Monday, November 28, 2011

Am I too harsh to Cathay Pacific?

 I got couples of comments regarding my trip report about Cathay Pacific.

Am I too harsh to Cathay Pacific?

Or do I simply expect too much from Cathay Pacific?

Before I go into it, please take your time to review Skytrax's ratings for the airlines I have traveled last time:

Air China

Cathay Pacific

United Airlines

Also, I have reviewed again my trip reports. It turns out I don't think I am biased as other think.

Here are my explanation (and some of my concerns):

1. Unlike a lot of trip reports, I did not focus a lot of in-flight meals and snacks.

It was exactly my conversation on CX 807 with a senior flight attendant. At that time, the senior flight attendant offered me Kamameshi (it was the translation I found from Wikipedia - 煲仔飯 from Chinese) that was served in First Class. I sincerely decline it, as I believe there is no in-flight food that you can compare with what you can find on ground, which the senior flight attendant agreed.

While a lot of trip reports grade airlines based on food served, I intentionally leave this one out in understanding how airlines are operating.

I believe no airlines ever want to serve inedible food to their passengers, crews as well.

2. I have given credit when I review the Wing.

As a lot of people know the Wing is under renovation for now, I did not focus on what's outside. But what's inside only. Even my conversation with the agent at the Wing confirmed that the Cabin, with no doubt, has a better food offering.

3. CX's Skytrax rating has no doubt dropped.

For the record, based on Wikipedia's Skytrax page, CX's rating is dropping even they do still maintain as a 5-star:

Based on the page, CX has officially dropped out from top 3 airlines of the year since 2010 (and they were in top 3 for the last 9 years).

4. Not the people, but the Corporate culture makes CX worse.

Surprisingly, not one, but several flight attendants told me that I should report my disappointment with CX directly.

They are claimed the same reason - CX is not willing to listen to their feedback.

As a service industry, feedback is important for a company's continuous improvement. Who do you think know what customers want, a C-level manager or a front line agent?

When the chain of feedback is broken, no matter what the front line does is meaningless, as they are faked based on policies and procedures.

I truly believe that all the flight attendants I talked to were willing to listen to my concerns and they were sympathetic to my disappointment. However, since the Corporate has no word from them, how can an airlines improve?

5. I am not alone...

Lucky, from One Mile at a Time, traveled on CX First Class for several time. Based on his comments, trip reviews, as well as his response from others regarding CX's service, he basically concludes that First Class is exceptional. But for the others, it really depends on the circumstances. In other word, he believes that there may be other which is doing better than CX.

6. Last but not the least - my expectation has been tiered based on Skytrax's rating, and I am being fair at all time.

Yes - I may be biased before in discussing CX without traveling with them (although I believe I was not).

But it is a fair question - Will you expect service level of the Peninsula from a Motel 6 Inn, or vice versa?

If you know how to answer this question - then you should know what standard I should use with Cathay Pacific.


  1. I think Cathay in my experience has a higher standard than BA, LH, AF, AA, VS, EK, JL, CA and CO..

    Honestly I think Singapore is the only one that can beat them..

    And the more you fly with them the more you can see it..

  2. Thanks for your comments.

    I did fly with SQ before. But since it has been a while. It will be unfair if I compare that experience with CX.

    By the way, thanks for understanding why I have a higher expectation on CX.

  3. I had some experience with Business Class on CX. Services are Ok comparable with Asian Airlines Standard as SQ, NH, TG. The only downside: the Old Herring Bone Configuration business class seats are totally inadequate, claustrophobic and I couldn't sleep at all in those seat.

  4. Thanks for your comments.

    My point is simple - I am not as biased as it seems.

  5. Cathay can not get even basic things right.

    I don't really care what is offered on board if I can not even get my flexible ticket changed based on the rules. Why they shouldn't make there basic operations running smoothly first - such as online and telephone service... only then I will look at their on board menu.

    My experiences were so bad, that completely decided to avoid CX by all means. Never again want to pay for nothing. Luckily there is many options to choose from.