Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Airways, New Economy Class
Boeing 777-200 (Version 2)
Weeks ago, my friends and I had a discussion about my blog and flight travels. In the group chat, they did not know that within an airline, there are different economy class seat product in different aircraft type. Hence, this is why I am writing product reviews for airlines and hotels. Through my blog, I hope it helps you to make better decisions before booking and get the most value out of it.
Recently I had been on all the economy class product on Cathay Pacific. Their newest economy class seat product is truly one on the most comfortable that I have taken so far. In this post and the upcoming ones, I will be reviewing all the economy class seat products (including premium economy class) on Cathay Pacific. At the same time, I am going to share how you can identify a flight with the best seat product on Cathay Pacific.
Hong Kong (HKG) - Incheon (ICN), via Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)
Dep: HKG 14:35
Arr: TPE 16:10
Total Duration: 1Hr 35Mins
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 56A (New Economy Class)
I was travelling to Taipei (TPE) on this flight. Due to the late arrival of aircraft, it was re-scheduled to depart 35mins later. While everyone was rushing to board the plane, hoping that it will depart slightly earlier, I was rushing to take pictures onboard before it was filled up. Frankly speaking, I felt quite embarrassed for taking photos in the plane sometimes. I looked as though I have never been on the plane before. To add on the embarrassment, I found myself in the wrong row. Fortunately, when I got back to the correct seat, the middle seat was not taken and the Taiwanese guy seated on the aisle was busy on his laptop. Hence, I could take as many shot as I want.
New Economy Class - Seat Product Features
Cathay Pacific's new economy class is one of the most comfortable economy class seat I have taken so far. First, it has a noticeable wider seat base that gives you extra space, especially if you have a butt like Nicki Minaj. Second, the handrest can be fully raised till the end. If you have a whole row for yourself, you can lie down comfortably. Third, they have a large and comfortable headrest with adjustable side wings. One thing I like about the headrest is that it only protrudes slightly from the seat, unlike the one in the picture below which always make my neck really stiff.
Picture taken from Qatar Airways Website
Fourth, you can store all the small items in the additional storage space just below the personal TV instead of the seat pocket, which helps to maximize legroom. Fifth, there is more foot-room as there is no bulky entertainment system box below the seat. Next time when you take a flight, take a look below your seat. Somewhere on the side is the entertainment system box, which can be still found on most aircraft (with personal TV) in the industry.
Lastly, you have a 9 Inch personal TV with a coat hook at the side. Under the TV, there is a USB port for you to charge your phone. If you would like to connect your idevice to the TV, simply ask for the cable adapter from the flight attendant.
As most people were settled down in their seat before the door closed, the flight attendants started distributing some drinks, blankets and headsets. If you are on a short flight with Cathay Pacific, the pillow is only available upon request. Through my experience, I noticed that Cathay Pacific does not provide full meal service and amenities on such short haul flight.
Once the flight reached the cruising level, the flight attendants rushed to prepare for meal service. As part of the re-branding effort, they have changed the way that they present their meal. If you are sharp enough, you will notice the difference in their logo too. For a flight less than 2 hours, they only served light meal onboard. There were two bento options to choose from. The one I had was the Chicken Mushroom Fried Rice. The other one was Tomato Pasta. To my surprise, it was delicious. Every grain of rice came with taste and fragrance. The main meal was served with a packet of Oolong Tea. If you like to have something else, you may order other drinks from their trolley. You may also make a special request to have a cup noodles too. (A terror for flight attendants. Because of the strong smell that spreads around the cabin, many other passenger would also like to order it.)
CX Studio Entertainment System
After the meal, I started to explore their entertainment system. Another amazing thing about their new economy class product is that there is no remote control for their highly interactive screen. Just a touch at the center "button", it shows all other controls you need. The new system is pretty impressive. There is no lag at all. If you do not like to use their earpiece, you can also use your own earpiece without the need of a special adapter. Thumbs up!
However, I was disappointed with the CX studio. For this short flight, there is no movie options at all! The list of TV programs was quite limited too. Instead, I spent most of my time staring at the scenery outside,
Other Pictures Taken Onboard:
Even though it was a short flight, it was quite an eventful one. Beside the embarrassment I mentioned earlier on, I also had some "amusing" moments. During the flight, I spoke with the flight attendants in English. When I needed to get out from the seat to the lavatory, I spoke to the Taiwanese guy seated on the aisle in Chinese. Guess what, he was so surprised that I could speak in Chinese. Sometimes, I really wonder if I look like a Thai or Vietnamese, like what some strangers told me before.
Towards the end of the flight, the pilot made a terrifying landing. The plane was making a landing at an unusual fast speed. There was a loud braking sound as the gear touched the runway. This was the fastest landing speed I have ever experience, out of so many flights I have taken.
The hard product of the new economy class is fantastic. However, the service was just average. (exclude the flight attendants). Many premium airlines do serve full or more comprehensive meals for a flight less than 2 hours.
The new economy class is introduced in 2012, mainly for mid and long haul flight. It is available on all Boeing777-300ER, and selected Airbus 330 & Boeing 777-200.
In Cathay Pacific booking webpage, flight operated by B777-300ER is indicated as 77W. While Cathay Pacific has a mixture of old and new economy product on their A330 fleet (indicated as 333) and B777-200 fleet (indicated as 772), you cannot tell whether the 333 and 772 on the particular flight has the new economy class. The best way to find out is to contact the reservation center.
Picture taken from Cathay Pacific Website
P.S. Do follow my blog for the upcoming entries on CX Premium Economy Class and Old Economy Class product.
*All pictures are taken by myself, unless stated otherwise*
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