I’ve flown Cathay Pacific several times now, but all of those flights have been in either business or first. This is mainly due to them being very generous with availability. On my recent trip to Europe, I decided I’d swap out a business redemption and see how their premium economy stacks up.
For this flight, I used a total of 25,000 Alaska miles for a one-way redemption. Business class is only an extra 5k miles for those interested.
The flight I was on (CX156), departs Brisbane just after half-past 12 and arrives into Hong Kong at around 7:10 am the following day, and the airline uses their A350-900 for the service. As the departure is pretty late, I decided I would eat in the Qantas lounge before my flight so that I could try and rest as I was going to be catching up with a friend for breakfast on my arrival into Hong Kong.
The premium economy cabin on-board Cathay’s A350-900 features 28 seats which are laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration. The seats have an overall pitch of 40” and a width of 20.”
For my flight, I went with 32A however, before the doors closed, I moved to the row behind which was empty meaning I got two seats to myself.
Once passengers were on-board and seated, the cabin crew came around the cabin with pre-departure beverages consisting of juice, champagne or water – I went with the water.
The menu and arrival card were also distributed to passengers.
The flight was pretty full in both business and economy with premium only being about 70% full.
Awaiting at your seat, you’ll find a blanket, pillow and a set of headphones.
As I wanted to sleep on the flight, I missed out on both the meal services (supper and breakfast) but here are the menus for the flight for those interested:
All up, I was able to have about 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep which I was delighted with considering I’m an extremely light sleeper, but I feel so much more relaxed when I’m flying so I guess this also plays a major part. If I didn’t have any sleep, I would have felt destroyed as I was continuing onto Amsterdam and that flight was departing Hong Kong just before midnight.
Not a bad view to wake up to!
To adjust your seat and either recline or bring out the footrest, you’ll need to use the buttons which are located in the centre armrest. This is also where you’ll find your IFE remote and headphone jack.
Each seat is fitted with a 10.6” screen which I found to be fast and responsive. The only complaint I have about the IFE is the number of ads that are shown when you select something to watch, a couple of minutes are just advertising which can get quite repetitive – especially watching TV shows that are around 20 minutes in length.
The seat also features a hook for a jacket and a compartment that can be used to hold your own device that you bring on-board with you.
Passengers in premium sadly don’t have a dedicated toilet and have to use the ones in economy which can get pretty busy at times.
And after about seven and a half hours in the air, it was time to start our approach into Hong Kong.
Possibly my favourite thing about the A350 has to be the cameras that are fitted on the aircraft; there is nothing else I want to watch more than on our descent into Hong Kong. Luckily for me, the weather was relatively clear, which meant a fantastic high definition view.
As we were descending, the crew asked if I would like a snack or beverage before landing as I hadn’t eaten during the flight, so I decided to go with a coffee. One thing I wasn’t too fond of is the paper cups that are used, why not use a glass which will look a lot nicer. I know, not a major thing to talk about but considering economy are served the same paper cup, it’s not the best look.
Amenity kits are provided for all passengers and feature your basic items like socks, an eye mask and a dental kit.
I had a pleasant experience onboard Cathay’s premium economy product and would happily fly it again, more so on a day time flight though. The seat itself was more comfortable than I was expecting and I found it to be well padded. The crew were also friendly and was making sure all the passengers were enjoying their flight, I’ve honestly never had a bad cabin crew experience on Cathay and hope that continues.
After flying premium on Cathay, I’d love to see how Singapore’s product compares as I think it would make for a good comparison and there looks to be quite a few major differences.
Have you flown Cathay Pacific premium economy?