Review of Cathay Pacific flight Chicago Hong Kong in First

Airline Cathay Pacific
Flight 807
Class First
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 15:00
Take-off 02 Jul 19, 16:00
Arrival at 02 Jul 19, 20:00
CX   #4 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 431 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 976
Published on 15th September 2019

ORD-HKG Cathay Pacific First Class Polar Route


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This journey was a result of an original goal to fly British Airways 787 in First Class without paying BA’s ridiculous surcharges. You can find some flights to the Middle East that have more reasonable surcharges than to Europe, about 50% less as an estimate. I was looking to fly over the July 4th holiday and found a flight from Chicago to London, then on to Bombay that satisfied my goals of flying BA’s A380 and B787. So I booked it with AS points.

Now, how to get back from Bombay? On a whim I searched Singapore Airlines from BOM-ORD for the return date I wanted. I can’t give a reason why I searched Singapore, maybe thinking a route via SIN would get me back to the west coast. Instead, a routing of BOM-ZRH-ORD on Swiss Airlines in FIRST Class appeared. Hmmm, that can’t be right, Singapore rules, as all Star Alliance award rules, state First Class on Swiss is not available. But there it was, 145,000 points. I clicked on redeem. Accepted. Ticketed. Wow.

A couple weeks later I got an aircraft change notice from Expert Flyer. British Airways had switched the 787 to a 777. Nope, not flying around the world for the cramped outdated 777. So I cancelled the BA flight and now had to find a way to BOM. It gets better.

Miraculously Cathay Pacific had a First Class seat available on the day I needed to go, but not to Bombay. So I went back to SQ and found a seat on the new 787-10 from Bangkok to Singapore and a First Class seat from SIN-BOM. It was 70K points I believe. So I called Krisflyer and asked if it was a valid connection in Bombay. The agent said yes, do you want me to change your reservation for $50. Sure, I said. Then he proceeded to give me BACK 10,000 points. Go figure.

So First Class around the world.

ORD-HKG Cathay Pacific
SIN-BOM Singapore Airlines
BOM-ZRH Swiss Airlines
ZRH-ORD Swiss Airlines

Throw in The Private Room and Swiss First Class lounge in Zurich, plus SQ’s 787-10 and I was feeling pretty impressed with this redemption. The only miss was CX A350-1K which I could have done for a $125 change fee but decided against. 


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Wait, AF-KLM lounge, again? 


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Potentially one of the worst international lounges that I have ever seen. It’s doesn’t even have it’s own washroom! 


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ORD Terminal 5 at least allows for great views from the gate, and even from the AF-KLM lounge. 


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Six seats in a Cathay Pacific First Class cabin, one passenger today.Sitting seat 1A


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Sitting seat 1A


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Sleeping seat 2A.


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This pod seemed to be either new or just re-upholstered as it were immaculate.  


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Well, maybe not the carpet. 


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Smartly designed locker under the monitor fit my carry on perfectly.


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.



Cost cutting I assume.


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Typical 777 lavatory which had a few amenities, such as cloth towels.



PYE pajamas with the 500HK coupon that caused me to spend way to much at their store in Hong Kong upon arrival.



Ready to fly.


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BA BOAC 747 seems to follow me around at ORD. 



The refreshed IFE system has a route map visible on the handset. The route showing on the display at this point however is incorrect.


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Time to go.



While I was busy taking photos, my two awesome FAs Doris and Annea were busy serving me the best prior to departure. 


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And post departure.


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A review of First Class Dining for the month of July,



The good stuff.


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Food menu.


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Caviar and Champagne is the first, and only first choice on the menu. And why not?


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Venice, yes Venice Italy. 


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A very nice traditional setting.


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.


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The salad came with lobster which I so badly wanted to have, but my last encounter with lobster many years ago didn’t end so well, and with 13 hours to go I didn’t want to chance relinquishing my private cabin seat for the privacy of the lavatory. 


