I don’t make a secret of the fact that I like to fly in great comfort. This is especially important on long-haul flights, but a premium airline experience is also a treat on a relatively short trip.
After searching online for the usual budget options, I found a great deal *on a business class return flight from Bangkok to Singapore on the wonderful A350 aircraft.
Having flown Cathay Pacific before — from Brisbane to Taipei and on to Bangkok via Singapore, I suspected it would be a great experience — and I wasn’t wrong.
Now, as business class goes, Cathay Pacific may not quite reach the heights of Etihad (which has set a very high bar, and if recent reports are correct, may not be able to maintain those standards forever), but I’d certainly rank it up there with Qantas and the very much-vaunted Emirates.
Among the features that were important to me: the seat was comfortable and easily adjustable; the table was well positioned; getting in and out was easy; the menu had a good selection of western and Asian dishes and a fine beverage list; and a large adjustable screen enhanced the video programming (all the usual US and Asian fare, including entire series of popular shows for bingers, flight cams, and access to WiFi at a price). Very important: the seats all have aisle access (which even Emirates does not offer).
The cabin crew were very attentive to my needs (which were few, as I don’t like to be a nuisance when I fly), and had a great sense of humour (which is essential in that job, I suppose). When I asked for a refill on my glass of Piper Heidsieck champagne, the attendant replied with a smile: “How could I say no to you, sir?” It’s those little things that count.
Southeast Asia is Cathay Pacific’s patch; they know it well and do it well. Given the deal I got and the experience I had, I’ll be flying with them again soon.
PS: Of course, one of the great sides to flying business class is lounge access, which makes a big difference to the entire travel experience. I’ll be writing about my experiences in Cathay Pacific lounges in Asia in a separate post soon.
*For the record I paid about 12,000 Thai baht (USD 360; AUD 455; GBP282) for flights and taxes. This was about half the price quoted by Singapore Airlines and THAI Airways. I think Cathay has discounted because its flights originate in Hong Kong, so this is a segment to them rather than a full route.