View Full Version : Cathay CC

10th Nov 2002, 23:08
Our illustrious Moderator made some very valid points on another thread about the business importance of airlines keeping customers happy.
My job has involved flying constantly for many years. I fly British carriers wherever possible, almost invariably BA and Virgin. Both competent, well-trained cabin staff, albeit with a different 'house style'.
About six times a year I fly Cathay Pacific.
What a difference! Wonderful! Not just well-trained, but charming and eager to please. I've never heard any colleagues from any country speak in other than glowing terms about Cathay CC. (I've heard Singapore and Thai CC are just as good but I haven't flown with them so can't comment.)
I understand Cathay have always employed a high proportion of British-trained pilots. They were very wise not to carry that idea into the cabin.

If BA and Virgin want to make their customers happy, why don't they sub-contract their CC training to Cathay so their CC can learn how to really look after passengers?

Is the explanation that Cathay cabin staff are paid more than their British counterparts?

Do you think British cabin staff could achieve the 'Cathay standard' if they had the same training course?

I suppose if the answer to my last question is No, it answers my first question. ;)

10th Nov 2002, 23:33
Probly the answer to questions two and three is NO.

I think it's a question of cultures.

Of course some prefer having a cabin full of lazy, fat, you're lucky I'm even here, battle axes.

Anthony Carn
11th Nov 2002, 11:06
I have a theory that cabin crew training to produce the Cathay "product" would need to start at an early age ------- like ONE perhaps ?

A great many of the cabin crew that I fly with are wonderful. However, they've spent the previous twenty (or thirty or forty or fifty) odd(?) years being brought up as British peeps, as have I.

A few weeks of training won't change that, nor would I wish it to. (well, except for a few cases).

Personally, though, I would definitely welcome a variety of nationalities..
....Thai, Swedish, Icelandic (if what I hear is true), dream, dream, dream......... ;)

11th Nov 2002, 13:33
Maybe I have just been lucky but I have on all British carriers found the Cabin Crew to be great.

The only carrier that I have been disatisfied to the point I made a complaint was on Malaysian Airways, the problem being a think a cultural one, that of Male passengers belittleing the female Flight attendants and refusing to follow their instructions to remain seated and belted during turbulence and opening overhead lockers etc. And nothing being done to correct this.
Only when I threatened to make a complaint was the problem satisfactorily dealt with and then it was dealt with by the Flight Deck.

Yes Cathay are excellent as are Thai but European Carriers can beat them hands down on many things as well.

11th Nov 2002, 14:51
SIA has always been on the top of my list concerning service and home base. However since the opening of new airports in HKG (Cathay) and KUL (MAS) both are fastly approaching SIA. In fact I find KUL and HKG airports nicer and better equiped than SIN, Changi is now showing (some) signs of age. I really miss a good restaurant during transfer hours.

Most SEA airliners have CC which is very easy on the eye, as I understand Cathay does have a variety of nationalities ranging from Indian via Filipine to Thai and (as SIA) does have a very strict selection (age and appearance) which sometimes is cause for indignation from less lucky people .

I have used BA several times and was always pleased by the speed and effectiveness of their CC. However nothing can beat the smile of a Asian beauty while waking you up with a hot towel after a long intercontinental flights.

Less happy I am with our national pride (KLM) where (mostly the female) CC expects you to pay respect for the privilige of flying KLM.

I know when I'm flying with KLM by the fact I'm getting constantly nudged at the isle whilst reading the paper by passing flight attendents and frowns when I'm asking something besides the normal service.



11th Nov 2002, 16:23
"Yes Cathay are excellent as are Thai but European Carriers can beat them hands down on many things as well."

Like what, Flower? :confused:

11th Nov 2002, 19:22
I will have to declare my bias, as Mrs Reynolds is a native Thai lady, but although Thai Airways cabin crew are generally excellent, I have received some rather surly service in the past. Mind you, when a Thai lady is having a bad day - well, you just say nothing and melt into the background, believe me, it's better that way....

Haven't flown CX for yeras and years, but that will change next Monday - I'll let you know...

11th Nov 2002, 21:37
In an emergency what cabin crew would I prefer taking charge;

The delicate little flower of the East or
The 50 year old British Airways CSD.

There isn't any doubt over which one I believe will do the better job.

11th Nov 2002, 21:44

At those moments I use to say:
"yen-yen teerak, mai bpen rai" ;)

Chock Dii


11th Nov 2002, 22:24
"The delicate little flower of the East"
Flower, that's a terribly racist generalisation. :eek:
When lived in Hong Kong, I found Oriental women work colleagues no less no more tough than Europeans, and the No 1's on Cathay are not young kids.

