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I just completed my first two flights in Cathay Pacific First Class, one on a 777 and the other on the 747. Cathay First hasn’t really changed in the last several years and has been well documented by several other bloggers so I won’t rehash those aspects. I did want to share my impressions that differed or weren’t highlighted from what I read elsewhere.
Cathay First is not a good First Class product for couples
While the soft and hard product are top notch, the individual privacy of the massive suites eliminate a lot of the excitement of couple travel. My favorite aspect of First Class couple travel is looking your partner in the eye confusingly when they serve you both some fancy thing you don’t know how to eat or leaning over and asking “Can you believe how amazing this is?” Unfortunately the closest you can possibly get to your partner is row 1 in the 747 which still means you can’t see or have a comfortable conversation with your partner while seated. You can dine with your partner but that is such a small portion of a long-haul flight that I don’t think it makes up for the other 10+ hours of solitude.
The best seat is on the left aisle of the 777
One of the beauties of First Class on the 777 is that there are only 6 seats which greatly improves your chances at a quiet cabin. Furthermore, the left side of the 777 has only two seats on the aisle as the suites in the middle are so tall they create a wall so people can’t walk between aisles without going through the galley. On my flight I was in 1A and had no one behind me in 2A so I barely knew anyone else was even in the cabin. In 15 hours I made eye contact with one of the three seated on the opposite side and never heard a peep from any of them. In effect, I felt like I was in an empty First Class cabin.
On takeoff you will hear (and feel) how old the product is
It is pretty clear the First Class product is quite old which isn’t much of a detriment given how spacious the seat is. When then engines roar up on takeoff, you will definitely hear and possibly feel how old this product is. On takeoff from LAX on the 777, everything rattled like it was about to fall apart and my latched TV dislodged and flew at me. That was fun.
On takeoff from HKG on the 747, the same ‘Is the airplane falling apart?’ sounds were dominating along with my storage cabinet AND the guy’s next to me dislodging and opening into the aisle.
The bottom line
As documented by others, Cathay Pacific First Class is truly an amazing experience. I would add to the conversation that this is not a great First Class product for couples and the left aisle on the 777 is your best seat to target if the route makes sense for you.