15 Hours of Fun! Cathay Pacific First Class JFK-HKG

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This is why I hate to redeem my miles for domestic flights. Because only 67,500 American Airlines miles gets you this kind of experience one-way!

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I started my two week vacation to Asia this summer (yes, I do go places for longer than a weekend!) with a 15 hr segment in Cathay Pacific First Class JFK to Hong Kong. I’d only flown Cathay Pacific once before and found 13 hours wasn’t nearly long enough, so I couldn’t wait for this trip! Until the week before.

Unfortunately I’d been really unwell — unable to keep food down or sleep for more than a few hours at a time.  So not only was I exhausted at the start of the trip, I was nervous about 15 hours in the air when I was having difficulty eating and couldn’t sleep even in the best of circumstances.

But if anyone was going to make it pleasant, Cathay Pacific was a good bet. I mean look at the size of my personal TV and all the leg room!

Cathay Pacific First Class foot rest and entertaiment system

My Shanghai Tang PJs from my last flight were still my favorites, so I was looking forward to an extra pair from this flight. Not to mention the amenity kit full of Aesop beauty products.

Cathay Pacific First Class Shanghai Tang Pajamas Aesop amenity kit

Soon enough we were in the air and I was nibbling at hot nuts and less conservatively sipping my Krug champagne. I prefer Dom, but 2003 still isn’t great and the current non vintage of Krug is quite good.

Cathay Pacific First Class Krug nuts

They had brought the menus around and I’d had difficulty choosing. I wasn’t hungry, but its hard not to want EVERYTHING when there’s such a fun assortment.

The caviar was quite good.

Cathay Pacific First Class JFK HKG caviar

Next up was a Mesclun salad with lobster and grilled vegetables.

Cathay Pacific First Class mesclun salad with lobster

I didn’t eat all of it so I could leave room for the pan seared beef tenderloin with spinach and roasted pumpkin. It was cooked beautifully, but I had to give up half way.

Cathay Pacific First Class panseared beef tenderloin

But everyone has a second stomach for dessert, and I was no exception. I decided to take the attendant’s advice and go with his favorite, the red bean soup with lotus seeds. You could get it hot or cold, I picked cold which made the texture even more interesting. It wasn’t my favorite but I was happy to get to try it!

Cathay Pacific First Class red bean soup with lotus seeds

Post dinner was the usual Nescafe decaf. I’ll be so happy when an airline decides not to be cost efficient and offer real decaf! I can’t stand Nescafe. There were also some delightful nuts and chocolate, which fortunately I didn’t take to bed with me like Jeanne did.

Cathay Pacific First Class coffee service

Best of all, it came with a sweet note. Why yes, I do feel welcome!! 🙂

Cathay Pacific First Class service note

Then it was time to change into the PJ’s I was so excited about. The flight had two first class bathrooms, by the way. One larger one for changing, with lots of space and really cool basin. The other (not photographed) is the back up bathroom, narrow with no special features.

Cathay Pacific First Class bathroom

As expected, when I got back my bed was being made up. Apparently the bedding was being upgraded the very next day, so on my return flight I’d be able to test out the thicker mattress pad and smoother bedding.

Cathay Pacific First Class bedding

I rather liked this one! 🙂

That said, after only about 2 hours of fitful dozing I was awake again. Fortunately they have hundreds of movies and TV shows to choose from so I was at least entertained though exhausted.

I wasn’t hungry, but I did order a little midnight tea.

Cathay Pacific First Class tea service

A few hours later I did get hungry again, but assumed they’d be starting the second meal service soon. Unfortunately I missed the part where they said they would serve it whenever I wanted it, and I’m still far too timid about ringing the call button. Three hours later I finally did and then service was quick and attentive.

If I had realized they were waiting for me, I probably would have ordered off the snack menu which had some great options of beef noodle soup, prosciutto sandwiches, etc. But instead I went with the regular meal, starting with the fresh fruit.

Cathay Pacific First Class fresh fruit

Next I chose the stir fried beef with garlic sauce and kale, impressing them with my chopstick skills and lavish ladling of the spicy condiments.

Cathay Pacific First Class stir fried beef jfk-hkg

I wasn’t interested in the double chocolate with chestnut cake dessert, but fortunately they still had the fresh seasonal berries with rose sauce available from the first service.

Cathay Pacific First Class fresh seasonal berries

I’d made it through all the awesome courses without my stomach rebelling! And though it wasn’t the non-stop fun that I’d originally envisioned, it was my own fault for getting sick in advance, not Cathay’s.

We landed in Hong Kong a few hours later where my lack of sleep caused me to get lost looking for the lounges during my layover, but that’s a story for another day…


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Heels First’s Travel Advice–Sophisticated Travel, Uncomplicated Advice. The travels and tribulations of two frequent flyers jumping into the world of travel, sharing their travel advice. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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