CX722 28 March a little tale

Old Mar 29, 13, 8:05 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Global
Programs: OWS IHG Diamond in waiting..
Posts: 705
CX722 28 March a little tale

In this previous post http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/catha...8th-march.html I mentioned CX722 KUL –HKG on March 28 was diverted to CAN for a refueling stop due to being in the holding pattern for approx 1 hour.
Upon our arrival in CAN at approx. 6:30pm, the captain informed the passengers that this will be a short stop of around 2 hours while we refuel and depart to HKG.
After 2 hours, the refueling was completed and the captain made a second announcement, that we would have to wait another a little longer as now HKG was closed. By this time I suspected that the flight crew would be out of hours very soon and that a new flight crew would be required. Sure enough, within the next hour the captain made the announcement that “we are now out of hours” and we are talking with CX about the situation. About 1 hour later, new announcement “we are arranging with the Chinese flight authorities to allow us to send a plane from HKG to take you there, this make take 2-3 hours”.
After a another hour, “the Chinese have agreed to sending a plane to collect you, it will be here in 2 hours”
Another hour goes by, “the Chinese have changed their minds so there will be no flight and now we are trying to book hotels in Guangzhou for you as soon as possible”
Another hour later approx. 2 or 3 am “The Chinese will not allow any passengers to disembark as the terminals in CAN are full with passengers from all the diverted flights and the hotels in Guangzhou are full. Please make yourselves as comfortable as possible as you will be sleeping on board tonight. CX are aware of the situation and working on a solution”. Fortunately the flight was not full and there were many spare seats.
After another 4-5 hours, next announcement “a new flight crew will arrive in CAN at 9:30am and we will have you back in HKG asap”.
Eventually we land in HKG 12:40pm, 17 hours after the original arrival time.

During the time at CAN, food hot meals were provided from the airport and IFE was on, good drinks service and a good will payment was offered to all passengers of 500Rmb for the inconvenience….
I have nothing but praise for the cabin crew in this situation for their excellent work and long hours they put in, but I suspect that the Captain was making announcements that were a little way off, to placate passengers on board. After talking with some experienced ground staff, they informed me that CX are not allowed to disembark passengers at CAN as they have no agreement, also I suspected that there would be issues with persons not having PRC entry visas, which would be another reason passengers for passengers not allowed off. I know in Shanghai and Beijing there is the 72 hour tourist arrival visa, but does Guangzhou have this facility?
Hotels are full? How many hotels in Guangzhou, must be a big party on somewhere, may I have an invite please?

From the moment we landed in CAN, I suspected that we would be on board overnight as I thought that the visa entry, flight crew flight hours would conspire against us.
What I did not expect was the announcements from the Captain. You may draw your own conclusions as to what I think.
But at the end of the day, I get to my final destination safely 25 hours later than planned.
Engineering Travel is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 1:20 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Singapore
Programs: CX Gold, Krisflyer PPS, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Platinum
Posts: 685
I hope you were in J By the way what aircraft were you on?
sl00001 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 1:33 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: HKG, SIN, PEK, TPE, SFO
Programs: CX DM, KF TPPS, SPG PLAT
Posts: 46
CX722 28 March a little tale

I agree with you that the captain may have been stretching the truth. My sense is that they were probably dealing with the situation the best they could. That said, to a certain extent the captain may have been lying - which is unacceptable.
ech207 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 1:35 am
  #4  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,012
Exemplery. I rather have a verbose captain in times like these even if some of his messages were off (rather than a tight-lipped captain who won't say anything until it's already occurred). You should send in a commendation email for the flight and cabin crew regardless you know better than them (sounds like the captain isn't as knowledgeable about China immigration practice as us, but then again he wasn't expecting to have to fly there).
percysmith is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 1:42 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Global
Programs: OWS IHG Diamond in waiting..
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by sl00001 View Post
I hope you were in J By the way what aircraft were you on?
No way J, just down the back, but the flight was only about 1/3 full.
I dont know the CX code but I think a 777-300.
Engineering Travel is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 1:48 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Global
Programs: OWS IHG Diamond in waiting..
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by ech207 View Post
I agree with you that the captain may have been stretching the truth. My sense is that they were probably dealing with the situation the best they could. That said, to a certain extent the captain may have been lying - which is unacceptable.

I assumed his comments were coming from higher up the ladder, to keep pax contented. Who knows what would happen if some other info had been given.

