Cathay Pacific

Airline, airport monitor unique Chinese passenger

Imagine seeing this at San Francisco International Airport:


To promote the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, an actor dressed like a warrior had been “lost” in the Bay Area and the community’s help was sought in finding him.

Now that the exhibit is over, it was time for the lost warrior – and the ten life-size terracotta figures from the army of over 7,000 figures that guarded the tomb of a Chinese emperor- to go home to Xi’an, China.

As part of the send-off for the figures, on Friday Cathay Pacific, the airport and the museum live tweeted photos of the journey of the Lost Warrior as he arrived at the airport, checked-in for his flight, checked out some of the SFO Museum exhibits, waited at the gate and settled into his Premium Economy seat.


SFO Warrior on plane

They even made a Vine video of the warrior hanging out in the Cathay Pacific lounge.

Thanks to the SFO Museum, Cathay Pacific, SFO Airport and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for sharing the images of a fun and very creative send-off at the airport.

Travel contests: because you can’t win if you don’t play


I’m a big believer in “you can’t win if you don’t play,” so here are a few contests to enter with great travel adventures as prizes:

From now through March 8th, 2013 San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is celebrating Scandinavian Airlines’ (SAS) new non-stop service to Copenhagen with a Facebook sweepstakes (and a strange little video starring hamsters). Entrants choose their favorite destination from one of 12 European cities served by SAS and the winner of a random drawing will be awarded two round-trip Economy Class tickets on SAS to the destination they selected. Enter here.

Also through March 8, American Airlines is having a contest with four grand prizes that include a first class trip for two anywhere the airline flies, a year-long Admiral’s Club membership, Five Star Service (“To whisk you through the airport like a star”), a Samsung Tablet, Bose headphones, first-class pajamas, and a $1,000 gift card. Enter here.

And, to welcome the terracotta warriors to San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, Cathay Pacific Airways is giving away prizes that include a 10-day China tour and a chance to fly to Xi’an to see the iconic terracotta warriors in their homeland.  Enter here through March 18.

  • Grand Prize: 10 days/9 nights “Cathay Pacific Essence of China” tour, including a pair of roundtrip Economy Class tickets on Cathay Pacific to Beijing, Shanghai and a private sightseeing tour to view the real Terracotta soldiers in Xi’an.
  • 2nd Prize – A one weekend night stay at the Galleria Park hotel in San Francisco, plus pair of VIP tickets to see the Asian Art Museum’s “China’s Terracotta Warriors” exhibition
  • 3rd Prize – An Annual Family Membership at Asian Art Museum plus a copy of the official exhibition souvenir book

Good luck!

Travel contests: you can’t win if you don’t play

It’s true: you can’t win if you don’t play. So take a moment to throw your name in the hat for these contests. You never know…

Cathay Pacific Airways is hosting a Jingle All the Way … to Hong Kong luxury holiday sweepstakes.

Grand prize: two Cathay Pacific round trip flights to Hong Kong in Premium Economy class from one of four US gateways (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco); a four-night hotel stay at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental (a member of the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection); a $1,000 shopping spree on; and 100,000 Asia Miles from Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program (good for anything from flights and hotels to Trek Bikes and iPads.)

The first runner-up will receive 75,000 Asia Miles and second runner-up will receive 60,000 Asia Miles.

Enter here. The sweepstakes runs through December 19, 2012.

San Francisco International Airport is holding a Postagram contest on Facebook and Twitter through December 21, 2010 with prizes that include an iPad mini and a GoPro camera.

If you’re flying through SFO you can get your photo taken at a Postagram photo station or enter here.

And if you participate in the Staybridge Suites hotels’ Twitter Chat about on the Art of Traveling Solo on December 13 from 6 – 7 p.m. EST (@Staybridge/#travelingsolo) you’ll be entered in a contest to win one of three prizes, including a two-night Stay at any Staybridge Suites hotel in the United States and a $500 American Express Gift Card; a $500 gift card to Mori Luggage and Gifts; or a Chef G. Garvin Prize Pack.

