In the Air

Cathay Pacific's first-class upgrades

Cathay Pacific, which flies from Hong Kong to New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, recently upgraded its first-class service.

Highlights: Check-in at freestanding high-tech kiosks takes about 30 seconds. The Wing may be the most elegant lounge in the world, with over 10,000 square feet of space, soft brown leather couches, a central fountain of running water, and the Elemis Day Spa, which offers a pampering mix of treatments, such as aromatherapy massage, rehydrating facials, and mint body polishes. The seats go from upright to completely flat at the touch of a button and are generally wider (25 inches) and longer (six feet seven inches) than other first-class beds. There are nine video channels and 30 movies to choose from. The service is sensational, particularly warm and attentive. Installation of Internet access is due this spring.

Weak spots: No individual satellite phones—only one phone mounted on the wall near the galley for the entire cabin to share. Disappointing food.

One-way first-class fare: $5,082. Call 800-233-2742.