Five standout economy class products

23 Jul 2014 by Clement Huang


AVAILABILITY A330s, A380, B777-300ER, select B777-200ER

PITCH 32 inches

WIDTH 18 inches

RECLINE 5 inches

ABOUT THE SEAT Many airlines claim to have ergonomic seats that offer more comfort in the confined environment of cattle class but when you use them the result can vary. Our experience with Korean Air’s new economy product did not disappoint, however. With recline averaging five inches, a width of 18 inches and a sliding cushion, this seat offers proper legroom, support and ease of use. The 10.6-inch LCD screen is also more than appropriate for enjoying the inflight entertainment and there is a USB port for charging and a coat hanger installed at each seat.

ABOUT THE SERVICE The service we have experienced with this airline has always been efficient and graceful, and we also appreciate efforts that have been put in to make the economy class a decent experience. Instead of the proverbial "fish or chicken" offerings, traditional Korean dishes such as bibimbap and bulgogi are available on all international flights and definitely worth a try.




PITCH 31-32 inches

WIDTH 17.2 inches

RECLINE 5 inches

ABOUT THE SEAT Similar to Korean Air, ANZ goes for a slim-line seat to enhance the feeling of space inside the cabin. A flexible headrest provides greater support during some shut-eye while a 9-inch touch screen monitor (yes, this could have been bigger, we know) keeps you entertained throughout. What really stands out about ANZ’s economy class though is its unique Skycouch concept. Available across 14 rows in the economy cabin, the Skycouch is a row of three seats that can convert into a flat surface. But of course this ain’t cheap. Expect to pay at least US$620 additional, one-way, per Skycouch (a row of three seats).

ABOUT THE SERVICE Kids are sure to enjoy their flight as ANZ provides these small passengers with a fun pack complete with an activity book, stickers and badges to collect. As for us adults, we shall look forward to a wide range of premium New Zealand wines to complement ANZ’s typically high-end dining in the sky experience.



AVAILABILITY B777-200ER and A330-300

PITCH 34 inches

WIDTH 18 inches (B777), 21 inches (A330)

RECLINE 5 inches


Asiana scores in terms of seat pitch. The airline is widely known for providing a more generous pitch than most of its competitors. Offering those two extra inches up to passengers can seriously alter the overall experience on long-haul flights. The seats come equipped with 10.2-inch monitors loaded with extensive entertainment options.


Asiana’s onboard service is one-of-a-kind. While English language proficiency may not be the airline’s forte, this is all forgotten when you experience the hospitality inside the cabin. Staff go out of their way to address passengers’ needs and the food is often outstanding. We had very good flights with them earlier this year. Click here for the reviews.



AVAILABILITY B777-300ER and select A330-300

PITCH 32 inches

WIDTH 18.5 inches

RECLINE 6 inches

ABOUT THE SEAT In Hong Kong, an extra inch makes the difference. Contrary to most carriers’ standard five-inch recline in economy, CX offers a generous six inches. Cathay has certainly learnt its lesson from when it introduced its polarising shell seat design in 2007 and the whole world (well, at least everyone here in Hong Kong, or so it felt) seemed to be wailing in agony. The new seat got rid of the sliding mechanism and returned to the traditional cradle type design. The new seat also comes complete with a small amenity storage space and a coat hook. To round it off, there’s a nine-inch personal TV with an attached USB port to charge your mobile devices.

ABOUT THE SERVICE You expect world-class service when you board a CX aircraft and this is usually what you’ll get. Service is mostly swift and catering plenty. Still feeling peckish? Cathay has a variety of snacks available throughout the flight, such as noodle soup, sandwiches, cookies and apples. The rest of the journey may then be devoted to Cathay’s StudioCX, offering sheer unlimited entertainment options.




PITCH 32 inches

WIDTH 19 inches

RECLINE 5 inches

ABOUT THE SEAT Regularly winning in the category "Best Economy Class Seat" at the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards, we naturally hold SIA to a high standard. Good then that the legacy carrier doesn’t disappoint: Its new economy class seat is a full 19 inches in width – the widest among all airlines listed here – and PTVs are an impressive 11.1 inches in diameter. Now that’s a real monitor!

ABOUT THE SERVICE SIA prides itself in going the extra mile for its passengers, and boy, does it show. The airline that traditionally serves Singapore Slings in coach just recently increased its luggage allowance by 10kg per traveller, in addition to serving creative seasonally-inspired dishes.


Dominic Sebastian Lalk and Clement Huang

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