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Old Jul 3, 12, 9:10 pm   #1
 
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Surly American Cabin Crews on CX

I think CX started hiring U.S., Canadian and UK flight attendants about 5 years ago.

I can only speak for the American flight attendants (the routes I fly) who now seem to be comprise more than 50% of the crew, versus just one here and there a few years ago.

Other than the hard product (seats), the CX service ("People. They make an airline") seems on par with United or American. Flight attendant parties in the galley behind closed curtains, forced smiles (yes, you can tell the difference between genuine and forced), feeling like they are "going out of their way" to get you a glass of water, Chinese tea or an extra pillow and a generally surly demeanor.

On 2 of my last 3 U.S. flights, hot towel service was skipped completely, and one of these flights was in First Class, the rest in Business class.

It's such a pleasure to fly on regional CX flights where the service really is genuine.

It seems CX has practically oursourced the entire airline, on certain routes.

In case anybody wonders how you can tell they are U.S. crews, the American accent tells it all.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 9:11 pm   #2
 
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Old Jul 3, 12, 9:14 pm   #3
sxc
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I hope you send CX some feedback. Similar bad levels of service were encountered with LHR based crews, but this has been rectified as far as I've experienced.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 9:18 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paisan96 View Post
On 2 of my last 3 U.S. flights, hot towel service was skipped completely, and one of these flights was in First Class, the rest in Business class.
[/i]
Oh no. Hope that's not a new "cost cutting initiatives"...
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:17 pm   #5
 
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Wouldn't it be more expensive to hire US or UK attendants tho?
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:46 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paisan96 View Post
I can only speak for the American flight attendants (the routes I fly) who now seem to be comprise more than 50% of the crew, versus just one here and there a few years ago.

Other than the hard product (seats), the CX service ("People. They make an airline") seems on par with United or American. Flight attendant parties in the galley behind closed curtains, forced smiles (yes, you can tell the difference between genuine and forced), feeling like they are "going out of their way" to get you a glass of water, Chinese tea or an extra pillow and a generally surly demeanor.

On 2 of my last 3 U.S. flights, hot towel service was skipped completely, and one of these flights was in First Class, the rest in Business class.

It's such a pleasure to fly on regional CX flights where the service really is genuine.

It seems CX has practically oursourced the entire airline, on certain routes.

In case anybody wonders how you can tell they are U.S. crews, the American accent tells it all.
Sorry mate, I respect your opinion but this is a bit too much generalizing for me and I suppose I'm of a different opinion.

In the last 5 years I've been flying CX, CX has consistently crewed entire flights of YVR, SFO, YYZ and LAX crews (I'm including Canada here). They never have been sprinkled in here or there, except in cases when they're serving on standby (for example, CX882/3 HKG-LAX is crewed by HK based FAs, but you might get an LA-based crew if one of the HK crew fell ill in LAX). CX880, in turn, is crewed by LAX-based crew. Most North America flights (except ORD and JFK, no bases there) have very specific flights where you will receive a North American crew...they don't just dribble drabble them in. And I absolutely cannot point my finger to saying a North American outport-based crew is superior or worse to a HK crew.

For an opposite anecdote, I did a SFO round-trip last week. Service was superior on CX872 to SFO (SF crew) than CX873 return (HK crew). Furthermore, unless you knew that CX872 that day was indeed an SFO-base you could not have used this accent-test to tell where they were from: the FAs serving me in J didn't have American accents - one was Japanese, and the other was born in Malaysia, both living in SFO.

I have also had very memorable, fantastic outport crews serving me on both ex-YYZ and SFO flights. And ironically, my absolute worst flight on CX...I think the only time I've ever written a complaint...was a horrific HK-based crew flying back from LAX.

Last edited by QRC3288; Jul 3, 12 at 10:52 pm.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:50 pm   #7
 
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
Sorry mate, I respect your opinion but this is a bit too much generalizing for me and I suppose I'm of a different opinion.

In the last 5 years I've been flying CX, CX has consistently crewed entire flights of YVR, SFO, YYZ and LAX crews (I'm including Canada here). They never have been sprinkled in here or there, except in cases when they're on standby serving (for example, CX882/3 HKG-LAX is crewed by HK based FAs, but you might get an LA-based crew if one of the HK crew fell ill in LAX). CX880, in turn, is crewed by LAX-based crew. Most North America flights (except ORD and JFK, no bases there) have very specific flights where you will receive a North American crew...they don't just dribble drabble them in. And I absolutely cannot point my finger to saying a North American outport-based crew is superior or worse to a HK crew.

For an opposite anecdote, I did a SFO round-trip last week. Service was superior on CX872 to SFO (SF crew) than CX873 return (HK crew). Furthermore, unless you knew that CX872 that day was indeed an SFO-base you could not have used this accent-test to tell where they were from: the FAs serving me in J didn't have American accents - one was Japanese, and the other was born in Malaysia, both living in SFO.

