Due to our long journey and us wanting to give you as much detail as possible about our journey, we have split this experience into 3 parts. Here is Part 1:
If you didn’t already know, we recently took a very last minute trip to Bali. We had 48hr to get ready to go to Bali, including book our flights. This is where my obsession with travel points really pays off. With certain travel points currencies, availability for booking flights is sometimes greatest very close to departure date. In our case, 48hr to book our flights worked in our favour because we got availability on Cathay Pacific in First Class (F) from Vancouver to New York and New York to Hong Kong then in Business Class (J) from Hong Kong to Bali. According to Business Insider, Cathay Pacific has the 7th best First Class product in the world. To say I was excited is a big understatement.
The First Class Experience starts out at the airport with a special lane for check specifically for you. We were greatly kindly but the representative at the desk who made our check in process quick and easy and gave us our first two boarding passes along with lounge passes for YVR and JFK.
After checking our bag, free for First Class passengers, we made our way through security to Cathay Pacific’s Business and First Class Lounge. It’s a beautiful lounge with a huge nod to the Pacific Northwest with many cool wood features. The lounge has weird hours, 10:30am-3:00pm and 8:00pm-2:00am. This is due to Cathay Pacific’s flight times out of YVR where the lounge closes when they have no outgoing flights. We got there right at 8:00pm and there was only one other person in the lounge. By the time we left, there were maybe 10 people in the lounge which can easily accommodate 100+.
The lounge features beautiful bathrooms, private showers, a noodle bar, self serve cold meals, and self serve drinks stations with anything you want ranging from pop, coffee, tea or alcohol. There was so much to choose from we didn’t know where to start. Advice we had been given from others was to not eat too much in the lounge so that we could enjoy our meal on the plane. We took this advice and had a couple drinks and snacks in the lounge but the noodle bar was tempting.
The lounge featured a wide array of seating and we gladly took seats right at the window that overlooks the gates and runways. It was late when we got there and the sun was down but we imagine that in the daytime the view would be fantastic.
Once it was time to head to the gate we finished our drinks and made our way over. We were some of the first ones on the plane being in First and boarded some a special tunnel to get to First where flight attendants were waiting to escort us to our seats. From the first interaction with the flight attendants we were now Mr. and Mrs. Enns.
Mr. and Mrs. Enns made their way into seats 1A and 2A. According to many online bloggers, these are the best two seats on the plane for couples sitting in First. The reason being, between 1A/2A and 1D/2D there is a wall so it gives the most privacy. The reason we didn’t select seats across from one another is because you are so far apart and there are privacy walls into each seat that it’s really hard to talk to one another. 1A/2A give the most privacy and you can stand up and turn around if you need to talk.
After we got to our seats we were offered a welcome drink. Our choices, were water, juice, or champagne. We probably could have asked for anything but those were what were offered to us. We both chose champagne. On our flight they served Krug champagne. A bottle of Krug retails for about $300. It was easily the best champagne we’ve ever had, not that we’ve had much in our lives. The champagne was served with warm nuts and a hot towel.
Soon after, the flight attendants passed out pajamas and amenity kits. The male amenity kit came with a toothbrush, toothpaste (in the smallest tube you’ve ever seen), face cream, lip cream (lip balm but in a fancy cream), a microfibre cloth, mouthwash and earplugs. The female kit came with all the same things plus a hair brush and toner. All toiletries and cosmetics in the kits were supplied by Aesop. We had never head of Aesop and that usually means we can’t afford it. We’re right, we can’t. The pajamas were custom made by PYE for Cathay Pacific. They were the most comfortable pajamas we’ve ever worn and we wore them the entire flight.
The seats in First are incredible. You are basically sitting a La-Z-Boy chair. It was so wide that we could both sit comfortably beside each other on the same seat. There is a spot for your feet at the other end of your suite that acts like an ottoman. It was kind of weird because it was really far and even I at 6’2″ couldn’t reach it. As we soon found out there was another practical reason it was there. We will get to that later. The seats have a ton of controls and the seat can be configured many different ways. You can lift the bottom part of the seat up to rest your feet on, recline the whole seat or even turn on its massage abilities. The chair itself was incredibly comfortable.
