Yesterday at work was like any other day, until I sat down in a meeting and my coworker said ‘did you see that business class deal to Shanghai and Bangkok?’
‘Wha wha what?’ I replied.
‘Yep, Thrifty Traveler just sent it. Hong Kong Airlines, business class for ~$600 round trip!’
I immediately checked my email, and sure enough there was the ever trusty Thrifty Traveler Premium‘s email announcing the deal. I quickly started searching for dates and options, as I knew that while his was probably too good to be true, you had to be in it to win it.
Initially I booked a round trip to Shanghai via Hong Kong for $631 for the GF and me, before subsequently booking a flight to Bangkok with a 3 day layover in Hong Kong for a few bucks more. Both were amazing deals, and I was excited to be heading to Asia (even though it seemed it would be too good to be true).
But then it dawned on me. Part of the GF’s family is from Hong Kong, and we’ve always wanted to visit for a good amount of time to explore her heritage and culture together. So I thought I’d check and see if the deal worked to just Hong Kong. Most bloggers and forum posters had focused on the Shanghai and Bangkok deals, so I thought I’d branch out. I went straight to Hong Kong Airlines’ website, and to my surprise was able to book a roundtrip just to Hong Kong for just $731 for spring of next year, operated by their beautiful A350 aircraft. As an added benefit, by booking through the airline vs. Expedia, I’d net 5x Membership Rewards Points on my Amex Platinum Card!
The ensuing 24 hours have been nail biting. Would the fare be honored, was it a sale, or did Hong Kong Airlines even know about it? This morning, reports start to arise that folks had heard from the airline that it would be honored, but there was no true evidence. But then we saw this on Twitter from the CMO of the Airline:
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
followed by this from the Airline itself:
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
Wow! This was the proof we were waiting for, as well as truly stand-up move by the airline. Considering flights generally go for more than 10x what we paid, I’d consider this a truly awesome deal!
I’m super excited to try out a new airline and a new product. Here’s a trip report showing what we might expect!
We can’t wait to check out Hong Kong – let us know if you have tips or places we should visit!