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After an extended layover in Hong Kong where we visited the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge and The Pier Business Class Lounge, we were ready for our final flight back to Los Angeles on Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER Business Class.
Cathay Pacific operates a reverse herringbone Business Class product on all long-haul international routes. There’s something to be said about Cathay’s consistency — they reliably offer a comfortable hard product in combination with attentive service, both on the ground and in the air — and that’s what makes this one of our favorite ways to traverse the skies.
We already reviewed Cathay Pacific’s long haul A350 Business Class from SEA-HKG and regional A330 Business Class from CGK-HKG, so we were excited to have the chance to review this 777-300ER. Luckily, we quite enjoy the reverse herringbone Business Class configurations.
Cathay Pacific 777-300ER Business Class review
It’s always a bit tough taking evening departures out of Hong Kong, because it means we’ll arrive home in the evening. Basically, it feels like one super long night. But unfortunately, this was the only availability that day, and we didn’t have the luxury of a stopover since this redemption was with American Airlines AAdvantage miles.
Seats 12D & 12G
We booked both legs from Jakarta –> Hong Kong –> Los Angeles on a single Business Class MileSAAver itinerary with American Airlines, which requires just 70,000 AAdvantage miles per person.
Boarding started about an hour before takeoff out of gate 29.
In our experience, Cathay Pacific typically has a very organized boarding process on flights out of Hong Kong. Each class of service had dedicated boarding lines, as did Marco Polo and One World elites.
There is also a dedicated jetbridge connected to the front of the plane for the First and Business Class cabins. This is especially useful due to additional baggage screening by airport security that often causes long lines for economy class passengers.
Since we boarded from the front of the plane, we would of course catch a short glimpse of First Class before resuming our moderate lifestyle and heading back to the Business Class cabin. The last time I flew Cathay Pacific First Class I ended up catching the flu, so I’m definitely due for a proper review.
Our 777-300ER was a 4-cabin aircraft with 6 First Class seats, 53 in Business Class, 34 in Premium Economy, and 182 in Economy.
The Business Class cabin features a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, granting each seat direct aisle access. Much like Cathay Pacific’s A350, which has a small Business Class “mini -cabin” toward the rear, the 777-300ER has its “mini-cabin” upfront.
Naturally, we took seats 12D & 12G up front. While we normally don’t like sitting that close to the lavatories and galley, we wanted to avoid the noise and foot traffic that inevitably comes with sitting in the larger section of the cabin. Rows 11 and 12 offer the most privacy since they’re immediately behind the First Class cabin and don’t see any foot traffic. They also have the most generous footwell space.
In November, Cathay Pacific announced upgrades to the in-flight experience, which included an updated menu, new Bamford bedding, and Bamford amenity kits.
As such, there were plush Bamford pillows and duvets at each seat, as well as Evian water bottles, menus, amenity kits, slippers, and noise-canceling headphones.
Unfortunately, Cathay Pacific still hadn’t yet transitioned over to the Bamford amenity kits. Like our A350 experience from two weeks prior, we struck out on this flight and are now 0 for 2 on the new amenity kits.
Prior to takeoff, the cabin crew took our breakfast selections. Breakfast would be served about 2 hours prior to our 9:05pm arrival, so we had the option to pre-order. I don’t typically eat breakfast, and given the timing, I skipped it entirely.
Shortly after takeoff, the dinner meal service began. The menu was as follows:
I ordered the wok fried chicken, shrimp and fish entree, which I really enjoyed.
My wife is a big fan of Cathay Pacific’s Monterey Jack bacon and beef cheeseburger, so she ordered it off the All-Day Menu in lieu main course.
I took a look through Cathay Pacific’s movie library to see what new releases they had. I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I’m always impressed by their library of western films.
After spending the day in Hong Kong, we were tired and knew that sleep was the last thing we needed if we were going to quickly adjust to the Pacific timezone… But the ambient lighting had us both lights out just a couple hours after takeoff.
Thanks to Cathay Pacific’s new Bamford bedding, I’ve been able to sleep extremely well on their long haul flights. In the past, I’ve typically had a very difficult time getting uninterrupted sleep, and would often get no more than 3-4 hours of sleep on transpacific flights. The Bamford duvet is simply wonderful. I also take every opportunity to steal extra bedding from vacant seats around me.
I managed to sleep for most of the flight, and woke up during our descent. The window seat next to me was empty (hence my extra bedding) so I had a decent view during our arrival.
I also turned on the nose camera video feed — the grainy quality of the old IFE system in combination with low light conditions made it look like something out of Independence Day.
We touched down slightly ahead of schedule – wide awake at 9pm, just like we’d planned it.
Cathay Pacific has always been one of my favorite airlines to fly to Southeast Asia on. And with the new Bamford bedding additions and menu changes, their Business Class product is even better. I always enjoy the consistency of their meal service, and I really enjoyed the new menu options in addition to a great night’s sleep.
As far as scheduling, I would highly recommend selecting a morning departure from Asia to help beat jet lag. This is probably one of the more inconvenient departure times, since it gets really difficult to adjust when coming back home.
When comparing the hard products of the 777-300ER and A350-900, the A350 hard product edges out the competition thanks to the updated interior, newer IFE system, and larger seats.
There’s really no noticeable difference in the soft product, and that consistency is something I absolutely love about Cathay Pacific. I am a little disappointed that I’ve still yet to check out the new Bamford amenity kit, but it’ll be another excuse for me to fly on Cathay Pacific again soon.
Overall, I’m preferential to the A350, but I definitely wouldn’t be disappointed to fly on the 777-300ER again. The one caveat is that the A350 does not have First Class, as it’s only a 3-cabin aircraft. So if you’re looking to fly in style, you’ll have to stick to the 777-300ER for now.