If you travel long distances and multiple time zones for work, you know that jet lag is a cruel by product of doing business overseas. Heading directly to an important meeting right after landing is often a reality, and being alert and fresh enough for peak performance is certainly a gift that most of us aren’t that lucky to receive.
For business travellers flying across the Pacific, however, minimal jetlag might be their new reality. As of March 28, Cathay Pacific will offer a brand new flight route to Hong Kong via Vancouver. Not only is the company’s new A350-900 aircraft the first of its kind in Canada, but it’s designed with features and technology that ensure passengers arrive ready to step into their next meeting, no matter what class they’re seated in.
Boarding this new aircraft, the first thing you’ll notice is that the larger overhead compartment can actually accommodate your carry-on without you having to cram it in. Large windows enhance your view and add more daylight so you can be alert while working on the plane or preparing for landing. Vertical sidewalls provide more shoulder room too, so personal space feels just that much roomier.
What you don’t notice is important, too: namely, the lack of noise from the plane. The A350 cabin is quiet due to its impressive design that reduces noise. Rather than a blasting funnel of cold air from the usual system above your head, air is circulated draft-free. If you do get cold, you can adjust the temperature of your personal space seven different ways.
The features that might be most attractive to Business class passengers, however, are the ones that help them arrive ready to tackle the day. Unlike most planes that set cabin pressure at 8,000ft, the A350’s cabin pressure is set at 6,000ft, which reduces passenger jet lag. Staying connected back home to the office or family is doable, too, with Cathay Pacific’s Wi-Fi portal available for a small fee.
Most business passengers will use at least a portion of the flight to relax, and the new aircraft’s inflight entertainment system comes with larger touch screen HD monitors in all classes. Customers can enjoy a bigger, better selection of on-demand films and TV programs, plus an e-reader with plenty of current magazines and a new interactive 3D map. Satellite TV is available for a fee, so you can keep up to the minute with your favourite news channels like CNN, Euronews and BBC.
Sleeping on a plane is not easy for most, especially if you’re sitting upright. Business class folks that travel along Cathay Pacific’s new route can stretch out on a fully flat bed that extends as long as 75 inches. Add the new “Do Not Disturb” and “Wake Up Call” functions and you just may wake up fresh as a daisy – perhaps a first for many business travelers. For those in Premium Economy seats, a ticket comes with a personal, dimmable light, which makes it easier to read when the crew has turned down the cabin lights, as well as a leather leg rest for maximum comfort. Economy passengers can enjoy an adjustable six-way headrest allows your head to be ‘hugged’ so you can fully relax. LED mood lighting in the cabins changes colour according to the flight phase that helps reduce jetlag.
With the airline’s goal of providing all their passengers the utmost comfort and an opportunity to rest and arrive refreshed, everyone receives an amenity kit with a sleeping mask, blanket, slippers and grooming essentials. Business class passengers are offered an additional perk too – access to many of the Cathay Pacific lounges at the Hong Kong airport upon arrival.
No matter which class you fly in, Cathay Pacific understands the plight of the business traveler. Consider yourselves heard.