My Cathay Pacific A330 fight from Hong Kong to Colombo was comfortable, but unremarkable. Perhaps I was on too much of a high after a great trip in first class from Beijing and visit to The Pier?
I arrived at the gate a few minutes after boarding was scheduled to commence, but it had not started. After a few minutes, business class passengers were invited to board first. I proceeded down the jetbridge and was first onboard.
Cathay Pacific 611
Hong Kong (HKG) – Colombo (CMB)
Saturday, July 6
Depart: 08:15 PM
Arrive: 11:15 PM
Duration: 05hr, 30min
Distance: 2,494 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 20K (Business Class)
Cathay Pacific A330-300 Business Class
Prior to my flight I had assigned a window seat, but did not look closely at which window seat. Turns out I was seated in a bulkhead seat in the small rear business class cabin.
As I explained in my teaser post on this flight, there was something I did not like about seat 20A. A closet directly in front of the seat blocked my view of the cabin, creating a closed-off area that felt claustrophobic rather than private.
The reverse-herringbone seat, arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, was comfortable. The main business class cabin featured seven rows (28 seats) while the mini-cabin behind door two featured 11 seats, for a total of 39 seats.
Seat position is controlled by a side panel, which also includes a reading light and passenger service unit to control the seat-back in-flight-entertainment. Hearkening back to older times, there was also PS/2 (?) and RCA ports.
The flight was not full and I ended up moving up a couple rows to an open business class seat in row 15 that did not feel so claustrophobic.
After dinner, I tried to sleep but was wide awake…I blame the cappuccinos in the lounge and again onboard for that. Bedding was not my favorite – a coarse fabric on one side and soft on the other. That made the blanket quite warm and there were also no personal air vents.
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class IFE + Wi-Fi
Cathay Pacific is rolling out wi-fi onboard its A330 fleet, but it was not yet installed on my aircraft. The IFE library contained plenty of music, games, TV shows, and movies to help pass the 5.5 hour flight. The monitor is controlled by a latch on the side of the suite and must be released, meaning no IFE during takeoff and landing.
Noise cancelling headphones were not branded and very lightweight, but still worked well.
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Dining
Menus were distributed before takeoff along with a choice of water, orange juice, or sparkling wine, and a cold towel.
I was hoping fish was on the menu and pleased to see halibut.
Dinner began with mixed nuts (not warmed) and a choice of drink. Cathay Pacific generally has excellent fresh orange juice.
Meals were delivered on trays and included tabbouleh with shrimp, a small green salad, and choice of bread. Garlic bread was tasty.
The halibut main course was delivered on a tray via tongs as soon as the appetizer was cleared away. Honestly, I’ve had much better fish on airplanes before. The meal was edible, but not exceptional.
I concluded the meal with some fruit and a cappuccino.
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Amenity Kit
Although the flight was only five hours, amenity kits were distributed before takeoff. I liked the green canvas bag with the Cathy Pacific logo and brown leather on the reverse. The amenity kit was co-branded with Seventy Eight Percent and included skin creme, lip blam, socks, dental kit, ear plugs, mouthwash, and eyeshade.
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Lavatory
I visited the lavatory after dinner. It included Jurlique cleanser and body lotion. As expected, the lavatory was very clean.
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Service
Service is such a subjective topic, but the crew seemed out of it on this flight. One flight attendant was somewhat friendly, but meal service was rushed after takeoff (not a complaint, just an observation) then the crew disappeared. Perhaps that is what the FA call button is for, but there was very little proactive roaming of the cabin.
In the past in Cathay Pacific business class, flight attendants addressed be my name the entire flight. Here, it was just when taking the meal order. The issue not that I must or need to be addressed by surname. Rather, it is that higher level of service I am used to on Cathay Pacific that I did not find on this flight.
We landed on-time in Cathay Pacific and being near door 2, I was one of the first off the aircraft. I’m glad of that, for I got a headstart on what would turn out to be a very long immigration queue in Colombo.
In short, this flight reminded me of a domestic transcontinental flight on a U.S. carrier. Call that indictment if you will, though I see it purely as an observation. There was nothing great and also nothing poor about this flight…it was about as average as you can get. Even though I could not sleep, I certainly appreciated the chance to spread out. Do I recommend Cathay Pacific business class? Sure. Is it my favorite? Not really.