New Cathay Pacific website experience = a total disaster

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  • cwoodward
    Participant

    This morning I tried to log into the Cathay site using my Marco Polo number. and my login of 20 years.
    It didn’t work the response was ‘wrong log in’. After several tries I resolved to call the Marco Polo number.
    Put on hold -15 minutes wait then answered after the first word it was obvious that I had been put through to a number in Philippines.
    To cut a long story short – the female that answered had an accent so thick and spoke so fast that it was not understandable ( my wife of many years is Filipino and we have a house there) once I had managed to slow her down I managed to extract the following no more diamond member express line – no more HK calls or staff all members now the same – sorry the site is no good,not working (when will it be) don’t know – no supervisor available – (how do I book a flight) try again tomorrow or later this week.
    Who can I talk to in Hong kong about this please – answer = no one in Hong kong any more.

    I said ‘thanks for your help’ and hung up.

    To make this all the more galling in the past 2 weeks I have been bombarded with emails from Cathay telling me how much my experience was going to be. How delighted I would be with the extra benefits of belonging to the club. How I as one of Cathay most valued member would be over the moon that they had revived my Lifetime Diamond Membership etc etc.
    Seems all marketing flim flam and rhetoric but I will try again and in the meantime email Cathay requesting some sort of explanation.
    It is certain that what has happened to me this morning is not an isolated situation and it will be interesting see how long it takes for them to apologise and fix this mess.

    Goodwill gained = 0 Goodwill lost = several hundred thousand members (judging from my experience this morning)


    christ
    Participant

    Hopefully it was just an unlucky experience.

    With no Cathay status (one world emerald through BA), i found the Cathay customer service outstanding – never has any airline been so helpful. When I was coming back to HK from the UK, I was originally stopping over in Dubai for 21 days to shorten quarantine and then Cathay – however i ended up in Poland instead as Dubai ended up on the HK bad list.

    I was concerned re documentation as I was activating a new visa and also my vaccine did not have my middle name. The Cathay service was so good as the lady gave me her direct e mail to send all my documents through and came back within 24 hours and even called me back as well as e mailed. It was so professional.

    My Cathay flight ended up being cancelled (which i was going to have to cancel anyway due to change of plans) and the same person even called me about 3 weeks to let me know and ask what I would like to do.

    The ironic thing was that i ended up on Qatar from Poland who were so paranoid as said they are nervous of documentation for HK passengers (I think they had a few mishaps) and took comfort from all my Cathay correspondence!

    I was very impressed and it sounds such a shame if this changes.


    stevescoots
    Participant

    interesting, i logged in with mine as always with user name and PW just now and it was ok, although i do find the push to have a phone number log in annoying, but then i guess thats just my age!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Cwwodward, where in the recent email about the new CX did you see they are reactivating Life Time Membership. I saw Life Time Rewards/Benefits but ont membership, or, have you been a Life Time Member before it was cancelled. I have not been a Life Time Member more a prolific Diamond member!!


    cwoodward
    Participant

    CL2 It was a personal email. However I have since found out (not from Cathay) that the level as such has not been generally revived as I had believed and only those that were previously LT or the later equivalent (diamond invitation) will again receive this level. All is rather cloudy with these changes.
    Apologies for the misleading information.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    cwoodward, no problem.


    tomyam42
    Participant

    The whole exercise is a disaster. I hate having to use my phone number to log in. Why on earth could they not leave it as the Marco Polo membership number? I can only suspect that some people avoided giving their phone number preferring instead to be contacted by email. Cathay staff much preferred to pick up the phone and call when an email would be quite acceptable. I have been called in meetings all over the world and once when in a car in Uzbekistan to answer questions like what seat would I like when they had an aircraft change.

    As for Customer Service one is now encouraged to use WhatsAp which connects to a robot. Ask to connect with a human and one is asked if they want customer service. Next they send a message saying that they are receiving more calls than usual and that they will get back to you.I have made contact several times and received this response every time. Once they got back to me over 10 hours later when I was tucked up in bed. Clearly I am meant to be available at their convenience. Finally contacting a human they are good at making bookings. When I wanted redemption bookings between Hong Kong and Manila and none were showing they asked which I would like, told me what times flights departed and told me if seats were available, then made my bookings accurately except they no longer took my credit card details. I hard to go to their payment system to finalise the booking. But when I asked a question regarding Cathay policy (is it still possible to have a free stopover in Hong Kong on the return on a 4 sector redemption ticket) I might as well have been asking if jet fuel was petrol. Not a clue, just a repeated series of questions: where do you want to go? What class? What dates? I’ll make the booking. But I want to know the policy so I can plan my travels. Speaking of which clicking on Timetable takes me to a flight booking system where I can only see one outbound day. I have to select a class and flight before I can check a return which again must be specific. Who ever wrote that program probably is is part paid member of the bucket and spade brigade.

