Review: Cathay Pacific Hong Kong to Chicago – First Class – 777-300ER

We briefly stopped in the Wing lounge again, but really not long enough to do more than visit the restroom and have a beverage. Soon it was time to board, so we made our way to the gate. It turned out that we were among the last folks to board in First Class, which had 5 of 6 seats taken.

Cathay Pacific First Class is 3 across, 1A and 2A have the aisle to themselves, where as the other 4 seats share the port side aisle. This worked out well for my wife and I, seated in the second row. It turned out that there were some avid mile and point folks in the first row, that I chatted with briefly before departure. It’s always nice to run into others who share our hobby.

The cabin itself does not have overhead compartments, rather, the seat has a closet to fit a standard sized rollerboard in, my Briggs and Riley Transcend fit snuggly, but still fit.

The seat itself is quite wide, I’d wager a guess that it is very similar in width to Singapore’s First Class seat, although I liked the way that Cathay responded to this width when in a seated position – they had an arm rest that came down. This was much better, in my opinion than a simple pillow.

Before long, our flight attendant Toshi introduced himself, and offered a glass of Krug and some amuse bouche. We gladly enjoyed our Krug while boarding finished up.

I dare say between the 5 of us in First, at least 2 bottles were enjoyed, maybe more.


Soon after, Toshi brought by our amenity kits and pajamas.

Cathay Pacific includes all of your “sleep wear” in one convenient bag, including pajamas, slippers, and eye shades.


I was quite impressed with the pajamas and found that they even wash well (and thus have become staple for home lounge wear – great when UPS comes for a pick-up!) In them, one looks like either a monk, a samurai, or a North Korean Dictator that shall remain nameless.

We ended up departing late, I think because they needed to find a cell phone and offload some bags. Such is life, we were more than happy to enjoy the great service for just that much longer.

Eventually we did depart, and very quickly we were provided menus for lunch. My wife and I both chose to eat soon after departure, which included a small array of options.





I opted to try some Caviar (which amount to a few bites), however my wife had enjoyed it so much, that she traded plates with me, alleviating me of the guilt of not finishing it.


Then I moved on to the soup, which I felt was good, just not as creamy as I would’ve liked.


After I finished my soup, came perhaps the single largest steak I’ve ever had onboard a plane. This thing looked huge! If I were to guess, I’d say it was 16-18 ounces, or at least that’s what it felt like. It was good, and came with a peppercorn sauce and a béarnaise sauce. I don’t think I was able to eat even half of it. It was accompanied by sweet and roasted potatoes, and some other garnishes.


By this time, I was getting full, so I skipped on desert, save for some Hong Kong Milk Tea, which proved to be not the best idea, as we encountered some pretty substantial turbulence. Nothing to be afraid of, but it was enough to topple my water glass, which may have been a first for me.


Though I skipped on desert my wife ended up having some.


As the turbulence didn’t seem to be subsiding, I decided that I would seize the opportunity, and asked the crew to make up the bed. I’ve commented many times, that I typically sleep better with a bit of rocking and rolling.


I’m sorry to say that I ended up sleeping far too long, I think I woke up just over an hour out, which allowed for enough time to change and eat, but, I would’ve liked to have been able to finish my movie.

For my pre-arrival meal, I chose breakfast, while my wife (my smarter, and better half) chose afternoon tea. I wish I had chosen that as well!

I started off with a small fruit dish and toast:


This was followed by cereal (I had a ton of cereal this trip)


And then I had some bacon, a sausage and a couple of hard boiled eggs.


It was nothing awe-inspiring, but more than sufficient for me.

My wife on the other hand enjoyed afternoon tea, leaving me quite jealous.



Cathay Pacific First Class had been my “White Whale” for many years, never having had the chance to fly Cathay Pacific First. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve flown a ton of great first class products (Like Emirates, Korean Air, Etihad, ANA, Thai, Lufthansa, Qantas, and the list goes on), and some very good business products (Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Swiss, and others), but Cathay had still evaded me.

Now that I’ve finally had the chance to fly Cathay, I have to say, I am impressed. Cathay runs a solid operation, maintains a very comfortable hard product, and the soft product is wonderful as well. Would I fly them again? Without a doubt.

8 thoughts on “Review: Cathay Pacific Hong Kong to Chicago – First Class – 777-300ER

  1. I hate you. Well not really. Cathay first has been my dream to fly for awhile now.
    Wife and I are booked in business 11/19 for the lantern festival in Thailand and I’m getting nervous. Checking JAL and BA everyday, multiple times a day for first availability. Hoping and praying 2 seats open up that my wife and I can get.

    • @Corey – I completely know how you feel! Keep an eye out, releasing of availability from Cathay seems to be a bit of a mix, but check out 3 weeks, 2 weeks, and 10 days before. Sometimes I find availability within a week too… But if you keep checking, I’m sure you’ll find First Class availability.
      That said, I don’t know where you are flying from, but as of the time of my comment, here are F availabilities: CX 845-F2; CX841 – F5; CX 811 – F0, CX 807 – F2, CX881 – F5, CX883 – F5, CX897 – F1 — where each “F” signifies how many seats CX is still selling in First.

      Good Luck!!! Feel free to e-mail me if I can help further!

  2. Trevor,
    Thanks for the reply. I looked around and could not find an email. Any help is appreciated.
    We are actually flying out of Billings Mt but believe it or not, no direct flight on CX :o)
    We leave Billings at 1530 on 11/18, our CX flight out of LAX is on 11/19 at 0010 and is CX 881

    • @Corey – you’re welcome to e-mail me at trevor(at)TaggingMiles(dot)com, so far though, I’d say you probably have a reasonable shot, as CX is showing F5, meaning they are still selling at least 5 seats. I’d recommend checking daily.

    • Corey,

      I was able to change our itin from MSP-ORD-BOS-HKG-SIN in J to MSP-ORD-HKG-SIN in J while sitting in the AA lounge in ORD. Was totally worth it to remove a leg from the trip and take 12 hours out of the trip.

      If you still don’t have FC tix, check the day of the trip and don’t think twice about calling AA reservations and giving it a last ditch shot at upgrading in LAX either.

  3. So here is an update. I tried ever few minutes on the outbound all the way to standing in line waiting to board, until I saw 6 people standing in the first class line.
    Well on a side note business was excellent and the trip has been excellent, late last week I checked and they released 1 seat in first for our return. So what did I do? My dream flight. Yep, I booked my wife into it. After checking out the Krabi night market I decided to. Heck again and they released 1 more, I jumped on it. Now both the wife and I are flying CX F

  4. Pingback: Weekend in Taipei: Introduction - Tagging Miles

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