Flying Business Class With Cathay Pacific – Hong Kong to London

You may think I’m mad but while many people would get excited about the extensive champagne, wine and cocktails available in business class, one of the best bits about first and business class travel for me is getting to enjoy a large, warm mug of freshly made tea at 35,000 feet. (You can take the girl out of England..)

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class - Hong Kong to London
A comforting mug of tea in business class with Cathay Pacific

Of course, this was just one of my favourite parts of my recent business class flight with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to London.

Flying Business Class With Cathay Pacific

I’ve flown with Cathay Pacific to and from Asia several times now and when it came to my recent trip back to London from Sydney they were the first airline I thought of. Although I had never flown business with them before, I knew from previous experience that the food, service and entertainment in economy and premium economy was top notch. On this trip I was lucky enough to discover that business takes this one step further.

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class - Hong Kong to London
A warm welcome on board

The Business Class Seat

Before I dive into the service and food on the flight I must, of course, mention the seat.

Business class on this route comes with a fully flat bed, which is just over 2 metres (82 inches) long.

The seating arrangement, which reminded me of my experience flying first class with British Airways, is incredibly private. I was seated in a window seat (with 2 whole viewing opps to myself) and couldn’t see a single other passenger from within my little booth. If I Ieaned very far forward I could just about make out what the man to my left was eating, but couldn’t see his face from my seated position. (The seats do slide forward if you are travelling with a companion and want to chat though.)

The bed was wide enough for me to curl up in my usual foetal sleeping position, you can curve your knees around the storage compartment and raise or lower the armrest depending on whether you want more space or privacy.

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class - Hong Kong to London
Control panel for seat, reading light and plug sockets
Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class - Hong Kong to London
Business class booth with a view

The control terminal for my seat was situated to the right of my head panel. From here, I could change the recline of the seat as well as lie it completely flat – although staff are on hand to make up the bed for you should you need it – and at a glance I could see how much longer we had left on the flight.

Needless to say the legroom was more than ample. I couldn’t reach the footrest at the end of my section unless the seat was in a flat position.

I particularly liked having an extra reading light in the head panel and a secret make up mirror I found hidden in the cubby hole where the noise-cancelling headphones are hung.

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class - Hong Kong to London
Handy mirror for make up touch ups and storage for glasses and phone

In-Flight Entertainment

The in-flight entertainment system is excellent. The touch screen measures 15.4 inches and has a large library of recent and popular movies as well as world cinema. It wasn’t until the end of my flight I discovered the different sections of over 500 TV shows (I’d mistakenly thought there was just the 1 popular category and later found the drama, comedy, etc sections). I managed to catch up with 4 episodes of The Missing once I realised my mistake though. You can also connect your own ipod or ipad and stream audio and video content to the TV. There is also a USB port for recharging devices.

The Service

From take off to landing the staff were brilliant – polite and friendly, onhand to help you with everything. We were served breakfast shortly after take off, which I wasn’t hungry enough to take full advantage of, but I did indulge in a snack later.

The Food

I tried to order the Afternoon Tea Set on the menu but they were unfortunately all gone. Instead the staff made me a fresh, juicy Australian grain fed beef burger with Swiss cheese. It was my first burger in the sky and didn’t disappoint.

Later I enjoyed some pesto marinated prawns and chicken breast with caramelised onion sauce for lunch but (you know what my sweet tooth is like) it was the toffee cheesecake for dessert and box of pralines that came around after that really made me smile.

There was also a cheese trolley, which Justin would have loved, but I was too full to try.

To accompany lunch I ordered a glass of the Spy Valley Malborough Sauvignon Blanc. Looking back I wish I had also tried the Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne – it just felt too early in the day at the time!

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class - Hong Kong to London
Enjoying the continental selection at breakfast
Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class - Hong Kong to London
My first burger in the sky!

Meal services are served swiftly as, unlike with BA, staff don’t take your food order but rather come around with a trolley of the dishes already made up. This didn’t effect my order (there was more than enough to go around) but did feel slightly less like a restaurant meal service. That being said, the food was very good and the staff were very considerate about asking if you would like anything else.

Cathay Pacific Business Class meal
Starters – pesto marinated prawns with tomato, French beans and roasted peppers
Cathay Pacific Business Class meal
Mains – roasted corn-fed chicken breast with caramelised onion sauce, kipfler potatoes, baby carrots and sauteed spinach
Cathay Pacific Business Class meal
Dessert – toffee cheesecake with vanilla sauce (my favourite!)


