Cathay Pacific over view of the past few yearsBack to Forum
On the subject of upgrades at CX, yesterday I was scheduled to fly economy HKG to SGN on BA Avios points. Flight was full and was upgraded to Business. I am not a CX member so I guess I was chosen as BA gold even though flying on a rewards flight. Service was impeccable. food was ok. The pier faultless as always. Fingers crossed for upgrade on the return the HKG Thursday!24 Jan 2017
Cathay shows what service is again and that it can be consistent outside its homebased. arrived at SGN to a sea of humanity as everyone is getting away for TET, I would guess at least an hour for economy to check in. As PE with a BA gold I went to the Business check in, yet again free upgraded to business, nice result. There was a huge wait at immigration snaking through the terminal and despite my flight not departing for another 3 hours due to a delay the check in staff voluntarily offered to take me through immigration strait through the crew lane. Could you ever imagine BA doing that, you are lucky to be even told the way even if running late at LHR (from my own experience)
Outbound was on a 777 and inbound on an A350. The difference is striking. While the 350 is much quieter the build quality of the 350 is very poor. This bird could not be more than a year old but everywhere in the cabin there was loose and broken trim, bits of tape hiding the bigger panel gaps, everything just felt thin and flimsy right down to the padding on the seat which felt half the thickness of that on the 777. Airbus, or whoever has done the outfitting has really gone cheap on the assembly.
As always inflight service was impeccable but food distinctly average. Going back to the original post I would say CX has kept and in some ways even bettered its quality of service but on the hard product (airbus not withstanding) you cost cutting signs are there27 Jan 2017
Yet to test their A350 though service always good and we got two hot meals in economy on an 8hour flight Hkg-Bne although the cabin was very cold, Captain saving fuel I guess since CX is complaining of hard times and competition has more modern aircraft (A350 excepted)!29 Jan 2017
Well I much appreciate everyone to speak their mind about their experience and sharing their views. It just helps people to determine and re-itirate the performance of an airline. As per my experience and another friend of mine based out of HK who travels both long and short haul flight, the experience is not far off than what i had originally written. First and foremost, the food quality has deteriorated at least by the time food gets to a passenger to eat. It has been pretty soggy and has lost it taste a bit but then one shouldn’t expect restaurant quality in the air, with the exception that my A380 experience with ME airlines is as close to freshness of the food as I have experienced in the last 15 years of frequently traveling. My original point was about upgrades and the frequency of it. I do understand that a person who pays a full price does not want an upgraded person next to them but then the person who has been upgraded has also earned the upgrade as they have traveled enough for the airline to offer then such a courtesy. It helps a carrier’s branding among travelers and customer prefers to stick to the same brand. The evidence shows in the U.S based airlines, they have a bad rep for not treating their customers nicely, hence the brand suffers and they remain the last resort to be chosen. So, the deterioration is not in CX overall service but in these two specific area and in some cases older planes. I will again travel in forthcoming days, long haul and short haul flights with cx, totally 8 destinations, hope to write up the most updated experience. Thank you all for taking the time out and writing in the forum.30 Jan 2017
I think part of the problem is that CX now have proportionately (and in absolute numbers) fewer first class seats, and so upgrades are harder to come by. They have clearly “enhanced” their revenue management systems to maximise fares. I have written on here before about my disappointment with this and the fact that (and this is a slight change from the last time I wrote on this topic) I have had ONE long-haul upgrade on CX despite being Diamond for more of the last two decades.
I will requalify this year, and also qualify for both mid-tier Diamond upgrades. But after that, I am no longer going to try to maintain status, not least because the Memsahib is now going to start doing the paid flights and I will use the redemptions (historically it has been the other way round, but I no longer travel for work). She should qualify for top-tier on MH by the autumn, and I will get complimentary emerald status as her spouse. Given that the unpublished benefits of Diamond (upgrades for instance) are now so far from being guaranteed that they are meaningless (for a lengthy period the Memsahib was upgraded more on reward flights as a Gold member than I was as a Diamond member on paid flights!) I cannot see that I will be any worse off when travelling on CX.
