After an amazing stay at the Renaissance Harbour view Hong Kong Hotel and rendezvousing with friends, it was time to continue my trip on Cathay Pacific to Kuala Lumpur. I visited the Pier lounge shortly, as I didn’t have much time for a long stay at any lounges due to check in and baggage issues and also boarded my flight to KL which was delayed about 15 minutes. This was my first intra-Asia flight on Cathay, and by exploring the seat map I could see that this was one of the few 777-200 that has not been refurbished with the new intra-Asia, short haul business class product. Despite the product being great at its launch, it is now dated and fell behind Cathay’s competitors who offered all aisle access and lay flat seats in business class. Either way, after my flight from LAX, I was excited to fly CX again and experience their 5-star service.
Cathay Pacific Business Class Boarding:
The delay was short and they announced it in the Pier lounge, which I found to be considerate and headed to the gate after the initial boarding call. Like usual, by the time I boarded, most of the boarding was complete, but this did not take away from the experience. There were two lanes: one for priority boarding which included OneWorld Elite flyers and business class and another for economy class. There was also two jet bridges which is common at airports abroad for large body aircrafts. I was one of the last business class passengers to board the plane, but this did not stop the FAs from escorting me to my seat, offering to help with my luggage and presenting me a pre-departure beverage of champagne, orange juice, or the Cathay Pacific signature drink. I took the signature drink and made myself comfortable in my seat. Despite the seat plan being 2x3x2, I had a window seat and found the dated seat to be comfortable for what it was. I explored the seat functions and made myself at home for the short flight to Kuala Lumpur. A hot towel service was offered along with menus and within no time we were taxing for take-off.
(L) Newspapers were ofered to all guests at the entrance of the plane. (R) Old regional Business Product. (Below) Cathay Pacific signature drink
Service on Cathay Pacific was again top notch! As soon as it was safe for the crew to move throughout the cabin, the pursuer greeted each passenger by name and took dinner orders for the four hour flight to KL. The rest of the crew was busy collecting and fulfilling drink orders and providing customers with a pre meal nut service. The macadamia nut and drink service was similar to that on the long haul flight. During this time, I started to attempt to use my small personal TV. After 10 minutes of fumbling with it, I moved to the bulk row thinking my TV was broken. I am still not sure if its me or the controller, but I had difficulty using the system. It was not as intuitive as a touch screen system, nor any other system I used (maybe I am to young), but instead left me confused and made me think the system was broken. I moved to the bulkhead and explained the situation and the purser showed me how to use the PTV. The system was not on demand, but was instead on a video loop—this was part of my confusion. She explained it to me and made sure it was working properly before bringing me my meal and beverages.
The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful as after the meal service I finished watching TV program and read my book. The flight was comfortable, but a letdown when comparing it to long haul service on CX. Afterall, there was no lay flat seat, the service was customized, but not to the same extent; the IFE was old and dated and turned off after a single loop, and overall flying this product was not more exciting than flying domestic business class on a legacy carrier in the US. It was a big seat, with some entertainment options and no in-seat power. The meal was decent, but that wasn’t enough to justify the cost difference. As far as amenities go,the only difference between business class and economy on this flight was a larger seat, more room, and an upgraded meal. Would it be worth if I was paying cash, probably not, but as I was on an award ticket it was alright.
As mentioned previously, the seats were old style business class recliners in a 2x3x2 configuration. There was plenty of leg room, even if you chose to store a bag under the seat in front of you, but overall the seat was very simple. The PTV was under the arm rest between the seats and was very small compared to what I am used to on long haul flight. In fact, the PTV reminded me of the PTV on Delta’s 767-300 domestic series—small and maybe 9 inches at most. The seats were well padded and comfortable for what they were, but flyers beware, other carriers in the region including Thai, Asiana, Korean, and Singapore offer better regional products than Cathay’s older regional configuration. The good news is, this product is being refreshed and is only on a few remaining planes.
Business class cabin pictured above, Business class seat pictured below
Outdated power supplies in seat which I think no one ever used due to the need to an adaptor and cheap economy like headphones which were provided to business class passengers.
Cathay Pacific long haul wooed me, but their regional business class product did not. Rethinking this trip, if I was a paying customer and not on an award ticket, I would consider another airline or ensure the plane had the new seat installed.
How to Book
You too can book this trip for free by using any OneWorld Airline miles. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is a direct transfer partner of American Express and intra Asia flights such as this one start at 30,000 miles. Other options are to use American Express Transfer Partner British Airways or Iberia Avios. American Airline and US Airways are both partners with Cathay and offer award seats on Cathay Pacific. The easiest way to search award space on via British Airways Avios page, as BA shows all of Cathay’s available award space.
British Airways is the cheapest option if booking this ticket with miles in Business, for just 20,000 miles, however i have included a chart of other airlines which allowing booking on this same route.