cathay pacific

In December, my family and I were taking our first trip together to India, where my grandmother was turning 100 (another story). We had booked our outbound flight on Cathay Pacific, excited given we had heard so many good things about them.

Our experience with them couldn’t have gone worse. Our flight was SEA – SFO on Alaska Airlines then SFO – HKG on Cathay Pacific and lastly HKG – BLR. We had a perfectly normal flight from Seattle when everything fell apart. In SFO, around 9pm and despite having a paper ticket in hand from American Airlines (we booked using miles), Cathay Pacific kept claiming they couldn’t check in our lap infant. We had paid over $500 for the ticket and they said it wouldn’t work. They wouldn’t even try for more than a minute or two and then just told us to call American or go to the domestic terminal and walked away. We first dealt with Karita, a completely rude employee who didn’t care at all about what was happening and was kept turning away when we tried to approach her.

My wife called American and I ran to the American terminal, but they both told us there were no problems on their end. We went back to the Cathay counter and tried to talk to 2 other employees, Jenny and Zu. Both of them were as rude as Karita, not even attempting to try anything for us or to talk to the American agent on the phone. We spent an hour with kids CRYING at this point given it was way after their bedtime.

Finally, we just offered to pay again and all 3 of the agents said they didn’t know how to process a payment! After we kept pressing them, they asked their supervisor, Bryan. He finally agreed to issue a new ticket (almost $600 more), but took 30 minutes to process it. Then, he told us they couldn’t find our luggage and he wasn’t sure if we’d get it on our flight. He told us he couldn’t give us our luggage tickets either and told us to ask at the gate. This night of misery had already run almost 2 hours and the kids (and we) were very tired.

We finally left, rushing to make the flight. We went through security and got to the gate at boarding and saw that Karita, Jenny and Zu were there. We had to ask them for luggage tags and they refused to give them to us. They again walked away when finally we had to yell at them to come back and give us our tags. They laughed at us, but we wouldn’t give up and finally they printed our tags.

This was absolutely the worst experience we had ever had on any airline, compounded by the fact that they made our kids cry without any care. Their level of widespread callousness and unprofessionalism was astounding, not to mention they cost us $600 more than we should have paid. Every single member we dealt with was disrespectful and even lied to us about the luggage tags.

I strongly urge anyone thinking about flying them to reconsider given their horrible treatment.