Cathay Pacific over view of the past few years

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This topic contains 32 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Flightlevel 24 Mar 2017
at 20:36
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 33 total)

  • consult717
    Participant

    I have travelled on Cathay pacific for over 5 years now in their business class across the world. My primary route is HKG-JFK and I have travelled over 600,000-700,000 miles if not more through out Asia. Never in my 5 year of traveling has Cathay Ever offered me a courtesy upgrade. I have posed this question to many frequent travelers and their management but none of them have been able to give me a straight answer. The most clear answer I have received so far from a cabin manager is that they are not allowed to offer upgrade no matter what. unless someone from the inside puts your name in the system or you are a Platinum member for a certain amount of years. Their menu has deteriorated to 2-3 entrees which are served condensed in those small plates and often very soggy. They have refused meals to me during flights and that from HKG-JFK. Their planes are not new and often has bad stains embedded in the fabric. I fail to understand why people think of Cathay as a top class airline. It is a decent airline but definitely not a top tier airline. Cathay’s inflight service has been good and their lounges and some conveniences they provide in HK are to be mentioned but these are the traits offered by many airlines in their hub.
    If you travel as much as I do, you come across the quality and distinction offered by competitors. My experience with ME airlines and singapore airline when it comes to the quality of food, upgrades, cleanliness, aircraft age are distinctively superior. I get upgraded on ME airlines 20-30% of the times, even if I am only a gold member. I have spoken to many friends who live in HK and travel frequently on cathay and their experiences have been very similar. I had hoped Cathay would be a top tier airline when I started traveling on it but so far it has been a very average to OK experience. I would love to hear thoughts from other travelers.


    cityprofessional
    Participant

    You judge airlines by how often they upgrade you? You really need to fly with domestic US airlines that hand out upgrades like candy. In fact, why don’t you fly UA between NYC and HKG? They give out LOADS of upgrades: Y -> Y+, Y+ -> J. What, you don’t like their J class seat and food service? So, maybe CX isn’t so bad after all…

    OK, so CX food isn’t the best, but their long haul J seat and their home airport lounges are the best you can get – better than any US or ME airline, and arguably better than SQ

    And if you want to guarantee that you get to travel in first class, then I suggest you buy a first class ticket. I have sometimes received upgrades (J -> F) on BA, but I never expect it, am grateful when it happens, and it has always been for operational reasons (i.e. overbooking in lower cabins)


    JohnHarper
    Participant

    I find it difficult to believe that the OP finds SQ more generous with upgrades than CX unless they are an LPPS card holder. I fly SQ often and I’ve been told on many occasions that they off load before they upgrade – unless of course you pay the full rate for it. And as a traveler at the pointy end that’s just how I like it.


    cityprofessional
    Participant

    I fly SQ often and I’ve been told on many occasions that they off load before they upgrade – unless of course you pay the full rate for it. And as a traveler at the pointy end that’s just how I like it.

    Precisely. When I pay F fares, the last thing I want is some Gold card upgrader next to me. That’s how products get devalued… Do you know anyone who has willingly bought a full F fare on United or American in the last 20 years?!


    JohnHarper
    Participant

    I fly SQ often and I’ve been told on many occasions that they off load before they upgrade – unless of course you pay the full rate for it. And as a traveler at the pointy end that’s just how I like it.

    Precisely. When I pay F fares, the last thing I want is some Gold card upgrader next to me. That’s how products get devalued… Do you know anyone who has willingly bought a full F fare on United or American in the last 20 years?!

    I’m lucky, I don’t need to go anywhere near the US or their airlines for business and I certainly wouldn’t want to go their or fly with their airlines for leisure!

    Upgrades do destroy the integrity of the cabin and service. I remember years ago before SQ were so strict getting someone sat next to me in what was then Raffles Class on the upper deck of a 747 on a SIN-AKL sector. I think it was his ambition to drink the plane dry.

    In the end I asked to speak to the IFS and he told me that unfortunately the gentleman sitting next to me had been upgraded and it was very unfortuante but there weren’t any more seats in Raffles and obviously none in economy. I decided it was just something I had to put up with but then the IFS came back and asked me to gather my belongings, I was simply told he had found me a new seat which he was sure would be more suitable for me. He led me downstairs and forwards to the F cabin where there were no passengers and told me to choose a seat of my liking. The experience convinced me to start to pay for SQ F or as it is so often now Suites.


