Initially, I booked a one-way first class flight on Cathay Pacific from Taipei to Hong Kong (TPE-HKG) using 13,500 British Airways Avios. This was supposed to be my very first international first class flight ever (albeit short), but there was a last minute equipment swap the day before.
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Since the new plane didn’t have a First Class cabin, I was involuntarily downgraded to Business Class and was offered 500 HKD ~ $64.48 USD as compensation. In addition, the agent informed me that my original flight was severely delayed due to black rain and offered to switch me to an earlier flight since I arrived pretty early to Taipei International Airport. I couldn’t afford to be delayed because I had a tight connection on the last Turbojet ferry from Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to Macau.
After visiting the Cathay Pacific First and Business Class lounge, I headed to departure gate B5. I was excited to try out Cathay Pacific for the very first time even though the short flight from Taipei to Hong Kong was one hour and a half.
The Business Class cabin on the Airbus A330-300 (A333) was in a 2-2-2 configuration.
My seat (recliner) was in the middle bulkhead section of the cabin with direct aisle access. In-flight entertainment could be accessed from the TV screen in front of me.
Headphones were available in the seat pocket on the bulkhead.
The flight attendant offered me a glass of champagne as a pre-departure beverage.
During boarding, the flight attendant passed out the Business Class menu and it reads as follows (keep in mind that this is a 1.5 hour flight):
Fresh seasonal Fruit
Braised spare ribs with onions, vegetable rice and braised Chinese cabbage with dried shrimp
Garlic grilled chicken thigh with black pepper sauce, deep-fried new potatoes, grilled zucchini and capsicum
Blueberry milk cream mousse with crushed cookies
Tea and Coffee
Juices – orange, apple, tomato
Soft Drinks – Coke Zero, Coke, Coke Light, Sprite, Perrier water, tonic water, soda water, and ginger ale
Coffee – freshly brewed coffee
Teas – Hong Kong style milk tea, Ceylon, Japanese, jasmine, oolong, organic selection: camomile, earl grey, and peppermint
Here’s a list of champagne, wine, beer, and spirits:
After the flight reached cruising altitude, I saw a multitude of flight attendants come out to the Business Class cabin to take drink and entrée selection orders. I just had to try their famous Hong Kong style milk tea and it was delicious.
Every flight attendant worked as fast as they could while taking down orders and bringing drinks out before the food came out. Keep in mind that the flight time from Taipei to Hong Kong is one and a half hours with a full meal service. I couldn’t believe that all this was happening in a short amount of time.
I ordered the braised spare ribs with onions and it came with cabbage, vegetable rice, bread, fruit, and a blueberry milk cream mousse all on one plate. The food was presented well and was absolutely delicious.
Since I was involuntary downgraded from First Class to Business Class, I requested a partial Avios refund from British Airways since I used 13,500 Avios for a first class award ticket. The correct amount of miles for this 501 mile trip should have been 9,000 in Business Class, a difference of 4,500 Avios. Even though this was a short 90 minute flight, I enjoyed every minute of it and would definitely recommend Cathay Pacific Business Class for 9,000 British Airways Avios. I couldn’t imagine how the service or food would be like in First Class on this Taipei to Hong Kong short haul and hopefully I’ll get to try it in the future.