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Cathay CX 257: 10/2010: HKG-LHR: << First >>  
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5014 posts, RR: 55
Posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Feedback always appreciated.




I > Background:
So my short term engagement in Bangkok ended, and I was heading back to Venezuela. It had been a great time in Asia, but I was really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. For whatever reason, I had been craving a “cachapa” for a while and promised myself that it would be the first thing I did when I got home. However, being the eternal vagabond, I decided to break my return passage with visiting some friends in Hong Kong, and a night out in London. Though, I did attempt to get on the conViasa flight from Damascus but gave up on getting that Syrian visa.

I decided to treat myself to Cathay’s First Class instead of the usual JCL flights I take. Prices on CX, QF, and BA were near identical, and since I had never flown CX, it was an obvious choice. Besides, I’d be taking CX on one of their flagship flights from their home base.

Surprisingly, there are quite a few CX F reports out there – and the lack of consistency in service made me a little worried. Some excellent reports are to be found by “thaia345”, “Lufthansa747”, “FbgDavidson”, “Ronerone”, and “Longhornmaniac” among others. I think this will be the 1st report on the HKG-LHR segment originating in HKG

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Cathay Pacific Airways is the flag carrier of Hong Kong. An anchoring member of the oneWorld alliance, it flies to 114 destinations in 36 countries worldwide, including codeshares and joint ventures, with a fleet of 126 wide-body aircraft, consisting of Airbus A330s and A340s, Boeing 747s and 777s.

Founded in 1946, Cathay Pacific has been one of the pioneering airlines in the world and has been widely regarded as one of the benchmarks of top notch service. Along with Singapore Airlines, it is probably the most recognized “faces” of consistent Asian hospitality.

Booking was done at Cathay’s website at www.cathaypacific.com. The site is clean and I was soon able to buy my ticket – including chose my seat. I could also go back and view and edit my seat selection with no problem. There was no ability to change my ticket however … but that is really a super advanced function.

b) At Airport:
After an amazing time in Hong Kong, it was time for my flight to London. Can I just say how much I love the city? While it has definitely changed since the handover, there is still such a positive vibe I get each time I visit the place. It’s cosmopolitan and diverse nature, and its entrepreneurial skills are a tribute to the ingenuity of the people of Hong Kong and I really do hope that the city retains this uniqueness and not become another mega-Chinese city. There are changes already. The Dai Pai Dong at North Point is one of my favorite places in HK to catch a meal – this time I heard more Mandarin than Cantonese and was rudely reminded that HK is changing when the mainland woman simply cut me of the MTR queue for tickets. It was just weird.

Anyways, HKIA lacks Kai Tak’s charm … but continues to be one of the world’s most beautiful airports, and a hub of global aviation routes. Cathay Pacific calls it home … and so imagine my surprise when it took me forever to find the First Class section for CX’s check-in. There is no signage I could find, and no porters to eagerly greet me and take me to an exclusive part of the airport. In fact, after 10 minutes of walking, I finally found it at the extreme left hand. Now, unlike excusive areas of other airports (hint: Bangkok), CX’s First Class area is basically a few podiums with some fancy lighting. No couches, no welcome drinks, nada. Thankfully, my agent was a sweetheart and she quickly checked me in, confirmed my FQTV info, and gave me an update on the lounges. Now, imagine my “horror” when the agent wished me a safe flight. WTF? She wasn’t going to walk me to the lounge? I was supposed to do immigration and security without a porter?! Yes, I am a snob. But I blame this on Thai for having spoilt me … and damn this was an “expensive” treat to myself. C’est la vie. So after having overcome the immense shock, I meandered my way trying to find the “fast track” immigration. Now imagine my horror when this “world class” airport had NONE. I mean, forget the exclusivity of Bangkok … there were not even counters for separate immigration and security. Truly poor. It took 35 minutes to clear the entire thing, and I was not too happy at the inefficiency and pushing and shoving. This is not fitting for a world class airline like Cathay.

Anyways, I needed some breakfast and so went to “The Wing” lounge for First Class passengers. This is one of the two CX F lounges and to be honest I again disappointed. It was more of a Business Class lounge and the frills and pampering that should come from flying First was distinctly missing. I was hungry and so went to the restaurant which was too small and the wait was over 20 minutes for a table. I fail to understand why JCL passengers are allowed in here. Or, create a separate place … or, expand the thing. The poor waiters were rushed and I had to make several attempts to flag someone down for the essentials such as cutlery, etc. I don’t blame them for the poor service – they were running around and the entire operation was clearly understaffed.

After my quick uninspired meal (again, all very JCL-lounge-like), I decided to check out what the deal was with the “famous” cabañas. The attendant asked me what time my flight left and let me into a spotless “cabañas”. I know some A.Netters find them overrated, but I actually liked it. Amidst an extremely busy lounge, there provided an oasis of serenity and I did like the relaxing lounge chairs outside. I didn’t actually take a shower, but it was a nice visit.

Since the lounge did not offer anything special (massages, etc.), I decided to go to my boarding gate. HKIA is such a nice airport and the windows make it one of the best places in the world for plane spotting. Kudos to the designers!

At the boarding gate, I queued up with other Business and First passengers and an agent came to check everyone’s boarding passes. Noticing me in the F-cabin, she invited me to follow her to the front of the queue. When boarding was called, she held other passengers to process me, and I made my way to the CX 744. It was the first time I felt like I was receiving a “differentiated” product.

As soon as I entered the CX 744, I was greeted by a group of ladies who were not quite ready to receive passengers. They made a quick “hello”, realized I had turned left, and heard the purser yelling, “First has arrived”. Hmm. A Filipina crew member (Ms. M) came by in a bit and introduced herself. She said she would take care of me along with her junior Hong Kong colleague. She took my jacket and offered me some champagne. The champagne came in a semi-chilled glass, but was poured at the seat. Next came the usual FCL routine: cold towels, menus, pyjamas (nice Shanghai Tangs), and the amenity kit. Newspapers and magazines were available along a small counter.
F had 2 paying customers (including myself) – 2 captains – and a bunch of operational upgrade. Thus, only 1K remained empty. The privacy of the suites made it feel exclusive, but it lacked the initial welcome I had felt on Thai. Mark (BA 319-131), I think I am beginning to understand your comments on the suites …

Now, I must comment on the first impression of filthiness of the cabin. There was left-over crumbs on display on the 1A magazine rack (unacceptable in FCL, and especially so given that there were in clear display). When I went to the bathroom, there was leftover toilet paper and stuff. Um hello, I am the first to board, and the first to use the FCL lav. Couldn’t the crew have checked this during their security check? Uugh.

