Review: Cathay Pacific 777 777-300ER Economy Class Hong Kong to Jakarta

It’s not often that I write isolated trip reports, though there are two products that I think I’ve reviewed to a substantial extent – Cathay Pacific’s regional business class and Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon’s new economy class. I had a quick trip to Jakarta earlier in the month, and while I initially wasn’t planning to write any reviews, I flew Cathay Pacific’s 777 economy class for the first time, so I decided I’d quickly talk about that.

When flying economy class nowadays, departing from Hong Kong Airport I’m just accustomed to staying at the gate and taking pictures of nearby aircraft. Hong Kong Airport has one of the world’s best airport WiFi systems, as it’s really fast and easy to connect to, so I have no issues sticking by the gate beside the aircraft and catching up on last-minute work. After all, Cathay Pacific’s 777s don’t have WiFi, so having all my work on Google Drive I can’t really do anything onboard.

I was initially thrilled to see that our aircraft had the new livery, as it would be my first time taking a non-A350 Cathay Pacific aircraft with the new livery.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

I spotted a Singapore Airlines 777 which I will be flying next month, which I’m excited about. I stuck to the gate and talked to a few people that would be joining me at the event I was headed to.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

However, being the idiot that I am, I didn’t realise that the jetway from our gate connected to the 777 parked around a hundred meters away, so we would be flying a 777 with the old livery on the day. I wasn’t one of the first few onboard, but I was still ready to depart Hong Kong after a tiring few weeks. I was excited to try out Cathay Pacific’s 777 economy class product, as I wanted to see if the different configuration changed my views on their economy class seat at all.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

Cathay Pacific Flight 777
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Origin: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: D6 Dep: 09:20 (09:25)
Destination: Jakarta (CGK) Gate: C32 Arr: 13:10 (13:00)
Duration: 4 hr 50 min (4 hr 45 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 63D/62H (Economy Class)

Upon boarding, I walked through the huge business class cabin situated behind door 2L. I managed to grab a couple of pictures, though Jason and I have reviewed Cathay Pacific’s 777 business class quite a few times (here is a recent review from last December), so I won’t speak much about it, apart from the fact that it is a great product.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

We also passed through premium economy. It’s worth noting that legrests are being refitted onto some planes, and apparently an extra two inches of seat pitch will be added. I’m not sure if this means thinning out the bulkhead, reducing galley space, or if us economy class passengers simply had slightly less legroom to work with (in which case they did a great job as the lack of legroom was completely unnoticeable), but I certainly will try to go out of my way to experience the product in the future.

I asked one of the economy crew about these legrests, and after pondering a while she said that these were being introduced gradually to Cathay Pacific 777-300ERs.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy

Soon we got to the economy class cabin, which is divided into a forward cabin and a rear cabin. I’d say the forward cabin is ever so slightly smaller, but it wouldn’t impact my seating decisions. In this instance, I was booked as part of a group ticket, so didn’t get to choose my preferred seat.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Cabin

The rear cabin was empty when I first entered, as it was basically completely booked out for people travelling to SEAMC, the competition I was travelling to Jakarta for.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Cabin

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Cabin

I would say that Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER economy seats are some of the best economy seats in the system, as they’re the widest out of all the Cathay Pacific seats (due to how the aircraft is configured, they’re 0.5 inches wider than the A330 seats). While this extra space was unnoticeable, I sure felt comfortable at my seat. I had been assigned seat 62D, an aisle seat in the middle block on the left side, which I was fine with.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Seats 40D, 40E, 40G

I familiarised myself with the features of the seat, including the substantial legroom that we were offered.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Legroom

One thing that the seat features is a ton of storage in a few creative spaces, including the nook below the TV screen that I’ve always loved – especially after I got myself glasses.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Seatback TV

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Storage Nook

Unfortunately, the nook doesn’t allow storage for takeoff and landing, so there was also a net by the seat pocket where you could place your phone during takeoff and landing.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Seatback Pocket

There was also a “fasten seat belt while seated” sign. I don’t think you see as much signage around seating anywhere as you do on Cathay Pacific…

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Seatbelt Sign

The headphones weren’t of high quality at all, not that I’d expect high quality headphones in economy class. I did bring my own along with me, so I was good.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Headphones

The other amenity offered was a blanket, which was actually really nice, much better than some blankets that I’d had on flights in business class.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Blanket

Personally, I would have chosen one of the seats at the back of the cabin if I had the choice. However, I think I may have to reconsider if window seats are really my preference in 3-3-3 or 3-4-3 configurations. I was happy in my aisle seat, and wouldn’t have minded spending longer in it. After all, I walk around 30 times as much as anyone else whenever I’m on a flight.

