Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business 777-300ER CDG – HKG

We flew this flight (CX260) in July 2017 as part of our trip around the world. This flight was in Cathay Pacific Business Class on a Boeing 777-300ER. This flight only cost us 42,500 Alaska miles per person plus taxes ($99)!

Expedited Security and Immigration

Cathay Pacific flies out of terminal 2A at CDG Airport. Check in was a breeze and as a business class passenger, we were given a purple sticker on our tickets that said Acces No 1. The check-in agent didn’t really bother to explain what the sticker was, but as we approached the immigration and security lines we soon realized that it is CDG’s express lanes. We only had about four or five people in front of us as we got in line for immigration. The regular immigration line had probably about 50 people. This also meant expedited security as well although these lines weren’t quite as long.

Given that we weren’t sure how long it would take to get through security and immigration, we had a fair bit of time to spend in the Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge before our flight. You can read more about our lounge experience in this blog post.

Boarding and Initial Thoughts

Since we were relaxing in the lounge, we arrived at our boarding gate as they had just started the boarding process. This airplane had four different classes: first, business, premium economy, and economy. We entered through the forward doors and walked past the first class seats. Just past those seats is a mini-cabin of eight business seats. The bathroom and crew area are just behind this mini cabin, which is followed by roughly eleven additional rows of business seats.

As we took our seats, the flight attendants came around and asked if we’d like a welcome beverage. This was an afternoon flight so I opted for some champagne to kick off the journey. They also passed out amenity kits, which were filled with all sorts of lotions, sprays, sleep mask, and much more.

The Seats

The seats on this plane were reverse herringbone. This meant that the two middle seats point inward and the window seats face towards the window. These aren’t the most ideal seats when traveling with a partner. You have to lean forward quite a bit to have a conversation with the person in the other middle seat.

Overall, the seat was pretty comfortable. It wasn’t super wide, but provided enough room to wiggle around in. The ottoman in front of you was a nice distance away that you could put your feet up without being fully reclined. Since your seats kind of faces away from the aisle there was a decent sense of privacy.

There wasn’t quite as much storage around the seat as I would have liked. There was a deep pocket to the left of the seat kind of near your feet, which was difficult to reach if you were reclined. The other storage area was where the headphones were stored and was not easily accessible either. For most of the flight, I just left my phone and other gadgets out on the armrest.

There was one reading light on the seat and then an overhead light as well. The seat controls were all on the inside of the seat, but were pretty easy to access/use. The armrest on the aisle side of the seat also moved up and down to provide additional comfort and privacy. I found this mostly helpful when sleeping.

I found the bed to be pretty comfortable. The bedding provided was heavy enough to feel like a real comforter. However, I did wake up a couple times and found myself sweating because the blanket retained so much heat. I found that the sleeping mask definitely helped me get some much needed rest.

In-Flight Entertainment

The in-flight entertainment was pretty good. They had a wide selection of TV shows/movies and the provided noise cancelling headphones were comfortable. The screen was at eye level and kind of swung out over your legs. It swiveled back and forth as needed so you could store it away by essentially snapping it into the seat in front of you.

In-Flight Meal: Lunch/Dinner

They first came around to take drink orders. I ordered one of their signature cocktails called the Cloud Nine. It was a vodka-based cocktail that was super refreshing. It was so good my wife took a sip and decided to order one herself.

The starter was a crab cocktail timbale, which was delicious and a small salad.

For my main course, I chose the beef tenderloin. It was pretty good, but kind of lacked the fancy presentation that it probably deserved.

After that, they served a plate of cheese, crackers, and fruit.

I ended up passing on dessert since I was pretty full from all the lounge food I had eaten prior to boarding.

In-Flight Experience

The business cabin was pretty full on our flight, but I found the service to be excellent. The flight attendants were friendly and pretty quick to respond when needed. They were a little bit slow to clean up plates after each course, which kind of makes sense since we were one of the first groups to be served.

Overall, I wouldn’t say there was anything amazing or spectacular about the service we received. I appreciated that they did their best to address us by Mr. and Mrs. Garcia. It was definitely a nice touch.

In-Flight Snack

I woke up after sleeping for about 5 hours and was a little hungry. There was a section of the menu with snacks. They had a burger listed on there that I wanted to try, but unfortunately they were all out of that option so I decided to go with some noodles. It took about 15 minutes after ordering for them to be ready. They turned out to be delicious and actually better than the main course I had for dinner.

In-Flight Meal: Breakfast

We had about two hours before we landed when the cabin crew started breakfast service. I ordered the scrambled eggs, veal sausage, and potatoes. My wife ordered the stir fried noodles with chicken. Overall, I wasn’t too impressed by this meal. Everything tasted alright, but nothing to write home about.

Overall Thoughts

In these flight reviews, I’ll typically rate the hard and the soft product. The hard product is primarily anything that is attached to the plane itself. Examples of the hard product would be: the seat, in-flight entertainment system, on-board amenities. Whereas the soft product would include things that might be different from flight to flight. Examples of the soft product would be: food, service, amenity kits.

My rating (1-10, 1 being awful and 10 being awesome) of this flight would be as follows:

  • Hard Product: 6
  • Soft Product: 6.5

Hard Product: The seat itself was great, but definitely not as spacious/wide as other business class seats. In addition, when traveling as a couple reverse herringbone seats aren’t really the best since it’s kind of difficult to communicate with each other. Lack of storage spaces around the seat was also an issue. The plane itself felt spacious and being seated in the middle section meant there were no overhead bins above you.

Soft Product: The ground and in-flight service were both excellent. I also really appreciated the amenity kit (I use the bags now for storing cords). The meal service was just alright, which brought my rating down a little bit. The in-flight entertainment had a great selection, which could’ve kept me entertained for a while.

To learn more about how we booked this flight and only paid ~$198 per person in taxes/fees, check out this post: Booking CX using AS Miles. Overall, I would give this flight an 6 out of 10.