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Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class, Bangkok to Hong Kong, A330

Hong Kong International Airport Runway

Today I am flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong aboard a Cathay Pacific A330-300 in Business Class. A short 2 hour and 50-minute hop between two of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world.

This is my first time onboard Cathay Pacific’s A330-300. I love a widebody plane on a regional flight, as it’s a great opportunity to explore all an airline’s business class cabin has to offer. If you prefer, its also a great opportunity to experience premium economy for a very reasonable premium above economy. 

The A330-300 is the workhorse of the Cathay Pacific fleet. Cathay have more A330-300’s that any other type of aircraft in their fleet, mainly due to Cathay Dragon shutting down and integrating in 2020. They do operate a widebody-heavy fleet, although they do now also have A321neo’s for some regional routes, including Hong Kong to Denpasar, Bali. Cathay mainly operates the A330 and A350, with the updated 1-2-1 business class seat to and from Bangkok.

Below, I will cover my incredible Cathay Pacific Business Class experience from Bangkok to Hong Kong, one very early Wednesday September morning.

Cathay Pacific Priority Check In at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Cathay Pacific Priority Check in at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Upon arrival at the grand check in hall on the departures level at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, I checked the screen for the Cathay check in desk location. There are two separate check in desk lines. One for Economy Bag Drop, and one for Cathay elite status holders, oneworld elite status holders and Cathay Pacific Business Class passengers.  Economy passengers can use the self-service kiosks to check in and collect their bag tags, before dropping their bags.

Check in opens 3 hours before departure, but I was early due to my airport transfer timing, and luckily the check in desks opened 10 minutes early. Check in closes 60 minutes before departure.

Even though I was here early, there was still one person in front of me in the priority line, and 7 or 8 travel parties in the economy line.

Priority Lane at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Premium Security and Immigration

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport does have a “Priority Lane” for security and passport control, which is only available for “eligible passengers” (with quite wide-ranging criteria). Eligible fast-track passengers include business class and first class passengers, oneworld Emerald elite status holders, Cathay Diamond members, senior passengers over 70, families with infants, disabled, pregnant, buddhist monks, aircrew, certain Thailand visa holders, and diplomatic passport holders. A wide range of eligible passengers indeed.

There are two fast track priority lanes at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport – one right down the end near Row A and the second about midway down the check in desk area, under the escalator up to the normal departures security. Do note that sometimes one of the fast-track priority lanes closes and staff redirect passengers to the other one, and sometimes if both facilities are open, staff will redirect you to the fast-track lane closest to the pier of your boarding gate. Due to the location of the Cathay Pacific check in desks, accessing the smaller fast-track facility makes more sense.

My priority lane experience was very quick, and I was through security in a matter of minutes. Passport control was a little slower, but still bearable and much quicker than the normal security and immigration process.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Entrance at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Cathay Pacific Bangkok Lounge Access

Cathay Pacific Business Class passengers have access to the Cathay Pacific Lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, as well as two other oneworld airport lounges: the JAL Lounge and Qatar Airways Lounge (if eligible). 

All of these airport lounges have strange opening hours, so be sure to check the oneworldLounge Finder” tool first, to see which of the three lounges are open before your flight. I didn’t make it to the JAL Lounge as it is supposed to be closed on Wednesday mornings. But I walked past on my way to the boarding gate and it was open and accepting passengers. Next time, I will check it out.

Check out my in-depth reviews of the oneworld lounges at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport below:

Do note, Cathay Pacific Business Class passengers have access to the Qatar Lounge at Bangkok, but oneworld elite status or Cathay elite status holders do not. The Business Class fare must also be entire paid for in cash or entirely paid with Avios at the time of booking. Passengers who upgrade with cash or Avios from Premium Economy or Economy are ineligible to access the Qatar Lounge at Bangkok. So do try buy Business Class outright or with Avios if you do want to visit this incredible airport lounge.

Cathay Pacific Priority Boarding

Priority Boarding

Cathay Pacific Business Class, Cathay elite status and oneworld elite status holders are eligible for Priority Boarding. There is a separate queue, which was handy as boarding had already started when I got to the gate. I was coming from the Qatar Lounge, which was about a 10-minute walk from my gate.

What is nice is that Bangkok Airport has dual airbridges for the A330, which made boarding so much easier. Business Class passengers had a separate airbridge to Economy passengers, which makes sense on this two-class A330-300 when the Business Class cabin is half the plane.

Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Cabin

Cathay Pacific A330 Business Cabin

This Cathay Pacific A330-300 only had a two cabin layout: Business Class and Economy Class. On the other A350 flights between Bangkok and Hong Kong later in the day, you will also see Premium Economy as a cabin option.

The Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class cabin has a 1-2-1 configuration, with all reverse-herringbone seats having direct aisle access. It’s great to see other airlines finally catching up to this layout for their business class cabins, as it’s spacious and roomy.

Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Seat
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Seat

Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat

The Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class seat is great. The reverse herringbone design angles towards the window, away from the aisle, with the headrest wing creating some privacy from your seat neighbour. The middle seats angle towards each other and away from the aisle. There is tons of storage space located around the seat, with a mirror on the back of the headphone cupboard by the window. There is also a compact storage space next to the aisle perfect for storing your shoes on longer flights.

