Cathay Pacific’s A350 New Business Class

When on the way to Taipei, my A350 was eaten and replaced by a 777-200 with the regional seats. Needless to say, I was checking FlightAware, FlightRadar24 and Cathay Pacific’s flight status to make sure B-LRA got off the ground in Manila, back to Hong Kong, and to Taipei for us as planned. Thankfully, I got my request.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class

Since my Osaka trip report is still in the writing, I’m going to quickly throw together my first impressions of the product, given that it is a milestone. I knew I’d have a lot of fun on the flight (I did), and I came back with some valuable impressions on the next chapter of Cathay Pacific’s business class product.

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Seat

While I was worried the A350 could end up being an overthought resulting in a downgrade from the A330 seat, it wasn’t. It was most things I needed from the A330 seat: it was better padded, a bit wider, and the stupid spring function that the side cubby had was replaced by a normal, legitimate door.

For one, the seat is much more attractive in real life than it looks from photos. I was shocked when I originally saw the first designs of the seat back in December, but really, it looks good.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seat 17A

The ottoman is larger, sporting a bigger storage area which I’m always a fan of. I found more bed space than the old seat.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Ottoman

The seat sports a TV which I’ve heard complaints about for not being sturdy. The screen kind of slid into place, and didn’t move when I didn’t want it to, so I was all good with it.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class TV

The IFE is a whole different world, much easier to navigate and entirely touchscreen – it’s more like an iPad than anything else. More on that in the actual trip report.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Map

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Map

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Entertainment Selection

The main beef I had with the seat was the power, which I really didn’t think was practical inside the cupboard.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Power Ports

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Power Message

Do I want to see this flying longhaul? Definitely. However, it doesn’t seem like mood lighting is prominent – while warm colours like red and orange wouldn’t really look so good on the plane, I’d really like to see blue/green/purple tints around the plane, which wasn’t used. Also, unfortunately, the tail camera was broken on this flight, so I couldn’t see how HD it really was.

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Headphones

From the looks of it, the headphones are identical to the headphones they stock on their A330s, though I didn’t use them on this flight. Meanwhile, on regional business class flights, inferior, economy style headphones are stored.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Headphones

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Lavatory

Apart from actually having a window now, the new A350 lavatories are also much refreshed.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Lavatory Window

Notably, the sink actually is capable of spewing out cold water, and for that matter, the water temperature is adjustable in five different levels.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Lavatory Sink

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Lavatory Amenities

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Lavatory Sink

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Lavatory Flowers

The issue I had was that I took a long time to find the flush button, which is now near the sink.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Lavatory Flush

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Food

While I don’t really think this was any different, as my fish was perfectly cooked, the food seemed to have mixed reviews. I liked my fish, and my mother hated her chicken. The fish wasn’t great, the appetiser wasn’t great and the chocolate banana cake was great, but they were all good.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Appetiser

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Main Course

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Dessert

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Service

I’ll start off saying that Cathay Pacific’s A350 was as new to them as it was to me, and with all the equipment swaps before I doubt they got this on the way there. But yeah, the crew were really inexperienced with the new A350. They scurried around, they tended to stutter with the differences during the inflight announcements and they did have a hard time with meal efficiency, whereas the meal service on the 777-200 there was much more relaxed.

However, the crew were really warm and tried to play to our aviation geek hearts. I was really excited hearing everyone’s “wow”s (people book the flight usually based on it having a good schedule, as this flight is the flight to pick for all people taking weekend trips to Taipei), and the flight attendants were good with showing everyone around and talking to them, especially about the conundrum the plane had in Manila. I think I was the only hardcore avgeek sitting in business class (most of them were in premium economy), so I really got a view of everything and my own time talking to the ISM about the plane.

So I don’t blame them for the execution – they were extremely well-intentioned and had good reason.

Bottom Line

I’m very excited to be one of the first people to experience Cathay Pacific’s A350, and am really looking forward to writing about the whole experience in a while. While I still feel like economy is a step down, business class and premium economy are definitely a step up, and I can’t wait to fly the Cathay Pacific A350 more in the future.

One A350 down, quite a few more to go.

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4 thoughts on “Cathay Pacific’s A350 New Business Class

  1. Well done, this is the first business class trip report that I’ve been able to find of CX’s new A359! Did you try the new in-flight wifi?

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      1. Thanks for the reply! Did you notice if the first row of business class was occupied? I heard that the first row of seats hasn’t been certified yet (meaning they cannot be used during take off and landing.

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