To all you people who think that CX upgrade passengers based on their OneWorld/MPO Club status...think again! Perfect example of the chaos that ensured happened today at BKK.
I have a confirmed J class ticket on CX713 from BKK to SIN. A business collegue who is travelling with me had a confirmed (and in fact, reconfirmed with CX 2 days ago) ticket in coach. He arrived at the airport first and received his boarding pass.He had been upgraded to Business Class. I had arrived about 30 minutes later to what looked like a war zone at the CX check-in counter at BKK airport.
When my collegue enquired at the Business Class counter if he could be seated next to me, he was told that I would be bumped off instead. So he asked that the new seating assignment be held till I arrived. When I did, I was told that I am being bumped off and would be put (along with 4 other passengers) onto another carrier. Our choices were GARUDA (!!!) or THAI airways. I didn't care so I asked my collegue to just take his flight and continue onto Singapore.
The check-in agent,whose name he REFUSED to give at the end of this fiasco, advised us that his seat had been given away because he had offloaded him while he was waiting for me! My collegue,whom I will initial "F' , literally blew his top!
There were only a handful of CX staff in BKK airport. The check-in staff are THAI AIRWAYS staff and they cannot care less if you flash them your MPO or Oneworld card in front of them. This particular agent, manning the Business Class counter (note: I know what you look like, even you refused to give us your name) ... had an attitude problem. When we asked him if all passengers upgraded to Business Class were Marco Polo members, he replied yes and brushed us off. We learned from CX staff later on that there were only 4-6 full fare paying Business Class passengers, and that everyone else sitting in the 60 seat section of Business Class today was upgraded.
Now what rifed us was the fact that CX told the check-in staff and especially the one manning the Business Class counters to HOLD the confirmed and reserved Business Class passengers till the counter officially closes... but this bozo released all the Business Class seats to the masses and literally nonstatus, tour group passengers were replacing full fare revenue earning Business Class passengers like me ...! Which is really not right!
Okay - there is nothing to be done. The seat is gone so what is CX doing about it? They endorsed the remaining J class passengers over to THAI and some to SQ.As I already hold a full fare ticket I could endorse and change to any airline I choose. But I wasted over 5 hours at the airport because of this!
Back to the bozo at the check-in counter. While he was processing 'F's 'ticket, he took his passport but didn't return it. We were searching high and low for his passport to which we said to Bozo that he was the last one to handle the passport. To which he denied that he ever took the passport and he never forgets and that we are 'mistaken and disillutioned`. The CX supervisor came over to see what the commotion was about and when we told her the story ... she began to look for the passport herself after the Bozo who lost refused to assist her any further. Guess where she found it? Right where Bozo had left it when he wnet to change the reservation to TG. To which he now just smiled and said his apologises...
Meanwhile F blew his top and I have known him for over 25 odd years and have never seen him blow his top before. This THAI staff is not fit to serve premium CX customers!
CX supervisor assured us that CX will credit mileage even though we flew on another carrier...now whether they treat it as status miles is another matter and I will have to wait a couple of days to address this issue when the miles post! She said she had telexed to HKG. But we`re also talking about the hitler types who man the customer relations department...so getting through them is another problem!
So what is the recourse here? Write to CX and complain bitterly about this bozo? I'm okay - I just went over to SQ and am now typing this post in the SQ First Class lounge..(I have a First Class ticket anyway). I know when I see 'F'tonight , I will be hearing an earful.
SO this is the story...when a flight is way overbooked on Cathay, you will be upgraded based on the time you check in..ie the later you are, the best time it is to be upgraded... and yes, you can even bump us Marco Polo and Oneworld Emerald passengers off!
PS-Please excuse my typos.Horrible keyboard in the SQ F Class lounge!
[This message has been edited by Guy Betsy (edited 11-27-2001).]
Nov 25, 01, 1:50 am
let us know what CX's response is. i'm shocked at the way the BKK ground staff handled the matter.
Nov 25, 01, 3:38 am
Sorry to hear about all the mess and poor handling.
I was there on Friday. Those TG staff operationally upgraded me to Hong Kong all right. I had my Silver status in my reservation.
Nov 25, 01, 3:54 am
similar incidences happen in these airports.
whenever the staff is from other airline, MPO means close to nothing.
i always search for the CX uniform when i check in from these ports.
