Nowadays, not many airlines in the world are still offering a separate First Class product. Those that still do are also eliminating the service and routes using different ways. Earlier this year, we saw Asiana re-branding their First Class to Business Suite. Today, another Asian five-star airline, Cathay Pacific, is also eliminating their First Class product on most regional routes.
Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon First Class
Currently, Cathay Pacific offers First Class on all routes their 77A and 77H aircraft are flying, including most long-haul destinations and a few popular short-haul ones. These aircraft have 6 First Class seats in a 1-1-1 configuration.
Cathay Dragon, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, is currently offering First Class on all routes flying their Airbus A33R. These aircraft have 8 reverse-herringbone First Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.
What is Changing?
Short-haul destinations offering First Class currently includes Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo Haneda, Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei, Manila and Kuala Lumpur. Except for the first two, all the other ones are currently not bookable.
While those seats are not bookable, they appear to be blocked Business Class seats on the seat map. That means the physical First Class seats would still exist on these flights.
However, other than the physical seats, there would not be a separate service, extra miles or designated flight attendants anymore.
This change should be considered as a negative one for those redeeming miles on short-haul First Class upgrades. However, for those often travelling in Business Class and who hold a Cathay Status, this is a positive news because you get the chance to sit in First Class without any extra cost, although there would not be any different service.
If you already booked one of these First Class seats and got eliminated, what was Cathay’s solution? Did anyone test out which frequent flyer status can choose one of the First Class seats?