A first class gaffe: Cathay Pacific to honour cheap ticket error

A first class gaffe: Cathay Pacific to honour cheap ticket error

Scores of savvy travellers will be sipping heavily discounted champagne in first class recliners on Cathay Pacific flights this year after the airline agreed to honour tickets that were mistakenly sold at a fraction of their value. Airline and travel blogs went into overdrive on New Year’s Eve after eagle-eyed shoppers noticed the carrier was offering first and business class tickets on its website from Vietnam to the United States and Canada for as little as $670.

That represented a staggering discount. A first class round trip would usually cost around $16,000 and a business class flight $4-6,000. It took two days for Cathay to publicly acknowledge the error with the airline on Wednesday saying it would indeed honour the cheap fares. “We made a mistake but we look forward to welcoming you on board with your ticket issued,” the airline said on Twitter, calling the mistake a “VERY good surprise ‘special’ on New Year’s Day”.

A spokesperson for Cathay declined to say how many tickets were sold at the discounted price. Wang Guanran, a travel blogger who writes under the alias “Domenicus” on hktravelblog. com, said he was working in the early hours of New Year’s Day when he spotted websites alerting people to the cheap flights around 5:00 am Hong Kong time. In two hours he managed to snap up five first class round trips from Vietnam to New York for $840 each and a business class flight for $699.

After that the searches on Cathay’s website stopped working. “I was very lucky,” he said. “Most people in Hong Kong were sleeping after celebrating, they totally missed it.” Most of those awake when the glitch hit would have been in Europe and North America, he said. “Until then it wasn’t looking like a good new year, I’d been working and was missing my family.” Estimating the flights will earn him some 400,000 air miles, he said he had a hunch Cathay would honour the prices. “I was betting on the fact they really need the good publicity right now.”




Serena outslugs Halep

Serena outslugs Halep

A fired-up Serena Williams slugged past world number one Simona Halep yesterday as she inches ever closer to a 24th Grand Slam title, while Novak Djokovic survived a battle to stay on course for a record seventh Australian Open crown.

Wall for ‘Dreamers’

Wall for ‘Dreamers’

US President Donald Trump bitterly attacked top Democrat Nancy Pelosi yesterday after she rejected a deal on immigration and the Mexico border wall that would end a 30-day-old government shutdown. Pelosi, speaker of the House of Repres

Serena, Djokovic in charge

Serena, Djokovic in charge

Serena Williams stepped up her drive for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam yesterday by swatting aside Eugenie Bouchard, as world number one Novak Djokovic won an emotional 2008 Australian Open final rematch with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. B

Federer, Nadal stay on track

Federer, Nadal stay on track

Roger Federer ground out a tough three-set win to make the Australian Open third round for an incredible 20th straight year yesterday, with long-time rival Rafael Nadal also safely through in his drive towards an 18th Grand Slam title.

Only Japanese-born sumo champ retires

Only Japanese-born sumo champ retires

The only Japanese-born grand championor “yokozuna” in sumo has decided to retire following a disastrous run of form and injury, leaving two Mongolians on top of the ancient sport. Kisenosato, the first Japanese-born wrestle


Social worker dies in Chennai

Social worker dies in Chennai

Long-time Bahrain resident and Indian social worker T P Abdulla, 71, passed away in Chennai, India yesterday. He was working with Bahrain Disabled Sports Federation as programme co-ordinator. Funeral will take place in Chennai today. He is survived by his wife Fatima and four chil

Busaiteen pays tribute to HRH Premier

Busaiteen pays tribute to HRH Premier

A ceremony was held in Busaiteen, Muharraq, in tribute to His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who recovered after undergoing successful medical check-ups. Traditional Ardha shows, folkloric songs and other activities were staged at the celebration, in t

Syria co-operation vow

Syria co-operation vow

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a meeting in Moscow yesterday vowed to co-ordinate their actions more closely in Syria.  “Co-operation between Russia and Turkey is a touchstone for Syrian peace and stability,” Erdogan s

Salaries ready for VRS first batch candidates

Salaries ready for VRS first batch candidates

The President of the Civil Service Bureau (CSB), Ahmed Al Zayed, yesterday announced that the CSB will efficiently transfer the salaries of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)’s 773 successful candidates who are transitioning to retirement on January 31. Mr Al Zayed went on noting

Nadal relentlessly marches on

Nadal relentlessly marches on

Rafael Nadal continued his relentless march towards an 18th major title yesterday as an emotional Petra Kvitova swept into her first Grand Slam semi-final since a terrifying knife attack almost ended her career. On day nine of the Aust

BIC set to host Neon Run

BIC set to host Neon Run

Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is set to host on Friday the much-anticipated BIC Neon Run, held as part of the promotional campaign for the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2019. The event is scheduled to be held from 3pm to

Alaina, Hopkins end engagement

Alaina, Hopkins end engagement

Singer Lauren Alaina and partner Alex Hopkins have called it quits. The country star and her beau, who got engaged over last summer, announced they were ending their six-year relationship on their respective Instagram accounts on Monda

Misbah-ul-Haq to visit school

Misbah-ul-Haq to visit school

Misbah-ul-Haq,former Pakistani cricketer who captained the Pakistani team in all three formats of the game, is visiting the British School of Bahrain(BSB) on Thursday. He will hold cricket sessions with students at 8.15am which will be

Tokyo airport tests driverless bus

Tokyo airport tests driverless bus

Visitors pouring into Japan’s Haneda airport for the Tokyo Olympics next year may find themselves ferried to and from planes on driverless buses, currently being tested at the major hub. Six Japanese firms, including national car