Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Airways, New Regional Business Class
Personally I think that a good business class experience should comes with a hard product that provides reasonable amount of privacy and comfort. Typically, a great in-flight service provided by the crew does make a huge difference as well. 2 years ago when I was on their new long-haul business class product on Cathay Pacific, I was absolutely blown away. It was particularly because of their hard product and the amount of attention delivered by the cabin crews. I was expecting quite a lot on this flight and was really excited to try their new regional business class product.
Singapore Changi Aiport - Hong Kong International Airport
Dep: SIN 06:50
Arr: HKG 10:45
Total Duration: 3Hrs 55Mins
Aircraft type: Airbus A330
Seat: 12K (Second row of business class)
The Regional Business Class Seat
This regional business class product was introduced in 2013 for short and medium haul flights, featuring a 21 inches wide seat in fixed shell design, with an extendable legrest and a large adjustable headrest. The seat itself has sufficient seating area and gives the right amount of cushioning for the body, neck and head, However, the seat does not fully recline into an angled flat seat or fully flat-bed configuration. Comparing to other premium airlines, many have an angled flat seat configuration on their latest regional business class product. Additionally, a small retractable partition at the center would be better for some privacy. Nevertheless, it is still comfortable for a short haul flight.
Besides the overhead compartment, there is a small main storage space at the center of the seat, where you can also find the AC switch, a mini-cocktail table, seat control and TV remote control.
Each seat is fitted with a 12.1 inch touch-screen TV. Beside the personal screen is a coat hanger, USB port and a multiport connector for the iPod, iPhone or IPad. Under the TV stored the foldable meal table. At the center front, there is small storage pocket that could fit an iPhone 6 or any other smaller items. Thanks to the fixed shell design, the space at the front will not be invaded, ensuring a large legroom for every business class passengers.
Before The Meal Service
While waiting for the door to close, the cabin crews came around with hot towels, juices and newspapers. Unfortunately, as it was a morning flight, the crews did not come around with sparkling champagne and warm nuts before the meal service. However, I believe that they were available upon request. As the plane reached the cruising level, the cabin crews came around to prepare the table for meal service. They greeted everyone individually by our names; and offered a drink of our choice and the breakfast menu.
Meal Service - Breakfast
To commerce, I was offered a fruit platter and an assortment of bread from the basket. There were 3 types of bread to choose from: bread roll, muffin and croissant. Before I started with the food, I laid my eyes on the butter for a second. It was pretty looking with the new Cathay Pacific logo on the thin cover.
When I was spreading the butter on my croissant after my fruit platter, the crews were already back to clear the plate to prepare for the second course. The second course were a selection of cereals and fruit yoghurts. Just as I was about to start the fruit yoghurt after my cereals, they were already back to clear the plate and ready to offer the main course.
1. Baked egg with siken tofu, spinach and shiitake, grilled chicken sausage, hash brown, roasted tomato and broccoli.
2. Nasi Goreng with chicken satay and fried fish
3. Congee with soya pork and preserved mustard plant, steamed rice roll with X.O sauce.
To summaries, the main course is either the international choice, Singaporean choice or the Chinese choice. I appreciated that the crews displayed all choices on the trolley as I could make a better decision. At a quick glance, I picked the Nasi Goreng.
To be honest, I was actually quite disappointed with the main course. It was dried peanut sauce on the satay with soggy fried fish and tasteless Nasi Goreng. Probably the caterer could have pay more attention to details. It is probably overcooked before it was loaded onboard.
The whole meal service was kind of a big rush.I thought that the crew could have offer more attention to details. When they were back to clear the plate, my food was only half done. The crew did not distribute the beverage menu as well. If you are curious to know what was the green drink on the left, it was their delicious tasting specialty mocktail; named the Cathay Delight. Cathay Delight is only reflected on a separate first/business class beverage menu.
On the previous business class flight with them, I had a much better experience. Probably this flight was an exception. The crew on the previous flight made frequent checks on the passengers and provided excellent meal service at suitable pace. The crews also addressed me by my name everytime even when I was away from my seat.
Business Class Breakfast Menu:
Likewise in many other airlines, a set of noise cancellation headset and a larger pillow was offered in business class to optimize the comfort level. While the lavatory looked the same as the one in economy class, I would say that the amenities provided were thoughtful. They had citrus flavored body lotion, citrus purifying mist and balancing foaming cleanser to counteract the dry skin condition caused by the atmosphere at high altitude. While it is a short morning flight, they do not provide the business class amenity kit.
Before The Landing
After the meal, I managed to catch a movie from the StudioCX. The latest movies were on cinema about 6-7 months ago, which can be considered quite updated. I was satisfied with the sensitivity of the screen as I need not use the remote control to navigate around. Almost the end of the flight, they made the last round of drink and hot towel service before they prepare the aircraft for landing.
The Aircraft Types Fitted with New Regional Business Class
The new regional business class product is available on selected A330 in 2-2-2 configuration, and B777-200 & B777-300 in 2-3-2 configuration, which can be commonly found on short to medium haul routes. In some A330, they have the long haul business class product, which has been receiving a lot of good comment.
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