LHR is one black spot. US/Canada are a lot better, staffed by CX people, except in JFK.
i myself have repeated commented to MPO that they need at least one CX staff on each airport. GB, let us know what they say. to solve this problem they need to put at least 1 CX uniformed staff to each airport
Nov 25, 01, 6:08 am
This is discouraging to hear! I'm leaving out of BKK on a J ticket in two days time! How does one identify the "real" CX staff if trouble arises?
Nov 25, 01, 8:46 am
Calling the so-called 24 hour customer relations desk (which basically is the MPO line) is useless. I asked about what sort of compensation can one expect when bumped off a flight. The answer? "Don't know" - call tomorrow morning. HELLO? What if I'm in the US? I'd have to fit my calls to suit Cathay's timing?
What's the compensation for say AA or BA? Does anyone know? Since they're oneworld members, maybe CX might offer something similar. Or not!
Cathay is losing money - and they have lost even more today ... the upgrading of low revenue passengers to Business Class, the loss of actual full fare revenue Business Class passengers to other carriers. And what's worse is that other carriers who take on CX's passengers are not going to charge a contracted rate to CX. They'll probably milk CX for a full Y fare ticket.
Don't get me wrong. I still like CX for the service in the air. BKK ground staff did their best (at least the CX staff did) but their contracted staff from THAI obviously could not care less! I heard from a disgrunted CX senior staff today that 'management' is considering letting the THAI staff wear Cathay Pacific uniforms when checking in passengers!
Nov 25, 01, 6:57 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Guy Betsy:
I heard from a disgrunted CX senior staff today that 'management' is considering letting the THAI staff wear Cathay Pacific uniforms when checking in passengers!</font>
the horror! we won't be able to tell the contract staff from the real staff anymore!
Nov 25, 01, 7:20 pm
This may not help but ....
I think TG staff are in light purple uniform like those of TG itself.
CX staff, like those you see in HKG, wear red or dark purple uniforms and you will find them at the lounges airside.
CX also has its office open during check-in hours on a level one up from the departure floor, which is overlooking the departure hall. There I would think you would only find CX staff.
Nov 26, 01, 12:29 am
Reminds me of a time last year when I was flying J KUL-HKG. They had a trainess on the Club desk with the pros working the Economy desks. That would have been fine if he was supervised, he was not. It literally took 20 minutes for him to check me in!!!!!
Nov 26, 01, 12:41 am
In relation to contractor check-in staff wearing an airline's uniform is a common practice in airline business.
One example can be found at Air NZ Premium Check-in desks at Sydney Airport where Qantas staff wear Air NZ uniforms.
I feel airlines need to have their own staff at airports where they have several flights to/from a particular airport. For example, Cathay Pacific has its own staff at Sydney Airport and CX only has two flights a day.
On the other hand BKK have several CX flights from BKK to SIN, BOM/DXB, CMB, and HKG...therefore, there should be a strong case for CX to have their own staff at BKK as this will ensure that service delivery are kept at its highest standards of the airline.
If you have contractors working on behalf of an airline, I have found that staff attitude is different, product knowledge is not up to date and finally, morale is low.
Therefore, I think Guy Betsy has a legitimate reason to ask CX Customer Relations for a "Please Explain" from BKK Airport Manager as to what happened to Full Fare Business Class passengers where they were told to move to TG or SQ.
I think this is vert appalling for TG check-in staff to tell a Premium CX passenger to go and fly with TG or SQ.
[This message has been edited by etravelconsult (edited 11-26-2001).]
Nov 26, 01, 7:31 am
This probably will not work as 100% guarantee but CX also offers Internet check-in from 24 hours before departure. (Only for Marco Polo members?) You can get a seat assignment before going to the airport and you will also get a 'boarding pass,' which you can print out.
You need to pick up the actual boarding pass at the airport.
It also works for award tickets for CX flights issued by AA, for instance, so long as CX can enter your Marco Polo Club number, which doubls as AsiaMiles number.
I did this for my last flight out of BKK for economy, had a seat assigned. When I got there, it was upgraded, though. 'Icheck' will be shown on the tab side of the boarding pass. You also get bonus miles after doing this several times.
