Hong Kong Airlines will honor its $500-600 business class fares from the U.S. to Asia. That warrants praise…and an ethics lesson.
While not $0 fares, these business class fares were equivalent to economy class prices. Consequently, I had some concern Hong Kong Airlines would try to wiggle out of honoring them. Quite the contrary, Hong Kong confirmed on Twitter it would be honoring the fares:
So about that 600 USD business class transpacific fare 😳….we did it, we will honour it, and perhaps a few people will get to travel on our news business class product being introduced in September to LA. What’s not to like?✈️
— Hong Kong Airlines (@hkairlines) August 18, 2018
I wasn’t even thinking about the new A350s with reverse herringbone seats, but this makes me even more excited to take my trip later this fall.
Compare Hong Kong Airlines to Aeroplan/SWISS, who cancelled first class award tickets I had booked for my family several days after ticketing them. That wasn’t even a mistake fare: I paid published pricing and Aeroplan simply decided it would not honor its ticketed reservations because SWISS was unhappy. Months later, the issue still has not been resolved to my satisfaction, even as I continue to go back and forth with them. A lot of you have assumed I have not mentioned this issue because I’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement. I’ve signed nothing. The archaic back-and-forth process with Aeroplan has produced many offers, but none that I am willing to accept. I owe all of you transparency on that issue and will provide a final update once I have final resolution.
A Publicity Stunt?
View from the Wing and God Save the Points have speculated that this whole incident may have just been a publicity stunt. Perhaps. It would not surprise me and is precisely why customers should not be forced to decide if/when a deal is too good to be true.
While George Liu, Chief Marketing Officer for Hong Kong Airlines, unequivocally denied this was a mistake fare, he is a marketing officer after all.
No, it wasn't intentional…definitely not a marketing gimmick. We really screwed up.
It hit when I was BBQing at a friend's house on my vacation. We have decided to honor the tickets at our own cost.
We are willing to pay a price to keep our promises as a brand. https://t.co/YKhNtXqxvV
— George Liu/CMO Hong Kong Airlines (@GeorgeJLiu) August 17, 2018
But his sentiment is so refreshing: we are willing to pay a price to keep our promises as a brand.
That’s how all airlines should act.
I’m looking forward to my trip on Hong Kong Airlines and offer effusive praise to the airline for honoring these fares. Whether or not this was intentional is besides the point: the point is that I am flying to Hong Kong and Bangkok in business class for under $700 r/t on a brand new A350 with lie-flat beds. I’m excited!
image: Hong Kong Airlines