The highlight of our little 48-hour jaunt to discover new cabins: a transcontinental flight on Cathay Pacific in First Class.
For details on how we booked this flight with avios miles, go to this page!
In fact, at the time of our booking, only one first class seat was available (50,000 avios miles). Matthieu managed to book it, while I had to “content myself” with the business class (37,500 air miles).
I didn’t count on Matthieu’s generosity: between two glasses of champagne at the Cathay Pacific lounge, he gave me his boarding pass as a birthday present!
At this time of day, few people are walking through the international terminal of the Vancouver Airport.
We go to our boarding gate… which only opens 30 minutes before the flight departure.
Indeed, for immigration reasons, passengers arriving from Hong Kong to New York must remain confined in a “buffer” room.
30 minutes before departure, they will board first. Then the doors of the hall open and the order of priority is respected: passengers with elite status, first class and business class board. This is our case.
To get to first class, you have to go through the “mini-cabin” of the business class, composed of 8 seats. This is where Matthew will be sitting… in my seat 11A!
Cathay Pacific’s business class is known for offering one of the best products on the market.
As for me, I go to Première, to my seat 1K, in a cabin with 6 seats.
A real suite in this Boeing 777-300ER.
Here is the width of the chair when sitting in it: my daughter could sit comfortably next to me.
The table arrangement is designed so that you can dine face to face with another passenger who will sit on the ottoman.
I take advantage of the fact that the lighting is still correct to take a picture of the chair in bed mode.
Right away, the crew is very attentive to the 4 passengers of Première. A small photo to immortalize the moment, a glass of Krug champagne in hand:
The stewardess asks me if I plan to have dinner during the flight? Yes
What if I want to wear pajamas? Yes
I say yes to everything actually… I want to have the most complete First Class experience possible so I can share it with you… even if it means not sleeping much on that red-eye flight from Vancouver to New York.
So it will be a pair of pajamas in my size and an accessory kit – in “milesopedia” colors and Krug Grande Cuvée champagne (SAQ = $300), which is one of the elements that Cathay Pacific First Class is famous for.
The menu of this evening is proposed to me, accompanied by a small personalized note to the attention of Matthieu who should have taken place in this armchair.
Tonight, I’m the only one having dinner. The staff service will therefore be “exclusive”!
Takeoff: the lights are dimmed.
Shortly after takeoff, the dinner begins. A choice of breads is proposed to me… in fact it is an individual basket… enough to satisfy the desires of each.
On this part of the flight, no caviar (unlike the service you can get to/from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific). But the dishes are of good quality. Appetizer: Grilled jumbo tiger prawns, crab meat salad, saffron and tomato sauce. It’s hard to say no to the glass of white wine offered to accompany these appetizers, even after 2 glasses of champagne (and the 4 drunk at the show…): a Chablis Grand Cru 2013.
A pea soup follows.
Then a glass of red wine to accompany the meat of the main course: Château Lynch Bages 2004, Grand Cru Classé (SAQ vintage 2011: $175) . An exceptional wine, especially on a plane.
The meat is a Grilled Canadian AAA beef tenderloin, asparagus, portobello mushroom, yukon gold truffle mash, red wine jus and Bearnaise sauce. Simply exquisite with perfect cooking.
Then comes the cheese platter: Cambozola, Aged Cheddar, Triple cream Canadian Brie.
Finally the dessert: White chocolate banana cake and black berry sauce. Another wine(Baileys of Glenrowan Founder Series Liqueur Muscat) is proposed to me: I say stop!
When dinner is over, I go to the bathroom to change. It’s the first time I’ve seen such vanities on a plane: you’d think you were in a traditional bathroom, judge for yourself.
Small picture with the pajamas with Mao collar, incredibly soft! As you can imagine, I am over the moon, is it the alcohol that is finally taking effect?
Back to my seat, it will have been put by the hostess in bed mode: a mattress topper was installed, a comforter was placed, pillows added and a bottle of Evian. A real cocoon for a few hours of sleep.
The flight is rather short. Having chosen to have dinner and to make the pleasure last, I could only sleep 2 hours before the arrival in New York. A small view of the cabin before the lights go out:
There will be no breakfast service. It was a good thing that the crew woke us up only 15 minutes before landing, which maximized our sleep.
A coffee will be proposed to me all the same…
…and we are already flying over Manhattan.
We landed safely and on time at New York JFK shortly before 7am.
An excellent flight to cross the continent. In fact, it’s one of the only upscale options available between the West and East Coasts.
Was it worth 50,000 airline miles? Maybe not. It is indeed possible to travel in very good conditions on Air Canada between Vancouver and New York EWR (Newark) on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Business class here would only cost 25,000 Aeroplan miles.
But here we are talking about an exceptional product offered by one of the best Asian airlines. So for enthusiasts like us… yes, it was worth it/cost!