Stranded in Beijing Airport

I was extremely unhappy and disappointed with the service carrier, Cathay Pacific!  In fact, it was my second unpleasant encounter with CX in just 5 days! My departure flight from Singapore to HK was delayed for an hour and the CX staff gave us inconsistent excuses. At the waiting lobby, a man said "it was due to a suspected case of swine flu, we have to disinfect the plane." Once onboard, the pilot made an apology, stating that the delay was caused by a technical problem and they have to repair the plane! Man, it was all but bullshit!

Not surprisingly, Tracy’s return flight back to HK was met with more frustating experience. She and the other 200 over passengers were made to sit inside the plane for 3 hours – while the engineers were fixing the plane. Pure stupid or what, can’t they check the plane first before getting the passengers to board!?

But none of these 2 bad experience beat my last one. I was stranded in Beijing Airport for bloodly 7 hours! And throughout the first 2 hours of my ordeal, there was no official explanation for the delay. This was my experience.

At the VIP Lounge
I was at the lounge. The pretty and friendly lady came and reminded me that my flight is taking off soon.
She asked me to proceed to the my boarding gate 16.

Rejection at Gate 16
There was a queue at Gate 16 and it was heading for HK. I was rejected at the gate as it wasn’t my flight.
I was told that my gate has changed to Gate 11.

Not a ghost at Gate 11
I ran to Gate 11 and can’t find any one there. No one at the counter. There was no plane at all!
I was still within time. I checked with another officer. They told me to go to Gate 28. I ran to Gate 28.
They announced that the plane will be delayed for 1 hour. I went back to my lounge to rest.

2 Hours later – Proceed to Gate 57
They said the plane has arrived and did some maintenance.
After 2 hours, I was informed by the lounge lady to proceed to Gate 57 for boarding.

No plane at Gate 57 – Wait another 3 hours
When I arrived at Gate 57, there were a lot of people. And there was no sign of my plane.
I was then informed that our plane was faulty and we may need to wait for another 2-3 hours!
The best thing was – none of the CX crew can confirmed if we can fly out or not.

They gave out food coupon and asked us to return 2-3 hours later. Some of the passengers were yelling at the counter staffs, demanding them for accurate instruction and more transparency on the delay. All the crew can said "We are not sure of the situation and we cannot commit."

Gate changed to Gate 19!
2 hours later, I went back to Gate 57 – there isn’t a ghost there.
Except a note which said – Flight changed to Gate 19!

By that time, I was tried, angry and pissed off. I tried calling CX hotline and its lines were fully engaged!
I went to the VIP Lounge and made a complaint – they said they can’t help me. If I were to make a complaint, I will have to make it online on email! What kind of service was that!!!!???

Flew out 7 hours later!
I gave up trying. I just sat there in disbelief! How can a reputable airline make such a mess! The crew was 100% unprepared to take on crisis like this. And seriously, none of them know how to react to the affected mass. Most the passengers were grumbling amongst themselves about the poor standard of CX. Finally, after 7 hours of waiting in the airport, I flew out of Beijing to HK! (My total transit time – door to door – took me 14 hours!)

I am totally disgusted by the standards of CX! Worst of all, they do not have the basic skillsets to contain a situation like this. There have been delays from other airlines but they handled those issues very well. SQ even paid me $500 cash + free upgrade to Business Class when they screwed up my seating and timing. That is first class. No wonder, SQ won World Best Airline for many years! For CX, they are just full of cheap words and slow meaningless action.

CX, forget about spending more money on branding and brandwashing minds! What you need is to ensure that your company deliver what you promised! The experience! That is something what advertising can’t help you! Fly a kite instead if you can’t fly a plane right!

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