Cathay Pacific sells steeply discounted premium flights, again

Cathay Pacific’s website sold steeply discounted premium flights on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 13 January 2019
0

Cathay Pacific sells steeply discounted premium flights, again

DUBAI: Oops, they did it again.
Just fresh from opening the new year with a seat-pricing snafu, and sparking a frenzy among eagle-eyed buyers, Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific again mistakenly offered steeply discounted premium tickets on Sunday.
First-class tickets from Portugal to Hong Kong were sold for $1,512 instead of $16,000 on Sunday, less than two weeks after a similar error on the carrier’s website appeared, South China Morning Post reported.
The airline also offered one-way flights on partner carriers from Lisbon to London, Zurich or Frankfurt, with connecting Cathay Pacific flights from these stops to Hong Kong. It does not operate direct routes between Portugal and Hong Kong.
But, while some of the tickets were at the usual full fares, others were sold at huge discounts. An early morning flight from Lisbon to Frankfurt, followed by a flight at midday in first class on Cathay to Hong Kong, is usually priced at $16,000, but a midday flight from Lisbon to London, followed by a late afternoon Cathay flight in first class, cost just $1,512.
Cathay Pacific later issued a statement, saying “We are aware of an error on some fares from Europe on our website because of an input issue. The sale of such fares was stopped immediately.
“We are looking into the root cause of this incident both internally and externally with our vendors.
“For the very small number of customers who have purchased these tickets, we look forward to welcoming you on board to enjoy our premium services.”
Cathay Pacific made global headlines on New Year’s Day after selling return tickets from Vietnam to various destinations in North America for as little as $870 in first class and $670 in business class, from original prices of as much as $16,000.
The Hong Kong airline honored all the tickets it sold in error as a gesture of goodwill, and quipped on Twitter about the “VERY good surprise ‘special’ on New Year’s Day.”

 


Japan’s ‘Uncle Olympics’ fan dies just short of 2020 Games

Naotoshi Yamada, above, was planning to attend the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. (Reuters/File)
Updated 18 March 2019
0

Japan’s ‘Uncle Olympics’ fan dies just short of 2020 Games

  • The man attended all summer games since 1964
  • He often wore a golden hat when he attended the games

TOKYO: A Japanese Olympic mega-fan who attended every summer games since Tokyo in 1964 has died, just over a year before his home city was to host its second Olympics.
Tokyo businessman Naotoshi Yamada, 92, who died on March 9 from heart failure, was a national celebrity in his own right with his repeated, gleeful appearances in Olympic stands.
“Uncle Olympics,” as he came to be known, was an omnipresent fixture for Japanese TV watchers cheering on the Japan team at the “Greatest Show On Earth.”
Often sporting a gold top hat, kimono, and a beaming smile, Yamada also became a darling of the international media.
“After 92 years of his life spent cheering, Naotoshi Yamada, international Olympic cheerleader, was called to eternal rest on March 9, 2019,” said his web site, managed by a firm he founded.
Born in 1926, Yamada built a successful wire rope manufacturing business, and also expanded his portfolio to include the hotel and real estate sectors.
But away from work, his passion was for sport, particularly the Olympics.
He did not miss a summer games since 1964, taking in Mexico City, Munich, Montreal, Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro.
For good measure, he also attended the winter games when it rolled into Nagano in 1998, and told local media of his strong desire to attend the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Yamada saw the first Tokyo Olympics when he was 38.
But his passion was truly ignited during the 1968 Mexico City Games, according to his website.
He donned a kimono and a sombrero hat and loudly cheered for a Mexican 5000-meter runner, mistaking him for a Japanese athlete.
Local spectators embraced the scene and loudly cheered for Japanese athletes in return, leading to an electrifying show of support that went beyond nationality, his website said.
“He saw the awesome power of cheering, and was mesmerised by it ever since,” it said.