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Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class HKG - SFO
Cathay Pacific Airlines #870
Hong Kong (HKG) - San Francisco (SFO)
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
2:10 PM - 10:15 AM (-1): 12 hours, 45 minutes
Boeing 777-300ER: Seat 19A (Business Class)
After spending a little over an hour in the lounge, I headed to board my flight home after nearly two weeks in China. I was very excited to get home and also quite excited for my flight. I had flown from HKG to SFO just a month prior in First class, so I was looking forward to comparing that experience to Business class.
For this flight, Cathay Pacific's Business class featured a 1-2-1 configuration with 40 reverse herringbone seats which can all lie flat - excellent on a long overnight flight. My seat, 19A, was located directly in front of the galley, which I honestly didn't love because there was quite a bit of hustle and bustle going on during the flight. Not only that, but since it was an overnight flight, the light from the galley which couldn't be completely obstructed by the curtain made it tricky to sleep without using the eye mask (not one of my favorite things).
Overall though, I was extremely happy with the fact that I had a very comfortable seat and more than enough room to stretch out for the long flight. The beauty of the reverse herringbone is the fact that you really don't see much of your neighbors, especially if you're sitting in a seat on the window, since the seats all face away from each other and are staggered.
The seat controls are intuitive and conveniently, you'll find a plug right there as well to charge electronic devices in-flight, which is always appreciated. Each passenger in Business class also has a set of Bose headphones to use during the flight and the televisions are quite large and swing out when you're ready to watch.
Shortly after takeoff, amenity kits were handed out. The kits featured bags and accessories by agnès b. with toiletries by Jurlique including hand cream, lip balm, and day care cream. At the end of the flight, I also managed to grab an unopened men's kit while deplaning, so I was able to get a look at that version in addition to the women's.
Just a short while later, it was time for the lunch meal service to start. Not long after takeoff, the attendants had all come by and introduced themselves, while referring to each of the passengers by name, which is always a nice touch, and asked for our entree selections. Once the service began, the flight attendants first passed out warm nuts and offered drinks to start.
The lunch menu read as follows:
Cajun spiced prawns with green mango salad
Mixed salad w/Italian vinaigrette
Sautéed pork spare ribs with Chinese sauce, steamed jasmine rice and choy sum
Grilled Australian prime beef tenderloin on braised lentils with roasted pumpkin and French beans
Yellow curry halibut with steamed rice and spicy green beans
Mezzi rigatoni tossed with parmesan, zucchini cream, carrot and artichoke
Pecorino, St. Paulin, Camembert, crackers and spiced pear paste
Fresh seasonal fruit
Coffee and assorted teas
I decided to try the vegetarian rigatoni dish, which was pretty good. It had good flavor and was cooked well, which I appreciated and which can be difficult when eating an airplane meal. I also had to have a couple of pieces of Cathay's amazing garlic bread on the side. For dessert, I guess I was feeling gluttonous, so I had both the fresh fruit and the Sacher cake, which was great.
After lunch, I watched a few movies, but I knew I wanted to get at least a little bit of sleep on the flight since I was arriving home at 10 in the morning in San Francisco and would need to stay up all day long to get back on Pacific time. I made the seat into a bed, which indeed does become fully flat, and situated myself away from the galley so as not to be distracted by the light or activity coming from it. The pillow and blanket you get are pretty nice and keep you warm while you sleep, which is something I always struggle with on airplanes - they are always either too hot or too cold.
After a few hours of sleep, I woke up as the lights were turned back on with about two hours left in the flight. It was time for "brunch". The brunch menu read as follows:
Orange or apple juice
Mango and passion fruit smoothie
Fresh seasonal fruit
Natural or fruit yoghurt
Omelette with pan-fried streaky bacon, Lyonnaise potatoes, sautéed shimeji mushrooms and roasted vine ripened tomato
Dim sum with chili sauce
Shredded kwai fa chicken with bean curd skin congee, served with stir-fried rice roll with dried shrimp and spring onion in X.O. sauce
Assorted breakfast bread served with preserves, honey and butter
I chose to have some more fresh fruit, a croissant from the bread basket, and the omelette with bacon, potatoes, and tomatoes. You really can't expect much from in-flight eggs, to be honest. I never find them to be great, but I never feel like anything too savory in the "morning", so the other choices were out. The meal was fine and I was just looking forward to being back home in the US.
Overall, there really isn't a better way to fly from Hong Kong to San Francisco than flying Cathay Pacific. Service is always prompt, friendly, and attentive, which is definitely different from flying a US carrier like American, where I have literally had hours pass without anyone stopping to remove extra dishes or glasses. The added bonus of lie-flat seats is perfect for a long-haul flight and makes everything so much more comfortable. I now quite literally go out of my way to book all of my travel to and from Asia on Cathay and I'm always happy I've made that choice.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.