Trip Report: Hong Kong to Tokyo Haneda, Cathay flight 542, first class

This was ticketed as part of a One World Multi Carrier award ticket.

I checked in in the morning at the Airport Express intown checkin and arrived at Hong Kong airport around an hour and a quarter before scheduled departure. I had been allocated seat 2A at the time of booking and was happy to stick with this.

At the airport
The plane was scheduled to leave from gate 2. It boarded late and departed about fifteen minutes late.

This was operated by a Boeing 747. The first class cabin was situated on the main deck and there were three out of nine seats in first class occupied.

CX542 seat (HK Travel Blog)

CX 524 footrest (HK Travel Blog)

The seat was fully reclining and spacious. Upon boarding it had a large pillow and blanket.

As always the Cathay entertainment selection was broad and good.


Having departed slightly late the flight was smooth bar some turbulence halfway through. We arrived into Haneda on time and immigration and luggage collection was smooth and fast.

CX 542 route map (HK Travel Blog)


There were two cabin crew serving the first class cabin and both were friendly and helpful. Neither was obtrusive and they were fairly responsive in serving though occasionally there was a bit of a wait.

I was served champagne before departure and given a menu and drinks list.

Food and Drink

The champagne was good and I particularly enjoyed the Château Bouscaut 2012, with its deep toasty taste. I switched to the Olivier (I think a 2009) during the meal and it was fine but after the oak of the Bouscaut it lacked a bit of depth.

CX542 promotional white wine list (HK Travel Blog)

CX542 promotional red wine list (HK Travel Blog)

CX542 menu (HK Travel Blog)

CX542 Japanese menu (HK Travel Blog)

CX 542 white wine list (HK Travel Blog)

CX 542 red and fortified wine list (HK Travel Blog)

CX 542 drinks list (HK Travel Blog)

CX542 menu (HK Travel Blog) CX542 drink list (HK Travel Blog)

CX542 meal (HK Travel Blog)

CX 542 starter (HK Travel Blog)

CX 542 soup (HK Travel Blog)

The starter was delicious. I had asked whether I might also have the soup, which tasted fine but unmemorable. For the steak, I was asked how I wanted it prepared, and asked for it rare. Somewhat to my surprise, it did indeed resemble a rare steak. The entrée was good and the steak was absolutely delicious, tender meat.

I finished with some cheeses, which again were good but not outstanding.


This is a showcase route for Cathay’s first class regionally and I would say that the experience was good but not outstanding. It was a consistent experience, with enjoyable but not especially luxurious food and drink for the most part, so it didn’t have a definitively first class feeling to it.

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