The safety video soon played, followed by an announcement from the captain suggesting a flight time of 4 hours and 6 minutes.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class View from Seat 62H

I briefly browsed the entertainment system, and was happy to find a wide range of entertainment. I didn’t feel like watching anything on the flight, but my seatmate Charlotte found a two-hour recording of the MAMA awards, which was enough to shut her up for a while make her happy.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Inflight Entertainment Selection

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Inflight Entertainment Selection

I just looked at the window and attempted to take a few pictures of takeoff, as it was a beautiful day outside.


View upon Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

Eventually I gave up and stuck to the wheel camera, which I always appreciate. It’s always satisfying to see the yellow line run right between the two wheels onscreen (the captain wasn’t perfect in doing that, but he did a great job nonetheless).

View upon Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

It’s worth noting that I downloaded the FlightRadar24 app, and even though I didn’t have a subscription, I was still able to see that we were tenth in line for takeoff. That was one of the longest waits I’ve had in quite a while, and it took quite a while for us to take off.

Soon we took off on runway 07R, and did a long takeoff roll, as you’d expect with a basically full 777.

View upon Takeoff Hong Kong Airport

View upon Climbout Hong Kong Airport

It’s worth noting that the captain took quite a bit of time to turn off the seatbelt sign, but once we reached cruise level I decided to go anyway under the purser’s permission. The lavatories are swanky in economy on Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER. There were so many mirrors in the bathroom, to the point where I thought I was in a studio.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Lavatory

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Lavatory

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Lavatory

Shortly after I returned to my seat, we were served pre-departure drinks. I chose an apple juice, which was served in a big cup made of soft plastic.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Welcome Drink

We were then served the main meal, which consisted of a choice between chicken and something else. I went with chicken and egg fried rice, which was great. The egg fried rice was fluffy and flavourful, and the chicken was well cooked and doused in a sauce that tasted great. The sides were great as well – I left the bread and yoghurt alone, but the fruit tasted fresh. Overall, I was really happy with the meal.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Meal

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Meal

The meal was served about an hour in to the flight, when we were approaching Bangkok.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Meal Position

My tray was taken around 25 minutes after I finished my main meal, which is fine for a mid-haul economy class flight. Service during the meal was friendly and efficient as well.

I had a large cup of coffee in the morning so was in need of the bathroom quite a few times during the flight, but this just gave me an excuse to take more cabin pictures.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class Cabin

After the meal, I decided to ask the purser if she had any details of the forthcoming Cathay Pacific 777 economy  3-4-3 configuration. She said that she had heard of Cathay Pacific’s plans to add an extra seat in each row (their plans were actually only finalised two days ago), but she said that the cabin was cramped enough and adding an extra seat in each row would be a pain for the crew as well. I certainly agree, though it’s not like there’s anything we can do about that…

She also commented on my love of flying and encouraged me to join the “I Can Fly” programme, though I said that I’d think about it later. We engaged in a little small talk in the galley, where she asked what we were going to Jakarta for, etc..

It was interesting to see the smudges on the TVs, which indicated that they probably weren’t cleaned too well between flights.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class TV Smudges

Ultimately I wish I could say more about the flight, but it was uneventful. I reclined and slept for a while, and slept surprisingly well given that I was in an aisle seat. I then talked to a few people that were going to SEAMC as well, and worked offline for a bit on my laptop.

It’s worth noting that the seats feature amazing recline for an economy seat, especially since they’re cradle seats, which means you’re not completely reclining into the space behind you.

Soon we were approaching Jakarta, and I was sure to take advantage of the nose camera given that I didn’t have the best views out of the window.

View upon Descent Jakarta Airport


View upon Descent Jakarta Airport


View upon Descent Jakarta Airport

View upon Approach Jakarta Airport

We touched down at around 12:45 PM, where we made a slow taxi to our gate, passing some airlines that I had never heard of before.


Taxiing Jakarta Airport


Taxiing Jakarta Airport

I bid the purser farewell before I departed the aircraft, though I was excited to visit Jakarta for the first time, and excited to participate in the SEAMC event for the second time (I won’t be talking about it apart from the hotel stay, but it was great).

Bottom Line

Cathay Pacific offers a really solid 777 hard product, and I’m sad to see these seats go in favour of smaller seats. The Cathay Pacific new economy class product offers such a great ride, as it’s consistently wide, well-cushioned, and the cabin colours are appealing as well. The soft product on this flight was also great, ranging from the food to the service.

I’d fly Cathay Pacific economy class in a heartbeat, though would consider other options after Cathay Pacific refits their cabins with 3-4-3 economy seats.

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