Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka Kansai

Introduction
Dragonair G16 Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Cathay Pacific 596 A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka Kansai
InterContinental Osaka Deluxe Twin
InterContinental Osaka Two Bedroom Superior Residence
InterContinental Osaka Two Bedroom Deluxe Residence
Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport
Lounge Pacific Osaka Kansai Airport
Cathay Pacific 507 777-300 Business Class Osaka Kansai to Hong Kong


This was the last time this year that the flight number CX 596 was being used, which was pretty cool in and of itself.

Cathay Pacific Flight 596
Friday, March 25, 2016
Origin: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 2 Dep: 08:00 (08:00)
Destination: Osaka Kansai (KIX) Gate: 2 Arr: 12:25 (12:10)
Duration: 3 hr 25 min (3 hr 10 min)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 15A (Business Class)

I was the first onboard the business class cabin and seemed to take the cabin crew by surprise. I took my first photo of the cabin, then told the purser I’d arrived (she seemed to be giving a pep talk to the rest of the crew and didn’t realise I was there). The purser was unnecessarily apologetic about not seeing me first and led me to my seat 15A.

DSCF4977Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class

Cathay Pacific’s longhaul A330 business class consists of two cabins: a bigger cabin, which is better if you want a better boarding experience, and a smaller cabin, if you want some more privacy throughout the flight. I’ve found myself to love whichever cabin is further forward for short flights, as there’s literally zero foot traffic apart from those wanting to get to their seats. In economy, though, I do like sitting near the back of the plane where the fuselage tapers (this is where people don’t like to sit, so I have a bigger chance at an empty seat next to me).

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 14.15.28Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seatmap

Really, the cabin is stunning, especially with the green mood lighting thrown in giving the cabin a loft-like feel.

DSCF4976Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class

My seat 15A was in the middle of the cabin, which worked well as it’s away from both the toilet and the galley. It’s one of many websites’ top picks, and I liked my seat very much for the duration of the flight.

dscf4982Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat 15A

DSCF4979Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat 15A

While I’ve had my complaints with the seat regarding the padding, there’s no denying that reverse herringbone seats are my favourite business class seat layout. The seat’s incredibly spacious, and there’s enough space for everything.

DSCF4982Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat 15A

The seat is also amply wide, so even if there’s not enough padding, there’s definitely more than enough space.

DSCF4984Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class

There is legroom for days in reverse herringbone seats, and the seat cubby isn’t restricted. I have one of the biggest feet in the family, and I was able to sleep comfortably no matter what position I was in.

DSCF4985Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Legroom

I’m not as much of a fan of the polishes of the seat as I am with the actual structure, as I find some of the features to be clunky. I’ve never been a fan of the seat controls, which look weird, and also aren’t “one touch” – fortunately the new ones are, in the sense that you don’t have to hold down the “bed” function to turn it into a bed.

DSCF4986Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat Controls

I like the adjustable reading light – there’s really no better way for it to be mounted. While the remote control is getting a little old, the new remote controls are a LOT better.

DSCF4987Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Side Panel

DSCF5028Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Reading Light

By the left of the seat is a side table, which is great for drinks, glasses and phones.

DSCF5121Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Side Table

There’s also a USB plug and a few other plugs, to finish off the seat’s features. They worked well during my flight.

DSCF4988Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Plugs

The seat also features a big tray table that you can’t pull towards you – I’ve heard a lot of complaints regarding that, though I didn’t find it to pester me too much.

DSCF5068Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Tray Table

My favourite thing about the seat is its versatility – those who value more space get more space, and those who value more privacy get more privacy, simply by moving the armrest up or down. Being short and privacy-wanting I keep the armrest up basically at all times.

DSCF4995Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Armrest

And while the seat isn’t necessarily the most comfortable in the world, there’s definitely an enhanced sense of space with all those storage nooks the seat has, in the sense that I don’t need to stash all my stuff randomly around the seat.

DSCF4999Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Side Storage

DSCF5014Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Side Storage Cubby with Mirror

The TV doesn’t tilt down, which is one of the negatives that the seat has (so you can’t watch TV while you’re fully reclined). However, it was touchscreen and large enough, which I appreciated.

DSCF5038Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class TV (folded)

DSCF5001Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class TV

The ottoman is supposed to be an extension to the bed, but I used it to place my computer when I was eating.

