I can imagine how anxious and worried my husband and our families were while I was flying home. I was travelling alone after all at 34 weeks pregnant on a long-haul flight. I was pretty scared too but thankfully, I was in good hands (or should I say airlines).
I’m certainly not the first one to do this and I would like to give props to the amazing mommies who hurdled the long hours of flight, lay-overs and security checks without the comfort of their partners and only had themselves and the kind people they encountered along the way.
I booked an economy class airfare from Cathay Pacific for my Dubai-Manila-Dubai journey last year. As it is Hong Kong’s flag carrier, there was a short layover at Hong Kong International Airport.
I was already content because the airline has one of the most generous legrooms at 32 inches for long-haul economy flights.
But, sometimes, pleasant surprises come along.
I was upgraded to Business Class! Probably because I was very pregnant with my bloated cheeks and swollen hands and feet or I was just lucky or the lady at check-in was being generous or there were just some seats to spare. (I heard that they often upgrade passengers for their Dubai outbound flights but I don’t know how true.) Whichever or whatever it was, I was just really grateful.
I am not a frequent flyer. In fact, the flight I took from Manila to Singapore before I flew to Dubai three years ago, was my first international flight. And it was only last year that I went home, so my airline experience is limited and for me to be upgraded was a huge thing.
So how was the 8.5-hour flight from Dubai to Hong Kong?
SEAT AND LEGROOM
The seat in business class was very comfortable and convenient as all had direct access to the aisle (according to Google, this is a 1-2-1 configuration) which made my toilet runs several times in an hour bearable. I don’t like to bother people with my frequent ‘excuse me may I pass’ moments.
I have always liked the window seat so when I found out I was assigned one, this child-bearing human just couldn’t help but smile ear to ear. There was already a pillow and blanket waiting for me and the amenity kits were distributed shortly after boarding.
Dozing off could be easy as the seat converts to a full bed though I wasn’t really able to get some shuteye. Sleep has been elusive during this phase of my life but no complaints.
The panel to the right of my seat houses the controls for the light, seat adjustment, USB port, socket, audio jack, remote and a small compartment for the headphone. Across is an open cupboard for storing small items which can also serve as an extra legroom if you’re still too long for the fully reclining chair.
Soon after I was seated, a flight attendant offered me some refreshments. A few minutes after take-off, dinner was being served. It was a three-course meal complete with a menu.
Light snacks were also served throughout the flight. I ate my food with metal cutlery which I think is a better option; it’s less wasteful compared to using plastic utensils. I barely go to fancy restaurants so to experience such while several thousand feet above is truly one for the books.
I loved the selection of movies, TV series and music. I was in economy class for my Hong Kong to Manila flight and there’s not much difference only that in business class, you have slightly more choices.
If you’re into documentaries there are quite a handful to choose from. And if you ever get tired of binge-watching or listening to music isn’t your thing, you can always opt to play Hangman, Battleship or the ever classic Solitaire. If you’re travelling with your kids, there are child-friendly programs and games as well.
An excellent customer service is an essential criteria in the whole airline experience. I am pleased to say that Cathay Pacific’s service was exceptional. The attendants on the ground and in-flight were all very polite and approachable. They were attentive to the needs of all the passengers and would always respond positively. They greet you with a warm smile and utmost courteousness you would be embarrassed not to reciprocate with the same even if you’re feeling grumpy.
Given all the discomforts of a third trimester pregnancy, it was actually a pleasant and comfy flight.
Cathay Pacific Guidelines for Expectant Mothers:
They accept passengers with uncomplicated single pregnancies up to 36 weeks and 32 weeks for uncomplicated multiple pregnancies. If you are beyond your 28th week, you will have to present a medical certificate issued within 10 days of your intended outbound travel date. You may click here for further details.
Have you flown Cathay Pacific or were also upgraded? How was your experience?