[PHOTOS] Cathay Pacific’s New Premium Economy Class: The Rundown

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has released photos of their much-anticipated Premium Economy class seats, to be installed on their Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 747-400, and select Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 aircraft.


Cathay Pacific, as with any carrier  who introduces a premium economy class, aims to offer a higher level of service in Y+ than is offered in regular economy, but also is more cost-efficient than business. The premier complaint with premium economy classes is that they’re economy seats with a bit of extra legroom and a premium boarding lane. Cathay Pacific is aiming to break that stereotype and offer a more business class-like experience. Here’s the features of the seat:

  • 38-inch pitch, six more inches than is offered in economy
  • 10.6-inch personal TV with an in-seat power supply and multi-port connector
  • priority checkin and boarding
  • amenity kit including dental products, eyeshades, socks, and earplugs
  • noise-cancelling headphones
  • welcome drink choices (yes, like business class!) of orange juice, champagne, or others
  • personal bottle of water with enhanced meal and snack selections
  • premium cocktail table, stored in armrest instead of seatback

The Review

From the photos which have been provided, the seat has many redeeming features. We love the little amenity shelf right below the PTV which allows for storage of small items like your iPhone or landing cards, et cetera, and we also love the idea of being able to connect your iPhone/iPad/iPod to the PTV and play your own media through it … ingenious!

Another great perk is the priority checkin and boarding. This aids in distinguishing the Y+ cabin from the Y cabin, which, if nothing else, just makes you feel like you’ve got a leg up on those riding in the back. In addition, the amenity kit is another nice touch. Amenity kits are usually only found in business and first, so the amenity kit feature continues to distinguish the Y+ flier from a traditional economy flier.

One of the biggest differences between CX’s seat and other airlines is that it’s not a shell seat. The shell seats are infamous for being slightly uncomfortable but also more private than seats of this type.

The color is a bit off-putting as well. Maybe I’ve been too indoctrinated by the Air France Y+ seats which feature neutral colors, but the deep green is a bit much for me. I’d like to have seen more of a neutral color, something along the lines of grey/brown/blue-grey … you get the gist.

So overall, the Cathay Pacific Premium Economy seat looks to be a welcome addition, but it’s something that we’ll probably have to try out on our own to form a better opinion.


From April 1, the new product will be deployed on the following routes/flight numbers:

  • Sydney CX101 / CX100
  • Vancouver CX888 / CX889
  • Toronto CX826 / CX825 / CX828 / CX829
  • New York CX830 / CX831 / CX840 / CX841 / CX888 / CX889

From May, the new product will be available on the following route/flight numbers:

  • London CX252 / CX255

Beginning in the fall, Cathay Pacific will deploy their new product on the following routes:

  • Adelaide
  • San Francisco
  • Melbourne 
  • Los Angeles
  • Brisbane
  • Frankfurt
  • Mumbai

Seat photo gallery via Cathay Pacific. Boeing 777-300 photo by CF Yuen / Airliners.net.

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