Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific made a big mistake on New Year’s Day, accidentally selling business and first class tickets from Vietnam to North America at economy class prices.
Those who bought the tickets were surely on tenterhooks waiting to see whether the airline would honour or retract the tickets.
Now, it appears the airline is putting the customer first and honouring the tickets. In a Tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Cathay said:
“Happy 2019 all, and to those who bought our good – VERY good surprise ‘special’ on New Year’s Day, 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!.#promisemadepromisekept #lessonlearnt”
Hong Kong newspaper The South China Morning Post spoke to 11 people who had bought 18 first class and eight business class tickets totalling HK$216,925 (US$27,692). Based on the current retail price, Cathay should have collected HK$5.4 million (US$689,337) from them.
Airlines around the world occasionally sell tickets at drastically lower prices by accident, and their responses vary. When Singapore Airlines mistakenly sold 900 business class tickets at half price in 2014, the airline decided to honour them. However, airlines are not always so generous. In June 2018, British Airways cancelled 2,000 incorrectly priced tickets for flights to Tel Aviv and Dubai.