Airport - External:

(Hong Kong Airport)


Check-in:

(First Class Check-In Area & Podiums)

*


Airport - Internal:


*

*

(FIDS)


(Post Security @ HKG)


*

Scenes of the tarmac:

*

*
(I always forget how long –and graceful – the 346 is)

*

*


Lounge

(Cathay Pacific’s First Class Lounge – The Wing)

*
(To me, looks like a generic J lounge – and actually, the J section was no different)

*
(The Library)

*
(The Busy Dining Room)

*

*
(And, the famous Cabañas)

*

*

Boarding:


(Gate area)

*


(Boarding)
NONE


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Cathay’s First Class service is supposedly tailored to passenger needs. As mentioned, prior to take-off, drinks – cold towels – menus – pyjamas – amenity kit. After take-off, first meal service commenced. 2nd meal service (larger) taken at leisure. Fast track cards distributed prior to arrival.

So anyways, after we initially pushed back, the captain came on the PA and announced that one of the parts was not working, and we would have to get back to the gate. Always an ominous sign, I decided to catch up on reading the newspaper. Ms. M (Filipina lead) came to ask for more drinks orders – I ordered the always fantastic Pacific Sunrise (one of CX’s signature drinks, and something I highly recommend). 25 minutes later, I was still waiting for it, as Ms. M was busy gossiping with one of the captains. Again, not good. The younger crew member (let’s call her Ms. HK) came by and I said I had been waiting for 25 minutes … she was super apologetic and soon got me my drink. Anyways, then the fun began …

As the delay kept on getting longer, a lot of us FCL passengers started to socialize. I was having an interesting conversation with a Brit who managed his own fund who joked I should be traveling in the back (when I said I worked in the industry). I always liked Brit humor. Anyways, during this time, I got to partake in an incredible conversation.

Gent in 4A: “Where are you from?”
Gent in 4K: “Australia. And you?”
Gent in 4A: “Oh. Me too. Where abouts?”
Gent in 4K: “You don’t sound Australian.”
Gent in 4A: (smiling) “I didn’t know we all sounded alike.”
Gent in 4K: “You know what I mean.”
Gent in 4A: “Not really. But, family from Bulgaria … moved to Australia around 15 years back.”
Gent in 4K: “See, I knew you were not a real Australian.”

The poor “Bulgarian”, Brit, and I looked shockingly at the chap in 4K. Here are three people in a premium cabin of a multi-cultural carrier and you get what I would say is kinda xenophobic no? There is this hard working immigrant from Bulgaria who has obviously contributed to Australian society and can pay for a First Class ticket, and this is what he gets?! I shudder to think what less educated people think where he is from! Anyways, I really should keep quiet … but have been trained for otherwise. Quickly, I commented: “Funny. I always thought real Australians were Aboriginal. You certainly do not look the part”.

The man in 4K muttered something and went back to his seat. The three of us continued our conversation and it was interesting. The “Bulgarian” appreciated my gesture and said snide remarks such as this are very common in Australia. The Brit chimed in that after growing up in London, he was horrified when he moved to Sydney. According to him, Australia is like England in 1940s. All very fascinating and sad.

Anyways, the delay grew longer and after 2hours, we finally bid adieu to HK and climbed to our cruising altitude. The incident left me with a bitter taste – and as I continued my rather liberal partaking of the cocktail (always, Pacific Sunrise), I got a tad sad thinking of how much misplaced anger there is.

By the way, one thing I did like was that during the delay, the crew offered mobile phones for those who wanted to call and notify people.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
There continues to be something graceful about a 744 – and Cathay’s was no different. Perhaps, it is just the feeling I get from seating at 1A and the walls taper elegantly. Looking from the outside, it is also an interesting feeling locating 1A in relation to the aircraft and the thought that the captain is literally above me.

Cathay’s hard product in First is very good. It is a near-suite and probably just a notch below the “suites” of Jet Airways and Emirates. There is ample privacy and the seat is comfortable in all positions. In full-flat mode, it goes down to full-bed and the crew makes delivers the perfect turn down service. Another thing one notice is the width of the seat. I found them to be huge and no problem to have a “partner” cuddle with you. Also, the dinner setup is huge and you can comfortably have a meal for 2.

The subdued colors of the cabin are elegant and have a warm hue to it, and the bathroom is one of the nicest I have seen on a F-cabin. I am also trying to remember if there is any other carrier with 2 windows in the bathroom.

What does defeat the ambience is the poor cleanliness level – the filth left over on my seat and in the bathroom while on the ground is not fitting to a premium operation.

Oh finally, why no bar/lounge area?

Aircraft:
(744 @ HKG)


Views from Aircraft:

(Sister ship)

*

*

*

*
(Reflections)

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Seat)

*
(Front of seat)

*
(Seat controls)

*

*
(Legroom)

*
(Suite Sign)

Seat Recline + Angle View:


*
(Duvet and turn down service)

*

*

Cabin:

(Oh, Ms.M – other passenger exists beyond the captain at 3A you chat the whole time with)

*

*
(Now you know why the first window on the CX 744 looks shut from the outside – love the orchid)

*
(Bathroom Amenities + Awesome bathroom)

*
(Double window)

*
(Motif)

*
(You just have to look over the filth … at boarding)

*
(… and the crumbs leftover greeting me as I boarded)

*

*
(Normally, they are storage spaces)

*

*
(Though, unlike TG-9W-QR, etc., no one will come and hang anything/or offer)

*
(One of the cool things I like about the 744 ceiling – still looks futuristic spaceshipy)

*


c) Meal + Beverage:
FCL meal service should be special. CX definitely leaves much to be desired. There were issues both with the actual meals, and in their execution. Table setting was elegant with crisp linens heralding the start of the service. Again like Thai, I was left underwhelmed by the quality of the crockery. Anyways, the meal service commenced with a generous and nice warm bread basket and fresh fruits. I also took the forest berry smoothie which was delicious. For the main course, I chose the dim sum platter which turned out to be very good. Now, my table setting had a soup bowl placed next to it. Can some of my Chinese A.Net counterparts educate me on why this was? Was this meant for the dimsum? I am fairly experienced in Chinese cuisine and kept on thinking some kind of broth would accompany. This never came. Some pralines were offered, but it took 20 minutes before my request for a glass of port wine came.

Now comes the strange part. The second meal service was supposed to be at me leisure. I requested the same around 3 hours prior to landing. It was supposed to have commenced with a caviar and balik service. But guess what? They ran out! How the hell do you run out of caviar on your flagship flight for one of the two paying customers is beyond me? It was extremely disappointing. Anyways, instead of asking me what I wanted, Ms. M told me that there was very few choices left and I basically had to have the roasted red pepper soup (it was nasty), the mixed prawn salad (OK), and the deep-fried prawn as a main. To their defense, the main dish was delicious and perfect. Why it took another 20 minutes between my salad and my main is beyond me.

