1.50 – Can error fares be dangerous?

I’d certainly heard of error fares before, but had never taken the time to investigate them in any detail. But now that I’ve had a chance to do some research, speak to those that have exploited them, and look at the opportunities they present, it is clear to me that error fares are the BEST thing to ever happen to flying.

FYI- in case you don’t know what error fares are, they are tickets (in this case, flights) that are published online at an incorrect rate. For example, a flight from the USA to Europe may typically cost £500, but an error fare may be something absurd like return flights for £200! So they generally disappear pretty quickly due to selling out, or the airline/agent realising the mistake.

However despite how great error fares are, I have also learnt that you need to be a little careful with these irresistibly cheap tickets for three reasons-

  1. It’s not unheard of that a dodgy website falsely advertises error fares in order to quickly grab your hard earned cash. Whilst I couldn’t find an example of this within five minutes of searching, my uncle was very nearly scammed out of £280 by this method. So check website authenticity with TrustPilot, Company House, etc… if you are unsure. It’s too easy to get caught up in the excitement!

  2. Companies sometimes pretend to list error fares in order to grab attention and drive traffic to their site, when in fact the flight is intentionally heavily discounted. 99% of the time, these are fine to buy, but just keep your eyes peeled for hidden costs (e.g. luggage not included where it typically would be). Those sneaky, sneaky marketing tactics…

  3. Human error- “Oh my god, this is amazing!! My perfect flight is half price as an error fare! I must quickly book it before it disappears!” Caught up in all the excitement, you only realise when you receive the payment confirmation that you booked the flight a month early. Oops. Slow down, flights are not cheap. Make sure you have the date/number of tickets/destination correct.

Let me know if you have any interesting experiences with error fares!

Dan

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