First time in First Class - Any Tips?

Discussion in 'Cathay Pacific | Asia Miles/Marco Polo Club' started by MangoFlyer, Jul 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MangoFlyer

    MangoFlyer Active Member

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    So after following this site, reading a few blogs, and speaking with a few friends, I decided to fly first class between Toronto and Hong Kong (the early morning departure) on Cathay. The service, product, etc. all look incredible, and I'm extremely excited. Given that I have never flown first class internationally (I've flown business a few times to Europe), I was wondering if the more experienced flyers had any tips or recommendations?

    Also, I can't tell if my friends are playing a joke on me. They keep mentioning that I the pajamas are very comfortable and I should be sure to take them with me. Somehow, I feel like taking the pajamas would lead to an awkward confrontation with the staff, something I'm sure my friends would enjoy hearing about. Am I being led astray here?

    Thanks,
    MangoFlyer
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    They're right about the PJs, although at one point one airline was trying to recycle them. Most of the time SQ offers me an additional new set to take with me.

    Be sure to arrive at the airport early enough to enjoy the lounge, especially on the return exHKG, where you might want to sample different CX lounges, although they're not that different from each other, just marvelous.
     
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  3. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    You can take the PJs- otherwise they will be thrown away- its a nice little item for your sleeping wardrobe.

    Enjoy the flight- the only drawback to flying CX F is that you will want to do it more often- and that can have an impact on your bank accounts :)
     
  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    One thing... please keep your shoes on. Or at least wear socks. :)
     
  5. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Slippers!
     
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  6. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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  7. MangoFlyer

    MangoFlyer Active Member

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    Thanks for the confirmation on the pajamas. :) Anything I should definitely do / try?
     
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  8. MyMiles&Points
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    MyMiles&Points Milepoint Guide

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    Reserve a Cabana on your return in HKG (at the Wing) and try to eat as much food as possible on the flights!
     
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  9. NYC_Gal
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    NYC_Gal Silver Member

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    I just tried CX F JFK-HKG last month. Just be prepared that it'll all be downhill from there. I was miserable coming back in CX J. I may have to stop flying domestic for a while. :)

    I took the PJ, and I used the slippers on the flight. I even asked for a copy of the menu and they offered to me. I love the lobster dinner. And the chicken soup was heaven (part of my snack). I can't believe I ate all that.

    I think the Wing is in rennovation now so I'm not sure about getting a Cabana. We were at the newer lounge.

    Enjoy!
     
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  10. MangoFlyer

    MangoFlyer Active Member

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    Thanks all. Quick question. I've spent a bunch of time on the Cathay Pacific website, and I can't figure out how to reserve a cabana at the Wing or a day-break room in the Pier. Can anyone help?

    Again, thanks so much for all the guidance thus far.
     
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  11. SQ LPP
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    SQ LPP Gold Member

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    Dear MangoFlyer,

    It's all starting with the check-in. Make sure you go to FC check-in. I know other MPer here may laugh about my post here, but it did happened to someone I knew. She thought the FC check-in had a line, so she went to the empty line in economy class. Of course she did not get any special treatment from the agent behind the counter. :) Not sure whether in YYZ, CX has its own staff, or contract agent, which may lead to different experience.

    As other suggested, it's a great idea to check in early as well as boarding a bit early. It will reduce your anxiety as well as enabling you to observe thing for your benefits. For example, when you board the plane early, when you are directed to your seat, you have more time to store your carry on, you have time to look around the cabin and noticing where things are, such as lavatories or galley. When you are seated, you can enjoy the pre-boarding drink. In the mean time you can start to familiarize your self with how the table works, entertainment systems works, or other things. Even though I am used to be in front cabin of SQ, when I am in FC of other airlines, it doesn't mean I will automatically know how to operate the IFE, or how to adjust the seats.

    Regarding PJs, yes, you can take it home. :) If you get the PJs while boarding process still going on, it would be great. You can change to PJs to make yourself more comfortable for such a long flight. But if the PJs are distributed after taking off, you can change when you have a chance. As others mentioned, yes, I do agree that is better to wear the socks given as well the slippers. Well sometimes the socks help when sleeping and the cabin a bit cold. And remember as well, I believe CX will give out amenity kits which you can take them home as well. I usually have prepared some space in my carry on for the PJs and the kits. :) I know on SQ I can ask the crew for plastic bag to carry those, but I don't remember about CX.

