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Posts from the ‘Cathay Pacific’ Category

“Current holder of the coveted Skytrax… title”

September 5th, 2014

Kinny Cheng

Future Travel Experience:

When it comes to passenger experience, there can be no doubting the fact that Cathay Pacific is among the leaders. One of just seven 5-star airlines and the current holder of the coveted SkyTrax ‘Airline of the Year’ title, the Hong Kong-based carrier certainly seems to know how to keep its customers happy.

An industry publication, making a case — in positive light — for an airline which just won an award for “best airline of the year”.

No, there’s nothing wrong with that. The biased nature of the article is expected, given how it was an interview-based write-up that lacked the challenging questions.

But using Skytrax as the means to set the tone for the article? Now that was a bad move.

Because anyone who’s involved in the commercial aviation industry, to some degree, will know just how credible their awards are, which usually lacks a complete sense of reality.

If you’re curious, though, it’s skim-worthy. For me, the first paragraph of the article sealed its fate.

(Tidbit: Some airlines desire the Skytrax recognition only because it’s a marketing ploy that seems to have a positive effect on certain groups.)

Special fares, only for truly “special” people…

September 2nd, 2014

Kinny Cheng

Danny Lee, writing for

A Hong Kong-based frequent flyer has revealed how he turned cyber-queue jumper, snapping up a pair of cheap Cathay Pacific flights to New York while 150,000 frustrated buyers spent hours trying in vain for a bargain.

So much for celebrating their “airline of the year” award.

Understandably, it was a big special (HK$100 is approximately US$13). Experiences with slow web page (server) responses were to be expected when the special fares went live.

But this?

It further proves just how meaningless such awards are. Instead of shining bright, Cathay Pacific just made a fool of themselves — greed and shortsightedness bears no ultimate fruit.

(In fact, if you’ve ever had to put yourself through one of Cathay Pacific’s customer service options, which I have on various occasions, there is a good chance of being bitterly disappointed with the overall experience.)

Eating healthily on board? Yes, you can!

April 30th, 2013

Kinny Cheng

eTravel Blackboard:

In the past five years[,] orders for low-calorie meals has increased 300 percent and orders for low cholesterol meals rose by 181 percent, according to new data released by Cathay Pacific.

Even without the official data, it’s not surprising to find such an increase in this trend, given how the world has seen a progressive change in food consumption habits.

Arguably, this shift has been around for much longer (than just the past five years). But the lead-time by the different airlines’ adoption of these meals, plus the knowledge of availability by passengers, would’ve been plausible factors leading to this result.

In any case, the greater food options is a positive win for the passenger experience in general — that is, on airlines that offer such dietary food options…

(Hat-tip to Nikos of @inflightFeed for always bringing foodie-related tweets to my attention! :)

On Cathay Pacific’s hint of eventually killing seat-back TVs…

June 20th, 2012

Kinny Cheng

News — or all hell — broke out last week when Cathay Pacific’s CEO, John Slosar, dropped a bombshell.

From Business Traveller:

“John Slosar, CEO of the Hong Kong-based airline told HK Finance that “Given the popularity of tablet PCs, passengers no longer need some of the onboard entertainment facilities, like for example, the seat back personal TV screens [PTVs].””

The Hong Kong based airline goes on to describe how doing away with personal seat-back TVs can do away with between one and two tons of weight per aircraft, which can clock up substantial fuel savings over time.

But all this is still an “idea” for now:

“However, says Slosar stresses that “it remains an idea at the present time. The carrier would wait for another five or six years before tablet PCs became more popular with the travelling public at large before taking action.”

That is more of a safe bet. By 2017–2018, tablets will have become a far-more mature product, with a greater number of overall users. Plus, deployment of IFE-based systems utilising a passenger’s device (via Wi-Fi connectivity, for example) can bring numerous benefits to both parties.

And I’m pretty much in agreement with GhettoIFE’s take on this:

“Cathay Pacific’s idea is simple: Bring Your Own Device, and they’ll provide a power socket at seat so you can power it, be it a Laptop, Tablet or GhettoIFE Device.

The really clever move would be to introduce some sort of Wireless IFE device, so you use your own device, connect to a server on the plane, and stream content from it.”

Five years isn’t so close, yet not far. With constant advancements in the area of IFE (in-flight entertainment) and on-board communications, your guess is as good as mine come the kind of provisions made available to us on a flight.

I look forward, with great interest, to see how airlines choose to tackle this particular aspect of passenger experience. We won’t have to wait five years to see progress, because it’s already happening today in different segments of the commercial aviation marketplace (think AirAsia X, Emirates, Scoot, Virgin America — to name a few).

Klout your way into the Cathay Pacific Lounge at SFO!

May 10th, 2012

Kinny Cheng

TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha:

“So Klout is launching a Perk with Hong Kong-headquartered Cathay Pacific Airways. Anyone in the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport with a Klout score of 40 or higher will be allowed into the airline’s lounge, which is normally limited to Cathay’s first class and business class passengers. Just use the app to show your score to the lounge receptionist and you’ll get access to seven workstations, three showers, and a noodle bar.”

And I was thinking, all this while, just how utterly useless that new Klout iPhone app is! (Right, Mrs. O?)

This is certainly an interesting move by Cathay. Its latest partnership with Klout solidifies the argument of how value can possibly be generated through such experimental marketing efforts.

Yet, they’re not exactly new to the social media scene, where the airline currently has multiple presences on Twitter and Facebook, and even a Foursquare account (which, clearly, hasn’t gotten much use).

During the month of April that just past, Cathay gave the same First and Business Class Lounge visitors a piece of CX memorabilia just for checking-in on Foursquare. Primarily, it was to promote the airline’s newly-renovated lounge, which opened this past December, while also engaging with the traveller through the means of a different (type of) social networking service or medium.

Cathay Pacific’s First and Business Class Lounge at SFO

I am a Klout user myself, and I would say a score of 40 isn’t exactly difficult to achieve — on the condition that you are active on social media.

(If you have absolutely no idea what Klout is, here’s a quick crash course to get you started!)

Oh, for those who don’t have an iPhone (hence no access to the Klout app) — try showing off your Klout score in your mobile’s browser or something. They may just accept that (after all, it’s all about engagement, right?)

The Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge at San Francisco (SFO) can be found on the 4th floor of the South departure hall. Doors open four hours before the scheduled CX flight departure.

Drats! Now I’m regretting that I chose to leave from LAX for my next trans-Pacific flight…

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