A new direct flight San Francisco to Hong Kong is now boarding with Hong Kong Airlines! Here’s a look at the flight and a review of the Hong Kong Airlines business class meals, seats and amenities.
I recently traveled to Hong Kong on Hong Kong Airline’s inaugural direct flight from San Francisco International Airport. I’ve flown all over the world, but this was definitely one of the best trips I’ve taken! From design to food to comfort, the flight exceeded my expectations in every way.
It was such a privilege to be a part of the first flight to leave San Francisco International Airport. There was so much celebration and excitement in the air when we arrived at our gate. A representative from the mayor’s office declared March 25, 2018 Hong Kong Airlines Day in the city of San Francisco. It was such a special moment!
On board the festivities continued with selfie opportunities and a chance to hang out with the staff.
A New Direct Flight San Francisco to Hong Kong
I was blown away by the brand new Airbus A350-900 plane we flew on. We were literally the first people to ever travel on it! It’s crazy to think that no one had sat in my seat before me. The plane has 33 business class seats and 301 economy seats but it was still one of the quietest flights I’ve ever been on. There was no constant roaring background noise that you find on so many flights.
I’ve had such bad experiences with layovers I try to fly direct whenever possible. Our flight to Iceland was delayed by four hours and we missed our connecting flight from Seattle to Reykjavik. We lost an entire 24 hours of time in Iceland because of the delay, which was incredibly frustrating! In addition we had to pay for a hotel to spend the night in Seattle. With less left to chance and no time wasted with layovers, finding a direct flight is one of the most important things I look for when planning a travel itinerary.
Hong Kong Airlines Business Class Food
Let’s talk about the thing that is usually the worst part of flying – the food. You can tell Hong Kong Airlines has put a ton of thought into their business class menu dining experience. There are dozens of options on the menu and each dish is perfectly plated just like you are dining at a restaurant.
You might recognize a familiar face if you’re a San Francisco foodie! The business class meals for our San Francisco to Hong Kong flight were created by Chris Consentino from Cockscomb and Acacia House fame. If you’re not from San Francisco you might know him as a winner of Top Chef Masters. He’s a big deal and his food is amazing.
I knew we were in for a treat when the meal started with this:
I don’t even normally like shrimp but this salad with shaved Parmesan, sourdough crumbs and kohlrabi was beautifully prepared and super fresh.
And panna cotta with balsamic vinegar sauce for dessert! It was so creamy and perfectly sweet.
I got to chat with Chris personally for a bit at the gate as he was celebrating his hard work by joining us on the flight! He talked about how he used the same ovens as the flight attends used to ensure the meals would taste delicious even at 40,000 feet.
His Five Spice Aburaage with White Shiritaki Noodles and Vegetables was the best vegetarian entrée I’ve ever had while flying. Look at the color of those vegetables! They were so fresh tasting and flavorful. Can you believe how glossy that auberaage is? I almost couldn’t believe it.On the way home, our food was prepared by another celebrity chef, Hong Kong-based Gabriel Choy, who trained with Gordon Ramsey and has a Michelin pedigree. His sous vide scallop salad was like art on a platter. I couldn’t get enough of those tiny citrus globes. Once you bit into them they burst and there was a sweet liquid inside. If you had told me I was eating dinner at a fancy restaurant at sea level I would have believed you.
Just make sure you save room for dessert:
They also have a world-class wine selection that includes tasting notes and suggested pairings. It was great to be able to pick a varietal based on what I had selected for dinner.
Hong Kong Airlines Business Class Seats
The Airbus A350-900 seats fully reclined to make a bed, which was so amazing for a 13-hour flight! I loved that there were a bunch of options from sitting up with your feet up to fully lying down.
I didn’t have any trouble sleeping meaning I was ready to see the sights once we arrived in Hong Kong. With spacious lie-flat seats, who has time for jet lag?!
I also loved that the window seats were singles for extra privacy. The center of the plane had paired seats which would be perfect if you were flying with a significant other.
Hong Kong Airlines Business Class Amenities
All of the amenities were tucked in the cutest pouch that depicted the Hong Kong skyline designed by Hong Kong based Ricebowl Republic. The kit included an eye mask, socks and ear plugs as well as fancy toiletries from L’Occitane – my favorite! I must confess I took the pouch at the end of the flight – it was too perfect to leave behind. (#sorrynotsorry) I use it every day to keep my work bag organized, and every time I unzip it I smile.
Their over-the-ear headphones were comfortable and stylish. I also appreciated that each seat had both a USB port and a power outlet so I could use my laptop and charge my phone at the same time.
Also included were slippers, which were great when I needed to go to the bathroom. The bathrooms had fresh flowers in them, which I thought was a nice touch.
Another thing that was obvious was the attention to detail. Even the menus were beautifully designed works of art created by Hong Kong illustrator Victo Ngai.
The service was of course top-notch. The flight attendants were so lovely and professional. They were always checking in to see if we needed anything and didn’t roll their eyes when I asked for my 18th glass of their amazing Golden Tip Red Tea. I actually bought some online when we got home I loved it so much.
Hong Kong Airlines VIP Business Class Lounge
You now have a reason to get to the airport even earlier than recommended! Hong Kong Airlines just opened a brand new VIP lounge at the Hong Kong Airport. It’s totally futuristic appearing and you can tell a lot of thought has gone in to the design.
We read that the lighting and art are meant to symbolize the streets and skyline of Hong Kong. In contrast, the natural woods and neutral colors make you feel like you’re at home and forest-green walls add a hint of nature.
And let’s talk about the food. An entire wall of the lounge is dedicated to cuisine from around the world. Whether you are in the mood for miso soup with udon noodles or American comfort food, you’ll find it in the lounge. Make sure you make time to enjoy a beautiful Hong Kong-style milk tea before you board and check out their full cocktail and juice menu.
San Francisco to Hong Kong Flight Details
Flights leave San Francisco once a day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays and depart Hong Kong on those days too. Official flight time is 13 hours, although our return flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco was about 11 hours.
Thanks to Cynthia and Allie for being the best travel partners for this adventure! Thank you so much to Hong Kong Airlines for having me as a guest aboard this flight. Want to see more from the trip? Check out the Hong Kong highlight on my Instagram profile or browse the hashtag #ASideofHK.
P.S. – Traveling to Hong Kong? Pin this post for later!