Cathay Pacific vs. British Airways

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I flew to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific and had a stopover in Europe and it reminded me why I love to travel with them. My flight from the UK was with British Airways, who used a long haul plane on a short haul route meaning that some people got a flat bed to have a nap in business class, whilst other business class passengers put up less luxurious surroundings, but like the Murphys I’m not bitter.  There was no invitation to their lounge on the break of the flight in Europe, no real up-selling the benefits of OneWorld at all.

I eventually connected with my Cathay flight at the gate and was told to report to the Cathay counter regarding my boarding pass. The first thing that went through my mind was ‘I hope they don’t bounce me off my flight for some other person’. Instead it turns out that despite my flight being booked through BA; my passport details hadn’t been shared with Cathay for the second leg of the trip. Whilst there the Cathay people asked me if I would like to use their arrival lounge at Hong Kong airport and gave me the pass for it, they then pointed out that gate wouldn’t open for ten minutes and I still had time to use their business lounge before the flight. It was small things that they did that went out of the way.

Onboard, I have a penchant for Hong Kong-style milk tea and Cathay Pacific do a version of it. Cathay’s version of Hong Kong-style milk tea tastes even better if you get them to throw an Earl Grey tea bag into the cup with it, I ask them for this concoction and they don’t bat an eyelid at the weird aging-hipster of an Irishman in row 11 with the odd request. I wouldn’t do it with BA even if they served Hong Kong-style milk tea, because matron wouldn’t be happy.

As you would expect with an Asian long-haul airline there is a decent seat to get some sleep in, and a toiletries bag that is is practical. Agnes B did the design which turned out sufficiently practical you want to take it with you. Entertainment-wise Cathay benefits from Hong Kong’s film industry as well as the usual Hollywood fodder.

All that Cathay Pacific would need to do to be perfect is:

  • Make the shoe locker in their business class seats a bit larger, not everyone wears brogues. They couldn’t fit my Zamberlan boots in let alone cope with a pair of ladies healed boots, a full-sized pair of Timberlands or Jordan 11
  • Allow you to be permanently logged in on their mobile application