What Is Cathay Pacific’s A350 Premium Economy Like?

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Hello! I’m back after a school-induced hiatus. I flew Cathay Pacific’s new A350 back from Newark in Premium Economy. Although I slept for most of the flight, I thought I’d throw together a quick post detailing my experience. I’ve also got a review of my recent whirlwind European trip and a more detailed review of Cathay’s new Premium Economy in the pipeline, so stay tuned!

Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy cabin is arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, with 28 seats spread across four rows of window and aisle pairings and three rows of center seats. This represented a reduction of four Premium Economy seats from the 777-300ER that was previously assigned to the Newark route.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Seat

The Premium Economy seat was designed by Studio F.A. Porsche and is based on Rockwell Collins’ MiQ seat. The new cabins look very sleek and represent an upgrade from the slightly outdated cabins on other Cathay Pacific aircraft. However, it doesn’t really sit well with the warmer design concept previously pioneered by Cathay’s new airport lounges.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Cabin

One of the biggest noticeable improvements to the previous Premium Economy seat are the two extra inches of legroom. However, you’ll also find that the seats are significantly narrower when compared to the previous generation of seats. The seats also felt much closer to one another. However, I did like the addition of a retractable armrest for a little bit of extra personal space.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Legroom

The new Premium Economy seat also features a tablet holder, which I think is a clunky waste of space. I saw one passenger at most using the holder, with most passengers choosing to use the in-flight entertainment system instead. I would’ve much preferred something else, like another storage compartment.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Tablet Holder

The new seat also offers improved storage, with an enlarged seatback stowage compartment and another small storage nook under the shared armrest. However, I didn’t like the seatback pocket, which didn’t store much in addition to the in-flight literature.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Storage

The Airbus A350 features a tail camera, with I’m happy to see that Cathay Pacific didn’t skimp on. Another new feature on the A350 is in-flight WiFi, which I will be reviewing separately in a later post.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Tail Camera

Cathay Pacific has also released an updated version of the StudioCX entertainment system on the Airbus A350-900, which is now being progressively introduced throughout the rest of the fleet. The new system is a significant improvement over the old one and is more intuitive and responsive. Passengers can also now order duty-free items, watch live television, read newspaper articles and check connecting/arrival information directly on the entertainment system.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Entertainment System

In terms of soft product, Cathay Pacific has introduced a hot folded pizza for Premium Economy passengers as a mid-flight snack, which I promptly took advantage of. While it’s nothing really groundbreaking, the pizza was tasty and filling enough. It also adds a little bit of distinction between Cathay’s Premium Economy and Economy service.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Pizza Snack

While I slept for most of the flight, I did wake up in time for the breakfast service. In Premium Economy, passengers are given a choice between two entrees lifted from the Business Class menu, which I don’t think Cathay does a good enough job of marketing. I chose stir-fried noodles with prawn, which was tasty but sloppily presented. The dish was served with a cup of fruit and yogurt from Economy, as well as a croissant.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Breakfast

Bottom Line

Overall, I quite enjoyed my flight with Cathay’s Premium Economy. All things considered, the new hard product is a definite step up from the previous generation of Premium Economy seats. I’d consider it to be one of the better Premium Economy products out there in the market. Stay tuned for a full review of the product, as well as the A350’s in-flight WiFi service!

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