Flying to New York with Cathay Pacific business class

THE ROUTE

Hong Kong to New York

THE PLANE

777-300ER. Cathay Pacific was the first airline to fly this model and is one of the world's largest operators of the plane.

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club frequent flyer programme, which is part of the One World Alliance. In Hong Kong, business class passengers can enjoy the resplendent The Wing lounge - with luxe showers ideal for passengers in transit - near gates one to four. 

CLASS

Business seat 19G

DURATION

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15 hours, 15 minutes

The 1-2-1 Business Class seating configuration means all seats have direct aisle access.

FREQUENCY

Cathay Pacific flies five times daily to New York, with four flights to JFK airport and one to Newark. The four daily flights to JFK depart at convenient intervals throughout the day with a flight time of between 15 and 16 hours. The daily flight to Newark departs Hong Kong at 17:45, arriving at 21.40pm.

For Australian customers, Cathay Pacific has over 70 flights a week to Hong Kong from six major Australian cities. There are four flights daily from Sydney – two on the Boeing 777-300ER and two Airbus A330. The airline also offers three flights daily from Melbourne, 11 flights a week from Brisbane, four flights weekly from both Cairns and Adelaide, and 10 flights weekly from Perth.

THE SEAT STUFF

The business class seats have a pleasing width of 21 inches (53cm) and offer a generous 82-inch (208cm) pitch. The seat reclines to fully flat at just over two metres (82 inches) long and the retractable armrests lower to increase sleeping space. There's a couple of preset settings for sitting and sleeping, which make reclining easy. The convenient 1-2-1 configuration means all seats have direct aisle access. 

The seat reclines to fully flat with retractable armrests lower to increase sleeping space.

BAGGAGE

There's a 30-kilogram limit on checked-in luggage, with no restrictions on the number of pieces. One carry-on item with a 10-kilogram limit is allowed.

COMFORT

Comfort is a priority for Business Class guests with Cathay. Passengers get a fluffy quilt and pillow, and an amenities kit designed by Seventy Eight Percent with Jurlique skincare products, socks with treading, a sleep mask, and toiletries. Fresh orchids dotted around the cabin offer a genial air.

ENTERTAINMENT

With 150 films including 30 new releases, the StudioCX entertainment system is a solid player. There are also more than 500 TV shows, TED talks, 888 music CDs, audio books, 22 radio channels, and 70 games to play. The pop-out 39.1cm (15.4-inch) touchscreen TV comes with good quality noise cancelling headphones. There is also an international adapter and a USB port if you prefer to use your own devices for entertainment or work.

THE SERVICE

The crew are welcoming, polite and extremely dutiful. A glass of Deutz Champagne upon arrival is topped up before take-off without a hassle and while airline hot towels somehow always seem to dry my face out, they are accepted readily by the other passengers throughout the journey with appropriate regularity. Being addressed by name during meal or beverage service is a nice touch.

FOOD

Cathay is renowned for it's first rate food and wine and it didn't disappoint. The business class menu incorporates both Western and Asian flavours, and I opt for the grilled beef tenderloin with shallot sauce, potato terrine and sauteed asparagus. It is deliciously moist and tasty, and I enjoy the garlic bread accompaniment. Declining the cake for dessert, I instead go for the fruit and cheese selection, which is also top notch. When I flew, they were running a wine promotion on Languedoc-Roussillon and the delectable Château L' Hospitalet was something to savour. 

Before landing, we are offered breakfast - which I find a little strange seeing as we will be disembarking the aircraft at 10.30pm NYC time - but there's no problem with the choices on offer as frittata competes against the Chinese specialities of dim sum or a prawn and fishcake congee. Trying to keep the jetlag at bay, I shun the breakfast-resembling frittata and go for the dim sum platter (call it being adventurous), which is a complex but warming taste experience. 

Cathay's signature Chinese dishes are some of the best in the air.
 
ONE MORE THING ...

A flight with Cathay Pacific can get you from Sydney to New York in 26 hours and 40 minutes, including a stopover in Hong Kong. It is a seamless way to get to New York, without the hassles of going through LAX, checking out and checking in again, and taking an internal flight from LA to New York. Plus Hong Kong is the perfect place to put a stopover if you want to break your trip.

THE VERDICT

The food is excellent with a beverage list rarely rivalled and the service is impeccable. The comfort factor is high as the seats are so wide you can move around, meaning you step off feeling relatively fresh despite the long flight.

A return Business Class fare from Sydney to New York (JFK) - via Hong Kong - is priced from $8,925. See cathaypacific.com.au

Tim Martin was upgraded courtesy of Cathay Pacific