We were waiting with bated breath to board the spanking new Airbus A350-900, acquired by Cathay Pacific not too long ago. It was first deployed to fly to Manila and guess what? We were flying to Manila too, retracing the epic first flight, in business class!
We had just been pampered no end at Cathay’s largest business lounge at Hong Kong airport. We made good use of our layover period by experiencing the various facilities offered but then that’s a different story to be told later.
The longish comma came to a full stop and we proceeded towards the front of the aircraft to board the business class section of the airplane. The 1-2-1 angled arrangement of the seats were designed by Porsche to provide maximum personal space to each passenger and afforded an optimum space utilization to seat 38 business class passengers in 2 cabins.
We were duly escorted to our seats by ever smiling and warm hostesses. Both of us had window seats so that we could enjoy the beautiful internals and lovely views outside too through large windows. Our seats were in the front section that had 30 seats in 8 rows. Although our seats were one behind the other, one of us had to stand up, if we had to talk to each other. That is the extent of privacy!
Also for each passenger there is one large sized overhead storage.
There are many factors that ensure passenger comfort and low fatigue during a flight. The main factors are the noise level and the air pressure. Normally, even in pressurised cabins, the air pressure is as if we are at a high altitude and hence the low oxygen and ear aches and so on.
What we experienced here was a more comfortable and less tiring journey owing to reduced noise level inside the cabin. In fact with head phones on, the noises almost stopped. The second factor, and more important was the air pressure inside the cabin was higher (lower effective altitude) and resulted lower pressure difference in the ears, especially during take-off and landing. Nisha always has her ears blocked during & after a flight. This time she didn’t even notice!
There are plenty of small storage near the seat to keep your stuff, a small niche at below the knee level to store your cell phone, specs, books etc. The side-panel stores the head phone and the door has a mirror to check out oneself if required.
The full flatbed was wide enough for a comfortable sleep, however we were in no mood for a nap. It seemed a wider than other business class flights of Cathay, but I may be wrong.
Food & Drinks
No sooner had we settled than a tray of drinks appeared as if by magic. Of course the magic was performed by the same friendly cabin crew. We selected a glass of champagne each, to rejoice the moment of flying A350. With the pre-flight libations over, the flight departed and soon we were playing hide-n-seek in the clouds.
On reaching the cruising altitude the services commenced. For drinks we ordered both the signature drinks, Pacific Sunrise and the non-alcoholic Cathay Delight. We can only say, we could not stop with one! There was also an assortment of wines, whiskey, vodka, liqueurs & more and so were a choice of soul-soothing soft drinks and juices.
At the time of web check in we came to know that there are 21 meal options that can be selected 24 hours before boarding. In addition you could just select out of the menu of your choice. The food cart moved and we made place for the food tray by swiveling out the folded table. Since this was a “Snacks” flight, the meal tray was not elaborate but the aroma of freshly brewed Illy coffee wafted through the air and into our nostrils and made sure we had that. We also tasted some classy Chinese tea.
The service was impeccable and one of the best we have experienced.
In a later Cathay flight from Hong Kong to Mumbai business class, we experienced the full-fledged dinner cart full of options for the main course. The food was absolutely scrumptious. Also for between-the-meals snacking, the galley was fully stocked with noodle soup, chocolates, cookies, and assortment of drinks.
IFE’s large stowable 18.5 inches LED HD TVs increased the viewing comfort. Added to that was the large collection of Movies, Music, Games, News, TV shows or just the airplane’s external cameras that kept us out of mischief. 😀 The noise-cancelling head phones were just perfect to catch a little snooze in between.
We found a couple of cool functionalities which we could use at the IFE console were “Do not Disturb” and “Wake-up-Call”. We came to know later that this feature was exclusive to Business Class travellers only!
Free Wi-Fi internet is available, with limited functions, once the flight reaches 10,000 feet. There is also a paid option for full faccess.
All in all it is exactly what a business flyer needs during short or medium haul flight. Airbus A350 could, of course, with its 15,000km range. In fact a senior executive of Cathay Pacific said that “we are definitely going to deploy this aircraft on long haul routes”. We hope it is soon.
If you want to see another review of Cathay Pacific Business class, here it is.
You may read our reviews of other airlines here.
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I’ve never flown with Cathay but it looks great! The in-Flight entertainment looks awesome!
The inflight entertainment is just awesome, as you say. The many choices can spoil you no end.
Looks very comfy. The food must have been awesome.
It was Gokul. More options are available if you are non-vegetarian. I was more than satisfied to find food matching my preference.
I have never flown with Cathay before, but I do know about them. I have flown business class with other airlines and Cathay’s business class seems to be on par with the top ones out there. Champagne is always a plus.
Thanks. I can assure that they are above par many of the airlines.
Oh this is royal !
I envy you for travelling in this luxury. I wish to go on a long flight with Cathay.
Thanks Shreya. We just loved travelling in style 😉 May your wish come true!
Asian airlines are always so fantastic. I’ve not had the pleasure of flying Cathay, but this business class looks awesome. I really love the lay-flat seats.
Thanks. The flat bed seats are so useful on long routes. That and increased air pressure beats your travel fatigue and keeps reasonably fresh on landing.
Very classy arrangements! The window is so impressive!
