Cathay Pacific Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, and More

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Cathay Pacific has a vast global network serving over 200 destinations across Asia, Australia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

If you’re planning on flying this 5-star airline, then we’ve outlined all the info you need, including baggage and other extra fees, in-flight amenities, customer satisfaction, and more.

Basic Information

Airline: Cathay Pacific

Alliance: Oneworld

Category: International airline

Frequent Flyer Program: Asia Miles and Marco Polo Club

Tagline: “Life Well Travelled”

Mission Statement: “Our vision is to be the world’s best airline. Being the best means that we always strive to excel in everything we do. Our dynamic team provides the highest quality service so that our customers are happy they chose Cathay Pacific.” (Source.)

Fleet: 201

Main Hub: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

Destinations: Over 200 destinations across Asia, Australia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa (including Cathay Dragon)

Cathay Pacific Route Map
Cathay Pacific route map. Image courtesy of Cathay Pacific.com.

Asia Miles Frequent Flyer Program

Asia Miles is Cathay Pacific’s rewards program, where Asia Miles and Marco Polo Club (Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program) members can earn points to use towards lifestyle and travel rewards.

Points can be redeemed for flights with Cathay Pacific and Oneworld partners such as American Airlines.

To benefit from elite tier status benefits with Cathay, you’ll need to join the Marco Polo Club, that charges a $100 application fee. Membership benefits include priority boarding, access to business class lounges, preferred seating, and additional baggage.

Hot Tip: Read more about Asia Miles and the Marco Polo Club in our Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Loyalty Program Review.

Ticketing Options

Cathay Pacific has ten fare options across its four cabin types. Below is information on the booking conditions and benefits, excluding in-flight amenities, which are covered later in this article. Fees can be found in our “Other Fees” section.

Economy Supersaver

This entry-level economy fare is the cheapest available but does come with its restrictions.

You’ll incur a fee to pre-book a seat, and for long and short-haul international routes, the fare cannot be canceled or changed (excluding routes from mainland China to Hong Kong where a fee would be incurred.) With this fare, it’s also not possible to upgrade using miles.

Economy Core

Economy Core allows you to select a seat for free, permits booking changes for a fee (lower than the Supersaver fee for mainland China to Hong Kong flight), and has a higher Asia Miles earning rate. As with the Supersaver fare, you aren’t permitted to upgrade using miles.

Economy Standard

This fare has the same benefits and restrictions as Economy Core but does permit you to upgrade using miles.

Economy Flex

This flexible fare allows you to select a seat for free, permits booking changes free of charge or for a smaller fee, has a higher earning rate for Asia Miles, and allows passengers to upgrade with miles.

Premium Economy Standard and Flex

Both fares allow you to select your seat for free and permits booking changes and cancelations for a fee. Passengers can collect Asia Miles points with a higher earning rate for Flex fares and are permitted to upgrade using miles on the Flex fare.

Passengers also benefit from dedicated check-in desks, increased baggage allowance, and priority boarding.

Business Save, Standard, and Flex

All of these fare types allow free seat selection and permit changes and cancelations for a fee (lower fee than for Standard and Flex). Business passengers can collect Asia Miles points on all fares, with a slightly higher earning rate for Flex fares, and can upgrade with miles.

Business passengers benefit from dedicated check-in desks, increased baggage allowance, priority boarding, and access to business class lounges.

First Standard and Flex 

Both fare types allow free seat selection, permit changes, and cancelations (First Standard incurs a fee while Flex is free of charge). Both fares have the same earning rate for Asia Miles.

First Class passengers benefit from dedicated check-in areas, fast-track security at some airports, priority boarding, and access to first class lounges.

Hot Tip: If you’re interested in redeeming your miles for reward flights, you can read our article on redeem Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for max value.

Cathay Pacific Baggage, Other Fees, and Add-Ons

Cathay Pacific Baggage
Cathay Pacific baggage claim. Image courtesy of CathayPacific.com.

Cathay Pacific Carry-On Allowance

All passengers are permitted to bring 1 personal item (such as a handbag or briefcase) and 1 standard carry-on bag.

The personal item must not exceed 6 x 12 x 16 inches and the standard carry-on must not be bigger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

Weight allowances depend on the cabin type and apply to a combined weight for the personal item and carry-on:

  • Economy and premium economy: 15 pounds (7 kg)
  • Business: 22 pounds (10 kg)
  • First: 33 pounds (15 kg)

Marco Polo Silver and Gold members are allowed increased cabin baggage weight:

  • Economy and premium economy: up to 22 pounds (10 kg)

Marco Polo Diamond members are allowed increased cabin baggage weight:

  • Economy, premium economy, business, and first class: up to 33 pounds (15 kg)

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

Lap infants are permitted one piece of carry-on that must not exceed 45 inches. A stroller or car seat is also permitted up to the maximum weight allowance of the cabin weight for the adult ticket.

Cathay Pacific doesn’t disclose its policy on strollers in the checked compartment.

Cathay Pacific Checked Baggage Allowance

All checked bags must not exceed the maximum linear dimensions of 80 inches and the weight allowance is determined by the route.

On Most Flights (excluding the Americas and Auckland/Christchurch)

WeightNumber of pieces
Economy30 kg / 66 lbs2
Premium Economy35 kg / 77 lbs2
Business40 kg / 88 lbs2
First50 kg / 110 lbs3

Weight can be distributed across the maximum number of pieces, but a single piece should not exceed more than 32 kg or 70 pounds. 

