Cathay A350-900

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  • TominScotland

    Had my first taste of the A350 yesterday, flying with Cathay from Gatwick to Hong Kong. Given the hype for the plane in general, I was slightly underwhelmed, maybe because I did not get much sleep. The plane was not any quieter than others I have traveled in lately (787, 777-300), maybe because of where I was sitting.

    I was in Economy and, because of a mobility problem I have at the moment, requested a a free seat next to me. This meant the back row which was fine. Configuration is 3-3-3 which is good and the pitch is excellent for Economy. I was greeted twice at my seat by the CSM and her deputy and given priority choice of mains during meal service, which was excellent as, sitting at the back, they did run out of some choices. Otherwise, service was busy and lively.

    There was a water problem on the flight so no hot beverages and some issues in the toilets as well – see my picture and the somewhat unusual English (not sure why it has posted sideways!!?). Given that the passengers on the flight were very international, I am not sure what sense they made of it either!!

    One good thing about this flight is its early arrival (07.05) into Hong Kong when the airport seems to be incredibly quiet!!



    Who writes these signs on Cathay?

    On the basis we are both well versed in English and we cannot understand it what hope for anybody else, you might have expected it to be also in a Chinese dialect and why sideways, which does make you think that whoever compiled it could not read English, since if I was given some Arabic text I am not sure I would get it the right way up.

    Maybe someone stole it from Air Koryo.


    The sideways is my techno-incompetence, I fear. It was the right way up in the loo and on my iPhone – just came out like this on BT!!


    I understood it fine: you can flush, you just can’t wash your hands/drink any tap water.


    For us seasoned travelers who are probably clued in to the word “potable” that said many others might be confused by the word.


    Tom, I am surprised you were underwhelmed I have flown the 350 with SQ, QR and always in Economy and I have to say I really like the plane, its ambience (maybe because its newer) is better than the 777s that I have flown or for the matter the A330s that SQ use also

    I have not been into the CX configured to be fair but I have heard reasonable things from colleagues here …..


    Agree with K1ngston, I have flown the 350 several times and found it quieter than the 777’s although as i pointed out before the seat build quality in J is shoddy but they have announced they are refitting the entire fleet, to the cost of the manufacturer


    Added a brief review to another CX topic and I did find the A350 noisy in economy such that didn’t hear all the movie on the earphones provided. The square washbasins were weird too since they didn’t empty until the aircraft levelled out in cruise and the previous dirty water remained in the basin! Who thought that up?


    Same water problem on my CX A350 flight two weeks ago. No coffee or tea possible, and warnings about unsafe faucet water. Apparently not easy to fix? Strange.


    Same water problem on my CX A350 flight two weeks ago. No coffee or tea possible, and warnings about unsafe faucet water. Apparently not easy to fix? Strange.

    Speaking in general tersm, if the potable water supply is contaminated, there is no quick fix

    The link below provides an interesting (if incredibly heavy) insight


    I am surprised by the dislike of the A350 too. Now admittedly I have only flown level-with or forward-of the engines (ahem!), BUT I have to say that the A350 was FAR quieter than any 777 I have been on (I find the engine drone on the 777 really grates) and significantly quieter than the 787.

    I have, admittedly, not flown either airframe a lot – my experiences are limited to the CX A350 in J and the BA 787 in F. The BA experience surpassed the CX experience overall, but then it was one whole class higher! Here is my summation of the differences:
    (1) Service: BA slightly better (as it jolly well should be given the class difference)
    (2) Seat itself: Yes, the CX seat has some quality issues. This may be a short-term problem. Once they get these fixed, though, I would probably prefer the CX seat as it is wider and has a knee-rest for sideways sleepers (like me!)
    (3) Seat surroundings: I must confess I liked the extra storage space around the BA F seat but this was fairy marginal
    (4) Food: Well, unsurprisingly, F beats J
    (5) IFE: Not much to choose
    These, however, are comparing airline product as against the airframe (and although this looks like a convincing win for BA, in reality the difference was quite close. Yes, for the same or similar fare, I would definitely opt for BA F. If it were significantly different, definitely CX J.)

    Now as mentioned I have digressed somewhat from the airframe issue. So back to that….

    I have discussed the noise difference above – clear advantage for the A350 when sitting level with or forward from the engines.

    I couldn’t discern any difference in the atmosphere (air quality/pressure) as against the B787, although both are clearly much better than older designs.

    The A350 felt much more spacious – even though I was in J on the A350 and F on the B787, which seems surprising (even given the different cabin width – which in reality isn’t that large).

    The B787 window dimmers are good – but not perfect. To be honest I would love a blend of the two – the opportunity to dim, plus the opportunity to completely block. Neither aircraft does this. Although I know the B787 windows are larger, it didn’t make any meaningful difference to me (I was in window seats both times)

    Overall – give me the A350. Quieter, similar air quality, much more spacious interior, which really does seem to translate into more personal space.

    And to be honest I still have reservations about the B787’s safety. The continued heavy reliance on Li-ion batteries, which are still subject to very stringent airline and safety authority restrictions, still worries me. But even without that worry, for the travelling experience, I still prefer the Airbus


    Arrived in BOM on Friday night on the LH A350 from MUC.

    In April I flew the 787/9 with BA in First and also the 787/8 (i think) in CW.

    This was my 1st experience of the A350 and I must say I found it to be very quiet the entire flight. I was surprised to see 2x2x2 seating in LH Business although it is a better experience than the 7 across top to toe of BA CW.

    Overall, I thought that the A350 missed some of the nice touches found on the 787, for example, the loo door opening, the mood lighting, the window shade dimmers.
    Generally felt the same when disembarking both aircraft in terms of sinus, comfort etc.


    The A350 has mood lighting as well – whether the airline chooses to use it, of course, is another matter! Although, oddly, LH seem to be quite proud of the mood lighting on their A350s:
    BT’s article
    Lufthansa’s own news release


    So Ian when BA flies their A350 will the mood be p***ed off mood (judging by lots of threads here?) if only they were individually set the crew would know how to approach the passengers …..



    I haven’t seen the BA news release about their own mood lighting, so I won’t comment! But I notice they didn’t introduce their “mood blanket” – I wonder why??? Maybe it would have interfered with the ‘mood lighting’?

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