After a really great few days in Tokyo we took the Narita Express train from Shinjuku station to Tokyo’s Narita airport where we were due to catch a Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class flight to Hong Kong from Terminal 2. Cathay Pacific’s check-in areas are in area D of Narita airport and, as there was no line at all for First Class check-in (courtesy of my oneworld status), getting our boarding passes and lounge invitation didn’t take long at all.
Over the past few days Cathay Pacific has been dropping hints about a few new routes it has been planning to launch and, while some of the guesses I've been reading about have been little more than fanciful wishes, some guessed the new routes correctly. More importantly the new A350 routes look very interesting and award availability appears to be wide open!
I'd had a very nice time at Cathay Pacific's Pier First Class lounge but now it was time for the second reason I was taking this trip - to try out Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350. The first reason for the trip, to try out Cathay Pacific's First Class on the 777, had gone very well so I was looking forward to see what Cathay would offer on their newest aircraft.
I expect airlines like American, Air France and Emirates to cram their passengers in to annoyingly tight seats that no human should have to endure but there are other airlines where we've come to expect better...and Cathay Pacific is one of those airlines. Cathay Pacific has long been considered one of the all-round premium airlines in the skies and that's a reputation that has been earned not only because of the amazing service in its First Class cabin but also because the airline hasn't historically treated its passengers like self-loading cargo. But it looks like those days are nearly over.
I was having a pretty relaxing time in the Aspire First Class lounge and enjoying the freedom of the balcony that the lounge opens up on to but, about an hour before my departure time, I decided to head down to the gate. I'm not normally one to get to the gate particularly early (unless I need to make sure that there will be room for my carry on in the overhead bins) but I wasn't exactly sure how long it would take me to the gate and I wanted to be one of the first on the aircraft to make taking pictures a lot easier.
I've never had a yearning to fly in First Class, it's not something that's ever really interested me. I've always been of the opinion that Business Class travel is more than enough for my needs and that the extra miles it would cost to fly in First Class could be put to better use elsewhere. This mantra has been with me for a while but it's taken a bit of a back seat of late thanks to two completely unrelated events.
For a lot of travelers Hong Kong is a major connecting point for travel to Australia so the news that Cathay Pacific has scheduled its new Airbus A350 aircraft and a Boeing 777-300ER on its Hong Kong - Melbourne route will be very welcome.
Round Up: Delta Closing Heathrow Arrivals Lounge, American Changes 787-9 Inaugural Flights & Cathay...
A round up of some of the airline news that I've noticed over the past few days including news that Delta is to close its arrivals lounge at Heathrow, Cathay Pacific is reintroducing fuel surcharges on flights to Hong Kong and American Airlines has changed the route for its inaugural 787-9 Dreamliner flight.
Cathay Pacific has announced that it plans to increase the number of flights it offers between Hong Kong and Boston and between Hong Kong and Vancouver from Spring 2017. This is a significant step for the Hong Kong based carrier which has been plagued with issues over the past few years resulting in the airline scaling back some of its route plans.
Cathay Pacific has had a Premium Economy cabin for quite a few years now but its new A350 aircraft are set to be fitted out with an entirely new cabin and, up until now, we haven't really know what to expect. Now Australian Business Traveller has broken the news that the new Cathay Pacific Premium Economy seat will be the B/E Aerospace MiQ seat that, coincidentally, has also been chosen by American Airlines for their new Premium Economy cabin. And it looks pretty good: