Aviation

Qatar honours major Business Class stuff-up

Lauren Croft

We’ve got bad news: you probably missed out on a hell of a flight deal.

$700 for a return flight from Vietnam to the United States sounds pretty good right? Well, what if it was for a business class ticket?

No, this isn’t a joke. According to Skift, Qatar Airways announced a special fare last week – where travellers could book flights from Ho Chi Minh City to the United States. Usually, a ticket in Qatar’s luxe business class cabin would cost almost $3000, but for a lucky few (thousand), it cost around $700.

The catch? The price was a mistake. To many traveller’s dismay, Qatar took down the unbelievable fares – and possibly the best business class deal ever vanished overnight.

This definitely isn’t the first time an airline has put out ridiculously and mistakenly cheap fares: last year, travellers were ecstatic when they saw Emirates return flights to Brazil priced at just over $200.

According to news.com.au, Gold Coast resident Josiane De Andrade was among the 300 people who snapped up the $214 return flight from Sao Paulo to Brisbane. But unsurprisingly, Emirates cancelled all bookings, leaving De Andrade confused and furious – she believed Emirates should own up to their mistake and honour the cheap fare.

“I knew it was super cheap but sometimes that happens with airline prices,” she told news.com.au.

“My family had already started arranging visas.”

Emirates did own up to it’s mistake – and blamed a “technical error” for the “zero value” prices (only inclusive of taxes and charges).

An Emirates spokeswomen told news.com.au, “Any ticket issued in error during this time will be automatically cancelled.”

And that was that. De Andrade and her family were invited to re-book – but with prices almost 10 times the cost of the original fares.

Not honouring “mistake” fares is just one of the many ways airlines have been missing the mark lately – from serving bananas as the gluten free meal option to (valid) customer complaints gaining viral traction.

But with flying riddled with inconveniences to start with, Qatar has declined to become one of those inconveniences: honouring it’s mistaken business class fares for the few thousand who either booked a ticket or had a ticket on hold.

Skift reported praise from all over the web – with one commenter on travel blog One Mile at a Time saying it was “Great news”.

“Kudos on Qatar for fully honouring this fare. I’m sure many will be impressed by their onboard product and service, too,” they added.

And because Qatar didn’t take the route many carriers choose – to cancel all the tickets – they have gained an enormous amount of public support, despite losing millions of dollars in business class fares.

But as the most highly rated airline in the world, they can probably afford it.


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