Airlines Trip Reports

Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class B777-300ER Singapore – Hong Kong

My first time ever experiencing Cathay Pacific's Business Class. Great seats, decent IFE, "okay" service. Oh, and Evian water.

Introduction: Finding my Seoul-mate
Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4
Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class B777-300ER Singapore – Hong Kong
Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 Hong Kong – Seoul Incheon
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Review: Conrad Seoul
Review: Millennium Seoul Hilton
Review: Asiana Airlines Lounge Seoul Gimpo Airport
Review: ANA Regional Business Class B787-8 Seoul Gimpo – Tokyo Haneda
Review: Hilton Tokyo
Review: United Club Tokyo Narita Airport
Review: ANA Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport
Review: EVA Air Business Class A321 Tokyo Narita – Taipei Taoyuan


After chilling in the lounge for over an hour, it was finally time to head to the gate for boarding. If you do not already know, Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 was tailored as a terminal for narrow-body aircraft, with just a grand total of four gates which are capable of handling wide-body aircraft (read: anything with more than one aisle). Compare this with the 17 other gates which are capable of handling only narrow-body aircraft.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER

These wide-body gates are also annoyingly furthest away from the lounge and it was almost a 10 minutes casual stroll before I actually arrived at the gate. When I arrived, boarding has already started and I politely cut through the gate lice and went straight into the plane. 

Flight Number: CX734
Equipment: Boeing 777-300ER (3-class)
Registration: B-KQE
Class of Service: Business
Seat: 17A

Business (and First) Class passengers board on a separate jet bridge from Economy Class passengers in Terminal 4 and it was kind of awkward that we were separated by a glass panel. People gave me funny looks as this lupsup-dressed youngling in sweat pants and oversized T-shirt walked briskly into the Business Class lane and onto the plane.

After reading countless reviews of Cathay Pacific’s Business Class seat, I was finally able to get a good look at them myself. Cathay Pacific has several Boeing 777-300ERs without First Class cabins. B-KQE is one of those planes which do not have a First Class cabin and has only Business, Premium Economy, and Economy (in a 3-4-3 configuration now) fitted out. I do not have a full-frontal view of the cabin as I wasn’t the first onboard the plane (I was busy clocking my last Shopback Go promotion at Texas Chicken T4) .

The cabin was rather plain but had an interesting touch of a painting that was hung at the bulkhead seats.

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At my seat, was a full-sized pillow which was fairly comfortable to hug and sleep on. I don’t recall seeing a blanket in the overhead compartments but these are available on request. The seat is your standard reverse herringbone style seats where all seats have direct aisle-access and those at the windows face the windows while those in the aisles are angled towards each other. I’m a window guy and for some reason, hate to sit on the right aisle of the plane. Or maybe it’s because I’m Asian and like seeing “A”s on slips on paper. Hmm.

The armrest can be lowered to make it easier for you to head to the washrooms during meal service.

The seat had good privacy to me and you would have to lean forward to be able to see your neighbour. Although you could still see their feet in full glory. There was ample storage space which is available and easily accessible. Legroom was excellent and me being 1.75m, my feet could not touch the leg rest.

The headphones (which are noise-canceling) is inside the mini-cabinet which also has a mirror for you to check your smile. The mini-cabinet was definitely large enough to chuck my wallet, passport, and mobile phone inside.

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If you require more storage space, there is a small storage area which could probably fit an iPad.

Just beside the aisle, there is actually a small cabinet for you to (I think) place your shoes in. It was a tight fit for my US11 sized shoes.

The seat controls and in-flight entertainment remote are located on the left of your head if you are seated in row A. They are easy enough to use and responsive. A reading light is also available should you not want to use the overhead ones.

The in-flight entertainment system on this aircraft has been updated to the latest StudioCX user interface but it was a little laggy and it stuttered at times. The best feature of StudioCX is definitely the on-board cameras. Seriously, I will never understand why Singapore Airlines does not grant access to the on-board cameras on KrisWorld. Even for non-AvGeeks, watching your plane gracefully soar into the skies is definitely a sight to behold.

The selection of movies definitely cannot compare to what Singapore Airlines has on KrisWorld but there was still a decent selection of movies and TV shows available, including latest hits like Captain Marvel. You can control the IFE with either the remote or the touchscreen.

Wi-Fi was available on this flight but for some reason, my phone was not able to connect to it so I couldn’t check if anyone had slid into my DMs while in the air. The pricing for WiFi is quite reasonable, especially since it’s a time-based plan and not volume-based. Complimentary WiFi is not offered to Business Class passengers.

No pre-departure beverage was served and I’m not entirely sure if this is the normal service that’s offered by Cathay Pacific. I’m really too used to being spoiled on Singapore Airlines. The cabin crew did come around with the menu for dinner service on that flight. As the flight departed at about 4pm, dinner was served for that flight. Here’s the full menu:

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Piper Heidsieck champagne was served on the flight but for some reason, I prefer his brother Charles Heidsieck that’s served on Singapore Airlines. There wasn’t a long wait before we were airborne and I had to have a try of the Cathay Delight drink. The cabin wasn’t particularly full that day but somehow the service was rather sluggish as there was only one meal cart and the right aisle was served first before they made a U-turn to serve the left aisle.

