Guide to Cathay Pacific Business Class: All You Need to Know in 2024

by Jem
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Want to fly in style? In this Cathay Pacific business class guide, we’ll show you what flying looks like with one of Asia’s best airlines. From the booking experience to in-flight amenities, we’ll cover all the perks of business class on Cathay Pacific.

Ever wondered what flying Cathay Pacific business class feels like? Let me take you through it. Cathay Pacific, with its roots in Hong Kong, not only connects major cities across the globe but does so with an unmatched level of service.

You’re probably wondering if Cathay Pacific is a good airline. From my experience, it’s more than good—it’s exceptional. We’re going to dive into everything that makes it stand out, from the seats to the service, and even the lounges.

If you’re planning a trip to Asia or any of their extensive destinations, stick around. I’m about to break down why Cathay Pacific should be your top choice, especially if Hong Kong is on your radar. Let’s get into the why and how, making your decision easier and your travel more luxurious.

My #1 tip to find cheap Cathay Pacific Business Class tickets

Looking for a steal on Cathay Pacific business class tickets? Before jumping into the article, I first wanted to give you this insider tip to find cheap airfare on business class flights.

For years, I’ve been using this site called Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), which sends you alerts on airline deals, discounts, and mistake fares. It’s a total game-changer, saving me $10,000+ on flights each year.

Their $49/year premium version is well worth it- just one discounted flight pays for the whole thing. I recommend trying the free trial and using my special discount code JON20 to save 20%!

And if you’re into business/first class, you’ll want to sign up for their Elite version. Last year, this service saved me $2,750 on a first class flight and $1,500 on a business class flight. At just $199 year year, trust me, it’s a small price for massive savings.

Overview of Cathay Pacific business class

Did you know Cathay Pacific started its journey back on 24th September 1946? Yep, it’s been a while, and look how far they’ve come! With a hefty fleet of 177 aircraft, they whisk travelers off to 88 destinations around the globe.

Cathay Pacific is a certified 5-star airline and has snagged the title of the world’s best airline not once, but four times, thanks to Skytrax.

When you’re flying business class with them, you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re aboard their Airbus A350s, Boeing 777-300ERs, or selected Airbus A330-300s, you’re guaranteed that luxe experience. Stick around as we unpack the luxury, innovation, and impeccable service that makes Cathay Pacific one of the best airlines to fly to Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Business Class flight for all types of travelers.

Cathay Pacific business class products: A detailed comparison

Cathay Pacific’s Business Class experience varies significantly across its fleet, with each aircraft type offering distinct products and amenities. Whether you’re looking for the ultimate comfort of lie-flat seats or the convenience of extra space on shorter routes, here’s how to navigate your options.

Airbus A350 variants

A350-900: This variant features 38 business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout, ideal for solo travelers seeking privacy in window seats. Rows 20 and 21 are closer to premium economy. This offers less privacy, I’d also steer clear of seats 11D and 11G due to their proximity to the lavatories.

A350-1000: With 46 seats spread from rows 11–23 in the same cozy configuration, this variant offers a bit more breathing room. The same seating advice applies, especially for those flying solo or with a companion.

Boeing 777-300 variants

77P (Regional Configuration): This setup lacks lie-flat seats, featuring a 2-3-2 configuration. It’s a less private option, suitable for shorter distances where flatbeds are not as critical.

77A (First Class Configuration): Unique for having a first class section, this version offers a serene Business Class experience behind first. There’s a total of 53 seats in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration.

77K (Updated Business Class): Similar to the 77A but without first class, this version boasts 40 lie-flat business class seats. The best seats avoid the last rows (20–23), divided by a galley, due to potential disturbance from foot traffic near the toilets and galley.

Airbus A330-300

Versions 33P and 33B offer forward-facing seats that don’t recline fully flat, a critical point for those eyeing a restful sleep. In contrast, 33K, 33E, and 33J boast the sought-after 1-2-1 reverse herringbone layout with lie-flat capability, mirroring the preferred seating strategy: windows for soloists and middles for duos.

Airbus A321neo

Used mainly for shorter regional flights, the A321neo’s 12 business class seats in a 2-2 layout don’t recline fully but offer more room than economy. Privacy is similar across all seats, with window seats (A and K) being slightly preferable for solo travelers.

Each aircraft type within Cathay Pacific’s fleet presents a tailored business class experience. I can guarantee that whichever aircraft you fly, Cathay Pacific is one of the best airlines to fly to Hong Kong and beyond.

