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Fair enough, in a post titled “stop calling them mistake fares” online, I probably shouldn’t start off by addressing the term mistake/error fares. For those less inundated in the points and miles game, error fares are generally the result of someone in an airline lab coat missing a digit when filing air fares while having their morning coffee. The result: dirt cheap tickets across all cabins. If you want them to stick around, it’s better to call them “really good deals”…. 

There have been many recent cases where consumers took airlines to court over canceling their “good deal” tickets. Most notably, American Airlines “accidentally” offered $450 round trip business class tickets to Asia and British Airways offering $600 first class. Unlike the recent $450 business deal to Europe, which became $450 after clever discounts, these fares were filed straight up at their respective prices. One could argue that no airline would ever go that low. In the case of American, for those that bought the fare immediately, American honored it out of good will. For those that put it on hold, their tickets were cancelled out.  British Airways simply cancelled all tickets. The reason both airlines cited for being within their rights? Social media posts proclaiming that the fares were “errors” or “mistakes” rather than just great deals… 

So yes, social media is ruining our little hobby. If you would like to be my friend, or a friend to people who need to get somewhere and deserve a good deal, next time you see a great deal, call it as such, and don’t announce it as a mistake, don’t tell everyone to keep it hush and do share it. We all love a good deal. 

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