Cathay Pacific’s A330 Regional Business Class

Earlier today I wrapped up a really short trip to Taipei. While the flight there was something I’d done before (on one of Cathay Pacific’s regional 777-200s, something I won’t review due to how run-of-the-mill it was), the return was on a Cathay Pacific A330 in its regional configuration. I found it pretty special, so I’ll share my initial impressions.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Regional Business Class Seat

Cathay Pacific features 2-2-2 seats in their regional business class, which is kind of standard (you won’t see 2-3-2 configurations in business class on an A330, but as far as angled-flat seats on shorthaul flights go you won’t see 1-2-1 configurations either). It is important to note that all regional Cathay Pacific A330s now only feature four rows, so it’s really cosy – borderline cramped, but not there yet.

img_2538Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Regional Business Class Cabin

Behind that is a tiny mini-cabin consisting of four rows of 28 economy seats, somewhere I’d grab the next time I find myself in economy on this configuration. While they’re in a 2-4-2 configuration, there’s a bassinet in front of the middle block, so only the sides have four rows, while the middle block only has three.

img_2542Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Economy Class Mini-Cabin

The seat itself is no different from the 777-300 seat, which I’ve reviewed in great detail so won’t do so here. They’re not especially comfortable for business class seats, and more resemblant to a premium economy seat. It’s just the intimacy of the cabin that kind of grew on me during the hour.

img_2546Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Regional Business Class Cabin

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Regional Business Class Headphones

Cathay Pacific has updated their regional business class headphones, so they’re not as crappy as they used to be (they used to be just economy headphones). They’re still not as good as their longhaul business class headphones (let alone my own set), but they’re not bad.

img_2561Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Regional Business Class Headphones

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Regional Business Class Lavatory

I scored with one of Cathay Pacific’s newest A330s, which meant new lavatories. They’re not especially big or well stocked, but they’re modern, and I like the taps, which have push buttons.

img_2604Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Lavatory

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Regional Business Class Food

I’ve never loved Cathay Pacific’s food, but never hated it. This was easily the worst-looking dish that I’d had on Cathay Pacific. While it tasted decent, it definitely wasn’t good. There was a Western option too, but they were out (acceptable – I was in the last row on the right and the flight was full).

img_2616Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Business Class Refreshment

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Regional Business Class Service

You’d think the service would be relaxed with so little business class passengers. Apparently the configuration is so new that the flight attendants have completely different systems that they’re not used to, especially only with one galley, and it showed. The flight attendants had trouble with us switching our seats at the start, so she got confused with the roster and ended up taking our boarding passes and having a look at all of them. We then all had to return to our original seats, which is kinda WTF to me (we all knew each other, but the seat next to me was empty when I clearly booked it for one of the eleven people).

img_2587Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Regional Business Class Cabin

They were super attentive and tried to be nice, though. One main thing was when I got off the flight, one of the flight attendants told me to make sure my camera was with me. Yes, it was, and I thanked her and wished her a good day.

Bottom Line

Cathay Pacific’s regional A330s still need a lot of work service wise, and I’d still try to actively avoid them in favour of a reverse herringbone seat, or even a herringbone seat. After all, I’m paying the same price, so I might as well get a longhaul seat with lie-flat capability and more space.

I do think they’re better than the regional 777s though, due to the lack of a middle seat and the intimacy factor. Next time, when I run out of lie-flat options, I’d try to go for this configuration or Dragonair business class before picking one of the 777s. This all seems pretty self-explanatory, but it was nice to actually experience the product to reiterate this thought.

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