Ï came across this interesting review of CX's new J class in Business Traveller magazine. A weblink is enclosed for your reference below.
Flight check: Sydney-Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific, business class
Cathay Pacific business class offered Jonathan Wall an excellent Sydney-Hong Kong flight, with a very comfortable seat, fantastic food and good service.
First impressions: Check-in doesn’t get much more pleasant than this. As the friendly clerk complied with my seating request, we chatted about the effects of September 11 on travel and security (she says she’s seen little change for Asia, but a drop in onward traffic to Europe). I strolled through near-empty immigration and headed for duty-free.
Boarding: We were due to leave at 4.20pm and the gate opened around 30 minutes earlier. Entering the A330-300, I was pleased to discover it’s fitted with the new business class. I raided the magazine rack, made myself comfortable, but at this stage declined Cathay’s excellent Louis Roederer Brut Premier champagne.
Seat comfort: Seats are configured 2-2-2. While the pitch is 60 inches, a total length of around 75 inches is achieved by tilting the “flat” bed, so that the passenger’s legs are tucked into a recess in the seat-back in front. Privacy is enhanced by “cocoons”, which also house the audio-visual controller and telephone, laptop power point and modem connection, built-in noise-cancelling headphones and a flexible reading light, as well as the 10.4-inch TV screen and occasional table for the seat behind. Fully reclined and extended, the seat can easily accommodate all but professional basketball players. As for comfort, I found the urge to doze hard to resist.
The flight: Once airborne we were given drinks and then an early dinner of salad, a seafood starter and a main course from the trolley. I opted for the grilled lamb cutlet with minted balsamico sauce – tasty and well presented – and a glass of Mercurey, which wasn’t on the wine list. Cheese with crackers and an ice cream rounded things off nicely. I had less success getting to grips with Cathay’s new Tenzing inflight email. This, I suspect, owes less to shortcomings in the system, but rather more to security blocks installed on my company laptop. I had already downloaded the software from the Tenzing website (CD-ROMs are also available inflight), but my wretched computer refuses to recognise the parallel-port connection. I gave up, watched a movie – the on-demand Studio CX offers a wide choice and seems to work well, though October is never a bumper month for new films – read and snoozed. A couple of hours from Hong Kong, a light supper was served, including a moreish cold meat pie.
Arrival: Despite headwinds we were on time at 10.40pm. My bags were on the belt within 10 minutes of disembarking and I was soon in a taxi.
Verdict: Full marks. The new seats worked so well that I slept easily. Dining was decent, too. In-flight service was efficient, though lacked the spontaneous warmth that I consider one of Cathay’s strongest points. 9/10
Published 13 December 2001