The bathroom was immaculate throughout the flight. The products in the bathroom were Jurlique, just like in the in-flight amenity kit, which consisted of lip cream, hand cream and moisturiser.

I made use of the slipper socks but the cabin was dark and quiet enough when I wanted to snooze that I didn’t feel the need for the eye mask or ear plugs.

In flight amenity kit
In flight amenity kit

The flight was such a pleasant experience – who wouldn’t love a marathon movie and munchie session underneath a duvet! – that I was almost sad when it was over. It was the perfect way to travel home for a reunion with family and friends in the UK.

Feeling fresh after 24 hours of travel!
Feeling fresh after 24 hours of travel!

Thanks so much to Cathay Pacific who generously sponsored my flight home as part of the Life Well Travelled campaign and then surprised me with this business upgrade at Hong Kong airport. All opinions, images and snacks consumed are my own. Find out more about flying business class with Cathay on their website.

Read next:

Flying Singapore Airlines Suites Class

Flying Premium Economy With Cathay Pacific

Flying First Class With British Airways

About the author

I’m Jayne, a travel blogger, content creator and mum to a 4-year-old son. I’ve been blogging since 2010, travelled to 65 countries and share travel guides and tips to help you plan stylish, stress-free trips.

17 thoughts on “Flying Business Class With Cathay Pacific – Hong Kong to London”

  1. Looks amazing! I often fly American Airlines because my mom used to work for them and when I fly standby, I sometimes travel first or business class. This looks similar to AA’s business class from LA to London but the food on Cathay Pacific looks and sounds much better! I hope to fly with them one day. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy travels 🙂

  2. Great write up! I completely agree, I’d skip all the meals just to be able to lie horizontal on a long haul flight. (Although I’ll drink fizz any time of day). I’ve flown first class Virgin before and business on other airlines but it looks like Cathay could be the best for ultimate privacy. I’m not surprised you got too comfy to get off!

    • In comparison to the other Asian airlines I’ve flown business with Cathay definitely rocks in terms of privacy and space. It is a genuine flat bed as opposed to some others which have a slight incline. I’ve never flown first with Virgin so would be interested to see what this is like. One day maybe. I think I’ve used up all my upgrade luck for a while haha.

  3. If you’re going to go long haul, you might as well do it in comfort – and it looks like Cathay Pacific’s business class is all that! I have a dream of flying in business or first, but not for the cocktail list either – I want to try all the culinary offerings from all the big-name chefs who have started creating menus for first and business on major airlines!

  4. Cathay Pacific is one of the top airlines for long international routes and so says the author. I have not taken their long flights yet but the service is the best it could be. It’s good to know the foods offered are this good! The seats and amenities are ideal for continental flights. It is really hard to feel bored or groggy when you fly with this airline.

    • The burger was really good – I also loved the novelty of having it in the sky. I’m always pretty critical of airline food too but it’s pretty impressive when you consider the conditions they’ve whipped it up in!

  5. If youve suffered back of the bus, Business will be a revelation.

    But if you travel up front regularly, Cathay’s Business seat is better than most. Nevertheless, as a 6-4 guy, I find their Business seat (like almost all airlines) too narrow, particularly across the shoulders – making a restful sleep very difficult. And the foot room is the usual cramped cubbyhole.

    However, Cathay’s F product is excellent – a wide seat with plenty of legroom (a significant improvement over their Business offering). Overall, Cathay’s service is very good, efficient and they mostly leave you alone. TIP – avoid seats next to the galley – since they serve meals on china, the clanking of dishes can be distracting – particularly meals served near tail end of flights when you want that last bit of sleep.

    Nobody should care about IFE anymore – seasoned travelers carry a tablet with Bose noise cancelling earbuds (a MUST have!) with content they are interested in, not the usual stale content found on most airlines. Wish they’d all dump IFE, and use the savings to improve seat size/spacing/service.

    • Thanks for your insights – it’s great to have the perspective of someone bigger than my 5ft4 frame as I imagine what you and I consider roomy to be very different!

      I completely disagree about the IFE though. I find flights are a great opportunity to watch new releases and catch up with films and TV shows you wouldn’t otherwise have watched. I like how airlines are now incorporating box sets into the TV options too so you can binge on shows like you would at home with Netflix. I fly Sydney to London often and have got lost in reruns of West Wing, SATC, GOT and many more.


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