Review – Cathay Pacific 777-200 Business Class – HKG-SIN

After a decent flight on Hong Kong Airlines, we arrived in Hong Kong where we were picking up a Cathay Pacific flight in business class to Singapore. The Boeing 777-200 we were scheduled to be on was a regional configuration aircraft which meant recliner seats rather than lie-flat seats.

Introduction
Review – JAL Sakura Lounge – SFO
Review – JAL 777-300ER First Class – SFO-HND
Review – Tokyo Hilton
Review – Cathay Pacific Lounge – HND
Review – Cathay Pacific 747-400 Business Class – HND-HKG
Review – Sheraton Hong Kong Towers
Review – Dragon Air A320 Business Class – HKG-CKG
Review – Sofitel Forebase Chongqing
Review – Hong Kong Airlines Lounge – CKG
Review – Hong Kong Airlines A320 Business Class – CKG-HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific 777-200 Business Class – HKG-SIN
Review – Conrad Centennial Singapore
Review – Qantas Lounge – SIN
Review – British Airways Lounge – SIN
Review – Dnata (Cathay Pacific) Contract Lounge – SIN
Review – Cathay Pacific 777-200 Business Class – SIN-HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge The Pier – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge The Wing – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific 777-300ER First Class – HKG-ORD

Since Cathay Pacific has ~10-12 daily flights between Hong Kong and Singapore, I waited until almost the last minute to book this flight. I was hoping for a 777-200 configured with Cathay Pacific’s lie-flat seats, but the schedule just did not work for us. I opted to use British Airways Avios that I had earned from my Chase British Airways card for this flight. The flight cost 20,000 Avios per person + ~$16 in taxes and fees. By comparison, paid tickets were running ~$1,600 for a one-way flight on this route in business class, so I consider this a pretty good redemption.

Cathay Pacific 735
Hong Kong (HKG) – Singapore (SIN)
Depart: 2:25 PM
Arrive: 6:20 PM
Duration: 3 hours, 55 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200 (Regional Configuration)
Seat: 15C (Business Class)

This flight was off to a poor start right off the bat. I had called both Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines prior to booking our Hong Kong Airlines flight to make sure the two airlines had an interchange agreement wherein I could visit the Cathay Pacific transit desk upon arrival in Hong Kong and not have to go through immigration again. I was told by both airlines that they had such an agreement and that this would not be a problem. Upon reaching Cathay Pacific’s transit desk at Hong Kong Airport, we rudely told that there was no such agreement and that we would have to clear immigration, check-in for our flight with the desk, and then re-clear immigration and security. It was extremely frustrating, but I find there to be little sense in arguing with representatives in these situations as it rarely makes it better.

After we had cleared immigration and security again, we headed for the Cathay Pacific The Wing Lounge, which we had access to due to our business class tickets, as well as due to our OneWorld Sapphire status. Since The Wing has been reviewed countless times before elsewhere, I opted not to review the business class lounge (though I will be reviewing the first class section of The Wing). About 45 minutes before departure, we left the lounge and headed for the gate which was a about a 10 minute walk.

By the time we arrived at the boarding gate, people were already queuing up in two lines – one for business class and one for economy class. About 5 minutes after we hopped in line, they started boarding the flight starting with the business class cabin. On the jet bridge right before door 1L was a cart with a large variety of international newspapers which passengers could pick up on their way. We boarded through door 1L and turned right into the business class cabin. Cathay Pacific’s business class cabin on their 777-200’s are configured in a 2-3-2 configuration.

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To be honest, I am not a huge fan of this layout for a business class cabin. To have a middle set in business class is borderline insulting in my opinion. Who would want to pay $1,600+ for a ticket just to be stuck in a middle seat?

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We quickly found our seats on the left side of the aircraft in row 15 and stowed our baggage. The seats were nearly identical to the seats we had on our Dragon Air flight to Chongqing. Waiting at our seats was a rather flat small pillow.

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Also waiting at our seats in the center console pocket was a pair of Cathay Pacific branded headphones.

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These were identical to the ones we were offered on our Dragon Air flight (just with Cathay Pacific branding). The headphones were somewhat noise canceling and were relatively comfortable.

As we settled in, I began to check out the seat. On the side of the seat was a remote which controlled the in-flight entertainment screen in the seatback in front of me, as well as the reading light and flight attendant call button.

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Unlike on our Dragon Air flight, this aircraft was outfitted with an in-flight entertainment system built into the seat backs in front of each seat (bulkhead seats feature the in-flight entertainment system on the actual bulkhead wall).

