10 Reasons Why Cathay Pacific Is the World’s Best Airline

It is always a pleasure to fly with what was once my home airline.

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The Kid Friendly Cathay Pacific Pier Lounge in Hong KonLiving in Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific as our home airline spoiled us when it comes to air travel. We are very biased when it comes to the question of which is the best pacific airline. They go above and beyond to make the journey a pleasant experience in any class of service in a way that makes us look forward to getting on the plane. I’m thrilled to write this long-overdue post as part of the Cathay Pacific Ambassador program.

Cathay Pacific offers the most nonstop service to Hong Kong and beyond, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Newark Liberty, San Francisco and was recently named World’s Best Airline (for the fourth time) at the 2014 World Airline Awards. Starting May 3, a new route from Boston to Hong Kong will provide another easy gateway to Asia for East Coast residents.

If you are flying to Hong Kong or need to connect to another destination in Asia, here are ten reasons why Cathay Pacific is the best airline.

1. Impeccable Service on Board and on the Ground

I can’t recall a time where I’ve crossed a cranky flight attendant or had an on board request not delivered within minutes of asking. Service is where the airline really stands out.

They’ve done everything for me from warm up baby bottles to remembering which chocolates in the after dinner box I like (back when we flew transpacific enough to recognize the flight attendants). Ground staff helped fold up strollers and carry my heavy carry-on bags down the jetway when I was flying with my baby. I could go on and on.

2. Awesome Lounges

Cathay Pacific Pier Lounge Long BarIt’s worth achieving airline status or buying business class or first class tickets just to use the Cathay Pacific lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. We usually wind up in The Pier (pictured above) but those with oneworld Emerald status (including American AAdvantage Executive Platinum) should take advantage of The Wing First Class Lounge (The Pier is in the process of adding a first class lounge) which has awesome cabanas with tubs to refresh in, a champagne bar and a sit-down restaurant.

The Pier’s Long Bar is just that and an excellent place to sip a cocktail or a healthier drink from the juice bar while waiting for your flight. Not to mention if your flight is after mid-morning, the noodle bar is open (try the dan dan noodles). Otherwise, there are usually little sandwiches, cheese, cookies and some Chinese dumplings to snack on. The lounging area has tons of plugs and little cubicles with TVs and sound-proof headphones. Floor to ceiling windows allow plenty of natural light to flood the space as well as scenic view of the planes. These lounges are totally a reason to get to the airport early. In fact, plan on it.

3. Cathay Pacific Kids Meals and Amenities

Cathay Pacific Kids MealsCathay Pacific is very kid friendly. Regardless of which class of service chosen, you may call in advance to request a special kids meal (or meals addressing other dietary preferences) that comes with a juice box and a cute curly straw that is yours to keep. The items can be more kid friendly than the adult version (you may want to ration the sugar), but note that if you’re in business class, the dessert course includes a cracker, cheese and fruit option that is definitely kid friendly, too. You may also request jarred baby food but they can’t guarantee which flavor you’re going to receive. It’s nice nonetheless!

Before or shortly after take-off each child receives an activity pack that has saved me during times when electronics needed to be turned off. I also used to request baby packs that came with a few extra diapers and some Mustela diaper creams and lotions. All are subject to availability, but they were always available in our case. Diaper changing tables are in some bathrooms.

There are plenty of things to do in Hong Kong with kids so do take them if you can. The Disney Channel plays on board to get kids excited for Hong Kong Disneyland!

4. CX Studio Inflight Entertainment

With all of the Cathay Pacific inflight entertainment options, it’s pretty hard to run out of things to watch on TV. Tons of movies ranging from those that have just left theaters to old classics are available along with a massive number of TV shows, documentaries, news stories and more. The video game and music selections are quite varied as well. Everything is on demand, including on our recent flight from Hong Kong to Singapore in economy class.

Business and first class passengers are given sound-proof headphones and a slightly larger selection of shows.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Kids5. Almost Never Delayed

I can only remember one time over the last decade that I was delayed more than an acceptable amount of time which in my book is less than 30 minutes. It’s usually never. This airline is efficient.

6. Cathay Pacific Food

Though we are always in business class transpacific, we do occasionally fly economy regionally within Asia. While the Cathay Pacific food and drink in business class is usually excellent all around, I find economy class meals tastier than most other airlines.

