Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Manila to Johannesburg

I just came back from a trip of a lifetime to South Africa and it all started with snagging a buy 1 take 1 business class ticket on Cathay Pacific. Read my trip report.

My friends were already booked on Singapore Airlines but I wanted to take business class for a long flight so I patiently waited for a promo ticket and luckily Citibank came out with a promotion for Cathay Pacific and I patiently queued at Rockwell and it was worth it.

My journey began last April 11, 2016 at the new CX lounge at NAIA 3. Check in was fast and easy. 
Cathay Pacific Manila Lounge

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThe lounge wasn’t that big but I liked the simple yet classy interiors. The temperature in the lounge was quite warm though that’s why there were numerous Dyson fans placed in each seating area. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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Cathay Pacific Manila Lounge-004
Dining Area

There wasn’t a buffet area only an open kitchen where you can order some hot meals. 

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Open Kitchen

This drink list was from the separate bar area. There were canned drinks and a coffee machine in the kitchen area too. 

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I haven’t had lunch so I ordered a wonton noodle soup, shrimp dumplings and barbecue pork bun. The noodles were hard, the soup salty but the wontons were ok. The dumplings were horrible while the pork bun was actually good and I had another one. The iced mocha from the bar was quite good. 

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Cathay Pacific Manila Lounge- Iced Mocha, BBQ Pork Bun and Wonton Noodle Soup
Iced Mocha, BBQ Pork Bun and Wonton Noodle Soup

My traveling companion was Rochelle’s mom, Auntie Lily, who had the same meal as I did plus this veggie noodles which she said was better than the wonton noodle soup. 

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Cathay Pacific Manila Lounge- Stir Fry Vegetable Noodles
Stir Fry Vegetable Noodles

I was looking for outlets where I can charge my iPhone and noticed the foreigner across me opening the drawer and plugging his phone. What a smart idea CX!!!

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Cathay Pacific Manila Lounge-009

April 11, 2016

FIRST LEG – MANILA TO HONG KONG CX 918 (777-300)

Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes

CX emailed me a day earlier that they were changing to a smaller plane so my chosen seat would be changed. The business class section only had a few passengers.

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CX 777-300 Mnl to Hkg
CX 777-300 Mnl to Hkg

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CX 777-301

My most important travel accessories are my iPod Nano and my Bose QC20 noise canceling headphones. As soon as I sit down I plug the headphones in my ears and block out the airplane noise, crying babies, loud chatter and quickly fall asleep. I woke up after the plane had taken off. I didn’t even realize the plane was on the ground for almost an hour before takeoff. 

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Ipod Nano and Bose QC20
Ipod Nano and Bose QC20

CX Mnl to HKG Dinner

I appreciate that they give bottles of water even in short flights unlike PAL who offered to give me a liter of water on my long flight to San Francisco since they didn’t have small bottles of water. Well sometimes they have sometimes they don’t. I guess it depends who’s running the airline at the time. 

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CX Mnl to HKG Dinner-001

The last time I took CX business class a year ago I was very disappointed in the food. Thankfully the food has improved a lot. The fish was actually well cooked and tender. I really liked the veggie risotto and well as the mushroom and French beans. Wipe out! The blueberry cheesecake was bad though. Funny before only the salad and desserts were good. This time it was the other way around. 
CX Mnl to HKG Dinner-002

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI was still full from the inflight dinner so I just had a few excellent Portuguese egg tarts at The Bridge lounge. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Portugese Egg Tart from CX The Bridge Lounge
Portugese Egg Tart from CX The Bridge Lounge

SECOND LEG – HONG KONG TO JOHANNESBURG CX 749 (777-300ER) 

Duration: 12 hours 40 minutes

I like taking late night flights so I can sleep on the plane and wake up to a new country. 
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These pictures were taken on a different flight but the plane and seats are the same. CX’s  777-300ER business class seat is one of my favorite airplane seats. I love the 1-2-1 layout and always get the solo seat by the window for full privacy. The seat seems small but it’s quite comfortable even when it’s flat. 

CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB
CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB Business Class seat

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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB-001
Reverse herringbone aisle access

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The seat adjustment control is just fantastic. I love how my back can be slightly reclined while the legs be up straight. The plug and usb plug is also right next to you for easy charging of gadgets. CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB-002

I prefer using my own headphones because I find over the ear headphones uncomfortable and I can’t fall asleep with them on. I appreciate the cubby to store my toiletries, phone and eyeglasses. CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB-004

More storage space below for my water bottle and other stuff. 

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsCX 777 300ER HKG to JNB-003

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The lcd screen was huge! They put a new duvet on the small seat on our long haul flight.

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They have a lot of movies and tv shows to choose from. Even their music selection is quite diverse. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB-008

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I use the provided Jurlique balancing foaming cleanser to wash my face followed by a spritz of the citrus purifying mist. I use the Jurlique face cream provided in the amenity kit. CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Jurlique bathroom products//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
 

The amenity kit’s pouch was a bit boring but functional. On the way to JNB it was a wide pouch while they gave a much slimmer version on the flight back. Inside were the usual toothbrush, eye mask, socks (no slippers like in JAL) and tiny Jurlique products. They only give pajamas in first class unlike Qatar who gives a pair to business class passengers too.
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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Seventy Eight Percent Business Class Amenity Kit
Seventy Eight Percent Business Class Amenity Kit

CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB-006

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I had a gin and tonic while watching Inside Out. 
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I didn’t like the pink dip but ate the other one which I assumed was hummus. 

