Hurrah for the Asian Airline !

Batpo, good to see you writing again. I agree with your comments about airlines - I'd always choose Cathay or Singapore Airlines if there is the chance. Qantas gets the prize for the one I try and avoid in this part of the world - I'll give "hanging up the jacket" as one simple example why.

I'm usually travelling for business. If I can get the suit jacket hung on a clothes hangar, then it's not all creased and crumpled when I arrive. Cathay cabin-staff often ask first if they see me in a jacket, or will quickly hang it up with a smile if I ask them.

I thought that was the norm, so on several flights with Qantas I asked the same. I remember asking on three different flights and getting the replies :
- "No."
- "Well....., I could......, if you *really* need me to ....".
- "Sorry, if I do it for you, I'll have to do it for everyone."
So after that I stopped asking, and then stopped flying Qantas unless there is no other choice. That's just one example - in general the staff seem to have a chip on their shoulder that "You're no better than me". I don't care who is better than who, I'd just like to be treated as a customer.

Cathay nearly fell from grace on last Sunday's flight from HK to Dubai, when the inflight entertainment got well and truly broken. First I couldn't watch the movies - nothing happened when I tried to select a channel (the friendly stewardess kindly suggested that I "wait a while", but I'd already been waiting for 30 mins by then...). Ok I'll listen to music... same problem. Well then I'll read, doh!, light switches don't work either, I'll call the stewardess again, NNNNNGGGGHHH, the call buttons don't work either.

Just as I was about to get into a full-on whine Ms Senior lady (dark blue suit, double-strength perfume) came past, and was suitably apologetic. She'd ventured out from behind the Business Class curtain with a pack of customer survey forms in her hand, but mysteriously enough they were quickly put away again ! It turned out the problem was only affecting us poor oiks back in Economy, and they couldn't reset the system until all the Business Class flyers had finished their movies, bless their cotton socks. We'll see if they redeem themselves on the flight home tonight.


Asian Travel

Dear MrB,

Its your expat conservatism; you have to learn to complain. Normally I am a very reserved, quiet soul; a very background type of person, which I think why all my vitriole is reserved for the writtten word.

Anyway, think about what you want to achieve from your complaints before setting out on this miserable path. Obviously not every airline dispenses such joy-joy feelings although some are trying/succeeding in providing a very good service.

I had problems with Cathay regarding their Marco Polo club which was immediately remedied by a concise email detailing the problem and then also stating that I wished to continue using their services which on the whole I find very polite and of a high standard.
I had huge problems with American Airlines including a missed flight due to their mishandling of luggage resulting in a wasted night spent in Miami, incredibly early flights via Dallas Fort Worth and losing half a business day in San Francisco. Did I bother to complain about their competence? No, because the simplest way for me is to avoid using their dire services in the future. The problem would not be remedied as the causes are in Management, staff attitude and throughout the service chain. Their core principle doesn't include the customer. Giving me a US$50 voucher redeemable against another American Airline flight would not have solved the problem or at the very least aggravated another episode of incompetence.
Continental used to be incredibly shabby but they've improved in leaps and bounds. I think they even write management profiles on the new boss there who not only changed core principles but even changed staff attitudes to the only concept of airline service.

Actually I'd be interested to hear if anyone is willing to recommend a US airline where they've received genuine good service or even an Asian airline where the service was diabolical. Only half points given for China airline referrals though!

Re:Hurrah for the Asian Airline !

United, but only once... Seattle to San Francisco, and a single hostess named Yvonne Cartell [on a Valentine's Day].