An Asian Holiday: Part 15 – Cathay Pacific First Class from Hong Kong to the US

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An Asian Holiday: Part 15 – Cathay Pacific First Class from Hong Kong to the US

Million Mile SecretsAn Asian Holiday: Part 15 – Cathay Pacific First Class from Hong Kong to the USMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I celebrated Christmas with his family in Macau and Hong Kong for ~8 days.  It was our 1st time in Macau and Hong Kong and we were very excited to visit!

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Daraius Can’t Wait to Hang Out in His First Class Cabin Suite

An Asian Holiday – Trip Report Index:

How You Can Do It Too!

We used 135,000 American Airlines miles to fly Cathay Pacific First Class.  The regular price for a 1-wayFirst Class flight from Hong Kong to Chicago can cost ~$16,173, so this is a great use of American Airlines miles!

How to Get the Miles:

1.   Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

You get 100,000 miles when you spend $10,000 within 3 months using the Citi American Airlines Executive card.   So this is the easiest way to get the points to fly First Class on Etihad. [Expired]

Here are 40+ Ways to Complete Minimum Spending Requirements!

2.   Citi American Airlines Cards

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® each get you 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within 3 months.

3.   American Express Starwood Hotel Cards

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express each get you 25,000 Starwood points when you spend $5,000 within 6 months.  Starwood points transfer to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.  You’ll also get a 5,000 point bonus each time you transfer 20,000 points to American Airlines.

If you earn the bonus on both cards you will have 60,000 Starwood points (50,000 bonus points + 10,000 points from completing the minimum spending).  You can transfer Starwood hotel points to American Airlines.  60,000 Starwood hotel points transfers to 75,000 American Airlines miles (60,000 miles + 15,000 transfer bonus).

Cathay Pacific First Class From Hong Kong to the US

We were the only 2 in First Class and the purser joked that we could have a dining and living room if we wanted!

Daraius and I had assigned seating in First Class, but we moved to the back seats to be farther away from the galley.  And it meant we could sit next to each other instead of in front of or behind each other.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
I Could Get Used to This!

The cabins looked brand new.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
The Leather Seats Were So Soft and Luxurious

Cathay Pacific pays attention to the details.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Every Suite Had Fresh Flowers

Footstools doubled as chairs for partners who want to sit together.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
You Could Spend Intimate Time With Your Loved One

There were different outlets for your electronics.  I liked that I could charge my computer and my phone at the same time.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Onboard Power So You Can Work or Play

The controls were located near the seat.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
There Were 165 Movies All Within an Easy Reach

There was also a storage compartment next to the controls.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Hmm?  What Should I Put in Here?

The seat included an armchair, which was a nice touch!

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Cathay Pacific Has the Largest First Class Armrests of All the Airlines

We also had fresh flowers.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
The Purple Orchids Added a Touch of Elegance

We were given pajamas…

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
The 100% Organic Cotton Pye Sleep Suit Made Sleeping a Dream!

…and amenity kits for this ~15 hour flight.

I received a women’s Trussardi kit.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Even Though Aesop Is an Australian Company, They Provided the Lip and Hand Cream

And Daraius was given a men’s Ermenegildo Zegna kit.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Acca Kappa, an Italian Fragrance and Body Care Company, Supplied the Toiletries in Daraius’ Kit

The staff was excellent.  We were the only passengers in First Class, so they said to make ourselves comfortable and use more than one suite if we wanted.

They also took lots of pictures of us, trying different angles to get the best photos.  Throughout the flight, they made sure we had enough water, food, and anything else we wanted.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Emily Doing Her Best Goldilocks Impression: “This Suite Was Too Hard.”

The seats were so large that both of us could fit in one.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Suites Were the Perfect Size for Snuggling

After we took off, Daraius and I ordered lunch.  Because we had so much room we ate separately.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Emily Getting Cozy and Comfy for Lunch

The staff set our tables…

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
I Love Being Pampered, Especially While Flying!

We each received handwritten notes from the staff, which was a nice touch!

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
The Crew Took Their Time to Make Our Flights Memorable With Personal Touches

The menus contained a good selection of food.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
There Were So Many Food Options, It Was Hard to Decide

Daraius wanted an all-fish menu, and ordered caviar and Balik salmon.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Daraius Went Fancy and Ordered the Most Expensive Appetizer

He looked so handsome in his Cathay Pacific pajamas!

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Now If I Can Get Him to Wear These Pajamas Around the House

After his 1st course, he had pork soup with carrots and dried pak choi.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Daraius Wasn’t a Fan of the Soup Because of All the Vegetables

For his entree he had steamed cod with preserved mushrooms, greens, and rice.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Good Thing There Was a Big Bowl of Rice Because the Cod was Really Small

Daraius chose the double boiled papaya soup for dessert.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
The Soup Wasn’t as Sweet as Daraius Thought It Would be

I had a delicious beet salad and fettucini with tomato sauce and ripe tomatoes.  The fettucini was made from scratch.  Because of the cooking lesson on our anniversary trip to Italy, I could really taste the difference between packaged and freshly made noodles!

