Why Mature Travellers prefer Business Class
Barry Matheson reports
Airlines invest billions of dollars on new aircraft and spend just as much training staff to ensure their customers enjoy an extra special flying experience and, importantly, come back again.
While friendly service in the cabin at 38,000 feet is always a treat, I’ve found over many years of circling the globe on a variety of carriers, it’s the service you receive on the ground at check-in that usually sets the tone for a good flight.
This year I’ve flown Cathay Pacific Airways twice to Europe from Australia via their hub in Hong Kong and was very impressed with the ground staff at every point of my journey.
At Sydney Airport, the Cathay agent went out of her way to change my Premium Economy seat from the middle row to a better one on the aisle; changing planes in Hong Kong, the flight on to Frankfurt was full, but as I was about to board, right at the very last minute the gate agent worked his computer again and found that aisle seat for me.
It’s going that extra mile that’s been a hallmark of Cathay Pacific since it was founded in 1946 by American Roy Farrell and Australian Sydney Kantzow who are said to have dreamt up the its unique name in the bar at the Manila Hotel.
On my second Cathay flight one month later, this time from Sydney to London Heathrow I was lucky enough to fly Business Class seat 18D and it’s here in the pointy end of the plane where you’re really pampered.
Before takeoff, my flight attendant handed me a glass of champers and then showed me how to work the controls for the TV screen and how to extend the seat into a 208cm flat bed. The seat itself is 51.3cm wide.
Amenity kits were handed out with moisturisers, cream, mouthwash and lip balm by Jurlique in a handy two-tone bag which also contained socks with rubber grips to stop slipping.
Once in the air, the cabin staff were quick off the mark serving drinks and warm nuts before lunch.
The menu started with pork terrine, hot smoked relish and quinoa salad, followed by Szechuan beef fillet, or apricot braised chicken breast, or gremolata crusted barramundi, and to finish, a selection of fine cheeses and Bavarian cake with chocolate sauce.
White wines were from the Clare Valley and Austria, red from France and the Barossa, but as a special treat, Cathay presented four wines from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region that had been especially picked by the airline’s expert wine panel.
I did a taste test of all four, before settling on the utterly delicious Chateau L’ Hospitalet La Reserve 2013 red.
I didn’t watch any of the on-demand movies, stretching out instead on that lovely long flat bed with a duvet and soft pillow, sleeping the rest of the way to Honkers.
During my two-hour transit, I was invited to The Pier, one of Cathay’s five lounges which features a unique and elegant Teahouse, Cathay’s signature Noodle Bar, 14 shower suites and a Relaxation Room.
The airline has over 70 flights a week to Hong Kong from six major Australian cities, offering a choice of flying in economy, premium economy or business class.
Be quick and get in for their 2017 First in, Best Dressed sale, earlybird fares on flights booked from now until 31 December 2016 and departing to Europe or America between 1 March and 30 November 2017.
Airfares from Perth to Amsterdam start from $1478 return, and Vancouver return from $1477.
“London flights start from $1640 return and with 39 flights a week to the British capital – five daily to Heathrow as well as four a week into Gatwick, there are plenty of options for passengers to travel at a time that suits them”, said Nelson Chin, General Manager Southwest Pacific, Cathay Pacific Airways.
To find the flight of your dreams: www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_AU.html