Nov 26, 01, 12:29 pm
It seems to me that CX will station their own staffs at the CX gateway ports where many Chinese resides. For example, Vancouver also only have 2 flights a day (like SYD), not to mention one of them takes off at midnight. Despite such schedule, I was always served by the actal CX staffs. (I think it was the same even when Canadian Airlines, the OW member existed)
I think Internet checkin is a great neat thing. I find it fun, and for my previous flights, I was always the "first" person to checkin online. (please don't say I've got no life! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif ) You can check how many other passengers have already checked in by looking at the 3 digit number on the bottom right corner of your "virtual" boarding pass. It has numbers from "001 to XXX", depending on the numbers of passengers. For example, if your number say "004", then you are the forth person to have checked in.
I agree that internet checkin should greatly reduce your chances of being "bumped" on a full flight, and better yet, as Chiangi experienced, it might even give you a good chance of upgrade. However, the bonus miles only apply to those who have never used the feature prior to June or some particular date. (remember it was introduced in Febuary, and since I've used it in April, I am not eligible for the 1000 bonus miles... kinda unfair, eh?)
Nov 26, 01, 12:41 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by fakecd:
It seems to me that CX will station their own staffs at the CX gateway ports where many Chinese resides. For example, Vancouver also only have 2 flights a day
Actually, 3 - since one goes on to JFK.
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">
(like SYD), not to mention one of them takes off at midnight. Despite such schedule, I was always served by the actal CX staffs. (I think it was the same even when Canadian Airlines, the OW member existed)</font>
Might be more to do with the alliance being new back then and it wasn't long before CP was withdrawn from OW.
BTW, is CX check-in at KUL done by MH staff (CX and Mh share their 4x daily frequencies)?
Nov 26, 01, 5:17 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by fakecd:
However, the bonus miles only apply to those who have never used the feature prior to June or some particular date. (remember it was introduced in Febuary, and since I've used it in April, I am not eligible for the 1000 bonus miles... kinda unfair, eh?)</font>
just a quick note...while you are not probably not eligible for the first-time bonus of 1000 miles...i think you are still eligible for the 2500 miles if you use it often...
From now till 31 December, 2001, we're giving 1,000 bonus Asia Miles to first-time Online Check-In Users! What's more, you can earn 2,500 bonus Asia Miles if you check in 5 times online during the promotion period!
Nov 26, 01, 6:39 pm
As to the online checkin, when did the promotion begin? I am trying to count back how often I actually used it. Thanks.
Nov 26, 01, 7:36 pm
To qualify for the 2,500 bonus Asia Miles, members should check in five times between 1 June and 31 December 2001.
the complete terms and conditions at http://www.asiamiles.com/am/1,,22538_70069_eng__1,00.html
Nov 27, 01, 12:08 am
I tried internet check-in that day but was told by the site that the system was `down`. Enroute to the airport I even tried calling the CX res desk but as it was a Sunday, it was closed - but the recording did not even indicate the airport phone number which I would have called beforehand.
The issues here are simply that if I arrived even 5 minutes after the check-in deadline then I will have no legitimate reason to be be annoyed that I was denied boarding. But I was not. Plus it was not another Business Class passenger who had taken my seat, but rather an upgraded no-status tour group low revenue economy class passenger. (I apologize to whoever travels on tour group tickets, I do not mean to sound rude).
On AA flights, I know of examples when a passenger was upgraded from coach and when a full fare first class passenger shows up, that passneger sitting in 1A will be downgraded back to coach. So why can:t CX do it here..... "Hey you! Back to the back of the bus... or better still, YOU ARE BEING OFFLOADED to make way for a full fare Business Class passenger"
Isn`t this what STATUS is all about? Isn`t CX desperate to keep its full fare paying passengers?
I have written to Customer Relations and cc`d the lettter to Mr David Turnbull, CEO of Cathay Pacific. Customer Relations have replied to say that they will reply to me as soon as possible once they investigate.
I simply asked that :
1) A full explanation of the events.
2) An apology from the TG and his superiors as to his sort of behavior. Why did he act on his own accord and released J class space to economy class passengers.
3) That we be accorded the status mileage as though we had taken the CX flight.
