Just a few days ago, Simple Flying reported the news that Cathay Pacific would honour some super cheap fares that were issued in error. On New Year’s Day, Cathay Pacific put 16,000 round trip tickets on sale, specifically Da Nang Vietnam to New York. Unfortunately, they forgot to set different prices for each ticket, so whilst Economy was priced at $675. However, all of the other cabins were also priced at $675. As tickets usually retail at around $16,000, Cathay took some real hits.
Airlines are not obliged to honour error fares, however, airlines usually have two options in these situations. They can say that the ticket was issued in error and cancel it, reselling the ticket at the correct price. While the airline then doesn’t lose any money, they take a small hit to their PR. The other option is that the airline can choose to honour the fares. While this means that the airline will lose out on money, they can potentially score a large good PR hit.
How Did This Affect Cathay?
It isn’t known how many benefited from this incredible sale, however, taking a look at Expert Flyer, Simple Flying found that a number of flights from Hong Kong to JFK have little to no availability in first class. Additionally, most flights had no availability in the A fare class. As such many of the flights where the error fare was available have sold all 6 first class seats. While it may sound good that the airline has filled the cabin when seats could usually be empty, remember that one first class seat usually retails for much more than the whole cabin was likely sold for.
How Will This Affect Me?
If you’ve already secured your seat in first class, then congrats. Likely the only difference you will notice is that the cabin is maybe more busy than usual. If you haven’t already booked a ticket, however, be prepared to pay for the privilege. A few tickets remain, however, they are likely to be at the higher end of the price sale to compensate for Cathay’s loss. If you were looking for award fares than you may be out of luck. Earlier, there were very few (single digits) award fares left for the whole of August.
Did you manage to book one of the error fares? Let us know in the comments down below!