Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific is to honour premium tickets that it accidentally sold for a fraction of the usual fare.
The airline posted a tweet this morning using the hashtags promisemadepromisekept and lessonlearnt, stating that the fares released on New Year’s Day were a ‘mistake’, but said it looked forward to welcoming passengers with their tickets.
It is understood that the airline sold first-class and business-class fares on flights from Vietnam to New York in August for HK$5,500 and $6,600 return when the actual fares are normally around $35,000 and $55,000.
The fares were reported by travel bloggers on New Year’s Eve and later pulled by the airline.
While many commentators praised Cathay for its stance, one user suggested the ‘mistake’ was actually a publicity stunt as rival Hong Kong Airlines had made the same error last summer and was subsequently applauded for honouring tickets. Cathay replied saying ‘no airline would ever want that to happen to them’.
It is not known how many seats the airline had sold before the price was changed, or indeed how the wrong fares were loaded on to its website, which was later showing a technical error.
Last year Cathay Pacific’s systems were hacked, leading to the theft of the personal data of up to 9.4 million customers.
In September Cathay Pacific were also accused of ‘publicity seeking’ after tweeting that they were sending a plane back to the paint shop after the company’s name was spelled incorrectly on the side of one of their aircraft – the F was missing in ‘Pacific’.