I recently travelled from Toronto to Bali, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong – this included 6 business class flights with Cathay Pacific.
For those of you who have never heard of Cathay Pacific, they’re a Hong Kong based company with their main hub located at the Hong Kong International Airport.
I actually was planning on travelling premium economy with them, but my mom (who knows best) explained to me that travelling on such a long journey would leave me pretty exhausted and that I should upgrade to business, and she was right (as usual!).
Premium economy is basically a class up from economy where the seats recline a bit more than economy seats and you’re allowed a little more kg/lbs for checked in baggage.
While I understand travelling business class takes a big commitment and will take a chunk of $$ out of your bank account, I’d really recommend it especially for long haul flights.
Your body will thank you later, trust me.
Plus who wants to spend their first few days on vacation recovering from their flight?!
My flight times:
- Toronto to Hong Kong : 15HR 10MIN
- Hong Kong to Bali : 04HR 50MIN
(Bali to Singapore was bought as economy and done separately as I travelled on the same KLM flight as my friends)
- Singapore to Hong Kong : 03HR 55MIN
- Hong Kong to Brisbane : 08HR 30MIN
(Melbourne to Christchurch was economy on another airline)
- Auckland to Hong Kong : 11HR 15MIN
- Hong Kong to Toronto : 15HR 25MIN
Baggage Allowance: There are different allowances depending on where you are flying from/to and what membership tier you have. For me, my checked in bags was 2x32kg/70lbs each, and cabin baggage was 1 carry-on of 10kg/22lbs and 1 small item (laptop, handbag, camera bag etc).
Check In Process: This was a pleasant experience – there are separate counters available for Priority, Marco Polo Club and Business Class. They give you your boarding pass, a lounge pass and priority passes for security and customs (if applicable). There was no waiting time in line and staff didn’t ask pointless questions (unlike other airlines that we experienced on our economy flights).
Lounge: I’m going to write a new post on the lounges available at the Hong Kong airport (stay tuned for that one!). Each airport had at least one lounge that we could go to. They offer different amenities – all of them have a buffet counter with food and drinks (options change depending on if it is breakfast/lunch/dinner), WiFi, spacious bathrooms some offer shower services and separate a-la-cart restaurant, cafes and bars.
Cabin Crew : They were very kind and pleasant. Crew was also able to answer questions and were available whenever needed. If you press the call attendant button, they usually come by in a few minutes – no need to wait and wait for someone to assist you. Also they are required to learn all the passengers last names so they come around saying “Ms Singh, what can I offer you” etc. On one of my flights, I had a spontaneous nosebleed and the staff was overly caring – at least 4 people came up to me and asked if I was ok, how I was feeling, if I needed anything else and they came to give me ice bags, cold towels and moist towelettes.
Food and Drinks : I am a vegetarian so I opted for the Asian Vegetarian Meal (see photos of meals). When getting settled in after boarding the plane, they come around with welcome drinks – options included water, orange juice, champagne and there was usually one of their signature drinks – I saw either Oriental Breeze or Cathay Delight. Oriental Breeze is sour plum tea and cranberry juice with honey and fresh lemon juice with a hint of rose water. It comes with a dried rose on top as decor which adds a wonderful fragrance too. Cathay Delight is a kiwifruit drink made with coconut milk and some mint. They also give you a salted nut selection. Right before serving food, they come around and put a ‘tablecloth’ on the tray. Then, the first trolley that comes by is offering drinks – you can get anything from their menu. Next, they drop off a tray which has the appetizer, salad, sometimes dessert or fresh berries, a glass filled with water and another plate which is kept for you to pick out which item you want from their bread basket/pastry (depending on the meal). If it is breakfast, then you get a choice of warm croissant, blueberry muffin or breakfast roll with strawberry jam, marmalade or honey with butter and if it is for lunch/dinner meal time, you get a choice of breads with a choice of jam or butter. If you finish your appetizer plate, the staff monitors this and comes to pick it up and deliver your main meal, you don’t have to wait until another trolley comes by – if you’re done one plate, they will notice and give you your next one, so you’re always at your own pace. Some of the breakfast items were delicious such as freshly squeezed orange juice and even a strawberry mango and banana smoothie option which seriously tasted so good. Next, they offered cheese/crackers and fruits then dessert – all of which were different depending on the month travelled and the flight destination. To end, a box of pralines were offered with four options – you can take as many as you like! Also on the menu are snack options that you can request at any time plus any of the drinks can be prepared for you whenever you want.
