CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific flight 884 Hong Kong-Los Angeles

CX Trip Report: Introduction & American Airlines flight to San Francisco

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CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific flight 879 San Francisco-Hong Kong

CX Trip Report: Amenity Kit Review – Cathay Pacific First Class men’s kit

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific “The Arrival†lounge Hong Kong Airport

CX Trip Report: Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific “The Wing†First Class lounge Hong Kong Airport

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific “The Pier†First Class lounge Hong Kong Airport

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific flight 884 Hong Kong-Los Angeles

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.

a blue sign with white textan airplane at an airportThe 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.

a close-up of a stampShortly, 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.

a close-up of a beda window in an airplanea person sitting on a seatWithin 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.

a seat with a pillow on ita close-up of a rooma black bag with pink string 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.

long shot of a sign

a small black bag with a variety of items on itLunch 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.

a white paper with text and labelsa menu of a drinka menu of a restauranta menu of food on a white backgroundThe usual caviar and Balik salmon started the multi-course meal and I once again had a nice personalized Bon Appetit card.

a plate of food on a tablea close up of a noteThen it was on to the soup and cold plate and both were absolutely delicious and satisfying.

a bowl of soup and spoons on a tableNext 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.

a plate of food on a table 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.

a dessert on a plateI 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.

a plate of food and a glass of water on a tablea video game screen showing a plane flying over the oceanOnce 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.

a coffee and orange juice on a trayBy 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.

a breakfast on the tableI 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.

a plate of scrambled eggs and a tomatoAfter 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.


    • The starters were good, as were the desserts, but yes, I was pretty disappointed with the entrees. Also, the portions are incredibly small when compared to other international First Class dishes.

  1. Wow I been reading this every since you started posting it and I am really loving it. I really love Cathay Pacific and hope to one day be a pilot for them. Looking forward to your analysis on board Asiana Airlines as they are also one of the best. Thank you again.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Clarence. My initial career interest was actually to become a pilot, but switched to an airline management major. Best of success in your endeavors!

      • Yeah, I am getting a degree right now in Aviation Management too cause I can’t afford the flight training. My only option is to get into the Cathay Pacific Cadet program. Best of luck to you too, keep up the good work.

  2. You should write to the Customer Relations Department of CX about your disappointments about the entree, otherwise, they would not acknowledge that and will continue the same mistakes. Although the experience were left to be desired, good report and hopefully the next flight will have a better experience than this one

    • Thanks, Joe. I did Tweet with Cathay Pacific and they replied saying they would send my comments to the department responsible for catering both in HKG and SFO. I’ve heard Asiana’s catering is superb, so look forward to a different experience with them next month.

  3. Great vid Darren! I was looking at another one of your video trip reports (LH first class) – I am new to Windows Movie Maker and I was wondering how do get still images to move like that , where it looks like you are zoominmg in or out. Thanks

    • Thanks Andrew! I use iMovie for Mac and the panning/zooming is called the “Ken Burns effect.” Really appreciate the feedback… thanks again!

    • Andrew! Wow, those are absolutely fantastic video trip reports. Well done and you’ve already had an amazing amount of views for having posted them just recently. Do you blog or possibly post the links on FlyerTalk, MilePoint or Airliners dot net?

  4. As usual, my note is late – but I hope that you see it. Sorry to hear that your CX ‘meat dishes’ were not up standard. I’ve had both awful and great meats (including Asian) in CX’s First. I wonder… A seriosly great report and I agree that their direct service really is First Class. I’ve done a dozen or more CX First X-pacific flights with them and I’m happy.
    Of note: If you have any pix of the First Class Galley in operation, I’d like to see them. Any links to other FC galley shots or in-flight manuals for preparation and service of meals? (I can find plenty of food pix, but nothing about galley operations, nada… Ideas? It is a big interest, especially since my Pacific travels have been curbed. Thanks) Darn fine report!

    • Hi Cook,
      I’ve learned enough now that some prefer their meat chewy and fat-filled (hence those comments in this post). However, this last trip I just took with Asiana was a different story as you’ll read in this next week or so with my trip report posts. No, I definitely don’t have galley pics… they certainly wouldn’t allow those. Stay tuned & thanks again for the kind words.

  5. Darren.

    Good stuff as usual, so good in fact, I called AA and upgraded to first class on my sept. CX883 to first class, and plan on calling in in a few weeks to see if first opened up on my oct. CX884 rt.

    I was wondering from your prev. report, what are the chances of getting a invitation printed out in lax for first class lounge in hkg, since my on going flight on CX713 business class only has 2 class service?

