Happy Birthday Miki! Cathay Pacific First Class Surprise

This week I will assist Chai Bear with his blog. Before his busy blogging days, all he does is sleep, take pictures, do room reviews, and travel. Thus, it’s understandable why he pleaded me to temporarily take over this week. I hope you guys don’t mind!!! In any case, I figure it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about a birthday story in how I surprised my wife with Cathay Pacific First Class. 


We have a long history with Cathay Pacific. About half of our travels to Asia would be through this Hong Kong’s flag carrier airline. In fact, our first international business class experience was through Cathay Pacific.

cathay business
2011: first time flying International Business Class!

Over the years, we’re fortunate to keep in touch with the staffs in the industry. Every now and then, our favorite flight attendants would be reunited with Chai Bear!


This month is my wife’s big 30 and fabulous birthday. As many of you know in the travel blogosphere, Cathay Pacific First Class is a special itinerary to book. Upon ticketing, the Cathay Pacific representative recognized I wasn’t the passenger and asked:

“Is this for a special occasion?” 

“Well it’s her birthday next week. Are you able to assist me in giving her something special?” 

“D’aw. That’s wonderful. Would you like to order a cake to surprise her during dinner?”


With that, begins her awesome Cathay Pacific First Class flight.

first cover1


Of the six first class seats in the cabin, only three (including herself) flew this Los Angeles route. As a result, each passenger had their own flight attendant and supervisor to assist them throughout the flight. Talk about a good crew : passenger ratio!


Seat 1A: oversized seat + screen


Prior to take off, the crew introduces themselves & offers Miki her welcome aboard amenities. Even though Miki isn’t too big of a drinker, it’s hard to say no to free-flowing Krug champagne.


Krug champagne w/ hor d’oeuvres + Aesop travel kit + Pajamas


While sipping on the fine Krug, Miki starts to notice all the features of her seat. Notably, the seat is also its own masseuse! At a touch of a button, her seat converts into a massage chair to help her relax for the long flight. Wow, that is so unnecessarily awesome. It’s like the James Bond seats of airplane seats.


Massage chair (hilarious how her legs can’t reach the footrest)


“I would like to have the Wok-fried Boston Lobster for dinner”

Vikki, the main stewardess asks, “Great choice. Would you like to start your course first with some caviar?”

“Wow. yes. What drinks do you recommend?”

“I always recommend Krug champagne with the caviar and the Weingut Heitlinger (German) Riesling 2012 with the lobster”

As dinner serves, the birthday surprise starts to unfold. During the caviar & champagne dinner, Vikki presents her with a birthday hand-written card. With everything digitally typed these days, it’s always a nice touch when you see something as personalized as this.


Caviar | Vegetable w/ Black Truffle | Boiled Chicken Soup | Wok-fried Boston Lobster


As Vikki places a new table cloth/setting, Charlie, the flight supervisor asks how everything went and asks if Miki wants to finish with a dessert. Miki, having no clue what’s about to happen says she’ll have whatever he recommends.

“My personal favorite is the apple tart with berries and whip cream”

“Hm. Does it come with ice cream?”

“Yes! And it is served warm too” 

With that successful misdirection, Charlie then heads into the gallery for the final birthday surprise. Moments later, the whole flight crew (6-8 people) secretly comes out and shouts, “Happy Birthday!” Miki, stunned and speechless, thanked everyone and decided to take pictures with some of them.


Mango filling chiffon cake + Krug Champagne w/ strawberry topper


After the pictures, Charlie takes the cake and offers to slice the first piece for her. As a final final surprise, he presents an official birthday card signed by the whole flight crew.




What a way to end the night. Miki, who loves to sleep, opts to have an insanely expensive beauty sleep for the remainder of the flight. As she goes to the restroom to change into her pajamas, Charlie naturally starts to prepare the bed for her.

“Would you like a wake up call? and a fresh brew pot of tea?”

“No, I’ll just sleep. Just the tea. Thank you.” 


Zzz… sweet dreams


Bonjour! Six hours later, Los Angeles is just around the corner. As the window lights gleam into her eyes, she realizes she needs to be awake to maximize the final hours of the flight.


Good Morning birthday girl!


Prior to landing, Miki goes into the washroom to change out of her pajamas. The flight crew astutely observes this and arranges her seat. To her surprise, by the time she came back, a light dimsum breakfast is prepared next to her window.




As Cathay Pacific takes the final descent into Los Angeles, Miki takes a final #selfie and reflects on how awesome her last 13 hrs 10 mins flight time was.


thank you


Overall, Cathay Pacific First Class is amazing, amazing, and amazing. This airline excels in what’s most important in the travel industry: customer service. Like Goldilocks soup, nothing is too over the top, nothing is too forced / lacking, everything feels just right. Always one step ahead of you, they simply know what you need before you even realize you want it.

When Miki revealed what they did for her 38,000 feet in the air, I was beyond shocked & impressed. They exceeded my expectations in almost every way possible.

Thank you Cathay Pacific for taking such special care for her (and making me look like the most awesome husband in the world)

Happy birthday baby. Welcome home!


Meter - Singapore Airlines

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