Why Is Cathay Pacific So Expensive?

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A white passenger plane - Why Is Cathay Pacific So Expensive?

When it comes to planning a vacation, airfare is often one of the most stressful and expensive parts you have to look into. With so many airlines to choose from, it can be difficult to justify any one company’s services.

Cathay Pacific has some of the most expensive tickets for flights in and out of Hong Kong, and many people claim that it is because of their superior services. Others think it is related to their worker’s union or fuel surcharges added to the prices of Hong Kong flights.

Continue reading if you’re interested in exactly why Cathay Pacific is so expensive, especially for first-class or business-class flyers.


Is Cathay Pacific a Luxury?

Cathay Pacific is often considered to be a luxurious ride in the sky. First-class flyers are offered exquisite services that few other long, international airline companies can compare to.

Within the costly price of a ticket, you can expect to be treated to fine dining and wine within “The Wing” at Hong Kong airport.

Checking in at the recommended time three hours before a flight allows you to take full advantage of a private climate-controlled cabana to refresh yourself in a bath or shower and catch up on some much-needed rest on a daybed.

The service doesn’t stop there. Even in the air, more private seating and excellent catering lend themselves to the exclusivity of first-class flyers. Complimentary Wi-Fi is included in the price as well.


Is Cathay Pacific Better than Emirates?

Many people hold Emirates in high regard as the premier airline for first-class flyers. That being said, there are many other options, even for luxury flights.

Most people agree that Cathay Pacific can be a great experience, especially when it can be written off as a business expense, but it lacks several of the other amenities that Emirates offers.

For example, Cathay Pacific does not privately chauffeur you to and from your hotel to the airport or offer private access to the jet from their first-class lounges like Emirates does.

One thing that people do appreciate about Cathay Pacific is that the Wi-Fi is complimentary, while Emirates asks for an additional charge for theirs.


Where does Cathay Pacific Airlines fly to?

Cathay Pacific is a domestic and international airline. Since the company is headquartered in Hong Kong, most, if not all, of its flights involve flying into or out of Hong Kong. The flights are often roundtrip fares with a heavy fee for skipping the return leg of a journey.

Flights to and from Hong Kong via Cathay Pacific, including most major international airports:


  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Beijing
  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Paris
  • Frankfurt
  • Madrid
  • London


You’ll notice that Cathay Pacific services most continents in some capacity, and many of the flights are long hauls, so you might want to consider upgrading for a more comfortable experience.


Do They Have Flatbeds on Cathay Pacific?

While Emirates offers fully-enclosed private suites in first-class, Cathay Pacific does not, but the luxury feeling remains. However, the airline has seats that convert to fully flat beds if you want to sleep on a long flight.

In fact, the airline claims to have some of the widest flat beds of any company. So even if you don’t toss and turn as you sleep, you can enjoy the 600-thread-count linens and complimentary pajamas on especially lengthy flights.

You can even request flight attendants to make up your bed whenever you feel tired, making the flat beds even more luxurious.


What Else is included in Cathay Pacific?

First-class flyers can also watch video entertainment on personal HD TV screens and enjoy crisp sound thanks to BOSE noise-canceling headsets that are included.

The food onboard is sure to delight you because the company claims that they occasionally join forces with international Michelin-star chefs to create delectable courses for the skies.

Of course, only a few select routes reap the benefits of these chefs’ efforts, but the food will be high-quality regardless. You can also enjoy alcoholic beverage service, including Cathay Pacific’s own beer brewed specifically for enjoyment at 35,000 feet.


Final Thoughts on Why Is Cathay Pacific So Expensive 

Luxury airlines are expensive for a reason, but service is often listed as a top reason why Cathay Pacific is so expensive. Fuel charges and a quality experience outside of the flight also contribute to costly tickets.

If you’re flying from New York to Hong Kong, a total of about 38 hours of luxury service can come to about $900 an hour. So, in the end, it depends on how you view the time and money you spend on a first-class Cathay Pacific ticket, whether or not it truly is expensive.