The Best Seats in Cathay Pacific’s A350 Business Class

Six months ago I flew Cathay Pacific’s A350 from Taipei to Hong Kong. Personally I had a great flight, and believed that business class was well worth the upgrade. Do I think I’d have a great time no matter which seat I was sat in? Definitely.

img_5145Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Hong Kong Airport

That said, I do think there are some seats that are better than others. Given that the A350 is quickly spreading to more longhaul routes (Auckland, Dusseldorf, and London Gatwick are among the list, while Vancouver and Tel Aviv are coming soon), I decided I’d write up a quick “best seats” post, as I’m anticipating questions of where the best place to sit would be.

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Cabin Layout

Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class is laid out in a pretty standard reverse herringbone configuration, which is definitely one of the better seats out there as of now. For those wondering, reverse herringbone seats are laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, and the window seats face outward, while the middle seats are angled towards each other.

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-21-11-40
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seatmap

I think it goes without saying that solo travelers and view lovers should go for the A and K seats, and couples/really close friends who can’t live without being able to caress each other at all times should stick to the D and G seats. Honestly, I think that unless you’re going to have a meeting in-flight, window seats should be sufficient – not only do you lack views in the middle seat, but they feel considerably less private, as you’re more exposed to the rest of the cabin.

IMG_0580Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seats

So, which seats do I think are the best in Cathay Pacific’s business class?

Rows 20 and 21 are great, especially the A seats

The business class cabin contains a massive cabin with 30 seats, then a smaller cabin with 8 seats. While it seems like a no-brainer, it’s important to reiterate that the smaller cabin will have much less foot traffic during long flights.

IMG_0572Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Aft Cabin

Premium economy is sent back to the economy lavatories as far as I know, and the lavatories are in the front of the plane. It’s worth noting that in front of 20K is another (smaller) lavatory, so I’d take that seat last out of the four available window seats (which I’m normally drawn to as an introverted traveler). In front of 20A is galley space, so I’d say that I prefer row 21 slightly, though you typically have to call to reserve those seats. One downside is that everyone else walks past you during boarding, but if you’re on a long flight that’s a small price to pay.

IMG_0574Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Class

The middle of the forward cabin is great as well

This is where I ended up last time, as row 20 was taken for “priority seat” reasons and we were reseated. The further you are from the lavatories and the galley, the less foot traffic you will get – that technically means that rows 15 and 16 are top picks, while arguably the further you are, the closer you’ll be to all the noise and traffic. The forward cabin is also great on short flights if you’re just looking for some peace and quiet and no foot traffic upon boarding.

IMG_0567Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Forward Cabin

Avoid row 11

Row 11 is literally sandwiched between two lavatories and potentially two bassinets, so I’d say to avoid them as much as possible. The lavatories eat up into the A and K seats, which should explain how close to the lavatories these seats are.

IMG_0564Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seats 11D and 11G

So in summary, what seats would I choose, and in what order? If I was able to live without my partner or was alone on the flight, I’d try and go with:

  • 21A or 21K
  • 20A
  • 20K
  • 15A, 15K, 16A or 16K
  • 14A, 14K, 17A or 17K
  • 12A, 12K, 18A, 18K or 19A
  • Any D or G seat from row 12 onwards
  • 11D or 11G

IMG_0593Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seat 17A

If I needed to have a meeting or a makeout session with a seatmate (honestly, if you fit in the latter category, economy may suit you a little more):

  • 21D and 21G
  • 20D and 20G (the latter of which is a little proximate to the lavatory)
  • 15D and 15G/16D and 16G
  • 14D and 14G/17D and 17G
  • 12D and 12G/18D and 18G
  • 19D and 19G
  • 11D and 11G

IMG_0616Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Lavatory

It’s worth noting that all seats go forward quite a bit, so looking out of the window or into your seatmate’s eyes shouldn’t be that hard inflight (though you’re required to be set to the furthest back position during takeoff and landing, which is sad for window-viewers).

IMG_0708Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Forward Position

Bottom Line

Ultimately any seat is a good seat in business class, especially compared to economy. I think this is especially true in what I labeled as this year’s best business class hard product.

But if you want no foot traffic, away from all the noise from lavatory flushes and galleys, I think that the above is how I’d choose my seat on the A350. Of course, values vary for everyone, but I hope the above helps. 🙂

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