Flights to, from, or through the U.S., Canada, and Central and South America

WeightNumber of pieces
Economy23 kg / 50 lbs each2
Premium Economy25 kg / 55 lbs each2
Business32 kg / 70 lbs each2
First32 kg / 70 lbs each3

Hot Tip: For more information on baggage excess fees, waivers, and exemptions check out our Cathay Pacific baggage fees article.

Other Cathay Pacific Fees and Add-Ons

Change or Cancellation Fees (Cash Tickets)

Rebooking date and time change fee: $150 for promotional fares, Economy Saver, Premium Economy Standard, and Business Save. $50 for Standard Economy.

Rerouting: $150 plus the fare difference.

Cancelation for unused and partially used tickets: $150.

Cancelation for expired tickets: $200.

Name correction: Fees dependent on change required.

Tickets issued by Reservations Department: $39.

Extra legroom seat: $23 to $199.

Seat reservation fee (for Economy Supersaver tickets): $8 to $43.

Unaccompanied minor: $150 plus tax (per one-way route).

Transporting a pet: Animals aren’t permitted in the cabin or as checked baggage. They’re transported in the cargo hold and fees vary depending on the size and weight of the crate.

Hot Tip: We’ve also included information about Cathay Pacific in this article: Airline Cancellation & Change Fees For Award Flight Bookings.

How to Avoid Paying Excess Fees and Travel Expenses

There are many travel rewards cards that offer an annual “airline credit” allowance that you can put towards extra expenses such as baggage fees — and others where you can use your points balance to pay off some (or all of) your statement charges!

Here are some cards that we recommend:

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This no annual fee card comes with a 20,000 mile welcome bonus (worth $200) once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. When you use your card for travel purchases (e.g. baggage fees), use your miles to pay off all, or part of, your statement! This is why we like this card.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - The "big brother" card to the VentureOne® with a larger 50,000 welcome bonus (worth $500), when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months, and you'll earn 10X miles per $1 spent across thousands of hotels.

Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, and Seat Specs

Economy

Cathay Pacific Economy
Cathay Pacific economy class seats. Image courtesy of CathayPacific.com.

Amenities include:

  • Seat storage for valuables
  • Shelf for your cellphone or tablet
  • Ergonomically-designed, cushioned seating with adjustable headrest and generous legroom
  • 11.6-inch personal touchscreen TV with films, music, and games
  • Complimentary meals, award-winning wines, and other beverages
  • Newspapers, magazines, and game packs for children

Premium Economy

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy
Cathay Pacific premium economy class seats. Image courtesy of CathayPacific.com.

Amenities include:

  • Welcome drink on long-haul flights
  • Regular complimentary snacks and drinks
  • Spacious seating with generous recline and legroom (calf rest and leather footrest on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft)
  • Complimentary meals, award-winning wines, and other beverages
  • Larger tray table than economy and cocktail table for extra room for beverages
  • Amenity kit on long-haul flights
  • Personal touchscreen TV with films, music, and games
  • Noise-canceling headphones

Business Class

Cathay Pacific Business Class
Cathay Pacific business class amenities. Image courtesy of CathayPacific.com.

Amenities include:

  • Dedicated cabin crew and a personalized service
  • An award-winning seat that converts into a lie-flat bed on long-haul flights
  • Ergonomically-designed, cushioned seating with adjustable headrest and generous legroom on short-haul flights
  • Privacy partitions, large table, and power outlets
  • Fine food with locally sourced ingredients, complimentary award-winning wines, and other beverages
  • Personal touchscreen TV with films, music, and games
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Amenity kit with Jurlique skincare items
  • Soft duvet cover, and pillow

First Class

Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific first class seats and amenities. Image courtesy of CathayPacific.com.

Amenities include:

  • First Class Suite leather chair, with built-in massages settings, that converts to a lie-flat bed
  • 500 thread count cotton duvet and pillows
  • Sleep suit
  • Aesop amenity kit with items such as hand balm, facial hydrating cream, and lip cream
  • Spacious work area with a power outlet and USB port
  • 4.3-inch touchscreen and controller to control a range of services such as do not disturb and wake-up time notices for the crew
  • 18.5-inch TV screen with on-demand entertainment
  • À la carte dining
  • Champagne and award-winning wines

Seat Specs

Cathay Pacific has 5 types of airplane in its fleet with varying seating configurations.

Boeing 777-300 (two cabins)
Seat CountSeat pitch

(inches)

Seat width

(inches)

Business42 reclining seats45″20″
Economy35632″18.2″
Boeing 777-300ER 77G (three cabins)
Business40 flatbeds82″21″
Premium Economy3238″19″
Economy26832″18.5″
Boeing 777-300ER 77H (four cabins)
First6 suites81″36″
Business53 flatbeds81″21″
Premium Economy3438″19.5″
Economy18232″18.5″
Boeing 777-200
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
Business42 reclining seats45″21″
Economy29332″17.5″
Airbus A350-900
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
Business38 flatbeds45″ seat /75″ bed20″
Premium Economy2840″20″
Economy21432″18″
Airbus A350-1000
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
Business46 flatbeds45″/75″20″
Premium Economy3240″20″
Economy25632″18″
Airbus A330-300 33E/33P
Seat CountSeat pitchSeat width
Business39 (24 on 33P)45″21″
Economy223 (293 on 33P)32″18.2″
Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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