Review of Cathay Pacific flight Los Angeles Hong Kong in First

Airline Cathay Pacific
Flight CX883
Class First
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 14:50
Take-off 27 Aug 15, 23:55
Arrival at 28 Aug 15, 05:45
CX   #4 out of 136 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 441 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 6560
Published on 2nd October 2015
Greetings Flight-Report Community. Thanks for stopping by and having a look at this report.

For this report I will be sharing an exciting RTW adventure with several firsts and perhaps a last chance as well.

The reports will be broken down as follows:

LAX Oneworld/Qantas First Class Lounge and CX LAX-HKG (First)(This Report)
CX The Pier First Class Lounge and CX HKG-CGK (Business)http://flight-report.com/en/report-11861.html
MH Golden Lounge and MH KUL-LHR (First)http://flight-report.com/en/report-11930.html
BA LHR-AMS (Business)http://flight-report.com/en/report-12594.html
Aspire Lounge AMS and Delta AMS-PDX(Business)http://flight-report.com/en/report-12595.html


The Firsts

In this first installment I'll provide more background detail and general trip planning information. This trip would be my first time experiencing Cathay Pacific. Their reputation for excellence is well documented in flight reports and I was anxious to have a go. Originating at LAX allowed for a visit to highly regarded Qantas First Class Lounge (perhaps mods can add to the DB)as well. I would also add another A380 to my flown list in the form of Malaysia Airlines. It's no secret that they're a struggling enterprise so I wonder if their days as an A380 operator are numbered. Another First for me on this trip would be traveling with BA. Yes, it's a short Club World flight to AMS but a first none the less. The final first is a visit to AMS Schiphol which, based on reviews, is an excellent European transit hub.

The Tickets

I utilized 70k Alaska Mileageplan miles for the travel on CX LAX-HKG-CGK. I realize it's probably not the best value to pay the First Class award redemption rate and have a sector in Business but I initially planned to visit Jakarta so this was the best way. Next I booked Singapore Airlines First CGK-SIN(overnight)-PVG in First/Suites with the intention of taking Delta home PVG-LAX. About a week before the departure I started poking around for alternate routes home and came across the Malaysia space to LHR. First class award seats on MH4 are nearly always available so that was no surprise. As I wrote above the combination of First Class, A380, and Malaysia Airlines may not be around much longer so I opted to give it try. I've flown economy on Malaysia and found them to be an above average experience so why not move up to the front of the airplane?!? I used 70k American Airlines Advantage miles to book the CGK-KUL(overnight)-LHR-AMS sectors. Finally, the AMS-PDX-LAX were on trusty and reliable Delta Air Lines as an NRSA. On to the filghts!

The Travel

I completed online check in earlier in the day as I had intended to arrive at the airport early, before the CX counters would be open. As with the best laid plans this one didn't quite go accordingly. I still made it to LAX about 3 hours prior to departure. The CX counters were open and there was no line for First so I stopped in to collect a proper boarding pass. I was also presented with the boarding pass for the HKG-CGK.

Security was one level up from the airline counters. The premium cabin line was short and I was through in a matter of minutes.

I had never been to the renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX as a departing passenger so I was keen to have a look. All reports say it is actually a nice facility on par with major international airports around the world. My initial impressions were very favorable. It's a beautiful terminal.

Terminal as you first enter from security checkpoint.

photo 20150827_210702

While this is one of the busy times of day there were still lots of open space. I was so excited to check out hte Qantas/Oneworld lounge that I didn't stroll the terminal as I had planned but instead made a straight path upstairs to the lounges. It was a couple floors up via lift.

Lounge entrance.

photo 20150827_210816

I was greeted by two young men in sharply tailored suits and welcomed into the lounge. My boarding pass was scanned and I handed over the lounge invite. What's the point of the invite if the information is coded into the ticket? Anyhow, i was asked if I had been in before and when I answered in the negative I was offered a tour. Yes, please.

First seating area near the entrance, to the right.

photo 20150827_232133

To the left and windows overlooking the terminal below.

photo 20150827_232051photo 20150827_232126

Approaching the bar/dining area.

photo 20150827_232017

The bar.

photo 20150827_231934

As you can see the lounge as a clean and modern aesthetic. The carpet is interesting. It plays tricks on your eyes. I'm not sure of the purpose of that.

I had not taken a meal since lunch in anticipation of this evening's dining options so my first stop was the dining room. I was cheerfully greeted by a young lady in a spiffy white jacket and shown to a table.

