Fraud is never a good idea and certainly never worth an upgrade to business class. One woman had to learn the hard way.
Jacqueline Ng is a self-described “social influencer”. She told Christopher Elliot that she emailed Cathay Pacific about an upcoming trip requesting an upgrade.
That’s usually a wasted effort, but Ng claimed that she received an email back offering her an upgrade on a space-available basis.
Because of your social network, we would like to formally extend a Business Class upgrade to you on the day of your flight, should any tickets still be available at check-in.
No dice on her outbound journey from Taipei to New York via Hong Kong. She booked a premium economy ticket and was declined an upgrade at check-in.
But on her way back, the agents at JFK (it’s JFK after all…) were a bit more skeptical.
So skeptical, in fact, they accused her of fraud, cancelled her ticket, and banned her from flying Cathay Pacific.
Cathay Pacific did refund the cost of her ticket, but Ng demanded Cathay Pacific cover the cost of her alternate and more expensive ticket on another airline.
Cathay Pacific declined, stating it had internally investigated the matter and demanded no email had been sent. But, Cathay invited her to forward the original email so they could examine the meta data.
For some ODD reason, Ng declined. She instead replied that she did not see “the relevance of this request” and threatened Cathay Pacific with legal action.
Cathay Pacific responded:
Please have your legal counsel write to us through this email address with the same subject line. I will turn over your case to our legal team for a direct follow up with your legal counsel.
And even rabidly anti-airline Christoper Elliott refused to fully side with Ng. That’s telling.
When it looks like fraud, sounds like fraud, and smells like fraud…
Well, she gets an A for originality…
(H/T: View from the Wing // image: Cathay Pacific)