All of which is a shame, since I do still love travelling on CX. I just can’t justify it on paid long-haul on my own account when I can get better value (not necessarily better seats or better service, but better VALUE) elsewhere.17 Feb 2017
CX just announced a large loss last year,only the third in history. Not keeping up, should reduce loss making routes and except A350 have old aircraft and awhile before the 777x arrives. Didn’t invest in A380, ideal for their major routes and an aircraft all their competitors have. The cheapest seat/mile costs available and could have replaced their last few 747s. Similar story to QF not buying 777s a few years ago. Trust they don’t reduce service on board any more!15 Mar 2017
I’ve always been a Cathay fan although hadn’t travelled in their J cabins for a while as any travel east had been with QR due to their amazing fares.
I just completed a return trip to Australia on Qatar and the outbound trip required a re-route which involved a sector on CX from HKG – Australia. It was really interesting after some time away to compare it to the likes of Qatar after literally stepping off a QR aircraft and boarding a CX one. Onboard seems a little tired (especially on their A330-300’s) although their Hong Kong lounges remain incredible.
Will post a trip report soon!15 Mar 2017
I did my first ever CX flight last month. My previous long haul business class experience has been on BA only, which is perhaps why I was so impressed. I agree with referguson that the A330-300 was tired and showing its wear but the service was fantastic, the space in the cabin was a real eye opener and I thought that the cabin crew were superb. It’s been a real eye opener for me and although you can’t judge an airline by a single flight, I’m definitely looking at CX now for flights east (which is likely to be my long haul leisure channel until 2020 at the earliest).
1F19 Mar 2017
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!
Which route are you referring to???
CX (despite their recent travails) are perfectly able to buy A380s, they just don’t want to. According to an insider, this is because they are not efficient for the mixed pax/freight model that CX uses on long-haul.23 Mar 2017
CX just announced a large loss last year,only the third in history. Not keeping up, should reduce loss making routes and except A350 have old aircraft and awhile before the 777x arrives. Didn’t invest in A380, ideal for their major routes and an aircraft all their competitors have. The cheapest seat/mile costs available and could have replaced their last few 747s. Similar story to QF not buying 777s a few years ago. Trust they don’t reduce service on board any more!
See above regarding the A380.
The most recent information I could find on CX’s average fleet age is from August 2014 when CX said their average age was 8.5 years. Since then, all their B747s have been retired, and I believe the last of the A340s are due to be retired this month. CX has also, in the meantime, taken delivery of many brand-new planes – B777s and A350s. I can’t find an up-to-date average age but given that the B747s and A340s were quite old I suspect the average age has dropped dramatically.
I flew the A350 last month in J. I didn’t see any signs of wear but maybe I was lucky. And I must confess I haven’t flown any of the ME airlines. But it would take something truly superb to beat the experience I had on board.
This must be put into context as I am not (well, not any more!) a CX apologist and am on the verge of abandoning my longstanding Diamond membership, partly because of the failure to provide unpublished benefits such as upgrades (see earlier post). But I have to say the experience on board is still, to my mind, superb. YMMV23 Mar 2017
Flightlevel, if you are referring to LHR – HKG, CX also appear to be consistently cheaper than BA on the route. I have booked two flights recently on the route, mix of Economy and Business and both were significantly less with CX. For my dates, Premium Economy was the only class which is more expensive. That does not suggest that they should increase capacity!!
Flying the 350 from Gatwick soon in economy so that should be interesting…..23 Mar 2017
Look forward to a CX A350 flight soon and no doubt the service will be good. Its more productive and efficient (and more comfortable) to replace a number of B777s with a lesser number of A380s in the way BA does on major routes. Btw. LON – HKG is the biggest OW route in pax/kms and capacity enough for another daily A380.23 Mar 2017