Cathay Dragon has earned a well-deserved reputation over the years for providing its passengers with superior levels of service at every stage of their journey – but it was another kind of service that made one couple’s flight from Shanghai on Saturday all the more special, with the happy pair exchanging their wedding vows at 35,000 feet as they made their way to Hong Kong.
Best-known to their legions of online followers by their travel blogging names, “哈先生” (Ha Xian Sheng / “Mr Ha”) and “榛美去” (Zhen Mei Qu / “Ms Zhen”), the couple, who were joined on flight KA877 by more than 160 passengers, including relatives, friends, media and fans, are the recent winners of “Marriage in the Air”, a competition organised by Cathay Dragon together with three of Mainland China’s leading online travel platforms – Ctrip, Mafengwo and Qyer.
Launched on 21 November 2016, the competition featured three couples who have established themselves as Mainland China’s most popular online travel influencers. Over the course of a month, the couples attempted to outdo each other by creating a series of imaginative and creative travel-related social media posts in order to win the unique top prize they were all aiming for – an inflight wedding onboard Cathay Dragon.
Mr Ha and Ms Zhen, whose respective popular travel blogs on the Sina Weibo social media network have close to 1 million followers combined, were voted winners of the competition through a public online ballot, thereby earning them the title of “China’s favourite online travel couple”.
As part of Cathay Dragon’s promise to deliver a Life Well Travelled, the airline ensured that every detail of the couple’s special day was taken care of. Wedding-themed decorations were arranged at the check-in counters, boarding gate and inside the aircraft cabin in order to achieve an appropriate ambiance while all guests also received specially-branded “Marriage in the Air” souvenir bags, containing candies, boutonnieres and flower decorations – all of which proved to be popular accessories during onboard photo-taking sessions with the couple.
Once the Cathay Dragon flight reached cruise altitude, the master of ceremonies conducted the traditional wedding ritual: the couple exchanged rings and the invited guests toasted the moment with champagne. To further mark the occasion, Cathay Dragon served its renowned afternoon tea and signature warm claypot rice dish – a long-time favourite amongst its regular flyers – to all the guests and passengers onboard.
Upon arrival at Hong Kong, the couple and their guests proceeded to Cathay Pacific’s acclaimed Business Class lounge at The Pier to celebrate further with a cake-cutting ceremony and private party. Mr Ha and Ms Zhen spent the weekend sightseeing in Hong Kong and will share their experiences online with their fans.
The happy couple said: “We met each other through our love for travel – and travel will continue to be an important part of our lives together. To have an inflight wedding specially tailored to our needs – to have our families onboard for this occasion – is not only meaningful; it is something we will never forget. Cathay Dragon has won many awards for its service and hospitality – but we never imagined they could do so much. It really is a dream come true.”
Cathay Dragon Chief Executive Officer Algernon Yau said: “Our heartiest congratulations go to Mr Ha and Ms Zhen. We couldn’t be happier to host this special occasion for this Life Well Travelled couple. We consider it an honour that they chose Cathay Dragon and we look forward to seeing them onboard our flights again in the near future.”
Cathay Dragon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, has won the coveted title of the World’s Best Regional Airline in the Skytrax World Awards for four consecutive years since 2013. Cathay Dragon and Cathay Pacific have built up significant synergy over the years, and improved their customer products substantially, enhancing their cabins, seats and inflight entertainment with a view to greater brand alignment.
Mr Yau added: “The Cathay Dragon rebranding, which has successfully aligned us closer to Cathay Pacific, has made us stronger together and means our customers can enjoy a seamless travel experience across our expanding combined global network.”
The airline has also established partnerships with renowned Chinese restaurants to offer local delicacies through seasonal menus, such as poon choi, winter melon soup, crab roe dishes and hot pot rice at certain times of the year, characterising Cathay Dragon’s high-quality inflight dining experience.