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THE HIGH FLYERS GUIDE TO...Cathay Pacific Business Class
the plane: Airbus A330-300
the Route: Sydney to Hong Kong
 
ON THE GROUND
Check-in
Out of Sydney uncrowded and efficient but it is out of Cathay's Hong Kong home base you really score. Even limo'd up business passengers might prefer the swift choice of going by  Hong Kong International Airport via Airport Express (AEL),  and checking in at the dedicated downtown desks at either the  Hong Kong or Kowloon MTR station.
Lounge Lizards
Out of Sydney you share the Qantas lounge. Out of Hong Kong  there is a veritble plethora  of lounges.  All with the chic new Solis chairs (more of those later).   There is The Pier, and the chic new The Cabin with a juice bar and spectacular views of aircraft taking off against the Hong Kong mountains. Cathay Pacific's newest lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, The Bridge will open in September  adjacent to Gate 36. Meanwhile,  the flagship first Class lounge , The Wing has been picking up a clutch of well-deserved  awards.

IN THE AIR
Sitting Pretty
Only two seats in the centre and one by the window equals space and luxury. I'm impressed. Plus  Cathay's new curved seat design makes you feel as if you are almost alone . The seats nearest the windows are angled away from the aisle and towards the windows for maximum privacy. In the middle two there is plenty of privacy too; especially if you open you the in-seat  cupboard door to screen off the person next to you.  Call me shallow but it is the little things I love. A vanity mirror in the  in-seat cupboard means you can brush your hair (come on guys you know you do it too) or refresh makeup  (less men do this I confess) before landing, without having to join the unseemly last minute rush to the toilet just to see how bad you look after a long haul.
As for storage, you want it, you got it. It almost makes me wish I'd bought more luggage.  As well as the overhead locker and side cupboard, there is a foot locker, a water bottle pocket and a spacious side storage area.  Cathay Pacific's new seat has the best, most thoughtfully designed storage of any business class I've been in.
I love the fact that Cathay describe the seat adjuster as 'a precision toggle [which] allows you to adjust the seat position to fit your mood and posture'.  Because it is so comfortable my mood is mellow. How would the seat adapt if I were in a bad mood I wonder?
Techie-heaven comes in the shape of  a power supply with international adaptor a USB and  an iPod dock in each cocooned space.

Luxury Travel on Cathay Pacific

Sleep?
You bet. When fully flat the bed is just over 2 metres (82 inches) long. And around 16.5 cm (6.5 inches) wide . Clever touches include the fact that the side storage compartment offers extra knee space for curling up and sleeping on my side. I can also leave my armrest up for more privacy, or down for more space. A cotton covered duvet is as puffy as a dim sum dumpling.
The Entertainment
My own noise-cancelling headphones are hanging neatly in my side cupboard.  The entertainment has a good selection of movies, games and TV; more than 100 movies, 500 TV shows and 888 music CDs in 10 languages to be exact.  What I like best though is that I can create my own personal playlist of movies at the beginning of the flight, then simply let 'em roll on throughout the journey without having to do any more thinking. A  multi-port Connector  also  allows me to connect  my own electronic devices and stream audio and video content direct  my personal TV, which is then controlled  through my device. Smart.
The Service
The business class design may have changed but luckily the service hasn't. This is Cathay, it's good: quiet, efficient and gently welcoming.  This is hot towel central. I feel pampered.

Luxury Travel in Cathay Pacific

The Food
The Asia fusion food, is so prettily arranged I could already be sitting in one of Hong Kong's best restaurants.  White line table clothes and serene serving make the whole thing an event.  Glad to see you can still get Cathay's famous wonton noodle soup as a between-meals snack too.  There is good selection of New Zealand wines, plus other decent offerings such as a  Fleurie Beaujolais.
Goodie bag
There are orchids, scented spritzers ,lotions and  potions in the toilets. In the amenities pack socks, foam ear plugs, tissue, Murad pomegranate lip protector SPF 15, Essential C Night moisturiser, Revitalizing body cream, dental kit, eye mask .

Luxury Travel

The Little Things
Did I mention the little in seat cupboard? Joking apart, what impressed me about these new seats is that  the little things have been given so much time and thought, positioning of sockets and cupboards. There is even a secret step to help the shorter traveller to reach the overhead bins.
THE CONCLUSION
Cathay Pacific's new business class is up there with the very best. We're impressed. Even a rugby second-rower would have room to sleep. And  you 'd have to be a serious luggage fetish to run out of storage space.
 
Luxury Link:  www.cathaypacific.com/
Hilary Doling 12/8/13
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