American made a mistake, but owned the mistake

American made a mistake, but owned the mistake

NOTE: An update to this story has been posted on AirlineReporter.

Some customers found an unexpected and pleasant surprise last week while buying tickets online from American Airlines.

An apparent error on the airline’s website caused all published fares to be a mere fraction of normal prices for any ticket purchased.  It is unknown how long the error had existed, but information about the mistake was posted early in the day last Thursday on Flyertalk, a popular website and online forum for the frequent flyer community.

Screenshot image showing extremely low prices for airfare from Sao Paulo to Hong Kong. Courtesy Flyertalk user flipside.

Screenshot image showing extremely low prices for airfare from Sao Paulo to Hong Kong – Image: flipside | Flyertalk

Flyertalk user flipside posted a screenshot image showing a round-trip business class ticket on American from Sao Paulo to Hong Kong that priced out to be R$1,255 Brazilian Reals (BRL), or approximately $350 US Dollars at today’s prevailing exchange rate.  The normal fare for that business class ticket is approximately US$3,350 (R$12,000); the same ticket in coach is about US$850 (R$3,060).  How could this sort of thing happen and, in cases like this, how would American respond?

My EVA Air Boeing 747-400 in Seattle, after I landed

My EVA Air 747-400 in Seattle, after I landed

Typically, flying on the upper deck of a Boeing 747 is an exclusive affair. When the jumbo jet was first introduced, the upper section was a lounge for premium passengers. More recently, most airlines put premium seats up top. This means that most don’t have the ability to experience the upper deck. Unless you have the means, a job willing to pay, the miles to upgrade, or some extra luck, you’re relegated to the main deck.

However, there have been a few airlines that have configured their 747s with economy on the upper deck. Today, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and EVA Air are the only ones to offer the option. With many airlines constantly upgrading their fleet, and the 747-400 thus being phased out, the ability to fly economy up top on the “Queen of the Skies” will soon be a thing of the past.

The upper deck of my Boeing 747-400

The upper deck of my Boeing 747-400

I recently had a flight home from Taipei (TPE) to Seattle (SEA) on EVA Air, and the airline kindly put me in business class (pretty much standard procedure when flying on press-related trips). At first, it didn’t fully make sense to them when I asked if I could give up my business class seat in the nose of the 747 for an economy seat on the upper deck. But that is exactly what I worked hard for; I was never as excited to fly in economy.

Thai Airways Airbus A380 - Photo: Aero Icarus

Thai Airways Airbus A380 – Photo: Aero Icarus | FlickrCC

Airline: Thai Airways International
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Departed: Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Arrived: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
Class: First Class
Seats: 1E & 1F
Length: About 6 hours

My wife and I recently embarked on a major bucket list trip to Thailand.  Since this was a rare sans-toddler trip, we decided to go all-out and burn pretty much all the miles and points we could get our hands on to fly some premium cabins.  We were fortunate enough to be able to scrape together just enough points (mostly thanks to being new homeowners) to fly to Bangkok in first class.  Our final leg of the inbound journey was on a Thai Airways A380 from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK).

Thai Airways' A380 First Class Cabin - Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter.com

Thai Airways’ A380 Royal First Class cabin – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter

We arrived at Tokyo Narita on ANA’s new Houston to Tokyo service in first class which, in and of itself, was an amazing experience.  Our layover at Narita was about three hours long, during which time we availed ourselves of ANA’s First Class suite lounge.

BONUS: Flight Review: ANA First Class Houston to Tokyo on a 777-300ER

Shortly after taking our seats in the lounge, a representative from Thai Airways found us, introduced herself, and asked if we needed anything.  We asked if she could look into the status of our checked bags, as we’d had a little bit of difficulty getting them checked all the way through to Bangkok.  She left with our passports, boarding passes, and bag claim tickets.  When she returned she had new boarding passes printed on Thai stock and she informed us that they had located our bags and they were all set to be loaded on the aircraft.  She also informed us that due to a late inbound aircraft, the flight would be about fifteen minutes late, and she would get us when it was time to board.  No problem, I needed a shower anyway. Is there any greater feeling than showering in the lounge between long-haul flights?

One of two Singapore Airlines' A380s in special livery - Photo: Sinagpore

One of two Singapore Airlines A380s in special livery – Photo: Singapore Airlines

NOTE: The contest has now ended. If you didn’t win, but still want of these sweet models — you can still buy one direct. Thanks for participating and wait for our next one!

Luckily for us, many airlines have come up with special liveries over the years creating an extra sense of wonder when you spot one out in the wild.

Recently, Singapore Airlines unveiled a livery to celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary (SQ50) and we wanted to do a little celebrating with them and you. The airline was nice enough to offer two (very nice) models of the Airbus A380, wearing this livery. Read on to learn more and to possibly win!

The 1:250 model up for grabs - Image: Singapore Airlines

The 1:200 model up for grabs – Image: Singapore Airlines

ABOUT THE SINGAPORE AIRLINES SQ50 AIRBUS A380 MODEL

According to the airline, this model is, “a limited edition replica of the Singapore Airlines SG50 livery aircraft. Made of hard ABS plastic with a perfect snap fit construction, this highly detailed superior graphics true-to-scale 1:200 A380 model comes with landing gears and a display stand.”

This model is legit and not small. It’s length is 14.3” and the 15.7 ” wingspan is impressive.

If you do not end up winning and still want to get one… you can. They are $128 (plus a 10% discount going on right now) on the Singapore Airlines Kris Shop.