9
/10
A great flight you will recommend to friends
Airport Experience
Cabin & Seat
Cuisine
Beverages
Service
Entertainment
Amenities & Facilities
Short & Medium Haul

Review of Cathay Pacific Business Class

As the flag carrier for Hong Kong, this highly regarded airline connects continents near and far with an impressive route map and enviable inflight service. 

Aware of its global audience, the Cathay Pacific seeks to blend Asian influences into its amenities and service while also catering to the needs of its worldly roster of passengers. A popular tag line from Cathay Pacific is “Life well travelled,” and its Business Class product does just that. It is designed to cater to the needs of both leisure and business fliers with thoughtful touches from takeoff to touchdown. 

Cathay Pacific is part of the oneworld alliance, which also includes global carriers including American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Qantas, and Qatar Airways. As a result, the airline often coordinates schedules to facilitate onward connections while also selling many of its flights as a codeshare partnership. Members of Cathay Pacific's own Marco Polo Club, or any other oneworld frequent flyer program, can earn and redeem frequent flier miles when flying Cathay Pacific.

9/ 10

Airport experience

Hong Kong is Cathay Pacific’s chief gateway to the world. Chep Lap Kok is a fantastic and enormous airport - prepare for long walks to reach your gate once you pass through the priority check-in lane. Dedicated areas for Business Class passengers make security lines less of a wait. Luckily, there is a train as well as numerous moving sidewalks to expedite your travel through the airport.

Even better, Cathay Pacific is known for its beautiful and generously stocked airport lounges. There are several around the airport meaning no matter what your gate, a lounge is always close at hand. The Wing is located close to gates 1-4, The Deck near gate 6 and last but not least, The Pier near gate 65. Each lounge has its own character and distinctive amenities like a noodle and dim sum bar (try the Dan Dan noodles), a Chinese tea lounge, yoga room, showers, barista-prepared coffee, and napping areas. 

The lounges offer hot and cold food, bartender-crafted cocktails, self-serve beverages including wine, beer and soft drinks, Champagne (the brand can vary), and periodicals. In some lounges, the bartender can mix up a smoothie or the airline’s signature “Cathay Delight” non-alcoholic signature drink – blending milk, coconut milk, kiwi juice and mint. 

Outside of Hong Kong, there are Cathay Pacific lounges in other gateway cities including Bangkok, London, Shanghai, Singapore, and Vancouver. Otherwise, Business Class passengers are treated to third-party lounges, often affiliated with the airline’s oneworld partners.

9/ 10

Cabin & Seat

Cathay Pacific Business Class offers a 1-2-1 seating setup on all its long-haul aircraft (Boeing B777 and Airbus A330 and A350). Every seat in the cabin has direct aisle access and maximum privacy. The airline uses reverse herringbone seats that face slightly away from the aisle and feature small, winged headrests. Pairs of seats in the center section are ideal for couples because you can lean forward and chat together or sit back in privacy thanks to a central divider. 

Most Cathay Pacific aircraft have one large Business Class section and then a smaller cabin behind the entry door and galley. Those that prefer a quieter cabin inflight should select these smaller aft seating areas; it is easy to find them on the airline’s seat map. There is no charge to assign a seat when flying Business Class or for reserving this specific aft cabin.

All seats recline to a flat bed and measure 1.9 metres (6.25 feet-long) of usable sleeping space. Both are sufficient for tall travellers to have ample stretching room. Electronic controls allow you to recline the seat or raise the leg rest for your ideal comfort setting.

Easy-access light controls and storage closets for small items like glasses, books or the amenity kit are well-designed. Power and USB outlets are easy to find, too. Each seat has excellent bedding from Bamford including a 400 thread count linen package and duvet plus a plump pillow.  

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested, before making your choice.

9/ 10

Cuisine

Dining on Cathay Pacific is a treat, and on many flights, you can pre-order your preferred main course online to guarantee your selection is available. Menus, designed to look like a small newspaper, outline all the service offerings for the flight. It includes articles and pictures about some of the dishes on offer, which is an entertaining way to learn about the global cuisine available. The crew takes orders via a tablet, and this allows them to address passengers by name and get your order right – it is restaurant service in the air.

Drinks come with a ramekin of nuts as the service begins. Flight attendants lay a linen cover on the spacious tray table and begin the service with an appetiser. Served on a tray, it includes a side salad and a bread plate with warm items - Cathay Pacific serves delicious garlic bread -  offered from a basket. This is followed by the main course, from a menu of as many six choices including pasta, beef, fish, or traditional Chinese dishes. Sometimes, there is a meal relative to the destination, too. Cathay Pacific has partnerships with famous restaurants around the world including Hong Kong’s Mak’s Noodle and Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant, and these dishes are often the most popular. Special meals can be requested in advance covering dietary needs like vegetarian and Halal preparations.

Dessert includes a sweet dish, ice cream, fresh fruit, or a cheese plate with crackers. The meal presentation is served individually from the galley rather than from an aisle cart. It is swift, simple, and tasty. To round off the meal, coffee, tea, and cordials are on offer along with chocolate.

