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Flying Cathay Pacific Premium Economy On The A350-900

I don’t know about you but I’d never consider flying anything other than Economy unless I was using airmails to upgrade or to pay for the entire flight.  Of course that would change the moment I won the lottery. If I was a gazillionaire, I would only ever turn left.  How cool would that be!  Anyway, back to the point. Prior to this flight, I had accumulated quite a number of Marco Polo miles (Cathay Pacific’s flight loyalty scheme).  The roundtrip premium economy flight from Hong Kong to Singapore cost me 45,000 miles plus HKD $450… a bargain!

As a plane nerd, I was excited to find that on this route, CX716 Singapore to Hong Kong, I was on one of their relatively new A350-900s. Don’t expect anything revolutionary, but you can find cleaner seats and a snazzier entertainment unit.

Booking the flight (CX716 which departs Singapore Changi at 18:05, landing Hong Kong at 21:55)

I booked my flight approx. one month in advance of our trip. Surprisingly there were plentiful miles seats available. I booked my seat through Cathay Pacific’s website and it was all extremely straightforward.

As I was only in Singapore a few days, I carried hand luggage. However if you are to bring checked luggage, premium economy does give you a higher allowance – from 20kg to 25kg (weight system) or two pieces of baggage from 23 kg to 25kg each (piece system).

A standard Premium Economy customer cannot request a seat prior to check in. However if you are a member of The Marco Polo Club (Silver tier or above) and oneworld Ruby tier members or above you can do it through ‘Manage My Booking’.

Checking in at Singapore’s Changi Airport

Cathay Pacific opens check 48 hours in advance of your flight.

They now depart from Changi’s brand new Terminal 4 which seems to be an exercise in minimising human contact. You can use an automated check-in which will also take care of your bag for you. Or you can still hunt down a real person if you’re not 100% sure what to do.

Terminal 4 has a new and upgraded Cathay Pacific lounge. You can even get a Singapore laksa at the famous Noodle Bar.

Onboard

We were flying on the Airbus A350-900. The Premium Economy cabin has a 2-4-2 formation which makes things particularly comfortable if you are flying in a pair.

There is a baby bassinet located in 30 K-H and 30 A-C

As the cabin is only 3 to 4 rows deep, it has a lovely feel to it.  

Cathay Pacific has an excellent inflight entertainment system which is available to use as soon as you board. Premium seats have a big touchscreen TV and receive decent quality headphones.

Between each seat, is a small table, you can just about fit 2 drinks on there.

Don’t make the same mistake I did and try to unfold the table from the seat in front. The table is located in the armrest.

On the chair ahead of you is your TV, small storage area, random storage and coat hook.

The seatback pocket is small.

There’s no designated Premium toilet on the A350-900 so you can either sneak in to Business or head towards the mid back for the Economy toilets.

The dimensions of the seat are 40 inches (101 cm) pitch, 20 inches (51 cm) width.

Food & Drink

To make you feel special, Premium Economy customers get a welcome drink on arrival (juice, water or sparkling wine).

Premium customers receive the same meal as in Economy. My tips for a more delicious meal is to order the hindu vegetarian. Not only is it delicious, you get your meal first when they dole out all the kids meals!

Is it worth the extra money?

The flight from Singapore to Hong Kong is 3.5 hours.  So unless you are flush with cash, I don’t think there’s any reason to pay extra to be in premium for such a short leg. But if you have miles to spare and you can get the whole ticket or upgrade your seat then that is a wonderful bonus.

For those arriving into Hong Kong Airport, the HK Travel Blog has an excellent guide to transportation and beyond.

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