This is the first flight report on Cathay Pacific's mid-life refreshed FCL product.
Following my amazing holiday in Italy the previous summer, I decided to revisit the country but this time for the second tier cities. Having based in Milan, I made several short day trips around Northern Italy.
Having flown in from Hong Kong, the only direct flight option was on Cathay with the CX233/234 service. I was booked on J class for both legs, but with around 100,000 CXAM miles to kill I tried for an upgrade with miles online. Upgrading from Business to First on HKG-MXP would cost 50,000 miles per leg, but it came to my attention soon after that the premium cabins were often full on this route. My agent suggested me to try again at check in on the day as it is common for CX to release seats at the very last minute. I ran out of luck on the outbound, so I kept my fingers crossed and hoped to be second time lucky.
As I've been on this flight last year, I did have a pretty good idea in managing the time needed to travel to Malpensa. However, as I was staying in the Park Hyatt this time round, I was told to take the Malpensa Express thru Cadorna Stazione rather than Centrale. Cadorna was only 5 minutes away from the hotel and the journey itself took ~30 minutes compared to the 50 minutes if I was to board from Centrale.
Check-In I found myself in the basement of MXP shortly after 1000, with more than three hours before the 1315 departure time.
The Check-in counters were almost deserted when I have arrived, and I figured that I would have a very good chance of being upgraded if only a few J class pax have checked in. After some quick phone calls, the check-in agent confirmed that only one passenger was booked into F, and my upgraded was granted! She even gone out of her way in asking for my seat preference:) Being seated in row 1 has always been a personal favourite, so with 1A taken, my next best option for a window seat would be 1K.
The agent soon handed me my BP and Lounge Invitation.
Like last year, the most time consuming part when flying out of MXP was to go through Customs for the VAT items. Worst still, an Air China flight to Shanghai departs around the same time as we do. We all know that Mainland Chinese Tourists (in Milan)=lots of shopping. Just queuing up costed me a good 45min.
Boarding and Flight
I got everying settled at approx 1115, a little more an hour before boarding at 1230. The F/J class lounge at MXP was compact but is surely does not have the variety of any of the HKG lounges. I grabbed a few drinks and some snacks before walking down towards our gate for some plane spotting.
My ride today, B-KPS (My second time on this a/c)
The albino SQ Star Alliance cs, 9V-SWJ, being pushed back for a return flight to SIN as SQ366
Boarding began slightly late at 12:35, with First and Business class pax invited to board first.
Boarding thru door L1
Once onboard the plane, I was warmly welcomed by my name. The ISM came by to introduce herself and offered me drinks/newspaper.
Some cabin shots
All 6 First class seats were occupied, so were the other classes. In other words 100% load factor:P
Captain A. Sealey soon came over the PA welcoming us onboard and announced that the flight time today would be a short 10h45m
The cabin crew came by to give us the amenity kits by Ergemglido (Trussadi for ladies) with Aesop lotions. I really like the Aesop product, probably the best lotion that comes with an amenity kit. Kudos Cathay!
Our flight was soon underway with pushback 4 mins earlier than schedule, and we were airborne 15 mins later.
As we climb to our crusing altitude of FL350, the ISM came to offer me nuts and wine. Cathay had a special wine promotion featuring 4 Bordeaux Reds.
Cashews with Chateau Dassault, Grand Cru Classe Saint-Emillion 2004
The famous Cavier service soon came by together with creme fraiche.
…and mixed greens with smoked mozzarella
My personal favourite of this meal service must be the charcoal grilled rack of lamb. Extremely juicy and very well cooked. Does shut a few critics up with this fantastic piece of meat.
I was too full after such good food and skipped desert.
I spent a bit of time looking around my comfortable suite:
And the toilet of course
I soon went to sleep in this comfortable pod…
…and the next thing I knew, the FAs were already serving breakfast. As much as I wanted to try the freshly cooked scrambled egg, my stomach didnt have the room after feasting in Italy and I only went for a fruit plate.
The captain once again came over the PA announcing that we have commenced decent into HKIA, with an estimated touch down time of 0555. We were over 40 mins ahead of schedule.
The final minutes of the flight was rather uneventful, with the pilot making a near perfect landing.
Well there we are, my long anticipated first class ride with CX. Absolutely happy in terms of hard product, food, wine, and crew. I'm also very happy to see Cathay doing so well on this route.
Some cockpit shots:
And CX's newest 77W – B-KQN
Thank you so much for reading
Generic Airport Lounge Sala Pergolesi
Milan - MXP
Hong Kong - HKG
Very very happy to see Cathay offer a first class product that is of such high standard, which definitely sets itself apart from its competitors. I sincerely hope that they can maintain this quality and I look forward to flying more on F with them in the future. A very satisfying experience all round!
Comments are most welcome:)
0 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is the reason why we do not display more than 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report on your blocker "white list".