My favorite is the business class port, cheese and fruit selection after the main course. The wine selection is also very good with free-flowing Krug in first class.

See also: What It’s Like to Fly in Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific business class cheese and port7. Awesome In All Classes

Believe it or not, we’ve experienced three different business classes in the decade or so we’ve been flying Cathay Pacific which signals to me that the airline is constantly improving. The most recent change resulted in wider, more spacious seats in lieu of the herringbone formation, which still flies regionally to some destinations in Asia and some long-haul routes.

See also: Tips for Flying with Kids in Cathay Pacific Business Class

Now that my daughter is older, I prefer the herringbone formation (which is in the process of being retired). We barely talk to each other during the flight because we stay put in our own little pods. The only thing she asked me on this flight to Tokyo was whether or not she could eat my Haagen-Dazs, a common dessert offering on some flights.

Cathay Pacific Regional Business ClassWe recently flew in the new economy class from Hong Kong to Singapore and I found there to be plenty of legroom, electrical outlets, great entertainment on demand and a decent meal. The wine is a little less free-flowing because the flight attendants have more people to serve than in business class, but that’s to be expected.

Cathay Pacific Economy Class8. Hong Kong Station Check-In

I can’t tell you how convenient it is to check your bags before boarding the Airport Express train to the airport. Check-in at Hong Kong Station in Central (steps through the IFC mall from Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong) and Kowloon Station is available up to 24 hours before your flight. The lines here are much shorter than at the airport, you can board the train without juggling big luggage and once you arrive at the airport, head straight to security since you’ll already have your boarding pass. It may not sound like it, but this option is enormously convenient and only available with select airlines.

Tip: Buy discounted Airport Express train tickets on Klook.

9. Earn Asia Miles or Miles Within the oneworld Alliance

Members of the oneworld Alliance can earn miles on partner airlines when flying Cathay Pacific. This includes American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, airberlin, Qantas, Malaysia Airlines and other partner airlines.

10. It’s a Gateway to Asia

Hong Kong International Airport is one of the easiest and nicest airports to use as your base in Asia. It’s clean and easy to navigate with the ability to shop, spa, drink and eat outside of lounges while you wait for your flight. Between Cathay Pacific and its partner airline, Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair, which we also love), you can fly to most major and a number of minor cities in Asia with ease.

Have you flown with Cathay Pacific lately?

*This post is written in partnership with Cathay Pacific. However, in this case, I’ve definitely put a lot of my money where my mouth is. Trust me.

The Pier lounge photo and economy class photo are used courtesy of Cathay Pacific.

 

 

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42 Comments

  1. David
    October 18, 2016 at 5:17 pm — Reply

    It might be time for a follow up review. I stumbled on this article while waiting for boarding. (The CX aircraft went tech which caused an hour delay in boarding), followed by an extra half hour delay to push back because of other traffic in the airport. My experience is that is the norm. Every trip I’ve had with CX has had a delay in at least one sector. One trip it was so bad they had to rebook my whole group on Asiana (Another airline on my no-fly list) just to make sure we didn’t miss our connections. As for the customer service I would describe the ground agents as surly and uninformed, the cabin crew as unhelpful and disinterested and the loung staff as actively customer hostile (they would not let me in even after producing my Marco Polo membership card).

    My most recent trip was out with Singapore and back with Cathay. The service was not wildly different, but the lasting impression of the Singapore Airlines was that it was pretty average (or, at least, where I expect average to be)… But that seems to be a stellar performance next Cathay Pacific.

    For me, based on the most recent trip (admittedly I’ve just disembarked from an 8 hour overnight flight in economy, so I’m sore and probably more than a little cranky, plus the Cathay Pacific “Gluten Free” meal gave me a gut ache) I can see no reason to recommend CX over any other full service airline. Next time I’m just going to use Signapore because at least I get status credits with Virgin Australia.

    • October 19, 2016 at 7:08 am — Reply

      Aw, that’s too bad. I flew LAX-HKG only a few months ago in addition from HKG to TPE recently and all were flawless flights. I’ve also been on Dragonair recently too… also great.

  2. Dave
    April 24, 2016 at 9:09 pm — Reply

    Honestly what a load of rubbish, written by someone in Cathay pacific marketing. How In-house is this article! I work for CX and can tell you it’s on the slide in every aspect. Such a shame. Some of this might have been a true reflection 4-8 years ago but not anymore.

