On New Year’s Eve I wrote about $675 business class roundtrips between Vietnam and the U.S. and about first class roundtrips for under $1000.
Up until that I had considered 90,000 Iberia Avios for under $300 to be the ‘deal of 2018’ or perhaps the British Airways fuel surcharge class action settlement that returned miles or cash to many of us. Or maybe the Hong Kong Airlines business class mistake fare.
Still I had warned,
[W]e don’t know for certain how Cathay will feel about such a deep discount airfare sale, whether they might get seller’s remorse, so I’d wait a few days after buying additional travel or making additional non-refundable plans around the fare.
The US Department of Transportation no longer requires airlines to honor mistake fares. All they have to do is cover non-refundable costs travelers incur in reliance on a purchased fare if they decide to cancel. And even that could take a fight.
However competitor Hong Kong Airlines honored their $560 business class Los Angeles – Asia fare over the summer. And they’ve had bad publicity recently from a major data breach. And historically many mistake fares have been honored in any case.
The amazing news for everyone who took a chance and booked these tickets is that Cathay Pacific is honoring the deal.
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
I don’t think airlines should have to honor mistake fares as long as it’s only the most egregious errors that are cancelled and customers are notified promptly. However I also think it’s totally acceptable to book a fare that seems like a mistake, the airline will choose to honor or they won’t. And when an airline is going to provide first class roundtrip travel between Asia and North America for under $1000 I want to be one of the people that gets to take those flights.
Did you get in on one (or more) of these tickets?