Cathay Pacific » Premium Economy » User reviews
Class rating 5.9
- Boarding 5.2
- Seat for sitting 6.0
- Seat for sleeping 5.6
- Service 5.8
- Entertainment 5.6
- Food & drink 3.2
- Punctuality 6.0
- Baggage 6.8
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
- A330-300 (3-class) - 8.0
- A330-300 (2 class with regional product) - 5.0
- A340-300 - 6.1
- B777-300ER (four class with Premium Economy) - 8.6
- B777-300 - 6.0
- B777-200 - 7.0
- B777-300ER - 8.1
- A330-300 (2 class) - 7.4
- B747-400 (new product) - 8.1
- B777-300ER (three class with Premium Economy) - 7.7
- A330-300 (with new Business class) - 0.0
- B747-400 (4 class) - 3.1
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As the Premium Economy concept is still relatively new, I have to compare my experience with those I had flown in the past, namely Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.
The check in and boarding at Cathay Pacific was fast as they had dedicated counters for Premium Economy. However, the cabin crew are shared with Economy, hence they never appear between services; this is appalling compared to the other airlines who have dedicated crew for Premium Economy and cost much less.
There is no menu provided to Premium Economy passengers, who have to rely on the heavily accented speech of the cabin crew. I ended up ordering something I was allergic to, but because the crew then all went to serving Economy passengers, I could not bring my problem to their attention until they were removing the plates, by which time it would have been embarrassing to order something else.
The wine service is non existent unless you ask for it. On a Qantas flight, it flows freely. I seemed to be the only one in the Premium Economy enclosure who wanted wine between meals but it would have been nice to be offered some without having to press the call button for it every time.
Overall, this service is nowhere near that of Qantas. It is better than Virgin in that they don't run out of food as Virgin do, but I would not recommend it over Qantas, who charge marginally more. I chose to fly Cathay only because many people recommended it over Qantas, but having flown both, I would always go with Qantas in the future.
My flight was from JFK to HKG in premium economy. My One World status meant i could use the business class check-in, where there was no queue and ditto for security which was a surprise as I'm used to a long, snaking queue when flying in the evening to LHR.
After security, I went to the BA lounge which was lovely and quiet so I had a wine (well it was after midday!) and did some work. I like this lounge, but it would be even better if there was a view of the runway, but one can't have everything. Wandered down to boarding and saw that there was a roped in pen for premium economy passengers. Well, no I am not being penned in anywhere, so I joined the business class priority queue due to my One World status.
Proceeded to board and when my pass was checked, the computer turned red - bingo! Upgrade to business class and it was the new product (I was not a fan of the old style which involved you nearly putting your back out if you wanted to look out the window). The seat has probably been reviewed in detail before, but I liked the nice wider seats which are noticeably wider than CW in BA which I am a fan of.
The TV screen was great - very large and with excellent definition and sound. The choice of music on offer was, however, very disappointing. I like to catch up on new music on long-haul flights and find BA and Virgin great for this, but Cathay's choice was poor unless you like Rhianna, who had 3 albums in the limited library.
The food on offer was great as was the red wine choice, which can be limited on other airlines. I had the cheesecake to complete my dinner. I don't normally take desert, but Cathay has some of the best deserts and I wasn't disappointed.
After dinner and listening to some music ( no Rhianna on my play list), I nodded off for 9 hours. I can sleep anywhere, but with this large flat bed and good quality duvet, I was out cold. I woke up in time for breakfast, but I only took fruit and a yoghurt as i wasn't hungry which disappointed the cabin crew, but there is only so much I can eat. Flight landed early and I left fully refreshed and ready for my HK work trip.
On the return i used the new CX lounge which has great views of the gates and runway. I can spend hours watching the planes and ground crew, so unsurprisingly was running for my plane as usual (oops).
This was my first time in premium economy on CX, but have flown in the same cabin on BA (new and old seats). The main difference I saw is that on CX you get champagne upon boarding and a hot towel. The seat was comfortable and the blanket was good, but neither really any different from other airlines. The TV screen was nice and large, but the control panel kept crashing which was annoying. The food was good, but the bread was stale and the tiramisu was awful. I watched Argo and then given I had a sinus infection, I fell asleep for 10 hours.
