Cathay Pacific's New Business Class

Posted on September 22, 2009 Under Travel


On my flight out to Hong Kong from New York earlier this week, I had the pleasure of trying out Cathay Pacific’s new business class seat for the first time (at my own expense). Spending 16 hours on a plane is never fun, but I have to say, it went by in an absolute flash this trip and it was all because of the seat.

I’ve written about all kinds of aircrafts, seats, classes and long-haul international flying options and I’ve got to say these new fully-flat seats on the 777-300ER Cathay planes are some of the best I’ve ever experienced.

As background, it’s important to know the difference between “fully-flat” and “lie-flat” seats. There are plenty of airlines that will give you a lie-flat seat, but they angle it at the ground to fit more in the cabin. These slanted seats constantly feel like you’re sliding down them and you’re always thinking you’re going to fall right off. Fully-flat seats are, well, completely flat. Horizontal to the ground and most like your bed at home (or, they certainly try to be).

Layout wise, the business class on Cathay Pacific is most like Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class. The herringbone style lineup gives extra privacy when you recline it into a flat bed and although it feels a little sardine-like at times, it feels good to have walls up on both sides of you while you sleep. Design wise, there’s not much to say. It isn’t much to look at (that’s not the point), but it’s soft and comfortable in all the right places and allowed more than enough room for me to stretch out fully with room to spare.

The entertainment system is also worth mentioning as I think it’s the first setup I’ve ever seen which easily rivals (if not beats) Virgin America’s highly technical and impressive system in the USA. Entertainment was shown on a massive moveable HD wide screen. One gripe of most planes is immovable screens but not here. A complimentary noise canceling headsets was also included. I was able to watch Star Trek in all it’s glory, create a good playlist for the trip, and choose from what seemed to be easily more than 100 on-demand movies and TV shows to make my selection.

For me, the true test of any airplane seat like this is simple. Did I sleep? Like a baby. 11 hours worth (with no pharmaceuticals). A highly recommended seat, and amazing treat!