A Cathay Present: Cathay Pacific CX865 777-300ER JFK – YVR First Class

Can’t believe that time pass by just like that in the states. Kinda having major withdrawal syndrome actually, I had a good last walk in NYC prior to my first back home. The first out of 3 flights that I have to take. I actually got lazy and ditch my subway plans. Sigh, instead, splurging 50 bucks to get an airport transfer instead. Perhaps it was for the good, since I am leaving with 3 bags now and have some awful blister on my feet. I felt so loved at this point, since my newly made Singaporeans friends came to send me off! My heart is full! The ride to the airport was smooth and it took about 30 mins! I intend to be the first to check in to maximise the time I have in the lounge, CX only open up 3.5 hours prior to flight. Thinking that I might have to wait for a bit, check in actually open up much earlier. Security was light and im thru in mins. This time around I am interested to see how the service and offering is on a mid haul flight.

 

I headed to the gate 10 mins prior to boarding, wanting to be the first to board to get some good pictures. Despite checking the screen to get no updates. Boarding is definitely delayed since the crew did not even board yet, in fact we were sitting next to each other at the gate. I was pretty impressed with the crew efficiency in preparing the cabin. Boarding started at 9.30pm, 20 mins late, I should have gotten that dessert in the lounge after all. Boarding seems to be a little messy since there was no sign, there was even a commotion between a ground staff and an American lady who wanted to board first and insists a few times, saying she wants to get her son asleep as soon as possible. It was pretty funny when she says “I don’t understand why not, we are all getting on the same plane and heading to the same destination” I wish that will work and I could use it too!

I was the first onboard and greeted by the crew. There was no usher offered to my seat which is definitely a big no no! I don’t understand why they always only use one door and only the second in JFK. At least this time around when boarding, there is no traffic towards first class. Since it is towards the right and most turn to the left. This set of crew is a mix of HK and Vancouver based, you can certainly tell by them being more fun and bubby, but definitely less poised than their HK counterparts. The IFM and 2 purser working F are delightful and I had a nice chat with one of them, Kay from HK was absolutely great, she is true, polished, poised and a gem to have onboard. Very impressive after 11 years of flying. I can still see the passion going strong in her!

Since there is only a light load of 3 pax to YVR and after checking with the crew I went over to seat 2A for this sector such that I could have the whole aisle to myself. The other 2 pax were seated in 1D and 2D in the middle. Here are some pictures of the seat!

Welcome drink was offered and of course you have to go with Krug, I am so happy that they are still serving Krug on my sector since the usually alternate between Tattinger as well. Hey check out my champagne pouring skills. I am Krug trained. The funny Kay even commented that I was well trained and the IFM added that now people think I am not getting any service. HAHA!

I was constantly addressed by name throughout and my jacket was hang as well. I still think Cathay service is a mixbag and not consistent. On board SQ, Jacket, toilet door and personalised name, usher is a norm on both J and F Class. The purser got me my presents including the headphones, pyjamas and amenity kit. Along with the menu was offered. Kay then came by to get my order as well. I shall not touch more on the features of the seat since I did a pretty indepth review much earlier. Here is the menu for the short haul flight to Vancouver. It seems to be a pretty watered down version.

Despite the late take off, we had a super smooth lift off, once again, there lies the same issue, no offer to hold the door open or hang clothes when changing. Something that I am way too pampered on SQ. Service begun right after levelling off. Surprising, there is no welcome drink or amuse bouche and service went straight to starter. A bread basket accompanied the meal, it is always nice to have garlic bread, it is really good, great competitor to SQ. Drinks wise seems to remain the same!

There is also no personalised handwritten welcome note from the crew which is also different from my previous long haul flight. Crew issue or flight distance issue? I got the Vitello Tonnato Tapenade and Tomato starter which was not very good. I just had a few nibs and bites and left it almost untouched. I had a glass of Oriental Breeze to accompany me. It was not bad. Really refreshing and with a floral touch, perhaps just a little too sweet for my liking!

For my main course, I know that it is sort of a lame choice but, I am feeling all Asian right now at this moment as I went for the Shui Gao Noodle soup as my main. This is Cathay after all, I should probably try their local delicacy. The noodles came with veggies and two dumplings, it is a little weird on the presentation since that they do not remove the cover when presenting. Which I think would be really lovely and professional. The noodles was alright and dumpling was good. Sadly the soup is not hot enough, although i’m really impress that the noodles still had a bite to it. It definitely felt like the catering out of HK is much much better.

I had the blueberry cake for dessert upon Kay recommendation. It was good with a chocolate base as well. The dessert seems to be one of the better ones on the menu. Service ended with a hot towel as well as chocolates. It does seems like the selection and meals have been watered down in comparison to a long haul flight but drinks choices remain the same.

The friendly IFM came and pour me more Krug seeing that I was working. “This is just to keep you awake” Sure thing! Anytime for Krug! I have decide to work thru the flight and not rest at all since I wanted to tune back my timing to Asia time zone as soon as possible too. Kay time to time came to offer drinks and even got me some popcorn to snack on out of her will while seeing that I am awake. Really nice of her.

Part of the exercise on a plane regime, I took a little walk around J Class as well and got the opportunity to try the seats. Seeing that the load is rather empty on this sector, I really got into the details and try them out. Once again, the mini cabin after First is really private with only 8 seats, it is in a 1-2-1 configuration. It was pretty spacious and the TV swing out from the front of you. In J class there are overhead compartments though, so it look slightly more confined.

I went to try it fully flat in bed mode and it was really comfy, what I love about the seat design is that unlike others, when it link up with the ottoman to get the fully flat bed, the leg space is awesome. I could not reach the end of it and it does not narrows into some tiny space like some airlines have. Ahem SQ. However the width does seems to be a little narrow since when I am lying down. My arm is right next to the wall with no space to move. The difference in J class and F class washroom are simply the offerings of toiletries. Writing this just moments after flying on the new SQ J Class. This feels so good!

Here is the menu for Business Class! You can do a quick comparison!

I also grab a look at the Premium Economy cabin later on! It does seems that the seats were very similar to those that I had on my Cathay Dragon flight in Business Class!

I love the prompt service from my crew actually, given that it is a redeye and just a 6 hours flight. There is only one service but it was literally a sprint from the crew when the pilot told to prepare the cabin for landing. The crew offer a hot towel and glass of orange juice was served. It was a perfect way to be freshen up and be awaken. Then they were kept right before we were seated for landing. Rather impressive given the short amount of time. We then had a very smooth landing into Vancouver!

Overall,  this is definitely the best way to get to the other side of the coast in mainland US.But thinking of it, it was a rather watered down service, for a flight of 6 hours, which is roughly from Singapore to China or Australia, a full meal service can be done. I am really glad that I have an awesome set of crew onboard, Kay was lovely, sadly there would be a crew change in Vancouver. Instead of some lousy American Transcon product, why not try this instead? I will remain onboard for the next journey to HK, where there is a 1hr stop on the ground in Vancouver. Upon checking with the crew, it seems that when fling HKG – YVR – JFK, you have to deplane, but not for the other way around.

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