Cathay’s service deterioration

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  • MrMichael

    Is the Air New Zealand sky bed thingy a success? Been going some time and nobody as far as I know has copied it? Premium economy only seems to work on some routes/airlines, I think Alex said something along those lines.


    I have flown CX HKG – JFK and JNB – HKG. in E/Y. On each flight, 5 hours out of destination, it was lights on and second meal served. My only conclusion is that it might have something to do with crew rest? Still seems strange though.


    I travel a lot on Cathay, mainly Asia short-haul economy with some long haul PE/business. Generally excellent.

    The only bad flight was an overnight to Sydney when the crew threw food/drinks at everyone and then hid for the bulk of the flight.


    Hello MrMichael –

    When launched, everyone (not myself, I might add) cooed over the Skycouch concept which they said would become a global success.

    But it never happened for a number of reasons.

    Right now, I believe Skycouch has been adopted by only one airline, namely Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) and then only on its brand new B777-300ERs.

    These aircraft are factory-fresh from Boeing and CAL has, so far, only a very few in service. At the present time, CAL does not operate them to Europe.

    Air New Zealand is persisting with Skycouch. And it is installing Skycouch across its long-haul fleet including its older B777-200s which are currently being retrofitted.


    Air Astana has started offering ‘economy sleeper’ too. Looks pretty good!

    Kevin416 – yes this is weird. On the morning flight from SYD to HKG CX do the same. Hot breakfast straight after take off. Lights out. Then just over half way lights on, lunch served. Lights out again. Then nothing before landing.


    Thanks, referguson.

    It’s an interesting concept but note that Air Astana’s product is not exactly the same as the one offered by Air NZ and CAL.

    What Air Astana is offering is just a set of three seats without the raised legrests seen at the other two carriers’ seating.


    Hey Alex, thanks for that! Wow that musn’t be too comfy at all!


    EY does have fully flat beds across their entire longhaul fleet!


    I have been having a very sub-standard experience on cathay. I have traveled on Cathay Pacific for over 2 years due to my travels throughout Asia from United States. I travel primarily in business class and have traveled on both long haul and short haul routes. I am not really sure why Cathay is considered a top airline when it cannot and does not compete with any top tier airline i.e, singapore, Emirates, Etihad, etc. To give few examples, their inflight service is very rigid, borderline rude, they never offer an upgrade even if it is available, their food is far away from being decent, it comes in those small plates cramped in and soggy, considering other airlines offer a full menu on proper plates, where as cathay only offers 1-2 dishes, their anytime menu only has two items, none vegetarian. In my last flight which I flew a week back, I asked for a meal to be served and was told that I can only get anytime snacks with a condasending face. I almost didn’t want to communicate with the air crew anymore and this is a HKG-JFK flt. Now comes to upgradation, I just called Cathay to ask for a ticket to be upgraded on miles, I was informed that they do not offer tickets or upgrades on qatar even though it is one world. I gave them at least 8-10 dates to check in the range of 8-12 months down the road and was advised that all dates are not available on cathay, american or british airways. So, I am a bit confused, why should one really travel on Cathay when there really isn’t an upside to it and why it should be considered a top airline.


    Totally agree about CX pricing, I am not going to get into the who’s best argument here but it is a fact that CX prices are sometimes frankly ridiculous.
    Compare BA and CX in First or Business HKG/LHR and the difference is substantial, which makes it an easy choice for me.


    Just putting my tuppence worth in.

    I made an on line reservation on Cathay’s website (a useful feature, they hold the seat for 24 hrs), however I subsequently lost the booking ref.

    I rang Cathay’s UK number they were able to find the booking, and offered to confirm it over the telephone, which I did. I was also able to improve my seat selection (at no further charge).

    I’ll report back on the inflight service in the next week. I am very impressed with the help I received recovering the reservation.


    I used CX last week RUH-HKG-MNL and the service was great, just the same as the last time I used CX last year


    Flown 2, CX sectors in the past 10 days (HKG-BKK-HKG) and my only observation which I mentioned to the Purser was the catering.

    3 main meat dishes (Pork, Chicken and Beef) with no fish or vegetarian option. The purser agreed with my comments and said she would follow this up.

    Within minutes a vegetarian Indian special meal was produced, which was absolutely delicious.

    The rest of the CX travel experience was perfect and any shortfall in available food en route was certainly made up in the Wing…


    Used CX last month for LHR>HKG return trip and the service was very good. I still find the seats, in J, to be uncomfortable for sitting, but far superior to BA for sleeping. Ultimately the seat is used mainly for sleeping.

    I do think that the menu, ex HKG, is very poor, and is predominantly SE Asian, as can be the case with BA. Solution is to eat in the lounge before the flight.


    Oddly for me, I’ve been trying to figure out a response since this thread first started as Cathay have been my default airline of choice since Alan Joyce made his incredibly clever decision last year to withdraw Qantas international services from Perth leaving me with no option to get to Singapore or anywhere else in Asia other than flying S**tStar or going the long way round. Which I have done with Cathay.

    I CANNOT FAULT them and I’m speaking from last nights experience of landing back in Perth ex DXB via HKG in tremendous thunderstorm smooth as silk 🙂 Well done Captain on CX171!!

    That said, the thread is about onboard service so lets go there… having flown Emirates First also in last couple of weeks DXB/PER/DXB I know where I’d prefer to have spent my money.

    The caviar was ‘nice’ but as the only passenger on the way home in First, had my gluten free meal and that was it. Nothing else – apparently – had been loaded in First. And it was awful. No make that horrible, and yes you nasty little CSM I do and will remember you – again!

    Give me Cathay any day. They still have their values which may not be quite as fabulous in the hey day but pretty darn good – no make that very good – considering the rest of the rubbish offerings I’m usually presented with as ‘gluten free’ food.

    As for the seats, well hey ho, if you are lucky enough to be a bulky chap that doesn’t feel the metal mechanics of the seat through your cashmere … lucky you. I loathe every aircraft seat unless its got mattress on top!

    And finally as the only thing I really care about is how good the coffee and the vodka is, Emirates you need help with that rocket fuel and dishwater served in economy – Cathay – STARS all round Finlandia and very very good coffee too!

    Now can we talk about pathetic luggage allowances on Cathay??? I could really be nasty about this 😉

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 49 total)
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