    I finally found a booking page that allowed me to choose redemption and multi city. One can no longer enter MNL to BKK, there are no One World direct flights. So breaking it up I put MNL to HKG and was required to specify which airline I wanted. Guess what? I chose Cathay. Next HKG to BKK. Same again I chose Cathay. For the return I wanted to stop over in Hong Kong so entered the two sectors separately, both specifying Cathay. I chose the class, found that the mileage charge was unchanged and moved to select flights. What was I offered? Sector 1: MNL/KUL/HKGg on MH, Sector 2: (same day) HKG/KUL/BKK on MH, Sector 3: BKK/KUL/HKG on MH and Sector 4: HKG/NRT/MNL on JAL. All in Bizzo for 50K miles.

    In my opinion some overpaid consultant has told them that they should capitalise on their reputation to become a lifestyle company, peddle a pile of non airline stuff and cream a commission off everything. To kick off we lost the free AMEX credit card, replaced by a very expensive Standard chartered offering (cost up to HK$8,000 p.a.) Why can they not understand that the expertise they have, to the extent they have any, is running an airline. Concentrate on that. Offer an outstanding service and the dollars will roll in. If they want to compete with the likes of Air Asia and Cebu Pacific use Hong Kong Express, don’t tar Cathay with such penny pinching.

    Finally I received a letter welcoming me as a Lifetime Member. Bit late. I became a Lifetime Member about a quarter of a century ago, probably before the clown who wrote that was born.

    In summary there is absolutely nothing elevating in these changes. Everything is a mess. Whoever was responsible should be shown the door (maybe he has moved to London already). I cannot imaging how many loyal customers are totally pissed off with these changes.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    Chris in Makati
    Participant

    The option to sign in with an email address, membership number or username is still there. The first option presented on the login screen now prompts for a telephone number, but you can choose any of the the other options by clicking one of the buttons below.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I have had my run-ins with CX lately (posted elsewhere on the forum) but I have still – generally – had relatively little trouble getting through on the phone notwithstanding there is no separate Diamond line any more (I suspect they still prioritise the Diamond member calls based on the membership number you have to input fairly soon after connecting). The only airline I have ever found that is quicker to get through to is QR, whose customer service hotline (based on my admittedly limited experience) is absolutely amazing.

    I received an email today saying that there was an error in my account information in that it showed the incorrect expiry date – I hadn’t even noticed. So perhaps they are working through some system bugs.

    I also recently received my new Diamond card (and some more baggage tags) – membership extended to the end of the year – and a letter which invited me to use a QR code to discover how to extend it further to the end of next year. Four options availablue and I thought I *might* have qualified under one of them already but called them to check. Took only a couple of minutes to get through and a very helpful lady (Filipina, by her accent, which accords with cwoodward’s experience) had to spend a couple of minutes retrieving my old bookings but stated very clearly that I had already qualified on the basis of having taken a flight HKT-DOH-LGW at Easter, even though neither sector was on CX (QR ticket, QR metal to DOH and then, disappointingly, BA metal to LGW!). Unfortunately it appears this extension won’t show on the system (ie my membership/account page) until December/January but I have carefully made a note on the letter of when I called and what was said should there be any subsequent dispute.

    I have taken just one CX flight in the last couple of years, as I recall, and I miss it, so I am looking forward to flying with them to London in October, albeit we can’t do it in F because they are only flying non-F metal (sadly)

    Oh, and an entertaining little post-hotline-call anecdote. Following my travails with CX and our Offsprings’ tickets earlier this year (posted elsewhere – the final sector kept getting cancelled by BA) and the various calls I had with the hotline to try to rearrange everything, said Offspring were rather surprised that when the Captain came on to give the pre-boarding announcement he gave “a special welcome to the [IanFromHKG] family”, and only then went on to welcome elite members etc.!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    I have had my run-ins with CX lately (posted elsewhere on the forum) but I have still – generally – had relatively little trouble getting through on the phone notwithstanding there is no separate Diamond line any more (I suspect they still prioritise the Diamond member calls based on the membership number you have to input fairly soon after connecting). The only airline I have ever found that is quicker to get through to is QR, whose customer service hotline (based on my admittedly limited experience) is absolutely amazing.

    I received an email today saying that there was an error in my account information in that it showed the incorrect expiry date – I hadn’t even noticed. So perhaps they are working through some system bugs.

