Cathay Pacific has been my ‘go-to airline for trans-pacific crossings for some time. I like the ‘hard product’ with the mini-suites a lot – especially for a redye. The airline has well-deserved reputation for being on-time and rarely disappoints. Staff is highly effective though not overly friendly. My biggest grip is usually the catering with barely edible food.
I was especially curious to fly the brand new A350-1000 that was just delivered a few months ago to the airline for this trip.
Cathay Pacific has their own lounge at San Francisco Intl Airport. The lounge offers a good selection of drinks but the food options are somewhat meager/ low quality. The trademark noodle bar however raises the bar and always serves up some delicious noodles. I wasn’t hungry at this late Monday evening and instead settled into the lounge chairs and enjoyed a few hours of quiet reading.
Boarding was announced right on time and was a perfect orchestra passengers being moved into the plane. Business Class would be about 70% full – I had an aisle seat on the left in this 1-2-1 configuration. At first glance the seat look exactly the same as the 777 that is aging well. However it is cleaner, has more storage and a new display.
Since these flights depart past midnight I was ready to sleep pretty much right away and skipped the dinner service. After a night cap and a smooth take off I was ready to sleep. What I like most about the A350 is the quiet cabin and higher humidity of the air. Especially the quieter noise profile is immediately noticeable.
Cathay provides a high-quality blanket and since the cabin felt extra cold I grabbed another one from the empty seat next to me. After moving my seat in the lie-flat mode I was dreaming away for 11 hours with these tow blankets keeping me warm (the cabin felt 65 degrees or less).
Once I woke up we were just leaving to the south of Japan.
Just about 2 hours later we landed to a beautiful sunrise in Hong Kong.
In sum this was a perfect flight. A brand new, quiet plane. Everything was 100% on time. The mini-suites are still my favorite place to sleep over the Pacific and since this was a red-eye I did not feel the hunger that usually ensues after a disappointing lunch/ dinner service with Cathay. If only that catering would be better Cathay would blow most airlines in the world out of the water in all aspects.