Cathay introduced a dedicated Premium Economy Class to their aircraft in 2012, offering more space and comfort than Economy, with the cabin having just 26-34 seats, depending on the aircraft type.
Cathay Pacific is the only airline to have Premium Economy from all major Australian ports including Cairns, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth where other airlines do not offer these cabins and are typically via Sydney or Melbourne only.
Before you board, you’ll appreciate priority boarding at the gate and at selected airports, dedicated check-in counters. You’ll also be able to pack more – or bring more home – with an increased baggage allowance. As a Premium Economy Class passenger, your check-in baggage allowance is 25kg (up from 20kg in Economy) on the weight system. On flights to, from or via the US, Canada and some countries in South America, you may check in up to 2 bags on the piece system – each with dimensions measuring up to 158 cm and weighing 25kg.
The Premium Economy Class cabin is a spacious and private. There’s more room between your seat and the seat in front of you with a pitch of 38 inches (six more than in Economy Class) and the seat itself is wider and has a bigger recline of 8 inches to make resting and sleeping more comfortable. The headrest has 4-way movement for excellent support of your head and neck. Front-row seats have a leg-rest and these are the seats to nab if you’re concerned with getting the best sleep possible, as the other seats just have a 3-position foot-rest. Downside of the front row is that the in-flight entertainment screen has to extend out of your armrest and is therefore positioned a little low for comfortable viewing. Seats also feature a large meal table, cocktail table, 10-inch personal entertainment screen, in-seat power outlet, a multi-port connector for personal devices and extra stowage space for all those personal items you’d like to keep close at hand. Passengers receive an amenity kit with dental kit, socks and eyeshade.
One of the biggest complaints from passengers is that very few of the Premium Economy cabins have dedicated bathroom facilities, and you have to wander back to Economy for a bathroom break. Making your way up to the Business Class cabin for this is not allowed.
For entertainment, there is a wide selection of choices on your StudioCX inflight entertainment system. Plus, you can use the multi-port connector to stream movies and music from your iPod, iPhone or iPad to your touch-screen Personal TV – and a noise-cancelling headset will enhance your enjoyment. It’s important to note that the multi-port connector is compatible with selected models only. A special cable is required to stream content and there are a limited number of cables are available on board so you’ll need to ask your flight attendant for one of those early on in the flight to make sure you don’t miss out.
A larger meal table makes working on your laptop easier, and the cocktail table can offer more legroom if you just need a spot to place your drink. And on that note, the meal service is good quality and pretty tasty too! As you’d expect it’s better than Economy, but doesn’t come near Business Class.
On long-haul flights the airline thoughtfully provides a few extras. There’s a more fully-stocked amenity kit, a welcome drink, enhanced menu selection, complimentary bottled water and a wide variety of snacks.
Premium Economy Class is currently available on Cathay’s Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 747-400, selected Airbus A330-300 and Airbus A340-300 aircraft.