The seat turns into a fully lie-flat bed, perfect for a short nap on this flight and for a good night’s sleep on longer flights. A pillow was provided on this short flight, and I requested a blanket as well from the crew.

I found an inbetween upright and lie-flat position that was comfortable for catching up on the latest season of Succession.

All the seat controls are on a window-side panel, with a remote control available in case you can’t reach the touch screen. There is also an individual reading light and a universal power port for charging.The touch screen is large, and can fold away to give you more space if you want to sleep or just stare out the windows.

The tray table also slides out horizontally from the window, and is large and sturdy. Perfect for getting some work done or not having your meal end up in your lap during turbulence.

In all, a very comfortable seat indeed, with plenty of storage, fairly private and direct aisle access.

Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Seat

Pre-departure Welcome Service

As I and the other passengers settled in, one of the flight attendants came around the cabin and introduced herself, and took our meal and drinks orders for after take off.

I was also offered a hot towel, and a glass of either iced lemon tea, orange juice or apple juice prior takeoff.

A great way to start this flight, and a great way to meet the crew.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Breakfast Menu

Cathay Pacific Business Class Food and Beverage

As this was a morning flight, breakfast was served. There was a choice of two mains: a Western option and an Asian option. This was the menu on today’s flight:

To Start

  • Seasonal Fresh Fruit
  • Fruit Yoghurt
  • Assorted Cereals

Choice of Two Mains

  • Western – Herb Omelette with Italian Pork Sausage, Parsley Sautéed mushrooms and baked beans
  • Asian – Braised e fu noodles with prawns, pak choy and carrots


  • Warm pastries with preserves, honey and butter

In all, a fairly solid business class breakfast menu. Breakfast is usually the most underwhelming airline meal, but other passengers seemed to enjoy both options.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Breakfast VOML

Cathay Pacific Business Class VOML Breakfast

As I am vegan, I ordered the Vegetarian Oriental Meal. My breakfast main consisted of udon noodles in a tomato chilli sauce with a stuffed rice paper dumpling, carrots and French beans. This was served with a brown bread roll with margarine, fruit salad (with dragonfruit) and a carton of soymilk for coffee or tea.

I thought this was okay for a business class breakfast main, but not noteworthy. I had already eaten a fairly large breakfast in the Qatar Lounge at Bangkok Airport, so didn’t end up finishing this as I was quite full from all the Arabic Mezze.

Liquor, Wine and Spirits Selection

Even at Breakfast time, alcohol is served in Cathay Pacific Business Class. Cocktails, Wine and Beer were available. Some highlights aboard this flight included:

  • Thiénot Brut NV Champagne
  • Cloud Nine (a signature Cathay Pacific cocktail)
  • Dry Martini
  • Negroni
  • Garibaldi
  • Manhattan
  • Bloody Mary
  • Gimlet
  • Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Campari
  • Betsy Beer (Cathay Pacific’s own beer made to be served at 35,000ft)

I believe there were also some wine options available on this flight, but I didn’t enquire and stuck to Thiénot Brut NV Champagne, which is a perfect breakfast accompaniment. It’s 5pm somewhere.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Breakfast Menu

Non-alcoholic Beverage Selection

If you don’t drink alcohol, you absolutely should try Cathay Pacific’s signature mocktail: the Cathay Delight. It’s a mixture of kiwi juice, lime, mint and coconut milk. It is only served in business and first class Cathay Pacific cabins in even numbered months, with their other signature mocktail, the Oriental Breeze, available in odd numbered months. The Oriental Breeze mocktail consists of sour plum tea, cranberry juice, lemon juice, rose tea and honey. 

This A330 also featured an espresso machine, which is a rarity at 35,000ft, however on this particular aircraft, I was told by the crew it was broken. Something to keep an eye out for on your next Cathay Pacific Business Class flight though.

There was also a selection of premium teas from tea brand Jing, which are also served in the Teahouse at The Pier, Business Airport Lounge in Hong Kong. The Jing Jasmine Spring Tips tea is one of my favourite. Peppermint tea and Chamomile tea are also great options after food.

If you are not lactose intolerant, do make sure you try the Hong Kong-style milk tea. This may be available with oat milk, but best to ask your crew.

In all, plenty of non alcoholic beverage options beyond the usual soft drink options.

Cathay Pacific Headphones and Bamford Pillow
Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat
Bamford Toiletries

Cathay Pacific A330 Regional Amenities

As this was a sub 3-hour flight, no amenity kits were provided, however certain items were available to be ordered. Eyemasks, earplugs, and blankets are available on these short regional Cathay Pacific flights. Pillows from Bamford are already on each seat upon arrival on the aircraft. Unfortunately, I found the Bamford pillow very thin and not very comfortable. On a long-haul flight, I would need at least two. The blanket was also quite thin.

I haven’t flown Cathay Pacific long-haul in J before, but I would hope bedding kits are provided, including a mattress pad, better pillow and duvet. The seats are very comfortable for a nap, but I’m not sure how much sleep I would get on a long-haul flight without a mattress pad and duvet.

