AIRLINE – CATHAY PACIFIC
CLASS OF TRAVEL – ECONOMY CLASS (NEW PRODUCT)
AIRCRAFT – A330
ROUTE – TOKYO (NARITA) TO HONG KONG
First of all, it is worth mentioning that there are still two products available on Cathay Pacific flights – the old and the new.
One of the most notable differences with the new Economy Class product, is the absence of the sliding seats, or as I have heard them more affectionately referred to as ‘the wedgie’ seat. The older seat design’s mechanism prevented the seat from reclining back, resulting in a seat base that would slide downwards and forwards, whilst the back of the seat remained relatively upright. Although this scooping action did have the advantage of minimising any audible sighs or groans from the person located behind, it did result in one having to adjust one’s undergarments soon after ‘reclining’. These seats are being gradually phased out, although you may experience them on some of the older aircrafts.
This relatively short journey from Tokyo to Hong Kong included the new style Economy Class seating which as well as featuring the full seat recline, offer a good width, ample legroom and an adjustable headrest, resulting in greater levels of comfort.
The tray table folds in half lengthways leaving room for a rather handy storage shelf for placement of smaller items such as a mobile phones, reading glasses, passports etc. A cup holder is located on the back of the folded table which does feel a little flimsy and is particularly problematic if the person in front has reclined their seat. Nonetheless, the table itself is wide and sturdy enough for laptop usage or reading materials.
USB in-seat charging is available soon after take off which is a feature I have personally started to depend upon.
The touch sensitive entertainment screen is simple to navigate with a good selection of recent films, television programmes, music and games. The earphones provided are not noise-cancelling and have a tendency to slip, so it is worth considering bringing your own on board.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
For a great airline with exceptional service and comfort, the catering somewhat disappoints. Around one hour into the flight, you can expect one drink and if you are lucky, a packet of dry roasted peanuts. The main meal is consistently predictable, usually including an overheated, synthetic-tasting white bread roll, a bland potato salad on a bed of non-distinguishable chunks of meat, followed by a choice of either yet another non-descript meat dish with boiled rice or heat-and-serve penne pasta. Even more saddening is the ‘dessert’ offering of one single Macadamia nut biscuit in a plastic packet.
Consider having a meal before you board and take a snack with you to avoid any disappointing hunger pangs. There are only two meal choices offered on shorter flights so if you have any particular dietary requirements, make sure you put in your request well in advance.
Use the wet towel provided with your meal to wipe down your tray table before use. As much as one hopes that these tables are cleaned thoroughly between each flight, I have been unfortunate to witness a fellow passenger who proceeded to spend the best part of an hour plucking out individual nostril hairs and subsequently (and very neatly) lining them up on his tray table before folding it away just before landing. After this relatively traumatic experience I would recommend a quick wipe down before usage.
Check out and compare ScrubySnacks’ other airline reviews:
British Airways Review – Club World (Business Class)
American Airlines Review – Business Class (Long haul)
Japan Airlines Review – Sky Suite II (Business Class)
Hong Kong Airlines Review – Business Class
British Airways Review – World Traveller (Economy Class)