CX A350 - Economy Seat Comfort?

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Old Apr 21, 17, 6:28 am
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CX A350 - Economy Seat Comfort?

I fly CX, BA, EK, UA and SQ regularly. I recently flew the CX A350 on the SIN-HKG sector, and I found the business class seat quite impressive on this sector. The premium economy seat looked very comfortable too (I didn't fly any sector in PEY, but I sat in the PEY seat for a few seconds to check it out).

In economy, I found the CX A350 Y seat had good pitch and recline, however I did notice that this seat has a very soft seat back i.e. there appears to be no hard layer in the seat back. (Described in more detail in this trip report - Links to external site).

This meant that I could occasionally clearly feel the knees of the passenger behind me in my lumbar region, through the seat back, when they pressed against the back of the seat.

I've not encountered this on other long haul seats, although I believe I have encountered this type of seat with no hard backing on some narrowbodies.

The seat is otherwise quite comfortable, but this could be an irritation on a long haul flight.

Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me?
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Old Apr 21, 17, 6:31 am
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Yes I've noticed that on my short HKG-BKK sector.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 9:24 am
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I've recently flown a few long haul sectors on the A350 and have a few more coming up next month, I've found the Y seat to be extremely comfortable and a definite step up from the previous generation. I did notice what you described however it didn't really bother me too much.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 9:48 am
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I had my first flight on the A350 at the beginning of the month (HKG-LGW) and I thought the seat itself was really good. Amazing legroom, good recline, good attention to small details (iPad holder, cup holder e.t.c.). I am pretty big, but did not feel uncomfortable and this seat was certainly one of the best I have tried in Y. The wifi also worked faultlessly throughout the flight and it never disconnected, was fast and reliable. $19 is a bargain for such a long flight, so I was surprised that I have not seen anyone around the cabin using it.

That said, there were a few annoying aspects of the aircraft itself:

-Toilet lighting. On all the aircrafts I am familiar with, the toilet lighting only switches on after you lock the door. On the CX A359, the light is constantly on, so when the cabin is in the sleeping mode (cabin lights off) and someone opens the toilet door, the light annoys everyone in the cabin.

-I always knew it, but never actually paid attention to this: what is it with CX and personal ventilation??? We need it.

-The 787 solution to windows is much better. Avoids situations when one person out of 300 decides to raise the window shade and wake the whole cabin up. It's especially bad on those mornings flights when the sunrise hits you. On 787 you can still see the outside world, while not annoying the rest of the folks.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 10:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Rami Tamimi View Post
I had my first flight on the A350 at the beginning of the month (HKG-LGW) and I thought the seat itself was really good. Amazing legroom, good recline, good attention to small details (iPad holder, cup holder e.t.c.). I am pretty big, but did not feel uncomfortable and this seat was certainly one of the best I have tried in Y. The wifi also worked faultlessly throughout the flight and it never disconnected, was fast and reliable. $19 is a bargain for such a long flight, so I was surprised that I have not seen anyone around the cabin using it.

That said, there were a few annoying aspects of the aircraft itself:

-Toilet lighting. On all the aircrafts I am familiar with, the toilet lighting only switches on after you lock the door. On the CX A359, the light is constantly on, so when the cabin is in the sleeping mode (cabin lights off) and someone opens the toilet door, the light annoys everyone in the cabin.

-I always knew it, but never actually paid attention to this: what is it with CX and personal ventilation??? We need it.

-The 787 solution to windows is much better. Avoids situations when one person out of 300 decides to raise the window shade and wake the whole cabin up. It's especially bad on those mornings flights when the sunrise hits you. On 787 you can still see the outside world, while not annoying the rest of the folks.
Agree on the Electronic dim feature for the 787s, one feature that works quite well.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by KrazyTrain18 View Post
Agree on the Electronic dim feature for the 787s, one feature that works quite well.
Yet there's plenty of threads complaining about how this function, e.g. on UA and on BA. But agreed, one guy can kill it for the entire cabin

As for the thin seat backs...gave the dude behind me the death stare upon deplaning my first 350 flight - my back hadn't had that much contact with another person's feet and knees since my last Thai massage. Didn't realize the pax wasn't actually at fault, but those otherwise great seats really offer almost no backside protection
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by gpia View Post
Yet there's plenty of threads complaining about how this function, e.g. on UA and on BA. But agreed, one guy can kill it for the entire cabin

