Anna Harrison flies aboard CX118 from Auckland to Hong Kong.

The plane:

One of Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350-900s. I was travelling business and took full advantage of the 180-degree reclining seats. There are 38 seats in Business but the section I was in had only eight of those, so it was very quiet and comfortable. Further back in the main cabin there are 214 standard seats with a further 28 in Premium Economy.

Seat: 20D.


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

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

Service: Friendly and professional with plenty of hot towels handed out. 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 tasty and the slow-braised beef 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 flavourless and lukewarm.

Amenities: Plenty of spots to plug in all the necessary 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 six 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 – my neighbour was watching Bad Genius about a student who runs an exam-cheating ring using barcodes on pencils. It looked entertaining.

Bathroom: 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.