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Cathay Pacific Hong Kong to Newark Business Class

Published: 08/08/2017 - Filed under: Home » News » Home » Tried & Tested »

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Cathay Pacific Hong Kong to Newark Business Class

TESTED BY Ramsey Qubein

PLANE TYPE Boeing B777-300ER

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong to Newark Business Class

SEAT CONFIGURATION 1-2-1

SEAT PITCH 82 inches

SEAT WIDTH 21 inches

SEAT RECLINE 180 degrees

PRICE Roundtrip starting at $5,563 roundtrip

CONTACT www.cathaypacific.com

VERDICT On one of the longest flights in the world, Cathay Pacific delivers strongly on a comfortable business class product with flat-bed seats and a quiet cabin supervised by a staff intent on providing absolute comfort. It’s the genuine hospitality and friendly service that places Cathay Pacific above its U.S. counterparts on similar routes.

CHECK-IN I was unable to check in online, but the culprit was because I was departing from Vietnam meaning they needed to verify my inbound visa. Still, I appreciated how swift Cathay Pacific’s social media team was in responding to my initial concerns. When I got to the airport, I was promptly handed my boarding and lounge passes once my passport was swiped.

THE LOUNGE Cathay Pacific has no shortage of lounges to choose from at its Hong Kong hub, and it has just opened its newest lounge named The Pier that boasts yet another fantastic noodle bar, napping area, pastry shop, and plenty of food and drink to go around. Cathay Pacific is a member of the oneworld alliance, and even passengers traveling in economy class can use one of the lounges if they hold Emerald or Sapphire status within the alliance. Partner airlines include popular loyalty programs with American Airlines and British Airways. On my way into Hong Kong, I made use of the showers in one of the lounges even though my connecting flight was in economy class due to my oneworld status. It pays off to do your homework on travel perks!

BOARDING There was a two-hour delay due to thunderstorms that moved through Hong Kong just before departure, but once boarding began, flight attendants did a great job of getting people settled quickly despite the additional security checks that take place in Hong Kong for U.S. bound flights looking for liquids (including those purchased in the airport) that cause significant delays and offer little additional benefit in the name of security. These are not mandated by the airline, but have been in place from the U.S. government for many years now.

THE SEAT Cathay Pacific’s 1-2-1 business class arrangement on its long-haul aircraft is fantastic. It gives everyone direct aisle access, and it also provides the ultimate in privacy. Those in the center section face slightly inward making them great for couples, and there’s even a fresh flower in between providing a lovely touch. Those at the window angle away from the aisle a bit providing nice views from the window and more private space. The seat reclines 180 degrees for a flat bed, and the side arm rest raises up for additional privacy. With eyeshades and ear buds plugged into my white noise app, I slept soundly for seven hours (rare for me on a plane). There are storage compartments aplenty: one beneath the seat for shoes, one near your knees for storing magazines and water bottles, and then a compartment with a small door by your shoulder to store other things (this is where the noise-reducing headphones are kept). There’s also a small makeup mirror on the inside of the compartment door (another nice touch!).

THE FLIGHT Service on this late afternoon flight was impeccable. We were to depart in the Hong Kong evening and arrive later the “same evening” in Newark. The relaxing tone was set by the lovely Japanese purser that made sure everyone was settled and felt welcome. Since our arrival would be just before midnight, there were no connection concerns for passengers. Once we took off, service was swift, and I loved how friendly the flight attendants were. It was far more interactive than U.S. carriers, and the cabin crew use your name with each interaction.

Service began with a two-tiered trolley delivering the choice of one’s beverage including a list of signature cocktails and impressive wine list. There was also Cathay Pacific’s Betsy Beer available, which is a beer that the airline specially crafted for its customers to enjoy at high altitudes. It is available on select North American routes this summer, and it was great to have a chance to try it. Apparently, it is very popular with Hong Kong tipplers.

I appreciated that the meal service was not rushed (there was plenty of time to sleep later), and it began with the appetizer and salad course before the mains were delivered. I enjoyed a piping hot vegetarian option, but there was also a Chinese noodle dish with fish that was quite popular with passengers seated around me. Dessert began with an impressive fruit and cheese plate before cakes, ice creams, and cordials were brought around. I chose not to partake in the final course since I had stuffed myself so much in the lounge and during the meal. Throughout the flight, snacks and drinks were available (I enjoyed a yummy bowl of ramen somewhere over Alaska), and a hot breakfast was served just before landing. I found that to be a bit odd since we were landing in the evening, but perhaps the airline does it because the body clocks of travelers that boarded in Hong Kong are ready for breakfast.

ENTERTAINMENT The selection of entertainment options was incredible ranging from the latest Hollywood movies to full seasons of various TV sitcoms and dramas. I may or may not have watched an entire season of Family Guy on the flight in between naps.

ARRIVAL Hot towels were presented before we landed, which was a nice way to feel a bit refreshed before touching down. The flight attendants also came around to each passenger to thank them for flying Cathay Pacific and wishing them a pleasant onward journey. It felt genuine and not as if it were a forced requirement (even if it may be). I must say it was a jolt to leave the perfected, 16-hour inflight experience of this airline and arrive in a grouchy U.S. immigration and customs hall late in the evening, but it certainly makes you appreciate the airline’s sincere slogan: “life well traveled.”

By Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels.  He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.

You can find more from Ramsey at http://www.ramseyq.com/, on Twitter - @dailytraveltips and Instagram - @dailytraveltips

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