Traveling To Hong Kong, First Class

July 16th, 2010 at 10:07 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

The Traveling Richters are well traveled, and thanks to many years’ accumulation of frequent flyer miles and various elite status memberships with certain airlines, we usually manage to upgrade our flights to first class on U.S. domestic routes as well as to/from Bonaire, our home in the Caribbean. That said, we have never traveled trans-ocean in international first class. Until now.

On our current trip to Hong Kong and Macau, Linda and I had the privilege (thanks to 125,000 American AAdvantage miles per ticket) to fly international first class across the Pacific. Oh my. What a difference that is from cattle economy class!

On the Cathay Pacific 747 we flew on from San Francisco to Hong Kong last weekend, the first class cabin has nine seats and two dedicated cabin attendants who made us feel very loved (thank you Geri and Patrick!).

Flight time was nearly 13 hours, with a 5:30pm departure (our flight was about three hours late), and a roughly 10pm arrival (one day later due to crossing the International Date Line). That’s a pretty long flight, and the seats in first class were perfect to accommodate the flight time.

Linda in her first class pod on Cathay Pacific, with champagne and newspaper in hand

Linda in her first class pod on Cathay Pacific, with champagne and newspaper in hand

Each seat is basically a pod that offers a number of amenities, including the ability to create a flat bed long enough for even my 6’3” body. There’s also a bench opposite the main seat where a travel companion can join you for a meal (or they can sit, a bit snugly, next to you). Of course, there’s also a 17” LCD display, and dozens of on demand program options.

Jake reading his newspaper in his pod

Jake reading his newspaper in his pod

To further make your flight as comfortable as possible, the airline provides a complimentary set of pajamas, custom made by designer/retailer Shanghai Tang, and cabin staff will make your “bed” for you with a comfortable mattress pad, pillows, and even a snuggle-worthy duvet. The only thing they didn’t have were slippers in my size (13 US).

Nap time for Jake, fully reclined, in Shanghai Tang designed jammies

Nap time for Jake, fully reclined, in Shanghai Tang designed jammies

Add to all that a couple of multi-course meals and a snack service, along with a very nice wine list, and you have a recipe for a wonderful and relaxing travel experience. The only minor complaint we had was that the asparagus was mushy – that’s pretty bearable considering everything else.

Dinner for two on Cathay Pacific

Dinner for two on Cathay Pacific

Salmon and caviar for our appetizer in first class on Cathay Pacific

Salmon and caviar for our appetizer in first class on Cathay Pacific

The only real negative we see now is that we are spoiled and will be hard pressed to fly mere coach class. Sadly, even a large supply of frequent flyer miles will run out at some point. But, if you have the miles to spend (or the money), spoil yourself with international first class on a great service-oriented airline like Cathay Pacific.


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12 Responses to “Traveling To Hong Kong, First Class”

  1. Jake´s dad Says:

    I am very happy for you, you both deserve it for your smart brains and diligence. Just keep flying First Class for next 100 years anywhere in the world. (Maybe even to Prague?) 😉

  2. Angela Says:

    This is even better than Divi Divi Air!

  3. Kay Powers Says:

    These pics are great advertisement for the airlines! Turn them into $$$. 🙂
    Look forward to seeing more pics of your trip.

  4. Dara Walter Says:

    Great to see you both looking to relaxed! How will you ever travel in anything besides a POD now?

  5. Aisha Says:

    Nice pics I really like them. Where’s Yana and Bas to fly this kind of first class hahahahahahha

  6. Ann Phelan Says:

    HOLY MACKERAL…you are now full on spoiled…carry on..

  7. Ann Phelan Says:

    umm..were the kids in cattle class?

  8. Jake Richter Says:

    Krystyana was in Beijing and Bas at a computer camp in Mass. Just us adults on this trip.

  9. » The Traveling Richters on - The Traveling Richters - Learning by Exploring Travel, Food, Culture, Adventure, and More… Says:

    […] reporter from contacted us last week after finding our blog post about first class travel to Hong Kong, and interviewed me by phone for today’s […]

  10. A Foodie Moment in First Class | A Foodie Moment Says:

    […] story is based on a post on one of our other blogs, The Traveling […]

  11. Marco Says:

    Great story, would you care to share all the food picture with other people interested in airline food? Please contact me 😉

  12. How to 'travel' in F, F etiquette - Page 2 - FlyerTalk Forums Says:

    […] Originally Posted by Kev- I've seen a photo on an airline website, showing a couple dining together at one seat. I tried to find it just now, but couldn't locate it quickly. It was either an international business or first class seat, with an ottoman. One sat on the ottoman and the other in the seat, the table was set for two. I could be remembering it slightly wrong, but it was certainly two people in one seat or suite doing something. This is the image that came to mind reading the OP. Something along the lines of the pic in this blog. […]