Thousands of bargain hunters snapped up first-class United Airlines tickets on Wednesday, after a software glitch saw them sell for next to nothing.
United Airlines have since announced that they will not be honoring the bookings which it has blamed on a currency conversion error by a third-party software vendor. When something appears to be too good to be true it usually is, and the airline has left thousands of customers disappointed, writes Sarah Kaplan of The Washington Post.
United Airlines blames third-party provider
The mistake stemmed from the mispricing of flights from the U.K. to the U.S. sold via the United Airlines Danish booking page. Travel sites and business blogs quickly circulated news of the glitch, and people were advised that by switching their host country to Denmark they would be able to buy tickets that usually cost thousands of dollars for a few hundred Danish kroner, or less than $100.
A writer for travels tips blog The Points Guy managed to get one-way first-class tickets from London to Newark for $44, a trip which would usually set you back over $8,700.
United Airlines later released a statement on its Web site in which it blamed its software provider, which reportedly “applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares.”
All tickets now void
By late Wednesday afternoon the loophole was closed and all tickets purchased will now be voided.
For those of you looking for cheaper business class tickets from Europe to New York, it might be worth checking out La Compagnie. The French all-business-class start-up airline has been flying from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Newark since July 2014, and will soon start to fly on a new route from London Luton to Newark.
It is hoped that the competition will push down fares on legacy carriers to the benefit of all transatlantic travelers.