Just because the Cathay CC are charming, make their passengers feel like their custom is truly appreciated, and behave as if they are genuinely concerned you have an enjoyable flight doesn't mean they are delicate little flowers who'd collapse into a girly tizz if there was an emergency.

12th Nov 2002, 00:08
I have never been in my entire life racist and resent that comment.
I speak as I find and with an enourmous number of hours spent flying on all the major airlines around the world still believe in the comments I make and nothing will make me change my mind.

Cabin Crew are there for our safety, looking after us with food and drink is there secondary task.

I stand by my comments.

12th Nov 2002, 09:49
So flower, are you actually implying that the CC of SEA airliners are less competent in the safety department than western airlines? Could you proof this statement with actual facts?



12th Nov 2002, 10:04
A South East Asian (area not airline) DC10 rejected a TO well above V1 some years back, first people of the AC were all the CA's.

Alty Meter
12th Nov 2002, 11:07
Thank you for that helpful bit of 'information' Justforkix.
I'm sure it's very reliable. :rolleyes:

So you don't think referring to CX CC as "delicate little flower(s) of the East" and making a sweeping generalisation casting doubt upon their ability to cope in an emergency was racist.
Then what about prejudiced and patronising?
Just because Asian/Oriental CC are often outwardly gentle and charming doesn't mean they can't cope professionally with an emergency.
And what would you say if someone said they's prefer to have a British pilot than an Asian pilot in charge in an emergency?

"I speak as I find ..... "
And in your "enourmous number of hours spent flying on all the major airlines around the world" how many emergencies have you experienced involving either British or Asian CC to enable you to "speak as you find" with such conviction?

"I still believe in the comments I make and nothing will make me change my mind.
Waste of time trying to reason with you then. You're not Tartan Gannet using another name are you? ;)

"Cabin Crew are there for our safety, looking after us with food and drink is there secondary task."
In theory I agree with you, but only up to a point.
Firstly, that's not how major airlines marketing people try to attract customers to their airline. Safety is a given, and customers are attracted by being told they'll be treated almost like Royalty throughout the flight. Problems sometimes occur when they find the reality is rather different, unless they're in First Class. Some CC treat pax at best like numbers and, at worst, as an inconvenience. I base that on conversations on the crew bus, and my experience as a pax.
Secondly, although our (BA) CC just like other major airlines across the world are thoroughly trained to cope with an emergency, 99% (if not 100% in some cases) of CC time is spent on what you describe as their 'secondary task'. Let's be realistic. Most pilots go through our working lives without ever having to cope with a truly life-threatening emergency, and even fewer incidents mean involving the CC.

You're stuck in a prejudiced timewarp Flower. When I started, people used to say they'd be more confident in a male pilot to cope in an emergency. They couldn't help it either - that's what they thought and nothing would change their minds.
And, as an ATCO, what are your views on "delicate little flowers of the East" working as ATCO's? Not up to it? Not as good as British women? :rolleyes:

I think BA Cabin Crew are amongst the best trained and professional in the world. But I've also flown as a passenger with Cathay and I have to admit I agree with your comments. There's just no comparison in the level of service, and the attitude to the customers who pay our wages.

To answer your questions -
I'll be corrected if I'm wrong but I don't think Cathay CC are better paid than BA.
I think the answer to your third question is No, which also answers your first.
As others have said, I think it's a cultural thing. We Brits are just not very good at service. For some reason, Brits think serving others is demeaning and, instead of taking pride in giving the best service, we stand on our dignity too much.
Is it just a coincidence that the staff in top British restaurants/hotels are rarely British? I don't think so.

Thank you for your loyalty to British carriers! :)

12th Nov 2002, 11:27
i was just about to click "post reply" to flowers comments when i saw fellow ppruners coming up with brash yet rational posts......i, for once, thought that flower was suffereing from superiority complex.....

ummm.....flower..what r u trying to imply? that european women are incapable and a 50 year old brit is way more competent in an emergency situation? care to elucidate on that? :confused:

i suppose the dc10 someone else was talking about was a biman bangladesh flight.......wasnt it? oh well..i will b flying that oneday......:p

take care all
richie rich

12th Nov 2002, 12:23
When pigs can fly.... and PPRuNe men all of a sudden go collectively PC! :D

Can't comment on the service level at the far eastern carriers, never having flown them. I have been told that their fa per pax ratio is a lot higher than in the west. Which the companies can afford because their salaries are generally lower than ours in the west.