This airline offers different amenities and items, thus the experience differs greatly across its fleet.
This airline offers different amenities and items, thus the experience differs greatly across its fleet. | Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

Baggage allowance with Cathay Pacific business class

Cathay Pacific’s luggage allowance is straightforward and generous. As a business class traveler, you’re entitled to check in two pieces of luggage. Each weighing up to a hefty 70 pounds (or 32 kilos). That’s a lot of space for your essentials, souvenirs, and even the occasional impulse buy.

If you’re an elite member of any Oneworld member carrier’s frequent flyer program, you might even get to check in an extra bag.

For your carry-on, you can bring one bag and a small item, like a laptop bag or a handbag, with a combined weight limit of up to 22 pounds (10 kilos). This should be more than enough for all your in-flight essentials.

Cathay Pacific business class ground experience

Upon arrival at the airport, Cathay Pacific Business Class passengers enjoy the convenience of dedicated check-in lanes. In Hong Kong, a special check-in area at Aisle B, Terminal 1, streamlines the process further.

Next, the lounge experience awaits. In Hong Kong, options include The Wing, The Pier, and The Deck. Each lounge offers a unique ambiance, yet all provide exceptional amenities, including the much-loved noodle bars. My advice would be to visit The Pier for its authentic regional cuisine and tranquil teahouse. If time permits, exploring The Deck’s living-room ambiance offers a relaxing retreat before your flight.

Not flying from Hong Kong? No worries. Cathay’s got you covered with luxurious lounges worldwide, plus access to partner lounges thanks to their Oneworld alliance. Trust me, starting your trip in any of these lounges sets the tone for the whole journey.

Though every lounge has a unique vibe, they're all equipped with great features.
Though every lounge has a unique vibe, they’re all equipped with great features. | Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

In-flight comfort & amenities on Cathay Pacific business class

Flying Cathay Pacific business class is like getting an upgrade to your travel expectations. Here’s why I think it’s one of the best airlines in the world.

  • Lie-Flat Seats: Available on Airbus A350, Boeing 777, and most A330s, these seats let you stretch out and sleep in a fully horizontal position.
  • Updated Design: The Airbus A350 features a business class seat designed by Studio F.A. Porsche. This offers extra space in flat bed mode.
  • Luxury Bedding: Long-haul flights offer bedding from British brand Bamford. This includes 400 thread count cotton linens, a mattress pad, duvet, and pillows for a restful sleep.
  • Amenity Kits: With Bamford amenity kits, plus slippers and eye masks, you land feeling just as fresh as you took off.

In the air with Cathay’s business class, it’s all about the little luxuries and personal spaces. It’s these perks that make your flight not just comfortable but something to look forward to.

Food & drink in Cathay Pacific business class

Before you even step on board, you get to play chef by pre-selecting your meals online, from ten days up until 24 hours before takeoff. Once you’re settled in your seat, the culinary experience begins with an appetizer, followed by a choice of up to five mains, a bakery basket filled with goodies, cheese, desserts, and a variety of beverages to wash it all down.

The menu shines a spotlight on Hong Kong and Western favorites, plus dishes inspired by your destination. For example, if you’re flying to Japan, expect some delicious Japanese options. For breakfast, I’d recommend the congee and dim sum for a taste of Cantonese tradition.

Business class means the Champagne flows free, alongside a select wine list and “Betsy”, a pale ale brewed just for Cathay Pacific. It’s all about savoring flavors that are as memorable as your destinations.

As one of the best business class products worldwide, your flight becomes a chance to explore world cuisines and fine wines, all from the comfort of your seat. It’s dining done right, with views that no ground-based restaurant can match.

It's like getting an upgrade on what you were expecting when you travel in business class.
It’s like getting an upgrade on what you were expecting when you travel in business class. | Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

Tips for booking Cathay Pacific business class flights

Cathay’s business class can be costly. I’ve got some tips and tricks to help you find cheap business class flights to Asia and beyond.

  • Use Oneworld Points: Combine points from Oneworld alliance members or Cathay Pacific’s own program, Asia Miles, for better seat availability. This flexibility opens up more opportunities to snag a business class seat.
  • Prioritize Asia Miles: Asia Miles often has more premium seats available and they’re easier to earn in the U.S. and Canada. A smart choice for frequent flyers looking to book Cathay Pacific business class flights.
  • Explore Complex Routes: The Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Charts, available through Cathay Pacific and British Airways, are perfect for booking trips with multiple stops or airlines. It’s an underused way to get more from your miles.
  • Subscribe to Cheap Flight Alerts: Again, if you want to find the best possible deals on business class airfare, I highly recommend signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights (Going.com). While the free version is great for finding discounted economy flights, the Elite version is what you’ll need to find cheap business and first class deals.
  • Unlock Alaska’s Flexibility: Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan offers awards starting at a low point, with the bonus of a free stopover, even on one-way flights. Accumulate Alaska miles through credit card spending or transfers from Marriott Bonvoy to get even more from your bookings.

