Cathay Pacific allows passengers to keep mistaken discount overseas fares


Asia's biggest worldwide carrier sold business class tickets from Vietnam to Canada and the United States at economy prices earlier this week, according to bloggers.

Travel bloggers immediately noticed the huge discounts, spreading the word and attracting extra buyers.

An airline that accidentally priced a luxury flight from Vietnam to New York City at an egregious $15,000 discount has made a decision to honor the tickets purchased at the fare.

It took two days for Cathay to publicly acknowledge the error with the airline on Wednesday saying it would indeed honour the cheap fares.

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

The bargain fares were sold on a route from the Vietnamese city of Da Nang to NY.

A spokeswoman for Cathay told media that they are aware of the pricing issue, and will provide more details later.

"I was betting on the fact they really need the good publicity right now".

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The blunder concluded a challenging year for Cathay Pacific, which has been trying to return to profitability after posting its first ever back-to-back annual loss in March. It continued to struggle with the rise of cheaper mainland Chinese rivals, losing $33 million in the first six months of the year.

Regis Cheung, who bought three round tickets from Vietnam to NY and one to Vancouver for around $800 each, welcomed Cathay's move.

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

A computer glitch looked responsible for steep discounts on Cathay Pacific flights between Vietnam and the United States, but the airline was likely to cancel the bookings, reports said Wednesday.

Cathay acknowledged the mistake on Twitter and that it would honor the fares.

Last year, Hong Kong Airlines also honoured business-class tickets mistakenly sold at economy fares, and Singapore Airlines did the same in 2014.

Air Canada is now involved in a class action lawsuit at home for refusing to honour a similar price mistake in 2015.