    Hope you have enjoyable and memorable flights! Trip report would be nice. :)

    Cheers...
     
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  12. dkelly1110
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    dkelly1110 Silver Member

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    Well since I just returned from my honeymoon in Bali and we flew the exact routing YYZ-HKG, I can offer a few suggestions. The KLM lounge (which CX uses in YYZ) is ok, but nothing special. If you get there early, you can comandeer the First Class room with your own TV. If you're inclined, pick up a wi-fi code from the lounge desk as you walk in. As it's been said, the pajamas are yours to wear - and keep - they are pretty comfy and made by Shanghai Tang. The amenity kit is nice and has some nice lip balm. When it comes to sleeping, I found the cabin to be very warm especially under the down comforter provided. The FAs will set up your seat to the bed position when you ask. But before sleeping be sure to eat - and eat a lot. Start with the caviar - well just because. And the Krug. Lots of it. The FAs will be happy to refill your glass early and often. If you are traveling with a partner and you wish to dine with one another, you can; simply ask the FAs to install the table extender. Forget about your previous notions of airline food.- the food is presented on individual plates - no trays to be seen here. In HKG, the Wing is open for First Class passengers, but the Biz class section is closed. You can reserve a cabana while at the Wing when you get there. The food spread is pretty good too. We also visited the Cabin which has equally impressive food but no Cabanas.

    And of course, a few pics from my in-progress recap of the trip.

    Enjoy!
     
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  13. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I'll be flying HKG-LAX later this month. I visited the Wing on my outbound trip, but only ate breakfast and had a quick shower. Any other tips on maximizing my F experience before heading to the plane?
     
  14. Rejuvenated
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    Rejuvenated Gold Member

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    I've given them away - most to people who requested they want one (as they can't fly F), but also have donated them to the Goodwill. I have enough in my wardrobe collection.
    1) Wing: Dedicated F section
    2) Pier: Dedicated F section
    3) Cabin: No segregation between F & J

    I personally prefer the wing over the pier for its open airiness. There are no showers for the Cabin facility. There is also an arrival lounge (with showers) should the OP terminate in HKG on the day of arrival.

    These lounges are great. But don't expect the same level of BA's T5 CCR, LH's FCT, TG BKK F lounge just to name a few of the superior facilities (not that this really matters to the OP since it is his/her first F trip).
    CX has its own ground staff at YYZ as well as a YYZ based cabin crew.
    Only certain parts of the business section is closed for the wing. F section won't undergo renovations until next year. OP is flying F and assuming he/she is flying this year, he/she won't be affected.

    For CX F (with the exception for takeoff and landing safety purposes) you eat WHENEVER you like. So for example, the OP doesn't necessarily have to have the supper shorty after takeoff during the same time everyone else prefers to have them. Just let the crews know about it and they'll entertain your request. And for example if you don't find anything on the breakfast menu you like, you can even ask for something like say on the Supper menu (subject to availability) and have it for your breakfast. It's all up to you and the arrangement is very FLEXIBLE.

    For CX F main courses the last few years, I almost always opt for the Chinese/Asian selections. These are the highlights of CX's catering in addition to the Caviar Salmon. CX's western choices IMO are far inferior to those served in F by NH, SQ, LX and BA. Nonetheless here are my most recent menus from CX F if you're curious: http://www.sqtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=759&page=3
     
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  15. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    If traveling with someone, opt to dine together. One of you will sit on the ottoman of the other person's seat, it has a seatbelt (though it IS a bit of a tight space). The flight attendants will install a table extender, and you'll dine across from each other as though in a restaurant.

    Definitely the Chinese meals over the Western options, frankly CX food isn't nearly as good as some of its top competitors though I'm quite happy with breakfast, the energizer drinks (smoothies) are good and the dim sum will be fine. If they're offering the black sesame soup, I'm a fan. :)

    Just go with it, don't overhtink it, just enjoy. Love the cabin with no overhead bins, you have your own closet though it can be a tight fit with larger carryons so if your stuff doesn't fit the flight attendants will store it for you. The seat is wide enough for two people to sit side-by-side. Entertainment system is wonderful with awesome selections. Bedding is comfortable, flight attendants will make your bed usually after the first meal.

    But the most important thing is, whatever you want/need just ask. Unlike some airlines, CX cabin crew tend to stay away unless called upon. They want to help you but don't want to disturb you. So never be shy about the flight attendant call button.

