DC to Dubai and Tokyo via… Santiago? Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class – Hong Kong to Dubai

Introduction
Planning
TAM Economy Class New York JFK – Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Santiago
LAN Economy Class Santiago – Sao Paulo
TAM Economy Class Sao Paulo – New York JFK
United BusinessFirst Denver to Tokyo Seattle (Emergency Landing)
United BusinessFirst on the 787 Seattle to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class Tokyo Narita – Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong – Dubai
Dubai, Day 1  (Traiteur Brunch, Park Hyatt Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Atlantis Palm Islands)
Dubai, Day 2 (Shark Dive at Dubai Aquarium, Burj Al Arab, 360)
Cathay Pacific Business Class Dubai – Hong Kong – Tokyo Haneda


I headed to my gate about 30 minutes early, and boarding was commencing as I arrived.

My ride to Dubai

My ride to Dubai

My flight was scheduled to go to Dubai and then continue to Jeddah, so there were a very large number of Hajj pilgrims on the flight.  Economy was completely packed, but there was a pretty light load up front.

Cathay Pacific (CX) 745
Hong Kong (HKG) – Dubai (DXB)
Aircraft:  Airbus A330-300
Seat: 20A (Business Class)
Friday, June 21
1:40AM – 6:00AM
Duration: 8:20

This was a newly renovated A330 with the new Cathay Pacific business class seat.  These seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration, and are truly awesome.  These are without a doubt the most private and comfortable business class seats  that I’ve flown.

Cathay's new business class seat

Cathay’s new business class seat

Forward Business Class cabin

Forward Business Class cabin

Tons of room

Tons of room

I settled in with a pre-departure champagne, and then occupied myself with checking out the details of the seat.

Obligatory champagne

Obligatory champagne

Seat Controls

Seat Controls

So much legroom.  You WANT this seat

So much legroom. You WANT this seat

Before I knew it, it was time to push back, and I assumed that it was only myself and the guy next to me in the aft mini-cabin of business, but once I stood up, I saw that every seat was full. The seat was so private that I didn’t even notice the people around me.

As we ascended after a takeoff to the east, we turned to the south, providing me an awesome view of Central Hong Kong and Kowloon below.

Kowloon and Central Hong Kong below

Kowloon and Central Hong Kong below

Hong Kong is probably my favorite city in the world, and I do wish I got to leave the airport for a day or two.

Dinner service started soon after takeoff, as it was already approaching 2am. Because of this late time, it would be an expedited meal service.  The meal was brought out on one large tray, and the courses were not delivered course by course  The appetizer was a small salad served with garlic toast.  For the entrée, I selected the halibut. It was nothing special, and I left the choy sum since I’m not a huge fan.  Dessert was not memorable, and again this dinner service left me wanting more.

Mixed salad with pine nuts and green olives with French vinaigrette

Mixed salad with pine nuts and green olives with French vinaigrette

Sauteed halibut with shallot black bean sauce, steamed jasmine rice and choy sum

Sauteed halibut with shallot black bean sauce, steamed jasmine rice and choy sum

I know it was a late night flight, but I was expecting more from an international business class meal on Cathay Pacific.

After dinner, I settled in for a good five hours of sleep.  Again, this seat is awesome for sleeping.  At 6’4”, I was stretched fully out and my feed did not touch the end of the foot well.  That is a very, very good thing.  A thick blanket and fluffy pillow were provided.

Waking up outside of Dubai

Waking up outside of Dubai

I awoke about an hour outside of Dubai as the cabin crew was preparing for breakfast service.  It consisted of fresh fruit, yoghurt, a selction of bread, and a choice of a quiche or dim sum.  Since this was Cathay, a Hong Kong-based airline, I naturally selected the dim sum.

Fantastic Breakfast

Fantastic Breakfast

It was extremely good.  This was a very good breakfast on all accounts.  As I finished my dim sum, we began our descent into Dubai and arrived just after 5am into Terminal 2.

Dawn above the Arabian Desert

Dawn above the Arabian Desert

Descending into Dubai

Descending into Dubai

The business class seat stole the show with this flight, as it truly is a superior hard product for international business class.  Though the service was good for the most part, and the flight attendants were very nice, they all seemed overly robotic to me.  The dinner was average at best, but the breakfast was great.   The late night flight and rushed dinner service detracted from the flight a bit, but overall, it was a good experience, and the seat more than made up for any shortcomings.

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