Cathay Pacific Flight – Manila to San Francisco

Cathay Pacific Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul lunch-2
As you’ve read from my previous post I’m currently in the USA for a vacation. I didn’t really plan to go to the US again after only a year but since I got a free ticket from HSBC I thought it would be fun to experience the Thanksgiving holiday for the first time with my cousins in the east coast.

It was my first time to take Cathay Pacific economy class to San Francisco. They were quite strict about not allowing upgrades whether through miles or cash. I really liked dealing with Cathay Pacific’s web site where I was able to check in online a day before my departure as well as choose my seat and my meal. I even printed my boarding pass. All these things I can’t do with Philippine Airlines, the carrier I usually use on my flights to the US.

Even in economy there were a lot of neat features that I really liked.
Cathay Pacific Economy
cup or bottle holder

My favorite was this outlet located behind the tray table perfect for charging an iPad or iPod.
Cathay Pacific Economy-2
convenience outlet

If you have a small pouch you can hook it on this retractable post.
Cathay Pacific Economy-3

Even on the short flight to Hong Kong where I had to catch a connecting flight to San Francisco I was able to watch a couple episodes of Modern Family.
Cathay Pacific Economy-1

My most valuable accessories for the long haul flight were my iPod nano which I put in a cheap but cute watch strap I bought in Greenhills and the Audio-Technica ANC 23 noise cancelling headphones which Rome gave to me. The headphones used one AAA battery which lasted more than 10 hours and it was so effective in blocking out the engine noise as well as all the ambient noise in the plane. I even used it for watching movies since it came with an airplane audio adapter plug.
iPod Nano & Audio-Technica ANC23

iPod Nano & Audio-Technica ANC23-1

For this entire flight I pre-ordered a Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal. I wish they had a low carb meal option instead. The bread was hard and the minced chicken filling was dry. I picked out what little chicken there was and ate that. So so sad and hungry.
Cathay Pacific Low Fat:Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)

My flight from Manila to Hong Kong was ok except for one flaw. I only had 55 minutes to connect to my SFO flight in Hong Kong and the plane left Manila 40 minutes late!! I was quite calm because the flight attendant assured me that the plane will wait for me. But to be sure they wanted to move me to business class after my sad, sad meal so I can leave the plane first. Thank goodness business class was full so they had no choice but to move me to first class!!!

I got the chance to sit in Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-300’s AWESOME first class suite if only for 30 minutes. Time flew by sooooo fast.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER First Class

Never mind that I looked like some gauche provincial lass but the minute I got to first class I whipped out my camera and started taking pictures fast. It could be the only time I would get to ride in first class unless I manage to rack up tons of mileage on Asia Miles.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-301

Imagine having your hand carry and bag up right in front of you and not having to haul it up in crowded overhead bins.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-302

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-303
tray table

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-304
convenience outlet

I never got to enjoy the 17″ tv since I was too busy taking pictures and exploring all parts of my suite.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-305

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-306

There was a Bose noise cancelling headphone too.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-307

There was even a small cabinet to hang your coat.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-308

The other suites were configured differently. My suite was the one in the middle.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-309

The very nice flight attendant in first class offered to take my picture. It will be my goal to eventually fly a long haul flight in first class one day. I shall return first class!!! The seat and pillows were super duper comfy. A far, far, far, far cry from my seat in economy.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-310

The bathroom was big and spacious too.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-311

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-312

Luckily the flight to San Francisco was delayed by 30 minutes so I didn’t have to run like crazy. I took my time walking and got to the gate when they just started boarding. I even managed to buy a snack at Pacific Coffee to make up for the sad, sad breakfast.

On the long haul leg I paid US$100 to get an extra leg room seat. Sitting here has it’s pros and cons.
1. You get to stretch your legs and get up anytime without having to bother anyone or anyone bothering you.

1. The tv comes out from below and the remote control is located on the side, making the seat width a little smaller.
2. Since there is no seat in front of you there is no place to store your bag or shoes under a chair. I was lucky that there wasn’t anyone sitting beside me so I was able to put my bag on the seat.
3. The convenience outlet wasn’t conveniently accessible as opposed to the picture above. It was located way down in the middle of two seats.
4. There isn’t a cup holder or a hook.
Cathay Pacific economy exit row

5. You are located near the bathroom. It’s a plus if you go to the bathroom often since you will always know if no one is using it.
Cathay Pacific economy exit row-1

But it’s also a big NO since there’s always somebody standing in your open space lining up for the bathroom.
Cathay Pacific economy exit row-2

Next time I will choose the window seat which is for free since there is some blockage but the remaining space is still quite sufficient for easy movement. With more cons than pros do I regret paying for extra leg room? My answer is no. I still appreciated the freedom to move about and not be bothered.

I’ve read several complaints about the economy seat on travel forums. The new economy seat has a fixed back that doesn’t recline. Instead the back portion simply slides down partially giving you the illusion of reclining. It was totally useless but I didn’t really mind it. My biggest problem was the seat and back support. It was a good thing I brought a small inflatable back pillow which helped out a lot. I also used the pillow of the empty seat to sit on. My butt was sore from the thin cushion of the seat.
Cathay Pacific economy exit row-3

This was the menu on economy.
Cathay Pacific's economy class long haul menu
economy lunch menu

Cathay Pacific's economy class long haul menu -1
economy brunch menu

The ONLY advantage of ordering a special meal was you get to be served first. By the time I finished eating the rest of the passengers were only starting to be served their meals. This meant I had first dibs on the bathroom. This was a big help specially when we were about to land. The lines for the bathroom seemed endless.
Cathay Pacific Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul lunch
Cathay Pacific Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML) – Long Haul lunch

Cathay Pacific Low Fa/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul lunch-1

Yes it was healthy but it wasn’t very good. The chicken breast was quite tough and overcooked. I didn’t mind that it was simply seasoned with a little salt and pepper.
Cathay Pacific Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul lunch-2
seared chicken breast

I did enjoy the salad.
Cathay Pacific Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul lunch-3

The steak at brunch was quite tender and a big improvement over the chicken. I also had some turkey from the sandwich offered in between meals. Many people had the instant noodle cup.
Cathay Pacific Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul Brunch
Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul Brunch

Cathay Pacific Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul Brunch-1

And that’s my experience on Cathay Pacific. I’ll be blogging about the restaurants I’ve eaten at in San Francisco, Virginia, Washington DC and New York. Yes the DIET has been compromised but I still try my best to be a good girl and eat the right food. But darn those irresistible cookies, scones and cornbread.

5 thoughts on “Cathay Pacific Flight – Manila to San Francisco

  1. yeah that sure looked like a sad sad be really sad too if that was served to me 😛 however bawi naman sila sa 30-minute first class seat! 🙂 i agree with you i love the long legroom a.k.a. the exit row area 🙂 its really impt for me to be able to stretch my legs during long haul flights 🙂 when are you coming home? xmas dinner with jin soon?


  2. Sad breakfast, but at least you got transferred to first class. I liked that watch strap for iPod Nano which you bought at greenhills. Very convenient to have when you have to move around a lot–you have one less thing to mind, instead of it dangling about. I was watching youtube in my old iPhone when I saw this funny video of a parody of a recent controversy with Manny and Marquez. The title was catchy: Mexicans plan to take out Pacquiao. Anyway, here’s the link:


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