From what business pax have told me, the approach of those FAs is indeed different. Endless willingnes to serve drinks and be attentive.
But a total no go if a pax wants to sit down in the galley on a night flight and shoot the breeze with a sympathetic female lending an ear.
Never a cross look but also never a joke cracked or a spontaneous conversation struck.
Different strokes....................

The cultural differences that perhaps make many far eastern girls better suited for giving excellent service, could also be the very ones that tend to inhibit forceful action whan that is called for.
I'm not saying it is so, but I think it might be.

And as for the practicalities, that's another thing, and I think that Flower is alluding to them. We women think that way you see. :)
Who has more experience and is more likely keep a cool head when things go pear shaped? A young gilr fresh out of FA college or an old battle ax who has rounded the world many more times than she cares to think about?
The latter I have no doubt at all, and I'm speaking from experience! :D
And who employ the old trouts?
That's right..............

Another one is the attire. Many a time have I helped Singapore Girls in and out of the elevator in crew hotels because dressed in their sarong and slippered feet they were quite unable to manage lifting their own luggage or stepping over the mounds of bags in the elevator.
Me helping them always results in lots of giggling and helpless wringing of hands. And often have I quietly wondered to myself how on earth these fragile dolls would ever cope with the slide-armed door of an aircraft. :confused:
I'm not saying they can't do it, but I am saying that like flower I'd prefer a hefty big boned brash western woman when push comes to shoving me out of a mangled aluminium tube.
Guys, no one can expect you to know this, but a sarong and slippers do not give you the same freedom of movement and grip on things as does a western uniform and sensible footwear. Nothing to do with discrimination and everything with hard facts.

While the far eastern attitude to service definitely appeals to a certain type of man, there are as many people flying who prefer the approach of western FAs.
In the end, it's all a matter of taste & perception.

And if we start berating flower for making sweeping statements, have a re-read of the posts above. Quite a few of them on this thread people!
Flower, for what it's worth, lovely to read that someone actually likes to see us old war horses! :D

12th Nov 2002, 13:32
Neutral, you can turn it whichever way you like, and implicitly accuse flower and me of whatever you like.
But how about answering some of my points instead?
Pax-per-FA ratio?
Age vs youth?
Pratical uniforms that give plenty of freedom of movement instead of tight fitting ones inhibiting any drastic moves?

As for your other point.........
Most frequent flyers are men.
Most men will prefer a young pretty girl over a older woman. If that girl has a servile attitude and the older woman doesn't, how are the polls gonna look?
I do not blame the men, it's nature. (same as most women would prefer to look at a handsome young bloke instead of an octogenarian, however capable)
But please don't pretend it's anything else than hormones and a longing back to times when men were men and women were grateful to pamper them.

And for your information, no sarcasm in my post.

PS: I know for a fact that there are many many western FAs like me, who take a delight in pampering their pax. It's what makes our job fun and keeps the pax coming back! :)

12th Nov 2002, 14:43
What a can of worms I have opened for simply supporting European Cabin Crew over far eastern Cabin Crew.

I have been accused of Racism , sexism and Ageism goodness me, simply for expressing my point of view over whom I would prefer to fly with if an emergency situation should arise. It would appear that because I do not agree with other peoples point of view I am the one who is in some way discriminating.

Yes I am in a lucky situation that allows me to fly regularly all over the World and with multiple carriers, I believe this gives me an insite into different approaches that various carriers have regarding customer service and in their approaches to handling awkward situations.

I constantly hear Companies such as British Airways Slagged off in these forums, I have only the highest praise for BA whose customer service has been absolutely impeccable and infact if I had the choice I would fly with them every time.

I was so looking forward to flying with both Malaysian and Thai airways because I had been led to believe that their customer care was second to none.
My experiences however have not been good with either airline and infact due to a total lack of care by Thai airways I had to be placed on high dose steroids for 3 days after arriving at my destination.
It was noted by all females travelling in my group that we were regarded as second class passengers in comparison to male passengers around us whose every whim was pampered too immediately, wheras anything we requested was often ignored and the number of times it was necessary to go to the galley for a simple request for a glass of water (5 times in the end ) .
When a difficult situation occured on a flight with Thai between Bangkok and Perth, it was necessary for the passengers to resolve the situation as two young Flight Attendants were reduced to tears.
On a flight with Malaysian between KL and Dubai it was only following a warning by myself that I would report them to their CAA ,if they didn't get people to sit down and strap in and stop opening overhead lockers when the Flight Deck had placed the seatbelt sign on during turbulence.That something was done and then it was a member of the Flight Deck who intervened.

