Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific First Class

Sometimes when coming across a great airfare deal, it all seems too good to be true. But this is not always the case – as demonstrated by the latest Cathay Pacific mistake fares!

Last week, Cathay Pacific accidentally sold a bunch of Business and First Class tickets from Vietnam to North America for well below the usual price. For example, Cathay Pacific Business Class fares from Hanoi to Washington DC were selling for just $1,560 return. And it gets better… First class fares on the same route were available for a limited time for just $1,812 return. A First class ticket on this route would normally cost closer to $15,000.

As with all mistake fares, those lucky enough to book had a nervous wait to see whether the bookings would be honoured. It is not uncommon for airlines to cancel bookings with obvious pricing errors. This chart from Unit 7.17 of the Frequent Flyer Solutions training program (covering error fares) shows the life cycle of an error fare:

Luckily, in this instance, Cathay Pacific will honour these bookings! The airline confirmed this on Twitter…

This just proves that, sometimes, it can be worthwhile booking airfares that seem too good to be true. You don’t have much to lose – either the airline will give you a refund, or you’ll enjoy a bargain-price trip! Just be careful not to book any non-refundable accommodation or tours until you’re sure the booking will be honoured. Airlines are not legally required to honour prices that are obvious mistakes – although they sometimes do anyway to avoid negative press.

Several AFF members were lucky enough to book one of the Cathay Pacific mistake fares…

Wow just read the news on Twitter – I got in with 2 J return tickets HAN-YVR – never thought it would stick. Now to plan the holiday. Need to get to / from HAN but for my dates it looks like LM is good for SYD-BKK-HAN and return. I’ve seen “mistake fares” before but never booked as I always figured they would be cancelled.

Over the moon with my 2 x J and 1 x F !! Unbelievable !!

Also rapt that I got 2 x HAN-SFO F tix in October for $2300 USD and redeemed some KrisFlyer points to position from SIN, and all this happened on my birthday. Now my gf doesn’t complain about me lurking on ” those travel websites” anymore 🙂

As the Cathay Pacific mistake fares were only available for departures from Vietnam, those with tickets will now need positioning flights to/from Hanoi. But the cost of getting to Vietnam is a small price to pay for the considerable savings otherwise made! Some members are even combining their trip to the USA with a holiday in beautiful Indochina.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Vietnam – North America $us750+ in J on CX


Want to learn more about how to take advantage of mistake fares?

Check out the Frequent Flyer Solution training course on Cheap Airfares.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]