A typhoon caused significant flight cancellations and delays out of Hong Kong and passengers got so frustrated they tried to storm a security barrier Tuesday morning.
With over 500 flights disrupted, passenger queues became unmanageable. I’ve experienced this in US hubs — phone lines have queues that are hours-long even for elites if the phones systems can even still distinguish and ticket counter lines that stretch towards infinity with light security queues because no one can get a boarding pass until they’ve been rescheduled (so agents on the other side of the checkpoints have relatively little to do).
Here’s what things looked like at the airport:
It’s truly weather. Airlines use weather as an excuse all the time — weather anywhere. But this was a typhoon that shuttered the stock exchanged and closed schools as well.
Few airlines handle these sorts of events well because such extreme disruptions are so uncommon that they don’t have the staff on hand to process everyone in reasonable time.
While Cathay Pacific is a fantastic airline, and they offer great service, this just wasn’t something they could manage gracefully.