    Also one minor thing that I hadn't realized in advance of my first trip with them, they will not serve hot beverages while the seatbelt sign is on, during breakfast we had some turbulence.. I had asked for a cappucino, I assumed they simply forgot (bad service). Turns out they brought it to me as soon as they were permitted to do so. Just one minor detail, that once I understood I realized it wasn't personal :)
     
  16. techgirl
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    techgirl Milepoint Guide

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    I love flying CX F... it's something I treat myself to usually twice a year (sometimes miles, sometimes revenue). It's a lovely pampering experience... maybe not the BEST seat of any airline, maybe not the BEST lounge in the world, but don't let those little facts let you down at all. It's better than the flight experiences that 99% of the general public will ever have and I still enjoy it every time.

    I don't usually find the domestic lounges to be anything great so I don't let them color my perception of the rest of the journey. I try to save my cocktail-ing and eating for the flight anyhow!

    My m.o. is to drink a LOT of Krug, eat a good amount of caviar, and spend the flight snuggled up in my pajamas, lounging, enjoying movies, and just relaxing. For me, it sets the tone for the beginning of my vacation (or occasionally, my business trip) and so I want to be in a zen state. On the return, it's the slow reentry into the "real" world so I use it to slowly jolt myself back.
     
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  17. tzoom84
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    tzoom84 Silver Member

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    Hey everyone.

    My wife and I are flying first class HKG-JFK in October. We are a bit confused about how the food works. I am a vegetarian and my wife doesn't eat beef or pork. So we requested vegetarian meals in the online system. But some of the posts above indicated that there was a menu available and items were available a'la carte.

    Do we get to pick our own food? Or are we constrained by the vegetarian selection we chose online? Or is there a different menu for vegetarian options?
     
  18. ArizonaGuy
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    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

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    Really? Plenty of discussion lately about CCR service being generally below par and that many prefer to go eat in Galleries First. Where they can get their own drinks, so they at least know they'll get one in a timely fashion then.

    Otherwise, I concur. TG F lounge at BKK and LH FCT at FRA (or even FCL's there or MUC) are stellar. But the Wing and Pier F sections are still far and away better than most anything experienced in much of the aviation lounges of the world.
     
  19. Rejuvenated
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    Rejuvenated Gold Member

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    My last visit to the CCR at T5 was in May and while I won't necessarily say they have an edge in terms of food selection, all the aspects of the lounge facility is still head and shoulders above the Wing/Pier. They (CX) used to set the standard for home based lounges when the facilities opened many years ago. Sadly however, they have been caught and surpassed by several airlines. This is not to say the Wing/Pier are no longer superb lounges don't get me wrong, but time does fly and competitors are becoming more innovative.
     
  20. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Wing and Pier are good lounges. Not in the class of LH FCT or TG F lounge/spa.

    CCR is a good lounge. Not in the class of the LH FCT or TG F lounge/spa.

    CCR is good physical space. I find both the food and the service to be lackluster.

    Wing/Pier really aren't that exclusive, can get crowded even on the F side.
     
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  21. General_Flyer
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    General_Flyer Gold Member

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    One thing I've learned is that make sure you tell the FAs that its your first CX F flight, and they'll spoil you rotten!

    Of course, please make them feel appreciated too.. :)

    I had 1 rollaboard filled with goodies by the time I exited my first CX F flight... :D
     
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  22. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    What kind of goodies?
     
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  23. General_Flyer
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    General_Flyer Gold Member

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    Oooh... Cookies, some small items, some pajamas, and several other little goodies.. :D
     
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  24. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    i heard they are getting more stingy on some inflight items as some FAs stole them before...i think now they even keep an inventory of their amenity kits
     
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  25. General_Flyer
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    General_Flyer Gold Member

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    You do mean stingy don't you? ;)

    Well, on flights to HKG, they couldn't care less.. On flights from HKG, yes they would mind because the amenity kits are for the return trip..
     
  26. manfromkrypton
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    manfromkrypton Silver Member

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    anyone have any suggestions for flying out of ORD on CX F? I was looking for a ORD originating trip report, but not finding anything.
     
  27. travelmi

    travelmi Silver Member

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    Dates you are flying? I just checked ORD-HKG couple dates ago and it is available on July 20th
     
  28. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Can you reserve a cabana in advance, such as when connecting in HKG from one long flight to another? (When flying BA F you can email or call YouFirst who will reserve a cabana in the LHR Concorde Club Room for you, as well as pre-book a spa treatment if desired.)
     

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