Review: Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong to Tokyo (HKG-NRT)

Enjoying some champagne and Dan Dan Noodles at the Deck

Introduction

Flight Details

  • Date of flight: March 21, 2019
  • Where: Hong Kong (“HKG”) to Tokyo Narita (“NRT”)
  • Flight time: 4 hours 0 minutes
  • Flight #: CX504
  • Seat: 15H

My flight from Malé landed at 8:05am and the first thing I thought to myself “is it too early for dan dan noodles and champagne?” Many of my relatives prefer dining on evergreen leaves, but I’ve grown quite accustomed to what’s on offer at the noodle bar in Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong lounges.

The Lounge

My flight to Tokyo was leaving from Gate 19 so Cathay Pacific’s newest lounge, The Deck, located near Gate 16 was the closest option.

The lounge features Cathay’s world famous noodle bar where you can get dishes like Sichuanese dan dan noodles (my favorite), Singapore Laksa and Taiwanese beef noodles.

Given I had limited time I placed my order at the noddle bar, poured a glass of Mumm champagne and posted up at a table on The Terrace, a spacious open-area balcony within the lounge. Boarding started roughly 30-minutes before departure time. When I saw people lining up a the gate I headed down for boarding.

The Flight

Cathay Pacific Flight 504 leaves Hong Kong at 9:05am and arrives in Tokyo at 2:05pm. This particular flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300, which features Cathay’s regional business class product.

Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class

The carrier operates 7 daily direct flights from Hong Kong to Tokyo on a variety of planes including the Airbus A330-300, Airbus A350-1000, Boeing 777-300ER (features First Class) and the Boeing 777-300.

Pro-Tip: Check the configuration of your perspective flight on Expertflyer.com ahead of booking. If you see the seats laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration the flight features the regional business class product, which should be avoided. The alternative is Cathay’s excellent fully flat herringbone business class seats.

Expert Flyer Seatmap of Boeing 777-300 with Regional Business Class

My seat wasn’t lie flat, but was comfortable enough for the 4-hour journey. It had a 21 inch width and reclined a respectable 36 degrees. With that said I have a long neck and am usually only able to sleep on flights if they have lie flat seats.

Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class Recliner Seat

Pre-departure beverages were offered and I chose a glass of water. Menus were then distributed and the flight attendant greeted me by name and thanked me for flying with Cathay. It’s the small things like being personally greeted by name that make a giraffe feel special.

I was quite tired and didn’t manage to take photos of the menu, but meals started with a choice of juices, fresh seasonal fruit, fruit yogurt, selection of cereals including European style muesli and an assortment of breakfast breads served with preserves, honey and butter.

For my main I ordered the baked sea bass with yuzu pepper miso sauce, mixed vegetables and steamed Japanese rice. It was quite tasty despite the lackluster presentation.

Black Sea Bass

My seat mate ordered the cheddar cheese omelette, Dingley Dell pork sausage, streaky bacon, oven dried tomato and lyonnaise potato. He said it was soggy and didn’t taste very good.

Cheddar cheese omelette

The flight attendants frequently came through the cabin to offer refills on water and coffee. After finishing a movie we were already on final approach to Tokyo Narita.

Overall Verdict

First Class Giraffe Not Impressed

While perfectly adequate for a 4-hour flight Cathay’s regional business class leaves a lot to be desired in terms of hard product, especially when almost every other flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo has lie flat seats.

The soft product was fine, but nothing to write home about. If you’re flying on a First Class award ticket from Europe or the States try to choose a flight operated by the 777-300ER, which features their amazing First Class, else just try to avoid the regionally configured 777-300.

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