Not one of those situations would have been handled in that way by European carriers , the Purser or CSD would have handled the situation competently and if required would have asked for assistance from passengers.

I have had a Flight Attendant from Cathay Pacific stay with me and she said that to be CC with Cathay Pacific was the dream of most girls from her background as it was likely to lead to an excellent marriage , if that is not a cultural difference between Eurpean and Eastern Asian airlines i do not know what is.

I started my original comments backing our European Airlines and have subsequently been abused because of it. I will not change my comments ,not because I am inflexible but because they are my own experiences and I stand by them.

12th Nov 2002, 14:55
Big deep breath.....

The last time I flew on an asian carrier was 26 years ago so it's not relevant. I have flown on Qantas and British Airways several times since 2000.
I found both airlines to have friendly competant crew who made my trip a tad less arduous.

However, last year I flew with Qantas to the UK via Bangkok. Something occured that really made me sit up and notice.
For starters, a disabled person was sitting in an overwing exit row. I believe he had cerebral palsy, his assistant just crashed out and didn't move for practically the entire sector BKK-LHR. On this flight there were the Thai contract FA's that Qantas use.
On approach the guy appeared to be having an epileptic fit. His movements woke up his assistant. She asked the Thai FA for a doctor ("is there a doctor on board?"). Her response was "Doctor? doctor?" It wasn't untill an Australian FA walked passed and noticed something was wrong that action occured.
Not long after the aeroplane landed and an announcement was put over the PA not to move as the paramedics had to get on board.
Naturally, some people ignored that instruction. I was now sitting next to the Thai FA on a crew seat. (I had to give mine up for the Dr's tending to the patient). I said to the FA that she had better get the passengers to sit down. She had a go, I suggested more firm language. Eventually she got she message across after other FA's spoke very firmly to the passengers that were now blocking the aisle.
The passenger was ok and I saw him in baggage collection in a wheel chair.

Yes, I can back this up with dates and flight numbers if required.
(to be honest, I was glad I could see what the FA's had to contend with "down the back" during a medical emergency)

Sorry folks, give me someone, any one who can positively control passengers during an abnormal situation over someone who is just "pretty". Gender, race, colour, sexual orientation, appearance I couldn't care less. I want someone who can do the job when the "heat's on".

Biggles Flies Undone
12th Nov 2002, 15:06
Iíve always regarded commercial aviation as a means of getting from A to B as safely and quickly as possible. If my company is paying, the extra leg room and better food is welcome Ė but I still base my choice of carrier (where available) on factors other than the appeal of their female FAs and cabin service levels. Iíve experienced a couple of medium-level probs as SLF over the years Ė in one instance the CC looked like rabbits caught in car headlights and in the other you would hardly have known there was a problem at all. My preferences are based on experiences such as that.

Just my personal preference, but (with one notable exception) Iíll stick with the European/US majors where I can Ė and paradise for me would be a long night sector shooting the breeze with our esteemed ModBod and girls like her :)

Flying Lawyer
12th Nov 2002, 16:19
Gosh Flower. You do seem to have more eventful flights than most of us.
Threats to report Malaysian to their CAA?
Three days on high dose steroids because of a bad flight with Thai?

I'm a great fan of BA and Virgin, and rarely fly with anybody else these days. But, if I needed to fly to Hong Kong again? Now that would be a more difficult decision because I still have memories of the wonderful service on several flights with Cathay 10-12 years ago.

I can confirm that 'shooting the breeze' with our esteemed ModBod is unadulterated pleasure. (Edit: I'd better add unadulterous too, for those with dirty minds!) "Paradise" might be overdoing it just a smidgeon, but she's certainly great fun and a fascinating lady. I could go on ...... but this discussion is about airlines not individual FA's.

BTW Flower
Far Eastern FA's marrying pax they meet on flights! :eek:
Is it allowed? :confused:
I can't believe that would ever happen in Europe.
But, thanks for the tip. I was still married the last time I flew Cathay.
Now, where's my diary? :D

12th Nov 2002, 16:24

Must say l much prefer European cabin crew also from my limited experience not with eastern CC but much more western crew (i.e) US FA's, they can be so obnoxious and a lot of them look as though they should have retired years ago and stepped aside to give some other younger fresh faced girl a wee shot.