As for the thin seat backs...gave the dude behind me the death stare upon deplaning my first 350 flight - my back hadn't had that much contact with another person's feet and knees since my last Thai massage. Didn't realize the pax wasn't actually at fault, but those otherwise great seats really offer almost no backside protection
Additionally, the 787 windows can be controlled by the flight crew, so none of the pax can turn off the shades at their own discretion. Haven't been on the 350 yet, getting on my first CX A350 flight in June!
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:49 am
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Originally Posted by cx4ever View Post
Additionally, the 787 windows can be controlled by the flight crew, so none of the pax can turn off the shades at their own discretion. Haven't been on the 350 yet, getting on my first CX A350 flight in June!
That's the benefit. Crew normally set them to "natural" mode for take off and landing and to full dim mode if it's a red-eye. Sometimes they dim the windows during boarding and use the Boeing's Sky Interior mood lighting to make the cabin look very cool during boarding.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by gpia View Post
Yet there's plenty of threads complaining about how this function, e.g. on UA and on BA. But agreed, one guy can kill it for the entire cabin

As for the thin seat backs...gave the dude behind me the death stare upon deplaning my first 350 flight - my back hadn't had that much contact with another person's feet and knees since my last Thai massage. Didn't realize the pax wasn't actually at fault, but those otherwise great seats really offer almost no backside protection
I believe most of the negativity surrounding the feature is because the crew generally control them during flight and its no longer the passengers discretion when he/she can dim the window. It should be a complete non issue given that you can still see out quite clearly during night/day on its darkest setting.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 5:05 pm
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Yes, the soft seat back corresponding to a traveller's lower back area is a problem. Even a rummaging in the seat back pocket by the person in the seat behind translates to a lot of interference. On some flights I have seen passengers getting very upset with the person in the seat behind. On the other hand the PE seat is the best in the skies. J also great (problems with poor finishings aside).
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Old Apr 23, 17, 12:36 am
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Originally Posted by KrazyTrain18 View Post
I believe most of the negativity surrounding the feature is because the crew generally control them during flight and its no longer the passengers discretion when he/she can dim the window. It should be a complete non issue given that you can still see out quite clearly during night/day on its darkest setting.
It is less the fact that you can see out and more the fact that the crew block any light coming in! I have been on a day time long haul 787 flight when the windows are dimmed. Very annoying when you are trying to stay keep awake on a day time flight and want some natural light, especially when trying to work. If other pax want to sleep during the day, use the eye masks. That's what they are for!
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Old Apr 27, 17, 6:13 am
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Thanks, all, for sharing your experiences with the A350 Y seat. Looks like the soft seat back in the lumbar area has been noticed by others as well. Agree that apart from this "feature", the new seat is quite comfortable.

Since that flight on CX, I have been poking around other aircraft seat backs (Mainly SQ). At least on the SQ birds (A330, 777), all the Y seat backs have a firm/hard layer in the back, and I believe this is the case for the previous generation of CX A330 and 777 Y seats too.

Originally Posted by gpia View Post
my back hadn't had that much contact with another person's feet and knees since my last Thai massage.
This comment brought a smile to my face!

Originally Posted by Arbeysix View Post
J also great (problems with poor finishings aside).
I flew J on B-LRJ, a very new A350 delivered to CX 4 months ago. I thought the J product was superb, and did not notice any quality issues with the finishings.

Last edited by sqyf; Apr 27, 17 at 6:20 am
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Old Apr 27, 17, 7:32 am
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I flew the A350 a few months ago in Y and was lucky that I only noticed movement going on behind me a few times - probably when reaching in to the seat back pocket.

One thing I tend to do when flying Y long haul (on most airlines) is use the pillow as seat back support. This probably helped minimise minor knocks, but if you have some one large behind you then that's going to be an issue.

I generally loved the A350, the major down fall for me is the lack of toilets on the right hand side of the plane, especially when one was out of action.

Good TR btw.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by dddc View Post
One thing I tend to do when flying Y long haul (on most airlines) is use the pillow as seat back support.
Yes I do that too.

Originally Posted by dddc View Post
Good TR btw.
Thanks!
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Old Apr 28, 17, 1:51 am
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Originally Posted by Arbeysix View Post
Yes, the soft seat back corresponding to a traveller's lower back area is a problem. Even a rummaging in the seat back pocket by the person in the seat behind translates to a lot of interference. On some flights I have seen passengers getting very upset with the person in the seat behind. On the other hand the PE seat is the best in the skies. J also great (problems with poor finishings aside).
I have this problem with the Olympus (hard shell) seat reclined also.

I usually place Discovery magazine behind my lower back to remediate - same for A350 Y?
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