Return fares in the premium cabin from Da Nang to New York started at $675 for travel in August, wrote Gary Leff, a travel and loyalty-program blogger on View from the Wing. Travel from Hanoi to Vancouver and back in a mix of business and first class could cost less than $1,000, according to a post on One Mile at a Time.
Cathay didn’t immediately say whether it would honor the bookings, but the mistake adds to the embarrassments for the Hong Kong carrier that is struggling to turn its fortunes around as competition intensifies from Chinese and budget airlines. The pricing gaffe comes on the heels of a sophisticated hack on Cathay’s computer systems last year, which was responsible for exposing private information of 9.4 million passengers in the world’s biggest airline data breach.
Cathay is aware of the pricing issue and will provide more details later, a spokeswoman for the carrier stated by phone. A business-class return ticket to New York from Vietnam’s Da Nang costs around $16,000 for travel in July and September, according Cathay’s website—on whom ticket prices remained unavailable.
Other airlines have made similar pricing errors. Singapore Airlines Ltd. in 2014 and Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. last year honored business-class tickets mistakenly sold at economy fares. Both carriers also didn’t disclose how many people purchased the cheaper tickets.
Cathay had sold tickets to the US and other destinations from Vietnam in a promotional offer that ended at the end of December.
Round trip business tickets to Los Angeles were being sold from $2,940.