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

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, New York JFK – Vancouver

At about T-35, we headed down to the gate. Boarding had mostly completed by that point and we arrived to an empty maze and boarding area with just us stragglers left.

First Class
Cathay Pacific
JFK-YVR (John Fitzgerald Kennedy, New York – Vancouver International Airport)
CX 888 – First Class (Z)
9:55 PM – 12:45 AM
April 27, 2014
Booked: Boeing 777-300
Flown: Boeing 777-300

On Board Cathay Pacific First Class:

Boarding through gate 5, with only single door boarding today with a small bit of a line on the jet bridge.

We again had the personal escort to our pair of seats again at Suite 2K and 2D, our pair of seats today. I was originally booked into 1A, but was able to switch to the bassinet seat (2K) on check in. As it was on our outbound, the spaciousness of the cabin was fabulous and among the best in class.

“Cathay Pacific First Class is still the carrier to beat for a trans-continental flight in North America. Stellar wines, wonderful service and a super comfortable space”

A pre-departure beverage was offered of offered of Krug, poured at the seat with the bottle. A towel service was also offered on the tray. Load today was 6/6 (although reward space was available as late as the night before the flight).

A wide variety of Asian and International newspapers were also offered.

It was a similar order of service as to on our outbound. Menus were dropped off. Amenity kits were dropped off, along with sleep sets on a tray. My wife joined me in the jump seat of suite 2K during the pre-departure beverage, and these items were also presented to her in 2K.

Nora stopped by to introduce herself as the server today, along with the senior purser who also stopped by and personally introduced herself.

Cathay Pacific Amenity Kits “Ermeneglido Zegna”:

I took this opportunity to take another look at the amenity kits that had been handed out. The male kit was the same as the outbound “ermenegildo zegna”.

Having already had one, I actually wanted to trade the male kit in exchange for a female kit for my sister. Regretfully, Cathay only had enough kits for the current passengers (kits perhaps loaded by sex?). Nora brought me a business class kit for her instead. I ended up taking away both the male First Class kit, and the Agnes B kit from Biz.

The pilot announced a a 45 minute delay due to localized thundershower that was making them lose their slot. We were eventually underway with a taxi and takeoff on runway 22 R.

Cathay does an excellent job of making you feel taken care of. Again, the Vancouver based crew was stellar and did an excellent job. Must have been reported around here about CX crews and how they make their passengers feel. I’d have to add to that in that the crews are very personable and are the most personable of those F cabins that I’ve had the opportunity to experience. On board, MrsWT73 joined me in the foot rest quasi-jump seat for dinner service today. A table extender was set up on the table to allow dining together face to face. We started with the usual nut service, followed by more Krug.

Food and Beverage:

Today’s menu was presented:

The menu was followed by the usual fantastic wine list, and the Bordeaux Wine Promotion.

The First Service: Dinner “Chinese Favourites”

“The Cathay Pacific dinner service was ever spectacular; with another five course supper with Asian flair. Even though it’s just a North American flight, no expense was spared with food quality at International First Class levels”

The table setting in First Class never seems to disappoint. It was also a unique experience being able to dine across from your significant other.

I started with Seared tuna with couscous artichoke mousse trimabel and yoghurt mint sauce, paired with more Krug Champagne. Good combinations but not too much taste on the tuna itself.

The second course consisted of double boiled ginseng with silkie chicken soup, served with cold plate marinated turnip with carrot, paired with, alas, more krug champagne. Typically asian and freshly prepared. Although some may have reservations about eating something that looks like a softly boiled tarantula spider.

Thank you “Bon Appetit” card, that was missing from the previous inbound service, from our server Nora Reiko.

Followed by the main course, a steamed sea bass with Chinese preserved olives, served with steamed jasime rice, kailan with black mushroom and carrot flower.

MrsWT73 went with the fettucini with alfredo sauce and truffle oil with pine nuts. It was freshly tossed and the freshest pasta she’s ever had on a plane. I sampled some and it was excellent. Based on the presentation, it must have been prepared and tossed on board as the sauce was fresh and did not have usual stale glaze of pasta that had been sitting and subsequently re-heated.

I was stuffed by this point. So I went light on the dessert and stuck with chocolate Haagen Daz ice cream, paired with chateau Pontent-Canet 5ieme Grand Cru Classee of Pauillac 2007- per the promotion card, the first classified growth estate that has moved to 100% bio-dynamic farming.

MrsWT73 had the cheese plate of brie, stilon, taleggio and machego which was brought out on a slab for her to chose form, then cut and plated in the galley. No noticeable galley noise today on this flight.

Of course, there had to be small chocolates at the end of this festivus, along with a towel service.

Cathay Pacific Sleep Service:

After the orgy of food, I requested the turndown service for the bed and dozed off for a few remaining hours of flight. The only minus of this flight is the length, in that you get a fantastic full meal service and a short sleep which personally causes me some sleeping pains when trying to nap on such a full stomach. This time was no different. Full from the food and not really tired- more nappy.

I woke up about 30 minutes from landing with the captain’s announcement of arrival. Lights were turned on gradually, which made it easy on the eyes to wake up. The service with this particular flight seemed much more relaxed than the continuing service aircraft from HK. YVR based crew.

On the descent, MrsWT73 announced, “I wanna stay on to Hong Kong.” She found it a better flight having experienced the mattress pad this time around.

Arrival at YVR on runway 08R (unusual- usually it’s 08L) and taxied to gate 64. Long walk for YVR to the arrivals hall through the beautiful concourse past the waterfall, native art and down the usual escalators. Four out of four Nexus machines broken tonight. Bags were out before we hit the belt.

The Bottom Line:

It just doesn’t get better than CX F on board. Combine it with LH F ground services in FRA and you’d have yourself a perfect carrier. Even MrsWT73 was impressed. I usually have a hard time impressing her peculiar tastes but even CX was enough to keep her reeling their praises.

“There is no more comfortable way to cross the North American

continent than in Cathay Pacific First Class”

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