Beware of 3pcs baggage trap with CX

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  luckyone 28 Sep 2019
at 20:36
.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

  • SFLiu
    Participant

    A long read but hope you may find this entertaining:

    I have chosen to take CX Business Class for TPE-HKG-SIN due to my Gold (now Diamond) Marco Polo membership giving me extra baggage allowances. I have prepared 4 bags to check-in for which one is a small carton box of about 2kg (local cookies souvenir). All 4 bags are still within the total allowed check-in weight.

    As usual I followed the ground staff’s instruction to put my bags one after the other on the weight, and only after finishing the check-in process (i.e. all bags sent down the belt into restricted area, and my boarding pass printed) the ground staff advised I need to pay USD30 for the 4th piece of check-in bag. With great surprise as this is the first time I have 4 pcs check-in bags, I asked CX to extend flexibility to waive the penalty since the bags are all already sent into the restricted area. Guess what – my request was rejected and I have been given the choice to pay or to wait for them to get one of my bag back.

    The ground staff was kind enough to warn me that if I choose to get one bag back, I am likely to miss my flight. Up until this point I have not been given a single apology.

    I was not pleased. The ground staff should have told me in the very first place and I could have easily decide not to check in the small carton box.

    Obviously I was not prepared to pay in this ridiculous situation and I demanded the ground staff to retrieve my small box. If I miss my flight so be it. (I do this because I believe in justice and fairness. I have kept cool and polite at all times and didn’t raise my voice)

    After waited for around 20 min I got the box with the ground staff said “不好意思” which is sort of like “I regret for the inconvenience” without any deeper apology or saying sorry.

    Fine, you have your right and I have mine. I wrote to CX and complained.

    I honestly could not believe the CX reply email, quoted below:

    Dear Mr Liu

    Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience with us. Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience caused, it is never our intention to upset you.

    Kindly allow me to explain, For Diamond members who travel on Business class passengers of this route (Taipei to Hong Kong), the check-in allowance of baggage is 3 pieces (maximum of 60kg in total). As per our normal practice, any bags that are put on the baggage belt, our staffs will assume that the passengers would like to check in the bags.

    I am sorry that our staff did not explain well enough and for the displeasure that surely caused. I do agree that our staff could have handled better with flexibility. Rest assured that the experience has been brought to the Airport Management team in Taipei for their review and discuss how to handle similar situations better in the future.

    Mr Liu, may I also take this opportunity to thank you for the continued support to the Cathay Pacific Airways and the Marco Polo Club. As always, we hope your next journey with us will be more pleasant.

    Yours sincerely

    Zoe Yim

    Customer Relations Executive
    Customer Relations Department
    Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
    Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited

    “As per our normal practice, any bags that are put on the baggage belt, our staffs will assume that the passengers would like to check in the bags” Seriously? Oh CX I’m so sorry, I should be the one apologize for my responsibility and ignorance of the baggage policy and I should have read every clause of the T&C before I take a flight. It’s never your staff’s responsibility to tell the passenger that you need to charge them and passengers should just pay and gone.

    “I do agree that our staff could have handled better with flexibility.” I thought I asked for flexibility and rejected, and there is no explanation why this (in my opinion) fair ask has been rejected.

    Total disappointment, bye-bye CX I’m moving to Star Alliance.


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    I found CX explanation perfectly plausible. If 3 pieces are allowed, the 4th one to be paid even if total weight is within.

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    On a couple of occasions I have gone over the weight limit or even the number of pieces, and with a nice smile and a few compliments, have exceptionally had the excess charge waived. BA (really), LX, LH, Kulula, and EK all come to mind.

    Mrs. LP even got 2 extra bags, both over the allowed 23kgs waived through for free by reading the cards for the check-in staff in Johannesburg!!!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SFLiu
    Participant

    I have no problem with the 3 pcs rule, but I would have appreciated if CX Ground staff let me know the rule before sending my bags down the belt.


    travelsforfun
    Participant

    It sounds like CX were wrong to check-in all four bags and then seek to charge you after the fact. They should have told you first and then given you the option whether you wanted to check-in all four and pay. The likelihood that you would miss your flight (did you?) compounded the fault.

    However, the question of whether they wished to bend their rules to accommodate the fourth bag is entirely in their discretion. It certainly seems stingy; on the other hand 3 bags is already much more generous than the allowance given to most passengers.

    In short, while it was reasonable of them not to bend their rules, I think the way they did it – seeking to give you the choice of accepting the charge or missing the flight – was very poor customer service from Cathay Pacific.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    To be honest I would see it as your job to acquaint yourself with baggage allowances. Why prepare 4 packages if the allowance is 3?

