Cathay Pacific B747-400 First Class Trip Report HKG-HND

Flight Date: 13APR2013—Cathay Pacific always seems to be winning awards for best service lately; and after a recent flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo, I found out why. Check out this list of accolades from just 2011 and 2012 alone–impressive.

After check-in and departure formalities, I went straight to the newly refurbished Cathay Pacific first class lounge. ‘The Wing’, which is located just to the left after passport control, is a special place.

Cathay Pacific 'The Wing' First Class Lounge

Cathay Pacific ‘The Wing’ First Class Lounge

Sleek Black Walls at 'The Wing'

Sleek Black Walls at ‘The Wing’

Set atop a balcony, you have unobstructed views of the passenger terminal area and tarmac—a people watching and plane-spotters’ paradise. The lounge is very sleek, with extensive use of marble floors and black glass walls, accentuated by contemporary furniture by Poltruna Frau of Italy. Upon entering, you are greeted by lounge staff and offered a welcome drink at the champagne bar before entering the main lounge area.

The Champagne Bar

The Champagne Bar

On the way you pass by a reading area stocked with a wide array of newspapers and magazines.

The Reading Room

The Reading Room

To the left of the reading room is the entrance to the five ‘cabanas’ and shower area. The cabanas are amazing; and for those with long layovers, shouldn’t be missed.

Cabana at the Wing

Cabana at the Wing

Cabana Private Room at 'The Wing'

Cabana Private Room at ‘The Wing’

Proceeding along, you come to the main lounge area with a snazzy bar finished in white marble.

The Main Bar

The Main Bar

'The Wing' Main Lounge Area

‘The Wing’ Main Lounge Area

Just behind the bar is the entrance to ‘the Haven’, where you can order a full meal service from the menu or help yourself to the buffet in the back.

The Haven Buffet

The Haven Buffet

The Haven Dessert Buffet

The Haven Dessert Buffet

The Wing is deceiving in a good way—open and airy, yet very private and secluded as well—one of the best airport lounges in the world.

The lounge experience was going to be hard to top; however, I was eager to get on my way nevertheless. Two solid weeks of non-stop air travel was beginning to take its toll.

Cathay Pacific B747-400

Cathay Pacific B747-400

My flight today was on a B747-400 and I was again the only passenger in the cabin. I’m fast becoming an A380 devotee; however the sight of the iconic 747 is always pleasing to the eye. Can’t wait to try Lufthansa’s B747-8 in the coming months.

Cathay First Class Suite

Cathay First Class Suite

The Cathay Pacific B747-400’s nine first class seats are located at the nose on the first floor; configured with four suites at the window on each side and one suite in the middle at row four.

Cathay B747-400 First Class Suite 2A

Cathay B747-400 First Class Suite 2A

For long haul flights, Cathay is gradually phasing out their fleet of 747-400’s and moving to B777-300s. The cabin is starting to show its age—that said—it is still a pleasant space.

Plenty of Room

Plenty of Room

The captain announced, due to strong tail winds, we would arrive a full hour ahead of schedule. I settled in and had a quick look at the menu and wine list.

-Menu-

Wines

Champagne
Amour de Deutz Blanc de Blancs 2005

White
Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2008
Spy Valley Envoy Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Red
Shingleback McLaren Vale Shiraz 2009
Castello di Gabbiano Alleanza IGT Toscana 2008

Port Ramos Pinto Quinta da Eravamoira 10 Year Old Tawny Port

Dinner Menu

Appetizer
Duck and herb terrine with kipflier potato and tomato
White bean garlic and herb soup

Bakery Selection

Main Course
Roasted lam rack with jus, pencil potatoes and ratatouille
Braised prawns in bean curd skin
with Chinese ham and bamboo shoot, steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried brocolli
Wild mushrooms and ricotta cheese agnolotti
with wild mushroom sauce and chopped parsley

Cheese and Dessert
Fourme d’ambert, Manchego, Arenberger French Brie
Fresh seasonal fruit
Chocolate charlotte with raspberry coulis

Tea and Coffee

Pralines

Japanese Meal

Canapés
Fish cake
with seaweed and sea urchin, braised lightning baby squid, soaked live shrimp, sea eel roll

Appetizer
Sliced salmon belly mackerel tataki style, sillago fillet skinless served
with Choya Plum Liqueur

Braised Dish
with Clear Soup Braised bamboo shoot, boiled sea bream roe
Clear soup with egg curd and kinome

Main Course
Side Dish- Japanese glass shrimp, ark shell meat and boiled Japanese cockle
Noodles- Cherry blossoms and white buckwheat noodles
Hot Dish- Steamed sea bass with sake, pan-fried scallop and broiled shrimp with salt
Rice- served with assorted pickles and miso soup

Fruit
Fresh seasonal fruit

I decided to go for the Japanese ‘kaiseki’ meal accompanied by a glass of the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc

The meal service began with some Japanese style canapés followed by sashimi and soup.

Canapés

Canapés

Sashimi and Choya Plum Wine

Sashimi and Choya Plum Wine

Braised Bamboo and Clear Soup

Braised Bamboo and Clear Soup

The main course was served on a lacquered tray and along with steamed rice and miso soup. Cathay Pacific doesn’t use pre-cooked rice; instead they have a small rice cooker on board to ensure freshness. The meal was very good.

Japanese Meal Main Course

Japanese Meal Main Course

The entertainment controller wasn’t working so I moved to another seat (nice having the whole cabin to yourself!) and watched a movie for the remainder of the short, 3 hour flight. As this was a short flight, I didn’t use the bed function. The seat is spacious, and like its Oneworld partner British Airways, the seat is a bit narrow at the toe. Controls are easy to use and the in-flight entertainment system offers a considerable array of movies, TV shows and games.

Final Thoughts— There is a reason Cathay Pacific is constantly winning awards. They get it. Friendly and efficient service, The Wing lounge…wow!, attention to detail in the air, great food and comfortable seats. From the check-in counter at Hong Kong to baggage claim at Haneda, everyone I encountered were quick to smile and offer assistance. I really enjoyed my stay at ‘The Wing’ and had an equally enjoyable ride on the B747-400. I’m scheduled to try their new business and first class cabins later in the year. Please check back for those reports.

For more information about Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific First Class Photo Gallery


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