Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class on the A350-900, Newark to Hong Kong
Flying direct to Hong Kong from the US can be long and tiring, but not on Cathay Pacific's A350-900. Business class on the A350 is a pretty enjoyable experience. Great service, seating and entertainment make this almost 16 hour flight just fly by! Comfort is everything, and this flight definitely offered that.
I feel that I got very lucky when booking this flight. Cathay was having a Black Friday sale and I was able to score the round-trip flight in business for just $3186.74 (the flight usually costs at least a few thousand more.) I used my Amex Platinum to get 5x points per dollar. Very worth it in my opinion, considering how long this flight is. I entered my Alaska Airline Mileage number when booking so that I could earn Alaska miles instead of Asia Miles, since they would be easier to use in the long run.
After using TSA Pre-check to get through security quickly, I made my way to the British Airways Galleries Lounge. It was open only for our flight, besides the sit down dining area which was closed. The lounge had soft drinks, beer, wine, alcohol, sandwiches, cheese, instant noodles and snacks, like cookies, nuts, pretzels and candy. The selection was definitely better than nothing. I didn't go too crazy since I knew I would be eating a ton of food during the flight.
The business class cabin consists 38 reverse-herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seats you can tell were not that old, which is definitely a plus in my book. I sat in seat 16A, which I was very comfortable in, though I would have preferred to be in the mini cabin if it were available. There was a lot of storage available, and plenty of legroom. While flat the seat was even more comfortable, though I think some improvement could be made with adding a mattress pad. I was still able to sleep a full 8 hours on this flight!
I thought that the entertainment system was pretty solid, with a decent sized screen and plenty of movie selections. There are also options for viewing the map and the outside of the plane, which is always fun. The remote worked very well for me, though I did not really need to use it. Overall, I felt very entertained, especially since the wifi worked very well (it cost $20 for the entire flight.) I was even able to upload to my instagram stories.
I started my flight with some champagne while I settled in my seat. After takeoff, I ordered a milk tea and then was served freshly prepared savoury dips and breadsticks, seasonal berries and warm bread. For my entree, I had the three cup chicken which was tasty and the rice had a good consistency. A flight attendant offered pralines after dinner, they were the perfect amount of sweet. After a long nap, I ordered the wonton soup as my snack. It came with a chili sauce which greatly improved it's taste. For breakfast, I was served warm pastries, fresh fruit, coffee and orange juice. I also had a brie omelet, which was probably my least favorite meal on this flight. Overall, the food was tasty and seemed fresh. I felt that there were a good amount of options, even for a picky eater like myself. There were even snacks available in a box in the galley.
Business class on the A350 was a great way to travel to Hong Kong, especially considering how long the flight is, 16 hours! I think for such a long flight, comfort should be the most important aspect when picking a carrier and flight. This flight went by quickly because of the great service, food and comfort. I slept like a baby. I also traveled on the 777 and I could definitively say that if you have the choice between other Cathay planes, choose the A350 (especially for the wifi!)