I recently had the opportunity to fly from Hong Kong to New York in Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy. As such, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of everything you need to know about Cathay’s Premium Economy product.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport
The Ground Experience
Cathay offers Premium Economy passengers priority boarding and priority check in. That’s pretty much it.
Cathay’s “old” Premium Economy seat is loosely based off Zodiac Aerospace’s 5810 seat platform. It’s a popular seat and is used by many airlines such as ANA, SAS and EVA Air. As is typical of Cathay Pacific, the seat has been heavily modified by the product department.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Seat
Cathay has decked out the Premium Economy seat in its signature sea-green seat covers. They’ve also added a dedicated layer of padding to the seat, making it super plush – and one of the most comfortable airline seats in the market today. Additionally, Cathay has also customised the seatback to feature a multi-port connector to allow passengers to stream their entertainment, as well as to incorporate a storage “nook” where passengers can place loose items – which is a very nice touch.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Seatback
For all non-bulkhead seats, Cathay offers a handy footrest – which makes the seat more comfortable for lounging. Recently, Cathay has also been installing padded legrests on non-bulkhead seats – making the seat even more comfortable. Cathay also offers a very poorly padded swing-up legrest for passengers seated in bulkhead seats. However, wouldn’t recommend sitting in bulkhead seats if you’re relatively tall, as the bar that’s supposed to “catch” your foot in the seat doesn’t extend very far, making it very uncomfortable.
For anyone that’s into the specifics, the seats offer 38″ of seat pitch and 20″ of seat width, which is very respectable for a Premium Economy product.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Footrest
On the Airbus A350, Cathay has opted for the B/E Aerospace MiQ seat platform – which was originally designed as a regional Business Class platform. The seat is currently used by American as Premium Economy and domestic First Class seats. While the new seats look great, neither Alvin and I have had a chance to fly the seats – so I won’t be giving any commentary on the seat itself. However, it’s worth noting that I’ve heard some rave reviews of the seats.
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy
Prior to the departure of your flight, the cabin crew comes through the cabin offering a welcome drink – usually consisting of a choice of orange juice or champagne. While it’s a nice touch, I don’t understand why Cathay only makes champagne available to Premium Economy passengers prior to departure. If you’re going to offer it before take-off, how about offering it for the rest of your flight?
You’ll also be given a hot towel – which will be handy for wiping down your seat.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Orange Juice
Premium Economy passengers also get a menu, which is quite a nice touch.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Menu
Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy meals consist of Economy Class starters and dessert, with a choice of select options from Cathay’s Business Class menu. In what I assume is an effort to be more upmarket, Premium Economy passengers are provided with stainless steel soup-spoon cutlery. The main dish is no longer served on porcelain, but rather on a specially designed plastic container.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Meal
Throughout the flight, flight attendants will typically come through the cabin offering snacks – which is something you don’t find them doing in Economy.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Snacks
Passengers can also request cup noodles throughout the flight – which are always really tasty. I have also heard some rumours of Cathay enhancing the Premium Economy snack selection by offering burgers – although I’ve yet to see any indication that that’s actually happening.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Cup Noodles
Other Details On The Soft Product
On long-haul flights, Cathay Pacific provides passengers with an amenity kit designed in collaboration with ZIXAG and Tian Tian Xiang Shan. The kits typically contain eyeshades, socks, earplugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste. While the bag looks quite nice, the zipper breaks very easily – so I’d be cautious about reusing the bag for other purposes. While it’s not the most luxurious amenity kit out there, it contains all the basics for long-haul flights, so I’m not complaining.
Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Amenity Kit
Upon boarding, passengers are given a bottle of Evian water – which is a really nice touch. Keeping hydrated is very important when flying, as the cabin (at least on the 777 and A330) tends to be very dry.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Water Bottle
Passengers are also given a full sized pillow, as well as a lightweight duvet. The pillow is extremely comfortable – and features a textured and smooth size to suit individual preferences. The duvet isn’t nearly as heavy as the one offered in Business Class – but it’s comfortable enough.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Duvet and Pillow
Passengers also get a pair of Business Class noise-canceling headphones. While the headphones aren’t very comfortable, they have excellent sound quality and isolate noises very effectively.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class Headphones
Overall Cathay Pacific premium economy is a great way to spend a long-haul flight. While it’s definitely nowhere as comfortable as business class, prices can be pretty low on some of these flights, so I definitely wouldn’t mind cashing out for premium economy should I be able to afford it in the future.