Hong Kong - A New Year bug resulted in a $15,000 discount per seat in Business Class flights on Cathay Pacific between Da Nang, Vietnam, and New York. The airline announced that it would honor the mistakenly discounted tickets.
Business class tickets from Da Nang, Vietnam to New York, United States were priced at $675 instead of $16,000. It is unclear how many people bought tickets during the system error. The South China Morning Post reports that several thousand tickets would have been sold.
Cathay Pacific could have canceled the discounted tickets, but instead, the airline announced on its Twitter account that they were looking forward to welcoming its customers who bought them.
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
This is not the first time that such an error has occurred or that an airline has agreed to honor heavily discounted business class fares. Another Hong Kong-based carrier, Hong Kong Airlines, made a similar mistake last year.
Singapore Airlines had sold 400 business class seats at economy class prices in 2014. In both cases, the airlines agreed to honor the cheapest fares.
But it is not the case for all airlines. In 2015, United Airlines canceled thousands of bookings after an error that allowed customers to buy business class tickets for only $100. The carrier said the mistake occurred because of a third-party software vendor and refused to honor the tickets.