Then it got worse. I had gone to the bathroom, and was looking forward to dessert and a glass of port wine when I returned. I had actually mentioned to Ms. M how much I was a fan of the Ramos Pinto port and was looking forward to another glass. So imagine my horror when I came back to my seat with the entire linens cleaned up and the fast track form sitting at my table!

I was disappointed and found the whole affair to be in poor taste. I felt like I was imposing on the crew – and just felt a little weird asking for my dessert. It was like I was entitled to a handout and now whining that I had not received it. Anyways, Ms. M came by when I rang the call button. I asked her about the dessert and this was the exchange:

Me: “I see you cleared my table. I was looking forward to that dessert.”
Ms. M: “We are landing and I have to prepare the cabin.”
Me: “There is still 90+ minutes of flying time and I’m sure LHR will have a hold.”
Ms. M: “Ok. What do you want?”

By that time, and the lack of apologies, had totally turned me against this crew and this experience. I told her “never mind” and went to catch a few winks of sleep.

Overall, beverage choices were excellent – including Blue Label. There wasn’t a choice of champagne and I am not a fan of Krug – but I know it is exemplary. CX’s signature cocktail, the Pacific Sunrise is truly amazing.

(Menu)

*

*

*

*
(An uniquely CX touch – welcome note – nice – wish it was genuine ...)

*
(Welcome champagne + more)

*
(Awesome Pacific Sunrise)

*
(Another one)

*
(1st Meal Service)

*

*

*

*

*
(Tea en-route)

*
(2nd Meal Service)

*

*
(Tick-tock-tick-tock ... where is that main course?)

*
(Thankfully, it was great)

*
(Now, for some dessert ... wait ... what? Why have you placed immigration forms instead?)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Cathay’s IFE is really good. The big screen and the nice noise canceling headset are good complements to the strong selection of movies, tv, music, games, and other entertainment options. Studio CX has nearly 75 movies – and they are diverse, relevant, and have enough of new releases. It is nothing like Emirates’ ICE – definitely the industry leader with SQ, but it is just one notch below that. One feature I did like was the continuous display on the screen and the hand-held joystick on the flight time remaining, and the warning that the program might not end when I chose a tv program towards the end of the flight.

The in-flight magazine was good and had the right balance of articles and airline info. BTW, does CX not produce an in-flight guide anymore?

(Controls + Headset)

*
(Tells flight time)

*
(IFE System)

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*
(Useful)

*

*

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)


e) Crew:
Besides the actual food and the poor ground experience, this is where Cathay failed most spectacularly. This crew just did not get premium First service. Truly a disappointment as I have always been a fan of CX crew. In fact, I think I feel horrible recommending CX to so many people on this site just because of their crew. I really have no idea what happened to my crew. So many observations on their poor service delivery – here are a few of them which stand out:

+ I was NEVER once addressed by my name during the ENTIRE flight. At the end when I was disembarking, the purser remembered my name for my waiting LHR chaperone.
+ What does the purser do on a CX flight? She never introduced herself during the entire flight.
+ Several times, the crew just forgot my drink order. Or, should I say Ms. M?
+ Ms. M spent a LOT of time chatting with the captain in 3A.
+ I felt like anything I requested was a bother – and was rushed and impersonal. No “enjoy your meal” or any of those standard text book pleasantries learnt at cabin crew training.
+ Service was VERY slow.
+ After I went and changed to my PJs, I got out of the bathroom with my clothes and stood at the galley. Ms. M just looked at me without offering to hang my clothes (a normal F class expectation), or even offering me a hangar. Um, hello? Do I have to ask you for everything?
+ First time that the purser or any senior crew member did not come to thank me for my business.

Basically, a group of crew who just needs to go back and learn what customer service in First Class is truly about. Extremely disappointing service on all levels and not what is usually expected from Cathay Pacific. If they continue down this slippery slope, they will not be the airline that I had grown to love. I recognize they are having a lot of management issues – but this is systematic of an airline not willing to change.

IV> Post-Flight:
Landing at LHR was smooth and I was soon gate-side. Thankfully, a wonderful LHR agent was at the gate to greet me and walk me to my limo. For those unaware (since CX does not publicize this), full paying F pax can take advantage of a limo service and my nice Mercedes limo took me to my apartment in Maida Vale within 45 minutes.

(LHR Arrival – someone at the aircraft door to walk me to my limo)

*
(Limo)

*
(LHR)

*

*
(Hello sister)


V> Impressions + Scores:
Cathay Pacific used to be one of the flag bearers of Asian hospitality. I don’t know how long it can continue to claim the same. It seems that inertia has crept into the airlines service delivery – perhaps the lack of any fresh ideas – that management seems to grapple with.

There is nothing special about the service on the ground. The lack of special First class lanes for immigration and security is absolutely poor. The First class lounge is on par with Business class lounges elsewhere, and there really is nothing separating the two.

On board, the dismal crew needs to be retrained on how to conduct proper service delivery. This is First Class people. Perhaps, send them to Thai or Jet Airways to learn how to handle the nuances of top notch service? The only crew who tried was the young girl from HK who was relegated to the background. Where was the purser during the flight? And, what’s up with the filth that should have been taken care of prior to my boarding?

CX has the hardware – the new seats are great, and the IFE is also great. It really needs to get back to the basics to improve its customer delivery. BTW, can someone tell me if some kind of conscious decision was taken not to hire any Malaysian/Indian/Thai FA’s? These used to be the foundations of great service – and they are increasingly absent.

For the obscene prices First Class commands, it MUST distinguish itself from Business … let alone Economy. In my humble opinion, readers are better suited to spend their hard earned money on flying another airline, or just be OK with Business on CX. I know the narrow seats are a nightmare, but beyond the better seat, there really is nothing distinguished about CX’s F.

This experience has left me with a poor taste about CX. I would think twice about spending money to fly them in FCL. Two thumps down!


VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
9.27: THAI AIRWAYS **FIRST** (108): BKK-LHR: 07/2010
8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.66: Sri Lankan (104): DEL-CMB: 07/2010
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.61: China Southern (103): LOS-DXB: 04/2010
7.57: Pakistan Airlines (102): ORD-BCN: 06/2010
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.38: Cathay Pacific ** FIRST ** (109): HKG-LHR: 10/2010
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Aer Lingus (105): MAD-IAD: 05/2010
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.82: Air Burkina (106): BKO-OUA: 06/2010
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: A SKY (107): OUA-COO: 06/2010
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: SATA Azores (101): BOS-PDL: 04/2010
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Amenity Kit – Men’s and Woman’s)

*

*
(Pyjamas – AWESOME! – highlight of the flight)


[Edited 2010-10-10 00:03:58]


Live, and let live.
59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi abrelosojos,
Yet another excellent trip report. Well written and combined with good photos. It is such a shame that it tells such a sorry story.

