Cathay Pacific's all-new business class seats are a significant improvement over the current walled cubicle-style seats. Read our review to find our why, and then use this guide to choosing the very best seats for your journey.
Cathay Pacific is rolling out its revamped business class cabin on all new Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft as they are delivered form the factory, as well as slowly retrofitting its existing fleet.
Throughout May the new A330 is running on the Hong-Kong-Sydney CX100/101 service six days a week (on Monday out of Hong Kong and Tuesday out of Sydney you'll find an A330 with the older business class cabin).
From June the new cabins will appear daily on CX100/101, two flights per week on CX161/162, and three flights per week on CX110/111.
From August 1st, CX110/111 will feature the new seats every day while CX161/162 will have them on four flights per week.
This all means you've got a better chance than ever to try the new business class seats for yourself.
The Business Class cabin
On the Airbus A330 Cathay Pacific's business class is split between a main cabin at the very front, for rows 11 through 18 (not wishing to tempt the fates, CX skips row 13). A smaller secondary cabin sits behind this and ahead of economy, for rows 19-21.
All seats are in a 1-2-1 layout and angled in a herringbone fashion, so there's no need to climb over anyone to reach the aisle.
Seats A & K are respectively on the left and right sides of the aircraft, with D and G being paired in the middle.
The best seats on the plane
Let's face it, they're all good seats and they strike a superb balance between privacy and access.
15A 15K 16A 16K: Most travellers like window seats, and these four are our best pick for solo business travellers. They're in the forward cabin, which puts you furthest away from the economy section, but not so close to the front that you'll have to contend with noise and crew activity in the main galley.
15D 15G 16D 16G: These are paired middle seats – same benefits as above but better if you're flying with a friend.
18A: this left-side window seat in the last row of the front business class cabin has the A330 door in the galley area behind it – good if you're travelling only with carry-on luggage and want to be off the plane and on your way almost as soon as the doors open.
19A: a left-side window seat in the first row of the smaller secondary business class cabin, with the door in the galley area just ahead. You feel a little more privacy because there are no middle seats ahead of you, and you'll also be among the very first off the plane.
The worst seats on the plane
In instances like this, 'worst' is purely in relative terms and could just as easily but less elegantly be written as 'not the very best seats on the plane'.
Row 11: The front row of the main business class cabin is closest to the main galley and toilets so the level noise and traffic could be bothersome, especially on an overnight flight. And with seven rows of passengers behind you and the A330's door behind them, you'll probably be the last business class passenger out the door.
Rows 20 and 21: The secondary rear business class cabin is closest to economy, and with bassinet cribs for infants at the front of the economy seating area, booking any seat in rows 20 and 21 runs the risk of a squealing screeching baby providing the soundtrack for your 8+ hour flight.
18K: We'd also suggest you strike out 18K, as there's a toilet close behind this seat which can mean a higher than usual amount of traffic passing your seat.
Next week: Business Class on Thai Airways' Boeing 777
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.