I was presented with the following menu:

photo 20150827_211629photo 20150827_211647

My first selection was the LPBR and some water.

photo 20150827_211704

Next I requested the Hamachi crudo and the salt and pepper squid.

photo 20150827_212213photo 20150827_212236photo 20150827_212253

The crudo was flat and one note although the fish had a nice texture. The squid was excellent. I'll also note that the service was well beyond my expectations. The woman taking care of me was friendly, fun, very knowledgeable with regards to the food and wine, and she was very observant making sure I was wanting for nothing. At her recommendation I tried the myer lemon curd with almond shortbread. Perfect dessert for my palate: slightly tart and rich.

photo 20150827_220226photo 20150827_220251

A glass of the Nicolas Feuillatte Rose

photo 20150827_221856

I decided a shower would be welcome before the night flight so I packed up my bubbly and headed to the bathing facilities. With no wait I was assigned a spacious and spotless shower suite.

photo 20150827_222202photo 20150827_222249

Feeling refreshed and with a little more time before boarding I claimed a seat at the bar and ordered a negroni and a selection of cheese.

photo 20150827_225416

Great chutney on this cheese plate.

photo 20150827_224751photo 20150827_231328

An espresso to finish a delightful stay in a true First Class lounge. The announcement that CX883 was now ready for boarding was made and off I went to the gate.

Some shots of the remodeled terminal on the way to board CX883.

photo 20150827_232340photo 20150827_232601

Boarding was well underway so i don't think I even broke stride walking on board the airplane. At the 1L boarding door was the Purser/Service Manager and two 1st class flight attendants Evelyn and Jessica. We exchanged greetings and I was escorted on the very short journey to seat 1A. Evelyn informed me that 2A was vacant so I could have my choice of seats or enjoy both! Imagine my excitement in getting 1/3 of the cabin to myself. With the CX first class cabin layout as it is I would have the entire aisle to myself. The only foot traffic would be the crew and the occasional business class passenger who lost their way.

The cabin during boarding.

photo 20150827_233036

The one third that I would occupy.

photo 20150827_233054

Seat 1A.

photo 20150827_233109photo 20150827_233124photo 20150827_233147

The cabin was 4/6 for this flight but due to the configuration it felt more like 1/2. The wasrm and gracious service started right from the introductions and I was of course offered the pre-departure beverage of my choosing.

photo 20150827_233306

The shower of in flight goodies also commenced.

photo 20150827_233421photo 20150827_233508photo 20150827_233958

Oshibori 1 of seemingly 300.

photo 20150827_233447

The CX amuse-bouche.

photo 20150827_233434

Quick peek at the front office.

photo 20150827_234351

Business class mini-cabin right behind first.

photo 20150827_234703

There was a delay in departure and it seems to be pretty common on this flight. I got the impression it has to do with arriving too early than anything happening on the LAX end. We finally pushed back and I turned on the nose gear camera.

photo 20150828_000257

Some shots of other traffic at what is now early Friday morning. ETs newish service to/from DUB.

photo 20150828_000659

Sister ship that would be right behind us in the tracks across the pacific.

photo 20150828_000248

QF embarking on a long haul to the southern hemisphere.

photo 20150828_001111

Cabin lighting on taxi and takeoff.

photo 20150828_000305

The taxi over to the north complex and takeoff on 25R was accomplished quickly as there was very little traffic moving about at this time. Soon we were thrust into the darkness above the Pacific Ocean.

photo 20150828_003117


I had changed into my pajamas before takeoff and made myself comfortable. My plan for this late night departure was to enjoy a light snack and some champange and go to bed. I would take my main meal after sleeping for a while. With 14 hours of flying tie there was no rush to anything.

photo 20150828_003248

Seat controls.

photo 20150828_004318photo 20150828_004716photo 20150828_004726

I started with some water and a glass of the Krug Grand Cuvee. The beverages were served with a ramekin of warm cashews.

photo 20150828_003757

I took pictures of the extensive wine/food menu for those who are interested.



The ample table was deployed.

photo 20150828_004846

For my midnight snack I requested the caviar service. The presentation, attention to detail in table setting, and the delicate but firm eggs made for a lovely experience.



While I enjoyed the decadence of Krug and caviar my bed was made in seat 2A.

photo 20150828_013354photo 20150828_013404photo 20150828_013425

Another set of controls can be found in the head area of the bed.

photo 20150828_013556


My snack ;) service ended with some pralines and Glenmorangie Signet

photo 20150828_012302photo 20150828_013614

The cabin lighting wasn't dimmed right away as other passengers were going through the full meal service. This did not prevent me from falling directly to sleep. I found the bed to be spacious where it most matters for me, in the shoulder area. The foot area tapers but I was not impeded by it. I got a solid 6+ hours of shut eye and woke up at around 8am Los Angeles time.

I woke up refreshed and excited to enjoy the second half of the flight. I was greeted almost immediately by Evelyn. I requested some water and to have the table set again in 1A to enjoy a meal.

