The Seat: Compared to my recent review of a typical economy seat aboard Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER, this one clearly is champion of leg space. It’s also not my first near-galley rodeo either. I spoke quite fondly of my experience watching flight attendants drop countless meal-time items at my feet while preparing to serve the gang in steerage aboard a Singapore Airlines 747. In this case, the galley is a little better separated from the seat, giving you more space to stretch out and relax even when the crew parks carts in front of you. Where recline is concerned, you’ll find that these newer fixed-back seats push your lower half forward into a recline position instead of the more common back-recline. This keeps you from jamming into the seat behind you but feels a little less than comfortable. As is typical with exit seating, You give up an ever-so-slight amount of seat width to allow for the tray table inclusive armrest. Your video entertainment screen pulls out from underneath the seat and is loaded with an impressive number of movies, full seasons of TV series (not just one or two episodes), a great moving map and an external camera (which comes in handy as this row is windowless).
Service: You’ll feel spoiled a little if you’re used to flying US or UK domestic flights. Cathay is one of the worlds 5 star airlines as rated by SkyTrax and service is a big reason why.
Notes: Electrical outlets are located under the seat instead of behind the tray table, as with typical economy seats on this plane. (Just so you don’t freak out when you go to plug in your iPod.)
Summary: Like I had mentioned in my earlier review Cathay Pacific has done a good job updating their cabins, most recently to their international business class and super awesome first class cabins. I still don’t like the lack of lumbar support in these seats, but do love this exit seat for the added legroom and little bit of extra spacing from the nearby galley.
Rating: 4 hops (of 5).
Strategy: Cathay Pacific offers “Premium” seats like this one for $25 on shorter routes (like this one between New Yorks JFK and Vancouver) or $100 for transpacific and longer routes. Either way a phenomenal deal for that much extra legroom.
How I got it: Called the airline shortly after making the reservation and checking the online seatmap for availability. Process was simple and took less than a few minutes.