Review

Cathay Pacific 777 First Class overview

One of the most comfortable beds in the sky, a very private cabin and impeccable service, but not-so-great food

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The Hong Kong-based oneworld carrier has built a solid reputation for taking care of premium passengers departing from and transiting through its busy Southeast Asian megahub.

Here is what to expect flying at the pointy end on one of their First Class flights within Asia or to Europe or North America.

Fleet & routes

This cabin is found exclusively on the Boeing 777-300ER, mostly on long-haul flights from Hong Kong to North America and Europe but there are also some Asian destinations:

Cathay Pacific’s First Class routes as of September 2017

Note that Hong Kong – Taipei is the shortest route this product is offered on, and the Vancouver – New York fifth freedom route is a comfortable way to get from the West to East Coast of North America.

The cabin & seat

Although the Cathay Pacific First Class cabins received a refresh in 2014, there is no hiding the fact that this is an old seat. However, it is still one of the most comfortable beds and seats in the sky.

There are only six First Class seats in a 1-1-1 configuration:

Often the cabins are not full, meaning they can feel very peaceful and private:

The seat is incredibly comfortable for long-haul flights. There is a pillow attached to the headrest and an extra pillow for lumbar support. Although the seat is very wide, there is a fold-down armrest which reduces the width for smaller-framed bodies.

There is not a great deal of storage space around the seat except for a decent-sized pocket under the TV and a storage cupboard behind the TV to store a cabin bag. The ottoman can be used as a seat if you want to dine with a guest and it also has a seatbelt in case of turbulence.

There are no overhead bins in the First Class cabin.

Although the suites do not have doors, they feel very private. When converted into a bed, it is easily the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in on a plane (judged by the quality of sleep I got).

The cabin can become quite warm and, considering the luxuriously thick cotton pyjamas and beautiful warm bed linen, it can be uncomfortable if you tend to overheat. Make sure to let the cabin crew know if it is too hot as they may be able to adjust the cabin temperature for you.

Seat choice

The A and K window seats are the picks in this cabin.

The A seats are slightly more private, as there are only two seats that share the aisle, whereas the four D and K seats share the right aisle.

That being said, if you are travelling with a companion, you may want to choose a D and K combination so you can more easily converse during your flight.

Service: food & drink

Here are the food and drink menus from my flight:

Although the caviar and Krug offerings are top-shelf:

the rest of the food (on my flight at least) tends to be beautifully presented but lacks taste.

My breakfast was unremarkable too:

The service delivery on Cathay Pacific is professional but with little of the general chit-chat you would usually experience with an Australian carrier.

On my flight, the two cabin crew were impeccable and very efficient, with friendly touches like the handwritten note given to me along with the caviar service:

Inflight entertainment

The screen measures only 15 inches, which is pretty small compared to other First Class products (Singapore Airlines’ screen measures 24 inches), yet thankfully can be adjusted to any angle, which is great if you want to watch something whilst laying down.

The system has a huge variety of content and you are provided with excellent Bose noise-cancelling headphones:

Amenities

There are two bathrooms at the front of the cabin, which is generous for a maximum six-passenger cabin (compared to only one for 12 passengers on Korean Air’s A380):

Each First Class passenger receives a bag with high-quality PYE pyjamas, an eyemask and slippers:

and the Aesop amenity kit includes all the essentials:

How to redeem points for this flight

The five main programs Australia-based travellers can use for redemptions on Cathay Pacific are:

  • Qantas Points
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • British Airways Executive Club

One of the cheapest redemptions is Hong Kong to Taipei for only 26,000 Qantas Points, which one of the best uses of Qantas Points in our opinion.

You’ll find award space in First Class to be limited, peaking when the calendar opens up about a year before departure, and last-minute when unsold First Class seats are converted into award inventory. Note that sometimes it can be difficult to find more than one First Class award seat on some flights, so this redemption may be more easily accessed by solo travellers.

I personally booked this as part of oneworld return First Class redemption through Asia Miles. I used my corporate American Express Platinum Charge card to transfer 260,000 Membership Rewards points to Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio.

The segments of my trip were:

Lounge access

One big perk of flying Cathay Pacific First Class through Hong Kong is that you’ll get access to the excellent The Wing and The Pier First Class lounges (even if your onward flight is in Business Class).

A cabana in The Wing at Hong Kong Airport

Outside of Hong Kong, you will get access to either a Cathay Pacific-operated lounge or a oneworld partner lounge, which vary in quality, from the new American Airlines Flagship Lounge at New York JFK to the lacklustre Cathay Pacific combined First-Business Class Lounge at Frankfurt.

Our other Cathay Pacific reviews

Some other First Class reviews

Summing up: why choose this flight?

Book Cathay Pacific First Class if you want to experience one of the most comfortable beds in the sky, a very private cabin and impeccable Cathay Pacific service – as long as you can find the award space in the first place.

Cathay Pacific 777 First Class overview was last modified: September 26th, 2017 by Greg Stone

Comments Expand Comments

  1. Lauren

    Just booked new years eve Seoul to Bangkok first class with a 3 hour layover in Hong Kong with Qantas points (53,000 each making it 4c per point value). This will be our first time in first so any extra tips to make the most of it? Especially with regard to the lounges in Hong Kong?

    • Greg Stone Author

      Hey Lauren. That’s really exciting! You’re going to love it. Although the food wasn’t spectacular on my flight from Frankfurt I would expect higher quality out of their home airport. You’re lucky that you get a three hour layover as I only had 1.5 hours and was departing at a gate at the opposite end of the airport. I visited the amazing Pier First Class lounge but I only had time for a quick coffee and shower and unfortunately didn’t have time to checkout a private day suite. On arrival check with the spa attendant to see if you can book a day suite.

  2. Travlermb

    Nice write up, pretty much agree. I’ve noticed the changes to Cathay FC over the years. A few years ago they had dedicated FC priority boarding plus lobster tail with champagne at the gate. Now, FC and biz boarding together (I was sent to the back of the loooong line to board) and the food quality has declined as noted.

    Curious to see how the Hong Kong Airlines expansion will affect Cathay.

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