Having never flown on a long-haul flight with Cathay Pacific, we were curious to see what it’d be like. We paid just โ‚ฌ380 return to fly from Zurich to Bali, via Hong Kong. Overall we were very impressed by the experience.

Check-in & Lounge

Check-in opened around three hours prior to the departure of our Cathay Pacific A350 economy flight. Zurich Airport can be slightly confusing to navigate but the check-in process was fairly efficient.

Aspire Lounge Zurich

As oneworld Sapphire members, we were able to use the Aspire Lounge Zurich which we’ve reviewed separately. In brief, it was fine for a couple of hours, but of course nothing like the lounges offered by Cathay Pacific at their Hong Kong hub.

Cathay Pacific A350 Economy Cabin

I suspect I am not alone in failing to feel a huge degree of excitement before a 12 hour flight in economy. As oneworld Sapphire members we were able to reserve bulkhead seats online for free after booking. Due to a peanut allergy, I contacted Cathay Pacific beforehand to request an allergy form. This was a really efficient process, however, it meant I was unable to reserve emergency exit seats, which would usually have been possible. The bulkhead seats, however, were very good.

Cathay Pacific A350 Economy

As a rule, I generally favour bulkhead seats on an economy flight. I prefer not having any passengers in front, and usually find the seats to feel more spacious. In the case of the Cathay Pacific A350 in economy, legroom and space was generous. For our journey the middle seat was empty, and this actually made the experience feel more comfortable than premium economy.

Cathay Pacific A350 Economy

In the bulkhead seats, the IFE screen is positioned on the wall. I much prefer this to the emergency exit rows where the screen is accessed from the armrest. The quality was good, and there was a large selection of films and music. The system remained responsive throughout the flight. Cathay Pacific provided earphones, however, they were not particularly comfortable to use.

I was impressed by the comfort of the seats. Even ten hours into the flight I didn’t feel uncomfortable. This was aided by the empty middle seat, but also the design. The adjustable headrest was surprisingly comfortable and provided good support. Although this was a daytime flight and I didn’t feel the need to take a nap, I think it would have been possible.

Cathay Pacific don’t provide an amenity kit in economy. They do, however, provide a good quality blanket and pillow. These again made the experience more comfortable.


The service onboard was excellent and couldn’t be faulted. As previously mentioned, before the flight I submitted an allergy form to Cathay Pacific. As a result, they ensured the usual peanut snack was replaced with pretzels. This was appreciated.

Cathay Pacific A350 Economy

The cabin crew were also excellent. It’s true that the flight was less than half full, which helps somewhat, but they were friendly and approachable. Throughout the flight requests for drinks or snacks were quickly responded to. Indeed, I’ve had far worse service in business class.

Food and Drinks on the Cathay Pacific A350 in Economy

Cathay Pacific might be a rare example of an airline still making an effort with catering in economy. A menu was distributed prior to take-off. This in itself is a rare novelty in economy, but is a nice touch. On this flight a lunch was served around an hour after take-off, while breakfast was served around 90 minutes prior to landing.

Cathay Pacific A350 Economy Menu Cathay Pacific A350 Economy

Prior to lunch, a drinks service occurred. Cathay Pacific have a good range of drinks available in economy. The wine was of a decent quaity, and there were a few mid-range spirits to choose from as well.

For lunch, we tried out the sea bass and stir-fried chicken. Both were excellent. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the presentation, I’d have been perfectly satisfied with the sea bass if I’d been sitting in business class. The main course was served with a simple salad, and ice cream for dessert. Drinks were also proactively offered a couple of times during the meal service.

Cathay Pacific A350 Economy fish Cathay Pacific A350 Economy chicken

Throughout the flight it’s possible to ask for basic snacks. These include instant noodles, crisps and chocolate.ย Breakfast was also of a good quality and included a cooked option, as well as fruit and bread.

Cathay Pacific Economy Breakfast

Cathay Pacific A350 Economy Conclusions

I was very impressed with my Cathay Pacific A350 economy flight. Indeed, I preferred the service offered by Cathay Pacific to that of Qatar in economy. For flights from Europe to Asia, Cathay Pacific has the added advantage of routing through Hong Kong. Here you can enjoy their excellent lounges if you have oneworld status, even flying economy.

I’d definitely consider booking with Cathay Pacific again when travel returns to greater levels of normality.

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