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We let you know about the incredible deal on Sunday, but now, readers who booked the ticket are getting cancellation emails from the OTA from which they booked. Simply put, Air New Zealand isn’t honoring its mistake fare. As always, when you come across an incredible deal that’s likely a mistake fare, it’s never a good idea to book non-refundable plans (i.e. a hotel reservation you can’t cancel). While you may think that just because you entered your credit card information and got the confirmation screen, your trip isn’t official until you receive a confirmation email.
While Air New Zealand not honoring this business-class mistake fare is a huge bummer for those who thought they were able to take advantage, it’s completely legal for the carrier not to honor the tickets. In 2015, the Department of Transportation established a new policy that allows airlines to cancel mistake fares under certain circumstances and as long as they offer specific protections to the consumer.
The protections include that the airline must demonstrate that it was a mistake fare, as well as reimburse all customers who purchased the fare for any reasonable, actual and verifiable out-of-pocket expenses that were made in reliance upon the ticket purchase, as well as refunding the price of the ticket itself. If you made any purchases that were reliant upon the ticket, Air New Zealand is required by law to reimburse you for them. Contact the carrier before taking the issue to the DOT. There tends to be a lot of back-and-forth with these refunds, which is why it’s recommended not to make any non-refundable plans in the first place.
Or, of course, there’s always the chance that Air New Zealand could reverse its decision. In July, Qatar Airways published mistake fares in business class for $555 round-trip. In the aftermath, there was some confusion about whether the airline would honor the fares. But in the end, it canceled some but ended up reinstating others. There’s no guarantee how Air New Zealand will handle this situation, but if you’re unclear whether your ticket is canceled or not, check your reservation on the airline’s website to see if it’s still active.
H/T: One Mile at a Time
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