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.”
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