This was a trip of a pleasant surprise and some disappointments. As a Silver MPC member flying Cathay on my birthday, I was upgraded to Business Class (truth was Economy was full, so was the 42-seat regional J cabin): while the experience was mostly positive, there were bits that left much more to be desired.
I arrived into the airport around 1.5 hours before departure, and I did not do my online check in so I went to the Business Class check-in desk. I was seen immediately and the upgrade offer came in 10 seconds: inquiring whether my companions (my parents) would be alright if I was the only one who got upgraded. My parents were delighted that I got the birthday upgrade and they were alright to have me in the front, seeing that they have two bulkhead seats with legroom better than the regional Business cabin!
Cathay Pacific uses the Dnata Lounge, which was decent. I love that it has a cafe staffed with professional baristas in it! Good coffee aside, there is a reasonable range of food and drinks, though I did not partake in view of a good meal to come. There are also lots of spaces. Not very crowded on a Monday afternoon.
One of the best things of this Cathay experience is the premium ground experience. In SIngapore, security is done at gate, and as with most airlines, all passengers have to queue up for the same X-ray machines. But Cathay does things differently. Elite passengers have a priority lane and a segregated seating area in the holding pen that guarantees priority boarding. Well done here - CX!
Pre-departure drinks: Cathay serves Billecart-Salmon in its Business Class and its a very drinkable champagne!
Post take off drinks and nuts, more nuts were offered later.
The marinated salmon starter: quite refreshing. Salad being just salad, nothing to write home about.
Braised duck with rice for main. One of the slight disappointments on this flight was that the crew kept forgetting to bring me the white wine I asked for. I asked for it three times and I was never brought my white... Nothing too major though. Rice a bit too dry but duck was decent - could be a bit more tender though.
A bit dissatisfied with the fruit selections. Being the last to be served on the flight, I was offered only what's left, not the full selection until I insisted I have the same fruit plates as my fellow passengers... Cathay Pacific - if you are going to allow passengers to "help themselves" (so to speak) for fruits, you need to have prepared lots so even the last passengers get a decent selection!
Dessert was ice cream - which was... excellent... of course.
Cathay delight was nice
Descending into HKG with view of the new Zhuhai, Macau, HK link
Bonus: Cathay's new toy: A359, which I am scheduled to fly its new Business in January to DUS
Dnata Lounge - 1
Singapore - SIN
Hong Kong - HKG
A wonderful birthday gift from CX: a birthday upgrade. Good to try CX's new regional J product, but it could not compare to Singapore Airlines's provisions on the same route. The catering was just above okay and the crew could be negligent sometimes. I look forward to flying its long haul from LHR to HKG in Christmas, though.
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