DSCF5039Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Ottoman

This was a 14-year-old A330 that featured the old Airbus interiors. While I didn’t mind, I still hope to take a Cathay Pacific business class flight featuring the new Airbus interiors.

DSCF4997Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Overhead Panel

Row 15 also offers a pretty nice view of the cabin – while you don’t get a view of the whole cabin, you can get a nice sense of its ambience, which I enjoyed.

DSCF5025Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin

Located in the side storage cubby were a set of headphones, which were noise cancelling and perfect around the ear. This isn’t featured on flights with the regional seats, where instead, cheaper economy-style headphones are used. Ouch.

DSCF5013Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Headphones

The purser came to introduce herself with juice, and asked for my name, a nice touch (she addressed me as Alvin throughout the flight, and not Mr. Tse, much to my relief). I elected to have orange juice.

DSCF5003Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Drink – Orange Juice

She also had a hot towel with her, which she presented to me alongside the drink.

DSCF5009Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Hot Towel

Soon the safety video played. Cathay Pacific has a new safety video that was featured on a prior flight from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur (as well as the inbound). I like it – it’s cleaner and more creative, though isn’t totally out there like some other safety videos.

DSCF5011Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Safety Video

DSCF5012Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Safety Video

The American captain came on the PA. He wished us a safe flight and anticipated a flight time of two hours and 50 minutes. It was a terrible day in terms of the weather, but nonetheless we slowly pushed to 07R, where we would be taking off.

DSCF5015Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

DSCF5018Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

DSCF5021Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

While I didn’t see any passenger aircraft in the new livery, the new Boeing 747-8F in the new livery caught my eye.

DSCF5026Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8F Hong Kong Airport

I caught an A340 in the oneworld livery. While A340s used to be the backbone of Cathay Pacific’s fleet, they, much like the 747s, are starting to disappear.

DSCF5035Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-300 Hong Kong Airport

DSCF5040China Airlines Airbus A330-300 Hong Kong Airport

By the time we reached runway 07R, visibility was remarkably low.

DSCF5043Runway 07R Hong Kong Airport

DSCF5044China Airlines Airbus A330-300 Hong Kong Airport

The takeoff roll was long, as expected by a plane with two tiny engines and a full load. Nonetheless, we made it up.

DSCF5049Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

DSCF5051Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

DSCF5052Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

DSCF5058Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

Up in the sky it was a beautiful day, as always.

DSCF5060Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

I tested out the bed position, which I used later in the flight. While the bed isn’t the best in terms of padding alone, it’s one of the widest, longest and most comfortable business class beds in the sky, so I had no problems sleeping in it. It’s also a pretty enclosed space with adequate privacy, especially if you put the armrest up.

DSCF5063Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bed

DSCF5064Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bed

DSCF5065Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bed

I accidentally kicked the shell of the seat in front several times, which mildly shook the seat in front of me. It turned out that there was an old man in 14A who had just recovered from cardiac arrest days ago – he was very gracious when telling me his situation and asking me to watch out, which genuinely made me feel bad. He had my promise that I wouldn’t be touching the seatback again.

Soon we jumped into the meal service. The menu read as follows:

DSCF5007Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Menu

DSCF5008Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Menu

The meal service started with drinks, in which I chose orange juice, which is great as always in the air.

DSCF5070Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Orange Juice

DSCF5071Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Appetiser – Fresh Fruit Selection

The flight attendant came with a bread roll, which was warm and flaky. While I can’t stand those that are crusty both inside and outside, I always love a warm fluffy bread roll with a slightly tougher exterior.

DSCF5073Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bread Roll

The main course soon came. While this was an 8AM breakfast flight, there was a “legitimate” Japanese lunch-style option, which consisted of chicken teriyaki, spring vegetables and rice. The rice was perfectly cooked and seasoned, all of the vegetables (especially the yam) were really well cooked and glazed, and the chicken was incredibly succulent. Shame that there was a piece of paper below the rice that was soggy and didn’t seem to be thought through, or else this would be one of my favourite dishes that I’ve had in the air.

DSCF5075Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Main Course – Chicken Teriyaki, Japanese Spring Vegetables and Japanese Rice

I mean, just look at the perfection inside. The chicken was moist, juicy, flavoursome and so perfectly cooked. What a stark contrast to another notable chicken breast that I’ve had on Cathay Pacific less than a year ago.