The best way we found to talk, though was to sit at the same seat. Yes, sit at the same seat. The seats were so wide that we could sit beside each other on the same seat and it was still comfortable. Or once your seat was turned into a bed we sat on the bed facing each other to talk.
Once we got into the air the flight attendants passed out dinner menus. It was going to be a late dinner but we did get a full meal service on this flight. The dinner menu is changed monthly and January’s menu can be seen above. When we ordered, we figured we would pick something on the menu that would be served to us. We were wrong. Everything on the menu in the section you ordered from came. We both ordered the steak and so we were brought the scallop and salmon to start, then some soup and then our steak. The bread came to our table without us asking. We were fine dining on an airplane.
One of our favourite things about flying First was the ability to sit at the same table. Remember that spot we thought was a foot rest, it’s for your partner to sit at while oyu eat. It also extends your bed when the seat is moved in it’s sleeping position, more on that later. Your tray table in First has a spot for an attachment and the flight attendant made our table and set it for two. Complete with white table cloth, side plate, silverware and glasses.
Every piece of glassware and silverware was inscribed with CATHAY PACIFIC. The branding on the flight was second to none. Their name was everywhere.
The food was fantastic. I ordered my steak medium and it came very close to medium, maybe slightly on the medium-rare side but for airplane food I couldn’t complain. Sam ordered her steak well and it came just that.
For dessert, the mango passion fruit mousse cake with raspberry coulis was amazing. I could have ordered about 5 more of them but we were going to be spending the rest of the trip on beaches and my body couldn’t afford that. We were about to gain enough weight on these flights as it was. Dining for 2 on an airplane should be like this all the time. It was the best way to eat.
It was about midnight by this time so we decided to catch a few hours of sleep before we landed. We went to the bathroom to change into our pajamas and while we did that the flight attendants provided turndown service and made our beds. Turndown service on an airplane, crazy. We came back to our beds fully made for us to catch some sleep and that’s exactly what we did for a few hours. When we woke up we had a snack and were soon ready to land.
We landed in New York around 6am EST or 3am to our bodies. We headed straight for the American Airlines Flagship Lounge to shower up and grab a bite to eat. We were greeted at the front by two very kind women who got us set up and gave us a quick tour of the lounge. It had only been reopened after renovation in July 2017 so it was still looking fresh. We headed straight for the showers. Everything is setup in the shower rooms for one person. We grabbed a few extra towels from a neighbouring shower room so we didn’t have to share one. The shower/bathroom (there is a sink, toilet, etc in these shower rooms, too) is huge as you can see in the video. We each got one end of the shower to ourselves which was glorious because Sam likes her showers hellishly hot and I don’t like burning to death in the shower. Each shower room had another set of amenities you needed including lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shower cap, blow dryer etc. According to Sam, the blow dryer actually dried your hair properly and wasn’t like most hotel blow dryers.
I left after my shower and Sam stayed to do her hair. I went around and took some pictures of the different areas of the lounge which you can see above. The lounge had plenty of seating of all different types. They had booths for two people and booths for one with outlets to do work in. They had bar seating, they had lounge seating, they had table seating. There was a quiet room with comfy chairs to take a nap on too. If you wanted a specific type of seat, they had it.
After Sam finished doing her hair we headed over to the First Class Dining room which is another room off the lounge for First Class passengers. It is a sit down dining area with a full menu. We weren’t even close to hungry but we had to take advantage of our special privileges. We ordered fruit and juice and then left to go and relax a bit before our next flight.
We made our way again to the chairs right in front of the windows to watch the planes go by. The sun was just coming up so we had a beautiful sunrise to watch.
We spent a little time relaxing and catching up on social media, even though at home nobody was awake, had a couple drinks and chatted with each other until it was time to leave to board our flight.
On our flight from New York to Hong Kong we were back to our familiar seats, 1A and 2A, but this flight had a few special treats that we didn’t get on our first flight.
Stay tuned for Part 2…
Never stop adventuring!