At JFK: "Mr. Lam, on behalf of the Marco Polo Club, we'd like to wish you a happy birthday! We would like to offer you a complimentary upgrade to business class!" (Note: I was wondering about this actually, and it came true! I'm 1 for 1 on birthday wishes)
Thank you, Cathay Pacific. Finally, I feel like a value customer again (after NY and NJ transit, car rental, and airlines, I've lost faith). More importantly, now I can actually experience the damn thing rather than hearing about others complaints! I've seen them many times on my way to economy, but have never sat in one. The seats (beds?) are pointed at a 45 degree angle towards the aisle (no doubt a major shock to the usual business class traveler when they first saw it). Since thtere are two aisles, there are a total of four seats per row (as oppose to the usual six or so in other airlines) that can go all the way down as a flat bed.
Two of the major problems with Cathay's business class is immediately apparent within seconds of me sitting down: it is SMALL and ISOLATED. Small, as in I can't read the newspaper without pressing my elbows against the side of the seat. Isolated, as in it protects privacy by erecting walls on both sides... on the bright side, nobody can bother me at all... on the not so bright side, if I'm traveling with PNGF, I won't see her for the next 16 hours (oh wait... hmm... nevermind). It is a terrible setting for couples (pregnant wife), family (kids gone from your view), and horny middle age business man (can't meet young blonde to impress his busines expense account).
Okay, on to the bed, chair, TV, food, service scores:
- Bed: Excellent since I fit in the chair just fine. For burly men like Arnold, I'm not so sure he'll like his shoulders being stuck. Oh, but the comforter they give you is so nice and warm and cuddly. I wanted to take the comforter home but the stewards came around to collect them before landing.
- Chair: Excellent but not as good as United... all the buttons make sense and I really enjoy never having to place my feet on the ground. The one down side is that since the feet all come out on the diagonal seats, walking the aisle is like avoiding touching someone's stinky feet.
- TV: Super super EXCELLENT. On demand TV with loads of movie selections. I saw Watchmen, Bucket List, The Wrestler, An Inconvenient Truth, and parts of The Matrix Revolution. On the way back, I'll hopefully watch The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Goodfellas, and Bolt. I'm giddy already. The screen is big and the headphones are really nice on the ears.
- Food: Pretty good food that blew me away. Decent steak on the airplane, who knew? And they had a shreaded pork bun that was so good I ate three. Kind of reminded me of the pork buns from Fatty Crab in New York. I ate THREE!
- Service: Surprisingly spotty. Just cus most of us are sleeping or being entertained by the great TV system doesn't mean you get to ignore me! I asked for fruit and none came; one of the guys was practically yelling at me; although the lady did bring me three pork buns and actually laughed about it