Date: September 24, 2017
Flight No.: CX548
Route: Hong Kong International to Tokyo Haneda
Airline: Cathay Pacific Airways
Type: Boeing 777-300ER
After visiting Cathay Pacific’s lounge in Bangkok, then flying to Hong Kong, and visiting “The Arrival” lounge, both business and first class “The Wing” lounges, and “The Pier, First” lounge, it was time for the last part of my Cathay Pacific first class experience – a flight to Tokyo.
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.
Boarding Cathay Pacific Flight 548 to Tokyo
As the flight was scheduled to depart at 8:50AM, I left the lounge around 8:15AM and made my way to gate 69. The short walk to the gate was enjoyable thanks to the great views Hong Kong airport offers through its floor-to-ceiling windows.
When I got to the gate, the boarding was already in progress with a long economy class queue, a short business class queue, and no first class queue. As such, I was able to get onboard just ten minutes after exiting the lounge.
Once onboard, I was shown to my seat – 2A – by one of the cabin crew members.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER First Class Cabin & Seat
Before continuing with the flight itself, I will stop for a moment to take a closer look at Cathay Pacific’s first class cabin and seat.
First class is only featured on the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and consists of two rows of “open suites” in a “1-1-1” configuration located between the first and second sets of the aircraft’s doors.
As a side note, the first class cabin does not have overhead bins.
Each of the suites spans the length of three windows, and features one of the wides seats I’ve seen on an aircraft together with an ottoman across from it. On the side of the seat, there is a large faux-wood counter which also includes the dining table.
The ottoman across from it which – besides becoming part of the bed once the seat is turned flat – also serves as a companion seat allowing two passengers to dine face-to-face. And, it also allows one to store a fairly large bag under it.
To the right of it is a panel that has a screen that slides out for easier viewing, a small storage compartment for “literature only,” as well as a small closet where one can store a carry-on bag. There was also a blanket and a bag with bedding in the closet.
For details about the entertainment system, Studio CX, see my previous report.
Each of the seat has a reading light on both sides of it, as well as in the overhead panel. The window-side of the seat also sported a fresh flower decoration, while the other side featured a “seat pocket” with the safety card, etc.
On the window-side, there was also a small storage compartment that fit a smartphone, the IFE controller, as well as the seat controller. The seat controller was a small touch screen which let passengers adjust the recline, seat’s massage function as well as lights.
Finally, on the panel under the counter, there were the headset port, universal power port as well as a USB port.
When it comes to choosing the right seat, I recommend seats 2D and 2K for people traveling in pair, while I recommend seat 2A for solo-travellers.
That is because there are no seats behind row 2, and so the only time a crew member would go that far down the aisle is when serving you. Also, the “D” seats face the “K” seats, and so the “A” side is only facing a wall. Which makes it feel very private in spite of the suites being “open.”
Departing Hong Kong Onboard Cathay Pacific’s First Class
Going back to the flight itself, shortly after I got onboard, I was offered a pre-departure drink. And, I went with Cathay’s signature mocktail – Oriental Breeze – once again.
Shortly after, another crew member – Mayumi – came by to introduce herself and to bring a hot towel. Then, another one came with customs and immigration forms.
At 8:44AM, the Captain welcomed the passengers and announced that we were going to be delayed about 10 to 15 minutes due to congestion. Around the same time, the menus were distributed.
Another couple of minutes later, the cabin crew came around offering magazines, and they also made an announcement mentioning the flight time of 3 hours and 37 minutes. Once again, too short to enjoy the first class fully, but better than the even shorter flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong!
We were pushed back at 8:49AM – a minute before the scheduled departure time in spite of the prior Captain’s announcement. At this point, it was sunny again. We started taxiing at 8:56AM, making our way to runway 07R.
While the taxi wasn’t too long, the take-off queue was.
And so, it wasn’t until 9:28AM – half an hour after being pushed back – that we finally took into the skies. Besides being able to get nice views of the airport as we lifted off, we were also offered great views of the city.
The In-Flight Service Between Hong Kong and Tokyo
The seatbelt sign was switched off fifteen minutes after take-off, and the service commenced.
First, Bose noise-cancelling headsets were distributed. Then, Mayumi came to take my breakfast order.
While waiting for the breakfast to be served, I reclined my seat and continued watching Silicon Valley from where I ended on the last flight.
Just a couple of minutes later, my table was set up, and the bread basket and fruits plate were brought. The fruits were fresh and tasty, while the contents of the bread basket – warm pastry, croissant, and chocolate muffin – didn’t disappoint either.
Once I was done with the fruits, cornflakes and yoghurt followed.
Finally, after finishing the cornflakes (I left the yoghurt for after the main), the dim sum was brought.
With the table cleaned and folded, I reclined my seat into full flat bed – and watched some more of Silicon Valley before falling asleep for about an hour.
Arriving at Tokyo Haneda Airport
About the time I woke up, the Captain came on the PA announcing that we would be starting our descend in ten minutes – and notifying the cabin crew that about thirty minutes were left until landing.
The seat belt sign was switched on at 1:44PM Japan time, and so I went to also open the three window blinds. Before I managed to do so, however, one of the cabin crew members came around saying:
Please, please, please, allow me [to open the blinds]. Did you have a good rest?
While I thought it was a nice touch, it was also the only time where I felt like it was too much attention for my liking.
In either case, less than ten minutes later, the cabin crew was asked to take their seats for landing. And, at exactly 2:00PM, we touched down on Haneda’s runway 34L.