I arrived at the airport around 7:30pm for my 11pm red-eye flight, as I wanted to leave as much time as possible to have dinner and relax in the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Vancouver. Luckily the airport wasn’t too busy around this time.
Check-in counters for International flights usually opens ~3 hours before scheduled departure time, so I had to wait a bit in the Business Class priority line.
After getting checked in and dropping off my bags, I breezed through security and headed towards the Cathay Pacific Lounge, as I was getting pretty hungry for dinner.
I already did a comprehensive review of the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Vancouver a while ago, so I won’t repeat myself here. Instead, I’ll just share a couple of photos of my experience there. The lounge did have more of a moody atmosphere since this time I visited at night.
Eventually, I made my way to the gate in preparation for boarding. The aircraft for today’s flight is a Boeing 777-300ER in Cathay Pacific’s old colours with a mismatched nose cone.
International Business Class on Cathay Pacific features the 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, which is easily one of the best setups you can ask for in terms of spaciousness and privacy. For today’s flight, I’ll be seated in seat 19A.
After settling in, the crew came by to offer pre-departure beverages, with a choice of champagne, orange juice or water. Cold towels were also provided.
Amenity kits were also handed out at this time. The kits are made by Seventy Eight Percent, and come stocked with the usual items, including eyemask, lotion, earplugs, toothbrush / toothpaste, mouthwash and socks. I think I have about ten of these kits now!
The IFE controller and seat controls are found on the side of the seat above the side table. You’ll also find the power port and the LED reading lamp here.
Inside a small storage compartment, you can find the noise-cancelling headphones.
We had a timely push back at 10:55pm, and taxied towards runway 26L for departure.
About 30 minutes into the flight, the dining menu was handed out. Since it’s a red-eye flight, the meal service is condensed and is served all at once on one tray. Click on the thumbnails below to read the full menu.
I opted to have the beef tenderloin for the main, which was okay… far from special. From my many flights on Cathay Pacific, my experience has been that the catering is consistently average, and pales in comparison to many of the other Asian airlines such as JAL, ANA or EVA. Having said that, the service itself from the crew members was very attentive and friendly.
I’m very eager to try out Cathay Pacific’s revamped business class meal service and see how it will compare.
Of course one of my favorite drinks in the sky is still the Cathay Delight, which is a non-alcoholic kiwi-based drink with coconut milk. (If you didn’t know, I can’t tolerate alcohol, so I stick to the non-alcoholic stuff)
I finished off my meal with a cup of Hong Kong style milk tea.
I wasn’t planning on watching anything, but I browsed the IFE to check out some of the movie offerings and found it to be quite diverse and extensive, enough to keep most people entertained throughout a long haul flight.
My only complaint is that the IFE systems on these older 777 are a bit laggy and not as responsive compared to the newer systems, such as on the A350 which I flew in two years ago.
As the cabin lights were dimmed, I took this as a cue to set up my bed to get some rest. I used the thick duvet provided to set up my lie-flat bed, which was extremely comfortable and spacious, providing plenty of legroom for even tall passengers.
After closing my eyes for a few hours, we were already descending into New York as the first light of day started creeping into the horizon. My eyes were glued to the window as I admired the beautiful early morning colours.
Overall, I’d say my flight with Cathay Pacific was a very pleasant one. Cathay Pacific remains one of my top choices of airlines to fly with, simply because they have a very solid hard product and they provide extremely consistent service. They don’t excel in any specific categories, but they do offer a very stable experience across the board. Sometimes, what people look for in a flight is simply a guaranteed level of comfort, and Cathay Pacific definitely provides that.
The only real complaint I have is with the food offering and presentation. The quality of the food was mediocre and the presentation a bit closer to economy class than business class. Compared to their Asian rivals like JAL, ANA or EVA, there is definitely some catching up to do. Again, now that Cathay Pacific’s new business class services have rolled out, I’m very curious to see how that compares.
For a more cinematic experience, be sure to check out our YouTube trip report for this flight.
Have you flown in Cathay Pacific’s business class before? What were your experiences with it? Let me know in the comments! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for instant updates when we release a new post! Also, head over to our YouTube channel for our video trip reports. Thanks for reading!
Alvin is an aviation geek, enthusiast photographer, and software developer with a goal of exploring the world. He uses mileage programs to redeem premium flight travel, and shares his experiences here on OneMoreWeekToGo.