Date: September 23, 2017
Flight No.: CX708
Route: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Hong Kong International
Airline: Cathay Pacific Airways
Type: Boeing 777-300ER
After relaxing for a couple of hours at the BS Residence Suvarnabhumi, I took the shuttle back to the airport to catch my Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. The flight was operated by a 777-300ER was booked using Alaska miles, and it was my first flight ever in international first class.
So, I was quite excited!
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Cathay Pacific First Class Check-In
I got to the airport shortly after 2PM – about 3 hours before the flight’s departure time – and headed straight to Cathay Pacific’s check-in area.
There was only one person ahead of me in the first class queue, and so I received my boarding passes in no time. On top of that, I also received a pair of lounge invitations – for Bangkok and Hong Kong – as well as a premium lane pass for Bangkok.
The premium lane for security and immigration – which is completely separate from the regular one – was deserted as well, and so I was “out of the country” and airside in just ten minutes after arriving at the airport.
Once airside, I made my way to the Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge which was about a ten-minute walk away.
Boarding the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER
I left the lounge at 4:35PM – just in time to make it to the gate by the boarding time. However, I didn’t realize that the aircraft hadn’t arrived from Hong Kong yet and that we would be delayed because of that. As such, I spent quite some time sitting in the gate area.
The aircraft, a 777-300ER registered B-KPP, arrived a couple of minutes after 5PM – about 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. As such, we didn’t start boarding until 5:40PM or 20 minutes past our scheduled departure time.
On top of that, the boarding was very disorganized with everyone just walking down the jetway regardless of priority.
Once onboard, I was greeted by the crew and showed to my seat – 2A. While I will not go into details about the seat – I will do that in the next instalment – I will say that it spanned three windows and it was also extremely wide.
Also, even though Cathay doesn’t have enclosed suites, the seat 2A feels very private since it is in the second and last row of the cabin. And, the middle seat in the 1-1-1 configuration is accessed from the other aisle.
Onboard Service Before Departing Bangkok
Once the four first class passengers were seated, the service started.
First, a pre-flight drink was offered. While in its lounges, Cathay Pacific offers Cathay Delight as its signature mocktail, it doesn’t offer it onboard. Instead, it offers Oriental Breeze – which was excellent as well.
Then, newspapers were offered, followed by the menu, a hot towel, and a Bose noise-cancelling headset.
At 5:55PM, the captain made his welcome speech and apologized for the delay caused by weather. He also mentioned the flying time would be 2 hours and 20 minutes. Way too short!
His announcement was followed by a safety video.
While the jetway was disconnected while the captain was speaking, we were not pushed back until 6:14PM – with almost one-hour delay. In the meantime, the crew came around taking meal orders. The menu was as pictured below, and I decided to go with the braised chicken.
We finally started taxiing at 6:22PM and joined the take-off queue. After some time in the queue, we took-off from runway 19R at 6:46PM and made a left turn which offered some nice night views of Bangkok.
Cathay Pacific Short-Haul First Class Meal
The cabin crew was released from their seats about twenty minutes after take-off, and so the dinner service started.
First, one of the flight attendants came to ask what I wanted to drink. And, some minutes later, she brought me the Coke I ordered together with a plate of warm nuts.
Then, another cabin crew member came to introduce himself and set-up the table. A handwritten note saying “Simply enjoy!” came as part of the set-up. Also, before the meal started to be brought out, a UNICEF envelope was handed out.
With the table set-up, there was nothing preventing the crew from bringing the actual meal. First, the salmon starter and a bread basket were brought.
Once I was finished with the decent starter, the main – braised chicken – was brought. Both the vegetables and chicken were great, and the portion was “just right.”
Finally, I was asked whether I wanted a dessert. I, of course, nodded – and so with a minute I had a delicious orange frangipane and vanilla ice cream on my table.
After the meal, the crew came around offering hot drinks. I decided to have some JING peppermint tea which was served with a box of pralines.
Cathay Pacific In-Flight Entertainment System
While the flight was short, I still manage to watch a couple of episodes of the latest season of Silicon Valley on Cathay’s Studio CX entertainment system.
The system offered a decent selection of movies as well as TV shows to keep a person busy on even the longest flights. What is more – it featured full seasons of TV shows rather than just an episode or two of each.
I always appreciate that! And, don’t really understand airlines offering only “episode 15 of the seventh season” of a random TV show!
It was similar with music where full albums from a large variety of Western and Asian artists were offered. Separately from that, there were also three themed playlists (Upbeat, Unwind, and Sit Back).
Finally, there were some games as well as a kids’ section offering various visual themes so that the kids’ could choose the one they liked the most.
As for the flight information part of the IFE, there was an airshow – with a loop of different map and information views – as well as a camera view which wasn’t useful at night.
Landing at Hong Kong Airport
Shortly after 9:30PM, the captain announced that we started our initial descent and that we were expecting to touch down at 10:05PM. As such, I paid a brief visit to the bathroom before the seatbelt signs were switched on.
The bathroom featured Aesop amenities and besides paper towels there were also “real” small towels.
The seatbelt sign went on at 9:50PM, and fifteen minutes later, the crew was asked to sit down for landing. The gear was lowered at 10:09, and three minutes later, we touched down at Hong Kong airport.
That was followed by a short taxi which got us in blocks at 10:18PM – about 50 minutes after the scheduled arrival time.
At 10:20PM, the ground staff knocked on the aircraft door after which the crew opened it, bringing the flight to an end.
I bade the crew a farewell, and headed into the terminal where – after clearing immigration – I went to Cathay Pacific’s arrival lounge. But, more on that in the next instalment!