Comfort First

Cathay Pacific unveils innovative, new long-haul seats

By: By Janice Mucalov

All Cathay Pacific’s long-haul seats have been cleverly redesigned. // (c) Cathay Pacific
All Cathay Pacific’s long-haul
seats have been cleverly redesigned.

Flying to Hong Kong is now a whole lot more comfortable and convenient. Clients who book on Cathay Pacific will discover a new seat design and more flights than ever.

On my recent flights to and from Hong Kong, I got to experience the airline’s new lie-flat seat-beds in business class. This cabin now has a herringbone layout so all passengers get unrestricted aisle access.

The reclining seats have a cushioned ottoman, where you can stretch out your legs and stow your purse underneath. A tilting 15-inch television screen shows movies on demand. When you’re ready to sleep, your seat pushes back into a fully flat 78-inch bed.

Some clients might find the new seat-beds a little narrow. And if you’re traveling with a companion, the chest-high partitions between each seat make it difficult to chat. But for me, the extra privacy and the ability to lie totally flat is a real bonus, making it possible for me to sleep eight hours each way and arrive with little jetlag.

The economy seats have also been cleverly redesigned. Clients will now find the first fixed back seat design in the airline industry. The seat reclines in its own shell and the front of the seat slides forward too, so the person in front of you doesn’t intrude into your space when reclining. Also, Cathay Pacific has done away with the pocket at the back of the seat in front of you — the one with the magazines that your knees always bump up against. The pocket is now placed underneath your legs, giving you an extra inch or two of legroom. I checked out an economy seat, and it definitely feels like you have more room in front of you. The new economy cabins also feature bigger nine-inch personal televisions and movies on demand.

For the ultimate in comfort, first class offers an innovative new suite recliner that can be used as an armchair, chaise lounge or bed. At three-feet wide by 81-inches long, it’s billed as "the largest bed in the sky." A large personal closet stores your belongings, as well as your sleep suit, pillow and duvet.

All Cathay Pacific’s long-haul aircraft will be retrofitted with the newly designed cabins by mid-2009. It now offers three flights daily from Vancouver to Hong Kong; three daily flights from Los Angeles to Hong Kong; and two daily flights from San Francisco to Hong Kong.

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