We were extremely happy to secure two first class seats on the luxurious Cathay Pacific first class flight from LAX to Hong Kong (HKG). What made our trip even more amazing was being the only passengers on our side of the cabin! This was our first time in international first class, and flying Cathay Pacific for it was truly an unforgettable experience. We can understand why this one way ticket costs over $10,000 per passenger!
How We Booked Cathay Pacific First Class
We used 70K Alaska Airlines Miles to secure our booking from LAX to Hong Kong. Even better is that the 70K miles included a free stopover in Hong Kong and a second flight in business class (no first class available) from Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE)! Since the retail cost of the two flights is over $10,000 per passenger, that meant getting over 14 cents/point, talk about value! This is again why I feel that Alaska Airlines Miles are some of the most, if not THE most valuable airline miles out there. Brandon will be doing a future post on Alaska Airlines miles so I won’t get into too much detail in this flight review.
When we first booked our flights only one first class award seat was available from LAX to Hong Kong (HKG). Brandon was kind enough, and a good man, to give me the seat and put himself in business. As many others have noted Cathay Pacific frequently opens up additional first class award availability within 2 weeks of departure. Brandon called back multiple times a day to check for another first class seat during this period. We had gotten discouraged, but literally 18 hours before departure, a single seat opened up in first class! YAYYY! We were both booked for our journey to Hong Kong and were eager for our very first, first class flight review.
First Class Check-in at LAX
The check in, process was quick and efficient, no issues to note for this flight review. There was a dedicated check in line at LAX for Cathay Pacific First Class with no wait.
Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX
With our Cathay Pacific first class ticket we were invited to the Qantas First Class Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. This lounge is one of the the best lounges at LAX, if not the entire United States. What really sets this lounge apart is the extensive high quality drink selection and the restaurant quality made to order food.
Boarding the 777-300ER
We were led down a separate entrance for first class passengers and were immediately greeted by warm and friendly smiles from the three crew members dedicated to first class. They welcomed us and offered a pre-departure glass of champagne (or any drink of choice), of which we gladly accepted as a toast to the beginning of our adventure. While Cathay Pacific generally serves Krug, they made a change about 8 months ago to Tattinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006. Generally when an airline makes a change, it is a cost cutting measure, but this new champagne still retails for about $200 a bottle.
A warm towel was also provided to cleanse our hands along with a dish of warm mixed nuts.
First Class Cabin
The Cathay Pacific first class cabin on the 777-300ER has only six seats, with two rows arranged in a 1-1-1 configuration. This is a rarity as most first class cabins have more seats and a 1-2-1 arrangement. All the seats felt very private due to the high partitions. However seats 1A and 2A were slightly more so due to having their own aisle, while seats 1D/K and 2D/K all shared an aisle. So if you are traveling in first class alone, I recommend grabbing seats 1A or 2A. While if you are traveling with others, go for seats 1D/K and 2D/K, as we did on this flight review.
Additionally there is a second seat across from the main seat. This additional seat was cleverly designed with a seat-belt to allow two people to dine and at once. We had fun enjoying both dinner across from each other and sitting side by side to watch a movie.
The seat had unlimited options from sitting straight up to completely flat as your bed. Any level of comfort was achievable. At night the flight attendants prepared our bed with a fitted mattress pad and a down comforter. We had no problems sleeping well that night. We even slept in the same bed for part of the night. Very spacious and comfortable.
There are several storage spaces. You can choose from a storage compartment next to the seat, storage area under the second seat, and even a built in closet with plenty of space to store carry-on items and hang your items that you don’t want wrinkled. There is no over head storage, which is actually appreciated because it makes the cabin feel more spacious.
The TV screen is touch enabled and fairly responsive. While the screen was sharp with good picture quality and a beautiful matte finish. However, I will note for this flight review that it only measured 15 inches. That is a little disappointing given the industry has moved toward 23 inch or even 32 inch displays in first class.
Food and Beverage
The food and beverage served on Cathay Pacific first class was simply amazing. Shortly after takeoff, a table was made up by one of the flight attendants. As mentioned previously, the seat across has a seat-belt, allowing two to dine together. This is a very nice touch, and one of those things that sets Cathay Pacific apart.
Our dining experience began with champagne and caviar. It was accompanied by lovely welcome notes personalized to us.
Champagne and caviar at 35,000 feet up makes for a hell of a date night 😉
Following this was an extravagant six course meal.
The drink menu was extensive ranging from non-alcoholic to premium alcohol. Alcohol included: aperitifs, cocktails, whiskey, Cognac, liqueurs, beer, signature drinks, wine and champagne. Brandon meant to enjoy some Johnnie Walker Blue Label, but got distracted by all the food and seemingly endless champagne!
After “lunch” we changed into our pajamas, washed our faces and brushed our teeth as the flight attendants made our beds for the night. The bed was extremely comfortable. We laid in the same bed and watched a movie until we fell asleep (yes… the bed was large enough for two!). Although we didn’t indulge in any of the night snacks available there is plenty of food and beverage options at any hour.
Brandon took advantage of this when he woke up in the middle of the “night” and decided to order a round of champagne for us…again. Shortly after we fell back asleep again, but the flight attendant kept checking to make sure our glasses were never empty!
The flight crew was immediately attentive when we awoke in the morning. We had our last meal about one hour before landing. It was named “dinner” on the menu, but was actually felt like more of a breakfast. In any case, this meal was was just as delicious, albeit slightly less food (thankfully!) than lunch. No food issues for this flight review.
As we changed back out of our pajamas, they stripped our beds down. We were able to wash our faces, brush our teeth and land feeling rested, fresh and clean. It was Amazing!! Imaging being able to curl your hair at 25,000 feet in an airplane!
First Class Gifts
One great bonus to flying long haul business or first class are the gifts! We were excited for our pajamas, slippers and amenity kit. The company PYE made the pajamas and slippers. Although the brown color wasn’t appealing for a girl, they were very soft and comfortable. We did end up wearing them every night in Hong Kong.
We also received an Aesop amenity kit. They had separate kits for males and females which was a nice touch. Both kits came with toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, ear plugs, eye mask, glass cleaning cloth, hand hydrating cream and body lotion. The female kit came with a hair brush while the ale kit came with a comb.
Overall CX offers one of the best first class experiences in the sky. The one glaring area for improvement is the lack of wifi! Most airlines by now offer at least some form of wifi on domestic and/or international flight, but CX is still lacking in this area. Not a huge deal, but something to note, especially for business travelers, or those TV streaming fanatics (me included). Make sure to download the entire season while on the ground!
Flight Review Conclusion
By the time we landed 15 hours later in Hong Kong we didn’t want our flight to be over. It was that good! This was our first experience on an international first class flight. I can safely say we loved every minute of our travel! The first class cabin on the Cathay Pacific 777-300ER was extremely spacious and well designed. We loved having a second seat to dine together. Everyone was so kind and friendly to us from boarding at LAX to disembarking in Hong Kong. The service, food and drinks, and overall experience throughout our entire journey was absolutely outstanding. We are definitely planning on booking more travel on Cathay Pacific in the future!