    Not very smart for the agent to label them I agree, but you could have avoided the situation with some personal organisation.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MKK
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.


    SFLiu
    Participant

    Thanks everyone’s reply, I start to get the point now: There is a 3 pcs rule and the ground staff was merely following the rule. By putting 4 bags on the weight I was assumed to know the cost for checking in the 4th piece and to pay as this is my responsibility to know the 3 pcs rule when I put the bags on the weight. The CX ground staff has no responsibility to tell me an already posted rule. Though they may choose to warn me before sending the bags down but it’s not their fault if they don’t. All the more it’s their right not to waive the charge so it’s my risk and consequences upon my lack of knowledge. Since the ground staff has done the right thing she has no reason to apologize on her execution according to the airline rule.

    I think I’m just expecting too much from the CX ground staff for the lack of apology in sending my bags down without first informing me there’s a cost, for which she may believe it’s my responsibility to know before checking in and there was nothing wrong on her side.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    There is nothing wrong with the rule, clearly the way it was enforced was the problem.

    I had similar with BA once. They’d kindly offered me a waiver of an extra 30 kgs (10kg per person) to take clothes to CPT for a charity. I mentioned this and put the bags on the scales, she tagged them without saying anything, sent them through, and then said I had to go to the ticket counter as she didn’t know anything about the waiver. The ticket counter said that the promise of a waiver wasn’t valid and wanted to charge me a couple of hundred Euros.

    The ensuing unpleasantness and threat of legal action (me vs. BA) is one the reasons I stopped flying on BA except when there was no viable alternative.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Woodpecker
    Participant

    Given an identical situation (CX Diamond Card holder travelling J Class) departing HKG, I would be pretty sure the CX ground staff here at the First/Business check in counter, would process four pieces luggage with zero fuss.

    I can only guess that the ground staff in TPE assumed that the OP being a Frequent Flyer was well aware of the rules.

    Still, they should have pointed that the fourth piece would be chargeable, then it would be the OP’s call.

    Experience 1, Goodwill 0.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Otte
    Participant

    Indeed a stupid remark re the assumption of the agents.
    As a CUstomer Service supervisor at an airport for over 20 years,I always advised my agents that bags will NOT be sent down the belt until they see the back of the passenger going the other direction.ie all transactions completed with the full understanding of both sides.
    If they sent your bags down the belt,and ONLY then asked for money,that’s totally ridiculous,and their supervisor should have let it go.
    However with the excellent inflight service of some Oriental Airlines,comes the inflexibility and ‘ no bending the rules’ culture.
    It comes hand in hand.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    TupeloKid
    Participant

    Thanks everyone’s reply, I start to get the point now: There is a 3 pcs rule and the ground staff was merely following the rule. By putting 4 bags on the weight I was assumed to know the cost for checking in the 4th piece and to pay as this is my responsibility to know the 3 pcs rule when I put the bags on the weight. The CX ground staff has no responsibility to tell me an already posted rule. Though they may choose to warn me before sending the bags down but it’s not their fault if they don’t. All the more it’s their right not to waive the charge so it’s my risk and consequences upon my lack of knowledge. Since the ground staff has done the right thing she has no reason to apologize on her execution according to the airline rule.

    I think I’m just expecting too much from the CX ground staff for the lack of apology in sending my bags down without first informing me there’s a cost, for which she may believe it’s my responsibility to know before checking in and there was nothing wrong on her side.

    I don’t think Cathay were wrong, but when I was in a similar situation with Virgin they alerted me to the possible overcharge and suggested I might want to repack more into my carry on bag to avoid the charge.


    luckyone
    Participant

    I hold Gold Star Alliance with TG as well as Marco Polo club but noticed that on my e-ticket on TG (just issued on biz) and regardless of the class I traveled prior they do list the maximum number of luggage that can be checked in, in brackets next to the weight amount allocated. This is besides the additional 20kgs weight holding Gold. I noticed even when I travel on TG from Suvarnabhumi they seldom bother even if my luggage is slightly overweight since they don’t bother to kick a fuss over small issues however I must admit more often than not, my luggage is way underweight.

    I do however agree that CX should have at least informed you that there’ll be a surcharge for checking in the 5th item considering you’re traveling on biz class and should have overlook such a small issue. I never have any problems with Marco Polo club with over 20years with them when they used to send freebies like their travel pouch which I still use till today. Then again at most my check-in on CX flights are generally 2 pieces.

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