CX713 BKK-SIN Business Class
On searching available flights between Bangkok and Singapore, we found that Cathay Pacific offer a 5th freedom flight with business class seats at half the price Thai or Singapore Air were charging. The times of the flights were also good for us, departing in the middle of the day so we could easily get to the airport in the morning, but could still make our evening appointments. We travelled to the airport by BTS and Airport Express train. We would recommend, unless you are travelling light, getting a taxi to Phaya Thai, where the train departs, as there were a number of stairs on the BTS. The trains were high quality though and it was an interesting ride to the airport.
Check-in, fast-track security and immigration at BKK were all easy and we proceeded to the Cathay lounge. Here we stayed for around 5 minutes as there was little seating available and the food and beverage options were poor in terms of quality and quantity. Opposite was the Louis' Tavern CIP lounge, so we used our Priority Pass (from AMEX Platinum Card) for the first time and spent the remaining time in this lounge, which was better than the Cathay lounge, but not great. The food offering looked ok but the wine was dire. There was a reasonable choice of canned beers.
Food & Beverage
We were offered a pre-departure drink of water, juice or champagne - of course, we took the bubbles. Once airborne, service started quickly and menus were handed out. For a short-haul flight there was an impressive choice of high-qualiy wine: Billecart-Salmon champagne, 2 whites (New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a Burgundy) and 2 reds (one New World and one French Cabernet-Merlot). There were also spirits, cocktails and a variety of soft drinks available on the menu, but we stuck to water.
The starter was a Thai-style seafood salad, which was quite good. The mains were then brought out on a trolley - great to be able to see the choices. I opted for the salmon with steamed rice whereas my partner chose a stir-fried lamb dish. Drinks were topped up throughout the meal. We passed on the dessert choice of ice-cream, but accepted a chocolate from the box of pralines.
Our stand-out memory from the flight was the fantastic crew - this really was service with a smile. Throughout the flight, we were frequently offered top-ups of drinks, bread or extra chocolates. Service was efficient without feeling rushed, even though we were served first and there was still the entire cabin to serve. I was impressed by the amenities provided in the washroom (Murad face wash, toner and moisturiser in addition to hand cream). Towards the end of the flight, the purser stopped to chat with us for around 10 minutes and one other member of staff in particular was extremely friendly (e.g. "but you promised me you'd finish the bottle of champagne" after we had asked for half a glass and she had opened a new bottle to ensure it was fizzy). We are looking forward to our return flight with Cathay, and believe CX's First class must live up to its reputation if the short-haul business class product is this good.