Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cathay Pacific -- Making Flying Fun Again (Yes, Actually Fun!)

It's been a while since I last posted, and that's because I have been on the road for quite some time. Oh, the joys of business travel.

We all know how painful it is to fly -- endless hassles. When was the last time it was enjoyable? Yes, human flight is incredible. But, hassle-free? Not anymore. I had essentially written off that concept as a vestige of a simpler time.

That just changed on this most recent business trip where I just experienced the joy of flying again for the first time in over 10 years -- and I wasn't flying 1st Class ... or even Business Class. It was good old Economy (not even Economy "Plus"). And, I mean I really enjoyed it.

Hard to believe, but here were the ingredients:

(1) a beautiful and hassle-free airport with lighter security (no shoes off, no belts off, no coats off) -- Hong Kong;

(2) an airline that actually believes in using airplanes from the modern era -- Cathay Pacific and its Boeing 777 (which is a great airplane -- comfortable seats; reclinable without getting in the face of the person behind you; huge overhead compartment; restrooms actually usable by real human beings);

(3) plenty of courteous flight attendants who actually smiled and seemingly were authentically happy to assist and make our flights comfortable;

(4) actual meal service (even on a 2 hour flight) for no additional charge; and

(5) amazing service all around, not only from the flight attendants -- but also from every Cathay Pacific person with whom I interacted (at the check-in kiosk, at the jet way, on the plane).

THAT is how to do it -- and, the flight was reasonably priced.

It was fun. Really really fun. (As I write this, I can't believe that I am writing this because the topic is air travel -- but it is true -- and it is eye-opening.) Attention to detail. Attention to the customer. Basic things. Cathay Pacific got it right. Wish others could do the same ... or at least sincerely try.