Cathay Pacific A350 Economy Review Bottom Line
Cathay Pacific is one of the best airlines in the world. My Cathay Pacific A350 Economy review will show they are indisputably great, even in economy class. Service was superb, they served a reasonably sized meal, and the seats were quite comfortable. I would rate this flight 10/10 for an economy experience, honestly refreshing to find such a great flight even in the back.
The Good: E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G
The Bad: Absolutely nothing. It was great all around.
The Noteworthy: Cathay Pacific blocked the seat next to me because I am OneWorld Emerald, the whole economy cabin was full, however, the only empty seat was the one next to me. I don’t know if this is normal, but it made the flight all the better.
Note: I took all of these flights in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since travel and work slowed down substantially in the last few months, I took time to catch up writing these reviews. Hope y’all enjoy!
Arrival at HKG
I took this flight prior to the protests getting serious in Hong Kong. As I was connecting, there were a few formalities I had to complete to get my onward boarding pass. There were no hassles, and within 10 minutes after arrival, I was airside. Since I had about 40 minutes before boarding, and the closest first-class lounge was a solid 10-minute walk away, I decided to use the business class lounge The Bridge. I did not have enough time to review it, but like any other Cathay Pacific lounge, it was better than the average business class lounge.
Gate & Boarding
When I walked to the gate, about 10 minutes before boarding, I heard my name being called over the gate’s PA system. I walked over to the agent, who told me that I was the only OW Emerald on the flight and that I could board first or at my earliest convenience. This struck me as odd (an A350 with no other OW Emeralds? Really?) and as being a sign of excellent service (not even Concierge Keys get this kind of treatment on AA, and they spend $50K+ a year!). When boarding was going to start, I boarded first, sort of a pre-board. People in the business class line gave me the side-eye.
Seat and Cabin
The Cathay Pacific A350 Economy cabin is divided into two sections. I was seated in the back section, really close to the end of the aircraft. The seats themselves were well-padded and comfortable. They far surpass the seats on mainline US carriers, such as AA’s A330. Each seat has a fold-down tray table, as well as a high-resolution IFE screen. There is also a tablet holder that comes with a cup holder. As soon as I boarded, I was warmly welcomed by the crew. They informed me that the seat next to me had been blocked off as a courtesy.
Boarding proceeded quickly and efficiently, and within 15 minutes the whole economy cabin, except for the seat next to me, was taken. While we were still on the ground, the purser came by and offered me her personal welcome aboard, and that if I needed anything to let her know. She also offered me an Evian water bottle for the flight. TALK ABOUT SERVICE! The airline crew working my aisle came by and introduced themselves to me as well. I wonder what the guy sitting in the aisle seat thought of who I was. I had never received such treatment in business class, let alone coach.
Departure and Take Off
As we waited for the door to close, the captain came on the PA system to welcome us aboard and let us know that the flight was scheduled to depart a bit late due to congestion on the route to Singapore. He anticipated a wait of about 20 minutes, but that we would only be delayed by about 5 minutes upon arrival.
When we finally began taxiing to the runway, the safety video was played. The windows on the A350 are larger than on their Airbus predecessors, but not as big as the 787 windows. For departure, I set up the IFE screen to the tail camera, which is the best view of departure.
I expected Cathay Pacific Economy to include a meal of sorts on this flight, however, I never expected them to serve a full meal. As soon as we leveled off, the crew asked me what I wanted for breakfast: a choice of eggs or noodles. I chose the noodles, which did not disappoint.
After asking me about my meal choice, the crew went by with the trolleys offering people their choice of beverage. I selected orange juice.
About 10 minutes after drinks were served, the crew came by with meals. The noodle dish was accompanied by fruit, yogurt, and bread. I did not have any of the latter, but I did love the noodles. They hit the spot and were well seasoned/ flavorful.
After breakfast, I requested a Hong Kong Style Milk Tea, which the crew said they would get from the business class cabin. I did not know that this was exclusive to business class, but nonetheless, the crew brought it out after 10 minutes. They even apologized for the delay. WOW! This crew had already won me over, but WOW.
Cathay Pacific has its own proprietary entertainment system called Studio CX. It has tons of shows and movies, one of the most extensive libraries out there. I did watch a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory. After that, I set up the in-flight map and the tail camera. Each seat was provided with over-ear headphones, which were not great, but better than the earbuds that other airlines give out.
Notes on Service and Wifi
Cathay Pacific A350s have wifi. It is not too expensive, and it is reasonably fast. I was able to work for about 45 minutes after the meal.
If it hasn’t come across yet, this crew was the best crew I have ever had in economy class. They outdid themselves in every single moment. They made American’s crew look apathetic, at best. I felt welcome, valued, and respected for my business. The fact that they constantly tried to keep me, and other passengers (I observed) happy throughout the flight shows how good Cathay Pacific is, and what economy class can be. Some passengers requested pillows and blankets, and the crew did their absolute best to give out to each passenger who requested. I also saw some people ask for refills on drinks, and the crew happily obliged. It’s not just for elites, Cathay Pacific’s crew is amazing to everyone.
Landing and Arrival
As we approached Singapore, the purser came by to ask me how the flight had been. I told her all the wonderful things the crew had done and mentioned that this had been the best crew I had ever had in any economy flight.
When we were on the final approach, the captain had to do a go-around, as there was an issue on the runway in Singapore. We got some really cool views of the developments at Singapore Airport, and the soon-to-be-built terminal.
All I have to say is that this flight gets my first ever 100/100. Nothing on this flight was less than excellent. Cathay Pacific A350 Economy class is in a league of its own. The airline is great in Business class and even better in First class, but this is expected due to the premium paid. On a $400 ticket from LAX to Singapore, I got better service than I have gotten on $5000 tickets on American. I really hope that US carriers can adopt 10% of the amazing-ness of this crew, and hopefully make economy flying something people look forward to, and not dread. Delta is leading the way, American and United need to follow. Cathay Pacific is amazing, I would fly them again in a second.