Dan Ahwa flies from China to France aboard CX261.

The plane:

Boeing 777-300ER.

Class: Business Class

Price: $6709, sales to December 15.


On time? Departed Hong Kong as scheduled and arrived half an hour earlier than scheduled at Charles de Gaulle.

My seat: 12G (towards the front in the centre). There are 40 business class seats and they all fully recline so you can lie flat and fall asleep for 12 hours if you wish. Feels like a condensed version of an upmarket hotel room complete with modern art hanging on the wall, mood lighting and a vase with fresh orchids for each seat. Plenty of leg room, a duvet (yes), pillow, large TV screen and Agnes B travel case with socks, eye mask, Jurlique hand cream, lip balm and face cream.

Fellow passengers: Mostly French businessmen and a couple of Hong Kong buyers on their way to Paris Fashion Week. The seats are angled so you don't run the risk of being stuck in an awkward conversation with someone you probably won't ever see again.

The toilets: No queues. Slightly roomier than economy with more Jurlique product at your disposal. Every time toilets were used, they'd be serviced for the next person, right down to the triangular folds on the toilet paper.

The service: Excellent. Upon arrival you are greeted with the option of a glass of champagne, fresh juice or a kiwifruit and coconut smoothie, the latter the perfect antidote for travellers with nervous stomachs.

How full? Business Class was full, so it was a surprise that I was upgraded, but I was very thankful. Economy had empty seats so people could spread out a bit.

Food and drink: Cuisine-style with all the extras from seasonal fruit to savoury dips, cheese platters and smoothies. A full wine list included options from New Zealand, France and Portugal. The dim sum with chilli sauce, dumplings and ho fun noodle soup is a nice point of difference for the airline.

Luggage: Standard, plenty of room for carry-on bags.


The airport experience: Cathay Pacific representatives at Hong Kong were accommodating and friendly. The Lounge is the perfect place to freshen up in transit. Upon arrival in Paris, I was given a Fast Track pass to use the Access 1 lane so I didn't have to queue.

Would I fly this again: Definitely. Travelling for more than 24 hours, this seems like the only sane way to get through it, plus this particular route into Paris is a little less taxing compared with others.