For example, someone may have thought, wait for the fools in the back get really tired so they would rather stay here and sleep than potentially have to disembark be transported to a hotel then come back in a few hours.
Engineering Travel is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 1:53 am
  #7  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,012
B-HNO http://www.libhomeradar.org/database..._sw=0&limit=30
percysmith is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 1:58 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Global
Programs: OWS IHG Diamond in waiting..
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Exemplery. I rather have a verbose captain in times like these even if some of his messages were off (rather than a tight-lipped captain who won't say anything until it's already occurred). You should send in a commendation email for the flight and cabin crew regardless you know better than them (sounds like the captain isn't as knowledgeable about China immigration practice as us, but then again he wasn't expecting to have to fly there).
In other similar situations I have had honesty from the flight crew, but that was with 3 other airlines and one was Chinese.

I am full of praise for the cabin crew and will write a letter, as for the flight crew, whilst I acknowledge they had a difficult job, I believe in honesty and expect that from a person in such a position and they should be supported by CX in that respect. Not sure I would be happy to use CX so much now that MH are in Oneworld and cover some routes I use. At least I have the reason to try their product.

But thanks for your comments, interesting points.

If only access to cock pit voice recordings for the communication from CX722 to HQ was available...
Engineering Travel is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 2:30 am
  #9  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,012
Sorry, I think I misunderstood the gist of your post the first time round.

Personally I find it difficult to believe the captain's announcements were made to placate passengers, because they would have been very bad lies.

Analysing messages made:
Upon our arrival in CAN at approx. 6:30pm, the captain informed the passengers that this will be a short stop of around 2 hours while we refuel and depart to HKG - Factual

After 2 hours, the refueling was completed and the captain made a second announcement, that we would have to wait another a little longer as now HKG was closed. - Factual

Sure enough, within the next hour the captain made the announcement that “we are now out of hours” and we are talking with CX about the situation. - Factual

About 1 hour later, new announcement “we are arranging with the Chinese flight authorities to allow us to send a plane from HKG to take you there, this make take 2-3 hours”. - probably true, at least something CX despatch was hoping to do

After a another hour, “the Chinese have agreed to sending a plane to collect you, it will be here in 2 hours” - ditto

Another hour goes by, “the Chinese have changed their minds- ditto

so there will be no flight and now we are trying to book hotels in Guangzhou for you as soon as possible” - okay. This is something unacceptable for a China-experienced captain to say e.g. it'll be pretty stupid if this came out of a KA captain's mouth. But not all CX pilots fly China so all I can say he was a bit naive here, but not as far as to say he's lying to placate passengers.

Another hour later approx. 2 or 3 am “The Chinese will not allow any passengers to disembark as the terminals in CAN are full with passengers from all the diverted flights and the hotels in Guangzhou are full. - No idea about the terminal situation, no idea why CX wouldn't let you off if they could (and KA can pay for it!). Wouldn't be a cost issue - is there an airbridge fee or something? And I doubt CX would skinflint on that given the potential for unrest on the aircraft itself. They paid for fuel and F&B and made cash comp <-- this might be reduced had they been able to land passengers at the CAN terminal.

The hotels are not all full, but inaccessible to almost all passengers (see last comment).

"Please make yourselves as comfortable as possible as you will be sleeping on board tonight. CX are aware of the situation and working on a solution." - about 20 years ago (still Kai Tak), that's what I had to do. HKG-MEL night flight, HKG stopped letting planes take off due to incredibly heavy fog. Was a full 747 so very uncomfortable. They could have sent us home, but I guess in retrospect despatch wanted us to stay on so we can depart as soon as fog lifted (which was around 9am). We were allowed off for breakfast, and got to see the terminal was packed to the gills for ourselves.

After another 4-5 hours, next announcement “a new flight crew will arrive in CAN at 9:30am and we will have you back in HKG asap”. - Factual

After talking with some experienced ground staff, they informed me that CX are not allowed to disembark passengers at CAN as they have no agreement, also I suspected that there would be issues with persons not having PRC entry visas, which would be another reason passengers for passengers not allowed off. - even for those with valid PRC re-entry permits like me, I won't take it to a non-PRC place like KUL. Probably the whole plane (save those HK residents lucky enough to keep their PRC re-entry permits in their wallets on non-PRC holidays and PRC mainland passport holders) cannot enter into Guangzhou city for hotels!