Then the attendants made my bed, complete with 2 pillows and a down comforter big enough to cover me.  The seat was so large I could stretch out and relax.

It was such a nice treat to be in First Class on an airline I had always heard such good things about!  These are the moments in life I’m thankful for, even if they happen once.

After napping for a few hours, I had a fig cake and ice cream snack.  The fig cake was amazing and tasted like it just came out of the oven.  The flight attendant said that it would take ~15 minutes to prepare, so I suspect that it was freshly made.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
Dessert Made to Order – It Doesn’t Get Better Than This

After a few hours, I had Chinese egg tarts and cheese.  The egg tarts were also amazing!!!

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
I Was Very Impressed With How Good the Food Was!

Both were very delicious, but I preferred the egg tarts.  Although, the cheese helped neutralize the sweetness of the tarts and made a good pairing.  I had a pot of Chinese jasmine tea.

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
A Spoon Full of Sugar

Still being in the festive spirit, I watched Home Alone, a movie I hadn’t seen in many years.  It was so fun to watch and brought back happy memories of seeing it as a kid.  The best part of the flight was that Daraius and I were able to sit together and watch the movie!

Cathay Pacific First Class Review
We Decided Not to Watch Reality TV

For my pre-flight snack, I had the bakery basket with a muffin, croissant, and a strawberry pastry.  They were served with honey, jam, and butter.

I loved the muffin, which tasted like jasmine or green tea.  I also ordered a bowl of fruit and a delicious fresh guava smoothie.

Soon, it was time for landing so we packed up our things.  We breezed through Customs and Immigration and went to the American Airlines Lounge.

Being in the American Airlines lounge reminded me how different the service is in US lounges as opposed to foreign airlines lounges!

How You Can Do It Too!

We used 135,000 American Airlines miles to fly Cathay Pacific First Class.  The regular price for a 1-way First Class flight from Hong Kong to Chicago can cost ~$16,173, so this is a great use of American Airlines miles!

How to Get the Miles:

1.   Citi American Airlines Executive Card

You get 100,000 miles when you spend $10,000 within 3 months using the Citi American Airlines Executive card.   So this is the easiest way to get the points to fly First Class on Etihad.

Here are 40+ Ways to Complete Minimum Spending Requirements!

2.   Citi American Airlines Cards

The Citi American Airlines Personal card and Citi American Airlines Business card each get you 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within 3 months.

Note: You are allowed 2 Citi Personal cards within 65 days.  But you can NOT get more than 1 Citi card at a time.  Wait 8 days to apply for a 2nd Citi card.

3.   American Express Starwood Hotel Cards

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express each get you 25,000 Starwood points when you spend $5,000 within 6 months.  Starwood points transfer to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.  You’ll also get a 5,000 point bonus each time you transfer 20,000 points to American Airlines.

If you earn the bonus on both cards you will have 60,000 Starwood points (50,000 bonus points + 10,000 points from completing the minimum spending).  You can transfer Starwood hotel points to American Airlines.  60,000 Starwood hotel points transfers to 75,000 American Airlines miles (60,000 miles + 15,000 transfer bonus).

Bottom Line

Cathay Pacific First Class was a wonderful experience.  We had outstanding service and were treated like a king and queen.

It might have helped that we were the only First Class passengers, but I’d like to think they treat everyone royally.   The pajamas were so comfortable I didn’t want to take them off.

The food was Daraius’ favorite part of the flight!  I preferred the large seat.

 

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Hi Darius, I used AA miles to book a Cathay Pacific business class flight from ord to bkk via hkg. My first segment is on AA from cmh to ord (same itinerary). Will I get my lounge pass when I check in with AA in cmh? Can I use the lounge pass in ord and hkg?

HI Daraius,

Loved your blog. I am about to book a flight on Cathay too. One questions, when you said you used 135k miles to get the first class, did you mean each person?

Note – Just booked my wife and I in Cathay first for 160k miles each – that’s all it it takes roundtrip with USAir miles! – PHL-ORD-HKG-DPS and returning DPS-HKG-LAX-PHL. $111 total in taxes. Can’t wait. Love reading about what we’re in for.

Hi Daraius,

Is the CX flight you took from HKG to which US city? Is it a 777 or 747 flight? I will take CX F this summer and I hope I’ll be taking the new F as you did. The leather seat looks great. When I took CX F HKG-SFO in 2012, it wasn’t renovated.

– Chris

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Chris – It was a 777 to Chicago.

FYI, I have very good credit score and have not applied any cards since last November. Currently have two citi AA personals and am about to close my buz card. Please feel free to provide any comments!

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