Before the meal service, I was served my Cathay Delight along with a ramekin of warm mixed nuts. The drink was very refreshing and I thoroughly enjoyed it and regretted not ordering another to accompany my meal.

The meal service started around 30 minutes after take-off and the appetizer was served first. The salmon was awesome and for the first time in my life, I actually liked eating raw salmon. A small salad was also served but I only had a nibble. The flight attendant came around with a bread basket and I had to try the garlic bread. Thankfully, I’m very happy to announce that Singapore Airline’s garlic bread blows Cathay’s out of the water. (SATS > dnata yo)

Oh and, Piper Heidsieck, meh.

After my appetizer was finished, the main courses were also brought out in a trolley. I picked the braised duck and oh my goodness it was so good. If there’s one thing I had to nitpick about it, it has to be the portion size. Thankfully I had eaten something in the lounge prior to boarding. Although the flavours were good, the tiny portion meant that I got hungry when I landed in Hong Kong at around 8 pm.

I polished this off within 10 minutes and a fruit platter was brought out. I felt so healthy after eating it.

Following the fruit course, came the famous Haagen-Daz ice-cream in its tub. Personally, I much prefer that it’s served this way rather than the way Singapore Airlines serves it. As with all Instagram videos that you have probably seen, this was still rock hard and I had to let it thaw before it became soft enough to scoop up.

I also had a cappuccino along after my ice-cream.

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The entire meal service took over an hour which was just right in my opinion. Feeling thirsty, I requested for a bottle of water and out came…an Evian. Seriously, Singapore Airlines really needs to up their bottled water game. Yes, I know that it’s just water but generic airline-branded water just doesn’t cut it in a premium cabin. Heck, EVA Air gives Fiji Water in their Business Class cabin (except short-haul routes).

Of course, after finishing the entire bottle of water along with other fluids during my meal, I had to go wee-wee. Cathay Pacific’s Business Class toilets are sadly not as well “equipped” compared to Singapore Airlines with no toothbrushes or shavers. There was not even mouthwash available in the toilets on this flight. Jurlique amenities can be found in the toilets and it was interesting to see that the front Business Class toilet had an actual sink.

Returning to my seat after a good wee, I made the bed or more accurately just placed it into the lie-flat position and had a short nap. I’m quite wide (read: fat) but I could still fit rather snugly in the seat for a quick nap.

After a quick nap, we were soon over Hong Kong and as always the approach into Hong Kong is amazing.

Even though the video quality was super grainy, I still appreciated that there was the view available to watch the landing into Hong Kong.

Concluding Thoughts

My first time onboard Cathay Pacific’s Business Class was a great one in my opinion. The food was good, the seat was amazing (to me) and the service was quite okay too. If there’s one thing I have to nitpick, is that the portions are too small.

If there’s one thing I love when I fly with other airlines, is that the cabin is not prepared for landing a full 30 minutes out like what Singapore Airlines loves to do. It really is annoying when the seatbelt sign is turned on 30 minutes prior to arrival and you get judged for having a last-minute urgent toilet excursion.

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I’ll definitely fly with Cathay Pacific again in the future…after the strikes in Hong Kong subsides that is.


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Trojan
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Trojan

For a start, if you want a drink in CX Business Class, ask and you will never be refused on CX, unlike SQ where they will not serve champagne before takeoff in PEK (as at least one example), CX have never refused to serve this, even on a recent 9 am flight from ICN to TPE. Speaking as someone who has flown 849 sectors, 1,627,000 paid miles and redeemed 4,271,000 miles for flights in the last 20 years with CX, ( on my 1,000,000 mile flight from LHR to HKG, they upgraded me to First Class as a courtesy, and… Read more »

jane
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jane

god forbid that a writer express his own opinion!

@matthew great post, really enjoyed reading it 🙂

Daniel
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Daniel

CX sacks staff for supporting democracy… nuff said

Marcus
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Marcus

Haha, good point Daniel. Trojan sounds like a CX fanboy troll.

Fiona
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Fiona

The meal looks a lot to me! I managed to bring back the tub of ice cream and had it the next day. haha~

Lifshitz
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Lifshitz

Honestly, I can’t wait until the whole of Swire collapses (it’s been a leech on Hongkongers for long enough, through everything from air tickets to obviously housing to basic food stuff). But as a redemption value (esp via Alaska and Avios), it’s hard to beat. 400SGD +24k avios for a return business class ticket to HK, booked a week in advance – yes please.

JW
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JW

If you have an idea how to get SIN-Hkg using Alaska, do let us know. After all this is what Aaron preaches on this site.

JW
Guest
JW

Concur with the camera observation. The other thing I dislike about SQ’s new aircraft are the removal of air vents, even in economy. That’s really irritating.