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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Savoury Dips and Grissini
Savoury Dips and Grissini

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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Roasted Lamb Shoulder, French Beans, Ratatouille and Mashed Turnips
Roasted Lamb Shoulder, French Beans, Ratatouille and Mashed Turnips

 

The lamb was amazingly fork tender! Delicious! 

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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Roasted Lamb Shoulder, French Beans, Ratatouille and Mashed Turnips-001

 

Healthy dessert of fresh berries and a cheese plate. I got two pieces of chocolates from the box offered to me. I was shy to ask for the whole box. Yum. 

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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Seasonal Berries in Rose Syrup, Cheese Plate & Pralines
Seasonal Berries in Rose Syrup, Cheese Plate & Pralines

 

Miraculously I slept through the long flight and woke up 3 hours before landing in time to watch the comedy Spy starring Melissa McCarthy, wash up and have breakfast. I normally can’t sleep on long flights but I did on the comfy seat.  

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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Breakfast Menu//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I can eat Bircher Muesli everyday. Happy it’s on the menu. 

CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Bircher Muesli and Blueberries
Bircher Muesli and Blueberries

 

Eggs were soft, meats were ok. 

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CX 777 300ER HKG to JNB- Scrambled Eggs, Streaky Bacon, Pork Sausage, Portobello Mushroom, Tomatoes, Bubble & Squeak
Scrambled Eggs, Streaky Bacon, Pork Sausage, Portobello Mushroom, Tomatoes, Bubble & Squeak

April 24, 2016

First Leg – Johannesburg to Hong Kong CX 748 (777-300 ER)

Duration: 12 hours 40 minutes

We took a super early morning flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg where I slept the entire flight only to wake up for a light breakfast. Our flight to Hong Kong was at noon that’s why I slept only a couple of hours for the whole flight. 

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If you come from South Africa there has to be game meat on the menu. The smoked ostrich was quite nice. 

CX 748 JNB to HKG - Smoked Ostrich, Caramelized Apple Slices and Cherry Tomato
Smoked Ostrich, Caramelized Apple Slices and Cherry Tomato

 

Eagle eye readers may notice I brought my own disposable slippers to wear onboard. 

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CX 748 JNB to HKG - Butternut and Mesclun Salad with Tomato Pistachio Dressing
Butternut and Mesclun Salad with Tomato Pistachio Dressing

 

I almost never order the Asian meal on flights but after 2 weeks of eating meat or seafood and fries I was yearning for rice and pork. We didn’t have a single pork during the trip. I don’t think it’s popular in South Africa with all the other exotic meats they have. Boy, did the rice and pork hit the spot. 

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CX 748 JNB to HKG - Roast Side of Pork, Oriental Barbecue Sauce, Pak Choy and Jasmine Rice
Roast Side of Pork, Oriental Barbecue Sauce, Pak Choy and Jasmine Rice

 

South African Melktert (Milk Tart) is a staple dessert which we tried when we were in the safari. This version bore no semblance to the soft, panna cotta like dessert we had. At least the cheese and chocolates saved my dessert. 

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CX 748 JNB to HKG - Milk Tart, Cheese Plate, Coffee and Pralines
Milk Tart, Cheese Plate, Coffee and Pralines

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CX 748 JNB to HKG - Coffee and Passionfruit Orange Energizer
Coffee and Passionfruit Orange Energizer

 

Bircher muesli again yehey! 

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CX 748 JNB to HKG - Bircher Muesli
Bircher Muesli

 

The ground beef was good but the pancake was too thick and hard so I skipped that. 

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CX 748 JNB to HKG - Minced Beef Pancake, Portobello Mushroom, Tomato, Fried Potatoes and Cheese Sauce
Minced Beef Pancake, Portobello Mushroom, Tomato, Fried Potatoes and Cheese Sauce

 

SECOND LEG: HONG KONG TO MANILA CX 901 (A330)

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

CX’s older planes feature herringbone aisle access which people nicknamed “coffin class” or “coffin seats.”  I hate these seats because they feel claustrophobic and very tight. I would hate to fly long haul on this plane. I don’t mind it on a short flight to Manila. 

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CX "Coffin Seats"
CX “Coffin Seats”

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CX 901 HKG to MNL Breakfast Menu

I didn’t see the corned beef hash. 

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CX 901 HKG to MNL - Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Portobello Mushroom and Corned Beef Hash
Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Portobello Mushroom and Corned Beef Hash

That’s my flight experience on Cathay Pacific. I forgot the mention that the service was flawless and very efficient. I sat on the first row next to the galley and didn’t hear a peep from the staff.

Come back for the details of my trip to South Africa including 3 days of safari, a trip to Franschhoek and Cape Town.

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One thought on “Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Manila to Johannesburg

  1. thank you! i loved this report! i’m a bit apprehensive since for the trip to europe this year, will take qatar instead of cathay pacific, and we’re used to cathay pacific service. but it looks like qatar should be okay, based on your other trip report!

    Like

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