Wed, 22 Nov 2000

Cathay Pacific's misleading ad

When the Cathay Pacific ad offering flights to any four European destinations for US$869 appeared in The Jakarta Post on Nov. 15, 2000, it apparently generated so much interest it took four attempts to get through, only to be told that the offer expires on Dec. 15, 2000.

This peace of vital information was conspicuously absent from the ad. I, like many others, was misled to believe this must be a terrific holiday package.

The reservation agent, Lily, explained that the expiration date "can be" intentionally left out of an ad to generate interest and attract more calls, in the hope that customers may find something else if this package does not entirely suit them. Her supervisor, Helen, called and confirmed this, and said a written statement would be issued by the marketing department to explain this fiasco.

We have read everywhere that Cathay Pacific has raked in big money in 2000 and is expecting a brighter 2001. They are hiring 1,200 new cabin attendants, pilots and mechanics to meet the increasing demand. Under these circumstances, they should not be so unscrupulous they are willing to compromise the standard and reputation they have built in an attempt to fill seats in the preholiday season. This is a gamble that has backfired.