Seattle to New York
New York to Vancouver
Vancouver to Seattle
I had gotten myself back to the hotel after spending all day walking around and changed over a few things with my bags. Swapping out was easy and I snacked on an apple while I waited around a bit as I was not going straight away. Check in wasn’t going to open till 6:30pm and I didn’t want to spend to much time just sitting around the airport with a giant suitcase.
My idea after seeing a special offer online for getting to the airport had changed from getting the train to trying out Uber. I managed to get a $35 discount code and it seemed pretty cool, I was looking forward to giving it a try. All you need to do is hit a couple of buttons on your phone and a car will appear within moments. So that’s what I did. Took me a couple of minutes to get it going to begin, setting up the app but once that was all done, there was a car out front of the Eventi within moments. The traffic wasn’t to bad and after a good chat with the driver about Uber we were sitting arriving at JFK. I jumped out and as soon as the driver was gone, that’s when I realised it. O M G... where is my CAMERA!
I paniced, big time, my mind was swimming, omg what do I do, how do I get in contact with the driver. As uber is all smartphone based there isn’t a contact number really. That to me was the biggest issue with the service as I couldn’t instantly call my driver back. I was frantically scanning the web but the internet on my phone at the airport was excrutiatingly slow. In the end all I could do was email them and wait and hope they would send it to me. So by the time I had resigned myself to this, it was 630pm! Time to check in and get through security, probably pick up a cheap camera and just use that for the next day or so.
Check in was pleasant and easy and I dropped my bag off and was given a lounge invite, map and they even pointed out where I could get my camera. Thank you Cathay for being so understanding. They showed me the directions to the lounge and wished me luck. I headed off to TSA and they commented on just how early I was. I didn’t mind at all. The crazy thing about it all was by the time I got through security I had fully resigned myself to never seeing my camera again. I came across one of the Best Buy vending machines but the only camera they had was expensive. So I started heading towards another store. When I got there though my email went off. I checked it. It was Uber emailing me with the drivers phone number.
I called, he had it! He was still close by and told me he could drop it off in a few minutes. To be honest I didn’t know if I could make it back out or not. I ran quickly to the lounge to find out if I could get out, otherwise I would see if a staff member could get it for me instead. They said it was fine, so I rang the driver back and ran back through the exits, back to where I was dropped off. Within moments the driver pulled up and handed me my camera. Score! I was happy as all larry!
Back through security again (this got wierd looks) and now I was hoping to just get a shower and some lunch. I was in a “fuck it” mood and didn’t care anymore! So I relaxed into the experience of the BA Lounge, had a shower and then next on the agenda was some lunch. I browsed through the food options on the business side before heading over to the first side. The first class side of the lounge though smaller was actually worse food wise, there was nothing! However when I went over to the Business class dining area, they then told me I couldn’t access it, which seemed strange because I swear my friends had said they used it when they did the same flight earlier in the year.
So as I went back to the other side of the lounge they advised me that yes I should of been able to use it and they will fix it up. I wasn’t worried I could of just snacked on carrots and stuff, but they decided to fix the issue (awesome service really) and within a few minutes (after i had grabbed some carrots anyway) they told me it was all resolved and I should head around when I am ready. So I did.
I had some lunch in the pre dining and avoided the desserts which was smart, accept as I left the business side to head back over to the First Class lounge to do some work, I grabbed a few cookies. So much for being good. I ended up enjoying them so much I went back for some more (they didn’t have the same in the F lounge, so I had to walk to get them). What is it with me and cookies!
I settled in with some club soda, my cookies and my laptop and did some work trying to get the photos uploaded from the Delta event. It wasn’t working as I didn’t have the ability to do full photo maniupluation on the laptop, Not fantastic but I will have to work out a away to fix this before my next trip. But that is just something I can do later. The time sort of sped by and it was approaching boarding time. I wanted to be there early to see if I could pre board.
I got to the gate and tried my business card trick (same a I did with Qantas, and they said yep shouldn’t be a problem, I just had to wait). So that’s what I did! I waited! It was turning into a real zoo as there was a BA flight boarding right next door to our gate and they were just pushing and shoving their way through the Cathay crowds. As the security checks of the Aircraft completed, the head of the gate staff signalled me over and they let me straight through.
Cathay Pacific - CX889
New York John F Kennedy to Vancouver
Boeing 777-300ER (B-KPC)
First Class - Seat 1K
Boarding: 2130 (Gate 4)
Push Back: 2225
Take Off Roll: 2241 (Runway 31L)
Top of Descent: 0031
Touch Down: 0055 (Runway 8R)
Shut Down: 0106 (Gate D64)
I boarded down and he told me to “be quick” so they could start boarding everyone else. That was not a problem as I was intending on being as quick as possible. All I wanted was a few photos of the empty cabin. What I got was a fantastic few photos of not only the First Class cabin but also the mini business cabin behind it. The new seats that AA, CX and US Airways are using are pretty damn nice for the business class but today I was flying first. All i can say is.. DAMN!
This seat is HUGE! Almost as wide as the Sinagapore Business seat that i flew on their A380. You could probably feet a couple of small people in the seat. Totally impressed just by looking at it. The seat was comfortable and now that I was onboard, I didn’t want this flight to go anywhere. As I snapped a whole heap of photos of just about everything, I was offered all the usual treats. Beverage of choice, amenity kit, pyjamas. Everything you would expect for Long Haul First class, just NOT on a transcon! I settled in, tweetings, taking photos, doing the usual. Enjoying myself. My drink barely even got touched and the crew were greeting everyone as they boarded, First class filled up to be 6/6. I was thankful that a friend had managed to get me the seat I was in.
