Cathay Pacific says it will honour $23,000 airfares accidentally sold for $1,500

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The airline's announcement comes after travellers reported being able to buy business class and first class return tickets from Vietnam to North America for as low as economy class prices.

Cathay Pacific accidentally sold first and business-class tickets for a fraction of their normal prices.

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific said Wednesday it would honor first and business-class tickets from Vietnam to NY it mistakenly sold online for about $675 - that should have cost as much as $16,000. Return fares in the premium cabin from Da Nang to NY started at $675 for travel in August 2019, Gary Leff, a travel and loyalty-programme blogger on View from the Wing, wrote on December 31. "I even called the Cathay customer service in the USA; they told me that it was canceled by the company in Hong Kong", Lee said.

Spotted by travel bloggers on New Year's Eve, return first class fares between NY and Hanoi were going for $1,100, which would usually set you back about $16,000.

Said the Hong Kong carrier in a tweet: "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". The carrier has come under mounting criticism after it said in October that about 9.4 million passengers' personal data had been accessed without authorisation, seven months after it became aware of the breach.

However, he wrote that when he checked prices in first class on the same route in July and September, they were priced at $16,000.

Last summer, Hong Kong Airlines suffered a similar error, and set the bar high by honouring its mistake.

Last year, Hong Kong Airlines also honoured business-class tickets mistakenly sold at economy fares, and Singapore Airlines did the same in 2014.

The South China Post found 11 people who snapped up 18 first-class and eight business-class tickets.

Cathay Pacific had sold tickets to the United States and other destinations from Vietnam in a promotional offer that ended on Monday, according to its website.

The next day, another travel website The Points Guy reported seeing business class flights from Danang to NY selling for less than US$700 - "cheaper than a coach ticket".

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