On my next leg of my around-the-world trip, I flew from Frankfurt to Hong Kong in First Class on Cathay Pacific. To date, it’s the best in-flight experience I’ve ever had.
After clearing security following my visit to the Cathay lounge in Frankfurt, I headed to the gate. I like to stand and/or walk around for a bit before I get on a plane for 12 hours, so I stood in the roped-off first class area for about 20 minutes until boarding of the Boeing 777-300ER began.
My seat for the flight was 1A, which I took to mean I was going to be in charge in case anything should go wrong with the crew. Here’s a photo of my seat for the 12 hour flight.
Cathay’s small first class cabin on the 777 is arranged in two rows, with three open suites in each row. The middle and right side suites face each other, so for the most privacy as a solo traveler, try to get 1A or 2A. If you’re traveling with someone, aim for 1D & 1K or 2D & 2k. Here was the view to the right of my seat. Notice the privacy.
In terms of space, the Cathay Pacific 777 first class seat is the roomiest I have been on so far. I did find the British Airways 747 first class seats on my flight from San Francisco to London Heathrow to be a bit softer, but not significantly so.
Seriously, look at how much space I had here. This photo was taken with my legs stretched out completely from where I was sitting. I’m 5’10” and my feet were still a good foot away from the storage area. You can also see the first class pajamas & guest jumpseat to the left, which becomes part of the bed when the seat is made fully-flat.
As soon as I sat down, a flight attendant offered me champagne. Cathay Pacific offers Krug in first class. Having never had it before, I was eager to try some. I was so eager, in fact, that I ended up having 3 glasses, even though I hadn’t planned on drinking much during the flight.
I was also given lobster mango tartare as an amuse bouche while the rest of the passengers were boarding.
While I drank my Krug, I went through the amenity kit. Cathay Pacific’s amenity kit on this flight was from Aesop. There was even a nice wooden comb and a shoehorn inside.
It’s the little touches that I particularly enjoyed on Cathay. Take for example the flowers at each seat.
It was time to figure out what all of the buttons on my seat did. Imagine my surprise when I found the one that made the seat vibrate. My reaction was something like this.
You can give me nice champagne and fancy foods, but you can’t make me put the “class” in first class entirely. I was amused by this “A.S.S. Security Services” van parked below the jetway next to the plane.
I put on the Bose noise-canceling headphones that were at my seat, and watched the various cameras positioned on the outside of the plane as we taxied and took off.
Then it was time to start a movie. I opted for 22 Jump Street, which I enjoyed. I liked how it was self-aware of all of the usual sequel tropes. The screen swung out and filled the entire space to the left of the storage area. It was a massive screen for the space, and the picture quality was great as well.
Once we were at altitude, full cabin service began. Here are the menus from the flight:
I started with some caviar and more champagne. Like with the Krug, it was my first time having caviar. I have to say, I can see why some people are willing to pay a lot for it. I probably could have had about 10 tins of it.
Champagne wishes & caviar dreams. Here is the point where I remind you that this entire trip cost only 125,000 USAirways miles plus around $200. Even if I had purchased these miles during USAirways promotions, the whole trip would have been less than $1500, meaning this particular flight would have been perhaps $400. The caviar alone costs around $50. Not bad. This sort of travel is achievable even for the non-ultra-rich, you just have to figure out how to get the miles & redeem them for the best value.
After the caviar, I had the pea & mint soup, which was excellent. There was also a hand-written note welcoming me to the flight. Again, Cathay Pacific wins with those little touches.
Then the salad with scallop & crayfish. There were nice big chunks of seafood on the salad.
For the main course, I opted for the suckling pig with butter spaetzel.
Then for dessert, I had the apple strudel with custard. Phenomenal.
Overall, it was the best airline meal I’ve ever had. That’s not surprising, given how outstanding everything else was on this flight. In case that dessert wasn’t enough, we were also given chocolates.
Even the restroom on the flight didn’t look like a usual airplane restroom. It was more spacious & fancier.
After watching another movie, I had my bed made up and settled in to sleep.
I tend to have some difficulty sleeping my first night in an unfamiliar bed, even if it’s in a fancy hotel. However, between the champagne and the comfortable Cathay Pacific first class seat, I easily fell asleep for a few hours.
I awoke in time for breakfast. I started off with a smoothie while watching one of the best shows on television, Veep.
Then had a full English breakfast. Yes, those are actual freshly prepared eggs.
We arrived in Hong Kong around 6 a.m. I still had another full day of travel ahead of me, but thanks to the comfortable first class ride on Cathay Pacific, I was ready for it.
More posts from this trip:
Around the World: An Introduction
Global Entry application, interview, & review: Around The World
British Airways First Class & Business Class Terraces Lounge San Francisco SFO Review: Around The World
British Airways First Class 747-400 San Francisco SFO to London Heathrow LHR Review: Around The World
British Airways South Galleries Club Lounge London Heathrow LHR Review: Around The World
A day exploring Madrid, Spain: Around The World
Iberia Dali VIP Lounge Madrid Barajas MAD Review: Around The World
Soller, Mallorca, Spain: Around The World
Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain: Around The World
Top 10 things to do in Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Around The World
Cathay Pacific First Class & Business Class Lounge Frankfurt FRA Review: Around The World
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Frankfurt FRA to Hong Kong HKG Review: Around The World
Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong HKG Review: Around The World
Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong HKG to Tokyo Narita NRT: Around The World
Tokyo, Japan – A New Year Hatsumode visit to Meiji Jingu shrine: Around The World
Tokyo, Japan – Intro to Shinjuku, Harajuku, & Shibuya: Around The World
Tokyo, Japan – Day trip to Mt. Fuji & Kawaguchiko: Around The World
Tokyo, Japan – Shinjuku & Shibuya: Around The World
Tokyo, Japan – Day trip to Kamakura: Around The World
Tokyo, Japan – Shinjuku – Toilets, Arcades, & Robot Restaurant review: Around The World
Craft beer in Tokyo, Japan: Around The World
Tokyu Stay Nishi Shinjuku hotel review: Around The World
Kyoto, Japan – Imperial Palace, Philosopher’s Walk, Ginkakuji Temple: Around The World
Kyoto, Japan – Ryoanji Temple, Kinkaku Temple, & Fushimi Inari Shrine: Around The World
Kyoto, Japan – Day trip part 1, Miyajima: Around The World
Kyoto, Japan – Day trip part 2, Hiroshima: Around The World
Craft beer in Kyoto, Japan: Around The World
Sakura Terrace Kyoto hotel review: Around The World
Tokyo, Japan – Grand Sumo Tournament: Around The World
Japan Rail Pass, Shinkansen, & Narita Express train reviews: Around The World
Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita NRT review: Around The World
Japan Airlines First Class Suite 777-300ER Tokyo Narita NRT to Los Angeles LAX review: Around The World
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