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COMPLAINT: I was abandoned by cathay for 12 hrs in paris when my final destination was in london

 
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Old Jan 29, 2019, 12:34 PM
cathayordeal cathayordeal is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Dear Mum and Dad,

Here are the events of my flight ordeal with Cathay Pacific.

The delayed CX932 departure from Manila to HK was extremely concerning to me as it mean’t that I had missed connecting flight CX257, scheduled to leave at 9:45 AM. Upon arriving at Hong Kong, I was informed by ground personnel that passengers scheduled to travel to London had to be re-routed to Paris via flight CX279, then finally to London via Air France Flight AF1380. I was then ushered by a ground stewardess to a Cathay Pacific ticketing counter where I was to be issued my new boarding passes. Having patiently waited in line, I was handed boarding pass CX279 for the Hong Kong to Paris leg of the journey, but was extremely perplexed as to why I had not been given a boarding pass for the AF1380 flight. I asked the ticketing woman who then informed me that I was to pick up my boarding pass at the readily accessible Air France ticket counter in Paris upon landing. Still not convinced, I asked the woman again if she was sure that the AF1380 boarding pass was not to be issued by her - it seemed odd that all my boarding passes were not printed at once. She then rudely dismissed me saying “Go to your boarding gate now. Air France will issue it when you arrive in Paris.” Upon boarding flight CX279 at 12:10, I was still anxious about my AF1380 boarding pass, thus I informed the woman in charge at the boarding gate about the ticketing woman who informed me that I would pick up the Air France Boarding pass in Paris upon arrival. She then reassured me that ground personnel at Charles de Gaulle Airport would hand me my Air France boarding pass upon arrival. Being reassured by two Cathay Pacific employees undoubtedly put my worries to rest.

Throughout much of the flight, I was asleep as a result of the heavy pain medication I take to alleviate the neck and head pain caused by Chikungunya. I woke up only three hours prior to landing in Paris when a disgruntled passenger seated next to me ranted about how the HK$75 meal voucher was not enough compensation for the inconvenience caused by the re-routed flight. I began asking familiar faces from flight CX932 if they had been issued a meal voucher- all of which confirmed that they had been. This came as a shock as I was not given one at Hong Kong - it became clear that I had been excluded. What was more concerning was seeing a fellow passenger on the same re-routed flight sift through his travel documents- of which included the AF1380 boarding pass. I began asking other passengers who had been re-routed from the CX932 (MNL - HKG) flight if they had been issued the Air France Boarding Pass at Hong Kong; they all confirmed that they had been and expressed their concerns for why I had not been given one. In a state of utter stress and frustration, I kept in mind what the two Cathay Pacific employees had informed me in Hong Kong - I was unwilling to believe that the Cathay Pacific staff would let me down and so recklessly provide misinformation.

Once I had arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport, I rushed to the exit of the plane in the hopes that ground staff would be waiting for me to issue my boarding pass. I quickly located a man from Cathay Pacific holding a sign with names of passengers. To my disappointment, my name was not on the list as he was locating passengers on route to a different flight. I explained to him the situation that I was in and asked him if and where I could get my boarding pass at the Charles de Gaulle airport. He was quick to dismiss me by saying “I don’t know. Please just follow Transfers.” It felt as if the Cathay Pacific staff whom I was dependent on were quick to leave me in the dark. I persisted on and followed the sign “ Transfers” until I recognised fellow passengers heading to London via the Air France flight. My heart dropped once realising that they were queuing at a security checkpoint which I knew from memory entailed scanning my boarding pass to proceed. Once it was my turn, I presented my flight confirmation email in the hopes that it would suffice as evidence of my entitlement to a boarding pass for flight AF1380 . The security staff were reluctant to let me through despite my numerous attempts at explaining to them my situation. I was pulled aside by one of the security staff for approximately 20 minutes where I was incessantly told that it was requisite to present a boarding pass to pass security. The personnel further expressed their confusion concerning why I was not issued my AF1380 boarding pass in Hong Kong. I watched as my fellow passengers effortlessly passed by me and through the checkpoint. On the verge of tears, my frustrations and anxieties intensified as time went by. More than anything, I felt so humiliated. Everyone was staring at me as if I had been apprehended for committing a crime. I felt helpless.
Having finally persuaded the airport security staff to let me pass, it became clear that I had lost sight of all my fellow passengers who had already made their way to the boarding gate. This left me stranded as my flight confirmation email did not specify the terminal and departure gate of flight AF1380. I quickly began trying to locate any Air France ticketing staff at the terminal in order to collect my boarding pass, as I had been told to do by the Cathay Pacific employees in Hong Kong. I finally was able to locate a ticketing booth after about an hour of searching where I presented my updated flight itinerary. I began explaining how I was re-routed via a Cathay Pacific flight and that my boarding pass for Air France had not been issued. The Air France employee had informed me that I should have been issued my boarding pass by Cathay at Hong Kong. She then proceeded to tell me that I was not even at the right terminal and that I should bring up my concerns with Cathay Pacific Staff at Terminal 2E. In a state of distress, I frantically began making my way towards Terminal 2E which entailed a gruelling wait for the shuttle bus to arrive.

After arriving at Terminal 2E, I immediately began searching for any Cathay Pacific personnel which posed as a problem considering their absenteeism. I was finally able to locate a Cathay Pacific boarding gate where I explained my situation and asked to have my boarding pass printed. A female Cathay Pacific employee was quick to say that she was incapable of printing my boarding pass from a boarding gate despite what I had been told in Hong Kong. She advised me to return to terminal 2A where staff purportedly would be able to “assist me better” - this truly infuriated me as I felt as if I had exhausted all efforts at retrieving my AF1380 boarding pass. In an act of desperation, I began asking the staff of a number of different airlines in the hope that they would be able to print my boarding pass - at that point, I had lost all faith in the Cathay Pacific staff. The stress was overwhelming, and the physical strain of running to and from Terminals and boarding gates was evidently aggravating my medical condition.

As flight AF1380 was close to departing, I had no other option than to present my flight confirmation email at the gate. I had wasted so much time running around that I had only just arrived as the boarding gates were closing -yet, even then, the man at the Air France boarding gate informed me that he wouldn’t have been able to let me board without a boarding pass. Despite following all the instructions provided by the Cathay Pacific staff, I found myself unable to board. Truly an appalling and harrowing experience.

My heart dropped when they closed doors for the AF flight to London. I was abandoned there with nowhere to go. From the time of my arrival in Paris which was around 1850H of Jan 12 until my 0715 departure via BA on January 13 which my dad booked online, I had no assistance from any CX personnel, no bed to sleep in, no food, and no water. Having only 20 percent charge on my phone added so much stress since there was no way I could charge my phone and I had to limit my calls to my parents who, like me, were extremely anxious. My check in baggage that was surprisingly offloaded in France also added to the stress since all my medications and important school papers were all there. Not being able to check it in my BA flight to London meant days of not getting my medication. If not for my mom who contacted her friend in Paris at 0300H, I would not have gotten the kind assistance of Mr Jerome of Air France who located my luggage at 0400H, brought it over to me, and walked me to my terminal to check it in the BA flight.

Please relay this to Cathay Pacific as I am still shocked as to the events that took place. It is only just that they know the emotional and physical strain this whole ordeal had on me.

Thanks Mum, I hope Cathay Pacific rectifies this great injustice.

Love and miss you all,
James
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hong kong, manila, no boarding pass, paris abandonment


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