4) That we be considered for an automatic renewal of MPO Club membership. (Fat chance but no harm trying)
5) That we be offered some sort of compensation similar to other Oneworld partners namely AA and BA. (another fatchance but again, better tried than never)
I shall keep you all informed of the outcome.
Nov 27, 01, 1:01 am
With your current status with CX, and the fact you were full fare J class passenger, I would say you will get a rather serious attention from CX. But I doubt if your condition 4 and 5 will be met, but worth a try. Also, would they really forward the letter to the CEO??
Also, did you mention your occupation in your letter? I'm sure they will not want to anger someone who works in the travel industry...
Nov 27, 01, 5:02 pm
Well, I'm sitting in the lounge in BKK now, and not only did I have no trouble checking in, I'm sitting here alone! I guess nothing is predictable in this world-- even bad treatment.
Nov 27, 01, 9:36 pm
Hate to bring this up but has anyone ever considered
that there might have been a finacial kickback involved in any of this ?
If there was a large tour group involved
with Thai group leaders well if you lived in Thailand for awhile .... you get the idea.
TG Silver/UA premier
Ex airline ground staff UGHHH
Nov 28, 01, 5:19 am
I flew on CX 713 today from BKK to SIN (a two-class 777). I was on a very cheap coach ticket priced ex-BKK. I have no status on CX or any of the One World Carriers.
I checked in and was handed a business class boarding pass because the flight was oversold.
So from my perspective, it's great. Now if I was a full fare business class passenger who lost his seat to me...
(And no, I'm not Thai and had no connections with the agent)
Nov 30, 01, 1:28 am
I got my first reply (because I will be expecting more after I shot back a quick reply to this one) today.
Blah blah blah (the usual explanation) ... and
As a token of our apology for this regrettable experience, I would like to offer you both a one class, round-trip (two sector) upgrade on any future flights of your choice with Cathay Pacific. Kindly contact me at least two weeks prior to your planned date of departure and I will be more than happy to make the necessary arrangements for you. Please be assured also that the appropriate mileage for this sector will be credited to your Club accounts and this will appear on your next set of statements.
I don't know about you guys but I think this 'upgrade' is an insult and I have written back stating that in this 'bad economic climate' CX cannot afford such a bad PR boo-boo.
I think they should at least offer a J class ticket to anywhere CX flies instead... it's not as if CX will go bankrupt if they gave up 2 seats!
Dec 2, 01, 4:00 pm
To be honest, and I don't mean anything personal here, but to ask for a J-class ticket for two will cost them a heap of money. They could do like a lot of other airlines do and not offer you a thing, but you should be glad that they've offered you an upgrade for two sectors.
It SOUNDS like you are milking something here though in actual fact you are probably not and were rightfully angry at being treated most unhelpfully. Have you rejected the upgrade? Because personally I think that's the most you'll get out of them.
Considering the fact that this happens relatively frequently (with overbooking of Y and upgrading to C) in BKK (with c@*p agents), then if they offered J tickets all the time, they WOULD go bankrupt.
Nasty experience. And I think the TG bozo did it deliberately, so he'd give TG CX's money from your ticket. Though of course...who in their right mind would fly TG's First when SQ is available...
Dec 2, 01, 8:56 pm
I think the best you will get out of CX are those upgrade vouchers and getting two of them is pretty good. I don't think your justification for return J class anywhere on CX network is viable and that you should take what was offered.
I don't think you can compare US airlines compensation with that of CX and SQ's compensation levels as these are totally different airlines and have different sets of service recovery procedures.
Dec 2, 01, 10:48 pm
But if he is a customer who purchases full fare J tickets, how much does Cathay stand to lose by making him angry enough to switch airlines?
Dec 2, 01, 11:54 pm
I got the same two upgrade vouchers after a not too great experience of having a flight cancelled and then bags lost (and yes, this odyssey also started in BKK). Seems to be the standard compensation when CX is admitting that they really did make a mistake. I've had a few other problems in the past, but normally just get a sorry letter. I don't know of anybody who has gotten more than a couple of upgrade vouchers from CX-- suspect they'll take a fairly hard line on this issue, as they are afraid of setting precedents.
Dec 3, 01, 10:24 am
I know this topic is about recognition and upgrades but I have to say I would be happy if I could redeem a ticket in economy class.
There never seems to be any seats available for purchase using miles but there are seats if I choose to pay money.