The flight was slow to load I guess and the shuddering as they loaded all the cargo was bouncing back and forth. But as I relaxed into my big seat, I was happy for the lateness. As soon as it passed the moment we were officially late, the first thing i thought was YAYAYA we are late! That was probablly the only time I have ever said that I was happy to be late.
Eventually the boarding doors closed and the glasses were all collected (I was on my 2nd water by that stage). I had managed to get a photo of the Krug and I think the crew thought I was wierd just asking for a photo of the bottle and a glass without wanting to drink it. The things we do for blog articles!
We pushed back and taxiied out to the active runway past all of the Jetblue aircraft. I had a good laugh at the safety demo as the asian looking pilot who did the Cantonese translations had the cheesiest grin ever! I did pay attention, I swear. We lined up onto 31L and as we did so, I could hear the pilots wind up the GE90s and I had a giant grin on my face. I LOVE that sound. We climbed out of JFK with a bit of bumps through the clouds and I wasn’t really paying all that much attention to it, I was to busy just enjoying it all.
As we climbed up to altitude the seat belt sign came off pretty quickly compared to the US airlines and I got myself set up. The menu had been presented on the ground and as the order was taken I asked if I could delay my meal a bit (love first class) and I changed things up a little, mixing and matching the meals with a majority of the western options (entree, salad, soup) but with the asian main. They were happy to oblige.
I settled in to do a little bit of work and try and get the stuff to work with the laptop, it still wouldn’t so I prepped up more of the trip report and settled into the seat. The flight was just winging away and by the time my hour had started to come to an end a number of people were on their 3rd course, there was a couple using the ottoman to double dine in the seat behind me, and I was getting myself ready for a nice long dinner.
The meal started with a full elaborate table setting, a bread basket and the famous Cathay Pacific Garlic Bread (not that I was going to eat it). I had both butter OR olive oil. I was looking forward to this meal. I had swapped to diet coke with the meal and I still had the sparkling water and before the meal started I did ask for some nuts (which I had delayed earlier). I started up the movie and settled in.
Course after Course started to come and I was in heaven. Each one was tasty and it was a full seafood meal for me. First up was a Prawn Appetiser and then a bowl of White Aspargus soup (I was offered seconds of the soup but declined to make sure I could fit everything in). Then came the Salad which was meant to have lobster with it. I was expecting just a tiny bit of lobster. I was wrong. There was like a solid half a lobster on my plate. I may not of gotten any caviar on this flight but just look at the size of that lobster!
The main came and it was the asian Black Cod so all my cutlery was swapped out for chopsticks and I was even offered a fresh bread basket. Kevin who was serving me was fantastic and as I enjoyed the main we had a chat about just how good some of the meals are out of certain cities (chinese soups on cathay out of Hong Kong I will have to try). With the main finished up, time for more courses!
I was offered Cheese, fruit and dessert, well I wasn’t really offered it was more suggested! I of course accepted and with the cheese it wasn’t pre plated either. A full cheese board was shown to me first! I picked the cheese I wanted and this was served with a few crackers and some grapes and some Rosemary Apple jelly. Perfect way to continue the meal.
Following that I was offered my selection of fruit and just choose some strawberries and some mango, I was REALLY getting full by this stage and then after that came the chocolate mousse cake and some coffee. I finished off with another cup of coffee and some of the pralines. By the time this came out there was about 2 hours or so left of the flight and I was just stuffed! I asked for the duvet because it was slightly chilly and settled in to try and watch tv. But first they had to reset my IFE. damn.
Once the IFE was reset I settled in to watch some tv shows and just relax, we were going through a bit of turbulence (for the 3rd or 4th time during the flight) so unforutnately no more coffee for the moment since the seatbelt sign was on. But once it came off I grabbed myself another cup just to keep me going till the end of the flight. As we approached the descent into Vancouver I was feeling it a little, I was ready for bed!
A few minutes prior to descent the Captain came on and gave his pre arrival brief and concluded with “Cabin Crew, 30 minutes to landing”. The first time I had ever heard an airline say something like that. Pretty cool still. As we descended into Vancouver you really couldn’t see anything till pretty much the last minute and it was ok really considering it was pitch black outside without lights.
I had immensly enjoyed the flight and I didn’t want it to end, but I also wished that I was continuing onto Hong Kong and had so many hours ahead of me in this suite. So many hours of fun and maybe some sleep... but I doubted it. What was awaiting for me was probably plenty of hell at the border for immigration and then a bed mere steps away from the terminal.
Upon landing in Vancouver we were the only aircraft moving about (rightly so that early in the morning) and before you knew it we were heading for our gate. Parked up right next to a China Airlines A340-300 headed to Taiwan, and we were the only two aircraft at the International terminal. Wierd! Before I could barely even get out of my suite, someone from Business had pushed his way forward and was already exiting the aircraft, either he was desperate to get off or I dawdled way to much. I thanked the crew for an amazing flight and headed into the terminal. Knowing that my first Cathay experience was over. Hopefully not my last though.