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Cathay Pacific Business Class Review: JNB – HKG – HND
So we needed to get back to the states from Johannesburg after our incredible safari and adventure around southern Africa. There were essentially 3 ways: Go north and route through Europe, Go west and route through South America, or Go east and continue on around the world. We could go back through the middle east, but been there done that. We had to assess the points sitch and we were flush with American and Avios. That pretty much eliminated the South American option as most routes required Star Alliance options. So then it was Go North – here’s the problem – when you route through the UK you get hit with unreal taxes, and the only avail we were finding was on British Airways. And when I say unreal…we’re talking close to a grand one way. A Grand one way!!!! This is in addition to a bevy of points. Sooooo I started looking East. What was the result gave me my Cathay Pacific Business Class Review: JNB – HKG – HND.
I used the ITA Matrix to find an absolutely incredible deal on a flight from JNB-HND through Hong Kong. We paid about $1100 for a business class ticket. We also had the option of using 50k AA miles to do this as well, but in reality ( factoring opportunity cost) this would be over 60k miles – as we would be earning over 10k redeemable miles on the flight itself – over 20k if you were platinum or exec plat. It just wasn’t worth that to me when the price of the ticket, especially considering the distance traveled, was priced so competitively. At this point in time we were both lowly non-elites and only earned 1 mile per mile flown. So we decided to buy the flight from Joberg to Tokyo and then use Avios from Tokyo back to the states.
This is part of the Around the World 2015 Mega Trip
- Etihad Business and First Class Lounge Washington DC
- Etihad Business Studio – IAD to AUH
- Review: Etihad Arrivals lounge and Etihad Chauffeur experience
- Grand Hyatt Dubai
- Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
- Etihad Business and First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi, AUH
- Etihad Pearl Business Class – AUH to JNB
- Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers
- Blue Train Johannesburg to Cape Town
- Queen Victoria Cape Town
- Chitwa Chitwa Sabi Sands Luxury Game Reserve Kruger National Park
- Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge – Victoria Falls
- Intercontinental Johannesburg Airport
- Review: S(h)ongololo Lounge JNB
- Cathay Pacific Business Class – JNB to HKG to HND
- Ritz Carlton Tokyo
- Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo, NRT
- American Air Flagship First Class – NRT to LAX
This was the first leg, an over 12 hour flight, that was my first introduction to Cathay Pacific Business Class. A product I’ve read a lot about, was supremely excited to experience, and ultimately…was left scratching my head.
- When: July 5th, 2015
- Route: JNB-HKG
- Duration: 12h ( 11:47)
- Flight: CX748
- Plane: 777-300 3 class
- Class: Business
- Seat: 21G
- Price: ~$1100
A little sidenote…Apparently there is a theft problem in Joberg, so we were advised to get our bags wrapped.
The Hard product was great
The Cathay hard product is awesome. Reverse herringbone ( head out, feet in), spacious, ample storage, good electronics, nice sized tv, but honestly compared to the Etihad Business Studio….it even falls short. Don’t get me wrong – it’s dope. But Etihad has created a new paradigm.
For everyone who is unfamiliar with these terms: hard product refers to the aircraft and things associated: seat, electronics, bathroom, etc… – the soft: the food, service, actual programming of electronics. Hard would be the screen…soft would be the movies offered in the screen.
It was the apathy of the staff that left me bewildered.
I mean…for an airline that is revered and often considered an aspirational experience…I quite honestly preferred the staff and service offered on the NRT-LAX AA flagship first product. That’s crazy folks…cause the product on the AA flight wasn’t just tired…it was exhausted, but the service could not have been more attentive or polite – even if the food and drink was crap.
There was just a feeling from a couple specific flight attendants that I was almost doing them a favor by choosing their airline. Hey, I got a sick deal at a little over a grand for roughly 16/17 hours of luxurious business class, but I could have also just flown on Qatar through Doha to Japan. However, I wanted to fly Cathay because of the reputation, but now…eh – I’d try the middle eastern option. The premium paid for business or first extends beyond just the seat – it’s the service. Typically business food is ok, but if someone is smiling, attentive, and makes a point to make you feel special, the premium feels justified. I just felt like I was on a conveyor belt and couldn’t be dealt with fast enough. On to the good stuff though =)
Dave was rockin’ the biz fo shiz 😉
A little Champers to start!
A port in the storm…sorry that was cheesy hahahahaha
And then my fave…Johnnie Walker Gold. A great scotch and an ok honey pistachio cake.
Then it was time to pass out and try to snooze.
The bed is nice, comfy, and goes completely flat. Thank goodness. It’s also plenty long.
After a few hours sleep…it was time for breakfast
I have to say this was my favorite food on the flight. It doesn’t look that great in the photo – sorry low lighting…but it was all very fresh and tasty.
The flight flew by, heh heh heh. Seriously it was a wonderful flight. The hard product, the entertainment, food, and drink were all very enjoyable. I’d definitely fly Cathay again…a little hint – the flight from HKG to HND was outstanding. The service was impeccable and lived up to the hype. It was just annoying that we didn’t have that service experience on the long flight, but instead the shorter one. Oh well…I’m looking forward to flying Cathay again in the future, but given the opportunity to fly the competition…I wouldn’t be as quick to choose Cathay.
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