Trip Report: Cathay Pacific (A330-300) Business DXB-HKG

The Details

  • Flight: CX746
  • Aircraft: A330-300
  • Class: Business
  • Seat: 15A
  • Route: Dubai International (DXB)-Hong Kong International (HKG)
  • Distance: 3,682miles
  • Duration: 7hrs 47min
  • Departure: 5:33PM
  • Arrival: 5:10AM

The Preflight

After my excellent stay at the worlds tallest hotel in Dubai, the JW Marriott Marquis, I was excited to return home to the United States. I was going to be connecting in Hong Kong and then flying to Los Angeles in First Class with Cathay Pacific.

I arrived at Dubai International Airport Terminal 1 with about four hours until departure time at 5:10PM. The airport counters actually did not open until 3.5 hours prior to departure and I walked around the landside area for a bit. Once checked-in, I made my way past security and then to the lounge. Cathay Pacific partners with Lufthansa despite being in difference alliances and so all business passengers had access to the Lufthansa Business Lounge.

With 20 minutes until boarding at 4:30PM I headed towards Gate D where our flight was departing from. Boarding began on time and was done via two jet bridges. Business class passengers boarded via 1L while economy boarded through 2L.

Our A330-300, registration B-LAD, was delivered brand new to Cathay Pacific in August 2006. Cathay Pacific currently has four distinct sub-fleets of their A330-300s. One sub-fleet is predominantly used for short-haul flights within Asia and is dubbed the “33P”. The three other sub-fleets “33K”, “33E”, and “33J” are used for long-haul flights in the CX network. This aircraft was a “33K” with 39 business, 21 premium economy, and 191 economy seats. Both the “33E” and “33J” A330s lack premium economy.

The Flight

The business class seats were Cirrus reverse herringbone seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Airbus A330-300 (33J) seating plan

The 39 flat bed seats were split between two cabins, one large cabin between the first and second set of doors and a smaller cabin behind the second set of doors. I was seated in 15A, midway in the first larger business class cabin.

Each individual seat was 20.2″ wide and was 82″ when fully flat. I found the seat very comfortable. I liked how there was a built in privacy shield near the head rest.

There was a generous amount of legroom and ample storage space.

The IFE screen popped out from the seatback and had a great amount of entertainment selections.

I did think that the resolution of the screen was poor and the inflight map appeared very dated. The scrolls speed was fast but there was a responsiveness issue. I had to use a lot of force and hold the screen with my other hand for the touch input to register.

To the left of the seat were the IFE remote and seat controls. Each seat also had a 110V universal outlet, headphone jack, and reading light. Behind the seat control console was a storage space that contained the headphones.

The tray table was stored under the left hand armrest instead of directly over the foot space like in other reverse herringbone seats. Below the tray table was a storage space with a dedicated pouch for water bottles.

The Cathay Pacific branded headphones were average and not as good as my own QC35s.

A stylish Cathay Pacific branded amenity kit was also distributed to each passenger. The contents included Jurlique branded hand cream, facial moisturizer, and lip balm. Additionally was mouth wash, dental kit, socks, face mask, and ear plugs.

There was also a dense pillow which I found comfortable.

A packaged blanket was also provided. It was substantial, heavy, and warm.

Personally, I love the style of Cathay Pacific. I found the cabin to be sleek and modern. I appreciated the cabin artwork as well as the green upholstery.

Cathay Pacific actually runs a triangle route on this flight with the routing HKG-BAH-DXB-HKG. Since this flight originated in Bahrain, there were already a few passengers in the business class cabin. The air must have been turned off while our plane was at the gate because the cabin was incredibly humid. Luckily, the air temp was turned low and within 20 minutes of boarding the cabin became cool.

Flight attendants came through the cabin and offered predeparture beverages served from a tray. Options included water, orange juice, carrot juice, or champagne.

Cold moist towels were also distributed. The cabin doors were closed at 5:01PM and five minutes later we pushed back. Once on the taxi-way we came to a stop and the captain came over the intercom. He stated that one of the runways was closed for inspection and that there was a line of departures ahead of us.

At 5:32PM, we finally began our takeoff roll down runway 30L. On our ascent, we had hazy views of the Burj Khalifa and downtown Dubai.

15 minutes after departure, cabin crew came through handing out the menu.

Service began with a beverage service accompanied by a ramekin of warmed nuts. I had a second glass of Piper Heidsieck champagne.

The appetizers was served directly on a tray. I went with the beef pastrami with kipler potato salad and creamy salsa verdi. There was also a side salad with bell peppers. Flight attendants also passed through with a bread basket and I elected for two slices of delicious garlic bread. To pair, I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

The main course was served from a cart that was pushed down the aisle. I went with the salmon with sun dried tomato crust in a saffron sauce. The salmon was flaky and had a great crunch.

Once the dinner tray was cleared, cabin crew came through with the dessert service. I went with a cheese plate that had delicious Bresse Blue, brie, and cheddar slices and the fruit plate.

30 minutes after the dessert course, I was offered some ice cream but declined. I asked for a cup of Jing tea.

With five hours to go until Hong Kong, the cabin lights were dimmed.

Large Evian water bottles were handed out along with another hot towelette.

Once the water bottles were handed out, flight attendants turned off the main cabin lights to help passengers sleep.

By this point I was exhausted and made my bed. While the bedding was extremely comfortable, I found the seat had certain hard points which stabbed my back when I was lying flat.

I had ample foot space available so that I could sleep both on my side and supine without difficulty.

I managed to get about three hours of sleep and was awoken to the cabin lights being turned back on for the breakfast service. Cabin crew first came through with a beverage service and I had a glass of water.

Breakfast was served all on one tray. There was fresh fruit, Bircher muesli, banana oat muffin, and date and custard Danish. I also had a mixed berry smoothie and cup of black coffee. While there was a lot of food, I was disappointed that there was no protein offered.

The cabin was prepped for landing almost an hour later and we touched down in Hong Kong at 5:10AM in the morning. The taxi to the gate was very quick at under five minutes. Thanks for the ride!

I greatly enjoyed the hard product on this A330 flight with Cathay Pacific. I prefer to reverse herringbone seats to other business class seats. The soft product was decidedly average with an OK dinner service and disappointing breakfast. The wine selection was good and flight attendants friendly.

3 thoughts on “Trip Report: Cathay Pacific (A330-300) Business DXB-HKG

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