    I also recently received my new Diamond card (and some more baggage tags) – membership extended to the end of the year – and a letter which invited me to use a QR code to discover how to extend it further to the end of next year. Four options availablue and I thought I *might* have qualified under one of them already but called them to check. Took only a couple of minutes to get through and a very helpful lady (Filipina, by her accent, which accords with cwoodward’s experience) had to spend a couple of minutes retrieving my old bookings but stated very clearly that I had already qualified on the basis of having taken a flight HKT-DOH-LGW at Easter, even though neither sector was on CX (QR ticket, QR metal to DOH and then, disappointingly, BA metal to LGW!). Unfortunately it appears this extension won’t show on the system (ie my membership/account page) until December/January but I have carefully made a note on the letter of when I called and what was said should there be any subsequent dispute.

    I have taken just one CX flight in the last couple of years, as I recall, and I miss it, so I am looking forward to flying with them to London in October, albeit we can’t do it in F because they are only flying non-F metal (sadly)

    Oh, and an entertaining little post-hotline-call anecdote. Following my travails with CX and our Offsprings’ tickets earlier this year (posted elsewhere – the final sector kept getting cancelled by BA) and the various calls I had with the hotline to try to rearrange everything, said Offspring were rather surprised that when the Captain came on to give the pre-boarding announcement he gave “a special welcome to the [IanFromHKG] family”, and only then went on to welcome elite members etc.!

    I am struggling to see how I will gain the extension to Dec 2023 with the options available, said flights to be taken by Dec 2022. There is little if any redemption seats availabe Ex UK/Europe to Singapore and the business fares are very high. Maybe a case of accepting no redemption and looking for a paid for Business Class flight via say Madrid. The conditions i.e. qualifying fare I presume will be J,C or R fare class unless anyone else can throw light on that as I do not fancy flying economy. The other challenge with CX is on the return sectors SIN-HKG-LHR where the transit in HKG is anything up to 21 hours as a worst case scenario


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I have had my run-ins with CX lately (posted elsewhere on the forum) but I have still – generally – had relatively little trouble getting through on the phone notwithstanding there is no separate Diamond line any more (I suspect they still prioritise the Diamond member calls based on the membership number you have to input fairly soon after connecting). The only airline I have ever found that is quicker to get through to is QR, whose customer service hotline (based on my admittedly limited experience) is absolutely amazing.

    I received an email today saying that there was an error in my account information in that it showed the incorrect expiry date – I hadn’t even noticed. So perhaps they are working through some system bugs.

    I also recently received my new Diamond card (and some more baggage tags) – membership extended to the end of the year – and a letter which invited me to use a QR code to discover how to extend it further to the end of next year. Four options availablue and I thought I *might* have qualified under one of them already but called them to check. Took only a couple of minutes to get through and a very helpful lady (Filipina, by her accent, which accords with cwoodward’s experience) had to spend a couple of minutes retrieving my old bookings but stated very clearly that I had already qualified on the basis of having taken a flight HKT-DOH-LGW at Easter, even though neither sector was on CX (QR ticket, QR metal to DOH and then, disappointingly, BA metal to LGW!). Unfortunately it appears this extension won’t show on the system (ie my membership/account page) until December/January but I have carefully made a note on the letter of when I called and what was said should there be any subsequent dispute.

    I have taken just one CX flight in the last couple of years, as I recall, and I miss it, so I am looking forward to flying with them to London in October, albeit we can’t do it in F because they are only flying non-F metal (sadly)

    Oh, and an entertaining little post-hotline-call anecdote. Following my travails with CX and our Offsprings’ tickets earlier this year (posted elsewhere – the final sector kept getting cancelled by BA) and the various calls I had with the hotline to try to rearrange everything, said Offspring were rather surprised that when the Captain came on to give the pre-boarding announcement he gave “a special welcome to the [IanFromHKG] family”, and only then went on to welcome elite members etc.!

    I am struggling to see how I will gain the extension to Dec 2023 with the options available, said flights to be taken by Dec 2022. There is little if any redemption seats availabe Ex UK/Europe to Singapore and the business fares are very high. Maybe a case of accepting no redemption and looking for a paid for Business Class flight via say Madrid. The conditions i.e. qualifying fare I presume will be J,C or R fare class unless anyone else can throw light on that as I do not fancy flying economy. The other challenge with CX is on the return sectors SIN-HKG-LHR where the transit in HKG is anything up to 21 hours as a worst case scenario

    My understanding from the call – but do not take this as gospel – is that virtually all paid flights whether on CX or other OW airlines would qualify (from me reading of the terms, redemption flights would also qualify). The relevant condition states:

    “Certain fares and flights are not eligible for fulfilling the condition. These include staff travel, prize, other free tickets, and some codeshare flights. “

    From my conversation it seemed the focus was on the second sentence rather than a requirement for more expensive fare buckets. So perhaps a simple intra-continent return flight on any OW airline would suffice?

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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