It is a sad fact that many businesses forget that you can have the best "hardware" in the industry, but if your customer service delivery is shoddy, that's the reputation that sticks. Clearly on your flight the CX crew had forgotten that simple rule. Failing to bring drinks when ordered and gossiping with other crew is clearly unacceptable.

One question: who determines what the set up will be for immigration and security? Sure, the airline could request it but wouldn't it be up to the people responsible for immigration and security to make the decision? I only ask because it isn't a matter I have given much thought to, although I have benefited from separate lanes at other airports.


User currently offlineAI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex, WOW what a stark contrast between this flight and the one from Bangkok. When I read the title, I thought another amazing experience, so imagine my shock when reading what happened on your flight and the whole experience. I don't think I've ever read such a bad experience with one of the so called 5* airlines.

As you said in some of the comments how you thought you were a "snob", well to be honest I don't think you are as you were expecting a truly genuine experience like with SQ, TG and 9W. I think all the cabin crew need to go back to serving Economy Class passengers and even then that is being nice to them. How terrible was your in-flight service?!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
It had been a great time in Asia, but I was really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.


I'm surprised you hardly ever get time to get home. LOL!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So anyways, after we initially pushed back, the captain came on the PA and announced that one of the parts was not working, and we would have to get back to the gate.

Maybe that's why the check-in agent said "Have a safe flight?"

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Quickly, I commented: “Funny. I always thought real Australians were Aboriginal. You certainly do not look the part”.

Quick thinking indeed and a great comment to say. Shocking how someone could say that in First Class but it doesn't surprise me though.

Sandeep (AI151)



Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1053 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex

I agree with Sandeep that it was supposedly another great experience when I saw it on the forums. This time it seems like CX's F Class leaves much to be desired. Running out of caviar for paying F Class passengers is a definite no-no! Are you planning to write in a complain letter for that?

Shame that a 5* Airline has lost out terribly to a 4* Airline (TG). Despite having a better hardware, their software definitely needs improvement. If only there is a combination of TG crew and CX seats, wouldn't the flight be much more wonderful? It seems like CX treats their J Class passengers quite well by offering the restaurant dining option. However, it might be better if F and J Class is separated.

Awaiting more wonderful TRs from you in the future!

-Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinelalib From Pakistan, joined Feb 2010, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi abrelosojos,

I loved the detail and enjoyed reading your report.

I live in Hong Kong and I also have high expectations of Cathay. Two things I have noticed about Cathay, their ticket prices usually more expensive and their service is nothing spectacular.

To comment on your report:

- No fast track @ Immigration and Customs. This can be a pain for visitors. For those that live in HK we just pop in our ID card (takes a minute) and customs can be cleared under 10 mins. But perhaps coz you were flying at a busier time of the day (mornings) things were different.

- Lack of Customer Service skills. Yeap I have seen this too. Both with ground staff and cabin crew. But some of the staff I found to be well trained and efficient. (TG & SQ much better)

- The FA's. I have noticed that too. Filipina ladies have got the head FA's job. Perhaps because they speak good English. I have seen Indians in similar roles but not Thai or Malaysian FA's.

Anyway, did you fill in the Customer service feedback form onboard stating where they went wrong? A complaint from a paying F passenger should carry some weight.

regards,


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2920 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex,

Another splendid report!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
when it took me forever to find the First Class section for CX’s check-in. There is no signage I could find, and no porters to eagerly greet me and take me to an exclusive part of the airport. In fact, after 10 minutes of walking, I finally found it at the extreme left hand. Now, unlike excusive areas of other airports (hint: Bangkok), CX’s First Class area is basically a few podiums with some fancy lighting. No couches, no welcome drinks, nada. Thankfully, my agent was a sweetheart and she quickly checked me in, confirmed my FQTV info, and gave me an update on the lounges. Now, imagine my “horror” when the agent wished me a safe flight. WTF? She wasn’t going to walk me to the lounge? I was supposed to do immigration and security without a porter?! Yes, I am a snob.

He he he Spoilt by TG   

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
But I blame this on Thai for having spoilt me … and damn this was an “expensive” treat to myself. C’est la vie. So after having overcome the immense shock, I meandered my way trying to find the “fast track” immigration. Now imagine my horror when this “world class” airport had NONE.
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I mean, forget the exclusivity of Bangkok … there were not even counters for separate immigration and security. Truly poor. It took 35 minutes to clear the entire thing, and I was not too happy at the inefficiency and pushing and shoving. This is not fitting for a world class airline like Cathay.

wow, I guess "inferior" airports like DEL and BOM do a better job on that front.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
and heard the purser yelling, “First has arrived”. Hmm.

sheesh, that's bad.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Now, I must comment on the first impression of filthiness of the cabin. There was left-over crumbs on display on the 1A magazine rack (unacceptable in FCL, and especially so given that there were in clear display). When I went to the bathroom, there was leftover toilet paper and stuff. Um hello, I am the first to board, and the first to use the FCL lav. Couldn’t the crew have checked this during their security check? Uugh.
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(You just have to look over the filth … at boarding)

Totally unacceptable, you really need to report this stuff to the CX people.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
By the way, one thing I did like was that during the delay, the crew offered mobile phones for those who wanted to call and notify people.

Nice, liked that.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was disappointed and found the whole affair to be in poor taste. I felt like I was imposing on the crew – and just felt a little weird asking for my dessert. It was like I was entitled to a handout and now whining that I had not received it.

Had an identical experience on EY in F class.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Me: “I see you cleared my table. I was looking forward to that dessert.”
Ms. M: “We are landing and I have to prepare the cabin.”
Me: “There is still 90+ minutes of flying time and I’m sure LHR will have a hold.”
Ms. M: “Ok. What do you want?”

Very rude!

I guess the mediocre service of CX isn't restricted to BOM only. At least we have company!

Thanks for sharing.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1153 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

All I can say, a "3" for service from you, for the cabin crew on board says it all. And this too on CX's premium route HKG-LHR, and on board their magnificent 744s.

User currently offlineaerobus12 From Norway, joined Oct 2010, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello! I just wonder what your occupation is, as you seem to fly a lot around the globe in bizzinizz?  

User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 901 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex... another great report! That is disappointing about CX flagship service lacking. I have flown CX several times and had a great experience. Funny, I was just there last week in HKG and had a business meeting with CX in their HDQ. They have a beautiful office with a real CX DC-3 parked outside. I will post a pic once I get to writing my first trip report.


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5014 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting aerobus12 (Reply 10):
Hello! I just wonder what your occupation is, as you seem to fly a lot around the globe in bizzinizz?

