I’m writing this with three hours left on my flight, and I’ve never been so disappointed to only have three hours left on a flight. The experience in Cathay Pacific first class has literally been unbelievable….and I had thought that I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
From New Orleans, we flew to Chicago on a regional jet in first class, which was nice but nothing like international first/business. Basically it is what you see on all domestic flights: the seat is a little wider, there is a little more leg room, and the drinks/snacks are free.
We did not really take advantage of the snacks and just drank some coffee. The flight attendant was surprised that we didn’t want anything, but nothing really caught our attention. The flight attendant also noted that the shopping would be very good in Hong Kong and Singapore…Something he seemed very excited about. Anyway, he was a nice guy.
Upon arrival we had to transfer to the International terminal at ORD. Several people warned us that there was absolutely nothing to eat over there so to be sure to get whatever you wanted before you left Terminal 3 – this included a local Chicagoan who sat in first class who seemed to take a special interest in us and making sure we made it to our next flight.
After a quick train ride and re-clearing security, we were in Terminal 5, and there were far more options than we were expecting after the warnings. In fact, it was significantly more than the Baton Rouge airport and maybe just a little bit less than the New Orleans airport. I guess it just pales in comparison to the options at the main Chicago terminal. Either way, we were not concerned because I knew we had access to the Cathay First Class Lounge.
Upon arrival to the lounge, there are a couple of set tables and some lounge chairs. There was already two people in the lounge – an American man who talked loudly on his cell phone the entire time and an Asian man whom I thought was going to hurl a ninja star at the American man at any moment for his rudeness.
There was just about any liquor option, along with numerous beer, wine and drink options at the lounge. It was impressive. There was also nice self serve food.
We hung out, ate a meal and had a most pleasant 4 hour layover in general. I enjoyed some wine and Bailey’s on the rocks (ice cream in a glass), and Alyce had some sparkling water and wine.
Around 1:00 the lounge attendant notified us that pre-boarding would starting, so we made our way to the plane. Once on board, we were directed to our suites. At that point we enjoyed some predeparture Champagne, took some pictures, and sent our last text messages/e-mails before being cutoff from all methods of communication.
The suites are incredibly nice. The chair is very wide and can vary from a recliner to a bed. We also had our own little mini-cabin as our two suites were the only ones on our side of the plane. There was only one other passenger in first class (the ass who was talking on his phone in the lounge, thankfully this was not a possible problem on the plane).
The entertainment system had a ton of both movie and TV options. We come pretty prepared in terms of our own entertainment options, but I only used our own stuff when I had taken my computer out to type.
Our flight attendants were Dolma and Helen, who both very friendly and would generally do anything you asked – and more.
[Note: The remaining portion of this post was finished at the hotel]
The Dinner was very good considering that we were eating on a plane. The Salmon and Caviar course was delicious, and the rest of the food was good. To put it in perspective, you’d definitely have to spend more than $50 per person at a restaurant in New Orleans to get better food. We also had our own bottle of nice wine with dinner. I had had a port with our cheese course and then some more Bailey’s as dessert.
After dinner, we changed in to our pajamas and the attendants made our beds. I put on a TV show and actually fell asleep pretty quickly. I woke up a couple times, but ended up getting about 5 hours of sleep overall. Alyce had a little more trouble falling asleep, but she was out once she was able to fall asleep.
After I woke up, I looked out the window and saw that we were crossing over some polar mountains, so I took a couple pictures of that. It was pretty cool to see out of the plane window.
Then I started working on this post, and after a little bit I woke Alyce up and we ate what seemed like breakfast but was really dinner. After the meal, we had about an hour of flight left. I watched another TV show, and then we prepared for landing.
Getting through customs at Hong Kong was quick, efficient, and easy. If you did not have anything to declare, you just walked out after getting your passport stamped.
Finally – 26 hours after arriving at the New Orleans airport – we made our way to the taxi stand and took off to the hotel. Not to say it was a bad 26 hours as the flight was quite the experience.