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Still, without the lobster, it was fantastic. Fresh, mango sweet and pomegranate seed crunchy.


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Mushroom soup, one word, OMG.


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Chive oil as the dollop.


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For those who have read my prior reports you know where I go next. Too predictable eh?


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.


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In pursuit of a good hunk of beef on a plane. (Also predictable.)


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Add a little French mustard.


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Perfectly executed and wildly delicious!


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Choices of cheese, not a fan of the blue veins. 


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And served with that quince jelly, as I had on British Airways. Much preferred to a dried apricot. 


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Nice.


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Two chocolates in the box. 


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As an Avgeek I’ve had a travel goal of flying over the North Pole. Typically this happens from flights originating from the east coast to Asia year round and often from the central US like Chicago to Asia in the winter because of the prevailing jet stream. I’ve had 2 other flights from the east coast to Asia, but neither made it over the North Pole.

During the Captain’s greeting, while I was busy taking pictures and not paying attention, I thought I heard something about the Polar Route. Have to keep my eye on the air show was my mental note. (Even though the airshow was always showing on the handset.)


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Sure enough, when I should have been sleeping we arrived. 


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Doris saw me in the galley area peaking out the open window (not that there was anyone to wake up in the first class cabin), and asked if I was looking out at the North Pole. She’s an AvGeek too! We talked about for a bit then I returned to my seat. In no time she returned and had the pilots navigational map of the North Pole to show me! How thoughtful from the CX crew. 


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And here it is, looking much like any other view out the window at 36,000 feet. 


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Doris prepared my bed in 2A. I had a good sleep. But who want’s to sleep when you’re having so much fun. 


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So it was time to eat. I ordered a burger. 


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It was pretty darn good. Only complaint is the meat was slightly dry, but the bun was fresh and the fries we really amazing for on an airplane. 


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Then I ordered the dessert from dinner. The frosting was white chocolate and coconut. Excellent. 


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.


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Over the top, split Russia, right turn at Mongolia, headed to Hong Kong.


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Prior to landing it was time to eat again. First the obligatory fresh fruits when flying an Asian carrier. 


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I chose the stir fried beef which was excellent as well. The food on this flight was outstanding from start to finish. 


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.


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As mentioned, the two flight attendants Doris and Annea really made this trip special. I would happily fly with them anytime!


Enter text here…


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Polar Route


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Visit Reward Flying for ratings and comparison to similar flights. http://www.rewardflying.com/report-blog/2019/9/2/cathay-pacific-b777-300-first-class-ord-hkg

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Verdict

Cathay Pacific

8.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering9.0

Chicago - ORD

6.0/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Hong Kong - HKG

6.6/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

Cathay Pacific has an exclusive 6 seat cabin in First Class as it is, but when you are the only occupant it’s like having your own hotel room in the air. With the extra wide seats and super comfortable bed it’s like having your own hotel suite in the air.

Everything was delicious on this flight, from a perfectly cooked steak and of course Champagne and Caviar to set the tone.

I believe this was the refreshed IFE system as the monitor was much clearer and crisp compared to my last flight on CX in first. Plus the airshow on the handset seems to indicate the new system. However from the the long haul 777’s I got the only one that didn’t have wi-fi, which was fine with me.

The crew Doris and Annea where awesome as I said earlier.

Information on the route Chicago (ORD) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Chicago (ORD) → Hong Kong (HKG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Pacific with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 15 hours and 43 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

  • Comment 522464 by
    JW19 117 Comments

    Really anticipate reviews whenever the writer is Reward flying, Socalnow, Atco and a few others. Always great experiences, great amount of pictures, just the right amount of words and excellent narration. One too many easyjet or some other budget carrier reviews with more than a thousand words just start to become sickening. Thanks guys for making the difference.

  • Comment 522499 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 466 Comments

    Thanks for the compliment JW19, although I take a backseat to the ones you mentioned I still appreciate the accolades! . Yours are pretty good too!