= What is this? It is like the question of the day  . Posting from the TG report:

= I am a spy. Haha ... kidding. As I have mentioned, I really do lead the aviation practice of a large management consulting firm. Most of my work travels are not covered on trip reports as I do not find it professional ... don't bite the hand that feeds kinda approach. However, I make it a point to travel every chance I get ... and possibly why I don't have a nice car or a super nice house. Priorities my friend when it comes to spending money are very defined for me .

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 11):
Hi Alex... another great report! That is disappointing about CX flagship service lacking. I have flown CX several times and had a great experience. Funny, I was just there last week in HKG and had a business meeting with CX in their HDQ. They have a beautiful office with a real CX DC-3 parked outside. I will post a pic once I get to writing my first trip report.

= Ya - I was actually surprised as well how poor the CX service went. Hopefully, it is a one-time thing. Though, I have been receiving PM's saying that their service has really gone downhill.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2430 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi A.,

I am not that experienced in F traveling. Hence, your TG experience and Roni's have become my reference. Well, I can say that I noticed almost immediately the stark contrast of your CX F experience to the others.

An understaffed dining area in the lounge is not done especially for F passengers. I have pity on the staffs on duty who were trying their best to satisfy their premium guests but got interfered in their work this way.

Regarding the 4K guy, I realize that you cannot choose your fellow passengers, but what intrigued me most is Mrs. M. being 'picky' towards her passengers. I would have expected her as a purser to act more professional and exemplary to her junior colleague. Instead, it went the other way around.

Disappointing F service. I was kind of expecting to read another indulging luxurious experience of yours when your report popped up.

Thanks for sharing your insight review.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Another TR that's received my undivided attention .. Well that, and the recent First Class surprise reports we are getting from you lately Good job!!

Too bad it was an off-day for CX so it seems. Of all the flights i've done with CX, i have had one similar to your experience; but in my world, CX is always forgiven haha

I am actually quite surprised at the crew's aloofness. They are always such a joy to fly with on my flights, and all my F experiences were exceptional. From purser introductions, to addressing by name, feeding you non-stop till you borderline heartburn, and even a little friendly flirting too.

The cabin filth is also a big no-no, especially when the aircraft is departing from its home base! And i still am not a fan of those bagless headsets, even if they have a small 'sterilised' seal (which seems to be new).


Thanks for sharing this TR! ...So is First you new TR theme now? I like it!


Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex!

It seems you had a really bad experience on CX First Class. Very surprised that there was no seperate lane for immigration at HKG airport. Like you said, no need to buy F on CX when the service is not there and CX J is pretty good anyway.

REALLY bad to run out of caviar.......

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1194 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hola Alex!

A great TR.

Let me tell you first that I have never flown First class internationally, but really if this is the service you get on a supposedly 5* carrier I think I save my money and keep flying J when possible, at least for CX. As a frequent reader of TRs I have seen TG, SQ and others do a much better job...

The food thing is the one that would have annoyed me the most together with the forgetful FA, it is something I would not tolerate easily. I hope their customer service has something to say.

Besides that, I enjoyed reading the TR and looking at the pictures which present a great cabin with superb seats.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Alex,

Great report, but such a shame CX totally stuffed up the F experience!

If your experience, and I hope it is not, is the standard CX F experience on the longhaul routes they have a real problem.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
it took me forever to find the First Class section for CX’s check-in. There is no signage I could find, and no porters to eagerly greet me and take me to an exclusive part of the airport. In fact, after 10 minutes of walking, I finally found it at the extreme left hand. Now, unlike excusive areas of other airports (hint: Bangkok), CX’s First Class area is basically a few podiums with some fancy lighting. No couches, no welcome drinks, nada. Thankfully, my agent was a sweetheart and she quickly checked me in, confirmed my FQTV info, and gave me an update on the lounges. Now, imagine my “horror” when the agent wished me a safe flight. WTF? She wasn’t going to walk me to the lounge? I was supposed to do immigration and security without a porter?! Yes, I am a snob. But I blame this on Thai for having spoilt me

- This really shows how good the Thai F experience is, especially on the ground.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Mark (BA 319-131), I think I am beginning to understand your comments on the suites …

-  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
one thing I did like was that during the delay, the crew offered mobile phones for those who wanted to call and notify people.

- Nice touch, saves passengers expensive over seas calls on their own phones.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the crumbs leftover greeting me as I boarded

- Very poor and even worse its F and on home turf.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The second meal service was supposed to be at me leisure. I requested the same around 3 hours prior to landing. It was supposed to have commenced with a caviar and balik service. But guess what? They ran out! How the hell do you run out of caviar on your flagship flight for one of the two paying customers is beyond me? It was extremely disappointing. Anyways, instead of asking me what I wanted, Ms. M told me that there was very few choices left and I basically had to have the roasted red pepper soup (it was nasty), the mixed prawn salad (OK), and the deep-fried prawn as a main. To their defense, the main dish was delicious and perfect. Why it took another 20 minutes between my salad and my main is beyond me.

- Lost for words, this is unreal.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I asked her about the dessert and this was the exchange:

Me: “I see you cleared my table. I was looking forward to that dessert.”
Ms. M: “We are landing and I have to prepare the cabin.”
Me: “There is still 90+ minutes of flying time and I’m sure LHR will have a hold.”
Ms. M: “Ok. What do you want?”

- Again, quite lost for words on the whole service element.

I'm glad I was not on this flight and in F as I would be most unhappy at the service delivery, it is just unacceptable and just not what one expects when travelling with CX.

It will be interesting to see if CX come back to you following your comments to them.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1834 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for another excellent trip report!

I have to say that I am both surprised and not surprised by the poor quality of crew on CX.
I actually had pathetic experience on Thai Airways and put them on my "not to fly" list. TG First scores high on ground service in Bangkok (not other outstations), but once on board, they have a 50/50 chance by getting a good or bad crew, plus the frequent aircraft change.

However CX has no excuse on the poor delivery of this flight. The HK cleaners usually did a pretty good job in cleaning the a/c even on tight turnarounds and the F/As supposed to check prior to flight. Ms M is obviously too busy gossiping. I have a thermometer on whether I am going to be a good or bad CX flight - whether the purser greeted the OW Emerald passengers and F passengers. I understand they can't do the round for all JCL passenger due to CX decision to go minimum on crew and the purser had more work than ever or on the short flights to TPE. However most pursers will make an effort to greet more MPO, OW elites and F passengers, and I asked a number of pursuers before, and it was mandatory except on short flights to TPE for obvious reasons. I also am curious if you get a HK based or London based crew, and on US routes, the service is usually just average when you get a LAX or SFO based crew. YVR is actually good though. London - from what I heard was a mixed crowd.