Entertainment : Each plane came with a large TV in front and a smaller handheld remote on the side. The more newer planes had a bigger TV screen and a way better entertainment system – was quite fancy. The plane also has WiFi (fee for use). The smaller remote was so awesome. It had a big touch screen with interactive map – can touch and zoom or move to click on big cities and it’ll bring up a little blurb about the place with photos and can zoom into a city map. With the handheld remote, you can view other options on their system, such as other movies/TV shows to watch, on board shopping items, etc. Plus, if you clicked on something on the remote – you have the choice whether to watch it on the main TV screen or the remote screen – that way you don’t have to interrupt the main screen – I used this a lot to see the moving map while watching a show. Another cool feature is that you can set up a wake up time on the remote i.e – at lunch, before landing etc, or you can set it on do not disturb.
Facilities and Commodities : First, since the seats are more spacious, the overhead cabin baggage (which is the same size/layout as the rest of the plane) means you basically get one container per passenger – no need to board early or move around other people’s baggage to find a spot for yours. There is also extra storage within the seat : one below the side counter which can fit a handbag, laptop bag, small backpack, one on the counter – this is where they keep their headset, but it also has a USB slot to charge devices, a mirror and a small pocket. The arm rest on the aisle side can be either secured down if you want more space or you can slide it up if you want more privacy. There is also a small side hook where you can hang a jacket/sweater. The seat-belt is also cushioned for extra comfort. The seat itself can be adjusted in many ways by either pressing the sleep button where the seat goes completely flat, by pressing the take off/landing button where the seat comes up to a seated position and then there are three separate sliders which can adjust the back rest, the seat itself and the foot recliner. The tray is tucked in under the side counter and is quite large, even with the meal tray on top, there was still space along the side. The bathroom : each flight had different sized bathrooms, some were the same size as what you’d see in economy, others had one larger one which seemed like a handicap bathroom. They all had Jurlique brand cleanser, moisturizer and hand cream. Besides that in the overnight bag, there was also Jurlique products (either serum, balancing mist and lip balm or hand cream, lip balm and moisturizer) as well as a 15% off coupon to buy Jurlique products in store. In the overnight bag, there was also an eye mask, ear plugs, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash and a comb. To note: on my flight from Hong Kong to Bali was on a different plane than the other flights – their business class had a 2-4-2 seat layout which meant that I was sitting right next to someone. Their seats were still very spacious but on this flight, the chair is not able to recline fully flat and there aren’t as many storage options for your personal items.
- Ask for an extra duvet or blanket that you can put down on the seat for extra comfort – I prefer asking for an extra duvet because it feels like a mattress protector, plus I prefer not to lay directly on a seat that someone else has been directly laying on, I mean, how often do they deep clean those fabrics 😐
- If you’re boarding a flight that’s late at night and you want to sleep rather than staying up for meal service, you can ask for your meal to be kept aside and warmed up later. On my first flight from Toronto to Hong Kong, the flight attendant came around and asked what I wanted, but other flights no one asked – so don’t feel like you’re obliged to be up for the meal if you want to sleep!
- They give you a hot towel before every meal service – I recommend using it as a refresh and also to wipe down all counters/surfaces – I’m a germaphobe!
- Their signature drinks are limited so if you see one that you like, I’d recommend asking for it early!
- If you have requested a special meal, sometimes there are more food items available to you that aren’t listed on their standard menu. For example, on my flight from Hong Kong to Toronto, their snacks were all meat so I asked what they had for vegetarians and she came back with a vegetable sandwich – this was not on the menu. Also on my flight from Auckland to Hong Kong, there was a separate dessert available for our meal which was not offered to us unless we asked.
Disclaimer: Writer is not affiliated to any of the brands or stores mentioned. This is an independent review and all products were purchased by the writer.