Cathay Pacific / poor and rude customer service
Let me introduce myself: I am an Executive Director of a Mlaysian public listed company, who travels frequently in excess of 150, 000 km a year, and is member /card holder of several airlines: Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles no. [protected]), China Airlines (Emerald Dynasty Flyer SK 0048 172), Malaysia Airlines (Enrich Platinum no. MH [protected]), Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer no. [protected]), China Southern Airlines (Sky Pearl Club no. [protected]).
On 6th August ’08 morning about 8.15am, I was queuing up at the Cathay Pacific Business check-in counter at KLIA for flight CX 720 departing 9.25am to Hong Kong thereafter onwards to Koahsiung by CI 626. I was taken aback as against the norm; there was a queue at the business counter, and also a very long one at the economy counter.
After queuing for some minutes I noticed a small word at the bottom of the TV display screen above the counter, reading “cancelled”. There was no staff to inform us in the queue, what the problem was, and what arrangements for the travelers were. The counter staff was busy engaging with the traveler one at a time, but each traveler would take a long time. As I had an important business meeting in Koahsiung, I couldn’t wait any longer in the dark, and at 9 am I cut the queue and approached the counter to enquire the situation.
Ms Susan answered me very briefly while she was attending to another traveler. She requested me to come back at an hour’s time, purportedly she would try to put me on another airline, the Malaysia Airlines flying to Koahsiung via Kota Kinabalu taking off at 12 noon. I told her if that was the arrangement, then a booking of seat must be secured now, but she just couldn’t spare the time to do it!
I was very disappointed with the service, if I didn’t go to the MAS counter myself and book a seat, I can’t guess in an hour’s time whether there would be any seat left. Why the Cathay Pacific staffs were not prepared for any crisis management? If the travelers were told beforehand (ie while we were in the queue) what sort of arrangement Cathay staffs were contemplating at least we could decide whether there were any other choices.
As it panned out I flew MAS flight MH 086 at 12 noon, and reached Koahsiung at 6.50pm instead of originally scheduled to reach at 4.35pm. I missed the meeting with my staff in the evening. It was very frustrating experience of inefficient service and uncaring attitude towards customers.
To add salt to injury, I had another encounter of rude treatment at the boarding gate no. 28 at Hong Kong airport for flight no. CX 725 travelling back to KL on 8th August 08. Both the Business and Economy boarding counters were jammed with economy travelers. I have to queue behind the economy travelers to board; even I waved and signaled my business boarding card at the staff, he wouldn’t pay any attention! How could he be so indifferent or even assume that there was no business traveler?
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