I have also had very memorable, fantastic outport crews serving me on both ex-YYZ and SFO flights. And ironically, my absolute worst flight on CX...I think the only time I've ever written a complaint...was a horrific HK-based crew flying back from LAX.


Too much generalization and nationalism evident in the OP.

And god forbid we don't get "hot towel service."
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:55 pm   #8
 
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I have also had very memorable, fantastic outport crews serving me on both ex-YYZ and SFO flights. And ironically, my absolute worst flight on CX...I think the only time I've ever written a complaint...was a horrific HK-based crew flying back from LAX.[/quote]

Agreed. I had a lousy HK based crew flying to YYZ in March. I was put in 1K with business service as the plane was oversold. Obviously pleased initially but the crew ruined the whole trip. Very casual attitude and later in the flight had to ask them to keep the noise from the galley down a bit!
Coming back with a YYZ based crew in new J it was probably one of the best flights I ever had. Friendly and helpful. I even asked them whether they flew any other routes but it seems they didn't.
I guess YMMV though.........
Have to say though I would never pay for First in 1D or 1K on a 777 - just too noisy.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 1:08 am   #9
 
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I have a question! How are LAX based (or other outport based crews) and HKG based crews staffed on the flight? As our member mentioned, do they fly separately most of the time or fly together? For example, there are three flights between LAX and HKG and is there any specific flights that we can see LAX crews, or is it really random?
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Old Jul 4, 12, 1:40 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post


Too much generalization and nationalism evident in the OP.

And god forbid we don't get "hot towel service."
Tho it's the little things that matter (a past CX slogan). Once you let this slide, it's a slippery slope into QF service territory.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 1:53 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
And god forbid we don't get "hot towel service."
Well, this is FlyerTalk. It wouldn't surprise me to see a whole thread dedicated to the consistency of the hot towel service.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 2:59 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedbird0125 View Post
I have a question! How are LAX based (or other outport based crews) and HKG based crews staffed on the flight? As our member mentioned, do they fly separately most of the time or fly together? For example, there are three flights between LAX and HKG and is there any specific flights that we can see LAX crews, or is it really random?
No, it's not random at all. Typically the crew will fly together. I'm familiar with the SFO and LAX flights...LAX based crews fly CX880/881 usually, SFO based crews PREVIOUSLY (until a week ago) flew CX873/872. This has now been swapped apparently due to runway construction at SFO restricting 747 departures at nighttime, so for the foreseeable future SFO based crews (who are rated only on the 747) will be crewing CX870/CX879 (daytime flights served exclusively by the 747 for the time being), with HK crews serving the others. I used to be familiar with CX888 when I flew it more often but my memory eludes me on who is crewing that now, but I remember at one point it was exclusively YVR crews. Point is, yes there is a pattern. It is not random.

That said, you do sometimes see a few HK crew on SFO/LAX crew flights and vice versa. A common reason for this would be a SFO/LAX crew member(s) fell ill while staying over in HK in the middle of their pattern. Then, HK cabin crew on standby would be called to serve on the flight back to North America. They would most likely deadhead back on the return flight. Another reason would be roster swaps. However, for the rostering system they use, I suspect outport crews cannot swap to the same degree that HK-based crews can (barring a few restrictions, HK crews can swap into almost any flight). Obviously, outport crews only fly to/from their outport. So by default, at best there is only a highly restrictive inventory of flights with which they can swap HK crews with, leading to outport crew almost always flying with other outport crew.

And lastly....as to those cabin parties....I have seen plenty of ex-HKG crews having loud, noisy parties in the galley. Last week returning from SFO, a loud galley party behind 12K being held by an exclusively HK-based crew on a 77D was the primary reason I felt that service was inferior to my SFO-based crew to SF a few days earlier.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 2:27 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paisan96 View Post
In case anybody wonders how you can tell they are U.S. crews, the American accent tells it all.
You can tell from their flight schedules. A Senior FA in fact taught me that.

A FA rather than HKG-based will not get other routes at all. In other word, if a FA is overseas-stationed, he or she will only get the route back and forth between HKG and that overseas station, such as a SFO crew will not get HKG-LHR.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 2:33 am   #14
 
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OP: Cheer up, at least they ain't the overly friendly and attentive HK crew, eh?
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Old Jul 5, 12, 2:50 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by paisan96 View Post
In case anybody wonders how you can tell they are U.S. crews, the American accent tells it all.
It might be better to ask directly the FA where they are based instead of just relying on the accent.
I have a CX FA friend who grew up in California but was hired from Taiwan to be based in HK. She can basically be rostered any kind of flights and indeed she likes to swap in LAX and SFO so she can see her friends and relatives there. She speaks English like an American.
Well at least, I hope it's not my friend you want to complain about...
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