Picking Up A Brand-New Cathay Pacific Plane Straight From The Boeing Factory– My Actual Flight Experience

The special CX3339 delivery flight of this Boeing 777-300ER that we "picked up" from Everett, Washington, was just us 40 guests (journalists around Asia + Cathay Pacific executives + engineers) occupying all of business class, plus 10 pilots and cabin crew.

So on my previous post, I talked about flying to Seattle, Washington to literally “pick up” a plane from the Boeing Factory– aka a delivery flight experience— a very special privilege that Cathay Pacific extends to their own staff, media, students, government personnel, Marco Polo members and trade partners.  On this post, I’m going to share with you the actual flight experience— one of the most precious experiences I’ve had in my life.

The experience began with a delivery flight dinner the night before hosted by Cathay Pacific at the Columbia Tower Club, a private business club which sits on the 75th and 76th floor of the Columbia Center, the tallest building in downtown Seattle. This was in honor of the 70th (and last) Boeing 777 which we were flying the next day.

Cathay Pacific-Boeing Delivery Flight Dinner at Columbia Tower Club at Columbia Center, Seattle, Washington
What a lovely dinner hosted for us by Cathay Pacific at the private Columbia Tower! I’m always about trying local so appreciated that all wines served were from Washington State– you can zoom into the pairings and tasting notes :)
Nhu Vo Cathay Pacific Vietnam, Cheryl Tiu, Zanita Careem Sunday Island Sri Lanka, Sanath Weerasuriya The Sunday Times Sri Lanka, Sharmistha Mukherjee The Indian Express- Columbia Tower- Seattle
I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know this lovely bunch :) (L-R) Nu Vho from Cathay Pacific Vietnam, Zanita Careem of Sunday Island Sri Lanka,, Sanath Weerasuriya of The Sunday Times, TV Times and Daily Mirror Sri Lanka and Sharmistha Mukherjee of The Indian Express :)
View of Seattle from Columbia Tower
Seattle sunset from the highest building in the city, Columbia Towers. <3 Spot Space Needle in this photo!

The next day, it was back to the Boeing Everett Center to get on the plane you saw on my last post— and fly out on a very special route from Seattle… to Hong Kong! (This is not a normal Cathay flight, as it doesn’t fly to Seattle; only Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas). Plus, for the first time in my life, I was going to be flying a “private” commercial plane, that was not departing from an airport! There were no queues for immigration and I was worried at first that they might think we were overstaying– but no, there was an officer who went to us individually and did it electronically– how awesome was that?!

(Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific)
The brand spanking new Cathay Pacific 777-300ER ready to take off! (Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific)

The special thing about the Boeing 777 is that it is the largest long-range twin-engine commercial plane in the world, measuring 242 feet, 4 inches (73.9 meters) in length. The 777-300ER carries 396 passengers in a standard two-class configuration up to 7,370 nautical miles (13,650 km), on routes spanning, for example, New York to Hong Kong, Singapore to London and Sydney to Los Angeles. (This is what Cathay Pacific uses to fly on most of their long haul flights.)

The 777 is also the industry leader in reliability, which means it’s on time 95% of the time. It also reduces drag and improves fuel use by 2% Its windows are also 12% larger than its competitor’s.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 ER Delivery Flight Pilots and Cabin Crew- September 2015
Cathay and Boeing executives with our 4 pilots and 6 cabin crew (L-R) Senior Purser Angie Nakamura, Senior Purser Karena Ho, Inflight Service Manager Samuel Chan, Captain Darryl Soligo, Captain Henry Craig, Anna Thompon, Cathay Pacific Director Flight Operations, James Tong, Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Affairs, Captain Annabelle Cochrane, First Officer Mawgan Grace, Flight Purser Calvin Fok, Flight Purser Menchie Aduan-Franciso, Flight Purser Yulie Simon (Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific)

“Cathay Pacific acquired its first 777 in 1996,” Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s 777 program shared, “And since then, it’s been more than just a transfer of people and goods, but about strengthening friendship and cooperation, and connecting people, business, ideas and resources. What a remarkable achievement.”

Kudos to that! On this very special flight, only 50 people would be on this 396-seater plane— we journalists, Cathay executives, 4 pilots and 6 cabin crew members!

777-300ER CAT #1333-WE605 Delivery
Yup, this was the 50 of us taking the brand new Cathay Pacific 777-300ER, including 4 pilots and 6 cabin crew! (Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific)
Cathay Pacific Boeing Delivery Flight Cheryl Tiu
CX339 departing from PAE/ Everett is not a regular flight nor flight path. Such a privilege for this blog to have been invited to pick up the Boeing 777-300ER!
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Delivery Flight Experience- From Eveett Center, Washington to Hong Kong- Asian Journalists
We occupied the entire business class of the plane!

Out of 10,000 cabin crew members, only 6 were handpicked and invited to serve onboard the Cathay Pacific-Boeing delivery flight. These are usually the top performers. We were so proud to find beautiful Pinay Menchie Aduan-Francisco on this delivery flight! She has been with Cathay for 20 years and really took care of us this flight.

Menchie Aduan-Francisco, Cathay Pacific Boeing Delivery Flight
42-year-old Menchie Aduan-Francisco is married to a graphic designer and is a mother to two children. The Tourism graduate from University of Sto. Tomas (UST) was the only Filipina to have been selected (out of 10,000 cabin crew members!!!) to serve on our delivery flight :) So proud of you, Menchie!
Cathay Pacific Boeing Delivery Flight Meals Inflight Entertainment
Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab for starters– we were spoiled! I watched the entire season of The Mindy Project throughout the flight
As it was a special flight from Everett, we were served wines from Washington State. Love it, love local!
As it was a special flight from Everett, we were served wines from Washington State. Love it, love local!
Cathay Pacific Boeing Delivery Flight Meals
Main course choices: Grilled US beef tenderloin, Cod in sweet wine sauce, Herb-roasted corn-fed chicken breast, Artichoke and cheese cannelloni
Yay, we get First Class pajamas.. sooo comfy!
Yay, we get First Class pajamas.. sooo comfy!
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Delivery Flight from Everett Center, Washington to Hong Kong
Business class became kinda like a “private party” cos we all knew each other!
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Seats
It was surreal to fly seeing Premium Economy unoccupied..
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Seats 2
..And likewise Economy class…
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Seats
It was so brand-new, you could smell it. literally!
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Delivery Flight from Everett Center, Washington to Hong Kong- Actual Flight
It’s hard to remain looking fresh after flying X hours up in the sky but this was the most comfortable flight I’d ever been on in my life– there was absolutely ZERO turbulence from North America to Asia, and so honored to have been part of it. <3
View from Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER
Yes, the windows of the 777-300ER are much larger than its counterparts 😉 Thank you so much for such a precious experience, Cathay Pacific!! This is one that I’ll remember forever. <3

To read about the Cathay Pacific-Boeing Delivery Flight, and what it was like in Seattle, and the Boeing Factory, click HERE.