    • John
      April 25, 2016 at 6:48 am — Reply

      Couldn’t agree more. Load of trash. The pilots are among the top in the world but outside of that it’s always a horrible experience. Flight attendants are never around and half of them don’t speak English. Unless you are in business class which the author made clear they always are, this airline is a miserable experience. We flew the Vancouver-HK route for 10 years with them in the early 2000’s but for the last 8 years or so have avoided them. They’ve been on a downward spiral in terms of equipment and service since then. More than half the time my TV would never work, compensation? 100HKD for their magazine which afforded me some mints. Don’t fly with Cathay.

  3. Rochelle S
    March 22, 2015 at 9:03 am — Reply

    Hong Kong looks absolutely magical! Would love to fly there with Cathay Pacific!

  4. Rochelle Singer
    March 22, 2015 at 12:19 am — Reply

    A flight from Boston to Hong Kong would be incredible! I'm studying abroad in Macau in Winter 2016 so I'll be flying into HKG 🙂 It would be awesome to not have to pay for my tickets!

  5. Ashley Lau
    March 12, 2015 at 8:32 pm — Reply

    great find, very informative. flying to hong kong for my honeymoon! 🙂

  6. February 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm — Reply

    I'd love to go to Hong Kong to bring the kids to Hong Kong Disney and also to see this pretty country! I've never been to Asia before so I'd like this to be the first time!

  7. Meghan Grizzle Fischer
    February 8, 2015 at 11:15 pm — Reply

    Oh and flying from Boston to HK–well, I went to college and law school in Boston, and I'd love to get back there and go to HK! I'm sure the flight is worth the trip itself!

  8. Meghan Grizzle Fischer
    February 8, 2015 at 11:14 pm — Reply

    Just stumbled on your blog as we are going to be living in Singapore and traveling around Asia for the next 7-8 months. So happy to find all your tips!

  9. Mike Reno
    January 21, 2015 at 11:38 pm — Reply

    Cathay can be a little awkward for westerners. Don't get me wrong… the FA's are super friendly when they are around. The problem is… they are never really around. They huddle in the galley and wait for you to push the call button. Those of us that spend a lot of time on USA domestic flights have been trained by surly domestic FA's to keep our fingers off that button except in case of emergency. As a result, on CX flights, you don't see the FA's much. For example, my first time in F, didn't know about the mattress / duvet they offer. At the end of the flight, I noticed other PAX with them, and asked about it. The FA said, "Oh, you should've requested one." How was I to know?

    CX called it "giving the PAX privacy". It takes a few flights before you realize it's not that you are being ignored.

  10. Ben
    January 14, 2015 at 8:09 am — Reply

    I flew from Sydney to NYC, via hong kong, just because they had a partnership with Qantas and I could earn miles. Man, was I pleasantly surprised. Super friendly staff, awesome entertainment, and delicious food. That’s a travel trifecta for me.

  11. yoyo
    January 6, 2015 at 5:05 am — Reply

    Just because they are all around excellent!

  12. Yoyo Lai
    January 6, 2015 at 12:04 pm — Reply

    Service from the heart

  13. Iris Lim
    January 6, 2015 at 6:49 am — Reply

    Put Safety First

  14. Kathie Allen
    November 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm — Reply

    We are flying in first Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to LAX later this month in November. Can’t wait to try the noodles in the lounge and flying in first!

  15. November 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm — Reply

    Thanks very much. Enjoy Hong Kong! I am terribly biased but it's my favorite city on the plant.

  16. November 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm — Reply

    Seriously, you'd love it in any class!

  17. Lisa Tan
    October 30, 2014 at 4:59 am — Reply

    The service is impeccable regardless of the class

  18. Heather Martin
    October 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm — Reply

    To be totally honest with you, Bucket List Trip of a Lifetime. I would love to win this because to be able to go to Asia and experience a new culture and cuisine, arts, histories, etc., is a dream come true for me. I love to travel, but in the last 11 years I have been living in an East Coast State just to be taking care of my grandpa who I love more than life itself. When my grandma passed away 64 days just after moving them here, I stayed here in NC to be with my grandfather so he would not have to live the rest of his life alone, and yes I did it even if that meant me not having a life or other experiences. What I was getting out of it was way way way more important to me than anything – I got him, everyday and thank goodness he is still here with me today, although now not as young as the spring chicken he used to be – for 85 he could run circles around half of the “younger generation” today.

