Throwback: Cathay Pacific 747 First Class Tokyo (Narita) – Hong Kong

Throwback: Cathay Pacific 747 First Class Tokyo (Narita) – Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific used to operate its 747 on flights to Tokyo-Haneda and Narita featuring a very unique first class product at the nose of the plane. Unfortunately the product has since been retired, but the seat itself isn’t all that different from the 777 First Class they offer on the flight today. Just as a FYI: British Airways charges 30,000 Avios for First Class on this 5.5 hour flight, which is decent value on this route.

a large white airplane at an airport


We were the first ones to board the flight and my cousin (Sasidhar) fell asleep as soon as he took his seat. I was of course a little excited about flying Cathay First Class (for the first time at the time) so I just sat there exploring the seat. The configuration Cathay opts for usually is 1-1-1 in 2 rows on its 777 aircraft for a total of 6 seats and 1-1 in 4 rows + a middle seat on its 747 aircraft for a total of 9 seats. And so no matter the aircraft, the cabin is extremely private, especially so on the 777 where two seats have an aisle to themselves. The seat is pretty much a more spacious, wider version of a reverse herringbone seat that I’ve reviewed before on CX, and AA.

Instead of a foot well, Cathay has a spacious foot rest, which the seat reclines into to create a fully flat bed.

a seat in a plane

The orchids at the seat are a nice touch unique to Cathay:

a close up of a flower

One of the awesome parts about Cathay Pacific is their signature drink: Cathay Delight, which I absolutely love. It was also nice that they had Diet Coke, unlike JAL, which only had Coke Light or Coke Zero.

We left Tokyo right around sunset so about 15 minutes into the flight we had some fantastic views of Mt. Fuji during golden hour:a mountain with snow on top

After Fuji had passed, it got really cloudy outside so I decided to turn on the entertainment system. Cathay has one of the best IFE of any airlines. They have all the latest movies, entire seasons of the latest TV shows, and of course sterilized headsets 🙂

a pair of headphones with a white label

About an hour into the flight, dinner service began with a hotel towel, assortment of hot nuts, and your choice of drink (Diet Coke as usual).

a plate of food and a glass of soda on a table

Soon after the dinner service began with an excellent radish and lentil salad, served with an entire warm bread basket. I ordered the AVML special meal on this flight and was not disappointed. The main course which was steam rice, dal, and a paneer dish were all very good for a meal in the sky. I may have even said one of the best if I didn’t discount my opinion for my bias: I hadn’t eaten anything since I landed in Chicago more than a day ago. JAL certainly didn’t help my case 🙂

The meal finished off nicely with a Strawberry Meringue Cake, some chocolates, and a lovely note from the FAs:

a note on a table


After dinner, I lounged around and watched TV for a while and before I knew it was time to land in Hong Kong. My cousin, Sasidhar, was fast asleep for most of the flight thanks to Cathay keeping the cabin nice and cool (another reason why I like them). And although the flight was scheduled for almost 5.5 hours, we arrived in Hong Kong almost 90 minutes early. I certainly felt like I didn’t have time to enjoy it enough 🙂 Now for our first time in Hong Kong:

a street with cars and signs

On the flight back from HKG, we flew the 747 again in business class to Tokyo-Haneda. The 747 used to have herringbone business class seats, which are also found on Virgin Atlantic. The seats are narrow and face into the aisle, and I thought I would include it hear for reference. I won’t be doing a full review of that flight because the product is no longer relevant.

Bottom Line:

The Cathay 747 may not be in service anymore, but the first class product is very much the same across most of the fleet. I find Cathay to be one of the finest airlines all around in any cabin. They have good food, great in-flight entertainment, excellent service, and have the best not fully enclosed seat in the sky. Furthermore, I love that Cathay always keeps the cabin temperature much cooler than its Asian and European counterparts. I might even rank them ahead of Singapore in terms of overall product because I absolutely hate not being able to recline directly into a fully flat position. Anyway there is definitely nothing wrong with flying Cathay in any class, let alone first. Cathay also releases a decent amount of award space for redemption using Alaska and AA miles, which makes it an ideal choice for people with miles sitting in their accounts.

What is your opinion of Cathay Pacific First Class today? Has it changed?

Trip Index:

Japan Airlines First Class ORD-NRT

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo-Narita

Cathay Pacific 747 First Class NRT – HKG


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