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Cathay Pacific is boosting its non-stop Seattle Airbus A350 service to run every day, making it even easier for Australians – and anybody else for that matter – to head to the colourful Washington state city.
The Oneworld member opened the Hong Kong-Seattle route on March 31, and now just three months later this has toggled to the daily frequency valued by business travellers.
As home to technology giants such as Microsoft and Amazon plus 'satellite' offices of Silicon Valley-based companies like Google and Facebook, along with a wide range of start-ups, Seattle's tech cred is an obvious drawcard and comes second only to San Francisco as the USA's top tech market.
However, Seattle is also a refreshingly different US city with plenty of appeal in its own right; serves as a gateway to Canada via Vancouver; and anchors a sizeable cruise market into Alaska and tours through the Canadian Rockies, with several cruising and travel companies already booking blocks of seats on Air Canada flights between Australia and Vancouver.
Why Seattle via Hong Kong makes sense
Cathay's daily flights will be especially appealing to Australians who would otherwise most likely fly to Los Angeles and transit to Seattle – a process which involves collecting and rechecking luggage, changing terminals, quite possibly clocking hours in a sub-par lounge between flights, and then making the final three-hour leg of the journey in, at best, a domestic business class seat.
Cathay Pacific is hoping that Australians will embrace the Seattle flights with the same vigour as those to New York, with Hong Kong being a far more appealing connection point for the journey.
Not only does your checked luggage go all the through to Seattle, but your transit time can be spend in one of Cathay's excellent flagship lounges (we suggest The Pier) and you can even arrange a break in your journey to spend some business or leisure time in Hong Kong.
And yes, that trans-Pacific flight between Hong Kong and Seattle is a long one – almost 13 hour – but it's done in the quiet and comfort of an Airbus A350 fitted with Cathay Pacific's latest business class and premium economy seats plus inflight WiFi en route.
Flying to Seattle via Hong Kong instead of Los Angeles will add a handful of hours to your journey: allowing for a few hours' stopover, the tally edges towards 20 hours for LAX against 25 hours for Hong Kong. But all else considered, we'd suggest the longer route is also the most relaxing and enjoyable.
Cathay Pacific's flight CX858 departs Hong Kong daily at 11.55pm to reach Seattle at 9pm; the CX857 return flight is wheels-up from Sea-Tac Airport at 1am, for a 5.10am arrival into Hong Kong the following day.