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Cathay Pacific clarifies winners of ticket giveaway campaign responsible for surcharges

Cathay Pacific clarifies winners of ticket giveaway campaign responsible for surcharges

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Cathay Pacific has clarified that winners of its recent ticket giveaway campaign will be responsible for any taxes and surcharges of the ticket, after winners told media that they have to pay nearly SG$200 for the "free" ticket.

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Cathay Pacific said that all flight tickets are sponsored by Hong Kong International Airport’s “World of Winners" ticket offers campaign. "It is stated in the Hong Kong International Airport’s campaign page that: 'Tickets sponsored by Airport Authority are economy class, and all related surcharges, fees and taxes would be borne by the winners of the tickets. Our campaign page also stated that 'Winners will be responsible for any taxes and surcharges applicable to the ticket'.”

This comes as reports have emerged around winners of the ticket giveaway campaign being required to pay nearly SG$200 to complete the registration for a "free" air ticket. A winner said that the winning ticket came in the form of a ticket redemption code in the email, with winners being asked to key in the code as a discount. When he was searching for flights from 1 to 8 June, the price of the ticket was listed as SG$474.50. After selecting the flights, he discovered that the discount did not apply to carrier surcharges, which costs SG$87.

Moreover, there was a category listed as other taxes, fees and charges, costing SG$107.5. After continuing proceeding, there was an additional SG$87 pertained to the surcharge for fuel. When clicking into the category of "Other Charges and Fees", an amount of taxes and passenger charges for both Singapore's and Hong Kong's airports were required.The reader said he eventually paid SG$280 less, meaning that this is in fact a big discount instead of a ticket giveaway.

Cathay Pacific recently launched a giveaway of 12,500 free flight tickets from Singapore to Hong Kong, as part of the HK$1bn global promotional campaign "Hello Hong Kong". Citizens could join the giveaway by first signing in as members of Cathay Pacific, they could then answer three questions. Prizes would be awarded to the first 12,500 entrants who answer the questions correctly.

Don't miss: Beyond 'Hello Hong Kong' campaign's mass ticket giveaway: What more can be done?

Back in February, Hong Kong government said it looks to give away 500,000 free air tickets and city-wide offers to overseas visitors and 80,000 to HongKongers as part of the "Hello Hong Kong" global promotional campaign. The majority of air tickets are provided by three local airline companies including Cathay Pacific, HK Express and HK Airlines. "The tickets will be distributed via lucky draws, games, 'buy-one-get-one-free' offers, some will be provided by tourism industry and government departments," said Airport Authority Hong Kong's CEO Fred Lam.

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