October 9, 2015

Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class, Manila-Hongkong

Summer Trip Flying EVA Air Business Class on 777 & Hello Kitty Jet, Singapore Airlines Suites & Cathay Pacific First Class

Last summer, I travelled to the Philippines for the 70th birthday celebration of my father. It was a very short visit since I needed to be back home for work. I've always wanted to try EVA Air's Hello Kitty Jet so I booked my flight from Stockholm to Fukuoka using Avianca Lifemiles. From Fukuoka, I flew on a budget carrier to Tokyo, and from Tokyo I flew on Singapore Airlines Suites to Singapore, and then first class to Manila using my Kris Flyer Miles. On my way back to Stockholm, I flew on Cathay Pacific First Class and Finnair Business Class using my AA Advantage Miles. This trip allowed me to test EVA Air Hello Kitty, Singapore Suites and Cathay Pacific First Class all for the first time and I couldn't be more satisfied.


SAS Summer Pop Up Lounge, Arlanda T5 (ARN)
SAS Plus Stocholm-London
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge, London (LHR)
United Club, London Heathrow (LHR)
EVA Air Royal Laurel Class, London-Bangkok
New EVA Air Lounge, Bangkok (BKK)
EVA Air Royal Laurel Class, Bangkok-Taipei
Hotel Novotel Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air The Infinity Lounge Taipei (TPE)
EVA Air Premium Laurel Class Hello Kitty Jet, Taipei-Fukuoka
Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk
ANA Suite Lounge Satellite 5 T1 Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, Tokyo-Singapore
Singapore Airlines The Private Room, Changi Airport (SIN)
Singapore Airlines First Class, Singapore-Manila
Top Attractions in the Philippines
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, NAIA (MNL)
Cathay Pacific Business Class, Manila-Hongkong
Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge, Hongkong (HKG)
Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge, Hongkong (HKG)
Cathay Pacific First Class, Hongkong-Frankfurt
Air France-KLM Lounge, Frankfurt (FRA)
Finnair Business Class, Frankfurt-Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa
Top Attractions in Finland
Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Airport (HEL)
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-Stockholm

Cathay Pacific Business Class, Manila-Hongkong lunch

Flight: CX900
Departure in Manila: 12:30 (actual 12:47)
Arrival in Hongkong: 14:50 (actual 15:13)
Equipment: Airbus A330-300
Flight duration: 2h 20m
Date of flight: July 14, 2015
Seat: 15A
*This is an award travel, Business class flight #87

Check in

I arrived at the NAIA Terminal 3 about three hours before departure and went straight to the check in desks. It was actually my first time in this terminal and I'm glad that both Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines transferred here. This terminal looked very new and fresh and although still not that nice compared to Changi Airport or Hongkong Airport, it is still better than the older Terminal 1. Business Class passengers could use desks A12, A14 and A15 to check in but since all three were taken, I was accommodated at desk A7 by Clarice, a friendly agent who happens to be learning Swedish during her sparetime. Everything went smoothly and as soon as my checked in bags were tagged, I was given my boarding passes and wished a pleasant flight. Unfortunately, she forgot to gave me the lounge invitation although I was still able to access the lounge without it, and that she apologized for it when I met her again later during boarding.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Manila

Lounge

This two month old Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge is definitely one of the best lounges in the country and features the Studioilse design with the famous Noodle Bar.

Aircraft

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 bound for Hongkong

I headed to Gate 111 about 30 minutes before departure although boarding did not start until 12:15 due to the late arrival of the aircraft.

Cabin

The cabin has a 1-2-1 configuration with a total of 28 seats, 6 of which were occupied.

View of the cabin

Seat

As I boarded, I was welcomed by one of the flight attendants and directed to turn left. My seat, 15A was a window and actually reminded me of EVA Airways Royal Laurel Class seats on the Boeing 777 I have flown the previous week from London to Bangkok. Just outside the aircraft before boarding was a newspaper trolley. I guess I should have taken one as they were never offered again inside the aircraft.

Shortly after settling in, I was offered something to drink and I chose a glass of water which was served with a hot towel.

A few minutes later, Lawrence, the only male flight attendant working in the business class cabin offered me a blanket which was wrapped in a plastic and was then opened. Since I was not planning to use it yet, I placed it on the ottoman in front of me. Ana, another flight attendant came a bit later, addressing me by my name, to offer me the menu card.

Cathay Pacific Business Class, personal storage

Entertainment

Cathay Pacific Business Class personal screen with Studio CX, the airlines' inflight entertainment system.

A reminder that "I may not be able to finish the programme before landing" was impressive.

Cathay Pacific Business Class headphones

Cathay Pacific Business Class entertainment controls and seat controls

Cathay Pacific Business Class, safety instructions card and inflight magazine. I found it strange that the magazines were sealed in plastic (I can't think of another airline doing it) but I guess it's Cathay Pacific's way of showing that hygiene is important to them.

Dining

Cathay Pacific Business Class menu card

Cathay Pacific Business Class lunch menu

Cathay Pacific Business Class wine list

Cathay Pacific Business Class wine/beverage list

Cathay Pacific Business Class drink list

Lunch

Fresh seasonal fruit

Grilled Pacific cod with dill, parsley tomato concasse, sauteed potatoes, roasted capsicums and zucchini

Chocolate hazelnut cake with raspberry coulis

The other choice for the main course was: Stir-fried beef slices with black pepper sauce, steamed jasmine rice and jade melon with red medlar seeds and garlic

I really loved the fish but more so the bread roll so I decided to ask Lawrence if I could have another piece. He replied "You want another bread?" and came back with three pieces. I politely told him that one is enough but he insisted that I get three. I wasn't really sure if he was really caring enough or just didn't want to be bothered again so he gave me 3 rolls at once, although I was guessing it was the latter.

I would say that the lunch service was very good except for the "extra bread" I asked for. About half an hour before landing, the captain came on the PA and advised us of our new arrival time of 3:10pm.

Lavatory

Cathay Pacific Business Class sink

Cathay Pacific Business Class lavatory amenities featuring Jurlique products

Cathay Pacific Business Class toilet

Arrival at Hongkong International Airport

View minutes before landing at Hongkong International Airport.

Hongkong International Airport

CONCLUSION

It was my first time to fly on Cathay Pacific Business Class and I have to say that I was really impressed. Their lounge in Manila is simply one of the most beautiful lounges I have visited. The seat was very comfortable and spacious and the food on board tasted great although I thought my request for another roll could have been handled much better. The crew addressing me by my name was also impressive as this is something you do not experience when flying business class intra-Europe. I thought the fact that the blankets and inflight magazines were sealed in plastic only shows that Cathay Pacific have high standards when it comes to hygiene or whatever the reason for that is. And of course, the reminder of not being able to finish the program before landing was something I really appreciated. I would have wanted to see how the service goes when flying in first class on this same route so I could compare it with Singapore Airlines' but I guess I have to wait till the next time. Overall, a very nice flight.