I don’t know about you but it has always been my dream to fly in business class. When you travel as much as we do, the thought of getting ushered into the VIP section of the plane where you are plied with luxury foods and drinks is very alluring. Sadly for me I don’t have the bank balance to match my dreams. I have always heard stories from friends getting free upgrades over the years, and I would get gussied up for every flight I ever went on just in case, but it never happened until a few months ago when I was offered an upgrade to economy plus in BA, and through some kind of computer malfunction I ended up with a business class seat. Now a few short weeks later I was upgraded to business again via Cathay Pacific, I guess once you are in the VIP club you are in everywhere. and here are all the perks I enjoyed.
One of the best thing about going business class is the lounge access, as it just gets your trip off to a great start. I have to say that lounges vary widely, some are the upper echelon’s playgrounds where the rich and famous hang out, while others are some comfy rooms with some free snacks. On the way out, our lounge in Seoul was the latter, Cathay Pacific are currently building a swanky new lounge in the new terminal so we visited the temporary one. Our flight was in the early morning but there was a breakfast spread available. Included were a few hot dishes like scrambled eggs and sausages, plus fruit, cereal, milk, yogurt, juice coffee and teas etc. For the holiday goer who likes to start drinking early, they also had beer and wine. I’m imagining they put out the hard liquor later in the day. It was a quiet space to hang out, and located very close to our gate, though I wish there had been more power outlets available. Since this is a standard feature at the public spaces in Incheon I think it should be available in business class areas too.
The seats on the plane were what really made it, I was blown away by the amount of room we had. As it was such a short flight I imagined that we would just be sitting in slightly fancier seats at the font but they ended up being a full on reclining flat bed. We weren’t on the plane for more than two minutes when one man hunkered down to take a nap. There was no travel kit, though most amenities were provided in the bathroom, which was the same size and design as economy with just slightly nicer toiletries.
As soon as we sat down and made ourselves comfortable champagne was offered, I’m not one to turn down a free drink ever so this was lovely, and throughout the flight the drinks kept on coming. Generally on a normal flight I will will get up and walk to the bar to get my drinks saving the staff from an extra hike. But I felt no qualms on ordering anything I wanted while reclining in my fancy seat. It was an early morning flight so there was no specific booze menu provided, but all my requests for mimosas and Bloody Marys were met, plus my vodka soda limes. My only gripe is that the brands were not the top shelf I was expecting, just generic Absolut and Bombay Sapphire etc; which is what you get in economy.
About 30 minutes into the flight our breakfast menu was presented, we were given the choice of a full English, BBQ pork with noodles and seaweed and clam congee. My chubby hubby went for the full English while I took the noodles. As well as this we had fresh bread and pastries brought around; you could also have yogurt, fresh fruit, and cereal but since I can eat that at home I declined. The food came served in china dishes, though apart from the plates I thought it seemed very similar to what you get in the foil trays in cattle class. The bread came round in a basket and was served individually which was a nice touch, and we were given table napkins and real cutlery, but I think they could offer a much better menu given the price point.
On our return journey our flight was over sold so they asked us to take the next flight in two hours in exchange for a free upgrade and 100,000 each. We didn’t need to think twice about that. Cathay being a Hong Kong airline, the main lounge is in the airport. In fact there are two, we visited the one nearest our gate which was the Wing but there is also one called the Pier. This was really quite impressive, a long bar serving everything you can imagine and cocktails filled the the room and gave you a nice view of the planes outside. In between vlogging and photographing I managed to drink a considerable amount of their cocktails.
Food wise there were several different sections spread throughout (I document them thoroughly in my youtube video at the top). A main hot and cold buffet serving dishes such as pasta, and curry etc. They also had a section with cheese, sandwiches, snacks and nuts. The main food however was in the noodle bar. Made to order were four different kinds of noodles and bao buns. There was also a cake and coffee shop section which had more desserts and drinks to go. It was impressive to see all the different areas instead of one large buffet. It felt more like you were in the rest of the terminal except that everything was free. Despite knowing we would be getting a meal on the plane I of course still had to over indulge.
Our seats on the way home were the exact same as the ones on the way out, so I won’t bore you with those details again. As the flight was in the afternoon, this time we were served an evening meal which included a bar menu. They actually came round with the drinks trolley and some warm nuts which seemed really novel, despite it being a prerequisite of every flight I have ever been on. Shortly after that we we given our starter of smoked duck breast with caramelised apple and marinated barley. Our main course was stir-fried prawn with garlic chili sauce, choy sum, carrot, and steamed rice, and for pudding we got a Haagen Dazs ice cream, though I decided to make mine into an affagato with a side of baileys. They also came round with a cheese trolley which I also took full advantage of. These are the touches that really added to the meal and made us feel very special indeed.
I have to say I’m spoiled for life now, and really need to consider upgrading more often. We recently just flew economy smartium with Asiana and I have to say I couldn’t stop starting longingly forward at business class the whole flight. Heres hoping for an upgrade next time we fly!