Review: Cathay Pacific First Class B777, Vancouver – New York JFK

This post is one chapter in our trip to New York City via Cathay Pacific First Class. This trip was booked using American Airlines AAdvantage miles and Starwood Preferred Guest points. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Cathay Pacific First Class, Boeing 777-300, Vancouver – New York JFK

After the sterile transit passengers re-boarded the flight, new passengers were then admitted to the lounge with an immediate pre-boarding announcement for First, Business. One World Emerald’s were also asked to board. We took this opportunity to step on board and get comfortable.

First Class 
Cathay Pacific
YVR-JFK (Vancouver International Airport – John Fitzgerald Kennedy, New York)
CX 888 – First Class (Z)
10:55 PM – 7:00 AM
May 21, 2014
Booked: Boeing 777-300
Flown: Boeing 777-300

On Board Cathay Pacific First Class:

Once on board, we were greeted by the senior purser. We were personally and individually escorted to our suites 1D/1K. We received a personal greeting by name by our flight attendant, along with a second formal introduction and thank you by the senior purser.

“Cathay Pacific offers the best first class product in the One World Alliance. It’s First Class Cabins are sleek, understated, with exceptional food and beverage, with service that is world class.”

I’ll come right out and say it. This Cathay Pacific flight was the best First Class flight ever.

Having been fortunate enough to have flown on Asiana, Thai, Lufthansa and now Cathay First Class, I believe that Cathay is leagues ahead of Lufthansa in terms of both the hard equipment product and soft service product.

The suite itself is super spacious. The newly configured Boeing 777-300 is on a 1-1-1 seating plan. The space shows over other carriers that usually offer 1-2-1 in F. The seat had space to drop your cameras, phones and anything else your hearts desired. MrsWT73 agreed, and announced. “OMG this is soooo much better than Lufthansa First.” Wow – I know I’m in trouble now. The bar is set high. Overall, I’d have to agree with her sentiments. 

I was pleased to see today’s flight was in the refreshed new First Class configuration featuring updated seating, larger TV and touch controls. Plush red carpeting in the aisle

Tonight’s pre-departure beverage wasn’t the usual orange juice, water or cheap wine. We were treated to lovely Krug champagne. Two servings to be exact! Poured at the seat with the bottle every time, along with a towel service.

Cathay Pacific Food and Beverage:

Dinner menus were dropped off with orders taken on ground. Myself and Mrs WT73 were the only First Class passengers partaking in dinner service tonight.

Cathay featured a full wine list, including the Bordeaux Wine Promotion which offered a select wine from the list of 6 Grand Cru Classes that they had purchased. The selection varies per flight. Of the six, tonight’s flight offered the excellent Lynch Bages.

Amenity Kits “Ergemglido or Trussadi”:

Our flight attendant dropped off amenity kits. The kits were Ergemglido and Trussadi kits for women. The kits contained similar items in each, despite the cases being male and female versions.

Cathay Pacific First Class Pyjamas: “PVC”

Immediately after the amenity kits were delivered, the pyjamas came to our suite on a tray.

The pyjamas on offer are PYC. Although not as high end a brand as the previous Shanghai Tang’s they win the blue ribbon for the most comfortable airline pyjamas’ ever. I have found with a lot of airline pyjamas, that they are odd colored, partially comfortable, or in the case of Lufthansa, partially missing (they only offered a top on their daytime flights). The Cathay Pacific pyjamas were super comfortable and most certainly a keeper.

A quick departure as the plane was 20 minutes behind schedule. Taxi out to runway 08L with an east facing take off. Cathay features the cool under body camera contained within the entertainment system.

The First Service, “Chinese Favourites”

Once underway, dinner service began almost immediately. I have to say that the crew worked their tails off to cater meals, and drinks for the 5/6 in F.

“Cathay Pacific First Class is renowned for it’s Asian Food and Beverage. Along with a five course meal, the free flow Krug Champagne and French Bordeaux Wines were simply an over the top bonus”

Service started with cashews and Krug Champagne.

Followed by fire smoked salmon with grilled scallop paired with Krug Champagne

This was followed by mixed salad with poached pear, smoked duck and pine nut, covered with sesame dressing, paired with Louis Jadot Mersault. The meal was totally delicious, if not a bit chunky with a knife and fork.

I went with the Chinese main course and was not disappointed. Tonight’s dinner was stir fired lobster with ginger and green onion, served with steamed jasmine rice, kailian and carrot flower. I enjoyed this with the non matching Bordeaux Wine Promotion wine 2004 Lynches Bages. Having previously visited the Lynch Bages winery, the wine did not at all disappoint. CX F regulars will notice an omission with the food service…

I went “whole hog” and opted for both the cheese plate AND the dessert. The meal started to close with the extra old cheddar and oka, enjoyed with the always excellent Johnnie Walker Blue whisky.

Conlcuded by strawberry Haagen Daz ice cream. I settled into a little Tom Clancy Patriot Games on the AVOD system while I finished the whisky.

Cathay Pacific sleep service:

After dinner was cleared, a bottle of Evian water was dropped off at the seat. I requested turn down service and had bed made up. I attempted a sleep but was pretty full and only managed about two hours or so.

I woke up about 40 minutes from landing just prior to them turning on the lights. I quickly changed out of the pyjamas. A quick change out of the PJ’s and before we knew it, we were on the descent toward John Fitzgerald Kennedy Terminal 7. We were thanked again for flying Cathay Pacific First by the senior purser on the decent. One last look at the cabin before I left this comfortable suite.

We were on the ground into the basement of JFK T7. Our checked bags were among the first out. We were through Global Entry without any issues, although the number of Global Entry users on this particular flight was the first time I ever had to share the kiosks with other people. (The horrors!)

The Bottom Line:

Overall, this was a most excellent flight. Cathay blends a fantastic hard product with a fantastic soft product that no other carrier to date has been able to match. Both work together seamlessly and felt that our needs were taken care of. The suite is super comfortable, private and excellent to sleep in. The service is of such a high personalized level that no other carrier really comes close.

“The Cathay Pacific Flight from Vancouver to New York JFK was undoubtedly the best way to cross the continent”

MrsWT73 had already been planning a Cathay First Class trip from Vancouver to Hong Kong and onward to Bali before she’d even gotten off the first flight it was that good. Another sign WT73 is in trouble. 



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