Cathay Pacific’s recently overhauled menu service uses more natural ingredients giving passengers a choice between heartier or lighter options. In between meals, snacks are available in the galley, but there is also a hot menu of dishes like a traditional hamburger with French fries and ketchup or noodle soup if you are feeling peckish.

Depending on the flight duration and time of day, a second meal can be served prior to landing or midway through the flight. These include the option for a hot or continental breakfast or a warm or chilled lunch or dinner depending on the flight. There is also a new dine-on-demand service that allows customers to choose what they want to eat and when later during the flight.

9/ 10

Beverages

Before takeoff, passengers can choose between Champagne (the label varies, but include Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne or Deutz Brut Classic Champagne), water or, on many flights, the delicious Cathay Delight signature drink.

The menu lists the wide variety of libations available including two white wines, two red wines and a dessert wine. The airline’s celebrated wine panelists select bottles from around the world to serve on board with the options rotating multiple times per year. 

An international selection of beer varies by flight, but Betsy Beer, created exclusively for the airline, is a highlight. A variety of cocktails is available on the menu as well as whiskies, Cognac and liqueurs.

Soft drinks, juices and still or sparkling water complete the list. Cathay Pacific serves illy coffee and Jing teas. Passengers can request espresso, cappuccino and latte drinks, and a regular favourite is Hong Kong-style milk tea. Travellers of all ages enjoy the delicious hot chocolate.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed.

9/ 10

Service

Cathay Pacific offers friendly service and warm hospitality. A welcome greeting from the lead flight attendant as well as the use of passenger names throughout the flight add to the exclusive feel. Multiple languages, including the language of the destination, are the norm for Cathay Pacific crews.

The airline has rather large Business Class cabins, which means service can occasionally feel robotic and cumbersome, but the crew is always happy to oblige special requests for the most personalised experience.

9/ 10

Entertainment

Large entertainment screens fold out to showcase the latest Hollywood films, a global selection of music, hundreds of sitcoms and documentaries, and cartoons. The airline has a solid selection of box set programming if you want to binge-watch a new-found show or reliable favourite. If you are interested to see what is playing on your flight, the airline lists its monthly entertainment selections online.

Noise-reducing headphones are available at each seat and available prior to takeoff. The entertainment system has both touch screen and remote-control features. 

On many Cathay Pacific planes, a tail and wheel camera give passengers an exterior view of the plane. Moving map displays use impressive graphics and 3-D technology to keep travellers in the know at any point of the flight.

The airline’s A350 aircraft feature wireless internet. Connectivity is being rolled out to the remainder of the widebody fleet with some planes already equipped. Travellers can verify if their plane has Wi-Fi in the flight status section on the airline’s website. The cost varies based on the flight length with flat rates differentiated by flights less than or more than six hours.

International newspapers and magazines are available from a cart rolled down the aisle and throughout the flight, and the airline’s Discovery magazine is in the seat pocket has creative articles, route maps and details on the airline’s other offerings.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi.

9/ 10

Amenities & Facilities

Amenity kits offer Bamford toiletry products and are well-stocked with what you might need to stay hydrated and refreshed on a long flight. Slippers are available at each seat. Lavatories stock more products like hand lotion and facial mist from Bamford. 

Before and after meals, hot towels bookend the service for extra refreshment.

For infants under six months of age, bassinets are available on all Cathay Pacific flights with advance notice.

8/ 10

Short & Medium Haul

The passenger experience on short flights benefits from the fact that Cathay Pacific only operates widebody aircraft, providing comfort normally associated with long-haul flights even on shorter journeys. Aircraft operating shorter flights do however often feature the regional Business Class seat, which dates back to 2012 and comes in a 2-2-2 (on A330) or 2-3-2 (on B777) configuration. While still comfortable, these seats do not match the quality of the ones used for long haul flights. Cathay Pacific is due to introduce the A321neo narrowbody jet to its regional fleet, which will feature a next-generation regional Business Class seat.

On regional and medium-haul flights, Cathay Pacific delivers a multi-course meal presentation like the long-haul flights with a starter, salad, multiple main course options and a tasty dessert. The beverage menu is equally notable with wine, beer, cocktails, spirits, and Champagne. 

Sustainability

The airline’s Sustainable Development Policy encompasses numerous angles of environmental protection and improvement. In addition to its own measures to reduce waste and improve recycling, the airline also works with its suppliers to find ways to improve the entire process. 

By the end of 2022, Cathay Pacific plans to reduce its single-use plastics by 50 percent. The airline also now dry washes many of its aircraft to keep them clean while also reducing water usage by 90 percent. 

Cockpit materials are now entirely digital, which helps to reduce paper, and the carrier is also the first to serve OmniPork, a vegan, plant-based pork alternative.

In a creative move Cathay Pacific has found a use for its retired uniforms, using the materials to produce Lai See, the red envelopes given out at Chinese New Year.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.

What We Love

  • Cathay Pacific's own luxurious lounges with impressive food and beverage options will make you want to arrive at the airport early enough to enjoy them.
  • Onboard catering options include numerous international dishes, and the recent change to a more restaurant-style presentation makes the experience even more palatable.
  • With all aisle-access seats, completely flat beds, and some of the best Bamford bedding in the sky, Cathay Pacific Business Class cabins are cocoons for comfort on long-haul flights.

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