Flew Melbourne to Hong Kong return with Cathay Pacific in May 2013.
Bought a sale fare in Economy and have to say was gobsmacked by how good Cathay economy is.
This aircraft had the new economy seats. They are comfy, nice and wide and have a good amount of leg room. There is also good recline, and the seats are designed nicely as when you recline the seat bottom slides forward as well, meaning you don’t lose all of your legroom when the person in front reclines.
I had 41C – in the very front section of economy. Definately go for this part of the cabin, it’s quiet as you are just in front of the engines and quick for disembarking.
The Cathay service is impeccable. As good as it gets. The food excellent, 2 meals for this 9 hour flight with 2 choices for breakfast and 3 for lunch and I had my pick each time. Plenty of drinks options including 12yo Scotch, a nice surprise in Economy.
Entertainment I found was inferior to Qantas. Not nearly as many new release movie options and fewer new music selections. However there is a massive amount of Asian film and music choices so perhaps the variety lies there, useless to me though.
As with most airlines, Cathay pay no attention to the supposed cabin baggage “limits”. So when the couple in front of me packed 2 cases, 2 shoulder bags, a handbag and 2 coats into the overhead locker, there was no room for my one case. I asked the flight attendent how there could be no room for my one case when my seat and the one next to me was still vacant, she just smiled, took it off me and stowed it down the cabin. At least I didn’t have to put it under my seat for 9 hours.
Landed in HKG 3 hours late (we had sat on the tarmac at MEL for 2.5 hrs waiting for a gate to offload an ill passenger, not really the airline’s fault) and baggage came out quick enough, straight out and onto the Airport Express. Great flight.
After the debacle with my carry-on case on the outward flight, upon check-in I asked if I could check my carry-on case as well as my suitcase. After intially being denied, I asked how much it would cost, and after it was weighed he just said oh it’s alright I can check it for you. So Cathay get points for that.
Had seat 44G this time, must say it is to be avoided. Whilt still quiet for external noise, this seat is 2 rows from the toilets. Every time someone opens the right side toilet’s door, the light shines right on you. And you experience an array of smells that are just not pleasant. So not as nice on the way home, I would recommend the front 3 rows of this cabin as the best.
Again 2 meals with 2 choices for lunch and 3 for dinner, again I had my pick of any of the offerings. After dinner they bought out Haagen Dazs ice cream which was a nice touch. Landed on time, baggage took a while but that’s a habit of Melbourne Airport.
Overall Cathay provide a very good economy product. More room than Qantas, albeit with less entertainment options. The A330 is still going strong as a very nice aircraft to fly on, with Cathay’s latest economy lay-out very pleasant indeed.