BREAKING NEWS: Alitalia Now Honoring Japanese Promo Code For Most

by on October 24, 2012 · 17 comments

in Alitalia, Amazing Deal Alerts, Mileage Runs

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There was a lot of excitement this past Saturday with Alitalia’s Japanese promo code that took $315 off any Alitalia flight. However, the next day they unilaterally cancelled all tickets much to the dismay of dealseekers (myself included). The legality of this decision is still debatable as it was complex being that they are an Italian company, it was a Japanese website and a lot of people who purchased tickets were in different countries, many in the US.

Personally, I booked one intra-European flight that came out to $0, mostly to test out the parameters of the promotion. When things went south we wrote about the different ways that consumers can and should express their feedback.

Yesterday I spoke to a couple media outlets like USA Today and ABC News, which clearly started to up the stakes for Alitalia and brought them under increased media scrutiny. When talking to the media, my take was pro-consumer as I think this was a legitimate marketing promotion launched by Alitalia, unlike the 4 mile Hong Kong mistake fare which was clearly a computer glitch, and I thought that Alitalia should honor the fare promotion.

This afternoon Alitalia announced that they would indeed be honoring the promotion for those who paid 1 euro cent or more. Here is the full text from their Facebook page:

“Dear Alitalia fans,

Thank you for the interest you took in our Facebook Global Offer. Alitalia was the first airline to create a global event of this kind for the Internet community: the most wide-ranging Alitalia promotion ever.

We offered a worldwide 25% discount, with the exception of Japan, where for technical reasons we were forced to create a unique E-Coupon worth 25.000 yen (approximately 250 euro) to be used exclusively for the purchase of flights from Tokyo or Osaka. This redemption rules were clearly stated in the Japanese version of the Facebook offer. 

Unfortunately, due to a malfunction, the system did not recognize the limitation of this unique e-coupon to be used only on routes from Japan. As a result, the system erroneously allowed the voucher discount of 25,000 yen to be used on all routes in Alitalia’s global network. 

The news spread rapidly online and in a matter of a few hours our Japanese website reported a dramatic surge in visits and purchase requests from several geographical areas.

This unusual occurrence on the Japanese website triggered a security system alert which, considering the high percentage of number of requests at zero cost, froze all transactions. The promotion’s objective was to spur and increase the sale of tickets at a discounted price, and not to issue tickets for free or at a minimal cost.

However, since Alitalia intends to protect clients who have committed a, albeit minimal, amount with their credit card, we confirm the validity of the transactions requested on the Japanese site with a value greater than 1 euro cent. Those clients will soon receive an e-mail with their ticket.

Finally, in consideration of the great success of the promotion, we decided to extend the 25% discount offer for two additional days. 

Alitalia Facebook Team”

In the end, this was an amazing deal and you had to jump in on it quickly. The old saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” isn’t always true! Congratulations to those who got in on this and I applaud Alitalia for making a consumer valued decision.  Even though my ticket won’t be honored, it’s all about looking forward to the next deal!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Ryan K

    To me it makes no sense that they are only reinstating the tickets of people who paid 1+cent. Everyone used the same promo code so why should the more expensive tickets be valid and less expensive ones not? Whats the difference between 0 cents and 1 cent? I’m sure the people with free tickets would gladly fork over 1 cent for the ticket.

  • Mileage Update


  • Mileage Update

    Seems like they are making the rationale that if you actually came out of pocket then its a valid ticket. To be honest any type of compensation instead of telling us to get lost seems like a fair offer on their part. Many businesses have done worse for less.

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  • Bemi

    The Points Guy…. what is your real job apart from blogging?

  • thepointsguy

    Blogging is my full time job!

  • thepointsguy

    I agree… I wish they would have honored all tickets, but I don’t think their “compromise” is unfair

  • PointsGuyMotherFucker

    he is a jobless piece of shit!

  • Cure

    Where can I enter the PNR of my flights to check their validity? Not that I don’t trust Alitalia, but …

  • Bemi_apparel

    If Blogging is your full time job, why can you travel to so many places? I bet blogging can’t earn too much money? Then, how do you earn so many points? Once you signed up all the cards and get the welcome offer, it’s done. No more offers~ (Guy from Hong Kong :-)

  • BobChi

    Legally there is undoubtedly a difference. I’m no lawyer but I’ll bet they have some who told them that canceling the free tickets would be no problem, but that they could get into a mess with tickets that involved payment, a mess they decided to sidestep.

  • Magda-42
  • Mileage Update

    I wonder if the “dont do it crowd” was generally concerned or others welfare or didnt want everyone in on it. Seemed like a pretty straight forward deal that probably has meant for a few but ran away on the internet.

  • Kristy

    I think you’re right BobChi. If I remember from my Business Law classes, a contract is only valid if parties have consideration…meaning something of value must be exchanged by both parties. If you got your ticket for free, you don’t have any consideration, therefore your contract is void. If you even exchange one cent, you have consideration, therefore, your contract can be legally binding. It won’t be binding in all cases, but I think Alitalia knew they could cancel the tickets that didn’t meet contractual obligations and be free and clear of all legal ramifications.

    For a contract to be valid…
    All parties must have capacity to enter the contract.
    An offer must be made.
    Consideration must be exchanged.
    The parties must be in mutual agreement.
    The contract’s object and purpose must be legal.
    The form of the contract must meet the legal requirements.

  • ImmiLawyer

    Dude, this is Brian’s REAL job. He gets a piece of credit card referrals via his various sites. And those referral amounts can be pretty lucrative (that’s why there has been an explosion of travel bloggers these last few years).

  • boriscolumbus

    Just got my flight confirmations for JFK-Madrid via Rome. Final fare $285 in February!

  • wakeupcall

    Let’s see: the old adage states ‘…probably true’ Thus, what you write about the validity of this wisdom not always being true is redundant. Reread the statement and understand that possibility is already accounted before posting gratutitous revisionary remarks on reputable advice.

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