How I booked everything
American Airlines Flagship Dining Room DFW
Etihad First & Business Class Lounge LHR
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments LHR-AUH (Video)
St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH (Video)
Qatar A380 First Class DOH-BKK
Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge (Video)
Cathay Pacific 777-300ER First Class HKG-LAX
Why This Trip Had to End with Cathay Pacific First Class
I decided to conclude my epic and sudden Round the World trip with Cathay Pacific. With the AAdvantage award chart changes and some other potential pretty big life changes (more news to come…maybe), this may be the last international First Class trip I take for a while, so Cathay Pacific First Class it is!
I like things coming to logical conclusions with great beginning and endings. My first ever international First Class trip was with Cathay Pacific on my way to Vietnam in 2012 so it made logical sense to wrap this period up with them as well. For fun I decided to only shoot with a different lens for this flight. Most of my plane shots are with a 16-35mm wide angle, which is amazing for taking pictures of tight spaces. The 55mm is the sharpest lens I own and I thought it’d be great for some more detail shots than I typically take.
I really wanted to relax and enjoy this flight instead of going crazy on the pictures, although it ended up being a mega-turbulent flight. Despite 150,000 miles in the air this year I’m very much a nervous flyer so this particular flight was immensely stressful for me. Credit to Cathay and a great staff for making sure my drink was never too empty to help with my nervousness.
Anyway, after I left an amazing visit to The Pier I did the long walk back towards the US gates (gates 1-4). Above the US gates is The Wing, so I stopped by for a glass of champagne once I saw we weren’t even going through the US security War On Water precheck yet.
Eventually I saw them start lining people up for our flight to go through the security theater the US requires. I made it through with ease and then waited for boarding.
After a slight delay we were invited to board and I got to make the most amazing of left turns once again into my favorite First Class cabin. There’s just something about it that is so simple yet refined. There are only six seats so you get plenty of attention. Here’s a picture from a previous post.
This was the first time I was not sitting in a window seat, but my seat was perfectly fine.
While my flight attendant was pouring a glass of Krug for me (yes!) I fell into conversation with a very nice couple who followed some fellow miles and points bloggers. He had noticed me taking pictures of everything so he asked if I blogged as well and he even was kind enough to act like he had heard of my blog before! I value experiences and conversations more than posts and pictures so I put the camera down for a while and chatted with my new friends from San Diego. They were having a blast on their trip and I hope they see this post! It was great talking to you!
We eventually began our taxi and were in the air before too long.
The flight attendant came by and informed me that the pilots warned them about some choppy air once we approached Tokyo, so any hot drinks would need to be served before then, which gave us a few hours to complete the dinner service. My heart kind of sank when I heard that news, although I’m used to air being turbulent around Tokyo. Anyway, I soldiered on and focused on trying to take some great pictures of the meal service.
We started with a refill of my champagne glass.
This was served with a caviar starter that was both familiar and wonderful.
After caviar I was presented with a simple salad that had a nice bread pairing with it.
I skipped the soup this time and ordered the steak for my main entree. Long-time readers know I have a love-hate relationship with airplane steak, but Cathay has always done a pretty good job. Well, I’m happy to report they cooked it wonderfully!
It tasted great! I was so happy. Then, the announcement came that we were approaching turbulence and the flight attendants needed to take their seats. Eek. However, my flight attendants were great and snuck me my dessert on their way to their seats.
The next hour or two alternated between Really Turbulent and Worryingly Turbulent. In reality there was nothing to worry about and finally I just was annoyed by the turbulence instead of being afraid of it (which was actually a really massive step for me).
Eventually everything settled down enough for the flight attendants to come by and make my bed so I could try to sleep.
The turbulence that was “over Tokyo” actually ended up being over “the entire Pacific ocean” and it didn’t really settle down until we were about 2 hours away from LAX. I did get some sleep though, so that was good.
My breakfast table was set and I started with some croissants and apple juice.
Cathay Pacific makes wonderful eggs, so I had some of those as our flight wrapped up.
Wrapping up the flight portion of this trip report, I can look back to one month ago (my departure date for the first flight of this trip) and be nothing but incredibly grateful. Not just for the flights that I got to take, but all the flights I enjoyed taking to earn the miles sufficient to book these flights.
I know it’s easy to want to compare these First Class flights, but I’d encourage you to take them all! Each company does it a bit differently and it’s fun to experience the best of each airline. I’m not sure when I’ll be flying First again but I imagine it just might be on Cathay when I do!