[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: Cathay Pacific Airways
Flight Number: CX851
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900 XWB
Delivered: August 2021
Flight Duration: 13 hours 40 minutes
Distance: 6,927 Miles
Flying with a beloved airline is always a special experience, but flying with one that’s faced such tremendous challenges is an emotional journey. Cathay Pacific, once known for its luxurious offerings and amazing lounges, has been through a lot the last few years. The pandemic and financial difficulties have taken a toll, but despite it all, CX has resumed flights and we were lucky enough to be flying with them again. Our recent business class flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong was filled with mixed emotions – nostalgia for the airline’s glory days, hope for its future, and a hint of sadness at what has changed. In this blog, we’ll share our candid reflections on what it was like to fly with Cathay Pacific again, from the updated amenities and in-flight meals, to the performance of the crew and the iconic reverse herringbone seats. Join us as we embark on a journey of reflection and rediscovery.
What I liked:
Speedy Check-In – As OneWorld Emerald members, we were able to use the First Class/OneWorld Emerald line at check-in, saving us time and hassle. The check-in agent was friendly and efficient, and it took us less than 5 minutes to receive our boarding passes and get on our way. A quick and stress-free check-in – exactly what you want before a long flight.
The Seats – Cathay Pacific’s reverse herringbone business class seats are regarded as one of the best in the skies, offering both comfort and convenience. We lounged and slept in style, with everything we needed right within reach. The only downside – no air nozzles – but otherwise, a fantastic seat experience.
The IFE – The Studio CX entertainment system kept us entertained throughout the flight with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games. WiFi was also available for an additional $20, and the connection speed was decent. Plenty of options to stay entertained and connected.
The Amenities – Despite not offering pajamas in business class, Cathay Pacific provided a quality in-flight experience with a Bamford-branded amenity kit, slippers, bottled water, and noise-cancelling headphones. We also found a full-size pillow, mattress pad, and luxurious Bamford-branded duvet waiting at our seats, making for a comfortable sleep. The duvet was top-notch, one of the best we’ve slept in the sky.
What I didn’t like:
The Air France/KLM Lounge at SFO – The Air France/KLM Lounge at SFO – Unfortunately, Cathay Pacific’s own lounge at SFO was still closed at the time of our flight, so we were directed to the Air France/KLM Lounge. The lounge was underwhelming, with limited seating and a lackluster food and beverage selection. A far cry from the former Cathay Lounge pre-pandemic.
No Air Nozzles – The one downside to the Cathay’s business class seat was the absence of air nozzles. Fortunately, the cabin temperature was kept cool, allowing for a decent sleep despite the lack of air flow control.
The Onboard Service – CX is known for its exceptional in-flight service, but this flight was a bit disappointing. The crew seemed disorganized and not up to their usual standards. Pre-departure drinks were served, but meal service was slow and inefficient. It took over 2 hours after takeoff to receive our meal order. It’s unclear if this was due to COVID or cost-cutting measures, but it was a noticeable drop from our previous experiences with CX.
It was OK…I guess:
The Food – The food on this CX flight was a mixed bag. The garlic chicken dish I had for dinner was decent, and my companion enjoyed his cod dish. The pre-arrival meal of Chinese chicken congee and dim sum was bland. However, the mid-flight dishes of pulled pork burger and prawn and fishball laksa were both excellent and hit the spot after a nap. Overall, the catering on this flight was good, but not as impressive as previous Cathay Pacific flights.
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