Today at Japlanning we are launching the first of our travel reviews to help you pick the best flights, hotels and tourist attractions for your next Japan vacation. We start with Cathay Pacific Economy Class.
Today we are flying with Cathay Pacific from Melbourne Australia, via Hong Kong.
Starting with the usual 2 hours prior arrival to the international terminal we get in the switchback lines with the masses of economy while the premium lines are empty awaiting guests. Once check in begins the lines move quite quickly for a heavily booked flight at 11pm, all the check in staff are delightfully cheerful and get all of us through smoothly and our bags checked.
After wandering around the duty free for a while and resisting purchasing anything (as duty free is a better deal in Tokyo on your return or even while transiting through Hong Kong - Australia has terrible duty free prices for the big items like alcohol and electronics), the cheerful Cathay Pacific announcements for pre boarding began with actual boarding soon after. Once again everything ran smoothly with the plane boarded ahead of schedule and departed on time out of Melbourne.
Taking our seats in 51 A and C we found the seats in economy to be one of the more generous seat sizes, with a 44.45cm width and a recline pitch of 81cm. It was comfortable enough to get some sleep by the window. Shortly after takeoff a dinner service commenced, with three options for dinner: a western beef dish, a Chinese inspired chicken dish and an Asian infused vegetarian dish. Both dishes we sampled were nothing spectacular, more or less your standard plane meal. The Drink selections in economy however did stand out, with many options available, including a high end 10 year-old scotch as well as some other high end spirits, for which we were presently surprised. A great secret is that Cathay are well stocked with snack items that are available at any time during the flight; just call a flight attendant and you can get some chips, a sandwich or even cup noodles.
Once the meal service was done the lights were dimmed and people started to get to sleep. Not us, well at least not yet! We took the personal entertainment unit for a spin. Each seat has its own built in entertainment unit with 9-inch screen. The Cathay Studio CX system was quite enjoyable, with a large selection of current and classic films and US television available. We did feel that it was not as vast as some other airlines, however Cathay have a wide library of Asian TV and film (catering to their key market). The system also has several current magazines, books and a large music library, and it also has plenty of games for the kids too!
When it was time for some shut eye, the seats were comfortable enough that there was enough space to get in to just the right spot for some rest. Each seat was given a great blanket and pillow, as well as an amenity kit with eye cover, toothbrush and sleeping socks to help get you as comfortable as possible. I got a decent 4 hours of rest, which helped for the first day into Tokyo. The onboard bathrooms for economy were larger than most, with plenty of space and were always kept well stocked and clean.
A couple of hours before our descent into Hong Kong the lights were raised to a comfortable level and the breakfast service began. We had two selections this time, a traditional bacon and eggs with sausage as well as a sweeter pancake option. We tried both and they were great, with a surprising full flavour I wasn’t expecting from the eggs. The drinks came out again with a few more juice options for the morning and the cheerful flight attendants still buzzing despite their overnight shift.
The flight was uneventful, which is a good thing! Once we descended into Hong Kong, it was a quick taxi to our gate, where Cathay run a two bridge disembarkment making it a quick exit for everyone into the light of Hong Kong International Airport.
The connecting flight Hong Kong to Tokyo was a much shorter flight, with a lunch service as well as snacks and drinks available throughout the flight. Everything else was similar in amenities as the long haul from Melbourne to Hong Kong.
The one issue with flying Cathay is you will most likely need to transit through Hong Kong International Airport before your ongoing flight to Japan. Luckily for us, Hong Kong is one of the best transit hubs in the world. The airport is home to some world class shopping options, spanning many levels, luxury airline lounges of about every variety, as well as some amazing food options, ranging from food court eateries, to fine dining restaurants, and everything in between.
If your connection time is more than a few hours there are some world class attractions only minutes from the airport, including Hong Kong Disneyland, The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery and the record setting Ngong Ping 360 cable car. If you have a few extra days up your sleeve, you should consider an extended layover in Hong Kong to experience some of these attractions.
Cathay Pacific are one of the worlds' leading airlines, and with good reason. Their amazing flight attendants give them a memorable service above most airlines at their level.
With more comfortable economy seating, higher quality food service, the availability of drinks and snacks at any time, Japlanning would definitely recommend flying with Cathay to Japan (or anywhere, really).
Cathay Pacific flys from the following regions daily:
- 3 times daily from Melbourne to Hong Kong
- 4 times daily from Sydney to Hong Kong
- 3 times daily from Brisbane to Hong Kong
- 1 time daily from Adelaide to Hong Kong
- 1 time daily from Perth to Hong Kong
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- 3 times daily from Los Angeles to Hong Kong
- 2 times daily from San Francisco to Hong Kong
- 3 times daily from New York to Hong Kong
- 2 times daily from Vancouver to Hong Kong
- 2 times daily from Toronto to Hong Kong
- 4 times daily from London to Hong Kong
ON TO JAPAN
- 3 times daily from Hong Kong to Tokyo
- 4 times daily from Hong Kong to Osaka
- 1 time 4 days a week from Hong Kong to Sapporo
For flight sales and booking please visit www.cathaypacific.com