The best business class seats on Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350-1000

By David Flynn, June 19 2018

There are 46 business class seats on Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350-1000 jets, but which of those are the best business class seats – and more importantly, which ones should you avoid?

The seats themselves are identical to those on Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350-900 fleet (the smaller cousin of the A350-1000)...

... which in turn follow the same angled 1-2-1 layout as the airline’s Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 jets.

The window seats (labelled as A and K) face towards the window…

… while the paired middle seats (D and G) are oriented inwards, towards each other.

This makes any of the middle seats an obvious choice if you’re travelling with a partner, colleague or friend and want to be sociable in the sky, although the middle seats also provide enough privacy if you’re flying solo.

All 46 business class seats are located in the same long cabin, from rows 11 through to 23.

As a rule of thumb, most of of Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350-1000 business class seats are as good as any other.

The key word here is ‘most’, because there are a few notable exceptions to that rule.

Avoid 11D and 11G

While many travellers like to be at the very front of the cabin, this is perhaps the worst place to be on Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000.

Firstly, a big flashing ‘avoid these seats at all costs’ sign should be hung over 11D and 11G.

Due to a very questionable decision by Cathay Pacific’s cabin layout team, seats 11D and 11G are next to the two business class toilets at the front of the cabin.

And we mean ‘next to’. Here's a shot of business class seat 11G...

... and here's the view if you're sitting in 11D.

From either 11D or 11G you can actually reach out and touch the lav door – not that you’d want to.

Nor would you like the view from your seat when a passenger opens the WC door.

Thankfully there’s a curtain between the cabin and each WC…

… but passengers pushing their way through the curtain to come back into the cabin could end up nudging the curtain into your ‘personal’ space.

Beyond that, there are the obvious issues of noise and passenger traffic back and forth which are typical for all seats near a WC.

It makes for an experience that’s far from premium, and we have to wonder why Cathay Pacific was so beholden to the seatcount that it didn’t just drop those two seats from the layout.

Cathay Pacific's Chief Customer & Commercial Offer Paul Loo explained away the decision by saying "we are working with what we have got" in terms of cabin space, and told Australian Business Traveller "we have done some modifications to the (orientation of) the curtain, so we are doing what we can to make the overall customer experience better."

Australian Business Traveller understands that seats 11D and 11G are the very last to be sold to passengers, and are typically used for staff travel or other passengers booked on heavily-discounted industry rates such as travel agents.

All the same, if 48 fare-paying passengers book onto Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350-1000, two of them are bound to be far from impressed.

Skip row 11 and row 12

In fact, savvy travellers should steer clear of the first two rows at the front of the cabin (rows 11 and 12).

Not only will they have to put up with WC-related traffic, they can also expect noise and commotion from the galley kitchen, and not just during mealtimes – the main galley is where the cabin crew congregates and chats throughout the flight.

This can be especially bothersome when you’re trying to sleep during a long international flight.

The final strike against rows 11 and 12 is that baby basinets are fitted at seats 12A and 12K, which means the calm of business class can be shattered by a crying infant.

Row 23

Passengers seated in the very last row of business class, at row 23, should also be prepared for some noise and activity from the secondary galley kitchen which abuts the premium economy cabin.

So what seats should you choose?

Taking the above cautions into account, pretty much any business class passenger in rows 14 through to 22 will be sitting pretty.

And with the A350-1000’s wings located behind the business class cabin, every window seat will have an unobstructed view.

We're pleased to report that there are no slabs of fuselage where internal ductwork replaces the window, leaving passengers sitting next to a blank wall.

In fact, some of the window seats have two windows: those are 12A/12K, 17A/17K, 18A/18K, 22A/22K and 23A/23K.

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

JKH

JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 127

I guess discussing the 11DG loo issue with Paul Loo didn’t achieve much then.

Trogdor

Trogdor

11 Dec 2015

Total posts 68

The location is hardly a wee problem, and the response was kind of crappy....

GBRGB

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 209

So I guess 11D & G will simply be referred to as the “ toilet seats” can’t wait to read the first review.

lionelhutz

lionelhutz

20 Jun 2014

Total posts 59

11D/G on the A350-900 have the same issue. I've only been on them once, when I got an upgrade an hour before take-off, so I was delighted to be anywhere in the business cabin. Actually it wasn't that bad once the curtain was closed. I am a fairly sound sleeper so any additional traffic didn't wake me. I certainly slept better than I would have in the best Premium Economy seat.

walterong

walterong

QF

15 Apr 2015

Total posts 15

Agreed, with the curtains closed, it’s actually not that bothersome. And most passengers are generally quite polite and don’t bathe through the curtains

HelpfulAmerican

HelpfulAmerican

06 Jan 2016

Total posts 31

The two middle seats seems so far away when traveling with a companion. Anyone else like to sit one in front of the other , or across the aisle when traveling as a pair?

GoYouBlues

GoYouBlues

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

20 Dec 2013

Total posts 27

My wife and I always sit in the window seats behind each other on Vietnam Airlines' Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s in business class.

johnaboxall

johnaboxall

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 725

Yes, Mrs and I prefer being across an aisle, or in front of one another on a window side. Usually gives us some alone time which can be a benefit of travelling together.

Yarki

Yarki

07 Jan 2014

Total posts 39

Is that toilet comment right? There are three toilets on the A350-900 for 38 business pax, so it seems odd that there are only two on the A350-1000 for 46. I think one of the toilets behind door 2 (2R most likely, given its position slightly forward of the PY cabin) is also for Business.

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2322

It's not that there are only two loos, I've been told that are two dedicated business class lavs at the front while the one at the rear right is nominally shared between premium economy and business class. By memory it was also smaller than the two loos at the front, so passengers changing into and out of PJs could well lean towards the front lavs, as I certainly did on the A350-1000 delivery flight.

Rkwm

Rkwm

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 87

Hopefully the seat components will not have the same issues as with the A350-900. I experienced several flights plagued with several seat parts either loose ,falling off or missing.

Meridiengroup

Meridiengroup

26 Aug 2012

Total posts 33

Finnair A359 has same lovely loo views

Rod H

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 111

I sat in 14A from HKG to YVR and it was really very good indeed.

One of the best J seats I have sat in.

ManHa

ManHa

08 May 2018

Total posts 19

So the article could have ben summed up in two lines?

don't sit in the front and last rows of biz class?

roseW

roseW

Etihad - Etihad Guest

09 Mar 2019

Total posts 1

the most unpleasant business class seats we have had experienced. We paid $15,690 for the fare. and I had to move to economic class to prevent me to vomit.

They haven't done any improvement since June 2018 and they will not. they don't care even I have made serious complaint.

I may take legal action to against the airline

walterong

walterong

QF

15 Apr 2015

Total posts 15

I’m curious... What was so bad about the seat that you almost vomited and had to sit in Y?

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