On December 31, 2018 I was browsing my news feed when I saw all these deal alerts for Cathay Pacific First Class from Vietnam to the USA round trip. Some fares were right below 1,000 while others were a tad more expensive. By the time I hopped on this I wound up booking SGN to ORD for ~1,200 round trip. I was pretty excited to try Cathay Pacific First Class. To position to SGN I booked Korean Airlines First Class (previous flight and lounge reviews). Korean Airlines is actually scaling back their First Class which is sad to hear (but not surprising). While Korean Airlines First Class isn’t a leading product it was good and easily available via points.
When booking this flight the long haul HKG to ORD legs would be in First Class while the SGN to HKG legs were booked into Business Class. However, upon checking in at SGN I was informed there was an aircraft swap to a plane with First Class. Since I was booked on a First Class ticket I would be moved up. The reason why I note BusinessFirst besides a throwback to United is due to this flight having a Business Class soft product the soft product with a First Class hard product.
My flight through Hong Kong was at the same time protest were ongoing at the airport which had be a bit on edge. I wasn’t nervous of getting hurt but of protesters blocking the entrance to the airport. I had an overnight layover and rather than sit in a lounge I decided to book the Sky City Marriott which is close to the airport and provides a shuttle.
Unfortunately, the aircraft didn’t even arrive until 6:30 PM which was right after boarding was scheduled to begin. Additionally, no announcements were made to keep passengers updated. Boarding finally began at 6:54 PM
Date: Sunday September 1
Seat: 2A BusinessFirst
Scheduled Push Back: 7:05 PM
Actual Push Back: 7:30 PM
I boarded thorough door L1 and turned right. The seat was wide (like Singapore).
I normally pick seats on the right side of the aircraft but the left side is better as the seating configuration is 1-1-1 in first class. The left side is considerably more private.
There are no overhead bins in First Class. Each seat has a locker which can accommodate a carry on.
There was a large ottoman which had a seat belt. I assume this means you can done with a companion.
The left side of the seat had a plug and USB port along with a remote and headphones.
Hot towels and menus were distributed shortly after I was seated.
The captain came came on the PA noting they had a late departure from HKG and got put in a holding pattern on arrival to SGN due to weather. We were also waiting to offload some bags from no show passengers. We pushed back at 7:30 PM taxied to runway 25L and took off at 7:41 PM and the seat belt sign was off at 7:48 PM. Shortly after the meal service begun. The flight attendant asked for my meal order and took out my tray table.
My drink order along with the starter were served on one tray. The bread was warm which was a nice touch.
Next up was the main course. I went with the pork ribs.
I skipped dessert and coffee and decided to sleep for the short duration of the flight. The lavatory had soaps by Aesop and was a decent size.
For a ~2 hour flight the upgraded hard product was welcome. The service was great as well and all the flight attendants were smiling and happy. The food wasn’t anything to write home about. However, intra-Asia Business Class is normally that way. All in all it was a good fight with Cathay Pacific.