Cathay Pacific


As I sit down to write this, I can’t help but wish I were writing about flying first or business. How my seat makes a bed, potential for backrubs, or how my seat is a bit like a glorified barca-lounger and that the flight attendants keep over-feeding me.

Would I like more cheese? Yes. As previously established, I am quite fond of it.

Still, I can’t help but think that while my experiences in the roomier bit of the plane, and I don’t mean the hold, may have been more pleasant to experience, they’re less key to take note of. Economy service is increasingly uncomfortable, more often than not, but it’s not all bad.

Given that I like going places, and I am unwilling to pay for anything but economy tickets, it just seems sensible to take note of which airlines provide a pleasant Economy experience.

I usually fly Virgin, BA, or American, and my recent adventure on Cathay Pactific is a first. This means that my upgrade potential is zero, even if I am on especially charming behavior and try to wow them with my recently acquired Mandarin.

And so begins my rant about Cathay Pacific, Airline of the Year 2009.

I rang Cathay’s UK Customer Service line shortly after booking my flight, at which time I sat on hold for 20 minutes and I eventualy learned that I would need to call 48h before takeoff to select my seats.

When that mighty day came, I still couldn’t find a general, 24 hour service number for Cathay, so I rang the UK number again from this page at 2115GMT, it was closed. Closed?!

I called the US number, confirmed my reservation code, and was advised to select my seats online.

I logged in to find that all along I could have selected my seats earlier if I had opted to sign up for the Marco Polo Club at 50USD a person, but having that information earlier likely would have made no difference, as I’m unwilling to pay for that, either. (Yes, I may be turning into my dad.) I also learned that my paranoia over bad seat potential led me to login 72 hours before launch, rather than 48.

That takes us to t-48h. I login to Cathay’s Website, I enter in my flight confirmation code, and much to my joy, I get my aisle seat. I feel fortunate.


Still, I will be there bright and early to fanagle an exit row. I’m a big girl, and I’m sure I can open that big door in the event of an emergency.

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