Anna Harrison flies CX118 from Auckland to Hong Kong.

The plane:

One of Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350-900s. I was travelling business and took advantage of the 180-degree reclining seats. There are 38 seats in business but my section had only eight so it was quiet and comfortable. Further back in the main cabin there are 214 standard seats and 28 in premium economy.

Seat: 20D


On time: The flight time was advertised as a little over 11 hours but we ended up arriving 15 minutes early.

Fellow passengers: A daytime flight, not quite full, with few people in suits up front. The woman next to me was dressed down with her feet propped up in yellow socks with blue diamonds on them. I had just remembered, in the early hours of the morning, to choose a pair without holes.

Service: Friendly and professional with plenty of hot towels. The lovely Patrick was very accommodating, patiently explaining to my friend how to say thank you in Cantonese.

Food and drink: The spiced duck starter with tamarind chutney was pretty tasty and the slow-braised beef was juicy and tender. The best bit was the mini cheese platter for afters with Puhoi and Kapiti well represented. But make sure you're well caffeinated before you leave as the coffee was terrible — flavourless and lukewarm.

Amenities: Plenty of spots to plug in devices. The noise-cancelling headphones helped me nod off and the little bag of Jurlique toiletries was perfect for freshening up afterwards.

Wi-Fi: Available after 10,000 feet for a fee (US$20 for flights longer than 6 hours).

Entertainment: A great selection of movies including a few new ones I'd been meaning to see at the cinema. Also a good choice of Asian films — the woman next to me was watching Bad Genius, about a student who runs an exam-cheating ring using barcodes on pencils.

Bathroom: Pretty standard but with a miniature white orchid on the door and the rosy scent of hand cream.


Price: From $2963 one way.

Luggage: A generous allowance that I wish I'd noticed before I packed, with three pieces, 23kg each, of checked luggage and two pieces, 7kg each, of carry on.

The bottom line: A very comfortable flight with friendly cabin crew and tasty food. Just make sure to choose a pair of socks worthy of the long-haul.

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