[Click above for the video review.]
Cathay Pacific recently took delivery of the Airbus A350-1000 and they have been flying them to a few short haul destinations, one of them being Manila. We’ve flown on CX’s Airbus A350-900 business class before, but this was our first time on their A350-1000 so we were looking forward to experiencing what it’s like. The full-flat business class seats on the A350-1000 is the same on the A350-900 and are laid out in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration. The seats are an updated version of CX’s current reverse herringbone seats on their 777-300ER and some A330-300s. They are very private and spacious. Add that to the already great Cathay Service and food, makes this an almost flawless flight. Come fly with me on Cathay’s newest Business Class product!
What I liked:
The Lounge– The Cathay Pacific Firs and Business Class lounge at NAIA Terminal 3 is probably the best lounge at this airport. The lounge is beautifully decorated and offers plenty of comfortable seating and food and beverage options, including a noodle bar.
The airplane – This was our first time to fly CX’s A350-1000 and we totally loved it. Large windows, spacious cabin, and the more humid and lower altitude cabin helps the body cope better with air travel.
The seats – I already love Cathay’s reverse herringbone seats on their 777s and A330s, but I love these seats even more. The seat is private, yet spacious and well laid out. Everything you need including a side storage is all within an arms reach. The seats also recline all the way flat for a nice and comfortable bed.
The IFE – This plane uses the Studio CX entertainment system and offers plenty of in-flight entertainment even for a short haul flight. The Airbus A350 also has an impressive moving map, and an outside camera.
What I didn’t like:
NAIA Airport– Manila’s NAIA Airport was regarded at one point as the worst airport in the world. Things are getting better, but they have a long ways to go to be up to par with other world class airports. Crowded departure area, double and sometimes triple security screenings for passengers, and the lack of facilities make for a slightly less seamless passenger experience.
No air vents – The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of overhead air vents. The cabin gets rather warm during boarding and I end up having to fan myself with the safety card to cool down.
It was OK…I guess:
The onboard service – Since this was a short flight, the onboard service was abbreviated and less personal. Still, the crew was very well-intentioned and efficient.
The food – Onboard catering was rather limited, as expected for a short flight. A starter tray was served with seasonal fruits, a cheesecake dessert, and warm roll. For the main entrée, I ordered the soya chicken with choy sum and carrots and it was OK. The other choice was lamb, but I’m not a big fan.