    • @Mikey: Awesome! First is definitely worth it… so effortless and CX does a very nice job. Regarding getting a lounge pass for HKG in LAX, I doubt they have the ability to do it. Instead, I would present your LAX-HKG boarding pass stub to the agent at the First lounge(s) in HKG showing you arrived on a First Class ticket. They probably won’t have any issues letting you in. Enjoy your trip!

  6. Darren:

    Thanks for tip on the ticket stub ( that was going to be my plan “B” to get to the first class lounge again.

    We had CX first 2 years ago hkg to lax, It was very nice.
    ( using ff miles from AA planning ahead always helps, just does not work out every time. This time calling back after making the initial reservation paid off.

    I recall the lamb meal was superb in CX first. not dry at all.

    Maybe give it a try on your next “delux” flight.

  7. actually, i was booked in business, but upgraded after extensive research. i’ve read other blogs in which passengers have said that cx will be eliminating the F class in september on 884/885. something like that. anyway, so the steak wasn’t good? i was really looking forward to that! and you didn’t say much about the desserts. i love desserts. amnd johnny walker blue…. i’m not going until may, and returning june 1. and i LIKED your techno music. i wonder how easy it would be to pre-book my pajamas (i probably wear at LEAST an XL).

    • @renny: The steak was a bit on the chewy and dry side if I recall correctly, but the desserts were fantastic (leaving me wanting more)!! They have an incredible supply of pajamas onboard and offered to change mine out if the size wasn’t correct. Have a great trip. Thanks re: the techno music. I know a lot of people can’t stand it, but hey… it’s my blog and my video. 😉

  8. Renny

    now you’v got me worried with your info

    ” i’ve read other blogs in which passengers have said that cx will be eliminating the F class in september on 884/885.

    can you give a link to the info?

    I just checked my res on CX

    seems strange they show times on rt, but not outward.

    27 Sep 2012, Thu CX883 LAX HKG 00:00 00:00 77W 0 First (Z) R Confirmed —
    29 Sep 2012, Sat CX713 HKG BKK 00:00 00:00 773 0 Business (U) R Confirmed —
    15 Oct 2012, Mon CX700 BKK HKG 08:20 12:05 773 0 Business (U) R Confirmed —
    15 Oct 2012, Mon CX882 HKG LAX 16:25 14:35 77W 0 First (Z) R Confirme

  9. I read about it on the Airline Route website, just a few days. There were several customers who were concerned about the new Premium Economy Class, and how CX would forego the First Class cabin in favor of this new configuration. But obviously that has changed. Mikey you should be good. Sorry for causing undue concern. And I’m doing the same itinerary as you, in May, arriving into Bangkok.

  10. Darren:

    Thanks for the reply, and link.

    I am still waiting for AA to sort out another glitch, they have me traveling on CX 884 and CX883 on the same day.

    All and all, I’ll fee assured once I step on the plane, and things seem to change all the time.

  11. So I flew to and from Austin to Hong Kong/Bangok/Phuket. Amazing first class service on LAX-HKG flight!!!!! More details to come!

  12. One thing I must add… The steak, while VERY tasy, was tough. I also had lamb on my way to HKG. The lamb stayed with me, and it seems as if I could taste it still, after I arrived in Bangkok – in that heat, it just wasn’t a good thing to be sweating lamb. The breakfast was outstanding on way to LAX. I had scrambled eggs, the three meats, a smoothie, a diet coke and water. I drank the bev’s quickly – didn’t even ask for refills, they just brought them. I wish I’d had the dim sum as well. The pajamas were so comfortable, as was the bed, and that bed is HUGE, by comparison to other airlines. It was amazing to board a flight and never see any of the other passengers, as most board through a different door. Almost surreal, I first class you never really see any of your four (in my case) or five cabin mates. I drank too much johnnie walker blue on the way there. Don’t make the same mistake! : )

    • @Renny: Thanks for the report! CX absolutely has the bed lie-flat bed in the sky, in my opinion. Glad you had a (mostly) good time. Avoid Mr. Blue on the next trip. 😉

  13. I spent 10 days in Phuket, and met a wonderful couple. He asked me who I flew to Thailand, and I mentioned CX First Class. Turned out that he’s a first officer for CX and lives in HKG. He sent a note to the ISM before my return trip and I got a personal note and a visit from the flight crew when I boarded in HKG. My friend’s name is Simon Moran. Wonderful guy. Wonderful employees at CX. And I do love that they come around from behind the counter at the airport to greet you. And the first class lounge in HKG (run by the Peninsula Hotel in HKG) is amazing.

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