Opinions on Cathay Pacific premium economy

By MRYJDrake | Jul 05, 2017, 02:48 PM

I'm looking at possibly spoiling the much better looking half to a trip to HK for New Years. 

Has anyone traveled on CX's Premium Economy seats? I've found a review on here of SQ's PE Product, but nothing about CX's... 

Has anyone traveled both and can compare? 

SQ is definitely the cheaper option but will take longer, so if CX's option is significantly better, maybe it'd be worth the slightly higher outlay. 

And then, if I manage to stumble into a money pit, how would you compare the Business Class options against each other?

What would you do? 

Cheers!

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By mspcooper | Jul 05, 2017, 03:27 PM
Depends on what port you leave and what aircraft you take.
Business on CX is very identical on their A330's, but their A350 out of BNE and MEL are very superior compared to A330's.
SQ flies different aircrafts into australia example being A380, B777 and A330
Their A380 and refurbed B777 seats are identical and amazing but their A330's are angled lie flat and not worth the $$$'s in my opinion.
I have not done PE unfortunately. 
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By MRYJDrake | Jul 05, 2017, 03:47 PM
Depends on what port you leave and what aircraft you take.
Business on CX is very identical on their A330's, but their A350 out of BNE and MEL are very superior compared to A330's.
SQ flies different aircrafts into australia example being A380, B777 and A330
Their A380 and refurbed B777 seats are identical and amazing but their A330's are angled lie flat and not worth the $$$'s in my opinion.
I have not done PE unfortunately. 

That's a great insight, thanks very much! 

Would be flying EX MEL, but it would be safe to say I'm an A380 or A350 Guy .
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By Maheshh | Jul 05, 2017, 04:06 PM
If you are considering Premium Economy - do not waste the money on the CX product.  The SQ product is much much better - better seating, better meals and better overall experience.  I found the CX product to be only marginally better than Economy.

If you do use SQ - remember to also look into "Book the Cook" before your flight - it is the meal pre-ordering service of SQ
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By Greg84 | Jul 05, 2017, 05:01 PM
I've not done SQ, but I preferred Qantas & Virgin Premium Economy over CX. Was still good, but a little expensive for what it was...
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By lionelhutz | Jul 05, 2017, 05:28 PM
You need to go and look the reviews on a blog like One Mile At A Time. A lot of people here (myself included) have flown one or the other so can't really compare both. 

CX flys 3 aircraft from MEL to HKG, the A350, B777 and A330. The A350 is quite new and the most impressive of the three if you have a choice. The B777 and A330 are a bit older, still quite nice but lacking a bit of the polish of the A350. I personally think premium economy is worth the extra money on Cathay but its a personal choice. I like the leg rests and wider seat, it actually gives you some chance of sleep and/or a bit more room to work. Business class is fantastic and if you can stretch to it, makes the trip more of an occasion, especially with lounge access at both ends.

SQ is no doubt an excellent airline too, not fair for me to compare as I have status on CX but not SQ so my SQ experiences are a bit more plain just because of that. 

I'd also take into account the difference in travel time. Non-stop on CX can be less than 8.5 hours on the A350 (which seems to go faster than the B777 or A330). Changi is a lovely airport to stop over at, but my preference is always to go direct where possible and spent my time enjoying the destination rather than in transit.
Last edited by lionelhutz at Jul 05, 2017, 05.33 PM.
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By vfm | Jul 05, 2017, 06:26 PM

Just my 2 bobs worth. Background; I’ve flown CX PE on A330 & B777 SYD/LHR in 2015, SQ PE A350 2 months ago, QF PE A380 in 2013 and also PE in VA & VX in their initial iteration. I think in terms of food, seat & space perception I would rate QF above the others I have tried, but not by a huge margin. The main reason I haven’t flown PE again with QF since 2013 is that I have found their PE fares to be far more expensive than SQ or CX to the same destination.

For me, the reason I’m willing to spend more money on PE is primarily for extra space over Y (can’t always afford J ☹), esp for long haul and from my perspective the CX and SQ hard (and soft) product is pretty similar. Some say the food comes from Y, but that hasn’t been my experience. I did notice though that the SQ drinks trolley continued through Y after PE – can’t remember with CX. Also, when I flew SQ PE from BCN to SIN there was no ‘book the cook’ option at that time (flight was swapped from a B777 to the new A350 a few months before my departure); food was good anyway. The clarity (and size) of the SQ A350 IFE was fantastic when compared to their own A380 & B777 product. I’ve also done Y in SQ A350 and the IFE clarity was the same.

Some don’t like not having a dedicated toilet in PE, but as far as I’m concerned, some incidental exercise is a good thing. Some also complain about not having lounge access, but not an issue for me having FF status with both and PP. Sure, the SQ A350 product is newer compared to CX A330 or B777, but I would be satisfied with either and if the same price then direct with CX would be an added attraction – although if QF was the same price I’d consider that too.  Hope you and the “better looking half” have a great flight.


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By vfm | Jul 05, 2017, 06:48 PM
sorry....just noticed you're flying ex-MEL- can't comment on the CX A350 PE product. Also noticed you wondered about J, having flown J on SQ A380 and CX A330 & B777 I'd be happy with either, in fact I'm happy to be in J anytime with any of the major airlines! My only comment is that I feel more comfortable sleeping on the CX hard product that SQ's - while the SQ J seat appears huge, I just find sleeping at an angle to be somewhat awkward; a 1st world problem I know........
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By MRYJDrake | Jul 06, 2017, 10:21 AM
You need to go and look the reviews on a blog like One Mile At A Time. A lot of people here (myself included) have flown one or the other so can't really compare both. 

