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This was just my second ever first class flight on my favorite airline Cathay Pacific. I flew westbound over the Pacific in October last year with Cathay Pacific First Class from Los Angeles
I was one of the first passengers to board and I got into my suite - the rear middle one (there are just 6 suites with Cathay Pacific). The flight attendants were busy, so it took a couple of minutes before my assigned flight attendant could come by, introduce herself and offer a glass of champagne.
First class on this flight was full and all suites were taken. I myself have yet to 'achieve' a window seat in Cathay Pacific First Class.
It took 50 minutes to get everyone on board and get ready for take off. We took off 15 minutes late, but thanks to the wind and the recent daylight saving time switch in the US, it was forecast that we'd arrive one hour before schedule. However, our flight took longer and we just about made it into San Francisco at the scheduled arrival time.
As with my JAL flight from Tokyo Haneda to San Francisco
in January, this flight took us right into the winds of 200+ miles an hour, east of Japan, heading east over the Pacific. The initial 90 minutes were fine and I joined the dinner service. I wasn't really hungry, so I just went for the caviar, dessert and some wine.
As usual with Cathay Pacific, the food is just OK. It's a tad below restaurant quality.
About halfway through my movie, the turbulence started (and no wonder with this tail wind). This lasted for five hours and the plane kept shaking - sometimes violently. It was never enough to fully lift you up out of your seat, but drinks had a 'rough life' on this flight.
I find small turbulence very helpful when trying to fall asleep on a plane, but rough turbulence is something that continuously wakes me up.
The Cathay Pacific suite is just the perfect mix of lounging space (with the huge display) and bedding - the bed goes fully flat and is wide enough to actually turn and use in the favorite sleeping position you'd have at home.
After 3.5 hours, the turbulence let up a bit and I finally fell asleep. I was woken up with just short bumps after that.
Since the eastbound flights are so much shorter, I got 6 hours of sleep and just had time to enjoy breakfast and watch two TV shows before we landed at SFO.
This flight is interesting, since it is one of the few flights where you start in darkness, see the sun rise and set and then land in darkness. It's like a full 24 hours appearing in front of your eyes.
Landing in SFO was bumpy again. The SFO International Terminal was deserted at 10PM and while my Global Entry kiosk worked, customs were really interested in my bags and where I had been and why I had traveled. I answered all questions patiently (without offering too much unnecessary information over 20 minutes).
All in all, this was a routine flight. Since it was a night time flight and much shorter than the westbound flight, I did not get to enjoy my favorite airline as much as I did last time. Maybe I will just have to try again soon?
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