Cathay Pacific Suspends In-Town Check-in For Flights To The U.S.

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I’m in China right now, a country that holds some of the most asinine policies that make travel way more complicated than it should be, at least in my opinion. I’ve never been to the U.S., but I know that some of their policies are pretty nonsensical too – just half a year ago they decided to implement an electronics ban from 10 countries including Qatar and the UAE, blaming “security issues” when they were pretty blatantly just trying to put U.S. airlines back ahead of the Gulf carriers.

Well, here’s another one. Beginning on October 26th, 2017, Cathay Pacific passengers flying from Hong Kong to the U.S. will not be eligible for in-town check-in at Airport Express stations anymore.

an airplane at an airportCathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

The weird thing isn’t even as such, but rather that AusBT reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will conduct a short security interview for all passengers onboard flights from Hong Kong to the U.S.. This holds true no matter if you’re connecting, or if you’re originating from Hong Kong.

Those onboard these flights will have to conduct the interview at dedicated aisle B at the Terminal 1 check-in hall. Those in transit will conduct the interview at the gate area. The only exception to the new rule is Cathay Pacific’s flight 888, from Hong Kong to New York through Vancouver.

a group of people in an airport

Bottom Line

Here are some of my burning questions:

  • Will U.S. airlines be incorporated in this “extra security measure”? Or is the U.S. just trying to inch another competitive advantage?
  • What will happen to those who cannot answer some questions due to obscure reasons, anxiety issues or answers the interviewer cannot understand? Will we be hearing some ridiculous “denied boarding” stories from Cathay Pacific soon?
  • Will there be a process to alleviate long lines at the interview counters?

Ultimately I think that this is another obnoxious measure that Cathay Pacific shouldn’t have to go through. It’s minor in most cases, but just adds extra stress to the travel experiences, and really makes the process of flying to the U.S. akin to the process of flying into a third world country.

Have you been affected by Cathay Pacific’s upcoming “interview” process?

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