Come Fly With Me

If you ask over a hundred people what ‘travel’ is, what a ‘traveler’ is, I’m guessing we’d get about one hundred different answers for each! Travel is such a personal experience, sometimes majestic and action packed, sometimes filled with relaxation and there is even those times it’s filled with disaster. Everyone does travel differently and that’s what makes it so special and unique.

I’ve been so blessed to incorporate travel into my job for over a decade now. Being able to really experience new cultures and countries by working and living within them. I’ve created many experiences and memories around the world. As I got older and almost grew out of one career and transitioned into another the eternal wanderlust grew even more and my urge to share these adventures progressed. With eternal wanderlust, comes the long-haul flights! With so many unique places around the world that tickle our fancy, it’s often the hours airtime involved and multiple long stopovers that really shatter those travel dream bubbles.

I’ll admit I’ve never been a great flyer, I guess you could say I’m a slightly nervous flyer. Yes, this got worse with age. Turbulence and economy are my too fears. I’m 6ft and sometimes the legroom available in economy is pittance, which in turn becomes even more minimal when the passenger in front decides to throw back their seat for the duration of the flight. We all just had that moment of remembrance didn’t we! We have all been there, sandwiched in our little chair, legs pushed to one side uncomfortably. Oh and let’s talk about the aisle seat that includes the regular fights with the food and beverage trolley. The things long legs have to endure. Sleeping in these conditions is out of the question, but with your mind firmly set on the destination at hand, it can be made bearable. Turbulence; the ole speed bump of the sky has always set my heart racing. The logistics of a plane even flying, defying gravity with that much weight aboard has always set my mind a wonder. As we all know, the more you wonder, the more your mind drifts and unsettles even the most frequent of travellers.

 

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2017 was always going to be an amazing year, with a work trip to the French Alps and London on the agenda. We ( my husband and I ) decided to shop around for a great European flight deal which in turn drew our attention too Cathay Pacific. I’d never flown this airline before, nor travelled to Europe via Hong Kong, always choosing the Dubai route in the past. After researching many forums and blogs on the airline and only reading positive stories… our flight was booked at a very good price I’ll add.

As we all know, long haul flights with lengthy stopovers are a nightmare, from start to finish the journey is one we wish to wipe from the holiday travel bank. An experience from start to finish is one Cathay Pacific pride themselves on and one I can confidently now whole heartily back. From check-in, to lounge, to plane, to baggage collection, everything was done with ease, which is how travel should be. Carefree.

Over the course of our travels too and around Europe we took 4 Cathay Pacific planes and all were spotless, comfortable, staff presentable and extremely helpful and friendly. Business class was a dream with restaurant quality food which included delicious deserts to please the stomach before drifting off in your personal Lye flat bed, making travel pass in the blink of an eye. Let’s talk entertainment, or should I say entertainment galore! The choice was endless, from Tv shows, movies, pod casts and more. However it’s the small details that really got me. The small bag you receive filled with an eye mask, tooth brush and tooth paste, mouth wash, lip balm, rose oil spray, socks… the list goes on.

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But not all our flights were set in the luxury of business class. After two legs in style and relaxation of Cathay Pacific business class I was nervous to endure 11 hours in economy. All the economy memories flooded to the forfrond on my mind and I was already setting myself up for an uncomfortable trip. On arrival to my seat I was pleasantly surprised to have a great amount of leg space ( Legs fitting comfortably under, even with seat back from in front traveller ). Entertainment in both business and economy was the same, an abundance of choice. The food was also a pleasant suprise, fresh and gourmet. I’m one who loves to snack on a plane and Cathay Pacific offered multiple snacks throughout the flight. Including ice creams!!!

Now lets talk layovers! Those hours waiting for your connecting flight that seem to drag on and on. When we landed in Hong Kong we were overwhelmed and exstatic to hear Cathay Pacific had six different lounges offering luxurious amenities and unique design features, Cathay Pacific has set such a high bar for its lounge experience that any choice you make is guaranteed to provide a haven to relax and maintain productivity on the road. With limited time we were only able to check out two of the six. The Cabin and The Pier.

The Pier

The Pier Business Class Lounge reopened in June 2016 after almost of year’s worth of renovation to great fanfare as the largest Cathay Pacific Lounge in the world at a staggering 3,306 square meters of space. Designed by Studioilse, the London-based design studio led by Ilse Crawford, this lounge engages the senses and focuses on wellbeing, reflecting the airline’s commitment to a Life Well Travelled. The lounge experience is divided into “fast” and “slow” lanes – the fast lane features an array of food and beverage offerings, while the slow lane provides extensive lounge seatings with excellent views out the big glass windows.

Enjoy a bowl of steaming hot noodle soup at the Noodle Bar before hearing off to the Tea Lounge, a quieter, specially conceived space just for this lounge where you can sample an exclusive selection of teas. Then, catch up on your work in one of Cathay’s bespoke Solo Chairs, each equipped with a built-in reading lamp and an individual side table, before heading off to 14 shower rooms for a quick refresh session.

Location: Between Gates 62 and 64, Level 5, Northwest Concourse (enter on Level 6)

Entrance Requirements: First Class customers; Diamond members of The Marco Polo Club; Emerald members of the oneworld alliance. Business Class customers, Silver and Gold members of The Marco Polo Club, and oneworld Sapphire members have access to the Business Class Lounge.

 

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Noodles from the famous “Noodle Bar” located at The Pier and they were DELICIOUS!

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The Cabin

Another new departure lounge at Hong Kong International Airport is located near Gate 23. To prepare you for the comfort, privacy, and service on board Cathay Pacific’s aircraft, The Cabin is one of three lounges at HKIA that offer the custom-designed Solus Chair. Other modern design concepts include floor-to-ceiling windows, walls of white marble and warm wood, and red carpeting linking the entire space. High gloss ceilings reflect the custom furniture. Amenities are fewer but no less luxurious. The IT Zone provides over a dozen Windows and Macintosh computers, a videoconferencing suite, and even WiFi-enabled iPads preloaded with newspapers, magazines, and games. For a snack break, head over to The Deli for made-to-order sandwiches, antipasti, and fresh salads in addition to the usual buffet selections. Or, visit The Health Bar. This twist on the traditional Long Bar offers freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, and Chinese herbal teas in addition to the usual alcoholic beverages. 

Location: Gate 23, Level 5, Central Concourse (enter on Level 6)

Entrance Requirements: First and Business Class customers; Silver, Gold, and Diamond members of The Marco Polo Club; Sapphire and Emerald members of the oneworld alliance.

 

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I thought I had air travel all figured out, after many years practice. I’m a creature of habit and as I learnt on my recent trip, this can sometimes stop you from experiencing perfection! Safe to say I have found the easiest way to travel from Australia to Europe. Thank you Cathay Pacific for the most organic experience that tops the rest. From start to finish my journey was easy and relaxed, everything was taken care of by Cathay making travel fun again.

To book your next trip or to research where Cathay Pacific fly too, head to Cathay Pacific.

Watch my journey here