I can second that Cathay experience. Try getting elite status on their Marco Polo Club, and fly out of Manila - don't know how typical this experience is, but my flight with them on my birthday just last year was so unforgettable it could be a dream. I didn't think such things happened these days ...
First surprise: almost every ground agent in Manila seemed to know it was my birthday and were wishing me happy birthday almost right up to aircraft door. I had been upgraded from Business Class to First at check-in, and on boarding the B747-400 for the 2-hour flight to Hong Kong, I was welcomed with a "birthday champagne" by the senior purser herself.
All three cabin attendants in F Class - very sweet girls from the Philippines, Korea and Hong Kong - took turns to wish me well at seat 2A. One gave me my menu, in which there was a hand-written message inside: "Happy Birthday Mr Lee". Very nice touch.
But the best was yet to come. After the meal - always exquisite in F on Cathay - we were already descending towards Chep Lap Kok when the senior purser came over to my seat with a wrapped present (turned out to be a box of Cathay's premium chocolates) on which was placed a white envelope with three red "kiss" lipstick imprints.
Inside was a plain card with a Cathay logo with the hand written message "Dear Mr Lee, Happy Birthday, From the CX
Crew of CX906"
Not only that, it was also individually signed by nine crew with personal notes in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. "It's your day and do enjoy, Youngmi", and "Have a wonderful day and enjoy 1st class, Jenny" were just two of the messages.
It was undoubtedly Cathay at its best. Short of the captain making an announcement on the pa system, a birthday boy could hardly ask for anything more!