Some lucky fliers just bagged $16,000 first-class seats for only $1,100

cathay pacific hack hits nearly 10 million of its customers a boeing 777 300 aircraft seen at the gate in
Geovien So/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Travelers searching Cathay Pacific’s website for flight tickets between the U.S. and Vietnam couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw first-class seats selling for just $1,100 instead of the usual $16,000.

No, it wasn’t a generous New Year’s sale by the Hong Kong-based airline. It was an error with its computer systems.

Cathay was quick to remove the incorrect ticket fare when it appeared on Monday, December 31, though not before a number of quick-witted travelers hit the buy button.

But they had to wait several days to find out if the airline would honor their reservations at the absurdly low price. To their delight, Cathay announced on Wednesday it’s allowing the bookings to go through.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the airline said: “Happy 2019 all, and to those who bought our good — VERY good surprise ‘special’ on New Year’s Day, yes — we made a mistake but we look forward to welcoming you on board with your ticket issued. Hope this will make your 2019 ‘special’ too!”

The error saw first-class seats for flights between New York and Hanoi in August being offered for just over $1,000, a fraction of the $16,000 usually charged for such seats. To save even more money, those who spotted the bargain fares could’ve bagged a return business class flight between a number of U.S. cities and Da Nang in central Vietnam for $675, a big discount on the usual $6,000 price.

Cathay declined to say how many people managed to take advantage of the erroneous fare before it spotted the blunder, but with travel bloggers and social media helping to quickly spread the word, it’s possible plenty were snapped up within minutes.

Such errors do occur from time to time. If the seat reservation is made directly through the airline, there’s always a chance that it will honor the booking, just like Cathay Pacific did this week. But sometimes the carrier will simply cancel the ticket and offer it at the full fare.

This was the case in 2015 when United Airlines refused to honor incorrectly priced first-class tickets sold on its Danish website for flights between New York City and London. United said it sold “several thousand” seats for as little as $74 each, instead of around $5,000, before the error was spotted. The American carrier explained that the mistake happened because “a third-party software provider applied an incorrect exchange rate and was misquoting the airline’s properly filed fares.”

Computing

Microsoft deal takes up to $400 off select Surface Book 2 laptops

Microsoft is running a promotion for the Surface Book 2, taking as much as $400 off the price of the laptop at the Microsoft Store. The promotion applies to select 13.5- or 15-inch configurations of the convertible laptop.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Marvel releases more footage from Avengers: Endgame in latest TV ad

The events of Avengers: Infinity War changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some big ways and left fans wondering how its heroes can possibly recover. Here's everything we know about Avengers: Endgame, the sequel to Infinity War.
Business

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…
Movies & TV

Disney Plus packs Star Wars, MCU, and The Simpsons too -- all for $7 per month

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Computing

Hackers broke into Outlook.com using worker’s credentials, Microsoft says

Microsoft's web-based email services were the target of a security beach. Using a customer support agent's credentials, hackers were possibly able to access email addresses and subject lines, but fortunately not their content.
Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Computing

Microsoft accelerates carbon reduction plans in new sustainability push

Microsoft wants to accelerate its sustainability goal of becoming a zero-carbon company. To reach those goals, Microsoft is doubling its self-imposed carbon tax to incentivize business divisions in making sustainable choices.
Mobile

Apple and Qualcomm settle all disputes, reach six-year agreement on chips

Apple and Qualcomm have announced that they have settled all disputes between them around the world -- and not only that, but have also agreed to a six-year agreement for Qualcomm to supply Apple with chips.
Mobile

The Department of Justice may prevent the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Mobile

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?
Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Smart Home

There will be 200 million smart speakers by year’s end, analysts say

A new report by the research and analysis firm Canalys predicts that more than 200 million smart speakers will be engaged by users by the end of 2019, which is a growth of over 82% from last year.
Mobile

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.