I think flower was just stating her preference l don't think she was making sweeping generalisations about eastern CC, surely that is what this BB is all about expressing opinions or am l missing something here! :confused: :rolleyes:


12th Nov 2002, 17:37
Sure she was.

I too have seen all that she presents as anecdotal evidence. However that has been on both European and Asian carriers.
The incidence that required a threat of a report to the CAA, I last saw on a KLM flight. Not many asian CC there.
(BTW KLM, upgrade your IFE pronto, we have moved out of the 80's)

As human beings we tend to look for, and act in a way that confirms our preconcieved ideas. So give me the experience of a Far Eastern crew any day.;)

Flying Lawyer
12th Nov 2002, 17:49
"US FA's, they can be so obnoxious and a lot of them look as though they should have retired years ago."

Sounds very ageist, but I do know what you mean. ;)
On a flight with a US carrier from LAX to Honolulu some years ago I couldn't help but notice the FA's were, how shall I put it ...... rather experienced.
I was told later that it was known within the airline as a 'Grandma Crew' because the FA's were based in Hawaii and it took years working up the seniority scale to get the perk.

Oh well. Back to work. I've got lots to do before my Hong Kong trip on Cathay. :D

12th Nov 2002, 18:18
Techman ,
you as many others on this topic have chosen to make remarks towards me rather personal which is unfair and unjust.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am one of the most liberated and open minded people you will find. I do not have preconceived ideas regarding these airlines , you will note I was looking forward to flying with them. I took subsequent flights with the airlines as well and it was on these subsequent flights that further disasters befell myself or fellow passengers.

I will choose because of my personal experiences if I am able not to fly with these particular airlines . Why ?
Well any of you faced with the situations that I have would worry that they will not cope in a true emergency.

A sweeping generalisation, yes.

Fact is if I receive poor service from a company I will not use them again. I may have been on the only poor flights those companies have ever had. But I pay my money and I make my choice.

The marriage thing BTW is not to Pax but a women who has served as CC on Cathay Pacific is regarded very highly as marriage material within that Ladies cultural group.

Could we please have more praise for the truly excellent Cabin Crew that fly with the European Airlines, I have never had anything but excellent care from them and as Flaps stated a sense of humour in a difficult situation often alleviates tension far more than anything else. :)

12th Nov 2002, 22:01
My flying is mostly GLA-LHR BA, coupled with some holiday flights to Europe and the US.

I can confirm that I have had a great laugh with the girls on the BA flights, they are fun to fly with and the service is excellent.

Fortunately I have never been in a postion where I have seen how they react in an emergency.

Reading through the other posts however I am thinking of arranging a trip to HK just for the 'Asian babes' experience!!

:D ;) :D

Flying Lawyer
13th Nov 2002, 00:20
Thanks for explaining Flower, but I wasn't really going to take a Cathay trip to marry one of the CC. It was a joke. :)

13th Nov 2002, 00:55
howdy flower?
:rolleyes: u chilled?

I was so looking forward to flying with both Malaysian and Thai airways because I had been led to believe that their customer care was second to none.

hahahahaha.......look lady, i am taking TG flight out of melbourne on the 2nd of dec and trust me, am not looking forward for the "best of services." honestly speaking, I have had better flights with smaller carriers before and they made it a point to make my journey pleasant ones.

Been to Thailand around 6 times in my life. Went inside the city the first time. Never had the guts to go there again. Sorry to hear about your story with Thais. Trust me, the same S**t happened to me...

I think the "audacity" seem within a flight attendant has a lot to do with the rearing up since childhood. You westernes have learnt it the different way whereas things arent quite the same in Asia. Hailing from Bangladesh ( ;) yea, a third world guy, as you would call me), I see your point. girls are brought up with the mentality of being the "supporting half" of men. This role can be attributed to the fact that their "decision making" speed is not at par with the European counterparts. Each of you have been an individual since childhood. It's the other side of the coin in this part of the world. Therefore, I wouldnt expect too much from the Bird-like Thai/Malaysian attendants.

Yea, you win, obviously........but prove it to me that if an emergency occurs, you would be able to play the captains role and stand out as "Zana, the princess......."


13th Nov 2002, 02:19
CX CC dont wear sarongs, but the normal jacket and skirt.

Their safety stds are very high, since CX follows UK CAA, now called HKCAD. So what safety you see in UK airlines its the same in CX.

13th Nov 2002, 03:36
Safety standard same as the UK..? I'm not going near that one. This is 2002, not 1996. Things may have changed a little.

