Cathay Pa­cific makes sec­ond first class blun­der in two weeks

Kuwait Times - - Business -

HONG KONG: For a lucky few, it’s the gift that keeps on giv­ing: a Cathay Pa­cific snafu of­fer­ing premium tick­ets at a frac­tion of their value, for the sec­ond time in less than two weeks.

On its web­site yes­ter­day morn­ing, Cathay was of­fer­ing first-class flights from Lis­bon to Hong Kong-via a con­nect­ing flight through Lon­don with a part­ner air­line-for just $1,512, the South China Morn­ing Post re­ported. A sim­i­lar jour­ney in first-class via Frank­furt mean­while, would set trav­ellers back an eye-wa­ter­ing $16,000. “We are look­ing into the root cause of this in­ci­dent both in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally with our ven­dors,” a Cathay spokesper­son, who at­trib­uted the er­ror to an “in­put is­sue”, was cited as say­ing.

The Hong Kong-based car­rier will honor the cheap fares for the “very small num­ber” of savvy and for­tu­nate trav­ellers, the spokesper­son added, as it did last time.

Cathay did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to AFP’s re­quest for com­ment. 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 from the usual $16,000 round trip flight on first class, and $46,000 on busi­ness class. It took two days for Cathay to pub­licly ac­knowl­edge the er­ror, and a spokesper­son de­clined to say how many tick­ets were sold at the dis­counted price.

Cathay had a tough year in 2018. It con­tin­ued to strug­gle with the rise of cheaper main­land Chi­nese ri­vals, los­ing $33 mil­lion in the first six months of the year.

Then in Oc­to­ber it sparked out­rage among cus­tomers and politi­cians in Hong Kong when it ad­mit­ted to a mas­sive data breach five months after hack­ers made off with the data of 9.4 mil­lion cus­tomers, in­clud­ing some pass­port num­bers and credit card de­tails. —AFP

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