Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class to Tokyo

I’m a nosey person.  In my day job as a headhunter, I love listening to people telling me their story. In my all other hours job as a travel blogger, I love nosing my way through reviews, especially anything to do with luxury/aspirational travel. I recently shared a photo of a friend traveling Etihad first class.  What you don’t see in this photo below is her personal chef who was in the process of pairing wines for a degustation menu!

Etihad first class lounge

Whilst it’s not as luxurious as first class, I thought you might want to see some pics from a recent business class flight I took from Hong Kong to Tokyo.  Now you’ll know I very rarely fly business class and when I do, it’s on a super longhaul flight where I’ve used miles to upgrade.  When booking my recent trip to Tokyo, I was trying to use up some miles and the only availability they had was on business class. As Japan has a relatively low airline taxes, the whole thing worked out to be a pretty decent price.

Cathay Pacific rolled out their new Regional Business Class in 2012.  So what I’m sure you all want to know is, how was it and is it worth paying the extra $$?  

Cathay Lounge

Well, let’s start with the initial flying experience.  No queues at check-in and straight to one of the Cathay lounges (Hong Kong Airport has two First Class lounges and four Business lounges).

As these lounges are at the mothership, they tend to be very good although can get busy.  The Cathay lounge at Tokyo Narita was surprisingly good with plentiful seating and decent snacks. For those traveling with young kids, Narita Airport has a few softplay areas called ‘Kids Park’.

Flying Business does get you priority boarding. That said, every man and his dog appears to be a Marco Polo member so there are occasions on Cathay when the Business class line appears longer than Economy!


CX Regional BusinessWe were flying on a Boeing 777-300, you can view the seat map here on Seatguru.  It is a 2-3-2 configuration with the bassinets in front of A-C and H-K.  The seat is wide with lots of legroom (you could get more legroom at the front in 11A-C and 11 H-K but you also run the risk of someone traveling with an infant (if that’s not you!).  The seat has a pitch of 45 and width of 30 compared to a pitch of 32 and width of 18.2 in economy.  Seat Pitch is the distance from any point on one seat to the exact same point on the seat in front or behind it.

CX Business Seat

Cathay staff are usually extremely courteous, in business class they really step this up a notch by addressing you with your name and immediately offering drinks and hot towels.

The onboard entertainment system is excellent, the only difference in business is that the TV screen is bigger.  

CX504 from Hong Kong to Tokyo departs at 09:05, meaning you get breakfast and CX505 departs Tokyo Narita at 19:05 so dinner is served.  Food is pretty good – instead of having a tray slapped down in front of, you get a linen tablecloth and real cutlery.

CX Cheese Board

Bizarrely the menu I was given at the beginning of the flight had no reflection on what I was actually served!

CX Business Menu

Whilst the seat doesn’t fully recline to a flat bed, it is very comfortable, with a large footrest.  

There is a storage pocket to the side of the seat and to the side of the TV is a pocket where you can charge your smart phone (just don’t forget your wire).

CX Seat & Charger


It was a divine experience, flying in luxury for our four hour flight to Tokyo. Would I ever pay extra for this privilege? No, it’s really not worth it.  Whilst it’s lovely to have the extra comfort and the convenience of getting off the plane first to beat the immigration queue, at the end of the day, you’re talking about a relatively short flight. 



  1. pds

    The new regional business class seats are so unconfortable. Barely a better coach seat! I wish they bring back the old flat bed business seats. I try to avoid the new seats and use different airlines now in the region.

  2. halosunshine230

    I have never travelled business class before, but even with the negative comment, it must be _Miles_ better than economy (: Your flight reviews are the best! I hope you do more!

  3. Dandy

    Thanks for your review! I guess CX regional biz class is not really the best option out there.

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