The Business Class lavatories feature Bamford toiletries including the Hand Wash and Body Lotion, and also a Cathay-branded hand sanitiser. The eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint scent is uplifting and refreshing, and perfect for flying at 35,000ft.

Cathay Pacific Business Class In-flight Entertainment
Cathay Pacific Business Class Remote Control

Cathay Pacific In-flight Entertainment

I actually think Cathay Pacific has one of the best In-flight Entertainment systems currently in the sky. It is extensive, with lots of new release and early release movies, fresh TV shows, games, music and more. I have flown Cathay Pacific quite a lot this year, and the in-flight entertainment system seems to always be updated with fresh content every month.

You can, in fact, check out the in-flight entertainment on your next Cathay Pacific flight on their website, so you can write down a watchlist ahead of your flight.

In Business Class, the In-flight Entertainment System is a large 15-inch touchscreen that folds out from the seat shell of the seat in front. There is also a remote available, if your seat is in a reclined position.

There are a set of advertisements before each movie or TV show, which are quite annoying but you can fast forward through these manually. Something that does also annoy me about this system is that there is no search function. If during a movie or TV show, you want to check the moving flight map, you would need to refind the movie or TV show in the A-Z content listings to resume watching. Quite a timely process with this much content!

Passive noise cancelling headphones were also provided in the window-side cupboard for use with the in-flight entertainment system. For some reason, my own headphones’ airline adaptor wasn’t working so I had to resort to using these.

In all, you won’t be bored with Cathay Pacific’s In-flight Entertainment System. It’s great to see an airline still showing new release movies that are still showing in the cinema. Something that seems to have died out as most airlines continue to cut costs.

Lamma Island
Hong Kong Final Approach
Hong Kong Central, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon

Stunning Views of Hong Kong on Final Approach

Our final approach into Hong Kong International Airport was over the Tathong Channel, into Runway 25R. From the left side of the aircraft, I had stunning views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Central, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kowloon.

We also flew over Lamma Island, with its’ beautiful beaches and lush, green hilltops. A very stunning final approach indeed. 

The opposite runway direction, 7L, is only for use when winds are light or easterly. I would recommend sitting on the left side of the aircraft when flying into Hong Kong for the best window views. This is because Runway 25R is used most often for arrivals.

Cathay Pacific A330 Wingtip

Cathay Pacific Business Class: Best Seat?

For couples, definitely the middle seats in any row. The seats are angled towards each other, away from the aisle. So they still have a degree of privacy, and the ability to still have a conversation.

For solo travellers, the window seats from Row 12-17 A are perfectly great, with no real difference between any of the seats. Both get access to 2 or 3 windows for fantastic views, especially on final approach into Hong Kong on a clear day. As I mentioned above, do try sit on the left hand side as it is most likely you will get stunning window views if Runway 25R is in use for arrivals.

If privacy is your concern, the A330-300 has a small, private rear Business Class Cabin with only 3 rows (Row 19-21). This is perfect if you need to knuckle down and get some work done, or intend to sleep the whole flight. Do note that these seats are basically at the leading edge of the wing and the view is obsured by the wing and the engine, so if you do want window, wing and engine views, it’s better to sit in the forward cabin. You could sit near the rear of the forward Business Class cabin (in Row 16 or 17A), have great window views and a lot of privacy. I’d say Row 16 or 17 A is my ideal seat on the A330-300.

Cathay Pacific Planes lined up at Hong Kong International Airport

Insider Tip: This flight is a fantastic Flight Redemption with Avios

I booked this flight with airline miles, Avios to be specific, through British Airways. This short sub-3 hour flight with oneworld partner, Cathay Pacific, is a fantastic use of British Airways Avios.

With Avios, I only paid 13,350 Avios + £133 ($160). Cash price of this flight was £473.

Redemption Value varies depending on the cash co-payment option you select. As I got c.2.55p / 3.12c per Avios for my redemption, I was happy.

I always aim for a redemption value higher than 1.5c / 1.1p per Avios, for flight redemptions with British Airways Avios. In all, this was a very good value flight redemption.

It seems that the Avios pricing of this flight has increased since I flew this route in September 2023. Use Forward of the Wing’s Redemption Value Calculator before you book to see if this flight still represents a good value redemption for the dates and cabin you are after. I would also be happy to fly Cathay Premium Economy on this route. There is generally more Premium Economy flight redemption availability too.

Cathay Pacific A330 taxiing at Hong Kong International Airport


In all, a fantastic Cathay Pacific Business Class flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong in their A330-300 Regional Business Class Product.

I think the service and overall Cathay Pacific Business Class experience was outstanding (especially having access to the Qatar Lounge at Bangkok), but the food onboard was a bit lacking and nothing special. Better pillows and blankets are needed, but the seat was fine for this short 3-hour hop.

The highlight for me though was those stunning views on final approach into Hong Kong International Airport on a perfect day.

Without doubt, I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Cathay Pacific in Business Class again on a regional flight, especially if there is Avios flight redemption availability with a reasonably high redemption value. If Business Class works out cheaper than an Economy fare, why wouldn’t I?