Trip Report – Cathay Pacific A350-900 Economy Class Singapore (SIN) to Hong Kong (HKG)

This was m first flight on an A350-900 in economy.  I have flown business class on a Qatar A350-900 from Philadelphia, PA to Doha, Qatar and a Thai A350-900 from Bangkok, Thailand to Phuket, Thailand.

First Look – Thai Airways A350-900 Busness Class Bangkok to Phuket

Qatar Airways A350 Businesss Class, Philadelphia to Doha

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Business class section on Thai Airways new A350-900
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Qatar A350-900 business class

On the return trip from the 2017 Singapore Latin Festival I had a chance to try an A350-900.  Cathay Pacific (CX) A350-900s have 38 business class, 28 premium economy and 214 economy seats.

CX flight 716 was scheduled to depart at 6:10 p.m.  I left the Donata lounge when the first boarding announcement was made at 5:30 p.m.  It was expected to take a little over three hours to travel 1610 miles to HKG.

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The Dnata Lounge was great. It will be covered in a separate post.

It was a short walk to the departure gate.

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SIN Terminal 1
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People were lining up for the security screening when I arrived at Gate D31

At Terminal 1 there is no security screening before immigration.  It is done at the gate.  While that complicates things at the gate, I like being able to check in and get airside and to a lounge with minimal hassle.

I got a look at the A350-900 from the boarding ramp.img_3205

My seat was 40D an aisle seat in the middle group of seats arranged 3-3-3.img_3208

My seat was in the second row of coach in the center section.  It had a nice view of the Cathay premium economy section.  It looks similar to premium economy on American’s 787-9.  I’d like to try it sometime.

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Cathay premium economy

In-Flight Comfort

Standard economy seats on Cathay’s A350-900 are 18 inches wide and have 32 inches of seat pitch.  That is great width for a economy seat.  The 32 inch seat pitch, however, was tight on this three-hour flight much less a long-haul international flight.  The seat reclines six inches.  That is a lot of recline for n economy seat.

Cathay stagers the rows in economy so that the you are not even with the row across the aisle.  This gives a feeling of more space if you are in an aisle seat.

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Row 39 was on my left.

I would not choose a bulkhead seat on this aircraft as there is no room to extend the legs.

Personal space is always an issue in economy seating.  The Cathay A350-900 helps out a little with this.

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There is a small amenity storage space.
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The seat back has a tablet holder
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A/c power outlets are easily accessible
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The adjustable headrest provides good head support.

A big factor in seat comfort is the amount of recline.  All economy seats on this aircraft have six inches of recline.  That is more recline than in many economy plus type seats on US carriers.

There is a cupholder on the fold down amenity storage area.  I’d use this to prevent a spill if the seat in front is reclines all the way.

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Secure cupholder

The video screen tilts to ensure that there is good viewing even when the seat in front is reclined fully.

In-Flight Entertainment

For me the best way to pass the time in economy is by enjoying the in-flight entertainment (IFE) and flight following options.  The Cathay A350-900 has a great IFE system.

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IFE menu
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Do not disturb is a menu option
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Plenty of movie options from around the world
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News
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Live satellite TV

Flight following had all of the features I like except for latitude and longitude info.img_3234img_3227img_3226img_3225

The video screen can be adjusted with the touch of a finger.img_3232

Another nice feature of this aircraft is the external camera, something US carriers have failed to adopt.

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External camera view at gate in HKG

The Service

As an American Executive Platinum/Oneworld Emerald I always have great service on Cathay Pacific.  Before takeoff, the head flight attendant always finds me on the aircraft, even in coach, and asks if there is anything I need.  On this flight the head flight attendant for the economy section did this as well.  In flight, they both came back a second time to see if everything was fine.

The meal service began with beverages being offered an hour after takeoff.  Then dinner was served from carts.

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Cart service
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Economy class dinner on CX 716

I had the chicken with white rice, roll and butter and fresh fruit.  A glass of white wine was the beverage.  After dinner, the flight attendants handed out ice cream for dessert.

Final Analysis

The seat width and recline and IFE system make the Cathay Pacific A350-900 an aircraft that delivers a reasonable amount of comfort and enjoyment on longhaul economy routes.  I would be glad to fly it in economy again on a longer flight if I was unable to obtain a business class or premium economy seat.

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