Cathay Pacific accidentally sells first-class seats at economy prices — again

Hong Kong airline sells fat finger fares for second time in a month

Hong Kong’s flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, has mistakenly sold first-class seats at economy prices for the second time in a month.

This time, it was possible to purchase flights from Hong Kong to Portugal for $1,512 on Sunday. This is around 10 per cent of the normal price of $16,000, the South China Morning Post reports.

Just two weeks ago, the airline tweeted the hashtag #lessonlearnt after making a very similar blunder. This time, their Twitter has been silent so far.

Cathay Pacific have said that they will honour the mistake fares, and will investigate what happened.

The fares were to Lisbon, with a connection in London.

In a statement, the airline wrote: “We are looking into the root cause of this incident both internally and externally with our vendors.

“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.”

This time around it was possible to get first-class fares to Lisbon on the cheap — Shutterstock Cathay Pacific accidentally sells first-class seats at economy prices — again
This time around it was possible to get first-class fares to Lisbon on the cheap — Shutterstock

At the start of the year, Cathay Pacific made the same mistake when they sold first-class flights from Vietnam to Canada for $675. They also took the step then honouring the sale.

Mistake fares such as these are known as fat finger fares, implying that someone has made a blunder.

The error may also be down to a miscalculated currency conversion, data entry error, or a glitch.

While Cathay Pacific have decided to honour the fares, airlines are under no obligation to do so.

Travellers are entitled to a full refund for the cost of an incorrectly issued ticket, along with all non-refundable purchases made after booking the mistake fare.