For a brief period of 4-5 hours on New Year’s eve (or New Year’s day, depending on where you were), you could have grabbed a return business class ticket on Cathay Pacific from just US$674. This was from Vietnam (Da Nang, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City) to Canada (Vancouver) or States (San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, New York or Washington). For first class cabin, it was a mere US$1,100 return. And we are talking about Cathay Pacific, one of the best airlines in the world.

I happened to be at the right place (i.e. by my computer) at the right time, and I managed to snatch two sets of tickets, one for June and the other for October 2019. There wasn’t much time to ponder on perfect dates and itineraries. It was a case of grab the seats and get them ticketed immediately, then worry the consequences later.

I managed to snatch Hanoi to Vancouver via Hong Kong return for just US$878 in business and first class combination. Three sectors were in business class (Hanoi to Hong Kong, Vancouver to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Hanoi) and one sector in first class (Hong Kong to Vancouver).

Call whatever you like, it was definitely a mistake by Cathay Pacific. Typically, first class fares would run into five digits for these long haul flights. I wasn’t sure if Cathay was going to honour the tickets/fares. It was a case of ‘wait and see’ if Cathay would act honourably. Much to its credit, Cathay Pacific acted swiftly and decisively, and in just 24 hours, it announced publicly that it will honour all the tickets! Kudos to Cathay Pacific!

As for me, it was a relief as I did not have to anguish over a decision for prolonged period (like the Iberia Avios fiasco). I can now get on with planning and acquiring my repositioning flights and hotels, and at the same time, build in a nice holiday around the dates. But above all, as we enter a new year, I need to start gathering my British Airways Executive Club tier points in order to maintain my elite status (BA Gold / One World Emerald). My calculation shows that I will get 960 BA tier points from my two sets of tickets, which means, I am almost two-third of my way to retaining BA Gold. The other third, I guess, I will wait for a good sale from Qatar Airways.

RouteCabinClassTier PointsAvios Collected
Hanoi to Hong KongBusinessJ40676
Hong Kong to VancouverFirstA2409,555
Vancouver to Hong KongBusinessD1607,963
Hong Kong to HanoiBusinessD40676

A great start to 2019. Thank you, Cathay Pacific!


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