Cathay Pacific (CX) is a SkyTrax 5-Star Airline and has been in the Top 10 for the last 8 years. But customer reviews are mixed and Asian 5-star competitors Singapore Airlines, Asiana and ANA all outscore Cathay Pacific. My recent CX Economy flights confirm the story of middling reviews: the seat, service and food all contributed to a disappointing flight! Read my Cathay Pacific Economy class review to see if it is worth your money!
Pre-Departure: Cathay Pacific allows up to a total of 350g (2 pieces) of checked luggage in Economy Class, with Marco Polo and OneWorld elite members getting up to 20kg extra. On flights to/from the US it’s 2 pieces of up to 23kg each for regular passengers and 1 extra piece for top-level elites. You also get 1 carry-on of up to 7kg and a personal item. That’s more than enough luggage for me and competitive with other airlines.
At Manila’s airport there was no clear signage for check-in, and with an onward ticket in Premium Economy Class, I used the Business Class check-in without issues. The line for economy class wasn’t very long either and the wait was short.
The Boarding Experience for both flight from Manila to Hong Kong and return was ok, with premium cabins and elite members being allowed to board first and economy following.
Onboard Service: The service on the short 2h flight was minimal with little attention and few smiles for Economy passengers. Flight attendants came through shortly after departure and handed out snack boxes, including a boxed drink and offered additional coffee, tea or water. No other service requests were entertained after this.
Food: The snack box contained a juice drink, cookie and a ham & egg pastry. The pastry was hard and tasted odd and so did the cookie. This was the worst meal I’ve received on any Asian full-service carrier in a long time and very disappointing. I’d rather pay on a low-cost carrier for better food than this!
Seat Boeing B777 (2 class): The Economy Class is located behind the Business Class cabin and has a 3-3-3 layout, one seat less per row than many other airlines flying B777. The seats are 17.5in wide, have a 32in pitch and a 6in recline. Unfortunately, the seats slide forward when reclining, making it impossible for me (at 6ft3) to recline at all.
While some passengers appreciate this seat design, as the recline doesn’t intrude into the space of the person behind, it’s unworkable for me and I wouldn’t want to be in it for more than the 2h I spent!
The seat padding is decent and there is a small, personal video screen in the seatback in front of you. The screen was ok, colors and brightness could be better for day flights.
Entertainment: The entertainment system offers a good selection of TV and 100s of movies from around the world, so everybody should be able to find something. I like the ability to see what will be playing on the Cathay Pacific website, giving you a chance to pick something you like ahead of time or bring your own entertainment if you don’t like it! I’d consider the inflight entertainment top notch, both in quality and selection.
Bottomline: Cathay Pacific’s Economy Class offers a seat that’s uncomfortable for tall people, shockingly bad food, mediocre service and very good entertainment. It’s hard to see how Cathay Pacific has managed to maintain their 5-star rating with such a poor product. If appears that they have been riding their once stellar reputation without keeping up the product and I have no intention of flying Cathay Pacific again any time soon. You can get a comparable experience for a lot less by flying any of the Asian low-cost carriers – or a better flight experience by flying with regional competitors like Singapore Airlines!