I have had no luck trying to get a seat to Aukland for the past two months and have not been granted.
I have plenty of miles but just can't seem to spend them.
Why is it that Cathay doesn't release these seats, I spent good money,earned all these miles but for what?
Dec 3, 01, 10:35 am
Shout, sorry to hear that you have bad experience with redemption...in fact, from my experience, i think CX is among the best already in terms of award seats availability (my other experiences are limited to american carriers though)...their award availability is excellent even during peak seasons, except if you try to book last minute, of course...
my best exprience is...last year, i tried to book 7 business class tickets during chinese new year...about 3-4 months in advance...surprisingly, all 7 got confirmed immediately, and it's in a cabin of only 40 business seats...and finally of course the flights were so fully overbooked because of chinese new year...and 3 of us got upgraded to first... http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif i have had much bigger problems trying to get seats with UA and other carriers...they never allocate more than a few seats on each flight and they all got filled months in advance...
as always, with award travel with different programs...if you want to do redemption...you need to book at least a month or two in advance...more if you wanna travel in peak seasons...i don't think CX is bad at all in this area...just my two cents.
Dec 3, 01, 11:51 pm
Just following up on this, on my return leg from SIN to BKK, upgraded once again to business class. No incentive for me to actually but a C ticket when I get upgraded on the absolute cheapest Y tickets I could find (~$130.00 return ex-BKK).
Dec 11, 01, 2:55 am
Okay - got a reply from David Turnbull's office today...
Excerpt from his letter to us:
Thank you for your recent e-mail messages, regarding our inability to provide you with a seat aboard flight CX713 from Bangkok to Singapore on 25th November.
May I convey my sincere apologies for the considerable inconvenience this most unfortunate incident has caused you. As our valued frequent flyers you have every right to expect better of Cathay Pacific, and I am sorry that we have let you down on this occasion.
Please rest assured that the points you have raised will certainly be reviewed. There is little or no excuse for the difficulties you encountered and I am sorry that your confidence in both our standard of service and commitment to loyal customers has been compromised.
I fully appreciate the need for us to make amends for this regrettable experience and I am sorry that you are not satisfied with the offer of a round trip upgrade that has been made by our Customer Relations Department. As a token of our apology, I have instead arranged for 60,000 Asia Miles to be credited to your Marco Polo Club accounts and I hope this will go some way to offset any disappointment you have been caused.
What do you think? Should I have gone with the 2 sector return upgrades instead? It really doesn't do me much good since most of my tickets are already in First Class! I'll have to see what my business partner has to say about this counter-offer.
Dec 11, 01, 7:04 am
So this means you are given Gold status for another year? It sure would have been better if it had been in addition rather than instead. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif
Dec 11, 01, 7:46 am
don't think they will give out status
(because that means you are not coming back to fly them, theoretical --
i don't think they realized that we do fly CX but would prefer AADV)
based on the fact that there is no higher court of appeal, if it were me, i wd take 2-upgrades. (but if u fly F all the time, u should argue that the mile equivalent of 2 upgrades sin-nyc=x mile > 60k, i suppose SIN is where u live?)
in addition, since u r flying BKK route pretty often, u sd ask for some explicit measures they would do to avoid this, hence putting yourself in a position as forward-looking rather than merely asking for compensation.
if they cannot come up with something substantial (e.g. have CX rep at check-in, etc.) you should ask the country manager at BKK to meet you (and entertain you, http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif ) so that you know where to go to next time.
i guess this is the best they could do
Dec 11, 01, 10:03 am
I think you shouldn't push too much. From my eyes, what you have got is pretty special. I know 2-way upgrade or 60,000 miles doesn't any good to you, since you fly first class anyways. But at the same time, I don't think it will benefit you nor CX if you insist on this issue any longer.
Dec 11, 01, 11:32 am
I've already written to Customer Relations ... telling them of their poor customer recovery efforts, at least from the upper management!
I agree that I think the ones who run the airline should have said, in addition instead of instead. I mean what is 60k points to CX? Or even a free ticket between SIN and BKK is not going to break anyone's budget.
I can't say that my business partner might want to continue as a MPO member. ('ve asked him to reactivate his AADV account!) But we still like CX inflight service. It's just the management we don't like!