Saturday, February 20, 2010

Commercial Interruption for Cathay Pacific

Another 'first' on the trip to Hong Kong, in addition to the first time there with Jase, was my maiden flight experience on Cathay Pacific airlines. Treat yourself to a flight on Cathay, if Hong Kong or adjacent destinations are on your itinerary.  Couldn't swing business or first class this time around (though as a member of One World Alliance, I did get round trip American AAdvantage credit for the 16,000 mile round trip), but was a happy camper in coach for 15+ hours in each direction.  Luckily, had an adjacent empty seat on both flights.  

The biz class lounge at HKG was fabu----kitchens preparing dumplings, noodles, and a wonderful congee, in addition to the coffee, rolls etc. The setup was what impressed---the entire lounge is partitioned into intimate seating areas, some of which are paired lounge chair and desk sets with full outlets, phone etc., so you don't have to migrate to one of those awful business centers in most premium lounges.  Very comfortable, quiet, and productive working area, and especially valued since we had to get up before dawn to get Jason on to an early flight, which meant I had a few extra hours on my own at the airport before I departed. 

Lots of legroom and work room on board the 777, due to Cathay's seat design, which resembles what I am used to in biz and first on American---the seat itself reclines but the back support of the seat remains vertical, so if the guy in front of you is bedding down for the night, you don't have to struggle with your laptop lying on your stomach to get anything done, nor do you rock and roll in your seat depending on the movements of your neighbors.  Quiet, comfortable, great video and audio selections, and, even in coach, a working AC outlet at each seat that fits both US and HK electric plugs.  Fully powered and able to accomplish much on both flights.  

Oh, and here's something we don't see much in coach on domestic carriers: on Cathay, you push your call button and a flight attendant actually shows up....within seconds.  Coffee or whatever within a minute after that.  I've had to wave my hands or get up out of my seat, even in first class on AA, to get a mid-flight cup of coffee----or, a snack...hah ! forget it.

The aircraft usually takes the polar route on the way home to NYC, so no longer the need to stop in Vancouver or elsewhere on the way back, when it really matters to get home sooner rather than later.  On today's flight home, we headed more directly east than north, due to some unusual 150+ MPH tail winds at the lower latitudes.  Yeehaaa!

Will keep coming back to Cathay as my airline of choice for Hong Kong and points beyond.

(end of commercial)

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