Cathay Pacific Airlines has a pretty great reputation. For Americans who are used to traveling on the US legacy carriers, it’s a breath of fresh air. Our Cathay Pacific business class review includes the highlights and some lowlights of our Cathay Pacific 777 business class experience. In this post, we share our Cathay Pacific business class review 777, as well as information on the Cathay Pacific business class service, meals, and amenity kit. Our focus is on the service on the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong to Chicago flight.
Flying Cathay Pacific Business Class Chicago to Hong Kong
We booked our Cathay business class flight using American Airlines miles. Eric called American Airlines every day, and sometimes twice a day, for a week, to score us a miles saver ticket for Cathay Pacific business class. I protested that I would have been fine in Cathay Pacific economy class. But after seeing Cathay Pacific business class pictures I knew I wanted the experience. Particularly for a 15-hour flight, Chicago to Hong Kong Cathay Pacific business sounded like a perfect use for our accrued miles.
It would have been 35,000 miles in economy and only 55,000 in Business, with a continuation to Singapore. Totally worth it. I was thrilled for this Cathay Pacific upgrade to business class, courtesy of the husband. For us, the Cathay Pacific business class price cost 55,000 miles. At the time, I believe I priced the cost of purchasing the ticket at a little less than $5000 a person.
Learn how to earn miles to book your own Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Flight Cracking the Code to Travel Hacking
The Cathay Pacific Chicago lounge access was subpar at best. There is no Cathay Pacific business class lounge in Chicago. CX business class passengers gain access to the British Airways lounge in Chicago O’Hare’s International Terminal. The lounge had no windows, so no views, and no hot food. Not a great way to start with our Cathay business class review.
Review our Luxury Travel Guide for more luxury travel tips and our Top 10 Tips on How to Make The Most of Your Business Class Flight
Cathay Pacific Business Class Boeing 777 – The Cabin
We waited for the lounge’s boarding announcement and made our way to the gate. We were far from the first to board the Cathay Pacific Business Class 777 cabin. The humongous Cathay 777 business class cabin filled up quickly. It all seemed a little chaotic.
There were 53 Cathay Pacific business class seats, most of which were in our Cathay Pacific business class cabin. Then, there was a tiny exclusive cabin between the galley and the first class cabin, with only two rows. Note to self, try to get those seats next time. The purser did not introduce him or herself, but how could you provide that kind of service with so many business class seats.
CX807 and CX806 seating includes this large cabin, with 53 Cathay 777 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration on the Cathay Pacific seating plan. Check out the Cathay Pacific 77w seat map or more iformation on the Cathay Pacific seating chart.
Cathay Pacific Business Class 777 Review Pro Tip: Try to take advantage of Cathay Pacific seat selection ahead of the time. Select seats in the mini-cabin if possible. You might need to call to make this request.
Cathay Pacific Business Class Amenity Kit
We settled in quickly, ordered a glass of champagne, and looked through the amenity kit. Agnes B sponsored the Cathay Pacific amenity kit, with a different kit for men and women. Unlike the United Global First manly amenity kit, the women’s kit was a little more funky shaped, while the men’s Cathay Pacific Business Class kit was square and more manly. The contents were fairly typical, and nothing to write home about.
Update to Our Review of Cathay Pacific Business Class: As of 2018, the Cathay Pacific business class amenity kit has changed. It is no longer sponsored by Agnes B. The contents are about the same, and they continue to feature Jurlique products.
Cathay Pacific 77w Business Class Review – Seats and Entertainment
Unlike United Global First, the Cathay Pacific entertainment system did not start until after takeoff, leaving me kind of bored as we took off. I am a much happier business class traveler when I can watch something on the ground and during takeoff.
Once in the air, the Cathay Pacific movie list was not great. Although they had entire seasons of some popular shows, including Downtown Abbey (love). The handset to work the system was set in the wall, and not in the seat, which I like. And, there was a small screen on the handset which not only told you how much was left of your movie but how much was left of the flight. That was a nice feature so that you did not have to leave the movie and head to the map function to know how much time lapsed in the flight.
I stretched my legs out. Although the footrest was very far away, so far I could barely use it, the seat itself felt closed in, a little cramped. There was very little space to enter and exit the pod, which I suppose allowed for some more privacy. The seat was more narrow than I expected. The seat belt on the aisle side of the seat also was very, very thick, which I noticed when seated, and when sleeping. There was no additional footrest, and I needed to place the seat almost in sleep mode in order to have any leverage under my legs, again a little strange. I know, first world problems.
