Cathay Pacific 777-300ER Business Class Los Angeles (LAX) - Hong Kong (HKG)
CHECK-IN AND BOARDING: Check-in at LAX was quick and easy thanks to dedicated Business Class lines and the presence of a lot of CX staff to guide arriving passengers. Cathay Pacific uses the OneWorld lounge, shared with British Airways and Qantas, and it offers a nice range of food, space to work and even a (simulated) firepit.
Boarding was also smooth with no delays, again thanks to dedicated First and Business Class lines. As with check-in, there were a lot of CX staff on hand to assist, making the process go quickly.
THE SEAT: The Cathay Pacific Business Class seat is a standard long-haul, flat-bed that offers a fair amount of personal space, especially with the 1-2-1 cabin configuration. The two center seats are angled towards each other, ensuring excellent privacy when reclined or the ability to talk to your neighbor when the seats are in their upright position. There’s a bed extension that comes up when the seat is fully reclined, making the bed width a full 29.5 inches, although the seat itself is only 21 inches wide. The large IFE screen swings out to present a wide range of programming with a good selection of classic and current films and TV shows. Noise-canceling headphones are provided. One complaint; the screen’s privacy function makes it hard to see from any angle other than right in front. And it doesn’t tilt, so when the seat is reclined flat the screen darkens because of the viewing angle.
THE FLIGHT: Strong headwinds pushed the flight to 15 hours, but nonetheless the time was quite enjoyable, given the delicious food, fine wine and available IFE options. The timing works well with your body clock, with a departure from LAX just after midnight and arrival (one day later) into Hong Kong at 7 AM.
The food was excellent with beef, chicken and vegetarian options, along with a nice range of side dishes. Given the diversity of Hong Kong cuisine, it would have been nice to see more local specialties rather than generic Western and Italian selections, tasty as they were. The wine list featured great offerings from France, Spain and Australia.
Breakfast was served about two hours prior to landing and featured a selection of fresh fruit, a bagel with cream cheese and a hot meal with omelet, potatoes and bacon (an Asian breakfast option with congee was also on the menu). Bonus points to Cathay Pacific for making me a hot chocolate, a request I always make on flights but rarely have fulfilled.
ARRIVAL: The immigration process at HKG was fast, with no delays. There is no dedicated fast track or priority line for premium passengers, but the system works well and I’ve found there are always an adequate number of officers on hand to handle the crowd. I had a connecting flight to Tokyo and had a chance to visit The Pier, just one of the airline’s lounges at HKG. The large airside lounge had very good food and a lot of space to relax, along with showers and other amenities. Its convenient location above the departure gates makes it easy to visit between my flights.
VERDICT: Cathay Pacific consistently delivers a superior Business Class product with comfortable seating, excellent food and wine and reliable ontime service. With an always-professional cabin crew and a truly global route network, they remain a premier pick for business travelers.