On 10 February 2019 I flew with Cathay Pacific CX0748 12:30 from Johannesburg (OR Tambo) to h*o Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat). When weighing in my suitcase the official said that it was too heavy. I asked what I should do and he advise me with this specific words: go to the CNA (a shop), buy a bag and put the access in there and take with you on board. | I did just that. I want to add here: I went to South Africa specifically to buy shoes as I have size 9 feet and can’t find shoes in Vietnam (where I teach now for 3 years). The access was basically because of the shoes. From there I had no problems. I went through all the checkpoints and the gates with my small carry-on suitcase and the bag. When waiting to board the plane in the jet bridge, in the row, at the plane’s doors, an official asked me what I had in the bag. I explained. | He took me out of the row and asked me to open the bag in front of all the passengers waiting to board the plane. At that stage everybody waiting to board the plane was staring at us. He said I cannot have two bags. I said that lots of people have more than 2 bags. Just look around. Some had up to 5 bags as people bought stuff at the duty free shops all over the airport! | He insisted that I leave the bag. I explained again that I cannot leave the shoes as this was the main reason why I did the trip to South Africa and the shoes are very expensive as number 9 shoes are not readily available. He never offered any solution other than leave the bag. He took out a type of “hand scale” and weighted the bag. | He said it was too heavy to take with. By that stage I started crying. I insisted that he calls he’s supervisor. The supervisor said the bag could go into cargo but I have to pay excess. I took out my debit card and said that I do not know how much money was available on the card, but if that is the only solution it is okay, please just don’t leave my shoes. | He then said they will make sure I pay in HCMC. I was never told how much or anything else. I could obviously not pay there as there were now facilities – not in a jet bridge! I was the last person boarding this huge plain and everybody clicked with their tongues, either in sympathy or beca use they were very upset with the old, crying lady with the problem bag. (I think lots of people thought I was smuggling with something illegal) I was so humiliated – it is the first time that something like this every happened to me. | When I arrived at Tan Son Nhat there was an official waiting with my name on a board. More humiliation? I was then forced to pay an excess fine – closely half of the price of my total return ticket!! How on earth? I was totally shocked but paid as I had nightmares the whole 24 hour flight that I might be humiliated again. Afterwards I wrote a letter to customer care at Cathay Pacific to complain about what happened to me. And asked them to refund me. | They said they spoke to this official that took me out of the row and he said it happened at the GATES. I asked them to look at their cameras as he was lying. I also asked specific questions, but they just hammered on what this guy said. I feel I was treated unfairly and humiliated and bullied by the airline. I tried several times again to send the email to the CEO, but every time the email gets hijacked by the customer care people and they just don’t answer any of the questions. | Here is my fair questions: | 1. Why was I stopped at the door of the plane? Why were I allowed to pass ALL the checkpoints (and there are many!) on your way to the plane!? If I was stopped at the boarding gate at least there would have been a few options for me. Please check your cameras. I was stopped in the row to board the plane! Nobody can deny that. | 2. I was not given any options. The only “option” was leave the bag. Only when I started crying and when I said I’m not going to leave the bag did they start to think of other options, like putting it in the cargo. And of course I thought they just lied. I thought they were just going to take the bag from me and leave it on the airport. | 3. How do I know if this weird hand scale was calibrated? Downstairs the excess was barely 7 kgs, now it was 11kgs? If it was an electronic scale, maybe I would have not felt this way. They said they would train their staff better. Why do I have to pay to train their employees in future? You do recognise that this is not acceptable at all. | 4. They never agree to pay excess baggage. I was told to pay excess baggage. Why is this so high???? I paid it to avoid more humiliation in public. | 5. What about the fact that the staff member told me to take the excess out of my bag and take it on the plane? I was advised wrongly from the beginning. I did not book the ticket myself, but with an agent. That is why I did not know what was allowed and what not. Maybe you can get them to answer my questions and pay me back. I think it is not unfair to ask.
Name: Cathay Pacific h
Country: Hong Kong
Address: Cathay Pacific City, 8 Scenic Road, Hong Kong International Airport
Phone: 852 2747-3333