Business Class Cabin

One of the Classics: Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Business Class Review

Cathay Pacific has always been known for its amazing lounges, high quality hard products and decent soft products. I, for one, have experienced it before, and here’s my thoughts about it.

TL; DR

My trip is full of what you’ll expect in a typical A330 serviced by Cathay pacific—a slightly old version of their refined hard product, that is.

Pros: Great Lounge, decent flight attendants, and overall a good experience.

Cons: Outdated IFEs and seats presumably due to the plane’s age.

Booking

I paid PHP36,000 for this round trip flight using my Citibank PremierMiles card. Using the point-to-mile ratio of the card which is PHP30: 1 mile, I was able to collect 1,200 Citi Miles. Since I am a member of the Asia Miles frequent flyer program, I also got an additional 880 Asia Miles. This nets me a total of 2080 miles for this one flight!

Here’s how the booking process went. I visited the Cathay Pacific website. On the homepage, under the Book a trip segment, I just filled out my preferred flight details, and clicked the “Search flights” button.

This forwarded me to a page where a list of flights were listed for me to choose form.

Airport Experience

It was around 10 in the morning when I arrived at NAIA Terminal 3. As I was checking in, I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of people in the economy lines.

NAIA Terminal 3 Check-In

Even with the lines, the atmosphere seemed quite relaxed and calm around the area.

NAIA Terminal 3 Check-In

There were a few people lined up at business class, too. Fortunately, three dedicated business class stalls were fast in accommodating us—and so I headed straight for the highly acclaimed Cathay pacific lounge to wait for boarding!

Directions to Airline Lounges

With the excess of signs pointing to the many lounges in NAIA terminal three, there’s no way you’ll get lost on the way.

Directions to Airline Lounges

The walk to the lounges took around five minutes through halls and walkways. Among the other lounges, the Cathay Pacific Lounge really stood out.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Front

Here’s what the Cathay Pacific lounge looks like from the outside. Its earthy design scheme stands out right from the moment you see it.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Front Desk

The reception area accentuates the earthy and natural feel that Cathay Pacific is known for.

Cathay Pacific Lounge

It may look a bit crowded on the picture above, but that’s just the first part of the lounge.

On the right is the lounge’s own kitchen. Seldom will you see a lounge that is equipped with such facilities!

Cathay Pacific Lounge Open Kitchen

Everything you order from the lounge is made on the spot—and can I just say they’re very delicious!

Cathay Pacific Lounge Dumplings and Hong Kong Style Soup

I got myself some dumplings and Hong Kong style soup and it was worth it!

Cathay Pacific Lounge Self Service Bar

They also had a self-service mini bar with a large selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Menu

Here’s the menu that they had for the day.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Sitting Area

The lounge itself is very large. With one of the sides showing off a great view of the runway.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Sitting Area

Going further in is where all the people were at. It seems quite crowded, but there was an abundance of empty seats all over the place!

Cathay Pacific Lounge Sitting Area

There’s this one area that was totally empty when I got in the lounge, so the designs just get to pop out!

Cathay Pacific Lounge Work Station

There’s also this one area equipped with macs for anyone that needs a last-minute check of their emails.

Glass of Champagne from the Lounge

After I got to check out most of the lounge, I just sat down and got a glass of champagne for myself as I waited for boarding.

The Cathay Pacific Lounge in NAIA Terminal 3 is in my opinion, the best airport lounge in the country—with it’s fully functioning kitchen to its great atmosphere, there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the Philippines.

Boarding

Boarding Cathay Pacific's A330

I found myself enjoying the lounge so much that I got to line up for boarding late—so I had to go in with the other business class passengers.

There weren’t any issues with the boarding, and the line—although long, wasn’t really something that’s worth ranting about.

Seat Configuration

Cathay Pacific is currently upgrading its fleet so that it’ll have the latest IFEs and seats that they could offer. For this flight, however, I had to settle with one of the older planes—and that meant it had the old type of business class seats.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat

Since it’s one of the older A330s, that meant it only had reclining seats and not one of the more modern lay-flat seats. This makes it better for short haul flights and can make long haul flights quite uncomfortable.

Cathay Pacific Business Class In-Flight Entertainment

It still had a seat pitch of 45 inches and a seat width of 21 inches, making it quite comfy still.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Cabin

I couldn’t take a clear picture of the business class cabin, but it looks as if it’s quite full of people—as seen in the picture above.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat

Me and my companion were both given champagne a few moments after we sat down. Each seat was equipped with a foldable table that slides out from the seat in front.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Food Tray

The table can fold outward toward you for more space.

Charging Outlets

In the middle arm rests are two power plugs. One for each passenger accordingly.

Small Storage Spaces

Directly below the sides of the middle armrests is a small compartment where you can place small items. It’s perfect for your boarding pass, and your phone.

IFE Remote

There’s also a small compartment where the remote for the In-Flight Entertainment can be located.

Headphones, Hot Towel, and a Glass of Champagne

Also provided were a glass of champagne, a hot towel and headphones.

Since the plane itself is rather dated, even the IFE was quite bad for the times. It’s clear that it plays on low resolution. The good part was the movie and TV show selection were decent enough for a short flight!

Seat Recommendation

When it comes to seat recommendations, every seat for the old business class is decent. Those at the front do have some extra legroom, however, it’s closer to the galley and comfort room. Because of the 2-2-2 configuration, couples can easily be satisfied with any of the seats that are placed together. For solo passengers, however, C, D, G and H seats are for those who value aisle access, while A and K seats are for those who want window seats.

In my opinion, the outer columns are the better choice because there isn’t any storage compartment at the sides. It makes for a roomier experience within the plane!

Service

The Cathay Pacific brand has continually impressed me every time I got to experience their level of service. the flight attendants have always been very attentive and friendly to all the passengers, and everything else seemed to lead to a more comfortable ride altogether!

Cathay Pacific Business Class Food

The food was nothing to scoff at as always. For their lunch service I got to enjoy Roasted chicken, onion, and shallot soya sauce, choy sum, carrot, and steamed jasmine rice.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Food

My companion got to taste their lamb shoulder confit, with sautéed new potatoes, green beans, and carrots. Both of which were amazing and tasted relatively fresh for some airplane food.

Both dishes started out with some fresh seasonal fruit and finished with a cheesecake and strawberry compote.

The whole meal was still something that was worth remembering. Though the presentation was just decent at best, the taste brought out it’s true potential.

Overall Experience

Though quite short, at 2 hours and 30 mins, the flight was something to remember. It may have had dated recliner seats, but the special Cathay Pacific brand service remained the same throughout. Personally, I enjoyed this flight, it brought about what it set out to do, and it delivered big time.

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