Check out our Cathay Pacific First Class Review and our review of The Pier – Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge in Hong Kong
And, the only area for drinks was on the inside of the seat, for me between me and the window, and for the middle seats, away from the aisle. It meant that the flight attendant constantly needed to reach over me to deliver a drink or take away a drink, which felt a little off. It did not stop me from enjoying my champagne before take off.
Cathay 777 Business Class Review – The Food
As always, I apologize for these Cathay Pacific business class images. The lighting in the cabin is never good. I refuse to use a flash or any lighting that might disturb the other passengers. I will say, both in our business class and first class experiences, it’s been a mixed bag on the quality of the Cathay Pacific meals. They’ve all been “fine” but I have not been as impressed with the Cathay Pacific food as I have been with Etihad and Qatar.
The meal service started shortly after takeoff, with a roll of Prosciutto with grilled vegetables, followed by a fairly boring salad.
The meal choices included a braised abalone with chicken, a beef tenderloin, pan-seared halibut, or a pasta. I was so stuffed from our three weeks in the US, that there was no way I could eat the steak. As I have mentioned before, my Airplane! PTSD prevents me from eating fish on an airplane, and I was not about to experiment with the abalone. So, I had the lemon pepper linguine with fire roasted red pepper sauce and zucchini.
Once again, I doubled up on dessert, starting with the cheese platter.
Cathay Pacific Airlines Business Class Review – Sleeping
I tried to get some sleep after my meal but started to feel ill pretty soon after. It was not a stomach issue or a food issue, but I was feverish. Outside of my duvet, I shivered, and under the duvet, it was a sweat box. I took some ibuprofen and slept way more than I anticipated flying Cathay Chicago to Hong Kong.
Cathay Airlines Business Class Review – Mid-Flight Meal
Let’s talk about the Cathay Pacific meal schedule. Feeling ill also meant that I missed the mid-flight meal. After the multi-course, post-takeoff dinner, they served another dinner five hours after the Cathay Pacific Chicago to Hong Kong flight took off. This meant that in the last 8 hours of the flight there were snacks available, with no pre-landing meal. This was strange, I have never experienced this on any long-haul flight, ever. It is usually a meal at the start, a meal or snack before arrival, and in upper-class cabins a snack available in between.
The mid-flight Cathay Pacific business class menu included seared prawns with lobster sauce, a stir-fried beef with black pepper sauce, or a wild mushroom ricotta cheese cannelloni. I actually thought these options were better than the first meal, but I missed it.
Because I declined the meal service when I finally felt well enough to eat, about 2.5 hours before landing, I ordered a wonton noodle soup. Because the seat belt sign was on, the flight attendant was not allowed to serve soup. The seatbelt sign was on for most of the rest of the flight. About an hour before landing, and 90 minutes after first requesting the soup, I asked once again if it were possible to have the soup before landing. I explained that I was not feeling well but wanted to eat at least something before arrival. She offered me a crab cake, which I declined reminding her that I was not feeling well.
Then, she offered me a fruit platter, which I accepted. About 20 minutes later the guy across from me got soup. When I was about ready to throw an illness-influenced fit, the flight attendant arrived with soup. It all seemed like such an ordeal. This might seem like nit-picking, but I do think that any Cathay Pacific business review should share service stories like this. There’s more to a Cathay Pacific business class experience than the seats.
Cathay Business Class Review 777 – The Results
Overall, I was happy that Eric worked so hard to get us the Cathay Business Class itinerary (Cathay Pacific ORD to HGK), particularly considering how sick I was on the flight. I think that my body had finally started to shut down from all that I fed it in the US. Luckily, I recovered enough to eat myself silly after arriving in Hong Kong. But, there were a few things that really surprised me, in particular how I felt shut in by the seat configuration, and the strange timing of the food service. The reviews of Cathay Pacific business class overall are high. But with so many seats in the cabin, I am not surprised at some of the mix-ups in service, like with the soup.
We were scheduled to fly another Cathay Pacific B777 business class flight on the short hop from Hong Kong to Singapore. We were also scheduled to be in that compact cabin. Unfortunately, Cathay switched to an older 777 configuration on the Cathay Pacific Singapore flight, with a regular old business class cabin. So disappointing. Even though it was only a three-hour flight, I wanted to experience the fancy Cathay Pacific Business Class one more time, before returning to Bali, via Air Asia. But, alas, all good things must come to an end.
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Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.