Yes CX has only two F/As in first now, which made running a full Boeing 747 tough at times, and the purser might not have time to help with F, because they generally had to help out with the back. CX really needs to bring back three F/As for the 9 passengers cabin. 77W has 6 F seats, which is okay, but not 747-400.

For daytime flights, CX has been doing this strange things now - breakfast after takeoff and then lunch mid-flight in J and Y. I think some of the F passengers might have gotten their lunch mid-flight, so the F/A was annoyed when you requested lunch prior to landing. That was no excuse and if I am you, I will insist on having the dessert (which happened before... I paid for that damn ticket and was not asking you serving me a full lunch 30 minutes prior to landing). I will also ask for the purser immediately. Why? CX purser has to evaluate each individual crew after each flight and reports back to the headquarter. It is like entering a letter grade for each F/A. I will also submit a report because CX will follow up on those reports and these complain will remain on that person's file. CX has a dedicated set of crew for first class, and it is important for passengers to give honest feedback. But please be clear about Ms M performance or else you might ruin the junior HK staff career in CX. Knowing Miss M behavior pattern, I will not be surprised if she tries to lay the blame on the junior staff.

About running out of choices, that is unacceptable because CX has to make sure full revenue fare paying first class passengers receiving their first choice of meals, and they loaded sufficient caviar/salmon for all F passengers. There were two revenue passengers and the crew had a manifest clearly showing who is an op-up, non-rev or revenue passengers. Ms M knew better and this should be clearly addressed on your letter of concern. A really smart and caring crew would have taken your main course order when you first boarded... I personally will recommend future F passengers to do so as well and make sure they save you stuff you want especially you are not following the regular schedule. Ms M should also have advice you on that matter when they pass on the menu.

What I find most upsetting is Miss M's attitude and that is not the spirit of my hometown carrier and not one single airline will prepare for landing and stopped food service 90 minutes prior to landing. After this flight, you might not want to fly CX First again, but for your and other references, please immediately ask for the purser and a comment form.

That roasted red pepper soup is so nasty... I still don't know why CX still serves it.

About the departure procedure, CX does not really offer anything special and as a HK resident, the departure procedure is generally very simple, but of course, we will enjoy an express lane for security. However, knowing CX current management, I am not counting on it.

I am glad someone had provided some emails for you to provide feedback. CX Customer Service department is not that great to be honest, but something should have been said. I am sorry my hometown airline had disappointed you and hope you might give their Boeing 777-300ER First a chance in the future. With a 6 person cabin, things run a bit smoother.

Carfield


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5014 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):

I am not that experienced in F traveling. Hence, your TG experience and Roni's have become my reference. Well, I can say that I noticed almost immediately the stark contrast of your CX F experience to the others.

= Ya. I honestly believed CX will be in the same top league as I have usually thought they are exemplary. But the more CX First Class reports I read (and there are quite a few on A.Net), it seems they are not that special.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
An understaffed dining area in the lounge is not done especially for F passengers. I have pity on the staffs on duty who were trying their best to satisfy their premium guests but got interfered in their work this way.

= I felt very bad for the lounge restaurant maître d’ who was actually very apologetic and was obviously not happy with the small space he was given to work with.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):

Regarding the 4K guy, I realize that you cannot choose your fellow passengers, but what intrigued me most is Mrs. M. being 'picky' towards her passengers. I would have expected her as a purser to act more professional and exemplary to her junior colleague. Instead, it went the other way around.

= Ya. The 4K guy was a tool. People like this don't realize the world is changing around them. These are the exact kind of people who still judge the world by their own cultural benchmarks and then get upset when the world does not live up to it.

Just to clarify: Ms. M was NOT the purser. She was the lead attendant in the F cabin.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Disappointing F service. I was kind of expecting to read another indulging luxurious experience of yours when your report popped up.

= I wish man. I wish.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Cheers,
Suryo

= Suryo, what's next for you after your awesome Asian adventures?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
Another TR that's received my undivided attention .. Well that, and the recent First Class surprise reports we are getting from you lately Good job!!

= I had to fly CX and have a poor experience to get your undivided attention! You are hard to please!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
Of all the flights i've done with CX, i have had one similar to your experience; but in my world, CX is always forgiven haha

= I am curious Roni. What routing was it on?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):

I am actually quite surprised at the crew's aloofness. They are always such a joy to fly with on my flights, and all my F experiences were exceptional. From purser introductions, to addressing by name, feeding you non-stop till you borderline heartburn, and even a little friendly flirting too.

= None of that happened. The flight was 12 hours or so ... look at the amount of food.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):


The cabin filth is also a big no-no, especially when the aircraft is departing from its home base! And i still am not a fan of those bagless headsets, even if they have a small 'sterilised' seal (which seems to be new).

= Yup.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):

Thanks for sharing this TR! ...So is First you new TR theme now? I like it!

= Roni, let some of us enjoy the joy's of First ya  ? To be honest, FCL is usually beyond my budget range - BUT - I have quite a few First reports still coming up ... so ya, the "theme" continues ...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
It seems you had a really bad experience on CX First Class. Very surprised that there was no seperate lane for immigration at HKG airport. Like you said, no need to buy F on CX when the service is not there and CX J is pretty good anyway.

= Yes. The777Man, I tried to search for your CX report. Could you kindly show me where it is?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):


REALLY bad to run out of caviar.......

= Yup. There is always something new  !

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 16):

Let me tell you first that I have never flown First class internationally, but really if this is the service you get on a supposedly 5* carrier I think I save my money and keep flying J when possible, at least for CX. As a frequent reader of TRs I have seen TG, SQ and others do a much better job...

= I have never flown SQ in their new First so will withhold judgment on them, but in general, I have found SQ to be actually flawless in Y than in J.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):

If your experience, and I hope it is not, is the standard CX F experience on the longhaul routes they have a real problem.

= I hope not. But after I wrote this report, I did a search and most of them gave CX F a half-hearted endorsement it seems.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):

- Nice touch, saves passengers expensive over seas calls on their own phones.

= Yup. I should have borrowed their phone and had a normal Alex length conversation.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):

I'm glad I was not on this flight and in F as I would be most unhappy at the service delivery, it is just unacceptable and just not what one expects when travelling with CX.

= Yup. This is supposed to be a flagship route.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
have to say that I am both surprised and not surprised by the poor quality of crew on CX.

= First of all, thank you very much for the balanced report on CX, and for your insight. You obviously know what you're talking about, and I am going to follow-up on some of the stuff you mentioned.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
I actually had pathetic experience on Thai Airways and put them on my "not to fly" list. TG First scores high on ground service in Bangkok (not other outstations), but once on board, they have a 50/50 chance by getting a good or bad crew, plus the frequent aircraft change.

