A week ago, I flew from New York to Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy and had an absolutely phenomenal experience. Not only was the service incredible, but Cathay has also made numerous changes to the in-flight soft product that has drastically improved the passenger experience.
I’m not sure if a full report will be to follow, so let me cover the changes.
Cathay has replaced their Goods of Desire amenity kits with a brand called Zixag. While Zixag is a relatively unknown brand, the new kits are a definite step up. Cathay has ditched the purse-style design of the previous kits for a more conventional zipper bag. Although the kits have lost their chic, the new bags use nicer materials and also have some really cool artwork plastered on the insides of the bag. My only criticism is that the exterior of the bag looks uninteresting and bland. Additionally, Cathay has continually refused to add simple stuff like moisturizers inside of the bag, which is something that they should seriously consider. A chapstick or some hand cream would go a long way in ensuring customer comfort in a cold airline cabin.
Duvet and Pillows
Cathay has revamped their blankets and pillows for passengers in Premium Economy and has continued to offer a Business-grade pillow, along with a lightweight duvet. It’s another perk that further differentiates Premium Economy from Economy. The brand new duvet is super comfortable, while the new pillows are thoughtfully designed with a textured and smooth side.
I reviewed Cathay’s new Economy catering back when it was first rolled out and was not impressed. Portions were downsized, while the tray was impractically designed. As such, I was not expecting to be impressed by catering. However, I was overall pleasantly surprised. Cathay has ditched Business Class serving plates for a special plate exclusive to Premium Economy passengers which are made out of plastic, which I found to be a cheap move. However, positive changes have also been made to the catering itself. Instead of serving congee for Breakfast, Cathay has introduced a fried noodle dish which is much more appealing than congee. As is generally the case, the food was very tasty.
Cathay Pacific Premium Economy New Tray
Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Singaporean Stir Fried Rice Noodles
Cathay seems to have taken a page out of British Airways’ book, and now offers a snack box of sorts, with chips, chocolates, nut bars and popcorn. On one hand, it’s a fantastic new service addition. The snacks are really tasty. However, Cathay probably didn’t anticipate how popular these boxes would be, meaning that they ran out of food halfway throughout the flight. There was also a huge missed opportunity here to showcase some of the best snacks from Asia. Maybe stock some rice crackers, prawn chips and seaweed in addition to existing options. For an airline that prides itself on being Asian, it’s odd that they’re not showcasing the continent’s food as much as they can.
The service aboard my flight was incredible. The cabin crew were so friendly and welcoming to passengers, while also working together very well. Each member of cabin crew worked hard to deliver a good customer experience for passengers, be it regularly walking around the cabin handing out snacks, or looking all over the galley in order to find a bottle of water for a thirsty passenger who had lost his original bottle. The most important thing was that everyone was enthusiastic about their job and happy to be there, which translated into very friendly service. Simply being nice goes a long way in making someone’s day. Interestingly, the crew appeared to be Hong Kong based, which is interesting given that this flight is generally operated by New York-based cabin crew.
On a good day, Cathay Pacific is one of the best ways to fly halfway around the globe. While they don’t offer the best in each cabin class, they’re extremely consistent in offering a premium product.