Did You Get An $85 First-Class European Ticket This Morning?

Every time I talk to someone who’s disappointed they missed out on “the most incredible mistake fare in the entire world ” I tell them there will be another one. Most folks don’t believe me. Until the next one comes along.

Like today.

I first saw it on View From The Wing. It appeared to be a pricing error, possibly due to currency conversions. The fares were pricing under $100 round-trip in Business Class and First Class from Europe to the US.

The availability on this was amazing. I saw confirmations of the pricing in every month of 2015 and for literally dozens of cities. This add one of the most widespread mistake fares I can remember, other than those $0 ones United served up last year.

The Flyertalk thread rapidly grew to dozens of pages as people feverishly discussed the deal.

The fares appear to be gone now and it’s still unclear if those who got tickets will see them honored. A few points to consider:

1. In discussion with a few folks, I was asked why it was so interesting when you had to originate in Europe (since all in the discussion lived in the US). This is why it’s good to keep a stash of miles. You could book an award ticket to Europe for, say, an outbound flight in April with a return in August. Then, book the mistake fare coming from Europe in April (after your award flight) and returning to Europe in August (before the return date of your award flight). Two trips for the price of one!

2. It’s important to remember that when mistake fares pop up, you should book first and ask questions later. They disappear quickly. And, as a general rule, those tickets booked to or from the US will have a 24-hour cancellation policy. That gives you some time after booking to think through your plan.

3. To keep track of deals like this, consider following @theflightdeal on Twitter. Also, subscribe to blogs that discuss these sorts of things (shameless plug for mine here).

4. In this case, the gate needed to be priced in Danish currency (Krone). In most cases I saw, that may have meant you were declaring you lived in Denmark. Admittedly, this is a gray area. I had one friend even go so far as to say this was theft, booking a ticket that might have been priced as high as $10,000 for under $100.

I don’t agree with that assertion, but I think the DOT would have more leeway to allow airlines to cancel the tickets. The issue I have with calling it theft is that it’s unclear to me what the damages are to the airline.

If they cancel your ticket prior to travel , then they haven’t been harmed unless they were sold out (or pricing higher) for a customer willing to spend $10K (or whatever the prevailing fare is) who ultimately didn’t book a flight because of it.

I’m certain there are arguments on the flip side, and I’m interested to see how this unfolds.

Did you book any of these tickets today?

What’s your opinion as to whether these should be honored or not? Do you consider it theft?

The post Did You Get A $85 First-Class European Ticket This Morning? was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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13 Comments

  1. What a crazy 3 days of deals! MIA-CUR for $95, an Expedia promo to take care of the hotel for that trip, and now this! I’m in for a few and still waiting for others to ticket (might not at this point). My SO always asks why I collect miles if these deals come around periodically, but now I get to prove that they’re useful for positioning!

  2. To know whether I would consider it theft or not, I’d need to know more about the details, and of course it doesn’t really matter what I consider it anyway. I think if, in order to book, you lie to say you live in Denmark when you don’t, you’re probably not on very firm footing to demand an airline honor the fare.

    1. Dave, definitely don’t have enough info. Some are reporting that they used their real address and billed in Krone. That could still mean they claimed Denmark as their home country.

  3. Booked LHR-FRA-LAX in First on the 747-8 to LAX. Give it about a 1 in 50 chance of being honored but doesn’t seem like any risk in trying. Shows ticketed on the United website. we will see

  4. Booked one in May from Heathrow to DC and got plenty of miles to get to London so lets hope United won’t cancel the flights

  5. Thought about it then decided against it. Had 2 tickets in UA GF which would normally price about $15k each, it didn’t seem quite right to be getting that for $160. Bit like waking off the lot with a free BMW, except when does that happen?

  6. I booked a very vanilla, all UA metal routing. I know in these situations, it’s best to keep it as simple as possible.

    It never explicitly asks you if you’re Danish. I agree the chances of me flying this is slim, but we can all hope. The thread is soo fun to watch, everyone has their own opinions. Very exciting.

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