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Angered by unseemly auction


I AM outraged at the treatment given to my friend and me by Cathay Pacific during a recent tour of the Far East.

We were due to fly from Hong Kong to Saigon on February 10. The flight had been booked three months earlier and confirmed 72 hours before.

But when we turned up at Kai Tak to board the 7 pm flight, we were told by a Cathay Pacific representative that money had been offered for our seats and that our places on the plane had been sold.

We were then offered a meagre GBP100 (about HK$1,150) by the representative to stay over for a day and eventually we were forced to stay in Hong Kong in a hotel.

We felt cheated and our trip to Vietnam was miserably curtailed. The hold-up meant we could spend only a whistle-stop two days there, ruining our long-awaited visit.

Admittedly, the airport had been packed with visitors for the Chinese New Year and, amid the chaos, we were even interviewed and filmed by a TV crew explaining our predicament.

But we had booked and paid for our seats in good faith and did not expect an airline as reputable as Cathay Pacific to show such discourtesy and to throw us unwittingly into such an unseemly ''auction''.

I am vigorously pursuing the matter through my travel firm in England, but wanted - through these columns - to express my extreme disappointment in Cathay Pacific.

I do not believe it would be too unreasonable to expect at least an official apology from the airline.

PHIL REDFEARN Wakefield, West Yorkshire United Kingdom