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Cathay Pacific under fire after HK$100 ticket promotion sells out too quickly for some

Cathay Pacific message to announce tickets are sold out

Message to announce tickets are sold out

A promotion by Cathay Pacific drew ire in social media today after some customers were left frustrated that they could not take advantage of an offer of plane tickets for HK$100 (US$13).

The 2,014 tickets up for grabs – part of a promotion to celebrate the carrier being named the world’s best airline by Skytrax – were sold out within four hours of the promotion being activated at 8am this morning. Around 150,000 people logged on to the company’s website in an attempt to buy a cheap ticket.

Some customers who were unable to book complained that the offer had begun a while before the promoted 8am time.

The most vociferous among the gripers was Billy Chan, who wrote: “It is unfair and frustrating how Cathay Pacific started selling its tickets right before 8am this morning. It is showing it either uses a time system different from the Observatory or it is lying in its official announcement.”

Another poster dubbed Cathay ‘Rubbish airline of the year’.

The airline was swift to respond to most complaints on its Facebook page, answering them within ten minutes.

David Koh, who runs Hong Kong digital agency Daylight Partnership, backed the airline. With irony, he wrote on his Facebook page today: “Cathay Pacific, how dare you announce a $100 fare promotion and not guarantee that every man, woman and child in Hong Kong get a cheap ticket? How dare you make us wait online before 9am, fingers hovering over the keyboard, preventing us from using our hands to eat breakfast at our desks? That’s the most important meal of the day.”

“On the other hand, thank you for giving us something new to complain about so we can call you a “rubbish airline”, because that’s just good for the soul. Calling CY Leung [Hong Kong’s chief executive] names just isn’t the same these days,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post’s coverage of the story has come in for criticism on its Facebook page, particularly with the newspaper’s use of the word ‘scam’.

One poster wrote: “Is there anything the SCMP won’t stoop to spinning as negatively as possible in the search for click-bait? Per your own article, 2,014 REAL tickets were sold at HK$100. That is the exact opposite of a scam.”

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