Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350s: the best seats in business class

By Chris Chamberlin, July 13 2016
Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350s: the best seats in business class

As the newest member of Cathay Pacific's fleet, its Airbus A350 aircraft offer travellers new standards of comfort as they kick back in one of 38 business class seats.

With no first class service on these jets, business class starts at the very front, with each pod transforming into a fully-flat bed and offering direct aisle access to every passenger – but as is always the case, some berths on board are more desirable than others.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 business class: best seats

If you’ve flown in business class recently on Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A330s or Boeing 777s from Australia, you’ll find many similarities with the newer A350s.

Cathay Pacific's A350 business class is more 'evolution' than 'revolution'...

Foremost, the familiar 1-2-1 cabin layout with the ‘A’ and ‘K’ seats against the windows and the ‘D’ and ‘G’ seats lining the centre, divided into a main cabin and a smaller cabin further rearward:

However you fly, here are our top seating picks – and those we’d rather avoid.

D+G seats, for couples: It should come as no surprise that the central pair of seats in each row are suited to couples as you can pan your chair forwards to see and speak to each other, which also works well for travelling colleagues as you’re not ‘too close’ for comfort.

For solo travellers, there’s no moveable divider here – and while you can’t see your seatmate when sitting fully upright or lying flat, you could always leave your centre cupboard door open for an extra touch of privacy.

12A/12K, for parents: Found at the front of the main cabin on each side, these seats offer full baby bassinet facilities and are restroom adjacent, so you’re never far away from your little one – but expect some extra noise here given your proximity to those bathrooms and also the galley.

15-17A/K, for solo flyers: Business travellers booked on their lonesome will naturally gravitate to the window seats as there’s a view outside and no seatmate, with rows 15-17 your best bet for a good night’s sleep being away from those galleys and lavatories.

Lighter sleepers may prefer row 15 over the seats further back as you’re just that bit further away from the engines without nearing the bassinets and galley area.

21A, for privacy: Nestled at the very back of business class on the left-hand side, you’ll only be passed by the crew and one other passenger (21D) during the flight. You’re also on the opposite side to the bathroom, so anybody waiting won’t be standing nearby.

Just be mindful that while business class usually boards the aircraft ahead of row 12, premium economy and economy flyers normally enter ahead of row 20 and walk through the rear business class cabin – if you don’t want to be spotted, board only when your flight reaches ‘final call’.

Avoid 11D/G, 20D/G: These bulkhead seats are located directly next to the lavatories: so close in fact you can see the restroom doors on either side:

While there’s a diagonal curtain that the crew can pull closed, it won’t stop the noise you’ll hear throughout the flight, nor the bursts of light and bumps from travellers who open the curtain to pass through.

The foot space when in bed mode also dovetails underneath the crew galley counters, so you may also be subjected to minor vibrations from the ovens and refrigerators and the extra noise also typical of these areas.

Also read: Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 business class review

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

undertheradar Banned

undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

i notice via the pic posted that the video screens at the bulkhead are quite offset to the position and angle of the seats. do you know if the screens have any sideways adjustment (swing out) so the screen can actually face you at the same angle? even the seatmap shows there would be a distortion between the screen angle and the seat angle. i also notice that on cathays other aircraft types the bulkhead j/c seat screens are the same as the rest of the cabin, which allow for side angle adjustment (swing out) ,but the A350 screens look fixed into the bulkhead.

alex_upgrade77

alex_upgrade77

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Good point.

In the photo on the bottom left / right of the screens you can see the silver button that releases the screen - which can then be adjusted to the correct angle.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2933

Hi undertherader, we can confirm that Alex is correct: when the photo was taken the screens were simply stowed away.

undertheradar Banned

undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

thank you for the reply

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

A retractable /movable screen has been a std feature since the 1st  gen J(Known as the FB1 or Flat Bed 1 design internally) of CX.  The J seat  design shown on these photos is FB3(i.e. 3rd gen) of CX where the screen is more flush-fitted with the partition when in the stowed position to achieve a more integrated look/style(Porsche Design has a hand in this).

WilliamSudarpo

WilliamSudarpo

14 Jul 2016

Total posts 7

Next A350-1000 seats will feature like almost First Class seats but at Business Class fare. It will be in Business not First reported earlier!

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

"Next A350-1000 seats will feature like almost First Class seats..."

Never heard of this fm any CX fleet plan news/interviews and I'm based @ HKG where CX's homeport /corp HQ is located.  Can you pls share your source /weblink so I can learn more about it?

CathayMPCGold

CathayMPCGold

30 Dec 2018

Total posts 1

A few days ago, I rode their A350-900 and if you sit at 19A/K, the center cupboard will cover a half of the second window so if you're an aviation enthusiast, I think you would want to avoid those seats too.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350s: the best seats in business class