This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

As it turns out, the $174 round-trip mistake fare from the US to Australia was, in fact, too good to be true. As reported by several TPG readers, Virgin Australia is emailing those who purchased tickets, informing them that it’s not proceeding with their booking.

The news comes more than one week after we published the spectacular deal alert on October 30. TPG readers indicated they received these emails on Wednesday — nine days after tickets were purchased.  Virgin Australia is saying that the $174 round-trip tickets were “due to human error,” and “there was a discrepancy with the fare price advertised.” As a result, the carrier isn’t honoring the tickets.

Airlines aren’t required by the Department of Transportation to honor mistake fares, as long as they offer specific protections to the consumer. So, given how big of a mistake this fare was, it’s not much of a surprise. However, the fact that Virgin Australia is informing customers that it’s not honoring the fares nine days after people booked their tickets seems a little off. Usually, airlines let customers know they’re not going to honor fares just a few days later, so nine days is a bit much — especially for those who made plans, which could be quite a few people since Virgin Australia is cancelling these tickets more than a week after consumers purchased them.

Keep in mind that the Department of Transportation requires that the airline “reimburse all consumers who purchased a mistaken fare ticket for any reasonable, actual, and verifiable out-of-pocket expenses that were made in reliance upon the ticket purchase, in addition to refunding the purchase price of the ticket.” The DOT considers these expenses to include, but are not limited to, non-refundable hotel reservations, destination tour packages or activities, cancellation fees for non-refundable connecting air travel and visa or other international travel fees. So, if you made plans that fall into this category, Virgin Australia is required to refund you.

Of course, there’s always the chance that Virgin Australia 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.

Featured image by Li Pang / Wikimedia Commons.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.