• Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

Is Premium Economy Worth The Upgrade On Cathay Pacific’s Regional Routes?


Mar 23, 2023

Premium economy is a typical supplying on a lot of routes with complete-service airlines in Asia these days. A quantity of airlines make use of widebody aircraft on each lengthy-haul and brief-haul routes, and promoting the premium economy cabin on shorter routes is increasingly widespread. Easy Flying’s Justin Hayward attempted out the Cathay Pacific premium economy cabin on the A350 on a fairly brief flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong, and was impressed.

Premium economy on regional routes

To a lot of persons, flying premium economy class on a fairly brief regional route may perhaps appear strange. This is not anything that airlines in Europe or North America ordinarily give, but it is an increasingly regular supplying in Asia.


To be clear, a lot of airlines in North America and a couple of in Europe, give some kind of upgraded economy seating. This is generally just regular seating with more legroom in the exact same cabin. We are speaking right here about a separate premium economy cabin, with enhanced seating and service. In Europe, airlines do not even generally give diverse seating for regional company class flights. This is typically the exact same seating as economy (normally with the middle seats in rows of 3 left empty) in a flexibly divided cabin with enhanced service and catering.

Photo: Cathay Pacific

Premium economy is a wonderful alternative for regional flights. The expense and premium seating / flatbed alternatives of company class are good, of course, but not so valuable on brief flights. Premium economy then provides a great alternative, with a lot more space, space to perform, and a a lot more comfy seat for not that a great deal a lot more price.

The following airlines are major the way with regional premium economy alternatives in Asia:

  • Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific provides premium economy on the A350 and Boeing 777-300 aircraft. These are frequently scheduled onto regional routes.
  • Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines provides a single of the very best premium economy seats, with massive screens and a lot more space amongst seats. Premium economy is accessible on the Airbus A350, A380, and Boeing 777.

Singapore Airlines premium shutterstock_526335745

Photo: Christian Heinz / Shutterstock

  • China Airlines. China Airlines provides premium economy on the Airbus A350 and Boeing 777-300. These operate on some of its busiest Asian routes.
  • ANA. The airline has premium economy on the Airbus A380, Boeing 777-300, and some configurations of the Boeing 787.

Paying for premium economy

The appeal of a premium economy can be observed by hunting at pricing. Whereas company class cabins are normally priced substantially a lot more highly-priced than economy, premium economy is not. It is normally priced only a compact quantity greater – this is specially the case close to departure when the lowest economy fares are not accessible.

For frequent flyers, it is also worth bearing in thoughts right here that mileage earning is ordinarily a great deal improved in premium economy (even for the lowest premium economy fares) than in economy class, and this can offset some of the more price.

As an instance, contemplate the pricing on the Cathay Pacific route from Hong Kong to Singapore. The Cathay Pacific booking engine screenshots beneath show firstly the case about a single month ahead exactly where premium economy is about twice the cost of economy. The second instance shows a case closer to departure exactly where rates are a great deal a lot more related.

Cathay Pacific booking

Image: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific booking

Image: Cathay Pacific

Premium economy with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Bangkok

This was an afternoon flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong, in premium economy on the Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Cathay Pacific at the moment sells premium economy on most (if not all) day-to-day departures on this route – this is due to alter in April 2023, with a lot more departures switching to the Airbus A330. There is also a company class cabin (which I reviewed previously), but no initially class.

Cathay Pacific A350

Photo: Justin Hayward / Easy Flying

Bangkok airport is frequently experiencing lengthy delays with each departure and arrival at the moment, so I arrived 3 hours early. Verify-in was rapidly – there is a committed premium economy queue with Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific premium economy

Photo: Justin Hayward / Easy Flying

Nevertheless, premium economy passengers do not get access to rapidly-track immigration and safety lanes (nor do a singleglobe Sapphire members), leaving me at the mercy of about a 90-minute trek by means of a packed safety queue.

As soon as by means of, the airport was quiet. The flight departed from the distant G gate location – a great ten-minute stroll. A single factor I noted and loved was the estimated walking time for each and every flight displayed on the departure boards.

Bangkok Aiport

Photo: Justin Hayward / Easy Flying

The premium economy cabin

The premium economy cabin on the A350-900 is situated amongst company class and economy. There are just bulkhead dividers amongst the 3 cabins right here, with no toilet or galley space adjacent to the cabin. This tends to make it a bit a lot more cramped, but on a longer flight will most likely cease the congregation of persons amongst the cabins. Note that on the bigger A350-1000, the premium economy cabin is ideal behind a key toilet and galley location.

Cathay Pacific premium economy

Photo: Justin Hayward / Easy Flying

The cabin is arranged two-four-two. Clearly, the window and aisle seats are preferable, even though all seats give a great 40-inch seat pitch and 20-inch width. On a shorter flight, ending up in the middle seats would not be that poor. They are nonetheless spacious, and you most most likely will not have to vault more than your sleeping neighbors.

Cathay Pacific premium economy

Photo: Justin Hayward / Easy Flying

I chose a front-row aisle seat for this flight. This provides lots of space, with the bulkhead wall in front. Nevertheless, I discovered the place of the screen and a lot more restricted storage rather frustrating. You are also hassled to preserve the row clear for taxi, takeoff, and landing – once more, a lot more of a issue on a shorter flight.

Cathay Pacific premium economy

Photo: Justin Hayward / Easy Flying

Service and flight practical experience

The service in regional premium economy is not vastly diverse from economy with Cathay Pacific. Service is a great deal quicker, even though, and this tends to make a distinction on a brief flight. In economy class, handing out meals and drinks and then clearing can take most of the flight!

The meal on this flight was served speedily, with two key course alternatives, and presented on a single tray. There was a single drinks service with the meal (with soft drinks, beer, and wine alternatives) but no additional service for the duration of the flight.

Cathay Pacific premium economy

Photo: Justin Hayward / Easy Flying

With the fast meal service, there was time to watch a entire film on the flight. Premium economy provides a bit of an upgrade right here, with a bigger screen and noise-canceling headset. The film and entertainment library is the exact same as for lengthy-haul flights, supplying a wonderful decision.

Have you flown premium economy on any brief-haul or regional solutions? What do you consider of the solution and service supplied compared to regular economy class? Really feel cost-free to share your experiences in the comments section.

  • Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367(ER) B-KPM

    Cathay Pacific remains a single of the world’s most poorly impacted airlines by COVID-19. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Easy Flying

    Cathay Pacific


    Airline Kind: Complete Service Carrier

    Hub(s): Hong Kong International Airport

    Year Founded: 1946

    Alliance: oneworld

    CEO: Augustus Tang

    Nation: China (Particular Administrative Area)

Leave a Reply