My combination of tickets meant that this trip wasn’t quite over yet. I had three more segments booked, down to Athens again in Swiss Business, and back home via Munich in Lufthansa Economy. Originally, I had intended to just throw away these three coupons, but in the time between booking and embarking on the trip, a promotion had come up that made it very worthwhile to do the “Athens turn” again, and so I did a couple of days after I returned from Asia. I will spare you a detailed report of these flights and just say that they were more or less the same as the first time I flew to Greece, just in reverse order. It was a very unremarkable day of flying and lounging, and I just used the time to catch up on all the reading material that had gathered in my mailbox while I was traveling through Asia. Oh, and if you must know: Lufthansa was on time, Swiss (as usual ) wasn’t.

What remains of this trip are not just a lot of miles and a heap of menus, but also very fond memories of my flights in Cathay Pacific First class. I had the privilege of experiencing it only about a year after my flights in Singapore Airlines First (trip report) and will try to compare the two. It is my impression that SQ First strikes you as a lot more luxurious at first, mainly because they rely heavily on big brands to create an impression of luxury (Givenchy suits, Bulgari kits, Krug champagne etc.) and because of their SkySuite seat, which looks nicer than Cathay’s seat. I’d think though that once you have reached a certain seniority that allows you to look past these big names (and I make no secret out of the fact that I haven’t yet), you should be able to enjoy CX First just as much, with the food being on par with SQ and the service seeming just a little bit more “genuinely friendly” than on Singapore, where things seemed to be going very much by the book. Cathay seemed to offer a mix of understatement and true generosity that I found very appealing. For now though, Singapore Airlines First remains my favorite, but I can imagine that this will change eventually.

In a whole different league are Lufthansa and Swiss First, the two others I was able to experience so far. As it looks now, I’d rank Swiss only fourth, even behind Lufthansa, but I must say that I have yet to experience a “true” long-haul flight in LX First, and I am not willing to cut this ranking into stone until then.

What I enjoyed most about this trip though are not flights, but people, fellow Flyertalkers to be precise, who with their generosity and helpfulness only made it possible for me to embark on such a journey. SP!, GK, mjm, SanDiego1k, thank you very much for spending time with me – I had a blast! As for ausTXhiker, he already knows how much fun I had traveling with him, and I can assure you that we already have the two next trips together lined up…. Last, but not least, if any of the readers of this report have really read all of it (which turned out to be about four times as much as I had originally intended to write), they deserve my admiration, and I’d like to thank them for their time - way to go!

up, up and away...

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