Before landing a meal was offered, but after being disapointed with dinner, I passed. So I headed off to the dedicated premium economy toilet, which BA need to adopt, only to find it blocked and the toilet was a real mess. I found a member of cabin crew who was so embarssed that the crew had not noticed it. It is not her fault - whoever blocked it should have told her or those who used the toilet afterwards should have too. No big deal, but was offered a gift from the catalogue which I declined as I didn't mention it to get a gift.
We landed early and then had to endure JFK immigration which was as bad as it normally is. It took an hour before I was called forward which is about the norm, hence why I try to land at Newark if I can. At least the immigration officer had a sense of humour and we had a nice chat about my trip, my very full passport and the places he would like to visit. Maybe the training at JFK immigration has changed as it was such a nice welcome.
So to summarize, I thought CX business class gets 9 out of ten with a point deducted for music. Premium economy gets 7 out of then due to the food, music and dodgy toilets.
As I checked in for my flight I found my seat had been changed as my seat had a broken footrest. I was allocated seat 32H which was an aisle bulkhead seat. It was situated behind a single toilet although as this was used by people in Premium Economy it was not too busy and did not disturb me. It was one of the better seats in the cabin.
The best seats are probably 31A and 31C as these are exit seats. Row 30 D, E, F & G are also good seats in front of the bulkhead but some passengers use this as a cut though from the left to the right aisle to reach the toilet so you are likely to be disturbed.
My first impression of this seat was that the design was old fashioned but I slept quite well and had plenty of legroom so by the end of the flight felt it was a good product. The seat had a good recline and also an adjustable headrest with wings to stop your head moving too much.
Having a bulkhead seat my IFE had to be pulled from the arm of the seat. It was a very good size and had a good picture although the screen was not touchscreen. There were plenty of new movies, and television programmes (in some cases complete series) so an excellent choice. The only problem I had was that the headphones crackled quite often as if there was a loose wire.
On boarding we were offered a glass of champagne or orange juice. The seat had on it a good sized blanket, pillow and amenity kit. I went to sleep after take off so missed the drinks and food service. When I awoke the crew came round the cabin regularly offering water and juice. About two hours before landing there was a service of breakfast consisting of sausage, egg and spinach or congee plus a roll/jam, yoghurt and fruit salad. It was OK but nothing special.
Overall a good flight
This review is based on information from my teenage daughter, who just flew Premium Economy on CX for the first time. I am trying to distil what little I have been able to extract from her, so apologies in advance for the scant detail! Flight was a midnight flight from Hong Kong to London
CHECK-IN: Well, Dad flashed his Marco Polo Diamond (oneworld emerald) card and checked us all in at the First Class check-in (I was travelling with my younger sister in PE and my Mum in business), so there was nothing to complain about. I like the way that they don't have luggage scales there - someone just comes and takes your luggage trolley away! The bags were definitely on the heavy side...
LOUNGE: Mum has a Gold card, so is entitled to one guest in the business class lounge. A polite request to the check-in staff quickly and without fuss changed this to two guests, so we all got into the lounge, which was very busy but comfortable, with a decent range of soft drinks (including our favourite ginger ale) and snacks
BOARDING: Nothing special
SEAT: Despite Dad's best efforts, as a result of a late change of flight (not plane) he wasn't able to get us into the front row, which has much more legroom and proper legrests - so we were in an "ordinary" row which still has good legroom but only footrests. The seats are much, MUCH better than BA Premium Economy - wider, more legroom, better recline, bigger screen and better choice of entertainment. Much more comfortable than my usual London runs!
FOOD: Sorry, it was a midnight flight so we didn't try dinner, although Dad tells me we would have had all but one of the choices from the business class menu. Breakfast looked pretty ordinary
SERVICE: Typical Cathay (which is all good)
All in all, much better than CX Economy and significantly better than BA Premium Economy.
I would love to be able to review the premium economy seat but having paid for it, I was told there was a plane change and the new plane had no premium economy, so I was bumped down to economy.
I hate economy and never fly economy, having been a member of Cathay Pacific's frequent flyer program for over 12 years, you would think they new that.
The problem with flying premium economy on Cathay Pacific, is that they have very few planes that have the 4 class seat plan, so if there are any problems, you will be flying in economy.
As I have a back problem and my wife was pregnant, I would never have chosen Cathay Pacific if I thought there was a possibility of having to fly in economy!