Cathay Pacific A350 Premium Economy – Hong Kong to Amsterdam

After a fantastic two day trip to the mighty city of Hong Kong, it was time for me to head back to my home town. Two days ago I flew from Amsterdam on Cathay’s brand new A350-1000. On this flight I enjoyed every second of the Business Class product. Since 2012 Cathay Pacific offers Premium Economy on all of their long haul aircraft. I got the opportunity to try out this product onboard of the Airbus.

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Hong Kong- After a fantastic two day trip to the mighty city of Hong Kong, it was time for me to head back to my home town. Two days ago I flew from Amsterdam on Cathay’s brand new A350-1000. On this flight I enjoyed every second of the Business Class product. Since 2012 Cathay Pacific offers Premium Economy on all of their long haul aircraft.  I got the opportunity to try out this product onboard of the Airbus.

Check-in and Airport 

Cathay Pacific’s flight CX271 from Hong Kong to Amsterdam departs at 00:25 local time every day of the week. This gave me plenty of time to have dinner in town with friends and head to the airport. At around 10:30 in the evening I arrived at terminal one where all Cathay’s flights depart from. The terminal was completely empty so check-in went swift. At Hong Kong International Cathay offers dedicated check-in desks for Premium Economy. On my flight, there was a baggage allowance of 35KG for PE passengers, this is 5 kilograms more than is allowed with a standard economy ticket. As I dropped off my suitcase the attending staff gave me my boarding pass and I was off to the gate.

Flying in Premium Economy, you don’t receive lounge access unless you have Oneworld, Emerald or Sapphire status. Unfortunately, I don’t have Oneworld status but this was not a problem because Hong Kong’s terminal one is great for shopping, dining and it offers great seating with the possibility to charge your personal electronics. With over 47 shops you can buy nearly everything you could need.

Gate:

After some shopping in the terminal I arrived at the gate and had about twenty minutes until boarding started. Fortunately, there were more than enough seats where I could also power my phone.

Boarding:

Exactly 50 minutes prior to departure boarding started. Business Class was first to board. Shortly after I was allowed to go onboard the just 3 week old A350-1000 with tail number B-LXF. At the counter my boarding pass was rejected, the lady at the counter told me that my seat was changed from 31A to 30A. This is the seat in the far front of the Premium Economy section and offers more legroom.

Seat and Cabin: 

When I entered the A350K Premium Economy cabin, it felt spacious and fresh with the newly designed seats. Cathay Pacific offers 32 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration with a pitch of 40 inches and a width of 20 inches. Every seat reclines 9 Inches and has a large footrest. This gives every passenger a comfortable angle to have a good night’s rest. In the middle armrest, you have your seat controls, remote control, two USB plugs and two three-pin sockets.

The seat overall is quite sturdy but really comfortable with the arm and headrest that were partly covered in leather, which gives a nice feel to it. At boarding a pillow, blanket, and headset were placed on the seat.

In my opinion the design and practicality of the seat makes it the best Premium Economy seat of it’s class. 

Inflight entertainment: 

As I already mentioned in my review of Cathay’s Business Class. I was impressed by the IFE system the airline offers onboard the A350. In the Premium Economy section passengers get a 12,1-inch touch screen with the same Studio CX system offered in BC. The system has a variety of world-renowned movies and series as well as interactive flight maps, games, music and multiple news applications.

Passengers get the possibility to watch live television by the BBC, CNN and Euronews or browse the internet with the WIFI connectivity available throughout the whole flight. For flights over six hours, Cathay asks $19,95. I reckon this is a bargain for a 12-hour flight comparing to other airlines.

Amenities kit

Shortly after I took my seat, the Premium Economy cabin manager came to introduce herself and provided us with an amenities kit and a glass of champagne. The PE amenities kit is designed by the company Zixag together with Hong Kong graphic designer Danny Yung. The kit was stocked with a pair of socks, eye shades, ear plugs and a toothbrush.

Take-off

Tonight we had a pretty empty flight, just twenty minutes boarding after boarding started the cabin manager announced that boarding was complete. The Premium Economy section on this flight was half full, which gave lots of extra space.

At 00:30 the aircraft was pushed back from the gate and our flight began. With a relatively short flight time of eleven hours and thirty minutes, due to good weather conditions on route we departed from runway 07R. I was hoping to catch a last glimpse of the city during take-off but unfortunately it was very dark and cloudy. Luckily I had a great view on the mighty Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine.  

Meal service

When we had climbed to a flight level of 31.000 feet the captain switched off the seatbelt sign and the crew started the meal service in the cabin. As a starter there only was one option, which was smoked duck and creamy vegetable salad. For the main course, there were 3 options which were: Yin Yang Fried rice, Grilled Australian beef tenderloin and pasta with zucchini sauce. I was quite hungry and went for the beef tenderloin, which really impressed me. The beef was very tender and had great taste, as well as the vegetables.

As desert I got Movenpick ice cream and later a cup of tea.

Time for a nap

As meal service ended, the cabin crew quickly dimmed the lights and the captain announced that there would be some turbulence in the next hour. I’m not the biggest fan of turbulence so I decided to take a nap. I reclined my seat, covered my eyes with eyeshades from the amenities kit and hoped for a good night sleep

About 7 hours later I woke up. At this time we only had 4 hours of flying time left before we would arrive in Amsterdam. As the cabin was still dark I took a look in the galley where assorted snacks and apples were offered. Whilst I was choosing my snack, the flight attendant asked if I wanted a cup of noodles which is available upon request throughout the whole flight. I went for the noodles being as I am a noodle lover.

About two hours prior to landing the flight attendants started preparing for breakfast. In the galley, I took a look at how the FA’s prepared the breakfast.

For breakfast, there was a choice between a Parsley omelet with sausage or a selection of Dim Sum. I chose the omelet which came together with fruits, yogurt and some bread.

Landing

When the meal service ended, we started our descent into Amsterdam. Due to bad weather in The Netherlands, we had to wait in a holding pattern, about twenty minutes later the control tower gave us clearance for landing and the Airbus A350-1000 smoothly touched down at Schiphol airport on runway 18R, the so-called ‘Polderbaan’.

When we arrived at the gate the captain invited me to see the cockpit. The nice captain from Malaysia showed me the flight deck and answered all the questions I had about the A350. This was a great ending to my flight and trip to Hong Kong.

Conclusion

Concluding my flight to Amsterdam in Cathay’s redesigned Premium Economy, I was genuinely impressed by the high level of service and quality throughout the whole flight. From the warm, loving crew to the well-designed seat with practical features, I enjoyed every minute of it. If you ever get the chance to fly from Europe to Asia for leisure or business I would definitely recommend flying Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy on their A350.    

A special thanks to the crew of flight CX271!

This trip was in collaboration with Cathay Pacific

Fly with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, Asia, Australia and New Zealand

Cathay Pacific Airways flies daily from Amsterdam with an Airbus A350-1000 and 4 times a week from Brussels Airport with an Airbus A350-900 non-stop to Hong Kong, connecting to over 200 destinations in Mainland China, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. The non-stop flights to Hong Kong offer travelers the perfect opportunity to explore Asia’s World City and combine the journey with another beautiful destination.

Return tickets to Hong Kong in high season start from €649. To book your tickets or for more information, please visit Cathay Pacific’s BeNeLux website or Cathay Pacific’s worldwide website. 

*All photos are made by Quirijn de Planque, unless otherwise stated, and may only be used with special permission from Skylook. We tried to keep the edits as natural as possible however edits may vary. 

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