I’ve flown basically ever first class product out there (barring Garuda, Swiss, and Air France). I love international first class, though not as much as I used to. Is that me getting jaded? Probably.
My last flight in First Class was LAX-HKG on Cathay Pacific. I’ve flown CX multiple times in the past few years, so I know exactly what to expect. Cathay Pacific is great. Their seat is fantastic, the service is consistent, and their catering is decent, with Krug champagne and caviar service.
How to Easily Redeem for Cathay Pacific First Class
If you haven’t flown Cathay Pacific First Class, try it. It’s out of the best products out there and here’s the thing – anyone can fly it essentially for free. All you need to do is get a few credit cards. With enough luck, you can get the cabin to yourself too – or you can just book out the cabin on refundable paid fares 😉
First, sign up for the MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard. You get 25,000 miles with your first purchase. It’s my go to card for everyday purchases you can’t pay with an American Express card.
Next, pick up the the Starwood American Express as well as the Starwood Business AMEX. They each have a signup bonus of 20,000 SPG miles after completing minimum spend – so both cards will get you 40,000. This converts at a 1:1.25 ratio to 50,000 Alaska Airline Miles.
A Cathay Pacific First Class redemption is only 70,000 miles with Alaska MileagePlan. This is the cheapest possible way to redeem for it, and includes both the Trans-Pacific segment as well as an intra-Asia First Class segment if that is offered. That’s a fantastic deal for flights that retail at over $10,000.
However, this flight simply over the top. What made it different?
Being the only one in First Class
My flight started with a visit to the Qantas First Lounge. I’ve been there so many times quite a few of the staff recognize me. It’s one thing to be in a first class lounge but another to feel at home seeing a familiar face.
Then, once on board, I found out the cabin load was 1/6. Being the only person in the cabin definitely has it’s perks.
Things you can do while the only person in first class:
- Control the cabin temperature
- Drink all the champagne
- Have multiple servings of caviar
- Occupy two seats (or more)
This literally is the best possible way you can fly from North American to Asia, since unless you have a 747 and/or huge tons of money, a private jet can’t fly for fifteen hours. So this literally is the best way to fly.