a dozen lounges in Hong Kong airport, and my favourite, The Wing, is their flagship.

Downstairs on level six they have a self served buffet, sofas, and areas to catch up on work, as well as 24 shower suites. But once I found the upstairs area I knew that’s where I’d be staying until it was time to fly.

The balcony level of The Wing has open ceilings, and different areas to explore, including the Noodle Bar where you can sit amongst live bamboo and enjoy dumplings, noodle soups and more, the Coffee Loft with delicious freshly baked pastries, and their Long Bar, where you can pull up a stool at 23 metres of Italian white marble and enjoy a pre-flight drink or three.

Flying on with DragonAir

After a few days in Hong Kong my journey continued onto China with DragonAir where I visited Mount Emei and stayed at the beautiful Anantara Emei Resort and Spa. The fact that DragonAir and Cathay Pacific are part of the same airline group made the flights from Chengdu to Sydney via Hong Kong seamless.

Not only could I check in for both flights at the same time and get both boarding passes, my luggage could go all the way through, and I even had the same entertainment system. I may have been half way through the third series of Episodes as we were coming in to land in Hong Kong, but no matter. I just remembered which one I was up to and finished the series on the next leg.

After checking out some of the other lounges in Hong Kong airport of course. Research I look forward to continuing. It may have taken me a while to get to Hong Kong with Cathay, but it won’t be too long before I do it again.

Amanda Woods flew with the assistance of Cathay Pacific but all opinions and thoughts remain her own.

Fancy some more airlines tales? See what it’s like inside ZA001, the first Dreamliner to fly, go behind the curtain to see what happens in Singapore Airlines’ Suites and Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class or find out about the best seat in British Airways Club World.

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About the Author

As a journalist who loves to travel and is fond of a chat I'm oh so happy when I'm sharing travel tales and tips through my blog and on my weekly travel segment on Sydney Radio 2UE. When I'm not travelling or writing about it I can be found out and about with friends, curled up at home with a good book or watching an addictive tv show promising I'll stop after one more episode. Amanda on Google +

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