Executive travel: High-end dining in business class with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong

If there’s one thing I enjoy during a flight, it’s sleeping. So there’s little to report from my business class journey from Dubai to Hong Kong’s International Airport on Cathay Pacific’s A330-300.

Straight after take-off on the overnight flight, I was using the rather clunky seat adjuster buttons to roll out my 82-inch flatbed seat and fluffing out the duvet and pillow. I woke almost eight hours later as we were coming into land and was able to attend a meeting a few hours later fully rested, albeit a little hungry.

The return day flight, however, was very different. After only just making it on to the plane – Hong Kong’s airport is far, far bigger than it looks – I was offered a Cathay Delight, a drink made from kiwis, mint and coconut. It was so good, I asked for another (I needed it after that sprint) while I watched the rather up-to-the-minute safety video; it even offers advice on how to switch your devices to flight mode and what to do if your phone slips between the seats (you call the air hostess, in case you’re wondering, to ensure it doesn’t get damaged).


Once airborne, I reclined my seat (again, those buttons are awkward to operate) into a comfortable viewing position and browsed the film selection on the 15.4-inch screen. The journey offered enough time to catch up on the latest business films: The Big Short and Steve Jobs.

I liked the “insufficient time” warning alert that lets you know you won’t make it through the whole film before you land.

As I viewed, I feasted on a starter of herb marinated smoked salmon with seared scallop, followed by fried sea bass with spring onion.

I liked the symbols on the menu letting you know there was a vegetarian option or that a particular dish was signature Chinese – plus all meals are halal.

The food was easily high-end restaurant level, so I really missed out during my outbound flight.

I declined the cake for dessert, opting instead for the fruit and cheese selection, followed by praline chocolates.

One thing, the seats had no arm rest on the aisle side. I kept thinking I was going to roll out and my space felt less private without it. Then I realised another button could be pressed to raise the arm rest. Crisis averted.

q&a well connected on the way

Alice Haine expands on flying business class with Cathay Pacific:

What about storage?

There was space at foot level for my shoes and side storage for my amenity kit and devices, plus a nifty little smartphone pouch by the screen which held my phone while I charged it during the flight. A small cupboard at head level stores the noise-cancelling headphones and is a useful for personal items such as a wallet or jewellery.

Was there enough space to work?

There is a pull-out table big enough to accommodate documents and a laptop, plus plug and USB sockets situated on the control panel.

How many Cathay Pacific flights a day head to Hong Kong from the UAE?

There are two flights a day, leaving at 5.05pm or at 10.55pm from Dubai. During my trip I also took a connecting flight to Singapore for a few days and there are eight flights daily between Hong Kong and Changi Airport in Singapore.

How much is a return business flight to Hong Kong?

Dh8,145 inclusive of taxes. If your trip takes you to Singapore as well, a return from Dubai to Singapore, via Hong Kong, will only set you back a further Dh500, coming in at Dh8,635.

Can I make telephone calls on board?

Yes, calls are charged at a flat rate per minute at US$8.80. Most major credit cards are accepted. Toll-free numbers and international directory inquiries are not available from your in-flight phone and the system cannot accept incoming calls either.

What about Wi-Fi?

It’s not available on the existing aircraft, however the airline is now rolling out its new A350 service and it will be available there.

arayer@thenational.ae

* The writer was a guest of the airline.

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