Cathay Pacific First Class: What to Expect

The wide, fully-flat seats in first class come with luxurious amenities, like 600-thread count bedding and pj's.
Rachel Morgan Cautero
By Rachel Morgan Cautero 
Edited by Bethany Walsh

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Craving a truly luxurious first class flying experience? Then, Cathay Pacific first class may be just the ticket. But keep in mind that with a limited number of first-class seats available on the Hong Kong-based airline, scoring one of the airline’s most coveted seats won’t be easy. But it’s one splurge that may be well worth it, once you’re settled into the airline's luxurious, private first class seats or enjoying its award-winning airport lounges.

Learn more about flying first class on Cathay Pacific, from food to service to lounges and even baggage allowances.

What to expect flying first class with Cathay Pacific

When flying Cathay Pacific first class, you can expect a luxury-laden, exclusive flying experience. But there are also several other aspects of flying first class on Cathay Pacific to keep in mind. For one, first class is only bookable on certain aircraft within the carrier’s fleet. And on the planes where first class is an option? Only six seats are available.

If you do score a coveted first class ticket, you’ll enjoy perks like luxurious, 600-thread count bedding, wide fully flat beds, plus a private work area with Wi-Fi and in-seat power. You can even use the airline’s newest features — do not disturb and wake-up calls, on selected flights.

  • Bag allowance: One piece of carry-on luggage (maximum 33 pounds) plus three pieces of checked baggage for a total weight of 110 pounds for most flights.

  • Boarding: First class passengers on Cathay Pacific enjoy priority boarding.

  • Seats/suites: The airline bills itself as having some of the “widest fully flat beds in the sky,” in addition to having luxury bedding and luxury amenities, including natural skin care products, a sleepsuit, slippers, and of course, an eyeshade.

  • Lounges: Booking a first class ticket with Cathay Pacific means access to the airline’s flagship lounges in Hong Kong, plus lounges in Shanghai, Bangkok, London, Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Vancouver. You’ll also get lounge access with Cathay Pacific’s partner airlines.

How to book a first class ticket with Cathay Pacific

Ready to book your first class ticket with Cathay Pacific? There are a few different ways to go about it. We’ll delve into the booking details below.

But it’s important to keep in mind that first class seats on this airline can be hard to come by; meaning, they typically only release one first class seat when a flight opens, then release more as the date gets closer. Search for first class seats for your upcoming flight using the airline’s website.

Ways to get good value on a Cathay Pacific first class ticket

1. Book with points

An easy way to save when booking a first class ticket on Cathay Pacific is to book using the airlines rewards program, Asia Miles. This is Cathay Pacific’s travel and lifestyle rewards program. Earn and redeem miles through flying, spending on co-branded credit cards, shopping and dining.

Cathay Pacific loyalists can also take advantage of the Cathay loyalty program connected to the Oneworld Alliance. Members earn Asia Miles at elevated rates, depending on status level, boosting your points earnings even more.

2. Partner awards from other airlines

More specifically, booking a first class ticket on Cathay Pacific via Alaska Airlines, a Oneworld partner airline, will get you the most bang for your travel buck. NerdWallet values Alaska Airlines at around 1.4 cents each, which is a little lower than some of the other major U.S. airlines. However, Alaska Airlines’s points program is one of the most flexible programs out there, allowing you to redeem miles on Japan Airlines, Qantas, Emirates and Cathay Pacific.

3. Arrive early to enjoy the lounge

Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific

One of the best parts about flying first class, especially via an airline like Cathay Pacific, is the lounges. First class ticket holders will get access to the airline’s flagship lounges in Hong Kong, plus those in Shanghai, Bangkok, London, Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Vancouver. You’ll even get lounge access with Cathay Pacific’s partner airlines.

These award-winning lounges have everything from fine dining to showers to workstations, even massage stations and of course, coffee and drinks.

If you want to fly Cathay Pacific first class

Cathay Pacific offers customers a truly top-notch first class flight experience, from its private, luxury-laden seats to award-winning lounges and generous baggage policies. Consider redeeming Asia Miles or those from a partner airline to score a sweet seat — without the high price tag. But flyer beware: These seats aren't easy to come by, so you’ll have to play your (travel) cards right to score one.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

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