Air France Is Cancelling Most La Première Mistake Fare Tickets
On Tuesday, Air France published hard-to-pass-up fares from both Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) to London (LHR) in its ultra-luxe La Première first class — starting at $1,514 round-trip. While there was always the possibility that the carrier wouldn't honor the fare for those who jumped on it, it's starting to look more and more like those tickets will be — or already have been — cancelled.
Several TPG readers are reporting that their tickets are simply no longer showing up on Air France's site. One TPG staffer who purchased a ticket through Air France also reported that his reservation vanished on Tuesday night without any email or warning from the carrier.
However, some readers are reporting that their reservations are still showing up as active. More specifically, we've heard reports that those who booked their ticket through Delta rather than with Air France directly still have valid itineraries. Of course, there's the possibility that those tickets could — and probably will — be canceled.
We reached out to Air France for comment but have yet to hear back.
The US Department of Transportation ruled in 2015 that airlines aren't required to honor mistake fares, as long as the carrier offers specific protections to the consumer. Given how big of a mistake this fare was — round-trip tickets usually go for around $10,000 —and the frequency with which it was available, it's not that big of a surprise that the tickets aren't being honored. The carrier's La Première product is one of the most premium ways to travel at 35,000 feet — TPG reviewed the product on both its A380 and 777 aircraft.
According to the DOT, the airline must "reimburse all consumers who purchased a mistake 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." As with any mistake fare, it's suggested to not make any nonrefundable plans until your itinerary has been confirmed by the carrier.
Of course, there's always the chance that Air France 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.