After a quick AirTrain ride over to the International Terminal, I found myself with about 45 minutes until Cathay Pacific’s counters opened for check-in. I was thankful for that, actually, and went to get a snack, walked around a bit and checked out the San Francisco Airport Museum. It, unfortunately, didn’t open until 10:00, but I got a peek through the windows and checked out the various vintage airplane models on display (video of that later).
At 9:30 I headed back over to aisle #8 check-in and took a seat while the agents finished setting up. A few economy class passengers began to queue and once an agent waved the first in line forward, I approached the First Class check-in desk. The agent was friendly and casual in her conversation even acknowledging how early I was. She quickly printed my boarding pass and lounge invitations, one for the British Airways Terraces Lounge and the other for “The Arrival” lounge in Hong Kong. I’ve had this happen before, but always find it a nice touch that the agent comes from around the desk to hand the boarding passes and lounge invites to me directly instead of from across the counter.
Truth be told, I didn’t actually have to check-in again as I had my boarding pass printed by American in Los Angeles, but I wanted the “official” Cathay version to add to my collection of stubs. As such, I filed that one away and used my American pass for security since I hate that TSA agents write on or highlight the BPs when it’s truly not necessary. I’m going to despise the day it goes all mobile and I don’t have the same-sized stubs to collect.
There was a small snag during my BP check. The B in my last name was askew due to printer misalignment… you could still see it, but it was partially printed on the other side of the pre-formed tear line. LAX didn’t have an issue with it, but this TSO decided she needed her supervisor to approve it as she claimed my last name looked more like OOTH (sigh). I stood to the side while she cleared more passengers through and in a few minutes the supervisor approached, was a bit more rational in the obviousness of the misprint and quickly let me continue.
I stopped briefly at the entrance to the lounge for a picture and then walked into the upstairs lobby to find a small seating area and a sign instructing guests to proceed downstairs for entry.
I was the very first person to enter that morning and took a tour of the entire lounge, including the Business Class section. I’ll have a bunch of videos to post eventually, but for now offer the following pictures of the First Class section.
The lounge was empty, but ready for the day of travelers. It was fully catered with drinks and snacks, and I indulged in a Perrier and noodles and later dim sum was brought in. Everything you could need was available, including a sole internet work station complete with printer.
Several more people showed up and it appeared First Class to Hong Kong would be full. Given how early I was, I was able to finish a new post for Frequently Flying and then shut down to enjoy the atmosphere.
The flight was about an hour behind schedule due to the late inbound aircraft, but that happily gave me more time to indulge in the anticipation of Cathay’s First Class experience. I headed up to the terminal to video the inbound flight landing and pulling into the gate and then returned to the lounge, gathered my belongings and waited for the boarding call.
The next installment will be posted shortly reviewing flight 879 from San Francisco to Hong Kong in First Class. As a teaser, just know something about the flight was absolutely terrible… I couldn’t believe what I experienced as a First Class passenger.