Old Feb 6, 2017, 3:04 PM
Johnw Johnw is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1
Default Arrogant and uncoperative

On 20 December 2016 my wife and I were booked to fly JHb to Hong Kong on South African Airways (SAA). Thereafter and on separate and unconnected tickets we were booked to fly first class on Cathay Pacific cx711 departing 16h10.
We checked in on line prior to departing Johannesburg and received our boarding passes and booked our luggage through to Singapore. In-flight delays resulted in the SAA flight landing at 15h14. A lady with a sign with our flight number and names was at the gate. She expedited us through security to the gatge. We waited 20 minutes before the flight was called and then presented our passports at the first class queue - our passports were duly checked, the boarding pass was initialed and we were advised to wait for boarding.
When attempting to board at 15h55 we were advised that there was a problem and that we should take a seat. After 20 minutes we were advised by a Cathay gate clerk that we had been removed from the flight because our SAA flight had been delayed and that we had been placed on another flight. We questioned what flight and were told to wait. The plane left the gate at 16h21. At 16h40 I requested to speak to the station manager. I was then told that an SAA representative would come and advise us of the situation. This did not happen and I found a Cathay Pacific gate handler who said that we had been removed from the flight in accordance with Cathay Pacific’s policy of a connecting flight “having to have arrived within 60 minutes of the next flights departure”. We then questioned what other flight arrangement had been made. His response was that it was an SAA problem and that it had to be sorted out with SAA. No further help was forth coming and no-one from Cathay Pacific would help us. We then asked as to where we could recover our cases and we were told to “get them off the SAA carousel”.
We scoured the airport for our bags and after an hour found them on a carousel with Cathay Pacific “Offloaded”. We then set out to find another route to Singapore – this was impossible as it was the height of the festive season rush.
After visiting several airline counters we eventually found 2 business class tickets available with Singapore airlines (at a cost of USD 3 200.00).
Once home we attempted to resolve our issues with Cathay Pacific but merely received a string of emails deflecting responsibility to SAA. It is important to note that we complied with Cathay Pacific’s conditions of carriage which were that we had to have checked in one hour before the flight and that we had to be at the gate 40 minutes prior to departure – when we arrived at the gate we were in possession of boarding passes with our seat allocations. SAA could not be held liable under these circumstances.
We have spent the last 8 weeks trying to obtain a refund of our first class airfare –We have also tried to obtain compensation for our replacement tickets – No joy – just a run around from Cathay Pacific.
Cathay Pacific maintain that they reserved the right to assign or reassign seats at any time, even after boarding”. They maintain that this gave them the right to cancel our seats and sell them to someone else. We are now left with no option other than to spend further sums of money in taking legal action if we hope to recover any of our money.
If this is the way that Cathay Pacific treat first class passengers, I would hate to see how they treat everyone else.

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