March 31, 2017
Cathay Pacific Adding 10 Across Economy Seats
Airlines have been gradually adding more and more seats to economy class in every way they can, while expanding the space in business and first class. This makes some sense from the legacy carriers’ point of view as their economy products have to compete with budget airlines which routinely sell insanely cheap tickets, like $99 flights between Chicago and Iceland.
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s premier airline, will begin retrofitting its Boeing 777 aircraft with 10 across economy seats in a 3-4-3 configuration next year. It currently flies these planes with 9 across in economy. 48 of its long-haul aircraft and 17 of its short-haul aircraft will receive the new configuration. The seats are expected to shrink from 18.5 inches wide to 17.2 inches wide to accommodate the additional seat in each row. On the bright side, the new seats will have larger 12 inch in-flight entertainment systems and Wi-Fi is also being added to these planes. Cathay expects the project to be completed in three years.
Tighter seats are always frustrating in economy class. Cathay Pacific isn’t alone in adding 10 across seats on Boeing 777s. Most international airlines are doing the same, including United’s new 777s, which have the new Polaris business class. If you’re on one of these planes, definitely opt for an extra legroom or premium economy seat if it’s a long flight. Or better yet, maximize your frequent flyer and credit card points to fly in business or first class 😉
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