How Cathay Pacific screwed up my December trip booking

This post is by my friend Jason, who wrote up one trip report here already and expect another one from him soon. He booked on his iPad, and didn’t take any screenshots, so sorry for the lack of them. I’m going to add in some gifs to make up for it.

A couple of weeks ago, my family decided to go to Nagoya for our Christmas trip. When I was still in Europe, I got a nasty surprise when I saw that quite a lot of my Asia Miles were expiring by the end of the year. So basically, I had 40,000 miles to burn (I know, not a lot but…) on this trip.


Yesterday night, I tried to book an economy non-stop flight to Nagoya. I went to book the flights and discovered that they had ran out of “Standard” award space. The only types of seats left were Tier 1 (More expensive) seats which retailed for 45,000 Asia Miles per person. Then, when I went to select my flights… They had literally ran out of everything but a direct (1 stop) flight through Taipei. Good enough… I guess. However, I had literally been up for 21 hours straight and I was dead tired, and decided to leave the booking for tomorrow.


I logged onto the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles booking function, and the award seats had been sold, which pissed me off quite a lot. The only things left were business class tickets which went for 50,000 Asia Miles per person, which was quite a good value given that economy was already 45,000 miles. However, there are 3 people in my family, and they only had 2 award seats left, which meant that I had to pay for a full fare economy ticket at 8,000 Hong Kong dollars in order for us to fly on the same flights. However, I was in Times Square at the time and the WiFi there is crap, it took me 5 minutes to get to the select flights page, the CX website then just quit loading after that. I decided to leave it until I got home.


As soon as I started booking the segments, the website said that there was an error with the request, so I restarted the booking, by the time I had restarted the booking, the website had stopped showing award redemption for my dates completely. WTF??? Could someone have snagged those seats in the minute that I had spent re-inputting the information.


I called the Cathay Pacific help desk soon and the agent was helpful. The conversation went like this: (It was in Cantonese so the conversation is translated).

Me: “Hello, I was booking an award redemption from Hong Kong to Nagoya and back through Taipei in U Class (Business Redemption) on the [insert dates here] of December, however, the page first showed an error message and when I logged on again, the U award space was gone. Is this a fault with the system or did someone book it?
Agent: “Let me check for a while, please wait for a second.”

After confirming my personal details, he said:

Agent: “You’ve started the booking, I don’t know why, however, it’s not been occupied and is still open, would you like me to complete the booking?”
Me: “Sure.”

Then, he managed to complete the booking (thankfully), however, we were not able to reserve our seats, which we had to do in Manage my Booking.

wait what

Let me just say that the new CX website might look really nice, but it’s Manage My Booking page is a clusterf*ck… I mean! The stupid change your seat function was great as it allowed me to select my mum’s seat, but I was not able to select my own, the same problem persisted for the following 3 seat selections.


As I was selecting my seat an error message popped up (“booking time out, please try again”). WTF? The agent said that it would be a few days until the ticket could be issued…


After a angry 30 minutes, I was able to book an award redemption that would have normally taken 15 minutes at most.

Bottom line


I do not own any of these gifs, please comment if you need to be credited


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