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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Low Fat/Low Cholesterol Meal (LFML)- Long Haul Brunch
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.