Good luck!

Greetings from Hong Kong International Airport

I was one of the lucky invited media guests on the August 28, 2012 Cathay Pacific delivery flight of a new Boeing 777-300ER from the Boeing factory to Hong Kong International Airport. (Here’s a link to a secret about the airplane that airline chief executive John Slosar pointed out during the trip.)

The 12 hour flight started off with a fun event that included a chance for many guests (not me, though) to get their pictures taken with one of the engines on the plane.

This group of specially chosen crew members was as excited as the invited guests to be on the delivery flight of Cathay Pacific’s newest Boeing 777-300ER plane going from the Boeing factory to Hong Kong on Tuesday, August 28, 2012.

I’ve got two days to spend in Hong Kong before heading home. Geeky, I know, but I spent one of those days touring the public side of Hong Kong International Airport and visiting Cathay City, the Cathay Pacific headquarters located near the airport.
My tour guide at Cathay City was Agnes Yeung, who was kind enough to take me through the small, on-site Cathay Pacific History Museum, which can be visited by school groups and other invited guests but is, unfortunately, not open to the general public.

The Cathay Pacific Museum at Cathy City includes a display documenting the changes in the airline’s flight attendant uniforms

The Cathay Pacific museum entrance is set up to look like the former Hong Kong airport, known as Kai Tak, which was located right in the city and was replace with a new airport in 1998.

I didn’t get a chance to visit the Headland Hotel, a 501 room property right near the airport reserved exclusively for airline crew members and other Cathay Pacific personnel. Yeung said the hotel is usually booked at “more than 100% capacity,” and I thought for a moment there was a breakdown in translation. But she explained that because crew members are arriving from and leaving for flights at all hours of the day and night, and because many crew members are only there to rest for a short time, the hotel can indeed be operated at more than 100% capacity.

Next up: some of the amenities at Hong Kong International Airport, including a visit to the “Dream Come True” center, where kids test out what it’s like to work as a pilot, a flight attendant, a surgeon, a police officer and several other jobs;  the real story of that much-talked about IMAX movie theater at the airport; and a look at some of the other activities available at Hong Kong International Airport.

Cathay Pacific chief executive John Slosar shares a secret

On Tuesday, August 28, I was fortunate to be one of the invited guests aboard the maiden flight of Cathay Pacific’s fifth Boeing 777-300ER from the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash. to Hong Kong.

I’m still trying to figure out the time here in Hong Kong, but wanted to share a few photos – and a secret learned from Cathay Pacific’s chief executive John Slosar during the flight.

Before the plane took off, there were some short speeches, the signing of paperwork and (we were told) the delivery of a very large, final payment check. But before that, invited guests and crew members took turns getting their photos taken with the airplane. The favorite pose: with one of the engines.

During the flight, which had about 60 people aboard, including VIPs (they got the Business Class seats) and media (we had the opportunity to experience the airline’s new Premium Economy seats), Cathay Pacific chief executive John Slosar chatted with guests, occasionally came by to check that we were all comfortable and even climbed into one of the crew rest areas, located upstairs at the back of plane, to show it off and answer some questions.

When we all climbed down and were heading back towards the front of the plane, he stopped to give a pop quiz and share a “secret.”

“Look up”, he said. “Do you notice anything unusual about that overhead bin?”


Slosar pointed out that the bin has no handle, so can’t be opened from below.

But it can be opened from up above. And is, in fact, the emergency exit for the crew rest quarters up above.

The guy on the left – the one not holding a bottle of beer – was one of our pilots, who answered lots more questions for small groups of journalists invited to visit the cockpit during the flight.

Lots more photos and airplane ‘secrets’ to share later, after I find out what’s behind all the secret doors in my hotel room at the Island Shrangi-La hotel here in Hong Kong and come back from my tour of the airport and the nearby Cathay City later today.