Re. the great race debate. Having lived in Asia, worked with Asian CC for 7 years, and being married to an Asian cabin attendant, I will say with some conviction,.I would rather be in an emergency with Western bred CC than their Asian counterparts.

The reasons are many, and unless you have experienced both side of the fence, you are none the wiser.

Sultan Ismail
13th Nov 2002, 03:46
Let me add my 2 sens worth.

In no particular order, the uniform of Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines is a sarong kebaya, not to be confused with the common sarong associated with the sub-continent. It is a 2 piece, jacket and long skirt, the skirt has a split at the front, bottom to top i.e. closed at the waist. In the event of a real incident, perhaps it could be removed with great speed.

The safety card says "in the event of an emergency landing remove footwear..." so off go the slippers, the court shoes and everyone is equal.

Asian girls fly the airlines to find a husband, good luck to them, every night there are lots of girls at the bar of the Hard Rock Cafe doing exactly the same thing.

Singapore Airlines project the "Singapore Girl" as part of their marketing, and they make a profit.

On a sombre note, in the reports of the SIA crash in Taipei, it was alleged that the same "Singapore Girls" froze when the aircraft came to rest and had to be aided from the aircraft by other survivors.

I emphasize "alleged".

I commute regularly between Kuala Lumpur and Johannesburg and mainly use Malaysian Airlines, the service is attentive, the smiles genuine and sincere. I invariably walk to the galley in the middle of the night and have a cup of tea, and the young lady is always willing to enter into conversation, and be open about life on the airline.

Over these last few years I have stayed at the Midrand hotel used as a base by British Airways, and have seen and heard them in that "down-route bar". I introduced myself one day indicating I had just flown in from KL, and was immediately and positively labelled as "one of them".

My flights anywhere are paid by me at my discretion, BA can be assured that "one of them" will not be using their airline.

Last year it was necessary to use Singapore Airlines for the Joburg trip, and that was not unpleasant, as a first timer with them, they upgraded the Sultanah and myself to First Class.

Swissair, or how the mighty have fallen

The other axis is KL to Zurich/Geneva, earlier this year we took the MH/LX codeshare to Zurich, with an onward connection to Geneva, no problems until we got on the ZRH/GVA plane and I was offered the middle seat in Business, as you may know there is no middle seat in business, try telling that to the LX/Crossair/Swiss/Swissair lady. Blank Teutonic (Schweizer) stare, not a word spoken. 30 minutes of fuming and drafting emails.

After onward trips to LCY, very good, and back to ZRH, good, we eventually got to the gate of our SWISS flight to Singapore via Bangkok, this was going to be a long one. At the gate upgraded to First Class, and all is forgiven. The Sultanah invited me over for dinner, and what an experience, fine dining at 35000 feet, she in the armchair and me on the ottoman, what a way to fly. And of course the perfectly flat bed.

And now back to the point of the thread, the SWISS CC had an aura of efficiency and confidence that suggested that in the event of an incident they would ensure our safety. The crew were mature but certainly not dogs. I certainly had a "feel good" feeling.

It was a shame to see the graveyard of MD-11's and Airbuses at Kloten.

Actions speak louder than words and beauty is only skin deep, or so it is alleged, who are the best CC, we can only answer that by reviewing incidents and asking the survivors.

Can anyone comment from the SLF point of view on the QANTAS golf course arrival in Bangkok. That should have tested the mettle of QF CC. Or mebbe more qualified SLF comment on the SIA Taipei incident.

That's my 2 sen

Thank you for getting this far.

13th Nov 2002, 10:08
Cathay Pacific ARE the best airline carrier in my opinion. On the vast number of times i've flown to Hong Kong i've never failed to be impressed.

Let us not forget others though, KLM have always been very efficient as are Gulf Air and Emirates. Was very happy with South African Airlines, Air NZ and Quantas are good as well.

Must admit never bothered thinking from the safety pov due to being around and on a/c so often it kind of becomes second nature, hence why i look at it from the hospitality side.

13th Nov 2002, 11:06
I've just had a US business trip with BA to Phoenix. In economy, superb service, nice friendly attitude. My last trip was on American, and they were very different. And very mean with the wine - they didn't say 'No' to a second bottle, they just didn't bring it!

America West was interesting. One flight was fine, but on the other, the safety briefing was gabbled so fast, and with a strong enough accent, that I could not understand most of it.

I normally fly BA in Europe (I lot of trips to Sweden), and the only time I don't find BA CC excellent, it's because they are superb!

15th Nov 2002, 18:24
Blah, blah.

