Wow, wow, wow. I have to be honest, I did not see this coming.
I happen to be in Hong Kong at the moment, and came across this on my news feed. Cathay Pacific has posted on both its Facebook and Twitter accounts that they will be honoring the mistake fares in First and Business Class from Vietnam. They seem to know that everyone has been waiting for an official confirmation as to whether the fares would be honored, as suggested by the title of the little animation they posted on Facebook, which simply says “announcement regarding flash sale in First and Business Class.”
For those who missed it, on January 1, 2019 Hong Kong time, there was a mistake fare for travel from Vietnam to North America on Cathay Pacific in First and Business Class. Tickets were as cheap as ~$650 in Business Class roundtrip, and ~$850 in First Class roundtrip. The fare remained live for hours, and I know many people who got in on the deal. The big question that has been lingering over the past 24 hours was whether Cathay Pacific would honor these mistake fares.
The tweet was sent out at 12:01 am Pacific time, which leads me to believe that this is a choreographed PR solution.
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!
— Cathay Pacific (@cathaypacific) January 2, 2019
I myself managed to book my parents on a flight from Da Nang to New York, paying just ~$825 per person roundtrip in First Class. As of this writing, the itinerary still shows as confirmed on Cathay Pacific’s website.
In their announcement, Cathay wished everyone a happy new year. They also used hashtags with Chinese phrases such as “I learned since I was little that one must admit one’s mistakes.” Social media representatives have also responded to queries from those who booked the fare, reassuring them that the fares would be honored as long as the ticket is already confirmed.
Judging by the response of netizens on Facebook and Twitter, Cathay Pacific is garnering quite a bit of praise from honoring these fares. Funny enough, many are comparing Cathay Pacific’s action to Fortress, a huge electronics store in Hong Kong that just days ago refused to honor purchases made due to a pricing mistake on their website.
I certainly had my doubts, especially since First Class tickets (which can usually cost upward of $20,000) are involved. Considering there are only 6 First Class seats on each plane, I can imagine Cathay Pacific is taking a pretty substantial loss here. So huge, HUGE kudos to Cathay Pacific for honoring these fares. #PromiseMadePromiseKept indeed.
Cathay Pacific has a fantastic First Class product, one I consider to be the most well rounded in the sky. You can check out our review of Cathay Pacific First Class here. Their Business Class is very solid as well, and you can check out our review of Cathay Pacific Business Class here.