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The best seats in Business Class on Cathay Pacific's A330

By David Flynn     Filed under: cathay pacific, business class, Cathay, a330, Airbus A330, best seats, worst seats

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.

The plane

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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 17/5/11 by am

I had the opportunity to try this new product out last week - I have to say that I think it's fantastic!! Just the right balance of comfort, privacy, style and space...

Only thing I would say is that I flew out in 11K which was nice, but felt a bit cramped with the massive bulkhead right in front of you... It was definitely one of the most private seats though - you literally cannot see into it unless you are trying... Would definitely pick this seat on a night flight)

The window wasn't great at 11K, so I changed my return to 16A, which was way better for looking out the window (just because of the way the seat dividers are set up and the spacing between the seats)... Not as private though, but I would prefer to sit there for a day flight (shame I figured that out just as I was going to sleep!)

All round excellent product...

1 on 18/5/11 by David

CX really does seem to have hit the right notes with this seat, don't they!

You're 100% on those seat observations. A and K in the first row of each cabin give you an enhanced sense of privacy, and yes, the way the windows match against the seats, 16A and K seem to be better for viewing compared to many other seats.

2 on 15/9/13 by Miles

When I flew HKG-MEL and MEL-HKG in the last couple of weeks, they used door 1L for the aerobridge, which meant that row 11 was actually the first off the plane. Something to be aware of if you are planning a quick getaway.

Also worth noting is that the centre seats in row 11 (11D and 11G) have a slightly wider opening to the seat, due to the alignment of the aisle. This makes them feel less enclosed (albeit less private) compared to some of the other seats in the cabin. I suspect 19D and 19G will be the same.

11D and 11G also have their video screens mounted on the bulkhead (as shown in the photo above), which places them a little further away than in other seats. Depending on your eyesight, this could be a good or bad thing!


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