Great picture of both of you! 🙂
Thank you. It was indeed a luxury travel and we enjoyed it fully. 🙂
I’ve flown Cathay and was very impressed. I’d say Cathay would be in the top three Asian airlines for Business Class. The layout of the 350 looks good.
I can’t agree with you more.
Looks like you’ve flown Business Class on several airlines. Out of Emirates, Etihad, Cathay and Turkish, which would you say is the best?
To each its own!
Each one has something up its sleeve, so difficult to say. But if you are going eastwards, Cathay rules the world.
Lucky you! Looks like a very comfortable way to travel.
Yes. Business class is indeed a luxury. 🙂
Cathay is sure one of the best airlines, I have taken it so many times on India ( mainly Delhi Bangalore) to LA sector. The new airbus sure looks swanky and your smile says it all 🙂
Ha Ha! Thanks. I would not be wrong in saying they are one of the top 3 airlines in this part of the world and has a fairly young fleet.
How fancy you two… You guys match perfectly with business class!;)
Hahaha! Thanks! Champagne does the trick I guess!
We don’t fly business class a lot, so we like it to be special when we do. Your Cathay Pacific flight did indeed look special from the storage to the champagne to the meal service. Hopefully one day I will experience this flight myself.
It was indeed enjoyable and comfortable flight.
It does look super comfortable. I must admit I’m usually one for saving my travel dollars for at the destination but I have loved Business Class on the few occassions I’ve had the chance. The new fit out looks superb as does the food.
Most of our travels are not Business Class too :). So we like to live it up when we can. Thanks.
What is snacks flight? Short haul flight?
Well, What I really meant was, a flight which is not during lunch or dinner time!
Loving the business class…so jealous now 😛
The food does look very good. I like that configuration of business class – I generally travel by myself so I really love the privacy
Yes. Even the 2 middle seats in a row, there is a lot of personal space. Thanks Fiona, for stopping by.
I would love that!
Ultimate luxury, looks like they thought of everything!
Thanks. It truly was enjoyable .
Thanks. You too! 🙂
so classy! i guess you had fun!
Yes Elisa . It was quite enjoyable 🙂
How cool! I recently flew business on the A380 and this ones looks better 🙂
I am told A380 is also low noise aircraft.
Wow! What a luxury way of flying. And I read that you been to Manila? I’m from the Philippines but currently staying here in Tel Aviv. How was your visit to our country?
Anyway, I think the cabin pressure does make a big difference. though it’s hard to quantify. But I have to agree that this kind of flight would definitely give you a more comfortable and less tiring journey.
Yes Trisha. I know you are from Philippines and we have quite a few common Filipino friends. 😀
It wasn’t our first visit there, I think that answers your question. We love going there.
Yes absolutely ! I agree with you on comfort level in the flight. I always have my ears blocked for at least 2 days and this time I didn’t even notice!
Very useful review and informative post.
Thanks Rashmi. 🙂
Very cool 🙂 I want to see the pictures!
Thanks. For the story and more pictures click on the image
Whaaaa!!!! Biz Class is for me. Looks sorta cosy 🙂
Ha Ha Ha , It sure was cozy and comfortable.
I remember flying Business class in Cathay Pacific so many years ago. I was still a kid and it was the first time I was in a double decker aircraft. The 1-2-1 seating looks so classy. Would love to fly this soon.
Wow! Probably a lot of things may have changed. If it was double decker must have been 747 probably.
The sleeping pod style seats are awesome! I have not flown Cathay, but I will definitely keep this in mind. For a flight that long, I will only fly business or First class!
You are right. One should fly only business class if the flight is long. But hey! even shorter flights are better. 😉
I’ve never flown with them but now I want to! I’m easily convinced by wifi access and additional leg room! I’ll have to keep this airline in mind for my future travels!
I’ve never flown with Cathay but it sounds like you had an amazing experience! The seats look so comfortable to sleep in (super important) and the entertainment center looks awesome as well. Will definitely consider them for future trips!
There one of the best in the business for a reason, I guess. Looks like you all had an amazing time and received excellent service. Those sunrise Champaign cocktails look awesome. I bet you hardly even noticed you had a long flight ahead! Cheers to many more travels!
I would always find it difficult to ever say anything bad about flying business class. As a long haul flyer, this would be my dream to fly like this every time. Very interested to learn it was designed by Porsche – makes sense. And I’m going to try drambuie and champers now – haven’t heard of that before.
Oh man, this sounds like SUCH a dream! I’m still waiting for the day I get a nice little upgrade to Business. Cathay already has such a good reputation for all classes, so I can’t imagine how lovely Business was in real life!
Wow! that looks like such a great airline to fly on. We’ve take the A350 business class on BA several times and the layout is similar. BUT they don’t have WiFi. I’d so love to have that option even if you to pay extra. We also definitely did not get so many meal choices either!
Wow! Looks like a really nice flight. I”ve never used their airline, nor have I flown business class, but I can see why I someone would want to. That service does sound incredible! Cheers!
Wow. I never knew that an a350 is already flying. Since when? You are lucky to embark on this beautiful plane and of course this pampering business class experience.
I lived in Hong Kong for a while and always heard how amazing Cathay was so I was very curious to read this post. I can’t believe there are 21 meal options that can be selected 24 hours before boarding! How cool is that!?!?!? Hope I can fly with Cathay and experience flying in luxury 🙂