Monday, November 14, 2011

The 22000 Mile Long March – CX 807

The 22000 Miles Long March - Check-In

The 22000 Miles Long March – UA 705 

The 22000 Mile Long March – Hyatt Regency O’Hare

The 22000 Mile Long March – CX 807

The 22000 Mile Long March – CA 108

The 22000 Mile Long March – CA 115

The 22000 Mile Long March – CX 806

The 22000 Miles Long March – UA 973

The 22000 Miles Long March – Conclusion

November 11, 2011 - CX 807 (Chicago O'Hare > Hong Kong)

I have been known as a CX critics at FlyerTalk, especially when this is my virgin flight. In other word, I criticize CX’s service without traveling with them.

In summary, I conclude that:

1.      CX is lucky to keep its 5-star rating from Skytrax.
2.      CX is lucky to be almost monopoly in Hong Kong.

Was I biased? It turned out I may be not.

As a Macro Polo Club Silver, I am entitled (as a published benefit) for business class check-in.

I was wrong.

During check-in, as I did not recall correctly, so I have attempted to seek ground agent’s help to see which line I should be in (as the lines available are First, Business, Economy, Self-Check-in Bag Drop, and Service Desk, but nothing mentioning oneworld elite or Macro Polo Club).

I waited almost 5 minutes. The agent who worked at the line simply focus on examining carry-on luggage. Then I worked with my luggage to the Service Desk and 2 agents pointed me to the Self-Check line. Then the line I was waiting did not move.

Then I searched Cathay Pacific’s website and got the answer – Business.

Then I walked toward to Business Class check-in. The agent there was fantastic. But still I demanded asked for a manager on duty to discuss this.

And something even more funny – the manager got the wrong customer instead of me!!

Oh well…

The good thing about being a Macro Polo Club Silver is I can skip AIT from TSA.

After security, I proceed to the lounge. And that’s getting interesting.

I was officially denied access.

CX uses both SAS Business Lounge and Swiss Lounge in Chicago. My boarding pass (both electronic and paper) allow me to visit SAS Business Lounge near Gate M13 (CX is boarding at M11, which the Swiss Lounge is located).

So I tried to go into the Swiss Lounge. CX kicked me out, even with my Priority Pass Select (Both Swiss and SAS Business Lounge are Priority Pass lounges).

So I went to SAS Business Lounge instead:

The staff there was fantastic and the lounge was simply spacious (in the peak time, no more than 10 people were inside lounge). Too bad they have no restroom and basically no food:

United 777-200 Parking outside SAS Business Lounge
United 747-400 Parking outside SAS Business Lounge

The only thing on the ground that was good was CX enforce boarding preference. So I was boarding with First and Business Class and oneworld elite.

The aircraft serving this flight was a Boeing 777-300ER (CX internal classification: 77D). I was seated at 31A. Basically, the picture speaks for itself.

As other FlyerTalkers suggested, I chose 31A because of the legroom and the chance to interact with the flight attendant:

What interesting is I did get my chance, but an awkward chance – as the flight attendant seemed to adjust her body for cabin pressure (flight attendants were trained to handle cabin pressure pretty well). But she said no. She is simply sick (and tired or sleepy – she is Hong Kong-based).

No doubt, I have a better experience onboard, compared to ground services. Unlike other Macro Polo Club Diamond, I did not receive my “personal” welcome from In-flight Service Manager (well, I did not deserve it anyway, but some Silver actually did get it).

As the plane departs from Chicago, there are couples of FAA violations already:

1.      CX failed to mention that over-wing exit should not be used during water landing ( safety instruction card did say that – but I guess nobody realized)
2.      CX failed to check if the passengers are willing to assist (and capable to assist) in case of emergency landing)
3.      My seatmate did not check out the safety instruction (which they are supposed to do so and CX needs to check if they have done that).

In most of the cases, the food was decent, except for the sandwich from the snack. The sandwich was simply too “hard” to bite.

I have taken some time to check out the cabin There are couples of small issues, like:

1.      The small cabin is cracked

2.      The IFE can’t be adjusted (The screen does not adjust toward to the passengers. I will have to adjust the arm to adjust the screen)

Louisa So?? Hard Sell?? (Ms. So was used to a CX Flight Attendant...)

Did I get anything special because I got the nice $100 deal and as my virgin flight with CX? No. (Although I was not supposed to expect anything, it is something disappointed that they did not do anything)

I was unable to sleep for most part of the flight. So I have spent quite a few hours in the back gallery talking to flight attendants. We have discussed a lot of issues, like dating, shopping, traveling, CX recent development, and so on. And at the same time, I thought I have created a new world record – longest time standing in the cabin as a passenger.

Through I thought I won’t be the unlucky guy again (I was always compensated due to my in-flight issues, like IFE), I was wrong.

At the time when the captain deployed reverse thrust when we were landing, I felt that they were something dropping off my head. At that time, it was too late – all the condensation water dropped on me like raining. Remember the flight attendant in the jump seat? She can’t really do anything. So I was being washed in concluding my virgin flight with CX.

When it was safe – flight attendants had already rushed to get something for me to clean, but it seemed too late regardless. As far as I know, Boeing is ultimately responsible for this as it seems it is a design defective of Boeing 777. But what surprised me is the response from CX.

I told the jump-seat flight attendant that if she wanted to help me, report the incident to the In-flight Service Manager (ISM), which she did. But what surprised me was the ISM did not react at all, not even an apology. To me, it is absolute unacceptable for a 5-star airlines. What even surprised me was the flight attendants, as well as Macro Polo Club, suggested me to file a formal complaint, as they all told me that CX would not listen to staffs but customers.

Oh well…Let’s see how it will turn out.

And hopefully, nothing big happens on my return flight.


  1. Did you stand longer than 7 hrs? :P

  2. Thanks for your comments.

    It is possible that I might have stood for more than 7 hours.

  3. Saw this on Flyertalk and immediately thought of your post I read. Thought it might be of interest to you.

  4. Well...shit happens...

    (The worst is the person is in J Class.)

  5. This can not be a serious

    1. Serious or not...This is exactly as real as it gets.

      The most important is for this trip I have actually received some incentives from Cathay Pacific. So this can't be biased.