Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Review – Ben says: There is a big difference in business class within Asia, so it was nice to be able to get a flat bed for a short flight.
I booked a Cathay Pacific Business Class ticket from Singapore to Toronto. The reason I chose to fly Toronto is that the flight from Hong Kong to Toronto was the only North American Cathay Pacific flight operated by the A350-1000 aircraft that day and this is the aircraft I wanted to review.
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Review
I booked the ticket for 70,000 American AAdvantage miles plus $66.10 in taxes and fees, which I would say is great.
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I should note that in theory I could also have redeemed 50,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for the ticket, which is an even better value. But unfortunately when I called Alaska they couldn’t see the price range. Check out this post for the best credit cards to earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles.
After a fun day of sightseeing and lounge hopping, I headed back to Terminal 4 for my Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. My flight departed from gate G18 at the end of the terminal and was scheduled to board at 7:35pm.
In fact, boarding was a bit late as the plane arrived from Hong Kong only at 19:25.
I boarded through the left door where the flight attendant and one of the business class flight attendants greeted me and pointed to my seat. This A330-300 configuration had a total of 39 seats in business class.
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The forward cabin had 28 business class seats and then a cabin behind the second set of doors had 11 seats.
Note that Cathay Pacific has two types of business class seats on its A330s – some have reverse herringbone seats (in a 1-2-1 configuration), while others have sectional seats (in a 2-2-2 configuration). There is a huge difference in the quality of these chairs.
Given that they fly long-haul planes on many regional flights, it’s definitely worth looking for one of these planes if possible.
Cathay Pacific has fairly standard Cyrus reverse herringbone seats on their long-haul A330s. These reverse herringbone seats are a little narrower than what you’d find on a wide-body jet.
Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class
I was assigned seat 18A, the last row of seats in business class on the left.
Next to the seats are entertainment controls, seat controls, power outlets and a small storage compartment where headphones are kept.
The tray extended from the left side of the seat and could be folded in half.
There is also a small open storage compartment to the left under the seat – as you can see the seat was starting to wear.
Observations From My Cathay Pacific Long Haul Business Flight
A pillow was waiting by my seat, and then I asked for a blanket, which soon came to me. While it’s not as good as Cathay Pacific’s long-haul bed, it’s more than adequate for regional flights.
About 10 minutes after boarding, the crew arrived in the cabin with pre-departure drinks with a choice of water, orange juice and champagne. I took a glass of water.
At around 20:15 the captain announced welcome aboard and informed us of the flight time of 3 hours 25 minutes to Hong Kong. Afterwards, Wendy, the flight attendant, welcomed him on board.
This flight was reported to be in conjunction with Mongolian Airlines – it is worth noting that it is the only codeshare partner for this flight.
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At around 20.20 the main door was closed (business hours were almost full) and moments later we started backtracking and the security video was shown. We had a very quick taxi and were in the air by 8.35pm.
When we got out, I looked through the map and the in-flight entertainment line. Cathay Pacific’s A330 inflight entertainment is low resolution and not very responsive – their newer planes have higher quality and more responsive displays.
The lineup as such was solid, although Cathay Pacific now has about four minutes of commercials for any show, which is a lot – on the positive side, they’re easy to fast-forward.
Unfortunately, this A330 does not have Wi-Fi. I was a little confused because I thought I saw a Wi-Fi “hood” on the plane, and I also saw that the plane was registered online with Wi-Fi installed. So I’m not sure if it just wasn’t activated or if I’m completely wrong?
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The seat belt signal was turned off five minutes into the flight and then menus were handed out 15 minutes into the flight.
A few minutes later the flight attendant came on board through the cabin to welcome me on board – Cathay Pacific does a great job looking after Oneworld Emerald members.
The first batch of drinks was served from the cart about 30 minutes after launch. I ordered the Cathay Delight with coconut milk, fresh mint and kiwi. This is one of the best cold, non-alcoholic drinks on any airline in my opinion. It was served with some mixed nuts.
The salad and appetizer were served an hour after the start. While Cathay Pacific has tweaked their long-haul dining concept, on regional flights they still take a very “conveyor belt” approach to service, with most served from carts.
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Review [sydney > Hong Kong]
The starter consisted of salted salmon with fennel citrus salad and crème fraiche cucumber crumble followed by mescune salad with cucumber, radish and tomato. I also chose garlic bread from the bread basket.
About 70 minutes after I started I was asked what I wanted for my main course. It was not served from a basket, but directly to my seat on a tray. I ordered the laksa with shrimp and fish ball, which was excellent.
Then it took a while until they served dessert, where they first cleared everyone’s head tray and then came through the pavilion with a dessert cart. Then about two hours after I started I was asked if I wanted some fruit and cheese, which was great.
So about 2 hours and 20 minutes after takeoff they came through the cabin with Haagen-Dazs ice cream, coffee and tea, though I passed.
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The quality of the food was very good, in my opinion. The crew was also friendly and attentive, addressing me by name in almost every interaction.
But I don’t like the running line they take. The food service is quite long, although I don’t think most people want to sleep on this short evening flight.
After eating I checked out the toilets – there are two at the front of the cabin and then one between the two Business Class cabins to the right.
Shortly after the dinner party ended, we began our descent towards Hong Kong. At 23:25 the captain announced that we were at 39,000 feet and that we would soon be descending to land. 12:00.
First Impressions: Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class
Our landing went smoothly and seat belts were registered about 15 minutes before landing. As we were disembarking, the flight attendant came back through the cabin to thank people for flying with Cathay Pacific.
I cleared immigration early and headed to the attached Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong for a very short night’s sleep (I first went to bed at 2 because I had some work to do, then woke up at 4 to check out some airport lounges) .
Getting a completely flat reverse herringbone seat on an intra-Asian flight is a real treat. The seats were comfortable, the crew friendly and the food good.
But the A330 cabin is really starting to show its age, between the seat wear and the low-resolution entertainment system.
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Also, Cathay Pacific’s food service on intra-Asia flights is very long. I’m not sure it’s objectively bad, as some might like it on an evening flight, though personally I wouldn’t mind it being too fast. While we as a subbing reporter have only flown short flights with Cathay Pacific, these same seats used on long-haul flights are worth a look. It’s also interesting to see the difference between what you usually get on short flights in European business class compared to what we got on Cathay Pacific.
The Roving Reporter and I flew from Shanghai to Hong Kong for the second part of our Asia tour which started in Shanghai, Hong Kong and finally ended at the newly opened Datai in Langkawi.
Our trip didn’t start well with our transport (which was a constant theme of this trip which ended in Hong Kong with the world’s smallest driver’s car and next time a roving journalist was cut off by a huge metal trolley with our luggage on top of his head!) The service we received from Blacklane was great, but on the way out to the airport our car broke down and we cruised along the freeway at about 10 mph for the last part of the trip.
So I didn’t get involved
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