Flight Review: CX879, Business Class
Departing 11:55am January 14, 2016, Arriving 6:50pm January 15, 2016
I arrived at San Francisco Airport at 10:15am and it was crowded. It seems nearly every flight to Asia departs around the same time (noon) as the Korean Air, Air China, and Cathay Pacific counters were all crowded.
There was no one in line in the business class section, so I was all checked in within 5 minutes. I headed to the security line, which was so long it stretched back nearly to the check in counters. I walked up to the front and showed the TSA agent my pass. I was able to go straight into the Priority section so didn’t have to wait too long.
Right after security, the Cathay Pacific lounge at SFO is to the left, on the second floor (same area as Asiana’s and JAL’s lounges). The lounge is no longer under construction and looks great. The individual, circular lounge seats are scattered about, along with tons of plugs. The custom deli sandwich bar was open, along with the noodle bar.
There were beautiful spreads of meats, cheeses, salads, and crackers. I ordered the dan-dan spicy noodles and poured myself a glass of champagne to relax. Wi-fi was available and fast, so I settled into one of the individual circle seats and worked for a bout 45 minutes. One of the great things about the Cathay Pacific lounge is that they announce when the flight is boarding so you can go straight from the lounge to your seat without having to hang out at the gate.
I boarded the plane after nearly everyone else had already gotten on so there were no crowds or super long lines. I was seated in seat 11G, which is the right aisle bulkhead. The flight attendants helped me put my bags away in the overhead bins. One downside of seat 11G is there is no personal overhead storage – flight items take it up.
A few minutes later, I was offered a tray of champagne, orange juice, and water. I took the water remembering that I need to stay hydrated for this 14+ hour journey. The attendants then came through with hot towels. It was warm and perfect to freshen up, but it wasn’t scented like the ones I’ve had on Singapore or Qatar.
I unwrapped the duvet and settled in. The flight took off on time, and once they were allowed to move around, the flight attendants came by, introducing themselves and passing out menus. It took about 45 minutes before lunch service started.
I passed up the duck appetizer, and just stuck with the salad and a pretzel roll. Roll was really good, and salad was crisp but normal. For dinner, all the choices are pre heated and rolled out on a tray. The pasta actually looked really good, but I picked the pan-seared chicken. In hindsight I wish I had picked the pasta, the chicken was very dry and the ratatouille pretty mushy. However, the risotto was really good. Instead of dessert, I opted for the cheese plate which came with one piece of blue cheese, three crackers, a cube of quince paste, a slice of watermelon, and a handful of grapes. I passed on coffee or tea.
As the flight progressed the attendants came around offering more drinks, and snacks (either wonton noodle soup or a bacon cheese burger). I was pretty busy wrapping up a presentation for work so didn’t really bother to eat anything else. I did take a salted caramel praline though (yum).
When I got tired of working, I tried to sleep a bit. It just didn’t work out. Not because of the seat, it’s actually quite comfortable when lying down – all 5’8” of me could stretch out without any issues. I just wasn’t tired yet, so I proceeded to watch three movies and then two TED talks. Was finally tired enough to fall asleep. I woke up to find I had slept through dinner service, but hadn’t missed the cake.
It was light and airy, and tasted pretty good!
One hour after eating the cake we were descending into HKG. We landed 15 minutes behind schedule.
All in all, Cathay Pacific definitely has one of the best business class products I’ve experienced, and would highly recommend it for travel to and within South East and East Asia.
First of many future travel reviews!
Have Kids, Will Work