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I fly over 100,000 miles per year in First and Business class and have reviewed the majority world's top onboard products for this blog. If you think that premium cabin travel is out of reach, read on to learn the tricks I use to fly around the world.
I also love visiting luxury hotels and resorts. I have reviewed a wide variety running the range from Park Hyatts and Ritz Carltons bookable with hotel points, right through to some of the world's most exclusive brands like Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Aman.
Finally, I am a firm believer in the fact that the purest expression of a culture is in its cuisine. I love to eat and have written at length about some of my favourite restaurants around the globe.
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The seat may not be the most modern, particularly when it comes to the IFE but it is still comfortable, provides aisle access for all passengers and has seats to suit both couples and solo passengers.
Above all the crew were exceptional. They were thoughtful, proactive, friendly, courteous and thoroughly professional throughout. They were truly up there with the likes of Singapore and the Japanese carriers. Nothing was too much bother for them and often they would go out of their way to suggest ways in which they could make your flight better.
This story begins, as so many of mine do, with an airfare that was too good to pass up.
It was Black Friday and I was fully intending to swoop up a premium airfare deal, no matter what. I had pretty much total flexibility on destination, date and airline. As always my only sticking point was that I wanted to travel in as much comfort as possible and ideally try a new product in the process.
In July 2019 ANA shocked the world by announcing brand new First and Business Class cabins on their 777s.
Previously ANA was renowned for fantastic service as well as some of the best food and drink in the sky. This was juxtaposed with a bizarrely utilitarian seat that looked like an office cubicle with blocked out windows.
With the new seat could ANA finally be ranked as the best First Class in the world?
After a rather lacklustre experience at the ANA Suite lounge in Narita a few years back I didn't exactly have high hopes for this lounge.
I set the bar low and this facility under delivered with aplomb.
The seats are not the best and I feel that CX has learnt nothing from the debacle with its similar shell design in economy. For a market leading airline, I would expect a lie flat product or at least more padding and a real, deep recline for flights over 3 hours.
Having since visited the newly refurbished Pier Business class lounge, this comes in a definite second. If you just need somewhere to grab something quick and you're pressed for time, this lounge is great. If you want to spend hours really maximising your lounge time and making a day out of it, The Pier is the lounge for you.
The crew were excited to be there, I was excited to be there and everything just fell into place. The service was spectacular throughout and it was great to have so many interesting conversations with a group of people who seemed to care so deeply about their jobs.
The CX reverse herringbone business class seat is often used as the benchmark for what is acceptable in a business class product nowadays. For a daytime flight I absolutely agree. It supplies storage, comfort and direct aisle access to every single passenger. There really are no bad seats on Cathay, it's nicer to get a window seat of course but it isn't a massive downgrade to end up in a middle seat.