Airline Review

Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 Review

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Immanuel Debeer | 16/05/2017

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83/ 100

Our Rating

I thoroughly enjoyed my Cathay Pacific business class experience and it’s an excellent way to get from PER-HKG in comfort. I booked this trip using Asia Miles, for 80,000 points and just short of $250 in taxes it really offers great value.

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  • 15/ 20
    Ground Experience
  • 17/ 20
    Lounge
  • 16/ 20
    Seat & Cabin
  • 18/ 20
    Crew & Service
  • 17/ 20
    Food & Beverage
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Pros

  • Excellent award availability and pricing
  • Great service and food
  • Hong Kong Cathay lounges are great

Cons

  • Often have to waitlist reward flights

Cathay Pacific’s business class has always been high on my to-do list. Since I had planned to meet some friends in Hong Kong for the long Easter weekend, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try our business on the 7.5h flight from Perth to Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific’s (CX) A330-300 features 39 reverse herringbone flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The front section of the aircraft runs 7 rows back 11-18, leaving out 13 because of tetraphobia. Behind the main cabin is a “mini” section which contains rows 19-21 containing 2 popular seats which offer more privacy due to the extra legroom on the bulkhead. Although the A330 isn’t the newest business class product, it’s still top of the class compared to some other carriers. I decided on 15k for the outbound flight which is right in the middle of the main business cabin.

Which seats to avoid on Cathay Pacific A330-300 Business Class?

When given the choice, it’s always best to select the best seat on an aircraft. Even though all seats on Cathay are pretty much equal, one might try to avoid those next to the toilet or galley. Those seats are: 19g (close to the toilet), row 18 (next to the galley) and row 11 (galley and toilet combo…).

CX Business Class seat 15A
CX Business Class seat 15A

What are the best seats on Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class?

One of the best seats onboard Cathay Pacific is 20k, due to its position on the bulkhead there is no seat in front so it provides the passenger with extra legroom and storage space under the footrest + added privacy. The second best choice would be seat 15A and 15K, both offering a good distance from the toilets and galley. My recommendation would be to go for window seats even when flying as a couple. Window seats always feel more private and spacious, after all; unless you’re planning to hold your partner’s hand for 7.5 hours there really is no need to get the middle seats.

For the most private seat, you can’t go past 19A which is close to the Galley but you won’t be able to see your fellow passengers.

CX J on the A330-300
CX J on the A330-300

Sit back and relax!

Once you’re off the ground, kick off those shoes and enjoy the personalised service Cathay has to offer. Even with a full cabin, Cathay staff will always address you by name and pro-active beverage top-ups are the norm. Movies and entertainment are enjoyed on the StudioCX system which features a 15.4″ TV screen and noise-cancelling headphones. I found that the movies on offer were good enough for a 7.5-hour flight and from memory the library is 150 titles strong. Your seat also offers international/USB power ports for all your gadgets or if you prefer to do some work on the go.

Cathay Business Seat Controls
Cathay Business Seat Controls

Cathay Pacific Business Class Bedding

The business seat onboard the A330 turns into a very comfortable flat-bed but unfortunately, Cathay does not offer any mattress padding or cover. Whilst the pillow is big enough, I do prefer to have something covering the seat before putting my face near it (especially if you sleep on your side or stomach), it just feels more… hygienic?

The blanket on offer is very thick and pretty nice, no cheap synthetic economy blanket here that will make you sweat like crazy!

The CX Business seat in bed mode
The CX Business seat in bed mode

Cathay Pacific Business Class Food

Having seen many pictures online of the Cathay Pacific business class meals, I was rather surprised (in a good way) about the food offering aboard my flight. I realise that cellphone cameras with a flash enabled make for really bad food photography so I was happy to find CX food looks way better in real life than it does on Instagram 😉

For breakfast, I was offered orange or apple, pear and strawberry juice, a mango and passion fruit smoothie, fresh seasonal fruit and Greek yogurt with spiced plum compote. Followed by: scrambled eggs, chicken chipolata, peperonata spinach and potato rosti with assorted breakfast bread, preserves, honey and butter.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Breakfast
Cathay Pacific Business Class Breakfast

For Lunch On Board Cathay Pacific Business Class

Since my flight departed around 7 AM with an arrival of 3 PM I was served both breakfast and lunch. Lunch started with a nicely presented antipasto platter consisting of prosciutto, artichokes, mixed olives and sun-dried tomatoes followed by a white fish (I can’t recall what it was) with baked potatoes.

CX Business Class Lunch Antipasto
CX Business Class Lunch Antipasto
Cathay Pacific Lunch
Cathay Pacific Lunch
Cathay Pacific Dessert
Dessert
Cathay Pacific cheese and fruit plate
Cathay Pacific cheese and fruit plate
Cathay Pacific Deutz Champagne
Cathay Pacific Deutz Champagne

On the way back from Hong Kong I enjoyed the same great Cathay Pacific service followed by the dinner service which consisted of the following:

Octopus Entre
Octopus Entre
Cathay Pacific Pork Belly
Cathay Pacific Pork Belly
Cathay Pacific Cheese Platter
Cathay Pacific Cheese Platter
Cathay Pacific Cake
Cathay Pacific Cake

The crew on the return leg were much more attentive and pro-actively topped up champagne whilst addressing you by last name. The food wasn’t exactly memorable but nothing to complain either. This also might have been due to the couple of hours I spent at the Cathay Pacific business class lounge in Hong Kong (The Pier) beforehand. The lounge is so amazing that any food/beverage options afterwards kind of “pale in comparison”. For my full Cathay Pacific The Pier lounge review, click here.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Amenity Kit

Cathay Pacific Amenity Kit
Cathay Pacific Amenity Kit

In Summary

I thoroughly enjoyed my Cathay Pacific business class experience and it’s an excellent way to get from PER-HKG in comfort. I booked this trip using Asia Miles, for 80,000 points and just short of $250 in taxes it really offers great value. Even though the seat on the A330’s is not the newest, it’s stood the test of time and still stacks up with some of the best out there. Now I can’t wait to fly Cathay Pacific First class from Paris to Hong Kong in August… stay tuned!

Flight Details

  • Route: Perth – Hong Kong
  • Airline: Cathay Pacific
  • Cabin: Business Class
  • Points Used: 80,000 Asia Miles + around $250 in taxes for a return trip
  • Aircraft: A330-300
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Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! You can use any One World Alliance frequent flyer program to book Cathay Pacific reward seats, Qantas included. However, it's better value to use Asia Miles. In Australia, the best cards to earn a lot of Asia Miles are American Express Platinum, Platinum Edge and Explorer.
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Is Cathay Pacific bookable with Qantas Points?

Yes! You can use any One World Alliance frequent flyer program to book Cathay Pacific reward seats, Qantas included. However, it's better value to use Asia Miles.

How do I earn Asia Miles?

In Australia, the best cards to earn a lot of Asia Miles are American Express Platinum, Platinum Edge and Explorer.

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