Cathay Pacific to honor premium Vietnam-US tickets sold by mistake

By Dat Nguyen   January 3, 2019 | 01:09 am PT
Cathay Pacific to honor premium Vietnam-US tickets sold by mistake
Cathay Pacific Airlines admit mistakes in selling first- and business class seats at the price of economy seats. Photo by Reuters
Cathay Pacific Airways mistakenly sold Vietnam-U.S. first class and business class tickets at economy prices, but will honor them.

The Hong Kong flag carrier made this announcement in a Twitter post Wednesday after customers reported Tuesday that they were able to purchase first class and business class tickets at unusually cheap prices from Vietnam to North American destinations such as San Francisco and New York in the U.S. and Vancouver, Canada.

Cathay, Asia’s largest international airline, offered return business and first seats from Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang to New York at the price of $650 and $845 respectively, while typically these tickets cost $16,000 and $31,000.

Hanoi-based pastor Jacob Bloemberg was one of the lucky customers who were able to purchase the tickets, which only lasted "for minutes."

"My wife and I travel from Hanoi to the U.S. every year, but we are very excited this time as we enjoy business class seats at the price of an economy seat," he told VnExpress International.

The number of tickets sold during the computer error is believed to be several thousand.

Cathay Pacific blamed the mistake on an individual entering the wrong fares into the company’s system, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Although Cathay has not revealed the cost of this error, the SMCP calculated that the airline should have collected at least $685,800 from 11 customers that it spoke to.

However, Cathay said it hoped the move would make this year special for its customers.

"Yes – we made a mistake, but we look forward to welcoming you on board with your ticket issued. Hope this will make your 2019 ‘special’ too!," the airline said on its Twitter account.

It added #promisemadepromisekept, and #lessonlearnt at the end of the post.

Last summer, a similar situation happened with Hong Kong Airlines when business class tickets were sold for $587, much lower than the usual price of $3,800. The airline honored its mistakes and covered all bookings.

Bloemberg said that Cathay’s move was "honorable."

"If there are similar errors in the future, I’d like to find out right away."

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