Cathay Pacific sells $16k seats for $675 in error

An error on Cathay Pacific's website let customers buy first class tickets for a fraction of the price

All eyes are on Cathay Pacific as it decides what to do with the tickets it appears to have sold in error at a fraction of their prices. Round trip business tickets to Los Angeles were sold from $2 940. The price in September had been £12,700 ($16,000). The airline found out about the mistake but chose to honor the tickets.

The pricing mistake was first noticed several days ago by aviation bloggers, who trawl the internet looking for cheap deals. But Cathay Airlines has informed that on December 31, some business class tickets for the flight from Vietnam under the offer have been sold for the economy class.

On New Year's Eve, airline Cathay Pacific started offering a flight deal that seemed too good to be true.

First-class fares from Vietnam to the United States, which usually cost about $23,000, were selling for just under $1,500 during a brief period when premium ticket prices plunged.

Air Canada is now involved in a class action lawsuit at home for refusing to honor a similar price mistake in 2015. He had always wanted to travel in first class but he told the BBC that he often travels in economy class. He says he did the math and found that there was like a 95 percent discount on the ticket. The Department of Transportation (DOT) ruled in 2015 that airlines aren't legally obligated to honor mistake fares, although rescinding the seemingly marvelous deals will nearly certainly spark a customer uproar.

As the news spread online, people began speculating Cathay Pacific may not honour the tickets - as doing so would likely prove very costly.

Cathay acknowledged the mistake on Twitter and that it would honor the fares.

It's been a hard year for the airline who, in September last year, was ridiculed for spelling its name wrong on the side of one of its planes. The airline posted back to back losses in early 2018.

In October a year ago, it also revealed a major data breach affecting 9.4 million passengers that leaked passport numbers, credit card numbers, and email addresses. The airline's name was misspelled on the side of the plane.

While Cathay Pacific opted to honor the fares despite the inevitability of losing money on the flights, it isn't standard practice for airlines to let mistake fares slide. The mistakes don't always end up being honored by the airlines though.

"They indeed canceled my booking which I paid for".

The reaction was not quite as favorable in October when Cathay announced it a data breach had compromised the details of 9.4 million passengers.

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