• Thu
  • Oct 16, 2014
  • Updated: 3:18am
Cathay Pacific
NewsHong Kong

It’s not fare! Cathay leaves thousands disappointed with HK$100 ticket promotion

Tens of thousands left disappointed after HK$100 tickets sell out in hours

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 5:49am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 4:33pm

Cathay Pacific's plan to please travellers with HK$100 business and premium economy tickets degenerated into a public relations disaster when it left tens of thousands of people disappointed yesterday.

More than 150,000 people logged on to the website in the hope of grabbing one of only 2,014 tickets up for grabs in an exercise that began at 8am.

The locally-based airline swiftly drew allegations that the promotion - meant to celebrate its fourth award as world's best airline from British consultancy Skytrax - was "a scam".

One defeated user said she spent the whole morning waiting for the website to load up, before it announced that all the tickets to 11 destinations had sold out in four hours.

Jo Tang, who mobilised her two smartphones and a computer to vie for tickets to Bangkok, London or Chicago, was already behind 9,000 others in the queue when she logged on at 7.45am.

"A few clicks later, it said 150,000 people were queuing," she said. "I was surprised how some people managed to buy tickets."

A Cathay spokeswoman said all the special offers were sold out within four hours "because of overwhelming response".

Sydney was the hottest pick, she said, with all the bargain fares gone by 9am.

People who were left out in the cold took to Cathay's social media sites to complain.

"It is unfair and frustrating how Cathay Pacific started selling its tickets right before 8am this morning," Billy Chan wrote.

"It is showing it either uses a time system different from the Observatory or it is lying in its official announcement."

"Rubbish airline of the year," another user, Den Cheung, wrote.

The spokeswoman said the airline "would like to thank" all its customers for their support.


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This article is now closed to comments

I haven't flown CX since 2006 from Sydney. It was awful, even when I was in B class. Lovely cheese though. 100 is too expensive for CX.
MH370 disappearing became news for a week on SCMP pages; MH17 was news for like 2 days max - I surmise it was because those who died were mainly Dutch and not Chinese (even if Mainlanders). The Dutch didn't scream, even when their loved ones were blown in pieces and the whole nation was in mourning.
Why was my comment that this is non-news, at a time when people are dying of war and Ebola, deleted? The SCMP reminds me of my mother, that Chinese and HK people are incredibly self-centred.
I think the problem here is all the tickets were sold out before 8am, said by one of the insider, all tickets are gone at the very begining of the sales. the mis team have to pre-set a sold out time for all locations to make it looks like the way it is now. so for those who actually login at the official starting time (8am of after) wont even have a chance buy a ticket. I personally believed this rumor is kinda true. 100 LeTvs can be sold in 1 sec when 2014 air plane tickets can last 2 hours? I dont think this is just sour grapes here.
Complaint culture..... And impoliteness.
How can people complain when they give gifts ... they did not need to give anyone a lucky ticket. Maybe the whole city should cry because we all did not win the Mark six. Wa wa wa...me too...me too. Please.... this is only a story about childish behaviour of thise wanting a free ride.
How did Skytrax arrive at the ridiculous conclusion that Cathay are the best airline in the world?
It sounds more like a tricky game. My sister successfully marked the two seats and then prepared to continue with payment. Remember there were several rows of seats empty. Without any clue, sold out appeared on the screen. I have no mood to argue with Cathay for they would tell you your opinion is highly valued but that's all. When I wrote to the CEO, simply a low grade officer gave me a more than rubbish reply.
How many can confirm 4000 tickets was really sold !!!




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