Everything you need to know about flights mistake fares.
Mistake fares are abnormally low fares that an airline or a travel agency charges for a flight ticket without intent. This happens without the intention of the airline. Hence the name mistake fares. This is a golden opportunity for you as a passenger. This is the chance for you to snatch that super cheap ticket and travel for less. These flights mistake fares don’t happen that often and thus whenever it comes it should not go un-utilized. You should make sure that you never miss any mistake fare by any chance.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
What causes mistake fares?
These mistake fares are not intended to happen. The airlines do whatever they can to prevent them. However due to some unavoidable circumstances discussed bellow they do happen.
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1. Human error.
This is the most common cause of mistake fares. This is due to mistakes made by human anywhere in the process of making the fares. The most common cause of this error is typing error during prices input. Imagine inputting the prices from USA to Europe as $1,500 only to make a mistake and input $150. This kind of flights mistake fares is the most common.
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2. Technological issues.
In current times, airlines fares are determined by some complex algorithms. These algorithms compute all the fares for all the routes and all destinations. The algorithms are capable of adjusting the fares accordingly to have the maximum ticket sales. In like manner maintain the highest profits for the airlines possible. It is amazing what these complex programs can do. But it is true what they say “nothing is perfect”. Even these algorithms with all their mighty capabilities can make mistakes. That’s how the flights mistake fares arise sometimes.
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3. Foreign currencies exchange rates.
As you know all the currencies of this world don’t have the same values. The value of a USA dollar is not the same as the value of a Chinese yen. Similarly the value of the currencies is not fixed. The value of almost all the currencies of this world keeps changing with time. These changes are caused by economic changes of that particular country. Due to these two main factors, there might originate flights mistake fares. A common case is when there is a sudden devaluation of a certain country’s currency with flight tickets already fixed. Such a situation occurred in 2012 when Myanmar’s currency de-valuated suddenly. This made flights from Myanmar to else where in the world super cheap. Like a flight fare from Myanmar to USA for only $250.
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4. Communication problems.
Communication is a very important part of any system to function well. A large organization to function well, there must be a good communication chain from top all the way to bottom. Unfortunately when a mistake or error occurs along the communication chain it can cause a lot of problems in the whole system. This sometimes happens with airlines when fixing flight fares and it results to the flights mistake fares. The airlines and the Online Travel Agents communicate through Global Distribution System (GDS). If an error occurs along this GDS it can create the mistake fares.
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5. Routes with specific fees.
Some particular routing might cause some flight fees like fuel fees to be excluded in the flight itinerary. This causes these routes to have significantly reduced fares because some of these fees constitute a large amount of the total flight fares.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
How common are flights mistake fares?
Before 2010 the flights mistake fares were quite common. In a month you could get even up to four mistake fares. However lately mistake fares have reduced to almost once in two months. The reason for the drop in mistake fares is due to the improvements in technology. Earlier days airlines and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) depended heavily on manual work that was prone to many errors. Similarly the technology back then wasn’t that good and errors were common. These days they have been able to eliminate most of those problems.
How long do mistake fares last?
Flights mistake fares don’t last long after they arise. There are so many people rushing for that small chance hence the tickets will be booked so fast. In addition, the airline or the OTA will be quick to correct such mistake fares. They are quick to correct the error because the longer it stays the more money they loose. This results to lots of losses. That cant be allowed in the business so as soon as it is detected it is corrected.
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How to find flights mistake fares.
One of the easiest ways to find flights mistake fares is by setting price alerts for specific routes. When the prices for the routes fall you receive a notification telling that the price has fallen. Some of the best flights booking websites to set price alerts with are matini flights, kayak and google flights. You can also subscribe for a paid premium service with Scott’s Cheap Flights Premium membership to get notifications for flights mistake fares.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”348″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]
How often do flights mistake fares get cancelled?
Like we have told you above, these flights mistake fares causes losses to the airlines and the OTAs. Therefore they might decide not to honor the mistake fare ticket and cancel it. Usually when they cancel the mistake tickets, it is done in advance to your flight. So that you can have the chance to book another different flight. This duration can be anything between 72 hours prior to the flight or more. Not all the circumstances do the tickets get cancelled. The probability of the ticket to be cancelled depends on how much loss the airline or the OTA is incurring. The more the loss the more likely they will cancel the mistake fare ticket.
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Are the airlines and OTAs supposed to honor the mistake fares?
Before 2015 there was a law by the federal department of transportation to honor the mistake fares. This meant that if by any chance the airlines or OTAs got mistake fares, they had to honor them. However that law was appealed and from then, the airlines are not required to by law to honor the flights mistake fares. This means that the airline can choose to cancel the tickets if they wish so. However this is not a good image of the airline or the OTA with the press so they prefer to honor them. The airlines don’t want to risk being seen as an airline that keeps canceling customers tickets. Such an image would make them loose a lot of customers.
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What to do when you find mistake fares.
The best thing to do is to book right away through the airline. You should book with the airline itself not the OTAs. The reason is that when you book flight tickets on the OTAs the otas then request that seat that you have booked to the airline. This process may take up to hour. By the time the airline confirms your ticket, the mistake fare might not be available anymore. Thus the OTA will have to cancel your booking and refund your money. Thus in booking through OTA you will have missed the mistake fare.
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Another reason why it is necessary not to book the mistake fare ticket through the OTAs is because some mistake fares are only available with the OTA. Only the online travel agency has the mistake while the actual airline doesn’t have the mistake. This might mean that the flights mistake fares will not be honored by the airline.
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More reason to book through the airlines is because of the federal law. The airlines are required to give the customer up to 24 hours since booking a grace period within which they can cancel the flight bookings freely. This advantage might not apply to the OTAs. Thus you might end up loosing money due to cancellation fees by the online booking agency. In most cases you might not be traveling to that place but you booked only because you saw the mistake fare. Thus it is important that you have the option to cancel the booking for free without any extra charges.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Precautions to take when booking mistake fares.
We advice you not to make any further travel reservations because the mistake fare tickets might get cancelled. If the tickets get cancelled and you booked so many other things at your destination then it might mean loosing money. Imagine getting a mistake fare to Las Vegas in 4 days to come. Then you go ahead and book luxury hotels in Las Vegas for your stay when you reach to Las Vegas. Then unexpectedly the airline cancels your ticket and you cant be able to get another flight to Las Vegas in time. You might end up loosing a lot of money on the process. So if you will make any reservations ahead of your travel when you have a mistake fare, it is wise to do it when you have a long time between flights mistake fares booking time and flight departure time. In this way you have enough time to cancel your reservations in case airline cancels tickets.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
If i have a mistake-fare-ticket, can airline choose to charge me the full amount?
The answer is NO. The airline cannot just decide to charge you the full amount if you booked the mistake fare. What they can do is cancel your ticket but they can’t charge you more. Its not your fault that there was flights mistake fares, you only seized a chance.
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What happens if the mistake fare is not honored?
The worst case scenario would be the airline cancelling your booking and refunding your money. This is usually the most common case. Also the airline can give you the option to pay the full amount and retain your ticket. However it is not a must for you to do this. You can always choose to cancel the booking and receive tour money back.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
What should you do if the mistake fare is not honored?
When the airline or the OTA decides not to honor the mistake fare, there is nothing much you can do. It would be very hard to convince them to change the situation. However you can complain with the customer care desk to try your luck. Maybe they might consider your special case. However in most cases what will happen is that they might awarded you travel points or give you a shopping voucher. Relying on flights mistake fares is all about your luck.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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