Date: December 2015
Aircraft: 777/300 #B-HNQ
Configuration: 2 Class Regional
On Time: Yes (Amazingly, see comments)
Reward Flying Experience: 5.2 of 10 ✈
A bit of luck
The first leg of the longer trip on CX from TPE to ORD. Cathay Pacific flies this route 15 times a day using 777 or A330 aircraft. I looked at availability for a day 6 months out, reward seats were available on every flight.
Reward Availability: 10 of 10 ✈
Value for Reward per redemption point:
Sky High: >.08
The business class fare on this flight was $569.00. Using Asia Miles a business class reward ticket is 20,000 points, giving a value of 2.8 cents, not the greatest use of miles. Of course being the positioning flight back to the states it was a great value.
Reward Value: 3 of 10 ✈
I used American miles for the trip which requires a call to American to book the ticket. The agents were prompt, friendly and efficient.
Stay at Gate
I did not get a chance to visit the Cathay lounge in TPE airport but it was not for the lack of trying. I actually went to the airport early and was amazed at the number of people traveling. The lines for security were the longest I’ve ever seen. It took almost an hour to make my way through security and passport control. Speaking with a Cathay gate agent, he told me that with all the budget Asia airlines these days, the busiest times are early morning and late evening, which are the times these flights depart TPE. So if you are heading out of TPE, give yourself plenty of time to get to the gate.
What were they thinking?
This plane was a regional 777-300 with 42 business class seats. The cabin was clean. There is something about the seat colors however that made the cabin look dreary to me. Of course this is just an opinion and matters little for the flight experience.
Just like home
Get me off this plane
The seats were very comfortable and probably a notch above a typical regional business class seat. A noticeable difference was the footwell under the seat in front of you. This opening made the seat space seem much larger than normal. The footwell could be used for a carryon or just to stretch out. This seat was better than the old first class seats of 10-15 years ago before lie flat.
Hard Product (Cabin/Seats): 4 of 10 ✈
Food; menu, selections and extras:
✔︎Printed, multiple cuisines
Printed, single cuisine
Verbal by flight attendant
Mid flight snacks
This is a 500 mile flight taking a little more than 1 hour 20 minutes. Some US domestic airlines would probably pass on serving a meal. Not Cathay Pacific. It was impressive to see how the flight attendants coordinated serving breakfast to 42 people in less than 15 minutes.
✔︎Compliments to the Chef
Fine dining with a miss or two
No rave reviews
Get me a meal from economy
Were aren’t talking 3 star Michelin here, but the meal was simple, healthy (I had the Chinese offering), tasty and satisfying. Higher expectations are not warranted.
Food/Drinks: 5 of 10 ✈
Can I stay and watch some more?
✔︎Watched a fav and went to sleep
400 cable channels and nothing to watch
Glad I brought my tablet
Adequate in flight entertainment for regional product including outside underbelly camera view.
InFlight Entertainment: 5 of 10 ✈
Made the flight special
✔︎Did their job
Did they board?
Very efficient staff. One of the reasons is the number of flight attendants for 42 business class seats was not limited to just 2 or 3. I believe there were 4 attending to business class on this flight.
Crew: Crew: 6 of 10 ✈
Didn’t realize was on a plane
Time for a trade-in
This 777, B-HNQ, was delivered in July of 2006 and is one of twelve 777-300 series configured for Cathay Pacific regional routes.
Aircraft: 6 of 10 ✈
This was a good flight. What was most impressive about this flight was the boarding. The flight was scheduled to depart at 8:25AM with boarding at 7:55AM. Apparently the inbound was late so they announced boarding would commence at 8:15. At precisely 8:15 they began boarding. This plane holds almost 400 passengers and from what I could tell it was full. They completed boarding at 8:32, in 17 minutes. The door closed at 8:33 and we pushed back at 8:35 arriving in HKG ahead of schedule. Impressive to say the least.
Do you have any Cathay Pacific experiences you'd like to share? Feel free to leave a comment.