Sarcophagus seats

5 04 2009

Cathay Pacific have some new seats in Business Class on the A340-300. Instead of the traditional layout where all seats face the front, and are usually in pairs, these seats are all singles and are at a 45 degree angle to the front. Each seat has sides all round (except at the front), giving you a lot of privacy. Under the tops of the privacy screens are tiny little lights which are sufficient for lighting a keyboard without affecting anyone else.

'Sarcophagus' seats on Cathay Pacific

'Sarcophagus' seats on Cathay Pacific

There are air bags in the seat belts! I’m not sure why, but they’re there… There’s in-seat power as well, and it takes any power plug so no adaptor is required. In fact, my Hong Kong adaptor didn’t work at all and I had to remove it and plug my Australian power cord directly into the socket to get power.

However, while these seats sounds interesting, I’m not sure I like them. There’s a sense of claustrophobia about them,ย  like we’re all arranged in some sort of weird way for a mass burial ๐Ÿ˜‰ (thus the title for this post). And if you’re travelling with someone else, you’re quite separate from them in these seats — you’d have to raise you head/body to talk over the divider.

One thing I do like about them, though, is the silk pillow attached to the headrest and the default angle of the seat for take-off and landing. Very comfortable. The icon on the seat controls tells me that they lay completely flat, but I haven’t tried this yet.

The other thing I like is the remote control for the video and audio system — it displays the time to destination at all times (neat!), the flight number, airline and route (e.g. HKG — PER) (just to confirm you’re on the right one?). It also displays the title of the movie you’re watching or the audio you’re listening to, as well as the total time and the elpased time of the audio or video. And the text is very clear and easy to read.

Oh, and the video screen is quite large and is a widescreen one, so you get to see a movie really well. I watched “The secret life of bees” coming from Hong Kong (Dakota Fanning is maturing well as an actress — she’s great in this).

There are some good and bad points with these seats — I don’t like the hemmed-in feeling you get with them (they’re also not particularly wide so you can’t stretch your elbows out any distance). I do like the power outlet and the entertainment system. Though I wonder what the staff think of them — if you’re watching a movie when they’re doing the food and beverage service, they have to lean over the screen to hand you your tray, pour your wine etc.



One response

10 04 2009

They seem like a step in the right direction, but yes, narrow. I wonder if the dividers come loose for the obscenely obese business fliers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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