= May I ask what happened on TG? TG has historically been a mixed bag for me ... including a most bizarre flight to KTM in 2001. However, given my being "marooned" at KTM, I have flown them extensively recently and found them to be generally very good.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
I have a thermometer on whether I am going to be a good or bad CX flight - whether the purser greeted the OW Emerald passengers and F passengers.

= LOL. You are an expert  . Well, it would have got cold on this instance.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
I also am curious if you get a HK based or London based crew, and on US routes, the service is usually just average when you get a LAX or SFO based crew. YVR is actually good though. London - from what I heard was a mixed crowd.

= It is funny you brought this up. An "famous" music executive friend of mine flies LHR-HKG weekly on CX First and actually warned me NOT to fly CX 251/250 which is staffed by LHR crew. Apparently, CX 255/252 have mixed crew and 257/256 along with 254/253 have HKG based crew. It was based on his recommendations that I chose this flight. He owes me drinks now  .

Does CX maintain other bases outside the ones you mention?

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
Yes CX has only two F/As in first now, which made running a full Boeing 747 tough at times, and the purser might not have time to help with F, because they generally had to help out with the back. CX really needs to bring back three F/As for the 9 passengers cabin. 77W has 6 F seats, which is okay, but not 747-400.

= Again, ironic because I wanted to fly the 74A.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
For daytime flights, CX has been doing this strange things now - breakfast after takeoff and then lunch mid-flight in J and Y. I think some of the F passengers might have gotten their lunch mid-flight, so the F/A was annoyed when you requested lunch prior to landing. That was no excuse and if I am you, I will insist on having the dessert (which happened before... I paid for that damn ticket and was not asking you serving me a full lunch 30 minutes prior to landing).

= How can she get annoyed when the menu was all about customized service? It is a 9,55am flight - and I tune my body to arrival zone. Did you also not get a dessert?

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
CX purser has to evaluate each individual crew after each flight and reports back to the headquarter. It is like entering a letter grade for each F/A. I will also submit a report because CX will follow up on those reports and these complain will remain on that person's file. CX has a dedicated set of crew for first class, and it is important for passengers to give honest feedback. But please be clear about Ms M performance or else you might ruin the junior HK staff career in CX. Knowing Miss M behavior pattern, I will not be surprised if she tries to lay the blame on the junior staff.

= Carfield, this is the most valuable advice - I really do not want to ruin Miss HK's career - because she actually was very very good. She went out of her way and was actually into service rather than Ms. M who was busy chatting without substance.

Look, perhaps Ms. M was having a bad day ... but a comment should see if this is systematic. I would actually be surprised if I was the first person to complain about her aloofness. She did mention how excited she was to have 2 days off in London though  .

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
There were two revenue passengers and the crew had a manifest clearly showing who is an op-up, non-rev or revenue passengers. Ms M knew better and this should be clearly addressed on your letter of concern. A really smart and caring crew would have taken your main course order when you first boarded... I personally will recommend future F passengers to do so as well and make sure they save you stuff you want especially you are not following the regular schedule. Ms M should also have advice you on that matter when they pass on the menu.

= Now I feel worse! I am sure of the revenue pax because at the gate as well as on board, Ms. M confirmed there was only 2 pax on the flight manifest initially. When the cabin got busy, I asked her what the deal was - she informed me lots of op ups, and the captain in 3A who was going home for the holiday. Another captain was in 4D or 2K.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):

What I find most upsetting is Miss M's attitude and that is not the spirit of my hometown carrier and not one single airline will prepare for landing and stopped food service 90 minutes prior to landing.

= Yup. And we circled above the ground at LHR for 30 additional minutes due to congestion!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):

About the departure procedure, CX does not really offer anything special and as a HK resident, the departure procedure is generally very simple, but of course, we will enjoy an express lane for security. However, knowing CX current management, I am not counting on it.

= Why do you think so? Another question - since you seem to know CX. Why are so many "old-timers" and particularly FCL passengers think that their management has become too "insular" and dropped the ball? Insights?

Thanks so much for the comments. I have quite a few FCL reports in the pipeline. Then, Alex goes back to the bad bad world  .

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2430 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi again A.,

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Just to clarify: Ms. M was NOT the purser. She was the lead attendant in the F cabin.

Thanks for the clarification. But even as the lead attendant, she should have to set an example.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
= Suryo, what's next for you after your awesome Asian adventures?

Well, what is coming up next, will be the return journey from SIN to DUS.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Yes. The777Man, I tried to search for your CX report. Could you kindly show me where it is?

I have never flown CX in F; only J and Y and the last flight with them was about ten years ago but I have always had great flights with them.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1067 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I am not surprised by your experience. From management interviews on Bloomberg it was clear that they are cutting. It seems they went overboard.

On a recent flight on Air Canada from GVA, my seat pocket was full of plastic, dirty stirrer etc. Even in Y there is no excuse for that.


User currently offlinemalioil From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I might be going to HKG in a few weeks time, and to be honest, what burj stated is more or less correct- more or less through this report, I have decided to fly J with Jet Airways instead of CX.

It is just a shame that passengers which fly in First Class get treated as such. It was very similar to my recent CA J class experience, which included everything from crew loudly arguing at night, waking up half the cabin, to FA's smoking for all to see... all of this on a flagship carrier during an intercontinental flight. I should post that TA soon, when the time allows.



Flights Booked: EDI-LCY/LHR-EDI-LHR-BAH-LHR-EDI
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

A, let me first say that your reports are one of the most enjoyable aspects of this website, and I've been reading it for quite a while after stumbling across one of them. Finally joined yesterday.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
For the obscene prices First Class commands, it MUST distinguish itself from Business … let alone Economy. In my humble opinion, readers are better suited to spend their hard earned money on flying another airline, or just be OK with Business on CX.

As an example, for o/w LAX-HKG tomorrow... J is $3500 and F is over $7000. Now, if I've got the money I'll gladly splurge for biz over economy on a flight this long. But I don't ever foresee myself paying for F. You already get a comfy bed and and open bar in biz, so better hardware in first is simply not enough to justify such a premium. I don't think you are in the wrong at all to expect the utmost in personal attention for the fare you paid, onboard and at the airport, let alone something as simple as priority security lanes. I mean, WN has that for premium pax, for God's sake!

Something is wrong with the industry when first class fails to create a memorable experience, and reports like your experience with TG are the exception rather than the norm. IMO, a good first class product can be profitable... but pax have to get some value for their cash, or they're not going to part with it.


User currently offlinemusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Dear all

After reading this report, I feel disaapointed that CX's cost cutting is hurting its reputation. The cabin was not cleaned properly before flight and crew not delivering good service in the First Class Cabin. The deteriation is also seen in the Economy Cabin, including the serious cut in catering - the worst catering on offer from HKG to TPE (other airlines do hot meals while CX do sandwiches), fron HKG to Europe, 2nd meal is not bread, bread, and bread (it was hot breakfast before). I feel sorry for this once-great airline and CX doesnt seem to be worth a 5* airline anymore.