16th Nov 2002, 04:22
Plastique: if you don't have anything meaningful to contribute then please don't waste space by making empty posts (both here and in Fragrant Harbour).

To return on topic...

I do the vast majority of my flying in business class on BA/QF/CX and I tend to agree (on the basis of gut feeling which I hope is never put to the test) that in the event of an emergency I would rather be on BA/QF than CX.

However, despite the fact that BA (and others) keep pushing this "we are here primarily for your safety" line, I'm afraid it doesn't work for me. All of these airlines are sufficiently safe in my opinion that I do not need to base my choice of airline on what might happen in the vanishingly small chance of a (survivable) crash. As far as I am aware, only one such event has happened at CX, which was an off runway into the harbour at Kai Tak in 1967 after a nose wheel failure on the takeoff run. All the passengers survived except one who had a heart attack. The cabin crew was Asian.

This being so, CX wins hands down on the service level. As others have said, it is difficult to define what this means - it is a combination of many things... amongst them, in no particular order:

- FAs smiling back if you smile and are polite with them
- FAs never just ignoring you
-FAs being very apologetic and spending the rest of the flight trying really hard to make it up to you if they commit some terrible faux pas (such as forgetting which type of wine you were drinking)
- recognition of OneWorld Elite frequent fliers, and little favours for them (such as bringing things from First)
- no "empty cabins" for hours on end; regular trips past with water, chocolates, etc.
- call bells (although I almost never use them) answered first time, in seconds
- being generally more elegant around the cabin - this is not a comment on personal appearance, but it does include grooming at the end of a long flight, not crashing into passengers' arms or other extremities extended into the aisle, and generally not looking so grumpy
- CX FAs always seem to be happy, smiling & laughing even when talking amongst themselves; this improves the general atmosphere in the cabin no end

On the age question, I believe that CX removed its mandatory "retire at 40" rule some years ago. I don't recall seeing an Inflight Service Manager who looked less than late 30s, and there are certainly some who are around 50. They do, however, look a lot better for their age than many western CSDs, and seem to take a lot more pride in their appearance. The ISM uniforms are also much nicer - however, the thought of many BA or QF female CSDs in CX ISM's fitting black dresses really is too horrible to contemplate. :eek:

This is not to say that there are not some very elegant and well groomed senior cabin staff on BA/QF, but frankly on BA/QF it is these who are the rare exception rather than the reverse on CX.

Finally, on the safety question, unless jtr has some evidence then I suggest ignoring his implication that safety standards in HK have dropped since 1997. I have never seen anything on CX which indicated that their safety rules and procedures were in any way less stringent that BA's.

16th Nov 2002, 12:41
The safety card says "in the event of an emergency landing remove footwear..." so off go the slippers, the court shoes and everyone is equal.

This is actually incorrect. What the safety card (and demo) states is 'Ladies should remove high-heeled shoes".

You can't imagine the collective safety bods wanting us leaving aircraft in an emergency situation barefoot!?

PS In an emergency, I don't need exhortation by anyone of whatever colour to get out....if people are leaving, you won't see me for dust!!

16th Nov 2002, 12:42
christep, a quick glance at the FTL changes since 97 would be the first example, there are others if you choose to banter off topic about it.

If you find yourself trying to recall what FTL's are, then perhaps you are not in a position to be commenting.

There is a lot more to flight safety than what you see while strapped into 3C sipping the '94 Lynch Bages

16th Nov 2002, 13:17
I like BA's concept..."raid the larder" translated...get your own food 'coz we're too busy napping to bring it to you:D :rolleyes:

Alty Meter
17th Nov 2002, 00:31
You were a bit hard on Platique.

But I agree with what you sau about flight safety.
"However, despite the fact that BA (and others) keep pushing this "we are here primarily for your safety" line, I'm afraid it doesn't work for me. All of these airlines are sufficiently safe in my opinion that I do not need to base my choice of airline on what might happen in the vanishingly small chance of a (survivable) crash."
I'm obviously biassed towards BA but the truth is you're right, there's nothing to choose between the major carriers. The "we are here primarily for your safety" line is waffle in this politically correct age. It's balls, and most of the more senior CC would agree with you. It's some of the younger ones who have curious ideas about their 'status'. :rolleyes: I've got some sympathy with them. I'd prefer to be called a Flight Attendant than an Air Hostess, but it doesn't change the facts.
It's not just the airlines. Where did all the 'secretaries' go? They're all PA's now. And salesmen are now 'sales consultants'. :D

Anthony Carn
17th Nov 2002, 08:11
Cabin crew irrelevant to safety ? IMHO, I DISAGREE !

