My new favourite airline to fly to Australia

Image of Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Cairns via Brisbane, Australia
Our Cathay Pacific plane from Hong Kong to Cairns via Brisbane, Australia

OK, it’s joint first place with Singapore Airlines, but I couldn’t call it! Cathay Pacific were really great to fly with to Australia and the stopover options are really good…

Cathay are really the only option if you’re looking to fly from the UK to Cairns (the other is Qantas, but they put you on Jetstar from Singapore via Darwin and, trust me, you do NOT want to be travelling on Jet-makes-Ryanair-look-good-star if you can help it!).

Image of Cathay Pacific bassinet
about to tuck into a children’s meal mid flight

Cathay also fly to Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.

I know Cathay Pacific fly to Brisbane as unfortunately on a few days in the week the flights to Cairns drop off here first. It’s not a big drama and only adds another 2-hour flight to your trip but I need to point it out (on others days it’s a direct Hong Kong – Cairns connection).

So what did I like about Cathay? (and I’m commenting here about economy class btw – I don’t sit up the front – yet!).

  • the service is really good. Kind, attentive crew that I didn’t once get the impression from I was a nuisance (obviously I wasn’t but you know what I mean!)
  • the food was pretty good, and the children’s meals were great – served before ours and nicely put together. Although I am sure I am not the first mother to try and hide the chocolate biscuit with breakfast! 🙂
  • they had my favourite wine! (Verdehlo)
  • the recline but not ‘recline in your face’ seats are a brilliant idea and work really well. They are the “fixed-back shell seat” which means that your seat cushions are within a seat that doesn’t move and when you ‘recline’ you slide down within the fixed seat. It’s hard to explain but the end result is you won’t ever have someone recline their seat into your face when you’re eating dinner, etc. What you see is the space you get. Pretty nifty. (Or as Cathay say “you’ll be as happy as a clam”!).
  • Hong Kong Airport is lovely. You should always think about your connecting airports when booking a flight to Australia (or maybe that is just me!) but I like a nice, clean, modern, lots of facilities airport if I am going to have to spend any time there.
  • A Hong Kong stopover is great fun.
  • A Hong Kong sleepover is brilliant for dealing with jet lag if you book into the Regal Airport Hotel
  • I am also reliably informed that the audio/visual on board entertainment is very good, but the nearest I got to using it (remember I have small people in tow) was getting big small person watching a couple of cartoons.

And what didn’t I like about Cathay…?

Image of Cathay Pacific bassinet
Our Cathay Pacific bassinet ‘cot on a table’
  • well the flight via Brisbane was a pain but then I did know that when I booked (it’s not like it was a surprise!).
  • the bassinets for the babies weren’t the bolt into the wall variety (like they are with say Emirates and Singapore), but the ‘cot on a table’ variety which to my mind never seem as stable, and also don’t have ‘flaps’ over the top to keep baby in. They are also not big enough for a baby over the age of 12 months in my opinion.

So would I fly Cathay again? (not including the way home from this trip of course!). Absolutely.

5 Responses to “My new favourite airline to fly to Australia”

  1. Deanna says:

    Thanks for reminding us that WE aren’t “Over there “. Sounds very good…..I have found that the “on duty ” cabin crew make such a difference. We had a wonderful crew to Kuala Lumper but then to Brisbane….Awful…very little food nor attention. We were nearly sick with Hunger !!!! That was Malaysian, so won’t go with them again. I won’t be booking BA either, for obvious reasons. Keep up the good work.

  2. Cherie says:

    I flew with Cathay this month to Australia with my 5 month old and I was not impressed with the service at all. I have flown Cathay several times to Australia pre-baby and thought the service was much better back then. The bassinets were very small my boy just fitted and he is only 5 months. On the way to Australia we had a bassinet with a hood but on the way back we didn’t. When I asked if they had one with a hood I was told “no – there were none on this flight” four hours into the flight the lady next to me requested her bassinet and low and behold a bassinet with hood appeared. The air hostess was very apologetic and said this was the only one – but she managed to find another one when I kicked up a bit of a fuss. When I took a walk to the back of the plane later in the flight everyone else with a baby had a bassinet with a hood! Overall I was not impressed – food was awful, service very average for an airline who wins awards for service. I chose Cathay because I had read they were very child friendly but I would not fly them again. I think the best bit of the flight was the verdehlo!

  3. Lucy says:

    Really sorry to hear your flight with Cathay was not as enjoyable as mine, and I do agree the bassinets are pretty small. We had a bassinet without a hood on our London – Hong Kong leg, and one with a hood on the Hong Kong – Australia section. The benefits of one without a hood are of course you can still see the TV! I’ll be paying close attention on the flights home to how the service is (or isn’t) consistent and the bassinet situation.

  4. michael says:

    Hi Lucy
    We are thinking of travelling business class to Sydney from London on China Airlines.
    Any comments please.

  5. Lucy says:

    Well, I’ve not flown China Airlines and I always point people here when its an airline they want to know about and I haven’t flown them ->http://www.airlinequality.com/ – its mixed reviews for China Airlines business class -> http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/china.htm
    Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply