Travel-Dealz editor Dennis had the pleasure of testing the Cathay Pacific business class on long-haul. Read further to find out how good Cathay’s business class product is and if we can recommend it.
Introduction & Booking
I have booked this business class flight from Frankfurt to Manila via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific via Asia Miles (the frequent flyer program of Cathay Pacific). For that, I have utilized my American Express Membership Rewards points and transferred them to Asia Miles. In this review I will concentrate on the flight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong, since the Hong Kong to Manila leg was exactly the same as my flight a few months ago from Hong Kong to Bali with Cathay Pacific:
American Express offers a transfer ratio of 5:4 in Germany from American Express Membership Rewards points to Asia Miles. Depending on your country of residence, this may differ or may not be offered at all.
Check-In & Boarding
The online check-in worked perfectly fine. But I didn’t receive a reminder for the online check-in via email. That was a bit surprising to me since almost every other airline does that these days. Since I had to drop checked baggage, I still had to go to the check-in counter. As expected, dropping the baggage was super quick. Didn’t even take 2 minutes. I also received printed boarding passes including a lounge invitation in Frankfurt and Hong Kong.
The assigned gate was in terminal 2 in the D gates area. The interesting thing about this area at Frankfurt airport is that security check is done just in front for a specific part of the D gates. There was an extra priority queue. But it seemed to take as long as the normal queue as there was only one band open for us.
The boarding did already start when I arrived at the gate. But nonetheless, the boarding was done very quickly and in a few minutes I was sitting in my seat already. Before that, I had to take a photo of the airplane as you had a really good view on it from the gate.
In Frankfurt I only had access to the Sky Lounge as the Cathay Pacific Lounge is under renovations at the moment. I would have had access to this lounge through my American Express Platinum card anyway (because of the included Priority Pass membership). The lounge was pretty far from the assigned gate. The standard was pretty average, just like a typical Priority Pass lounge.
It was a different story in Hong Kong however. During my transit I decided for Cathay Pacific’s lounge called The Bridge since it was close to my departure gate for my onward flight to Manila. I also already had a look at the other lounge called The Wing on an earlier flight with Cathay Pacific to Bali.
The lounge left a far better impression than The Wing. The equipment wasn’t as worn off and the view from the lounge and the interior were more appealing.
Cabin & Comfort
The cabin made a great impression. You will find a 1-2-1 Reverse Herringbone seat configuration and therefore there’s lots of privacy. I was sitting at a window seat on the left side of the cabin.
The seat is very comfortable and offers quite a few adjustment settings. Of course, you can also change this seat into a fully lie-flat bed. For that there was a mattress cover at the seat , a pillow and a duvet. Since this was a day flight, I only made the seat a full bed for the review and to quickly test the comfort. The seat felt very comfy and had enough room.
I was also pretty happy about the amount of storage space. All my electronical equipment was fitting into the storage space on the left and then I still had enough options for more storage. Pretty impressive!
But the seat also had some disadvantages that you should know about. If you are working with your Macbook and want to charge it while working, the electrical plug is located at an awkward spot. In that case, the charger will be in your way when typing on your keyboard. Additionally, the arm rest on the side to the aisle is pretty far from your body and it causes you to sit a bit uncomfortably.
The toilets and amenities weren’t very exciting. I have to mention that I noticed the toilet seat being dirty several times during the flight. That’s a no-go in a business class cabin in my opinion.
The amenity kit was almost complete but I was missing socks. That’s usually a given in business class. Apart from that the amenity kit consisted of everything you may have needed during a flight.
A high quality sleeping mask, ear plugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste, mouth wash and body and hand lotion were part of the kit. There was a face myst spray as well that is supposed to keep your skin hydrated during the flight. Last but not least, there were slippers too.
Food & Service
Overall, the service was very friendly and attentive. After pushing the service button, a crew member would show up immediately. However, the service was pretty slow. After departing it almost took two hours to get the starter served. After three hours I was done with the dessert. Even other services took a very long time, whether it was the breakfast or the extra meal that I ordered in between. Unfortunately, to this extend it was a little bit bothersome.
After take off we received a welcome drink. We had the choice between orange juice, water or champagne. The drinks came with a small snack that consisted of various salted and smoked nuts. They were delicious!
The menu was also handed out which you can see here:
The appetiser was only served 2 hours after departure as I mentioned before. But it was very tasty. The meal consisted of very fresh tasting buratta (a creamy mozzarella from Italy), as well as juicy tomatoes. There was no dressing or any particular spice (except the few basil leafs) but it was still a very tasty starter. The rolls were only slightly warm anymore.
The main dish was great. I had decided for pork roast with brussel sprouts, red cabbage and dumplings. The portion size was pretty small and I was still feeling hungry afterwards unfortunately. The dessert was delicious. It consisted of fruits and cheese. I was very happy about the piece of dragon fruit.
Because I was still a bit hungry, I decided to order a meal that was available throughout the whole flight per request. I decided for the burger. To cut the story short: The burger was terrible. It was very hard to actually finish it. The reasons were the dry burger bun that was too long in the oven and the meat that was completely tasteless. The fries were mashy and partially still cold. They actually tasted as if frozen fries haven’t been baked long enough in the oven. That may have actually very well been the case here.
The breakfast was good again. I decided for the Western breakfast which consisted of an egg white omelette with avocado, tomatoes and smoked salmon.
Entertainment & WiFi
The size of the screen was great and it was bright enough. The selection of entertainment options was more than enough and should have made it possible to stay entertained throughout the whole flight if that was desired.
At this point I actually need to rave about Cathay Pacific’s WiFi. The speed and availability on their flights is outstanding. This was my third or fourth Cathay Pacific flight and every time the WiFi connection was available almost all the time and was pretty fast. The price is ok for what you get too. I have paid US$20 (~€16) for WiFi throughout the whole flight and would do it again in a heartbeat.
This time the WiFi dropped out a few times. But that’s almost inevitable on a 10 hour flight I would say. The speed was outstanding for WiFi in an airplane.
- Check-In & Boarding
- Cabin & Comfort
- Amenity Kit
- Food & Service
- Entertainment & WiFi
Cathay Pacific’s business class product on long-haul is slightly above average I would say. Check-In & boarding were flawless, the area in terminal 2 in Frankfurt airport at the D gates is slightly inconvenient. The lounge in Frankfurt wasn’t the greatest but this is hopefully only a temporary solution. The cabin & comfort is good but you have to get used to their seat. The arm rest and electrical plug problem were partially bothersome. The amenity kit is complete except that socks are missing. The food is ok, could be improved here and there. The service is friendly and attentive but very slow. The WiFi is outstanding and the entertainment options are good.