Cathay Confusing

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Last week, I attempted to book a round trip from Beijing-London in November. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong: it proved anything but. After doing my homework, I plumped for Cathay Pacific – a great airline, provided you don’t mind a detour via Hong Kong. Having selected my flights and my in-flight preferences (vegetarian meal and an aisle seat, please), I was redirected to the payment page which is where the trouble began. My boss’ credit card (it’s a business trip) wouldn’t go through for no rhyme or reason. Neither would my Visa debit card – Cathay, it transpires, don’t do debit cards. Nor would my Mother’s MasterCard, as it is issued through good old Marks and Spencers, rather than a bank such as Barclays.
In desperation, I phoned the helpline number listed on the website, only to be informed that ‘this number doesn’t take incoming calls’. What’s that about? Finally I got through to a local agent, who said they would be happy to sell me the flight over the phone – but it would be three times the price of an online flight. Arghhhhhh. In the end, I phoned a friend, ‘borrowed’ her card and the booking finally went through. It’s put me off flying with fussy Cathay again – and I haven’t even started my journey yet. Mind you I guess Cathay can afford to play hard to get – their flights are a fraction of those offered by BA, Air China et al.

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