I started again with the Krug and caviar. Such a special pairing.

photo 20150828_070439photo 20150828_070454

Next came the truffle infused cauliflower soup. I was very rich and had a strong nose of truffle. I enjoyed a few tastes but in the interest of trying as many flavors as possible I moved to the salad in short order.

photo 20150828_071713

Colorful salad presentation

photo 20150828_072411

For the main I could not pass on something called marrow crusted, no matter what was being crusted. The beef was cooked perfectly and had a superb texture and flavor. I enjoyed a glass of Domaine de Longue Toque Gigondas 2012. The robust and earthy Grenache/Syrah bled worked well with the beef.

photo 20150828_073652photo 20150828_073703photo 20150828_074653

Some cheese please. Somewhat pedestrian cheese presentation here.

photo 20150828_075238(0)

The pear tart was forgettable.

photo 20150828_081803

The pralines, oshibori and toothpick to finish a lovely gastronomic interlude. I read a lot about sub-par meals in CX First so my expectations were tempered. Perhaps that's why I so pleasantly surprised by the dinner.

photo 20150828_083103

I returned to my sleeping suite for some IFE and drifting in and out of consciousness. Within a few hours it was time for the arrival meal. In the interest of a complete report I pulled up my PJs and ordered up a bloody mary, sparkling water, Hong Kong milk tea, and the dim sum. We were in and out of light turbulence so my milk tea sloshed around a bit.

photo 20150828_115024

I found the chicken glutinous rice to be enjoyable.

photo 20150828_120542photo 20150828_120552

An espresso to wrap up another pleasant CX dining experience.

photo 20150828_121915

We touched down on Lantau Island on time in the early morning darkness. The location of my seat ensured I was among the first one off the airplane. I lingered briefly to snap a couple of pictures of the cabin.

photo 20150828_143210photo 20150828_143219






See more

Verdict

Cathay Pacific

8.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.5

Qantas First Class Lounge - TBIT

9.0/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services9.0

Los Angeles - LAX

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access6.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Hong Kong - HKG

8.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Kudos to making it this far into the report!

In summary I have very high marks for Cathay Pacific. The dedication of the crew was evident throughout the entire journey. I felt genuinely taken care of.

The food and beverage exceeded my expectations. A couple of rounds of Krug and caviar are always welcome.

The service was exceptional. Evelyn and Jessica were proactive and couldn't have been more hospitable.

The seat and bed combo were among the most comfortable I have encountered.

I was crazy with anticipation leading up to this trip and Cathay Pacific delivered a true first class experience. Now, on The Pier!

Thanks for reading.

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) Hong Kong (HKG)

11 Comments

  • Comment 148441 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5040 Comments

    Hey, nice report. FYI, the LAX Qantas First Class lounge was already in the database--I edited the report for you. I'll leave more comments later when I get a chance to read the entire report, but just wanted to let you know that. Thanks.

  • Comment 148442 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5040 Comments

    Nice to see a new series from you! Yet another RTW! Craziness, lol.

    I utilized 70k Alaska Mileageplan miles for the travel on CX LAX-HKG-CGK. I realize it's probably not the best value to pay the First Class award redemption rate and have a sector in Business but I initially planned to visit Jakarta so this was the best way.
    - It's a perfectly fine value! As a former Delta Frequent Flyer, first of all, you couldn't redee, Skymiles for F, and second, you used to not be able to do one-way redemptions, and third, you'd be lucky to find one Business class seat on a Transpacific for less than 200K r/t. AA and AS have really good redemption rates IMO--70K is a great deal, even if the short sector is in J.

    The Qantas/oneworld lounge in LAX looks awesome, as one would expect. I looks a lot like the Sydney First Class lounge, which I'll get to check out in a few months! That carpet is pretty trippy and featured in all the renovated QF F lounges.

    Having 2 seats to yourself in a cabin with only 6 seats is pretty aresome. With the wall of the middle row seats facing you, you really had a lot of privacy with that whole side of the cabin to yourself.

    The Catering looks reasonably good for First class--definitely looks a lot better than Business class. The caviar and champagne looks good!

    Looking forward to seeing your report with the Pier First class lounge. There aren't that many reviews since it reopened only a few months ago. I'll be checking that out in a few months as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 148443 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Thank you Christian for sharing this exciting and beautifully photographed FR.

    Glad you had a chance to experience and enjoy this renowned carrier. The first time I flew CX was from JFK-YVR in F and the service was top notch. The only regret was that the flight wasn't longer. I don't think that one can get too disappointed when flying long haul F with them. If you fly J that's another story.

    The QF lounge looks like an amazing experience and the catering on par with a premium intl. lounge. Having a friendly and knowledgeable person to wait on you is a delight and makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

    The catering on your flight looks very adequate for a red eye with plenty of choices. Nothing symbolizes F better than caviar and champagne. Every course on your dining experience looked well presented and enticing.

  • Comment 148447 by
    GtFloridian 44 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this amazing First CX FR
    It was a great pleasure to read your flight R

    See you soon for brand new adventures

    Best

  • Comment 148799 by
    Quirrow 155 Comments

    I redeemed a CX F award for DUS-HKG-CGK as well and like you mentioned, there really isn't F on HKG-CGK flights. Which is frustrating because CX actually flies F to shorter regional routes to HND and MNL!

Login to post a comment.