Cathay Pacific goes from Wow to Shit!

Cathay has been my favorite airline since 1997 when I first started traveling on it, up until recently when I finally made up my mind that I don’t like it any more. And it’s the little things that seem to be slowly disappearing – like the genuine smile at the check-in desk, the passion and enthusiasm of the cabin crew and the real care for the passenger.

I have had faulty AV systems on my seat twice in the last six months – they say, “Sorry sir, would you like to change your seat.” I don’t, because I am sitting on a first-row aisle seat – the only comfortable seat in the plane for someone who is tall and suffers from back pain.

Most cabin crew don’t hear English very well, so you almost always have to repeat yourself if you ask for anything other than water. People making cabin announcements often sound like kids who have just learnt how to read.

What peeves me the most is when you press the call button and nobody bothers. I have often had cabin crew pass by without stopping, even when they see the call light turned on above my seat. One of my colleagues often tells the attendants who show up after a long time, “If I had a heart attack, I’d be dead by now”. Most of them don’t seem to understand what he means by that.

So yeah, Cathay is consistently moving from WOW to SHIT on my scale. So why do I still travel Cathay? For it’s convenient connections from Hong Kong, where I (mostly) live. And for crew like Athens, who still care and love what they do. Today he recognized me and remembered that few months ago, I had given away my favorite seat so a mom and child could sit together. He treated me really well today.
[Written during a Cathay flight from Hong Kong to Karachi on Oct 19, 2007]

3 thoughts on “Cathay Pacific goes from Wow to Shit!

  1. this happened to me once when i was on cathay pacific plane and then i pressed the help button and noone ever came . I had to stop one of the staff crews walking by.

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  2. Well…. I agree with Mush because I have also had faulty AV system twice in one week and one of that was in business class. Their First n Business classs service is okay but there are no specials in the economy class. The seats of the old cofig are terrible (the new one is very good with great choices of movies) which unfortunately they still use on all their short and medium haul flights. Over all there are great options available like Singapore or Emirates or Qatar but as Mush says we still fly Cathay because of its convenient fly schedule out of Hong Kong and very sound saftey record.

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  3. I’ve often flown with Cathay Pacific, so much so that when I booked my ticket a couple of days ago I didn’t even bother to look at Virgin etc. However, having booked my flight this time I noticed that my return date was incorrect on my e-ticket – correct day, incorrect month. Even though I told Cathay of this error the same day my e-ticket was dispatched I’ve been told it will cost me a three figure sum to correct it. I understand that legally they have the right to do this – and I’ve often paid to change my ticket when I’ve decided to stay in HK or Taiwan longer – but after years of (misplaced and undeserved) loyalty it leaves a stale taste in the mouth when a genuine error cannot be corrected within hours of purchase without a hefty fee. (Especially considering that on my last trip they didn’t even put my baggage on the plane!) On another customer service note, it took them half an hour to pick up my call in the UK then another half an hour to pick up my call in HK… The end result is that I’ve decided to keep the money that it would cost me to correct my ticket and put it to my flight with a different carrier next time. It makes me feel better!

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