From a pilot's point of view ----------------

Dealing with some problems can generate extremely high workloads for pilots and cabin crew.

The success or otherwise with which we, as a team, are able to deal with problems can sometimes be massively influenced by the degree of professionalism of pilots and cabin crew.

I'm not referring specifically to "crash" scenarios, to use a previous phrase; I'm referring to problems which are containable with competent pilots and cabin crew, but which could descend into chaos (even a "crash") if pilot workloads become unmanageable by virtue of less competent team action.

There's more to both jobs than any passenger can possibly appreciate from mere observation of a routine flight (or a trip on the jump-seat).

Alty Meter
17th Nov 2002, 09:53
Anthony Carn
NO-ONE said cabin crew are IRRELEVANT to SAFETY!

Christup said from his point of view as a passenger, safety wasn't a relevant consideration in his choice of airline because he believes they're all equally safe
From a pilot's point of view, if he means major schedule airlines or well-established charter airlines, I think he's right.

Don't you?
If not, which major schedule airlines or well-established charter airlines do you think are unsafe? :confused:

17th Nov 2002, 16:17
I do believe that there is a "cultural" gap here.To say that the 'petite,young East Asian F/A's are not up to the mark' is a very racist & ignorant remark.It's just carries the same ignorance & racist value in saying that Western F/A's are "Old fat grandmas". :D

Just to prove a point I am attaching a local newspaper report (The Star 16th. Nov 2002) :


Passenger held for assaulting stewardess

SEPANG: An Indian businessman denied alcoholic drinks after he started being unruly on board a Malaysia Airlines flight made his way to the galley and outraged the modesty of the stewardess who had refused to top up his glass.

The passenger, 34, groped and slapped the 41-year-old womanís buttocks several times before demanding for more booze during a four-hour flight from New Delhi to KL International Airport here on Wednesday.

However, the stewardess managed to calm the man down with assistance from other cabin crew members before he was taken him back to his seat and placed under restraints.

The aircraft captain reported the incident to the control tower, and the Indian national was arrested by MAS security personnel as soon as he stepped out of the aircraft at 6.30am.

He has since been remanded for a week to assist in investigations, and police have informed the Indian High Commission about the detention.

It is learnt that the man, who was part of a tour group from India, had quite a number of alcoholic drinks and started being unruly towards other passengers.

Sepang OCPD Supt Mohd Shukri Dahlan confirmed the arrest.

Police have arrested seven foreigners, mainly businessmen, from Britain, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Pakistan and Australia for assault, making threats, smoking and molesting crew members during long haul flights since last year.

A MAS spokesman said the airline would not tolerate such behaviour as it might cause injury, distress, discomfort and danger to the other passengers, crew or aircraft.


Please note that several arrests have been made regardless of nationality.To say that the Eastern Girls are not able to react to emergencies are again a very malicious remark.They are trained with the best available, state of the art equipment conforming to JAA,FAA & god knows what other regulatory requirements.Not to mention the obligatory audits by the "foreign" authorities.

Again there are many ways to 'skin a cat' when you approach a situation.An asian might use 'reverse psychology' tactic compared to a straight forward approach by a western F/A.At the end of the day, the idea is to get the work done.

To make a long story short there will always be differences between an Eastern & European airline.Each will have it's strength & weaknesses.The flying public will decide which one to fly with.

Safe Flying all.


Master Caution
21st Nov 2002, 00:43
I think a lot of you are missing the point.

It is the Airline the CC work for not where they come from which will determine the emergency response. Training and attitude vary widely between carriers.

I have full confidence in the CX CC's ability to respond in an emergency.

On the other hand - anyone remember seeing the video of the Garuda DC 10 crash in Fukuoka on 13-6-96?

Being Japan there happend to be someone on the spot with a video camera as the aborting (above V1) DC 10 slid through the boundary fence and burst into flames.

The cabin doors open and slides deploy. Then out come all the Garuda CC first - towing their trolley bags! At the bottom of the slide they all flee (with their baggage) and leave the pax to fend for themselves .

Anthony Carn
21st Nov 2002, 08:05
The Garuda episode is a truly abominable tale of selfish lack of regard for others.

Anyone with a shred of decency knows that the flight deck crew should go first ! :rolleyes:

21st Nov 2002, 09:48
Alty Meter

You questioned weather my info was reliable, well it was a Garuda and it happened in 96.

22nd Nov 2002, 20:38
This thread lost momentum all of a sudden, hmmm. :rolleyes: