Disclosure: thoughts mentioned in this post are individual and do not call to be used as “every time manual” and cannot be applied in full for similar situations.
The reason for this post was a huge amount of error fares over the weekend and some “reactions” of people on it…
We have seen some frustrated and, sometimes, pretty rough comments towards our posts — some people just could not find, book or proceed to confirmation page.
So lets start form the whole beginning.
What is an error/mistake fare?
We have already shared post about it and reasons of causing error fares. Just to sum it up – it is either computer glitch of just human factor mistake, forgetting to add fuel surcharge to fare or just simple mis-number the fare with digits.
Is it safe to book error fare?
This question is always followed by any error-fare post: “What is the cancellation policy?“
Since we are US based website we can pull up info regarding US carriers or providers GUIDANCE ON THE 24-HOUR RESERVATION REQUIREMENT, which states:
The 24-hour reservation requirement is mandated by the Department of Transportation’s consumer rule “Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections” (14 CFR 259.5(b)(4), 76 Fed. Reg. 23110, 23166, Apr. 25, 2011) and applies to all reservations made seven days or more prior to the flight’s scheduled departure time.1 To comply with the regulation, carriers may not deceive consumers about the 24-hour reservation requirement when consumers inquire about cancelling or changing a reservation within 24 hours of making or paying for that reservation. This guidance also clarifies that the Department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office) considers the failure to notify such consumers of the 24-hour reservation requirement to be unfair and deceptive in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712. It also considers the failure to offer a passenger a full refund in the original form of payment in the event of a cancellation request covered by the 24-hour reservation requirement to be an unfair and deceptive practice.
If you are not sure about this or that provider – you can always search their website or call them and ask general questions about their policies.
So, booking an error fare is only up to your consideration!
Responsibilities of AirfareSpot
Every single our post contains disclosure info, which states:
We do not sell travel products or services. We just provide you with information (how/where) about flight deals or links to websites, where you can read more about it.
Information is valid at time of publication. Due to a high amount of posts – it is hard to track down all expired offers, so sometimes you may not find the price mentioned in the post. It means that the deal was sold out or supplier (airlines/agency) has changed the conditions or removed the offer. To avoid these frustrating situations, you can subscribe to our newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler.
We sincerelly sorry if some deals cannot be found. Fares (especially discounted ones) are sold-out very fast, so we cannot guarantee 100% availability for everyone as we have no control over it.
AirfareSpot is affiliated with main aggregators like Momondo, SkyScanner, Dohop or big agencies like Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz. But, once again, we do NOT have control over providers (actual websites, where you book actual tickets).
Is it legal?
Think of that this way – if fare is searchable on main aggregators, so it is public. Everyone can find it…
If it is public – so everyone can book it. No secret techniques are involved.
If we find these mistake/error fares – we can post and share it with you. Though, we can NOT check if actual ticket can be bought or “goes through” to confirmation page after actual typing in the credentials and credit card.
If the fare appears (on provider website) with credentials and credit card details page – most likely you can buy it, unless the demand is high and provider’s webpage may just technically fail and “freeze”.
Few tips acting during error fare:
- Be patient
- Wait until aggregator finishes with results
- Does not find – try researching and reloading page
- Does not find – try different aggregator (as a rule we mention where to search), still you can try.
- Does not find – try different browser
- Be flexible with dates – error-fares usually do not have vast availability
- Use credit card (it is preferable as they have higher protection + easier with refunds as that may happen)
How can I check if everything is ok?
When you buy every air ticket – you receive:
- Confirmation (from provider or carrier) of booking
- Actual issued tickets numbers (e-tickets)
- Charge on card
It can be 1 e-mail or (most likely) 2 separate e-mails.
So, if you bought a super cheap ticket and you “worry about it” and you got it at provider (aggregator or some online agency), you can simply search for booking number (usually it is a code) and check this number on actual carrier (airline) website. To double make sure – just find the actual issued ticket number as well if any were issued.
Check the card for pending charges. If tickets are cancelled you will be refunded. So consider this when you are booking an error fare or some very cheap ticket, that you might call airline/provider or even credit card issuer for some clarification on your charges, refunds etc. That is part of possible risk.
Also posts with possible error fare contain disclosures of possible error fare notice and recommendations postponing with booking any accommodations until tickets will be confirmed and issued! As airlines may cancel these super cheap tickets or may not.
Just to sum it up – booking super cheap (error/mistake) fare is only up to your consideration! It is like old saying: “Champagne for those, who risks…!” But it also involves some risks of tickets being cancelled (and/or further calls to airline/provider for refunds if they are not issued) and on the other hand you may benefit a lot if they will be honored!
Of course, majority of our posts and deals are discounted fares and promotions of airlines, which we dig out and spend lots of time on it. We do not post only error/mistake fares – these are merely 5% of our posts, as they occur pretty rare.
We may or may not post it, but always disclose the possible aftereffects.
Hope you enjoy our work! As we want everyone to travel most affordable way!
We are pretty young website, always open and ready for some constructive criticism and feedback of how we can improve your experience using our website.
If you have any questions – feel free to ask in comments below.
p.s. We DO understand the frustrations of not being able to find the desired low fare, but negative criticism and harsh comments towards our posts that they are just “made up or junk” forced us to reply in this post. Every single ticket/fare/open-jaw/error-fare post is followed by screenshot from either aggregator and/or provider/carrier. Though, we have no control over actual booking system/logics of these websites.
An error-fare is pretty much very unstable “process” in terms of booking, due to a huge demand/requests and load on booking engines.
You can always PM/DM us and we will gladly try to assist, find, help with what you are looking for! 😉 We are here for you!
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