CX flys 3 aircraft from MEL to HKG, the A350, B777 and A330. The A350 is quite new and the most impressive of the three if you have a choice. The B777 and A330 are a bit older, still quite nice but lacking a bit of the polish of the A350. I personally think premium economy is worth the extra money on Cathay but its a personal choice. I like the leg rests and wider seat, it actually gives you some chance of sleep and/or a bit more room to work. Business class is fantastic and if you can stretch to it, makes the trip more of an occasion, especially with lounge access at both ends.

SQ is no doubt an excellent airline too, not fair for me to compare as I have status on CX but not SQ so my SQ experiences are a bit more plain just because of that. 

I'd also take into account the difference in travel time. Non-stop on CX can be less than 8.5 hours on the A350 (which seems to go faster than the B777 or A330). Changi is a lovely airport to stop over at, but my preference is always to go direct where possible and spent my time enjoying the destination rather than in transit.
Last edited by lionelhutz at Jul 05, 2017, 05.33 PM.

Thanks for your feedback, thats all very helpful!
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By MRYJDrake | Jul 06, 2017, 10:23 AM

Just my 2 bobs worth. Background; I’ve flown CX PE on A330 & B777 SYD/LHR in 2015, SQ PE A350 2 months ago, QF PE A380 in 2013 and also PE in VA & VX in their initial iteration. I think in terms of food, seat & space perception I would rate QF above the others I have tried, but not by a huge margin. The main reason I haven’t flown PE again with QF since 2013 is that I have found their PE fares to be far more expensive than SQ or CX to the same destination.

For me, the reason I’m willing to spend more money on PE is primarily for extra space over Y (can’t always afford J ☹), esp for long haul and from my perspective the CX and SQ hard (and soft) product is pretty similar. Some say the food comes from Y, but that hasn’t been my experience. I did notice though that the SQ drinks trolley continued through Y after PE – can’t remember with CX. Also, when I flew SQ PE from BCN to SIN there was no ‘book the cook’ option at that time (flight was swapped from a B777 to the new A350 a few months before my departure); food was good anyway. The clarity (and size) of the SQ A350 IFE was fantastic when compared to their own A380 & B777 product. I’ve also done Y in SQ A350 and the IFE clarity was the same.

Some don’t like not having a dedicated toilet in PE, but as far as I’m concerned, some incidental exercise is a good thing. Some also complain about not having lounge access, but not an issue for me having FF status with both and PP. Sure, the SQ A350 product is newer compared to CX A330 or B777, but I would be satisfied with either and if the same price then direct with CX would be an added attraction – although if QF was the same price I’d consider that too.  Hope you and the “better looking half” have a great flight.



Some great insight, thanks very much! This is all subject to me securing a new contract in the next few weeks but if it pans out, hopefully it's a good time!
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By MRYJDrake | Jul 06, 2017, 10:24 AM
sorry....just noticed you're flying ex-MEL- can't comment on the CX A350 PE product. Also noticed you wondered about J, having flown J on SQ A380 and CX A330 & B777 I'd be happy with either, in fact I'm happy to be in J anytime with any of the major airlines! My only comment is that I feel more comfortable sleeping on the CX hard product that SQ's - while the SQ J seat appears huge, I just find sleeping at an angle to be somewhat awkward; a 1st world problem I know........

It is a nice problem to have. Thanks so much for the input, I really appreciate it!
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By scottie80 | Jul 07, 2017, 04:20 PM

A direct flight rather than a layover in Singapore (then a 4hr flight to HK) will be the better option than the marginal difference in PE product between SQ and CX.  The PE product on CX's A350 (and the aircraft itself) is a leg-up on their A330 and B777 if the scheduling works for you.     

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By jventham | Jul 07, 2017, 07:01 PM
SQ - hands down.
treat him/her to Biz class - SQ are the best
Cathay suck these days - imho
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By btaus | Jul 08, 2017, 06:05 PM
There's no good way to redeem SQ business except you can accept regional angled seat when book through United MileagePlus.

Comparison of CX vs. SQ business from Australian East Coast to Hong Kong:

CX business has great availability through Alaska Airlines. Who can beat $1,000 one-way (30,000 miles + taxes & fees + $16.45 partner booking fee imposed by Alaska) business class?

On the other hand, SQ business charge at least $1,300+ one-way (58,000 miles + taxes & fees + no more 15% discount when booking online + saver rarely available or on waitlist), which means KrisFlyer is not good for redemption when cash fares on SQ business now can be found at $3500 return to HKG sometimes.

Last edited by btaus at Jul 11, 2017, 02.12 PM.
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By LP | Jul 10, 2017, 03:17 PM
I've only flown CX PE on the A330.

My thoughts - food was average, service a little better than economy and got a pre departure drink and basic amenity kit.
Seat was pretty good recliner, bulkhead probably a little better than the others. I can't normally sleep sat upright, and managed to drift off for 30-60 mins at a time, rather than the usual 5-10 minute sleep/wake cycle in economy. On my red-eye I actually got an OK rest. Sure, its nowhere near business, but I think it is a nice step up from economy if you are doing a night flight.

Main problem is price - to me it would be worth maybe a 50% premium on an economy fare. At most. My return PER-PVG cost close to $3k and it just isn't worth that much IMO.
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By MRYJDrake | Jul 10, 2017, 04:34 PM
Thank you all very much for the input. 

Reckon if we go, we might as well go properly with Business on SQ. 

Factor in an 18 hour layover in SQ so we can get out and see the city, then eat, and shower in the lounge before boarding our flight back. 

Much appreciated!
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