Trip Report: Hong Kong and South Africa on Cathay Pacific (CX) First | Part 5

Part 1: How I booked it

Part 2: Kingston YGK-Toronto YYZ-New York City JFK AC Y

Part 3: New York City JFK-Hong Kong CX F

Part 4: Life in Hong Kong

Part 5: Hong Kong HKG-Johannesburg JNB CX F

Part 6: South Africa

Part 7: Going home! JNB-HKG-ORD CX F and ORD-YYZ AA Y


This flight, Hong Kong HKG to Johannesburg JNB, currently operates on a 747. In the near future, Cathay Pacific is set to retire all 747s. For the HKG-JNB route, this retirement is happening quite soon: the last official flight carrying first class is on August 2nd, and sporadic flights occurring for the rest of August.

The 747 uses the old First Class product. Compared to the new product, there isn’t much difference in the look of it, other than the fact it looks a little more worn, and the paneling is more plastic looking. Substantially, the cushioning on the seat felt noticeably worse than on the new First Class product. I would rather fly on the new First rather than on the Old version.

My partner and I were lucky enough to grab the front seats of the First Class cabin. On the 747, the front seats are placed at the nose (bottom floor) of the plane. It’s great for a couple: you’re really close to each other, and you can easily talk. Moreover, as there’s no traffic in the aisle, it feels as close as you’re going to get like a private jet.

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CX 747 F nose

As usual, the flight started with an amuse-bouche and a drink order. I had a glass of Krug (of course), and the amuse-bouche was a delicious tuna and mango medley.

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Wanting to get some sleep later on this flight, I ordered dinner service right away. As I mentioned in my previous CX report, the First Class seat offers the opportunity for couples to dine together.

I have to offer my apologies: I forgot to take picture of my dinner. I’m bad, I know. Please forgive me. All I will say is that it was great 😛 I had the usual caviar, and a delicious lamb offering.

I tried to get to sleep, but sleep would just not come. I spent all night watching some sitcoms and drinking the delicious wines on offer.

I have to say, I do not like the TV they have in the old First Class. It is angled in such a way that when you try to lie down, it’s hitting your ankles. It’s also a PITA to store the TV when you want as the hinges were stiff.

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For breakfast I had the dim-sum, which was delicious. My partner had the full-breakfast, which he said was the best he’s ever had on a plane.

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