Stepping Out on Qantas


I cheated with another airline.

I have always been a Qantas girl through and through, but some times (most times) price plays a big part when booking tickets and this time Cathay Pacific came in first for my flight home to Australia.

So sorry Qantas, but I cheated on you, but at least you guys are from the same family.

The jury is still out as to whether I am a total convert, but there were some things I did like about my Cathay flight. Maybe a couple more flights will do the trick.

Flying to Australia is always an arduous task, and this time it was a tad longer going through Hong Kong, 30 hours all up, but it’s always great flying with a certain level of status and reaping all the benefits, my partner, David was pretty happy to be my guest too

We were fortunate enough to experience the newest of Cathay Pacific’s six lounges in Hong Kong International airport, The Bridge.

It’s always a pleasure hearing, “Welcome to The Bridge, showers to the left, lounge to the right”.

Even if I don’t use the showers, it’s amazing knowing I can.

The long curved combinations of ‘lounge rooms’ gave a home-like feel, but it was straight to the ‘kitchen’ for us. Unfortunately the only meal left during the flight was Congee, an Asian rice specialty. I am always down to try new foods, but decided a plane wasn’t the best place to try it for the first time and opted for a bread roll this time.

An Asian style champagne breakfast hit the spot and powered me up for the next leg, Hong Kong to Sydney.

With reservations about traveling economy, I was truly surprised and impressed by a number of small changes Cathay have made to step up the economy experience.

New seats in long haul flights now have a cradle like mechanism where not only does the back of the seat recline, but the bottom part also slides forward, adding extra lumbar support and a more comfortable sleep. Just like business and first class, economy are treated to printed menus for the whole flight. This means no more rash decisions and getting the dry toast when you thought you heard lamb roast.

I also have a thing for power outlets in economy!

First class has them, business class has them and now Cathay Pacific economy has them. Hallelujah.

Most airlines have a USB port, but that doesn’t do much when you need to use your computer that only lasts one hour after take off on a 14-hour flight.

Cathay Pacific is one of the top airlines in the world and it was a great experience to fly long haul to Australia, but the Aussie in me can’t give away top title to them just yet. I cheated on Qantas, but I still hold them close to my heart. For the moment Cathay will be my boyfriend on the side.

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

Connect with her on the web, Facebook and Twitter


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