  • Comment 522523 by
    nico83et13 SILVER 1988 Comments

    Thanks for the FR.

  • Comment 522727 by
    socalnow GOLD 915 Comments

    This is a fine treat to discover! Thank you for yet another beautifully photographed and expertly told story, Mark. I've been looking forward to this series for a few months.

    Throw in The Private Room and Swiss First Class lounge in Zurich, plus SQ’s 787-10 and I was feeling pretty impressed with this redemption. The only miss was CX A350-1K which I could have done for a $125 change fee but decided against.

    -You don't say. It's so impressive that it's normally impossible to book except under the most strict circumstances (Hon Circle, etc). I'll start a Go Fund Me for the change fee $$. ;)

    Six seats in a Cathay Pacific First Class cabin, one passenger today. Sitting seat 1A.

    -As if this wasn't incredible enough you get a private cabin to HKG.

    This pod seemed to be either new or just re-upholstered as it were immaculate.

    -Definitely the refreshed interior, as you point out, with the new monitor, handset and upholstery. Yet the old paint on the exterior and no wifi...

    Cost cutting I assume.

    -Sometimes they put them out after departure from the USA. customs or duties?

    While I was busy taking photos, my two awesome FAs Doris and Annea were busy serving me the best prior to departure.

    -Cheers! I'll take the Comtes over the Dom or Krug if I'm honest.

    The meal service looks stunning. Unfortunate that your bad memory of lobster at altitude has spooked you from enjoying it. Better safe than sorry, as there is so much to enjoy on this journey. Maybe the trick to good beef on the airplane is to depart from the Midwest? I really enjoy the CX classics and it looks like they hit on all of them on this flight. Service shouldn't be an issue when you are outnumbered by the flight attendants. What a nice touch to setup a personal snack basket too!

    In no time she returned and had the pilots navigational map of the North Pole to show me! How thoughtful from the CX crew.

    -Really a thoughtful gesture that makes a flight special. That's an incredible level of service and understanding your customer. Kudos to CX. But wait, how did they find HKG without he map?

    Doris prepared my bed in 2A. I had a good sleep. But who want’s to sleep when you’re having so much fun.

    -Music to my ears!

    Then I ordered the dessert from dinner. The frosting was white chocolate and coconut. Excellent.

    -Those berries look like a magazine cover. Beautiful and colorful plate.

    I chose the stir fried beef which was excellent as well.

    -Finish with the Chinese dish, a choice after my own heart.

    What a fantastic CX experience to start this most special of itineraries. Cathay and presumably many of the staff, are struggling on many fronts right now so it's really nice to read that there are committed professionals like Doris and Annea that can set that aside and make a very special experience for you.

    Thanks again Mark for taking the time to put this together for our enjoyment. Now hurry up on the rest!

    • Comment 522868 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 466 Comments

      Hi Christian, thanks for the kind words!

      I'll start a Go Fund Me for the change fee $$. ;)

      -For all my changes fees, I’ll take it!

      Cheers! I'll take the Comtes over the Dom or Krug if I'm honest.

      -Might join you on this opine

      Maybe the trick to good beef on the airplane is to depart from the Midwest?

      -this one definitely

      . But wait, how did they find HKG without he map?

      -I flew the plane silly.

      Now hurry up on the rest!

      -they say patience is a virtue,yes?

  • Comment 523313 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4938 Comments

    Though the CX Intl F cabin is an older design, I still find it to be one of the classiest looking First cabins out there. The seat is so huge, plush, and inviting, and as I've mentioned before, I prefer open suites as I feel too claustrophobic if too enclosed. The CX F seats strike the perfect balance of privacy and space, and as you mention, with only 6 seats in 1-1-1 configuration, the cabin is very exclusive. What a treat to be the only F pax!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 523494 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 466 Comments

    Well said Kévin, well said.

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