Cathay Pacific business class vs. rival products

Wondering which airline has the best business class? I’ve flown with several and here’s my take on how they stack up.

Cathay Pacific vs. British Airways (Club World)

British Airways steps up with their Club World Suites, giving you a slice of privacy thanks to doors and direct aisle access. It’s pretty much like having your mini-room in the sky. Cathay Pacific, on the other hand, offers a universally high standard of comfort and privacy across its fleet. If a private suite is what you’re after for a special trip, BA has the edge. But for dependability and comfort on various routes, Cathay Pacific is my go-to.

Cathay Pacific vs. Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is hard to beat with its stellar service and the Book the Cook option. Cathay Pacific counters with exceptional service and a design ethos that prioritizes passenger comfort and space. For those who place a premium on dining and service, Singapore Airlines might just tip the scales. However, for consistently high service and comfort, especially if you’re looking for the best airlines that fly to Hong Kong, I lean towards Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific vs. Thai Airways (Royal Silk Class)

Thai Airways pampers you with thoughtful amenities and comfort touches that make each flight feel a bit more special, from slippers to high-end toiletries. Cathay Pacific maintains a strong focus on delivering a top-tier experience through and through, from seating comfort to in-flight service. If the journey’s little luxuries and personal care items speak to you, Thai Airways could make your flight. But for an experience that’s polished and consistently excellent across the board, Cathay Pacific rarely disappoints.

In each case, your choice might boil down to what aspect of the business class experience you value most: privacy, food, or those special in-flight touches. Regardless, Cathay Pacific is one of the best airlines to fly to Asia.

First-rate support and a design that focuses guests' safety and space are features of their business class.
First-rate support and a design that focuses guests’ safety and space are features of their business class. | Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

Pros & cons of Cathay Pacific business class

Having flown Cathay Pacific business class, I’ve noticed some clear pros and cons that might help you decide if it’s the right choice for your travels.

Pros

  • Priority Treatment: That VIP feeling kicks in from the moment you hit the airport with priority security and boarding. It’s like you’re on the fast track, skipping the worst parts of airport hustle.
  • Sleep Like Royalty: The bedding is next level. Thanks to Bamford, you’re basically sleeping on a cloud with their 400 thread count cotton linens. It’s like a luxury hotel in the skies, complete with comfy pillows and a duvet. Plus, the amenity kit is top-notch.
  • Smooth Boarding and Exit: Priority boarding is a given, but sometimes you even get your own jet bridge. Talk about feeling like a celeb! Exiting is just as smooth.

Cons

  • Inconsistency across fleet: While Cathay’s business class is generally stellar, there’s a bit of variance depending on what aircraft you’re on. Not all planes are created equal, and this can affect the uniformity of your experience.
  • Limited lounge access: At some airports, especially outside of major hubs, lounge access can be hit or miss. While lounges like The Wing and The Pier in Hong Kong are fabulous, you might find the offerings a bit sparse elsewhere.
  • Meal choices: Though the food is generally good, the menu options can feel limited compared to some rivals. If you’re a foodie looking for a wide array of choices, this might be a slight letdown.
Depending on the aircraft you're on, this airline can vary slightly from its normally superb service.
Depending on the aircraft you’re on, this airline can vary slightly from its normally superb service. | Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cathay Pacific business class

Are you still curious about which airline is the best to fly to Hong Kong? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help decide whether Cathay Pacific business class is the right option for you.

Do you get pajamas on Cathay Pacific business class?

No, Cathay Pacific doesn’t typically provide pajamas in business class. You’ll want to pack your own comfy clothes for sleeping on those long flights.

Does Cathay Pacific business class have flat beds?

Yes, Cathay Pacific business class does offer flat beds. It’s one of the best parts of flying with them, ensuring you get some solid rest.

Cathay Pacific is not just a decent airline, but an outstanding one.
Cathay Pacific is not just a decent airline, but an outstanding one. | Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

Is Cathay Pacific a luxury airline?

Absolutely, Cathay Pacific is considered a luxury airline. From their attentive service to the high-quality amenities and comfortable seating, they make sure your travel experience feels premium.

Does Cathay Pacific serve free alcohol?

Yes, Cathay Pacific serves free alcohol in business class. You can enjoy a range of beverages. This includes some fantastic wines and their signature Betsy Beer, designed especially for high-altitude sipping.

Cathay Pacific Business Class to try right now.
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