Delta Will Honor Mistake Fares

by on December 28, 2013 · 16 comments

in Delta

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On Thursday, the frequent flyer community was abuzz with word that Delta’s website was generating extremely low mistake fares that included such gems as $47 for a roundtrip between JFK and LAX, and $98 from the east coast to Hawaii. The glitch was up for about two hours, and there was a veritable feeding frenzy on FlyerTalk before Delta discovered the error and corrected it.

While a lot of people were able to purchase these fares, the question, as always in cases like this, was: would Delta honor the mistake fares after pricing had been corrected?

Delta 757-200

People reported snagging coast-to-coast tickets for as low as $27!

Well, it seems like Delta is following the lead United set back in September when its website only charged customers the September 11 fee on many flights for a period of about 15 minutes, and will honor these fares.

Shortly after the error was corrected, Delta released a statement saying, “For a portion of the morning today, some prices on and other booking channels were incorrectly displayed, resulting in lower than usual fares for customers. The situation has been resolved, and the correct prices are being displayed. Delta will honor any fares purchased at the incorrect price.”

Pretty cut and dried, and I applaud the airline for responding quickly and, as I see it, fairly to honor the purchased tickets. Although Delta’s contract of carriage reserves the right to cancel tickets booked at erroneous prices and refund the passenger or reissue them at the correct fare, the DOT requires an airline to honor a purchased airfare, whether it was a mistake fare or not, so it seems like Delta might not have had much choice in this instance since these were actually airfares and not just fees or taxes on tickets.

I am glad to see an increasingly rare customer-friendly move on the part of US airlines, what with award devaluations, elite status changes, and other detrimental changes to frequent flyer programs, and I hope Delta takes note of the goodwill generated and considers future moves in this light.

Congratulations to all who managed to snag one of these fares – once you fly, tell us about your experience and where you travel.

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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  • Kit

    I was searching for tickets earlier that morning….sorry I missed out, again. Did you check Delta’s FB page? Several people are posting that their glitch tickets are not being honored.

  • Magee1982

    I am flying today from Chicago to Tampa and returning on Jan 1st. $124. I saw some fares on Kayak as low as $23 r/t Chicago to ATL and $78 roundtrip in first class to Hawaii. I purchased 4 additional tickets for trips to New Orleans, Miami and New York all for under $200 total. The tix came with free premium seat upgrades. When I was online the first class tix were corrected but the coach ones where still at the glitch so I took advantage!

  • Scott M

    Thanks for the breaking news. Where’s the credit card referral link?

  • Joel

    If you have such a problem with the way the website is run why do you visit it?

  • James L JFK

    via npr: The Price Is Wrong And You Know It: Do You Buy That Ticket?

  • Appreciate_TPG

    The fact that there isn’t a credit card referral link makes your sarcastic comment just plain idiotic. As Joel said, don’t visit if you don’t like it.

  • Matt C.

    I don’t fly until early March, but I snagged SEA-JFK-SEA for $85. Coach on the outbound, but Biz Elite on the return. I’m curious to see the high-end transcon product since I’ve never flown that route.

  • Adam Koehler

    I wanted to go to the Belk Bowl and actually got a ticket next-day to Charlotte for $23 plus taxes. The news came and interviewed me about it. Thanks to Delta for honoring my purchase.

  • Mike

    I find it kind of weird that I found out about this deal through DansDeals, which is not even a travel website, and none of the blogs including yours even mentioned it. Isn’t that something you guys should have posted the minute it was happening?

  • Brian C. Lee

    You do realize that these mistake fares were only available for a few hours, right? Or do you expect TPG (and others) to be posting non-stop 24 hours a day?

  • theblakefish

    They had to honor the fare but it makes me feel good to see it discussed again and again… I got quite a few including 5 r/ t’s to HNL!


    Those people need to call back. It seems Delta is now also reinstating those who JUST had a PNR and no ticket number.

  • Pat

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has seen TPG “sell out” I mean just go back to some of his earlier posts when it was more about sharing tips, tricks, and experiences instead of pushing a new credit card. I used to look forward to his daily posts because the content was there, and you could tell he put in the thought and effort into each post, unfortunately that’s not the case anymore. Granted all the travel bloggers push credit cards, it’s just the name of the game, but take a cursory look at some of the other big name bloggers e.g. Ben, Gary, Seth, Summer, and you can see that TPG’s site is bush league compared to theirs.

  • aaron

    No we don’t expect anybody to be posting 24 hrs a day, but the question is: did Brian get in on it? I’m willing to bet he and all the bloggers somehow, someway, found out about it in time to make their own reservations. Us, well there never seems to be time. All we do is make them fortunes.

  • aaron

    If you earned 100,000 miles with said airline, and that buys you a biz ticket to Europe, tomorrow they “devalue” and now you need 150,000 for that ticket, is that wrong?

  • Parker

    That happened to me the day before I was eligible to buy the award tickets for my honeymoon (11 months out)…. That was fun.

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