By The Nation
The Hong Kong carrier gives business-class passengers endless treats in its lounges and on board the aircraft
CATHAY PACIFIC Airways business-class passengers can expect premium services from the minute they check in at their home airport until they’ve reached their destination.
I recently flew to Hong Kong with Cathay and the priority check-in process at Suvarnabhumi Airport was very fast. A kind staff member told me he’d assigned me a new seat because there was a minor problem with the one I was booked in.
After passed security, I headed to the Cathay Pacific lounge on Level 3 of Concourse G.
The Bangkok lounge opened in June 2015 but still looks new. It wasn’t too crowded and had the cosy feel of a living room.
Designed by Studioilse, a London-based design agency led by Ilse Crawford, the lounge reflects Cathay Pacific’s brand ethos in an environment that helps passengers feel relaxed.
When you’re flying early in the morning, a bowl of hot soup is a great way to wake up. And at the Noodle Bar there are excellent choices with noodles including freshly prepared wonton soup and tom yum. Rice porridge with fish or wontons in soup is a good choice for breakfast.
The lounge also has the Food Bar with a wide selection of lighter items, such as salads, pastries and desserts. In addition, freshly blended cocktails and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks are served at the Bar.
Once boarded, I found myself in a cabin trimmed with natural leather, brushed steel and richly woven fabrics in a soothing blend of green, brown and champagne tones.
The business-class seat is the standard long-haul model with pre-set sitting and sleeping positions and controls for smaller adjustments and a fully flat bed.
The 1-2-1 cabin configuration gives each traveller a private seat with direct aisle access. The outer-row seats are gently angled towards the windows for perfect viewing.
Everything passengers need to control their environment is close at hand. A premium-car-style seat controller enables adjustments at the touch of a button – from upright through the relaxing position and a fully flat bed. The retractable armrest can be lowered for extra sleeping space or raised to serve as a privacy screen.
The storage space is sufficient for handbags or laptop cases and complete with an easy-to-reach water-bottle holder.
What I particular liked was the side cabinet, which houses not only a headset and vanity mirror, but also has room for small items such as eyeglasses and gadgets. And the cabinet door doubles as a privacy divider.
Don’t miss trying an Oriental Breeze, a great pick-me-up made with sour-plum tea and cranberry juice. It’s lovely to sip while enjoying the in-flight StudioCX entertainment system on your touch-screen TV.
Ahead of my return flight to Bangkok, I visited Cathay’s newest lounge in Hong Kong, the Deck, which opened in March.
Located close to Gate 16 in Terminal 1 and designed in the signature style of Cathay Pacific’s award-winning lounges around the world, the large facility gives the overall feeling of a warm living room rather than a lounge at a bustling airport.
The concept is “contemporary apartment”, and you have 823 square metres and seating for up to 186 people.
The furniture and lighting are supplied by noted brands such as Knoll, Vitsoe, Kalmar and e15.
The airline also developed and customised the furniture, including Solo chairs equipped with reading lamps and individual side tables for anyone looking for a quiet space to catch up on their work. The entire lounge area is Wi-Fi-tuned.
There’s a Servery counter in the Main Lounge with a variety of self-serve dishes and drinks.
And the Noodle Bar here offers popular favourites from Hong Kong and around the region, the highlight being dan dan noodles.
A speciality of Sichuan province, the dish is spicy peanut sauce with preserved vegetables served over noodles and wontons – mingling in some classic Cantonese too. It’s served in steaming-hot soup and garnished with leafy vegetables.
The Deck is different from Cathay Pacific’s other lounges at its home port in Hong Kong in that it sits on a balcony on the eastern side of the terminal building.
Hence, while enjoying a wide variety of drinks and dining options, visitors can also admire panoramic views of the apron, taxiways and northern runway from the L-shaped Terrace.
The international flag carrier of Hong Kong flies many long hauls, so the lounge features eight shower suites where passengers can freshen up before their flight. Each room is equipped with premium bath products and fluffy towels, as well as personal amenities.
But, even if you’re only making the short hop from Bangkok to Hong Kong, you can still feel pampered. Just book business class and Cathay Pacific will take care of the rest.
The writer travelled to Hong Kong as a guest of Cathay Pacific Airways.
Special promotion for business class round-trip from Bangkok-Hong Kong, starting from Bt18,900, excluding taxes and fuel surcharges. (Book from June 1-July 31 and travel from June 1-December 15.)
Up to 67 direct flights weekly between Bangkok and Hong Kong. Check the schedule at www.cathaypacific.com.