Updated on January 23, 2016
Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class Malé (MLE) – Hong Kong (HKG)
After our stay in the Leeli Lounge it was time to get to our flight to Hong Kong! From the lounge we made our way to the gate area and this is where things became a bit disorganized. The gate was basically a big room with a quarter of it blocked off for business class passengers so they could sit closer to the opening in the rope which leads down the stairs to the door. Other than being closer there was nothing at all different about this area.
Unfortunately there was a group of people who didn’t seem to understand this concept and went right through the business class area, through the open area in the rope and down the steps even though it was nowhere near boarding time. This caused a chain reaction that ended with the small downstairs door area and the entire stairwell jam packed with people. The CX people then finally stopped the madness and told everyone there was still 20 minutes before boarding and that they needed to go sit back down. At which point there might as well have been no special area because people sat wherever they wanted.
A similar thing happened when it was actually time to board. I have not flown on a lot of flights around Asia but something I have found is there is ALWAYS a mad rush to get on the plane and off the plane. I am talking RUNNING. So, this was no different. Even though they were calling people by cabin and elite status it didn’t matter – mad rush for the door. To the point where the ticket taker was completely overwhelmed and people were just pushing right by him, only to get down to the door where you had to get on a shuttle anyway.
In the end we got off the shuttle and took the front door to our nice quiet business class cabin so life was good. The race to the seats continued at the economy class entrance.
I mean, you have assigned seats, what are you worried about. It’s not like…..anyway, on to the flight!
Our trip so far:
Park Hyatt Honeymoon Trip Report:
We entered the front door of this A330 near seat 11A and proceeded to our two middle seats in the second row, 12G and D.
Airline: Cathay Pacific
Route: CX602 MLE-HKG
Cabin: J (U)
Seats: 12D and 12G
Flight time: 6 hours
After quickly finding our seats we began to realize that it was going to be a pretty empty cabin. It turned out that only about 15 of the 39 business class seats were actually occupied during our flight.
The plane is set up with 8 rows in a main business class cabin and 3 more rows in a mini cabin after the rear restrooms. There are 4 seats to a row in a 1-2-1 configuration with each seat having direct aisle access in a reverse herringbone pattern. We chose 2 middle seats so that we could sit together during the flight.
Shortly after boarding we were offered a choice of juices and water as well as an amenity kit which included all the basics in a rather interesting bag. The 2 kits were the same, unlike on our Etihad First Class Flight which had a different male and female kit.
As I mentioned before, the seats are in a reverse herringbone pattern which allows each to have direct aisle access. The window seats are solo with their small table and other gadgets to the window side of the seat.
The middle seats that we sat in have this part of the seat towards the center which creates a substantial barrier between the two passengers, which is good if you are traveling next to a stranger. This area in the center has a small table where your tray is stored, cabinet with mirror to house your headphones, a light and all the controls for your entertainment system and seat.
There is also a storage area under your seat where I kept my sandals and a hook on the outside of the seat for hanging things. The small ottoman at the end of your little cubby can be used as a footrest when reclined and connects with the rest of the seat when fully reclined. You are also able to put your armrest up or down flush with your seat if you so choose.
Just above your foot rest is your TV screen that folds out for better viewing.
Finally, the best part of the seat is that it is fully lie flat allowing you to stretch out and sleep really well. It of course isn’t as wide as some of the first class seats we have reviewed but it was still plenty wide for me and allowed me to sleep for a solid 2.5 hours when I was done watching my movie. A pillow and blanket are also provided for you. I don’t feel like any of these pictures came out exactly how I wanted them to.
Although we just ate our delicious and nutritious Burger King a few hours before, there was still some room left for a meal in-flight. We had been drinking a good amount on this trip and knew that we were going to have some time in HKG for some beverages and plenty of Krug on our next flight so there was no adult beverage sampling on this flight. The menus are below:
We started with a Coke and some nuts and perused the menu while munching on them. I started the meal with the seafood appetizer which had shrimp and scallops followed by the lamb. I thought both were actually very good and I always love some garlic bread. Katie got the chicken in black bean sauce and she was also very impressed.
After our main course they came around with a cart of fruits and cheeses (which Katie got) and some chocolate cake! You will see that I couldn’t resist taking a bite before taking a picture.
After eating dinner it was time to watch a movie before taking my nap. The screen at the seats is a good size at 15.4 inches and there are plenty of options with movies, TV shows, games, music, kids stuff, location information and maps. The controls are very easy to use and there was way more to watch than I had time for. I watched the newest Planet of the Apes movie which I thought was pretty good.
In terms of service I thought that the crew did a very good job for a business class flight. They always seemed to be right there when I needed anything, the meals were served promptly but not rushed and they were all incredibly nice and eager to help.
The most telling thing about the service on this flight was when we were getting ready to land. I had asked one of the flight attendants to wake me up 45 minutes before landing and asked if I could have a coffee after I awoke. Sure enough, with right around 40 minutes before landing I was awoken with a nice warm cup of coffee already sitting on my side table waiting for me. A+ to you my friends.
On that note, here are a few pictures from the bathroom:
This was a great 6 hour business class flight. Our only previous experience with long haul fully flat international business class was in Iberia Business Class about a year before, which we agree was very good. But this was better. Not a lot better, but better. The food was better and I thought the service was just a bit better, but then again we had less than half the cabin full. Finally, I thought the seat was a wash. The seat truly depends on if you are traveling solo and preference.
Now in a vacuum as a solo traveler I think this seat would win, but as a couple you are able to select seats in Iberia Business without the large center divider which is a plus if you want to talk.
Overall, it was a great Business Class experience
Next stop- THE WING!