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First Class June 12, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Show and Tell, Up and Away.
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Didn’t have a camera on me the first time I had the privilege of experiencing Cathay’s new First Class configuration, but I did this time so here’s a shot for posterity. What makes First Class first class? The service, to be sure, and the food. But really it’s the comfort of the seat you enjoy and the space and amenities that accompany it.

The main seat offers a lot of room for its occupant; I’d say it’s really meant for a person and a half (for context, two petite individuals could probably fit in there). There’s a massive pull-out table (it’s that visible compartment below the orchids in the flower vase) that’s quite impressive. Across the seat, you’ll find a smaller cushioned area that looks like it’s an extension of the footrest but can’t possible be since one’s legs can’t stretch that far. A flight attendant explained to me that it was really a seat in case a First Class passenger wanted to entertain (i.e. sit and chat) with someone else (presumably, another First Class passenger). I have seen that once the table is pulled out, this little guest chair does allow two people to a meal seated across each other. Now that little detail, in my opinion, is ingenious.

Of to the side, there’s a pull-out flat LCD screen that’s much larger than the already impressive one available in Cubicle Class. The way its constructed, with a supporting arm that allows you to pull it out towards you at an angle, does feel rather flimsy and is probably the first thing the airline will improve upon for their next cabin iteration. Beneath the screen is a small locker for stowage since there aren’t any overhead or windowside compartment in which to keep one’s things.

The bottomline is that First Class on Cathay Pacific is truly impressive. Now if only I could find away to end up there more often: both times I ended up with an upgrade to First Class it was on the short leg of my travels, and the one time I was bumped up during the long haul it happened to be on a much older plane. We can’t always be lucky, but a guy can still hope.

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