DSCF5076Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Main Course – Chicken Teriyaki

Service on the flight was great, and I was addressed by name (“Alvin”) throughout the flight. While one of the Hong Kong-based flight attendants was indifferent at best, the Japanese purser and inflight service manager were all very sincere and genuine. I got pretty tired after breakfast, so they took care of my sister while I slept.

Y’all know about the complaints I have of the actual bed, which isn’t particularly soft. Still, even with one of the regional blankets offered, I managed to get really good sleep all the way from after the meal service until our initial descent, partially because I woke up early at 4:30AM. I woke up to some interesting scenery, including some mountains (which were lovely). Also, unlike back home, it was a beautiful day here…

DSCF5080Views upon Descent Osaka Kansai

DSCF5093Views upon Descent Osaka Kansai

DSCF5096Views upon Descent Osaka Kansai

DSCF5109Views upon Descent Osaka Kansai

DSCF5117Views upon Descent Osaka Kansai

DSCF5119Views upon Descent Osaka Kansai

DSCF5127Views upon Final Approach Osaka Kansai

DSCF5129Views upon Final Approach Osaka Kansai

DSCF5130Views upon Touchdown Osaka Kansai

We found ourselves beside the longest airport terminal in the world at a little past 12, and we made our way around the other side.

DSCF5131Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

DSCF5132Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

DSCF5133Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

DSCF5135Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

Some interesting traffic included an EVA Air 777-300ER…

DSCF5136EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER Osaka Kansai

…a Jeju Air 737…

DSCF5138Jeju Air Boeing 737-800 Osaka Kansai

…and the Cathay Pacific A330 from the flight ten minutes prior (which our friends were on). While the plane operated there was much, much newer, it featured Cathay Pacific’s regional product, which was the reason we took this flight instead.

DSCF5139Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Osaka Kansai

DSCF5140Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

DSCF5142Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

DSCF5143Spring Airlines Airbus A320 Osaka Kansai

Obviously, the newer A330 made for better looks from the outside. It’s just amazing when you have reverse herringbone business class and recliners for the same price…it’s even worse knowing that some people chose that flight without knowing that this one had a much better onboard product.

DSCF5144Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Osaka Kansai

DSCF5145Osaka Kansai International Airport Tarmac

DSCF5146Osaka Kansai International Airport Tarmac

I saw one of the Korean Air Boeing 777-300ERs, which I would really want to get on (they feature Korean Air’s new business class product).

DSCF5147Korean Air Boeing 777-300ER Osaka Kansai

DSCF5149Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

DSCF5150Traffic Osaka Kansai International Airport

We parked next to a V Air A321 in their mysterious V Bear livery.

DSCF5151V Air Airbus A321 Osaka Kansai International Airport

DSCF5153V Air Airbus A321 Osaka Kansai International Airport

We disembarked at around 12:15, and all gates at the airport require a train ride to the main terminal. During the ride we got some interesting scenery, including views of our own aircraft.

DSCF5155Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Osaka Kansai International Airport

Bottom Line: Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class

You can’t beat a reverse herringbone seat on a three-hour regional flight in the morning out of Hong Kong, especially at the rate we got for this flight. The food and service on this flight were also great. Overall, if you manage to snag a seat, the experience is pretty flawless (yes, the padding is hard, but it’s not like you’ll get that great of a nap anyway in this amount of time). I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Cathay Pacific on a regional flight again if seated in their international business class product, and would go out of my way to try and fly an internationally-configured aircraft.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka Kansai

  1. Hi alvin, great review again!
    I just wanted to ask whether they use two boarding bridges for an A330 or not?
    As i see you entered from the first front door so if they are only using one bridge, does that mean all econ pax goes through the forward cabin as well? I have an upcoming flight to seoul on an a330 and noramlly i fly longhual to LHR and they always use two birdges. As if they do board with only with one bridge, i rather go last!

    Like

    1. On this particular flight they used two bridges, but I can recall some flights where they only used one bridge. We boarded through gate 2, so while I’m not sure which gates use one bridge and which use two bridges, I think that gates 1-4 all use two bridges.

      Like

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