    Anyway sorry for getting so long winded, but I just wanted to explain why this would me so much to me if I would win. Thank you for having the contest.

  19. October 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm — Reply

    Great article, and can totally agree. Really enjoyed flying with them from Dubai to Hong Kong! Very good service!

  20. Thomas
    October 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm — Reply

    I loved HK & want to head back; a new Boston flight sounds like a great way to get back there.

  21. Michele
    October 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm — Reply

    I want to go to Hong Kong to hike the Dragon’s Back!

  22. Mikaela Walker
    October 8, 2014 at 11:39 am — Reply

    I flew Cathay years ago and it was a great airline with great service. I would love to fly it again.

  23. October 8, 2014 at 8:23 am — Reply

    Hong Kong here I come!! – Can you say new suits!!

  24. October 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    How amazing. We flew with CP on our honeymoon and they gave us cake, I will never forget it 🙂 And a flight from Boston to Hong Kong who wouldn’t? I just want my kids to experience that awesome food and me the awesome service 🙂

  25. Phil Iannitti
    October 7, 2014 at 10:10 am — Reply

    Having flown in regular economy on a flight to Tokyo from NY, I realized that for a flight of that length, it’s worth the extra money to bump yourself up to a higher class. And based on everything I’ve seen, Cathay Pacific is unparalleled in that sense. And boy would that make a journey like that something incredible!

  26. October 7, 2014 at 9:34 am — Reply

    Sounds like an amazing giveaway! Looks like a comfortable airline to fly long distance.

  27. Apreal
    October 7, 2014 at 8:48 am — Reply

    I love your blog and all of the travel info! Thanks for sharing!

  28. October 6, 2014 at 10:01 am — Reply

    I completely agree with you! Cathay Pacific is absolutely a fabulous airline. Having a best friend who lives in Hong Kong, I’ve flown it often from New York and Australia. This wonderful airline has friendly hosties, delicious food (and many vegetarian options-and I love the soup availability whenever you like) and great service. I’ve always flown in either economy or business and both spots are just as pleasant for an entire flight. And, totally agree about the convenience of the drop off at Central-it’s really easy! Great post! I’d love to get into the Ambassador program…any ideas? Cheers, Stacey

  29. ADV
    October 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm — Reply

    Awesome meals and in flight entertainment for my 3 kids. Seems like Cathay is the way to go!

  30. October 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    One day we’ll get to Asia–and I hope it’s on Cathay Pacific!

  31. October 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    We’ve never been to Asia but it’s on our must do list! I’ll be checking out Cathay Pacific once we start making plans.

  32. October 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm — Reply

    I’d love to fly on Cathay Pacific from Boston to Hong Kong because 1) I hate to fly but flying with Cathay sounds dreamy! and 2) I want to go to Hong Kong!

  33. October 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm — Reply

    Oh my – what a way to fly! I love the meals and the seats look super comfy 🙂 I haven’t been to Hong Kong in 30 years – I would love to go back!

  34. Dennis
    October 4, 2014 at 9:45 am — Reply

    This sounds awesome! I love flying CX from LAX to HKG, so opening the new Boston line would be cool!

  35. October 4, 2014 at 1:25 am — Reply

    After reading this I had to check and see if Cathay Pacific flew to the Philippines. They do! We’ll be heading back in a couple years and I would love to fly in one of those herringbone pods. They look so comfy. Thanks for sharing.

    • October 4, 2014 at 10:28 am — Reply

      It’s an easy flight to the Philippines actually. My husband used to do a lot of work in Manila and Cebu is very popular holiday spot for HK residents. I think there are a few more spots they fly to there.

  36. October 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    Wow! What an amazing kids meal and food offerings. I’d gladly fly Cathay Pacific for that alone.

  37. October 3, 2014 at 11:51 am — Reply

    I’ve traveled to many places in the world, but Asia is not one of them. Your post inspires me to want to visit Hong Kong, and soon!!!

    • October 4, 2014 at 10:28 am — Reply

      I am pretty sure that you would enjoy the shopping in HK. 😉

  38. October 3, 2014 at 9:45 am — Reply

    Now that looks like an exceptional way to travel! The Kit Kats and the cheese tray alone are enough to get my attention. 🙂

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