Hey everyone! Back at it with another review from one of my flights that I took from San Francisco to Hong Kong via Cathay Pacific’s business class.
How is Cathay Pacific Business Class?
- Is Cathay Pacific business class good? It’s actually great!
- Is Cathay Pacific business class worth it? If you use your points or have a really deep wallet to pay for the fare in dollars.
- Is Cathay Pacific business class lie flat? Yes! It’s one of my favorite hard products from an Asian carrier.
Getting the right seat
I had looked up the seat map on SeatGuru with the help from my friend, Shawn. He was helping me pick which part of the cabin is the best to select your seat in, because one time I got shafted by being by the galley and I will never repeat that mistake if it’s within my control. I ended up picking the seat 22K, which is one of the window seats in the business class section. The window seats are great because they all face outward and you’re not going to be looking at someone’s feet or things while you’re on this 16hr+ flight to Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific SFO Lounge
I must be a travel noob or something of the sort because usually when I traveled for work before, I somehow ended up never understanding that SFO has multiple tiers of their terminal — the top is reserved for higher-end lounges that are only accessed by class of travel, and the one that can be accessed from the first floor is the KLM lounge that people with the Priority Pass card can access. I was delighted to see that the lounge was further in the back of the building and I didn’t mind the extra few minutes to walk down the long hall because it felt like I was just invited to a secret VIP experience at an airport I thought was pretty shabby to begin with.
Much to my surprise, the lounge was pretty empty because I had come two hours earlier to just enjoy the facilities and stuff my face. (This was fun, but definitely something I won’t do again because I didn’t realize how much food was going to be served on the flight itself.) Over the course of the next two hours, I saw people trickling in but it still wasn’t as crowded as I was expecting given how large the plane is.
The lounge has a lot of western plates that are available, but I flew on an Asian airplane to jam on all of the delicious eastern food. I went straight for the noodle bar, passing by the lame-looking cold cuts, and got a bowl of wonton soup. This lounge is pretty organized and they handed me a pager that I took to back to where I set up camp. Within a couple of minutes, the pager started going off and I went to get my wonderful, steaming bowl of noodle soup. I have to say, the few lounges I had been in prior was so underwhelming in retrospect because I had never really gotten anything piping hot — everything had been lukewarm or required sticking into a metal revolving oven bake to feel real warmth.
Oh em gee. This was probably my highlight (likely, again, because I had never experienced something like this before) but I was delighted to find that this was a full bathroom with marbled walls and little toiletries to continue getting ready with. I had come from a long day at work and was about to travel on this long-haul flight so I felt like I should shower before sleeping most of the way to Asia. It was so refreshing, and I didn’t feel rushed because there’s no such thing as a physical queue for the shower like the British Airway lounges. In this scenario, you have to go to the front-desk who will take your ticket as collateral and provide you the shower key one-by-one. It’s a must-do before a long flight because my hair always gets greasy and my face always gets oily; I walk off the plane looking like the hot mess express and we don’t want that.
There are so many seats in this lounge. It really felt like they did a good job of creating tables in the eating spaces for 2 or more people to congregate, couch spaces for families of four, and individual pods for those who are traveling solo and don’t need a whole section to themselves. One of the rudest things I notice that American travelers do is set up camp in a space that’s meant for 4+ people when they’re only one person and spread their shit everywhere: don’t be this asshole, it’s really inconsiderate. There’s not a shortage of space here, though, because there are two ends that have exactly the same setup, giving way for a lot of really usable space for loungers.
I always get a little concerned whenever I see these kind of seats because they look really narrow and stiff but I was really pleasantly surprised to find that sitting in this chair felt like sitting on a great plushy cushion. Seats by the window face outward so during the entire flight you won’t be facing someone’s things or feet and there is a leg-rest in the corner so that when you recline to a lie flat you’ll have a fully comfortable experience — having your own bed in the sky.
The amenity kit is really nice and compact and it has basic Aesop amenities like lip balm, a toothbrush, and an eye mask for the long-haul flight. I could definitely see myself using this case again just for lightweight travel as a travel case. (It’s not large enough for long trips but could be great for a weekend travel toiletry bag.)
The food options are excellent. It’s truly a dream for someone who regularly flies economy like myself to see such a wide array of options and well-presented meal plates. I also saw a lot of great champagne and wine options that I just indulged myself on, because why not? One of my favorite things was after the dinner service (and dessert cart), they offer your selection from a box of four different types of truffles that you can have with coffee or tea. The best one of the bunch that everyone needs to try at least once is the sesame truffle. I literally died and went to heaven; on the way home, I asked for two because I couldn’t resist.
As if that wasn’t good enough, some of the snack options are ramen — or an entire angus burger. Being someone who loves carbs a little too much, I ordered the burger to have a post-nap snack after snoozing for a couple of hours. It was so worth it and I have no regrets.
All in all, this was such a fantastic flight on Cathay Pacific airlines and I would encourage everyone to take the route from San Francisco that takes you into Hong Kong. More on the Lounge experience in another post, at another time, but it’s definitely worth the wait. I keep trying to book these flights via Alaska Air miles and admittedly it can be difficult because the only way to discover availability is to give Alaska a call and for the customer service reps to look it up in an archaic database; however, if you can find a space, book it, because at 50,000 points to redeem, I think it’s incredibly worth it.