Review: Cathay Pacific A330-300 Regional Business Class

Cathay Pacific’s regional business class product offers a short but lasting taste of what flying with the airline is about.

Although the overall experience was great, the seats could benefit from an improvement especially for longer flights.

After our round-the-world trip in late 2023, we immediately headed to Xiamen, China for a short getaway with family. As the trip was to happen in December and we were late in making our bookings, flight tickets were already getting very expensive.

In addition, back when we were searching for our flights to Xiamen, Singapore Airlines had not yet resumed their direct Singapore to Xiamen flights. This meant that our options for the trip were very limited and expensive. A 1-way economy flight between the cities would have cost us S$300 (US$220) which was too expensive in my opinion.

Lucky for points and miles, it gave us an additional option for booking our flights! This was how we found a reasonably priced business-class flight amidst the high travel season and booked it for our family trip to China.

Our flight itinerary from Singapore to Xiamen first involves a flight from Singapore to Hong Kong, a 4-hour layover in Hong Kong, and finally a short 1.5-hour flight from Hong Kong to Xiamen.

Itinerary
🍸 Airport Lounge (SIN)Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Changi Airport Terminal 4
🍸 Airport Lounge (SIN)Qatar Premium Lounge Changi Airport Terminal 1
✈️ Singapore to Hong KongCathay Pacific A350-900 Business Class
🍸 Airport Lounge (HKG)Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Class Lounge
✈️ Hong Kong to XiamenCathay Pacific A330-300 Business Class

This is a full review of our experience taking the Cathay Pacific A330-300 Regional Business Class flight in December 2023 from Hong Kong to Xiamen, China.

Booking the Flight

This flight from Hong Kong to Xiamen is part of an overall itinerary from Singapore to Xiamen with a layover in Hong Kong. In total, we paid 25,000 Asia Miles and HKD 944 (US$120.66) in taxes and fees each for the 1-way flight.

This flight was booked in September 2023, shortly before the huge devaluation in Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles. The redemption rate has since gone up to 28,000 Asia Miles to book the same flights that we did. We were also lucky to find available seats for a peak period like December.

If you’re living in Singapore, almost all credit cards transfer to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program. Our favourite cards to earn Asia Miles are the HSBC Revolution Card and UOB Lady’s Card.

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Airport Lounge Access

With our business class flight ticket, we were able to access Cathay Pacific’s flagship business class lounge The Pier in Hong Kong before our flight.

Read our full review of The Pier Business Class Lounge here.

Cathay Pacific's The Pier Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong International Airport. This is an overview of the lounge interior.

Seat Map

Seat map of Cathay Pacific's A330-300 Regional Business Class product. 
This specifically, is the Two Class layout 2.
Source: seatguru.com

There are 3 different seat configurations for Cathay Pacific’s A330-300 flights. For our short 1.5-hour flight, it was the Two Class layout 2 which features a 2-2-2 configuration with recliner seats. There are a total of 24 business class seats on this flight with 2 bathrooms servicing the business class passengers.

With this seating arrangement, almost everyone gets direct aisle access except for passengers sitting in the window seats.

Given that this is a wide-body aircraft and the smaller sizes of the seats (which we’ll go into later), we find this seat arrangement very spacious and comfortable.

Seats

The recliner seats in Cathay Pacific’s A330-300 flights are wrapped in the airline’s signature green breathable material. The boarding setup placed on the seat includes a standard-sized pillow, a blanket and a menu for the flight.

Business class seats on the Cathay Pacific A330-300 flight.

The seats are minimal and do not feature much when it comes to privacy. Choosing any seats will involve fairly close contact with the person beside you. There are no privacy panels between seats commonly found in other airlines.

This is great if you’re travelling as a couple or family, but might be awkward if you’re sitting with a stranger.

Top down shot of the business class seats on the Cathay Pacific A330-300 flight.

Sitting in the seat, it immediately stands out as an older product compared to what we experienced in the airline’s A350-900 flights. There is simply less “tech” found here.

Another angle of the business class seats on the Cathay Pacific A330-300 flight.

You can find adjustments for the seats beside the left armrest. This allows you to control the backrest, legrest and the positioning of the chair.

As this is a recliner (not a lay-down bed), you’ll only be able to recline to an approximately 60° angle for the backrest. In my opinion, this is more than sufficient for a short flight like this. It might not be worth the effort to transform the seat into a bed if you’re not able to take full advantage of it anyway.

Adjustment buttons for our seats on the flight.

You can also find noise-cancelling headphones and an airline magazine tucked below the seat controls. I personally seldom use the plane’s headphones as I find them typically to be of inferior quality to my own AirPods.

Noise cancelling headphones on the Cathay Pacific business class flight.

You can find international charging ports between the 2 seats which supports commonly found plug heads. There should not be any problems charging devices from Singapore, China or the US.

Charging ports between the seats.

In-flight Service

The cabin crew served us a welcome drink shortly after boarding.

The service is top-notch, similar to what we experienced a flight prior. Upon boarding, the cabin crew promptly served us hot towels and a welcome drink. This is always appreciated and feels like a proper welcome to the flight.

The cabin crew served us hot towels shortly after boarding.

The cabin crew carefully attended to our requests throughout the flight. This includes preparing us for the paperwork needed to enter China.

In-flight Entertainment

In-flight entertainment system in Cathay Pacific's business class flight. This is the regional version of the system.

The in-flight entertainment system on this flight is powered by a screen that needs an urgent upgrade. The LCD screen has poor viewing angles and bad colouring which makes enjoying any content on it difficult.

The variety of content, on the other hand, is decently sufficient. We could choose from recent top hits to classic Hong Kong police films. There is even a Disney+ collaboration where you can view some of the latest releases from the streaming platform.

Given that this is such a short flight, it might not be possible to finish any content during the flight.

Meal Service

As this was a short flight, cabin service had to be fast and it certainly was. The cabin crew sprung into action and served our meals as soon as the seat belt signs were turned off.

Breakfast menu served on the Cathay Pacific regional business class flight.
Breakfast menu served on the Cathay Pacific regional business class flight.
Breakfast menu served on the Cathay Pacific regional business class flight.

We were eagerly looking forward to our meal onboard, even though we’d had a heavy breakfast in the lounge prior. The menu was a light Cantonese breakfast set, consisting few pieces of Har Gow, Siew Mai and glutinous rice.

For drinks, we got a cup of black coffee and the famous Hong Kong-style milk tea. If you’re ever flying with Cathay Pacific, this is the one drink we highly recommend you get.

Breakfast set onboard a Cathay Pacific regional business class flight.

Final Thoughts

Cathay Pacific A330-300 Regional Business Class

Pre-flight Experience
Meal Service
Seats and Comfort
In-flight Service

Summary

This short Cathay Pacific regional business class flight compresses everything that we like in the airline into a short 1.5-hour experience.

The food was amazing (probably partly because we love Cantonese food), and the service rendered by the cabin crew was spectacular.

The only downside of the flight was its recliner chair which left more to be desired when it comes to comfort and privacy. Given that it was a very short flight for us, it didn’t make much of a difference for us. However, if you’re taking this plane for a longer flight, it might negatively affect the overall flight experience.

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