How to find mistake airfares and cash in on cheap flight deals

Travelers grab $10,000 business class flights between Asia and the US for just $300 after the airline made a currency exchange blunder β€” here’s how to cash in on similar blunders

A Japanese airline accidentally sold dozens of business class flights between Asia and the US for a fraction of the price because of an exchange rate blunder β€” including a $10,000 ticket for just $300.

Travelers this week rushed to the All Nippon Airways (ANA) website to grab the bargain fares, with one passenger paying just $890 for first-class flights from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta to the Caribbean via Tokyo and New York and back.

The 9,000-mile trip in first class would normally cost customers $16,300.

In another example, customers booked a round-trip ticket from Jakarta to Tokyo via New York for $350 β€” a fraction of the original price tag of $10,400.

And tickets for a flight that started in Jakarta and included stops in Singapore, Tokyo and New York were offered for $300 when they should have been $10,000.

All Nippon Airways accidentally sold dozens of $10,000 Asia-US flights for just $300 due to exchange rate blunder

An ANA spokesperson originally told Bloomberg it would uphold the bookings, though he later backtracked and said no official decision had been made yet.

It added that a ruling would be made by the end of the month – meaning the discounted tickets will be valid for people flying before then.

The airline did not specify how many people had managed to get hold of the cheap tickets while the outage was live.

The bug stemmed from an error on the company’s Vietnam website, but was quickly picked up by travel sites and forums such as Secret Flying, which encouraged customers to take advantage of the deal.

The majority of the tickets were for travel from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta to Japan, with many stops in New York, Singapore, Bali and Tokyo.

Most of the fighting was for the airline's business class seats, as depicted on their website

Most of the fighting was for the airline’s business class seats, as depicted on their website

1681932217 85 How to find mistake airfares and cash in on cheap

Almost all of them were for business class seats β€” though the $890 deal was a first-class trip.

This ticket was purchased by Herman Yip, who runs a travel website.

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Johnny Wong said he could secure a return ticket from Jakarta to Honolulu via Tokyo.

He told Bloomberg, “I never thought I’d get a deal like this.”

Airlines – and other retailers – often mistakenly discount their website due to outages.

The problem is so common that there are special travel websites and forums to catch them and spread the word.

In 2019, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd mistakenly sold first and business class tickets from Vietnam to the US for $675, down from the target price of $16,000.

How YOU can make the most of casual airline discounts

Sign up for travel blogs and websites

Dozens of travel sites, blogs and forums are devoted to highlighting the cheapest deals available and when pricing issues arise.

Many of these sites offer email alerts that alert you when a discounted offer is live.

It also helps to follow these sites on social media so that bargains appear on your news feed.

Examples of useful websites are: Going com, secretfly.com, airfarewatchdog.com And Kiwi. com.

Travelers also share deals they’ve found on a discussion forum called Mileage Run Discussion flyer talk. com.

Perform your own searches

Price comparison platforms such as Skyscanner help consumers search for the cheapest flights available.

But if you choose to view tickets for the “whole month” around your desired departure date, you can spot abnormal prices.

Book directly

If you find a discounted flight, make sure to book it right away.

Most airlines have a free refund policy if you cancel within 24 hours – although it’s important to check before you click.

And as regular bargain hunters warn, never contact the airline to double-check the price or you risk letting them know about the outage before you can close the deal.