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In case you missed it, a few days ago Cathay Pacific had an incredible sale fare (we don’t call these mistake fares any more since who knows what’s a mistake and what’s not).  If you were originating in Vietnam, you could get ROUNDTRIP business class tickets for ~$700 or first class for $1000. The deal was live for a scant number of hours on December 31st, and died shortly afterwards.

(SEE ALSO: 5 reasons you’ll miss out on the next mistake fare)

(SEE ALSO: 3 years ago, the best mistake fare I ever saw)

To most people’s surprise, Cathay Pacific is honoring the fare – per Twitter, they announced

I personally did not book any of these (I must have been asleep or not paying attention when they went live), but I know many of you did.

Mistake or …. genius marketing?

We have been talking about the fare on the blog and also on our free miles and points Facebook group and there have been a couple of takes suggesting it was all part of a genius marketing plan by Cathay Pacific.

Here’s one take I’ve seen

Airlines are struggling to get people in higher classes. As many of us know, it only takes one time in first/business to change your outlook on flying. In my opinion, this is a strategy to get people to become regular premium class flyers. This wasn’t an accident in my opinion


You will make up in loyalty what you lose in the lost money (and the opposite is also true for airlines that screw over people who take advantage of good fares).

My take

I think that people suggesting this was anything other than a mistake are…. out of their gourd!

I think that if they could choose to do it over again, Cathay would not offer such a sale, and I would not expect them to get any real extra loyalty from honoring this. I think 95%+ of people that booked these tickets are people like you and me, who I would expect to fly the best flights they can at the best prices they can get, regardless of what airline it’s on.

Do you think Cathay did this intentionally?  Or that they’ll engender any surplus loyalty? Leave your take in the comments

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