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    So happy to see I am not unreasonable and alone in my irritation when I buy a First ticket and find a cabin crammed with upgrades. Unfortunately for my most frequent route (LHR-PHL) that is nearly always the case – BA has to keep a certain very large pharmaceutical company happy! I have never expected an upgrade. If I want First, I buy it.


    consult717
    Participant

    CP, i have no reason to fly US based airlines and frankly speaking, I don’t like their in flight service and my past experiences have been borderline atrocious, hence I avoid them at all cost and will continue to do so. my point is not only about upgrades, I am talking abut over all experience. I fly Business only and hence I am a valued customer. I am not insinuating that they have to upgrade me, I am merely comparing how top airlines treat their frequent flyers, esp ME airline who value their frequent flyers more so then CX not to mention their aircrafts, food quality, variety and presentation is much nicer and wider. I have travelled on CX for over 600,000-700,000 miles and 300,400-000 miles on ME in the last few years so I have some experience in this matter. I can only compare other airlines when I have tried and tested them and in my experience CX is not up there. ME airlines base lounges are equivalently good as CX and I have given due credit to CX but courtesy and recognition is what keep the brand attractive, otherwise I might as well travel on any standard airline.


    stevescoots
    Participant

    I don’t fly CX much at all now on a cost basis however I have seen the hard product reduce over the years from cost cutting. That said I find the seat is one of the best in class, service both on the ground in HKG and in the air, is one of the best in the world still no matter who you are. The HK lounges are excellent always. I do agree that some of their other lounges are dire, PEK and LHR spring to mind. Regarding upgrades, I asked my friend who has worked there for 20+ years about it and whilst they were not entirely sure what policy it is now it used to be CX FF status, how long held, how achieved (thru CX or other OW flights) and as a tie breaker residency. They do have an upgrade not off load policy as I have been upgraded myself to F even though I am BA not CX on OW


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    CX is still a good airline for cabin service and atleast you get enough newspapers for shorthaul flights though food is only “competitive”. They use older 777s and maybe 10 across in economy before the 77X arrives in 4 years, are the 350s better? CX carry twice as many pax on the 1worlds biggest route (in ASKs) as BA, so some A380s would return them to a high standard though financially they can’t afford them!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Only experience with CX is on the HKG-BKK route which I do 4 or 5 times a year.

    Lounges in both locations put most airport lounges to shame. Aircraft and crew always top notch.. only ‘complaint’ is the food choice, mostly meat and sea food.. but quite frankly, there is so much food choice in the lounges, I generally don’t bother with the on-board food.

    My flights to Asia are price (and avios) driven, but would like to experience a CX longhaul…


    icenspice
    Participant

    Martyn, try burning your avios on Cathay Pacific. Great availability and outstanding service.

    O/W from ZRH to HKG was 99,000 + about €50. In First ?


    ASEANTraveller
    Participant

    I lived in HKG for 7 years (until early this year) and travelled extensively with CX, mostly in J, split equally between LH and SH. Diamond (Emerald) member throughout this time, and Diamond Plus for two of these years.

    I echo Martyn – great seats in all classes and standardised across the entire fleet (new regional J is perhaps the worst of the lot), consistently friendly and professional cabin crew, great IFE and the best home F lounges in the world IMO (on par with LH FRA and QF SYD). Long standing let down is the food in the air. Perhaps ever so slight deterioration in overall service over the past 2-3 years, but really going down from a 9.5/10 to a 9/10.

    In my experience, upgrades to Diamond members were actually forthcoming very often, more so than most other carriers, including BA. At one point, perhaps on 1 out of 4 flights. On this front CX “takes care” of its frequent fliers very well. It is unclear whether the OP had a CX MP account or credited miles to another OW account – maybe this was the issue?


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    As a life long Diamond Member initially flying Business when an employee I got the odd upgrade to first which was nice but not expected. Having started my own business I flew Econ and then Prem Econ and during that period upgrades were more prevalent and welcome. Now flying Business again the upgrades are few and far between although on many flights now there isn’t first. As other posters have said SQ is probably the meanest when it comes to upgrades but I understand their position. Follow this maxim “Expect nothing so you will not be disappointed or pleasantly surprised”


    AnthonyDunn
    Participant

    Martyn, have you tried looking at CX ex-AMS or DUS? These O&D appear to have some much cheaper fare options than ex-LON. Worth trying them long-haul which, personally, I rate very highly.


    NTarrant
    Participant

    Over the last three years I have regularly flown RUH-HKG-MNL and return on CX. Without exception I have always been welcomed by the cabin manager (compared to once in the last two years on BA).

    Compared to the first year I did this route the offering has reduced but still a good standard. But I thought the offering at the Pier last time (August) was not that good.

    I’ve had one upgrade between HKG and MNL J to F. My fiancée has been upgraded Y to J twice but at the time only had BA Blue

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