Travel Planning: Fall in Asia
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Recap: Time in Tokyo
Review: HND JAL First Class Lounge
Review: JAL Business Class HND - GMP
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Recap: Time in Seoul
Review: ICN Cathay Pacific Lounge
Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class ICN - HKG
Review: Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
Recap: Time in Hong Kong
Review: HKG Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge
Review: Cathay Pacific First Class HKG - SFO
Cathay Pacific #0417
Seoul (ICN) – Hong Kong (HKG)
Saturday, October 4th, 2014
10:20 AM – 1:00 PM: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Boeing 777: Seat 14A (Business Class)
Cathay Pacific is consistently ranked as one of the best airlines in the world, so I was really excited to try them out with my first of two flights on this trip. To book this flight for two of us, we redeemed 40,000 British Airways Avios and paid about $104.
We boarded the plane and noticed that unfortunately were flying on an older regional configuration, which features 45 business class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. It wasn’t terrible, since it was a short flight and I was sitting next to Chris anyway, but this route sometimes features a three class A330 with a reverse herringbone 1-1-1-1 configuration, which would have been very nice. The seats were also older and looked a bit worn, but they did recline and they were quite large, so they weren’t terrible.
Anyway, the seats were fine, so we settled in. Within a few minutes, we were greeted personally by one of the flight attendants and we were greeted by name. Initially, I thought she must have looked at a piece of paper right before greeting us, but as the flight went on, and the same attendant addressed us by name over and over again during the meal service with no chance of checking our names - I realized she had them memorized. Somehow, she had memorized at least 22 names of complete strangers on a less than 3 hour flight. It was astounding considering that I often forget someone’s name within .5 seconds of meeting them.
Shortly after leveling off, the flight attendants served drinks and presented both a wine list and a menu along with some warm nuts. I selected a white wine while Chris ordered a “signature” drink - a Cloud Nine. The Cloud Nine was described in the menu as “a refreshing combination of Vodka, Cointreau, and Sprite with a refreshing touch of lemon flavour” and was really good.
The meal service began right after the drinks were served and we were offered quite an extensive meal for such a short 3 hour flight. Forget JAL’s one plate “get what you get” meal - this was a real meal! The menu read as follows:
Korean ginseng and pear beef roll with mustard dressing
Seasonal salad with balsamic vinegar olive oil dressing
Chicken bulgogi with steamed rice and Korean mixed vegetables
Braised spare ribs, steamed jasmine rice and pak choy
Pan-seared cod with tomato caper butter sauce, sweet pumpkin potato mash and sauteed spinach with garlic
Cheese and Dessert
Fresh seasonal fruit
Flourless chocolate caramel cake with whipping cream
Tea and Coffee
For this flight, the meals were served from a cart, but the food was presented nicely and everyone seemed to get their selection without a problem. I tried to pass on the Korean ginseng and pear beef roll and just get salad, but they gave me both anyway. It had an interesting flavor, but I’m not a huge fan of ginseng or cold beef, so I didn’t eat much. The salad was also very basic, so there wasn’t anything too exciting there. Chris went for the chicken bulgogi and I had the spare ribs, which I really enjoyed. Admittedly, they were a bit hard to eat with chopsticks, but they were still quite tasty. Finally, we were offered both fruit and cheese which was followed by dessert - we both chose the flourless chocolate cake and it was absolutely excellent.
After the meal service was over, we probably only had about an hour and a half left in the flight, so we both did some reading. Since the flight was so short, I didn’t try using the entertainment system, but Cathay has a decent selection of movies and TV shows as well as games.
Before we knew it, we were landing in Hong Kong and were itching to explore another new city. I really can’t recommend Cathay Pacific enough for an intra-Asia flight like this. It was comfortable, the food was great, and the service was impeccable. All in all, I was very impressed and was looking forward to our First Class flight home from Hong Kong in a few days.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.