By Chamindra Wickremasinghe
At the heart of Cathay Pacific is the belief ‘travelling well is an important part of living well’, thus it brings a service more ‘personable’, a design more ‘considered’ and products intuitive to passenger needs, helping give a more pleasurable travel experience.
This philosophy – ‘Life well travelled’ and the signature ‘Service straight from the heart’, Cathay Pacific offers Sri Lankans to experience operating a daily frequency between Colombo and its home Hong Kong. In the three class-configured non-stop flight deployed, Cathay has more to offer in the Business Class in this regard. It all starts on the ground, at the airports – availing priority check-in and boarding privileges – Business Class passengers take award-winning seats in an A330-300 aircraft for a most relaxing five-hour journey.
Blend of privacy and openness
The Business Class is designed to offer passengers space and options to spend the travel time their own way, having privacy well balanced with openness. They are cocooned in their own space.
The seats by the windows in the cabin of one-two-one configuration are exclusive space for singles; the isles distance the two centre seats, which are more meant for those travelling accompanied, but have privacy of their own kind. The seats are implemented with much attention to detail; they allow comfort and rest, peace and quietness and personal space to relax or work. Most distinctive is the seat being easily convertible to a fully flat bed allowing the passenger a full stretch – there’s ample space for comfortable sleep in any position. The soft pillow and duvet provided add to making it a cosy corner.
Whether it is to lie back or lie flat and relax or sleep or sit and watch a movie, the seat is at the control of the passenger and merely at the press of buttons. However, no seat adjustment or any movement of a passenger within his set affects the comfort of another passenger. The design has prevented all that.
The middle seats having the feature to slide forward, the passenger could converse with the travel companion, when required.
Unlike in other classes, having unobstructed isle access from any seat in the Business cabin, passengers are totally undisturbed when a need arises to get up and move. With the seat comes plenty of space for the passenger’s belongings, aside the traditional overhead storage space for luggage. The small side cabinet holding the headset has room for placing smaller possessions safe, be it a phone, wallet or passport. Shoes can go into a locker at the foot of the seat on the aisle-side. There’s more space in the side storage to store possessions of the like laptops, tablets, books or magazines; it’s complete with a nook for the water bottle – all storage space is within easy reach.
Reading light and power supply outlets for charging devices are among thoughtful touches, even the little vanity mirror on the side cabinet door.
Entertainment and information
The fold out monitor, while the flight is on ground, displays a map with the flight route and alternatively the distance and time to the destination. Once airborne, it opens up the extensive StudioCX in-flight entertainment selection – movies, music and TV shows, catering to diverse tastes. They can be watched from the most comfortable position at the seat. The headphones provide the sound experience.
Throughout the journey the entertainment control gadget placed on the panel keeps the passenger updated with the travel time left for landing and destination time displayed on its face. The amenity kit, designed by Hong Kong’s Seventy Eight Percent, is thoughtfully packed with passenger’s health and well-being in mind. It carries Australia’s Jurlique-branded natural skin care products – lip care balm, citrus hand cream and balancing day care cream, besides toiletries – Colgate toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, and anti-skid socks, eyeshade and earplugs. Business Class travellers experience a personalised service extended by the friendly cabin crew, who even address the passengers personally by name.
Travelling well on board Cathay Pacific Business Class starts with a pre-departure beverage; fine dining begins in the air. In little time after takeoff, passengers are treated to nuts and drinks; a fine, filling three-course meal off a menu for the month follows – there’s always a choice for the main course. Drinks, wines and champagne are chosen from lists provided. The inflight dining experience is exceptional.
Hot towels given are soothing, the fresh-cut orchid sprig on each board in the middle seats brings a natural touch to the cabin.
The large cocktail table and the main table together allow a business traveller space for work.
Access to premium lounges
Flying Business Class gives passengers access to Cathay Pacific’s premium lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. For a businessman on arrival, The Arrival lounge is vital for it has the facilities – a selection of light food and snacks and shower suites to freshen up – and even attend a meeting straight away.
At more luxurious The Pier, located at Gate 63 of the North West concourse of Hong Kong International Airport, passengers can enjoy a drink, a meal, a shower – each features its own set of premium amenities – and can make passengers feel more at ease before departure. Foot, neck or shoulder messages are also offered for passengers’ contentment.
Thus, Cathy enables a ‘Life well travelled’ for it believes when travelled well; the journey can become more memorable, more meaningful and more rewarding.