I’m always interested by how airlines spend their marketing dollars, especially as it pertains to engaging with social media.
So I was intrigued when I saw a sponsored Facebook ad from Cathay Pacific today, promoting a 35% off sale for first class.
I love Cathay Pacific first class, and have flown it many times, though always on miles.
That being said, we’re certainly seeing a trend whereby airlines are starting to discount even international first class. For example, a few weeks back you could book transatlantic British Airways first class for ~$2,100 roundtrip.
While we’ve long seen British Airways discounting business class, the huge first class discounts seem to be relatively new.
Emirates is similar, and in many markets publishes cheap first class fares.
So I figured maybe Cathay Pacific was trying a similar technique. So, how cheap are these discounted first class tickets which Cathay Pacific is advertising on Facebook? They start at just $18,780 roundtrip between the US and Asia — what a steal!
I realize there are a lot of wealthy leisure travelers, and I think there’s a market for $6,000-8,000 first class fares to Asia, or for advertising discounted business class fares. But for non-business travelers (presumably the target for a discount sale like this), I imagine the market for $18,000+ first class tickets is very, very small. For that tiny market, I suspect a vast majority of people don’t care about the 35% discount, when you’re still paying that much.
Not surprisingly, availability is quite good using this fare… wonder why. 😉