Saturday, 17 November 2012

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific HK-LAX 12 hrs - Premium Economy

Who:  Me, Daisy (3.5 y), Sky (1y) and Husband
What:  Cathay Pacific CX 884/5 Hong Kong - Los Angeles

Cathay have recently introduced their Premium Economy seats on selected routes.  On our recent US roadtrip, we decided to pay the extra on our 12 hour (15 hrs on return) flight to LAX.  I often wonder if it's worth paying the extra but in Cathay's instance, I would say yes.

Pre-check In
Some advice - hassle both your travel agent and the airline to make sure you are seated together and if you have a baby, seated in the bulkhead.  A week in advance of my trip, I called my travel agent and discovered that we weren't all sat together.  I am fed up of this happening, I don't understand why airlines can't allocate families to sit together on booking?  I decided not to let this stress me out as long as one of my 3 seats was in the bulkhead, surely at check-in or onboard people would swap with us....

Check In
As my husband is a Marco Polo Gold member, we used the Business class check in (there is also designated Premium Economy Check In).  The check in assistant wasn't that helpful. He couldn't get us seated together but promised we did have one bulkhead seat.  Unfortunately when we got on the plane, we realised that was not the case....

Premium Economy can board first with Business & Marco Polo members although I do find with small kids, they'll often give you priority boarding regardless of class

Premium Economy is sandwiched in between Business and Economy and takes up about 6 rows. On our 777, the configuration was 2-4-2.
Seats are noticeably larger and allow you to move them quite far back.  As in Business, you get served drinks before take off.
Surprise surprise, our 1 allocated bulkhead seat (the other 2 seats were in the row behind) had no bassinet table in front of it.  Luckily some kind passengers agreed to swap around.  However, having paid extra for Premium Economy and also being Gold Marco Polo, I do find this unacceptable that the check in staff were inept at ensuring that the only baby in the Premium Economy section had the bassinet seat.  Rant over.
The Cathay entertainment system was excellent with a varied selection for adults & kids.  You also get the Business Class noise cancelling headphones (useful for cancelling our your toddler).

 Bigger seats in Premium Economy
 Don't forget to pre-order your child's meal.  This was spaghetti with meatballs.  Quite a lot of sugar in the meal although I did confiscate the Snickers before she saw it.
We just about squashed our 10.5kg one year old in the Bassinet. 
Premium Economy passengers receive a small pack by Goods of Desire containing eyemask, earplugs, toothbrush and socks.

My toddler was also given a Cathay Kids pack with lots of stickers.

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