Cathay Pacific upgrades “fanfares” promotion

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair launch business and premium economy fanfare offers

Cathay Pacific and its sister airline Dragonair will now offer business and premium economy options in addition to its usual economy seats on certain routes of its weekly “fanfares” programme, to celebrate its fourth anniversary since its launch in 2012.

This week, “fanfares” offers a total of 11 destinations, with five of them this month having upgrades available. These include business to Seoul, Phuket and Los Angeles, and premium economy to Milan and Vancouver.

Additional benefits include extra baggage allowance in business and premium economy classes, advance seat reservations and, for loyalty members, the ability to earn 125 per cent of miles travelled in business fare class “I”, and 110 per cent of miles in premium economy fare class “E”. Business class travellers booking fanfare seats can also get the benefits of regular business class passengers, such as use of the airlines’ lounges.

Detailed premium offers this week are as follows:

Destination

ClassPrice

Extra benefits

Seoul

Business

HK$4,900 (US$632)Lounge access, extra baggage

Phuket

Business

HK$2,900 (US$374)Earning of 125% mileage, lounge access, extra baggage

Los Angeles

Business

HK$29,900

(US$3,855)

Lounge access, extra baggage

Milan

Premium economy

HK$9,900

(US$1,276)

Earning of 110% mileage, extra baggage

Vancouver

Premium economy

HK$9,900

(US$1,276)

Advance seat reservation, extra baggage

Travel periods for the offers are spread between October this year and May next year

Speaking about the additions to the promotion, Liza Ng, general manager of sales, Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong, said: “‘Fanfares’ has been offering economy class seats since its launch in October 2012. In this year’s fourth anniversary, we would like to give a big surprise to our fans, allowing them to choose business and premium economy class. The mileage offers are equivalent to what a normal business or premium economy class passenger can earn, and the right of lounge access is also the same as a business class passenger. We wish our fans can have a full premium class experience.”

“Fanfares” has offered discounted rates on more than 90 routes to 33 countries across both airlines’ networks. Customers can book the promotional fares at 8am HKT on Tuesday every week.

cathaypacific.com/fanfares

Airlines impose ban on the use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Several airlines have instigated a ban against the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, after a battery fault in the device caused dozens of phones to explode in the US.

Cathay Pacific and its sister carrier Dragonair have issued a travel notice “strongly advising passengers that [the Samsung Galaxy Note 7] should be powered off and not connected to any power source while onboard. Additionally, these devices must be kept out of checked baggage.”

The Hong Kong-based carriers’ decision follows similar announcements from airlines around the region. Australia’s Qantas Airways, Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia began imposing bans against the use of the Samsung Note 7 onboard their flights last Thursday.

Similarly, Singapore Airlines issued a statement stating that “the powering up and charging of Samsung Galaxy Note7 mobile phones is prohibited on all our flights.”

Korean tech giant Samsung has stopped sale of the Galaxy Note 7 and is urging customers that have bought the device to “stop using (the device) and visit a Samsung service centre to receive necessary measures.”

The company has started recalling the smartphone from retailers. For customers that have already purchased the phone, Samsung will replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.

For more information, visit samsung.com

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair add 10kg to standard baggage allowance

Cathay Pacific Cabin crew baggage

Cathay Pacific and its sister carrier Dragonair have revised their baggage policies to offer customers an additional 10kg of check-in baggage.

The enhanced policy will be available to all passengers, regardless of travel class, for tickets issued on or after September 15.

Marco Polo Club silver, gold and diamond tier members will still benefit from an extra 10kg, 15kg and 20kg, respectively.

However, the revised checked baggage policy will now include a piece limitation. Economy, premium economy and business class passengers will be able to check-in up to two pieces of luggage, while those in first class will be entitled to a maximum of three bags.

The charts below shows the current checked baggage allowance versus the new allowance:

This is the new baggage allowance:

As always, flights to the US are bound by a different weight/piece policy (two pieces maximum, weight varies depending on class, see here).

Meanwhile, Dragonair has also revealed that it will increase its carry-on baggage allowance to match that of Cathay Pacific. From a set 5kg for all classes, the new allowance will grant economy and premium economy passengers a new limit of 7kg, while business and first passengers will receive 10kg and 15kg respectively.

Finally, in line with global industry standards, both carriers will also be cutting their excess baggage charges by up to 40 per cent. See below for the changes.

For more information, visit cathaypacific.com and dragonair.com

To learn more, check out our “Luggage: Bags of problems” feature.

Clement Huang

 

Cathay Pacific to transfer Kuala Lumpur flights to Dragonair

Cathay Pacific has announced that its Hong Kong–Kuala Lumpur route will be operated by Dragonair from March 2017.

The decision means that Cathay Pacific will retreat from the Malaysian market altogether. Meanwhile, Dragonair’s presence in the country will be strengthened as it already serves flights to Kota Kinabalu and Penang.

The move will also see Cathay Pacific transfer five of its Airbus A330s to Dragonair, in order to support the airline’s operation and growth.

So why has Cathay Pacific decided to transfer its Kuala Lumpur flights to Dragonair? Well, one possible reason is the price sensitivity in Malaysia, which has allowed low-cost carriers such as Air Asia, Malindo Air and Firefly to flourish in the market.

By allowing its lower-cost subsidiary to operate the route, the Cathay Pacific Group would be in a better position to compete with not only the LCCs but also with fellow Oneworld member, Malaysia Airlines.

Another reason is that this would allow the group to reduce the impact of an ongoing “pilot training ban”. As previously reported, Cathay Pacific faces industrial action, which has led to a shortage of instructors who are used to train pilots. To get around this, the airline is looking to send a number of its pilots to be trained to fly Dragonair’s A330 aircraft.

By shifting a number of A330s to Dragonair and allowing it to operate the Hong Kong–Kuala Lumpur route, Cathay Pacific will be able to better manage resources and optimise its training abilities accordingly.

While travellers can expect a fairly consistent offering when flying with Dragonair to Kuala Lumpur, there will be a number of differences. Currently, Cathay Pacific offers its long-haul business class product on select flights, which is more comfortable than its regional product. As Dragonair’s business class product is the same as Cathay Pacific’s regional seat, it’s safe to say that the long-haul product will no longer be seen on the route.

Another significant difference will be the catering. While Cathay Pacific’s in-flight dining meals are provided by Cathay Pacific Catering Services, Dragonair’s comes from LSG Hong Kong – of which the airline is a major shareholder.

“The Cathay Pacific Group of airlines remains committed to grow with the Malaysian market, and will continue to provide the same high level of product and service to our customers travelling to and from Malaysia,: said Paul Loo, director corporate development & IT of the Cathay Pacific Group.

“While Dragonair is launching services to Kuala Lumpur, Cathay Pacific is also growing its network of destinations, as reflected by our latest launch to Madrid in June and the upcoming service to Gatwick in London next month. More long-haul flights are planned for 2017.”

For more information, visit cathaypacific.com and dragonair.com

Clement Huang