It’s becoming laughable. $600 business class fares from Europe to Tokyo on the world’s best business class product? $299 New York to Paris on a full service carrier? These examples are a small pittance of the magic that’s happening throughout the airfare world and the only thing better than knowing of the stories is grabbing one of the deals…

a row of seats in an airplane

First, Never Call A Deal A Mistake Or Error Fare…

Ok, admittedly we already broke that rule here, but we’re not talking about any specific current deals. Airlines have the right to cancel deals they deem “too good to be true”, but it’s hard. To argue their case in court (when ticket purchasers inevitably sue for breach of contract) the airlines often will use online posts and social media that reference “error” or “mistake” to argue that we should’ve known better. So like flight club, there’s no such thing as fight club.

a deck overlooking a body of water

Second, You’ve Gotta Have Catlike Reflexes…

Hrmmm, should I book this later? Should I call my best friend, leave a voicemail and wait to hear if they want to go? No, and no. The very best deals don’t last days, they last hours, or even fractions of an hour. Firm up any details you need immediately, send up flares in the sky if you have to and get ready to book. In the U.S. you have a full 24 hours to cancel risk free, so long as you’re more than 7 days away from actual travel, elsewhere many are adopting these policies as well, so look first, decide fast and book while it’s hot. Even experienced people miss out.

a large airplane taking off

Third, Where To Look For These Gems?

Much like some sort of spy world, many of the best deals never make it into the open. Instead, they stay locked away in private forums and encoded messages. With that said, lots of deals do make it out there. We always highlight the very best (so check back here daily), SecretFlying is a great resource too. If you really want to get in on the ground floor though, you’ll need to develop some skills and monitor some cryptic forums. The most fruitful place to find these amazing mistake fares is Flyertalk. Start with the MileageRun forum and the Premium Fare forum.

a bedroom with a staircase and a bed

Fourth, Wait To Book Further Travel…

Think of it like a 24 hour (to 7 day) cooling off period. Some of these deals are so hot that you’ll want to let them cool off before touching. Basically, you want to see if the airline plans to honor them. In general, if they don’t, they’ll be in touch within 24-48 hours to say that the tickets were a mistake and they’ve cancelled your reservation. At this point you can fight it, but you’re still not going to get that deal. Because of this you’ll want to wait as prescribed before booking any non refundable travel plans like hotels or further flights.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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