Recently we flew business class with Cathay Pacific from Australia to Europe onboard the very quiet A350. The business class cabin is in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration with direct aisle access for all passengers. If you are travelling solo we recommend choosing the aisle seats as the middle seats do not have a privacy screen between them and are better for couples.
On the first leg of the trip, we flew on the A350-900 which has business class split over two cabins with the smaller cabin only having 2 rows which made it feel more like a private space, albeit at the back of the business class cabin, unlike the A350-1000 which has one larger business class cabin. Cathay Pacific Business Class is full of modern features to make your flight more comfortable, unfortunately, most of them are backlit with LEDs leaving the cabin, especially the smaller A350-900 cabin very bright during a night flight. If you're a light sleeper you'll need to make use of the eyemask supplied in your amenity kit.
The seat is well proportioned and provides various position adjustments without having to get out of the seat. With a touch of a button, it converts to a fully flat bed that is 190cm long and 51cm wide. As a bed it was a bit hard and would have benefitted greatly from a mattress topper. A comfortable pillow and blanket are provided.
Along with the overhead storage above both the aisle and middle seats, there is also storage compartments within arms reach around your seat. A compartment next to the seat is great to hold small personal items and a smaller space in the console holds your amenity kit, complimentary headphones and water. This smaller space also has a vanity mirror and powerpoint to charge your device while in the air.
The Cathay Pacific amenity kit is filled with all of the travel essentials that you may need during your flight including teeth cleaning kit with mouth wash, Jurlique skincare, eye mask and socks. Unfortunately Cathay Pacific does not provide slippers or pyjamas on their flights, but the socks do have grip on the bottom. We were not sure if this was to replace the slippers but we found the socks to be uncomfortable and a little small, if there was a male/female amenity kit with larger socks for males this would have been much better. This may soon be updated with the addition of Cathay Pacific’s Sleeper Service coming late in 2019, which will hopefully see the addition of slippers and a mattress pad (we'll keep you updated!).
The 18.5-inch HD entertainment screen is very responsive and has a good selection of content compared to the older A330. This includes some great releases and superhero movies, it would have been nice to have a few more comedy options but generally, it's good. The system is a touch screen however it can also be controlled with a remote control that is found in the seats side panel. On this remote, you can also request a wake-up call for meal service and enable the ‘do not disturb’ feature for some privacy.
Although the inflight dining menu was extensive the food was a bit underwhelming compared to other Business Class products on the market, all food was prepared in the galley and brought to your seat on a tray, the flavours of some of the meals were also a bit bland. Coming out of Italy we recommend getting the local dishes like pasta and pizza as they were our favourite dishes overall. Along with the main dining service, there is also the option to request a selection of dishes during the flight and a great selection of snacks in the galley including ice cream, and popcorn.
Breakfast was served 2 hours prior to landing and we had the choice of continental, western or Chinese breakfast, and although the meal was fresh and delicious we would have preferred to be able to customise the options a bit more, similar to what is offered by Qantas or Virgin Australia. Breakfast was also served on a tray should be realistic to serve it just 90 mins prior for more sleep, rather than 2 hours prior to landing.
Cathay Pacific also has an extensive wine list on board with a range of options that include, French champagne and white wine, Australian and Italian red wine, a range of spirits, soft drink, tea, coffee, juice and their signature Besty Beer, which can also be found in their lounges and is a really refreshing pale ale, find out more about the craft beer here.
During the flight, we found the service wasn’t up to Cathay Pacific’s usual standards which we've come to expect but we'd put this down to it being a transitional time at the company and should return to normal service levels soon. They did however make a particular effort to acknowledge the oneworld Emerald frequent flyer members and also take their orders first to ensure they get their first choice of meal.
As always the Lounges in Hong Kong were exceptional, keep an eye out for reviews of The Wing and The Pier lounge coming soon. To book your next flight with Cathay Pacific contact our expert travel consultants here.