After leaving The Wing First Class lounge, I made the short trek to nearby gate 21 about 15 minutes before boarding was to begin for Cathay Pacific flight 884 from Hong Kong to Los Angeles. My Boeing 777-300 was towed into the gate from a nearby ramp parking spot and catering trucks were busy servicing the galleys.
The gate area was setup so First Class and Business Class – along with those with qualifying elite status – could board on the left where the jetway was attached to door one, while a long single aisle queue for economy stretched along to the right for access to the other jetway.
Shortly, boarding was called and I was quickly on my way down the jetway for the mandatory bag search. I always forget at non-U.S. airports that they don’t allow you to carry water bottles onboard even though they come from the secure airside. The agent’s English wasn’t too good and she simply said “no water” and removed my bottle. This was the most thorough search I’ve had and literally everything was rummaged through. It only took a couple of minutes and I was then on my way to board.
The flight attendant was pleasant and showed me to my seat, 1A, though I was hoping to be addressed by name again. I settled in, took some video and snapped a few pictures. The onboard Service Manager introduced herself and wished me a pleasant flight insisting I could call on her at any time during the flight.
Within moments another flight attendant approached with a hot towel and asked for my pre-departure beverage choice. She returned with a Perrier with lemon and also brought Shanghai Tang pajamas. Shortly after, newspapers and menus were distributed. I changed into the pajamas and hung my shirt & jeans in my dedicated closet next to the large video monitor at my seat.
We were quickly ready for pushback and made our way to runway 25L. I don’t know why Cathay Pacific waits until after takeoff to distribute the amenity kits, but once we were airborne and above 18,000 feet, flight attendants supplied each passenger with a kit while taking their drink and lunch order.
Lunch service began almost immediately and in an attempt to avoid being disappointed with the quality of the meat from the Chinese Favorites selection I had on the outbound, I opted for the grilled U.S. Prime beef tenderloin. I did, however, ask for the starters from the Chinese options and had the pork soup with carrot and Buddhist palm melon, and a cold plate of pork shank terrine with black vinegar.
The usual caviar and Balik salmon started the multi-course meal and I once again had a nice personalized Bon Appetit card.
Then it was on to the soup and cold plate and both were absolutely delicious and satisfying.
Next up was the steak and I was very disappointed. It was incredibly dry, not very tender and no amount of salt made it any better. The veggies and garlic mashed potatoes were, however, delicious.
I went with the chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis for dessert and was left wanting more. I’m sure I could have asked for another serving, but decided not to.
I freshened up in the lavatory and while not quite as spacious as the ones on their 747s, it was perfectly nice. No pictures to share, but I took video of it which is included below. Upon returning to my seat, I had another hot towel, pralines and a fresh glass of Perrier waiting for me. We were near Japan at that time and I paused the movie “Water For Elephants” and tucked myself in for a long nap.
Once again, I slept solidly for about 6 or 7 hours as Cathay’s seat turns into the most comfortable bed I’ve ever experienced on an airplane. Within moments of waking a flight attendant noticed me rustling about and asked if I needed anything. I requested a coffee and orange juice and when I returned from the lav it was waiting for me with a hot towel. I resumed watching my movie.
By now we were about two and a half hours from Los Angeles and I requested to have breakfast sooner rather than later. The first course consisted of fresh fruit, yoghurt and a selection of bread and muffins.
I opted for the egg dish that came with a small portion of corned beef hash and baked tomato. The eggs were fantastic and freshly pan-fried… boy what a difference from the rubbery pre-made egg stuff I’m used to when flying domestic First Class.
After breakfast I changed back into my street clothes and returned to my seat to savor the views as we approached southern California. This crew, as with the outbound, was outstanding and their English nearly perfect. I was disappointed with the entrée yet again, but the service more than made up for it. I definitely preferred the 747 First Class cabin as it felt more spacious and being in the nose on that airplane is just so cool.
Be sure to check out the video below which includes quite a bit of footage, including shots of the view provided by the underbelly camera installed on Cathay’s 777-300s. Such a cool feature on this aircraft. My apologies if you don’t like dance/trance music as I selected an incredible song “If I Could Fly” that I thought was a perfect match lyrically.
I hope you’ve enjoying reading along and I’ll have another multi-part trip report coming soon as I’m traveling with Asiana Airlines next month in both First Class and Business Class. I’m really looking forward to another new experience.