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There was also a USB port and a s-video cable port. The tray table is stowed under the screen. To the left of my screen was a small holder of some sort. I’m assuming this is for cell phones or maybe a bottle of water?

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As I mentioned in my review of these seats on our Dragon Air flight, I would prefer this style seat to standard U.S. domestic recliner seats, but after several hours, they do start to get a bit uncomfortable.

Shortly after we boarded, one of the flight attendants working the business class cabin came around with a tray of pre-departure beverages. The choices were water, orange juice, champagne or Cathay Pacific’s signature drink – the Cathay Delight. I opted for the Cathay Delight, which is a kiwi and coconut based drink, while my girlfriend opted for a glass of champagne.

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I always find the Cathay Delights to sound much better than they actually taste, which was no different in this case.

The business class cabin was almost completely full on this flight, so once the cabin was 90% full, the flight attendants passed through the cabin to distribute menus for the flight. The menu read as follows:

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After the menus were passed out, the Australian pilot came on the PA to welcome everyone aboard and let us know that we had clear skies all the way to Singapore. Our flying time would be just over 3 hours and 30 minutes. We had an on-time departure and after a quick taxi, we were airborne. Since it was a clear day, we had some great views during our climb out.

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After about 10 minutes, the fasten seat belt sign was turned off and the cabin crew began their preparations for the meal service. The meal service was started with some nuts and a drink service. I opted for a whiskey and ginger ale while watching Fast 7 (judge me if you want, but that franchise is as entertaining as it is stupid).

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The mixed nuts had some kind of smoke on them which I did not care for at all so I left them mostly untouched.

Next came the starter which was some refreshing fresh fruit. What was really odd was that the fresh fruit was served with a selection from the bread basket. I opted for the garlic bread, but the combination was just horrible together.

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The fruit was tasty, as was the always delicious garlic bread.

Next came the main course. I will note that the purser on this aircraft went out of her way to ask certain people in the cabin which meal they would like first. I have to assume these were high status holders in the Marco Polo club as they got exceptional service throughout. By the time the cart got to us three rows back, the noodle dish was already gone. I will also note that the cart with the lamb dish on it looked far less than appetizing. I opted for the British tea trio.

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Everything was excellent, but the scone with clotted cream and jam was exceptionally delicious. The finger sandwich featured a smoke salmon and cream cheese combination, which was tasty. There was also a mini-baguette with some egg salad in it, which was quite tasty as well. Lastly, there was a fruit tart with custard and raspberries, which was also quite tasty. Overall, I was very happy with the meal as it was just light enough to be what I wanted on the flight.

After the main course was cleared, a cart with ice cream, coffee and tea was rolled around. The ice cream was Haagen-Dazs and there was a choice of vanilla, cookies and cream or bananas and cream. I opted for the cookies and cream ice cream, though I wish I would have tried the bananas and cream instead.

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After the meal service, I got up and explored the cabin a bit. One thing I noted was that lavatories are really an issue on this aircraft. For 42 business class passengers, there are only 2 business class lavatories. The lavatory next to door 1L and the lavatory next to galley on the right side of the aircraft are the only two that are designated for business class use. Due to the proximity to the economy class cabin, the two lavatories next to the galley behind the business class cabin were often shared between the two cabins. This resulted in some long lines, especially closer to landing. The lavatories featured the standard Jurlique lotions and soaps.

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While I was waiting for the lavatory about 40 minutes prior to landing, I struck up a conversation with one of the crew. She joked with me that I was “stuck in rush hour traffic.” I thought that was pretty funny given the lines, and it also spoke to this particular crew – they were very good, though I would not say excellent. After using the lavatory I returned to my seat as we had already begun our descent into Singapore.

We touched down in Singapore about 20 minutes ahead of schedule (or shhhhhhh-dule as the Australian pilot said) and were off to immigration. After quickly clearing immigration, we caught a taxi to the Conrad in the Marina Bay district.

Final Thoughts

For a flight that was less than 4 hours, I cannot really complain about this flight. I found the seat to reach the point of being borderline uncomfortable after ~3 1/2 hours on this flight. While the crew was very good, the highlight of this flight was really the British tea trio, which I would highly recommend. In the future, I will plan any flight to Singapore on the 777-300 with Cathay Pacific’s exceptional reverse herringbone business class seats.

What are your thoughts on Cathay Pacific’s 777-200 business class seats?

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