Last edited by percysmith; Mar 30, 13 at 2:38 am
percysmith is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 2:30 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SIN
Programs: TK-G | Accor G | Marriott P | SPG P| Hilton S
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by Engineering Travel View Post
In other similar situations I have had honesty from the flight crew, but that was with 3 other airlines and one was Chinese.

I am full of praise for the cabin crew and will write a letter, as for the flight crew, whilst I acknowledge they had a difficult job, I believe in honesty and expect that from a person in such a position and they should be supported by CX in that respect. Not sure I would be happy to use CX so much now that MH are in Oneworld and cover some routes I use. At least I have the reason to try their product.

But thanks for your comments, interesting points.

If only access to cock pit voice recordings for the communication from CX722 to HQ was available...
Ahhh so that set of crew is for you . U must thank me bringing you those crews

I wonder that flight was only have 2 seats left when i checked before boarded cx714. I was upgraded to J and saw quite some boarding pass at the boarding "gate"
lingua101 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 3:04 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Global
Programs: OWS IHG Diamond in waiting..
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Mr Percy
1
so there will be no flight and now we are trying to book hotels in Guangzhou for you as soon as possible” - okay. This is something unacceptable for a China-experienced captain to say e.g. it'll be pretty stupid if this came out of a KA captain's mouth. But not all CX pilots fly China so all I can say he was a bit naive here, but not as far as to say he's lying to placate passengers.

The hotels are not all full, but inaccessible to almost all passengers (see last comment).
2
After talking with some experienced ground staff, they informed me that CX are not allowed to disembark passengers at CAN as they have no agreement, also I suspected that there would be issues with persons not having PRC entry visas, which would be another reason passengers for passengers not allowed off. - even for those with valid PRC re-entry permits like me, I won't take it to a non-PRC place like KUL. Probably the whole plane (save non-HK PRC passport holders) cannot enter into Guangzhou city for hotels!

Just 2 points here ,
1, I seriously would not believe an Antipodean pilot flying for CX, would not have some knowledge of Chinese immigration. But he/she does have much more important things to worry about
2, I'm fine have 12 month multi entry Visa, not sure what would have happened if the question was asked "who is eligible for entry to PRC, if you posses correct documentation you may stay in a nice hotel this evening". So obviously in that respective, everyone stays on-board.

Anyway it happened, I move on.

I wont mention about my missed connection we are not allowed to say they handled it well on this site are we?
Engineering Travel is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 3:05 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Global
Programs: OWS IHG Diamond in waiting..
Posts: 705
[QUOTE=lingua101;20506808]Ahhh so that set of crew is for you . U must thank me bringing you those crews

If you drink beer, I shall buy you one, thank you
Engineering Travel is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 3:11 am
  #13  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,012
Originally Posted by Engineering Travel View Post
I know in Shanghai and Beijing there is the 72 hour tourist arrival visa, but does Guangzhou have this facility?
Not yet...end of this year http://www.thenanfang.com/blog/final...d-of-the-year/
percysmith is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 3:19 am
  #14  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,012
Originally Posted by Engineering Travel View Post
2, I'm fine have 12 month multi entry Visa, not sure what would have happened if the question was asked "who is eligible for entry to PRC, if you posses correct documentation you may stay in a nice hotel this evening". So obviously in that respective, everyone stays on-board.
I dunno. I've been in the WX above and one tech.

The WX above - the captain was still saying we were waiting to go up to 2am. He then had to give up til next morning cos of noise abatement issues. Given the time he gave up, the expectation we can get out as soon as possible next morning and the number of passengers stranded, I can't fault CX for not letting us off (or even go to the terminal).

Tech (also in HKG) - The airline (HX) knew by 4pm that my 5pm flight won't fly til tomorrow 9am, so they rounded us all up at the gate and took those who can get out to the Park Lane at around 7pm. There were 70 odd Vietnamnese nationals who couldn't, and they were put up at Plaza Premium lounges' sleeping rooms.

But even the HX case involves a HK airline at its home port with plenty of notice. Contra that to CX at a divert port at midnight.

Last edited by percysmith; Mar 30, 13 at 3:36 am
percysmith is offline  
Old Mar 30, 13, 3:23 am
  #15  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,012
Originally Posted by Engineering Travel View Post
I wont mention about my missed connection we are not allowed to say they handled it well on this site are we?
This isn't Singapore, you're allowed to criticise the airline here. And many of us do.
percysmith is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread