We had to check out at 11AM, but our flight wasn’t until 9PM so we had plenty of time to kill. We ended up getting to the airport pretty damn early as we trained it to avoid HK traffic (being a rainy day we thought it would be the smart thing to do despite never having done it before).
Mum & I got to the Cathay Lounge (as we were flying Business Class on the way home too), I got into a bottle of red, Mum had a nap. At some point mum said to me “hey the screen says our gate is closed”. I got up and asked the front counter about our flight, as we hadn’t heard any announcement that it had been delayed, or anything.
The lady behind the desk kept telling me us go upstairs, unable to communicate simply that “we had missed our flights”, this bad communication sent both mum and I into an instant state of panic and shock.
I got upstairs and the guy up there spoke much better English. He explained that we missed our flight. I let it rip that we’ve never once missed a flight in our lives, and that with Qantas Lounge we’re used to them calling us late, so that we can just enjoy and relax in the lounge until the time came to board. He let me know that’s not what they do at Cathay so that customers in the lounge can relax (although PA calls for delayed flights were going off as he was explaining this to me).
Fair call, so it’s not their policy. I acknowledged that. We asked about the next flight, but unfortunately there wasn’t one until 8am in the morning. What made matters worse was that we would have to pay extra for a booking fee, and we would also have to get out of the lounge, as it shut at 1, but then would re-open again in the morning.
I then asked why didn’t they just call us call us, from Cathay gate to Cathay Lounge, knowing we were in the lounge? He said they called at the gate, in the airport, but not the lounge. Doesn’t make sense to me as it would have taken them at least 20 minutes to get our bags back off the plane and back into the airport.
At this stage I was pretty desperate to get home, really desperate. I’m a dick, so I dropped “UNITED”. I just had to. At this stage some other attendant jumped in. He managed to calm me down, though I wasn’t really that worked up as I was already half defeated. He asked us to have a seat and come back to the desk in an hour to see if they could get us on another flight home, even if it wasn’t business class, and we couldn’t get a refund on the tickets, it was still worth considering in the moment (despite mum insisting we fly business home as she did fork out $5k/ticket!!!).
Whilst Mum prayed to God, I cussed loud enough for others to hear. I’m sure I went to the desk a couple of time before the hour was up, but on the hour, Cathay came good and amazingly, somehow got us 2 Business Class tickets on a flight home, within 2 hours of missing our flight. We literally had to piss bolt to the gate as the flight was taking off right then. The seats were right next to each other too so I’m assuming they might have pulled the same trick, leaving another couple in the lounge without a call?!
Lucy, who got on the right plane home without Mum and I then tells us, when we land, that the staff contacted her on the plane to ask us where we were, she told them we were in the lounge. The staff then told her they called the lounge, and apparently we were not there. The plot thickens!