Disappointed with Cathay Pacific Service

Disappointed with Cathay Pacific ServiceCathay Pacific has the Australia-Hong Kong market covered extremely well. The Oneworld member serves 6 Australian cities from Hong Kong, with up to four daily flights on some routes. From Hong Kong, travellers can then connect to cities across Asia, Europe and North America.

The Hong Kong-based airline has a good reputation, but some AFF members believe the Cathay Pacific service standards are slipping. Limewood recently returned from a trip to New York flying Cathay Pacific Business Class. This member was disappointed with the seat, the food and the service.

Seat was a tad hard, little room for feet, plane was hot then cold, food very ordinary, staff Ok and no banter. And why they serve dinner at 10.30pm on the CNS sector beats me, then before arrival served up an awful small muffin and a jam pastry no taste in “J” for breakfast. The flights in and out of Cairns are full and CX are not cheap, Qantas are you listening to FNQ?, we need you back on the CNS/HKG sector.

Our members have mixed responses. Some have had very good experiences with Cathay Pacific service. But others can’t understand why so many people rave about the airline.

MEL_Traveller comments that while the food on Cathay Pacific is average, the service is quick. This can be a good thing as it allows passengers to maximise sleep on short overnight flights like from Hong Kong to Cairns.

Food – meh. CX isn’t renowned for their food, but they can serve it quickly. 55 mins on an overnight ex HKG meant we were all tucked up and sleeping within about 90 minutes of take-off. With QF we’d still be waiting for the tray set-up.

Limewood believes more competition is needed on routes like Cairns-Hong Kong. This would keep Cathay Pacific competitive and provide alternatives for both Cairns residents and the two million visitors to the region each year.

Cathay Pacific has a monopoly on flights from Perth and Adelaide to Hong Kong, and its only competitor on the Cairns-Hong Kong route will withdraw in October. This means that for Cairns residents travelling to Hong Kong or beyond, the alternative to flying Cathay Pacific is spending hours backtracking via Brisbane or Sydney. The convenience of the direct Cairns-Hong Kong flight, and lack of alternatives, is reflected in the high fares for the Cathay Pacific service.

More international flights are on the cards for Cairns. For example, China Eastern will begin seasonal flights from Cairns to Shanghai this summer. But any additional international flights are unlikely to be offered by Qantas.

I’m not sure why QF would put a service between CNS and HKG when other cities that have 10x the population of CNS don’t have QF services to HKG.

How have your experiences with Cathay Pacific been? Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: CX I’m disappointed


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]