Regards
musapapaya

[Edited 2010-10-10 14:52:45]


Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently onlineLoubert From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thank you once again for a great read though I'm sorry to hear about that wretched service. Maybe we all write better trip reports when we have something to complain about.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
25 minutes later, I was still waiting for it, as Ms. M was busy gossiping with one of the captains.
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
+ Several times, the crew just forgot my drink order. Or, should I say Ms. M?
+ Ms. M spent a LOT of time chatting with the captain in 3A.
+ I felt like anything I requested was a bother – and was rushed and impersonal. No “enjoy your meal” or any of those standard text book pleasantries learnt at cabin crew training.

- Sounds like Ms. M had a bad attitude or at least a crush on the occupant of 3A! Anyways, that sounds like some unprofessional service. I usually get an "enjoy your meal" or at least a "you're welcome" in response to my "thank you" in Y when I get my meal or beverage.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3037 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Alex

Seems like CX really dropped the ball on this one. Shame that so many things went wrong, although having paid the amount of money you did, I imagine you were pretty angry. Not having enough choices for dinner when all but two pax are not proper 1st class pax is unacceptable. The staff attitudes seem to be really poor.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-JMK,JTR-LHR-WAW,MSQ-FRA-EZE,IGR-EZE-CUN,MEX-FRA-LCY,LHR-TXL-LHR
25 Speedbird741 : Another great report Alex! Sad and susprised to see such a low review on an airline like CX and I hope this is just a one off thing. As of today, ther
26 Post contains images ronerone : Haha .. I am not THAT bad It was on KUL-HKG. In CX's successful efforts of milking the hell out of the Malaysia market -far far away from MH i should
27 SR 103 : As usual another very well laid out and detailed trip report. Before opening the report, I kind of had a feeling CX would disappoint you in some way.
28 aa61hvy : Interesting. In some other posts you really go after CX's crew. Somehow everytime I've been on there my experiences have been opposite of yours. I am
29 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Awesome Suryo. Is this on QR as well? = Ya. It seems CX has been getting a lot of "negative" press of late. = Personally, I think 9W's J product is
30 Post contains images sq_ek_freak : Great report, but very disappointing on CX's part. I definitely would have expected more from them, even worse on the flagship London route to boot. O
31 LY777 : Excellent TR! CX F seats look just AMAZING!!!
32 Post contains images KL808 : I just wanted to chime in and thank you for the great report. I flew HKG-SFO in F a couple of months ago also on the 74A. Fortunately I had a fantasti
33 Carfield : Regarding inflight guide, the entertainment guide is still available, and only for F and J passengers. Considered how poorly the aircraft was clean, i
34 Post contains images malioil : Abrelosojos, I do have quite a horde of reports to submit, including a couple of flights i'll be taking on the weekend on GF's brand new E90, so hope
35 musapapaya : I was informed that, in Y, they even do not load enough meals for everyone, they always assume someone will not be eating. Let alone you want extra m
36 Post contains images akhmad : That is correct. Unfortunately, I will not be able to cover the last leg to DUS. Our PC has crashed and I did not upload any picture of it yet.
37 ryanair!!! : Unfortunately you do get some bad apples from time to time. I myself have encountered people like that in my many years living there but fortunately
38 lukeyboy95 : Hi Alex, I particularly enjoy CX reports and this was no different, although of course for all the wrong reasons. Good - so your not a real-life Ryan
39 Lufthansa747 : Thanks for posting Mr. A. I flew this month LHR-HKG and the food was unacceptable for F apart from the Balik and caviar. Ridiculous to run out of that
40 PlaneHunter : Nice report with good pictures, Alex. I had expected a much better rating of CX's F Class product - quite interesting to read your review. That's what
41 JL418 : Hello Abrelosojos (it took me ages to understand what your nickname means by the way!!!), thanks for your trip report, you're a real globetrotter. I h
42 Lufthansa747 : Sorry to hijack the thread... Just to add... Pork cheek with rice or spinach ricotta tortellini as main courses in LHRHKG F like on my flight? EK serv
43 JL418 : Indeed. Maybe it's just me, or maybe I just missed it, but I was thinking that an F-class menu should comprehend at least a "local" main course, i.e.
44 Post contains images abrelosojos : First of some comments: I have got a LOT of PM's and emails about the number of deleted messages. Please contact the moderators to get a better unders
45 ryanair!!! : The invite has been opened officially. Come dine with me soon...
46 Post contains images 777ORD : jeesh! heck of a TR!! So much detail. Love the Kai Tak pics! How did you manage to voluntarily leave the aircraft after an experience like that!!!
47 akhmad : Hi A., I managed to recover all pictures of my DUS inbound flight and have them uploaded now. A final trip report will be coming up soon. Cheers, Sur
48 Post contains images sq_ek_freak : Ha! Yeah the galley gossip can get out of hand, especially when the galley is situated between passenger cabins rather than the larger aft galley whe
49 NewYorkCityBoi : I have a question about the Limo. How do you request for it?? Call the customer service? "full paying" in F, does it apply to the "Z" class ( First-cl
50 Carfield : Sorry I missed the question regarding pralines... Well in theory (menu), the praline service is still available and with an absent-minded crew like yo
51 kiramakora : Just flew them on CMB - BKK and was very disappointed. You were right about poor ground service in CMB, but the flight crew was also indifferent. What
52 MHTripple7 : Another excellent report! I'm disappointed to see you had a pretty mediocre flight on CX. It's a shame, though, because their hardware is fantastic. L
53 Post contains images abrelosojos : = It will be sooner than you think. I promise . = Ok. Since I am not that familiar with Kai Tak, where did I click this picture? = Awesome Suryo. How
54 Carfield : About the limo service, I honestly have no ideas, and your report is the first time that I have heard that CX provides "complimentary" limo service. I
55 akhmad : The hard disk luckily remained undamaged. I had all pictures copied into an external hard disk then got them uploaded through a laptop.
56 Post contains images sq_ek_freak : Haha! Yeah the A380 has some people really excited to switch over, though personally for me I'd like to stay on the main fleet. As of now, if you're
57 Post contains images NZ107 : Hi Alex, Another great TR. I'm sorry to hear that CX service and also the experience at HKG was disappointing. I'd surely expect more from the staff t
58 Malayil : Hey great post, too bad CX didn't live up to its legendary standards. Just a quick question, why did the purser give you a non-EU immigration form, su
59 Post contains images Longhornmaniac : Alex, Wonderful report, as always. You lead such a privileged life! I am amazed at the stark contrast between my experience and yours. I understand it
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