Qantas vs Cathay Y MEL-HKG?

FF98

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2024
Posts
28
Hi All,

Looking to go Hong Kong Easter 2025 from Melbourne. Deciding between Qantas and Cathay economy direct flights. Travelling with my partner. Status is lowly bronze.
This is what I have gathered so far :

Qantas Economy Return $1,435 pp
- A330-300, 2-4-2 seats. Free standard seat selection. Good for couples
- Able to use AMEX Qantas $450 travel credit towards booking

Cathay Economy Lite Return $1,244 pp
- A350-900, 3-3-3
- Standard seat additional ~$140pp return
- Will most likely pay for seats as we are a couple and wanting to sit together

Alternatively, I could potentially redeem a Premium Econ seat from HKG-MEL for 59k QFF points pp. Not sure if it is worth the points though, as CX doesn't provide lounge access for Premium Econ.

What would you book in this instance? Cheers
 
Hi All,

Looking to go Hong Kong Easter 2025 from Melbourne. Deciding between Qantas and Cathay economy direct flights. Travelling with my partner. Status is lowly bronze.
This is what I have gathered so far :

Qantas Economy Return $1,435 pp
- A330-300, 2-4-2 seats. Free standard seat selection. Good for couples
- Able to use AMEX Qantas $450 travel credit towards booking

Cathay Economy Lite Return $1,244 pp
- A350-900, 3-3-3
- Standard seat additional ~$140pp return
- Will most likely pay for seats as we are a couple and wanting to sit together

Alternatively, I could potentially redeem a Premium Econ seat from HKG-MEL for 59k QFF points pp. Not sure if it is worth the points though, as CX doesn't provide lounge access for Premium Econ.

What would you book in this instance? Cheers
The Cathay a350 premium economy is 2-4-2, just one seat less per row than economy. This means while you get extra legroom, the seat itself is only about an inch wider than the main cabin.

Qantas offers a pretty solid product in economy. The fares are a little high though, for both qantas and cathay, likely because of Easter though.
 
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I think the CX cabin is more comfortable, as its a more modern plane, with good quality seats, better legroom and seat width is the same as Qantas' A330, if not slightly better.

The other benefits are that I find CX food to be better than QF in Economy, and Cathay's entertainment screen is better quality.

The difference is effectively $50pp though, and you'd earn a few status credits/points flying Qantas. So in terms of cost, they're pretty much the same.

The real question is whether you'll be able to use the AMEX credit for something else - if you don't think you can, use it and book QF flights. Otherwise, it's just wasted. QF A330 is not bad, and you'd have just the 2 of you guaranteed which makes any Economy flight more enjoyable.
 
One other consideration is that 8hrs in Y is a bit boring. On CX you have the option of paying for wifi which might make the flight more interesting.
 
One other consideration is that 8hrs in Y is a bit boring. On CX you have the option of paying for wifi which might make the flight more interesting.
Cathay IFE > QF for selection of things to watch. Wifi is a bit sus for speed though. Wouldn't necessarily rely on it for entertainment.
 
Just a heads-up @FF98

Unsure how rigid your timing with dates/budget/flexibility/interest is, but I checked the CX website just now, and you can go

MEL-HKGx-NRT
NRT-HKG
HKG-MEL

with flights ~ 7 days apart for just $965

Japan and Hong Kong for well less than the price you're seeing...
 
Haven't checked but in Y, the schedules are a massive factor for me
 
premium economy is 2-4-2, just one seat less per row than economy. This means while you get extra legroom, the seat itself is only about an inch wider than the main cabin.
Last time I checked Y seats were not 8 inches across. More like 2 inches wider which makes a huge difference. Whilst I've always coveted lounge access I ended up in the US with no lounge access once and ultimately realised a few 10s of dollars spent in commercial establishments was a better experience than lounges generally offer. Think of no lounge access as an opportunity rather than a loss and recognise that the material benefit of most lounges is minimal.
 
CX provides two full meals in Y whereas QF second service is a snack
 
Last time I checked Y seats were not 8 inches across. More like 2 inches wider which makes a huge difference.
CX PE seats are actually only 18.5 inches wide for actual usable seat width - their tray tables are stored inside the armrest which makes up the extra 1.5-2.5 inches. CX Y seats don't have this problem. It also means that you can't put up the armrest, which for couples may slightly impact the experience.
 
Just about my friend about this, who had done this route on QF and CX, as recent as earlier this year, including in Y+ and J

Alternatively, I could potentially redeem a Premium Econ seat from HKG-MEL for 59k QFF points pp. Not sure if it is worth the points though, as CX doesn't provide lounge access for Premium Econ.
They said they would pay 59k QFF points to fly in Y+
The cathay experience is better, but if I had AMEX credit to spend, I'd just book QF.
For sure for the soft product. This friend who just came back on QF in J said that she did not even get welcome drink, and the crews were indifferent. 🙄
Cathay IFE > QF for selection of things to watch.
My friend confirmed this as well. They said there was nothing to watch on QF IFE
 
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