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It happens again! Cathay sells flights at fraction of real value

January 15, 2019 Headline News No Comments

Never trust a computer – that seems to be the lesson for Cathay Pacific, which for the second time in two weeks has been forced to honour tickets sold for a tenth of their real value.

The airline is blaming “a website error due to an input issue” – which sounds like a human blunder could have been involved, though it’s often easier to blame a computer.

The latest glitch had Cathay Pacific accidentally selling tickets from Europe to Hong Kong for about 10% of the published price.

A similar error two weeks ago may have cost the airline millions of dollars. See: Airline will honour fares it sold cheap by mistake

This time, the cost to Cathay should be less because fewer people bought the tickets. Cathay will honour them, as last time.

According to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, the latest boo-boo saw first-class tickets from Portugal to Hong Kong sold by Cathay for AUD 2103, a dramatic reduction on the real price of AUD 22,179.

Cathay Pacific doesn’t fly direct from Lisbon to Hong Kong so the extraordinary bargain included one-way legs on partner carriers from Lisbon to London, Frankfurt, or Zurich.

A spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific said as soon as the error was discovered “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,” she said in a statement.

“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.”

Written by Peter Needham

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