The only thing better than turning left after boarding a plane is going upstairs. This wasn’t the newest Business Class product, but I was excited to try out Cathay Pacific’s herringbone Business Class seating configuration.
Cathay Pacific 747 Business Class configuration
I’ve never flown in a herringbone business class seat like this. This was a pretty innovative configuration when it was released. Virgin Atlantic pioneered this type of seat, and other airlines used a similar design including Air Canada and Delta among others. I’ve heard that some find these seats seem sort of claustrophobic, and I guess that was somewhat true. The bigger issue I had with it was the difficulty I had looking out the window. I like looking out, and in this seat I kind of had to look back over my shoulder to see outside.Newer versions of this seating concept include the reverse herringbone configuration such as in business class on US Airways, American, EVA, and newer configurations on Cathay.
The timing of this flight worked out for my needs, and I intentionally booked this since it was a long-haul configured plane. Many of the other options on this route were in a regional configuration, so I figured it was a better value for this Avios redemption. It cost 20,000 Avios plus $40. Maybe paying double the price over economy class wasn’t a great value, but I certainly couldn’t justify triple the price for Cathay Pacific First Class, as much as I love that seat. I appreciated the lounge access in HKG before hand, and this was a nice flight.
There are 22 seats in the upstairs business class cabin, and 24 downstairs. There were only about 8 passengers seated on the upper deck. Service was excellent, as I expected from Cathay Pacific.
Bird’s eye view of the Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat
The seat goes fully flat, and has a 15 inch monitor with a huge array of options, on StudioCX. The only problem with the in flight entertainment is that it was not available until the plane leveled off. Even though this product is old, it would probably be nice for a long flight, and it was excellent for the short 3 hour flight to Incheon. I always have enjoyed the diverse crews on Cathay. The pilots sounded like Kiwis, and I was entertained by their accent as well as the fact that one of the first officers came through the cabin to grab a newspaper before departure.
This drink is a delight.
Service began with an offer of a beverage before departure, and it was served with a hot towel. Of course, I went with a Cathay Delight, which is a favorite of mine. It is a mix of coconut milk, kiwi juice, and milk and is garnished with mint leaves. Yum!
Once we leveled off, another drink was offered, and warm cashews were served and the meal order was taken. I’m not a huge cashew fan, maybe I’m just standing in solidarity for my niece who is allergic. It is unfortunate, since second helpings were offered. If there were some almonds or other nuts in there, I’d have been game…
Here are the menus for the meal service:
Note: the menu was very similar to my past flights in Cathay Business Class, back in 2012
Welcome on board Cathay Pacific
Your Business Class menu today offers a choice of carefully selected and prepared seasonal dishes. We are delighted to be able to offer you a choice of authentic Chinese favourites or contemporary international cuisine, complemented by a variety of fine wines and beverages.
We hope you enjoy your flight and should there be anything you require, our cabin crew will be delighted to assist.
* Beef seared carpaccio with Parmesan crisp
Mixed salad with Kalamata olives, French vinaigrette
Wok-fried chicken with black bean, steamed jasmine rice and choy sum
* Fillet of sea bass, spring vegetables and pesto dressing sauce
Bibimbap: Korean mixed vegetables and beef with rice
Cheese and Dessert
Fresh seasonal fruit
Haagen Dazs Ice Cream
Tea and Coffee
* Specially created by Michelin-starred Chef Pino Lavarra at Tosca, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. Please ask our cabin crew which wine matches the Tosca dish
orange, apple, tomato
Coke Zero, Coke, Coke Light, Sprite, Perrier water, tonic water, soda water and ginger ale
freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and caffè latte regular or decaffeinated
Hong Kong style milk tea, Ceylon, Japanese, jasmine, oolong
organic selection: camomile, earl grey and peppermint
Wine list (I did not type up the description of each item, let me know if interested)
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne
White Wines Vignerons de Buxy “Tête de Cuvée” Burgogne 2012
Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Red Wines Fox Creek McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012
Chateau des Jacques Morgon 2010
Port Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008
Apertifs and cocktails
Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin * Bacardi Rum * Absolut Vodka * Martini Rosso * Martini Extra Dry * Campari * Sweet and Dry Sherry * Bloody Mary * Screwdriver
Chivas Regal 12 Years Old * Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve * Jack Daniel’s * Canadian Club
Cognac Hine “Rare and Delicate’ Fine Champagne
Liqueurs Cointreau * Drambuie * Bailey’s Irish Cream
Beer International Selection
Signature Drinks Cathay Delight * Pacific Sunrise
First was the starters. Pretty tasty, and i was impressed for a regional business class flight.
Beef carpaccio starter
Of course I opted for garlic bread.
The cabin being only 1/3 full probably helped, but I thought service was excellent. For my main course, I can’t figure out my thought process. I guess I was trying to eat healthy, but the seabass was pretty blah. I knew I’d have Bibimbap on my Asiana flight, so I guess that’s why I opted against that, but the best inflight steak I ever had was on Cathay, albeit in First Class, but still, I probably should have gone for that. Oh well.
Sea bass main course. Tasted about as good as it looked. meh.
The dessert courses were pretty good. It is hard to screw up fruit and cheese and Haagen Dazs ice cream
Fruit and cheese in Cathay Pacific Business Class. Nothing exciting, but good
Finally, the meal finished with the typical business class sweet, ice cream
I was actually thinking recently how I’d be happier with just Haagen-Dazs than the rather bland ice cream that United serves in premium cabins internationally and on PS. At least it seems to taste and hold up better.
Finally, I asked for some Hong Kong style milk tea to round out the meal.
Hong Kong style milk tea on Cathay Pacific Business Class
After the meal service, I reclined my seat, not that I needed to sleep, but mostly I wanted to try out the flat bed. It was a little narrow, with high walls, but I’m sure on a long flight I could have slept fine, especially if I would have eaten all of this food.
We made up some time in the air, but after nearly an hour delay, we ended up a little late in Seoul.
I was happy to be back on Cathay Pacific, and I definitely enjoyed the experience in Business Class.
My plane after arrival in Seoul
Next up, a quick stopover in Incheon then my first flight in Asiana First Class
Other posts in this series:
Around the world in a week
Air Canada to Toronto and The Maple Leaf Lounge
First Class all to myself: Lufthansa Inaugural Toronto to Munich
Munich Lufthansa First Class lounge then transiting Frankfurt
Thai Airways Royal First Class on the Airbus A380 Frankfurt to Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
My time in Kuala Lumpur and at the Le Meridien
Malaysia Airlines economy from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap
The Le Meridien Angkor, my home base in Siem Reap
A Picture Tour of the Angkor Wat Temples Around Siem Reap
Best Western Amaranth for a short layover in Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge and Spa
Thai Airways Royal First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounges in Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul (this post)
Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport
Asiana Airlines First Class lounge in Seoul
The only passenger in Asiana Airlines First Class Seoul to Frankfurt
The Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
The best lounge in the world? Back at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class with a seat and a bed Frankfurt to Toronto