An American Airlines 737-800 parked at John Wayne Airport (SNA) with another preparing for departure – Photo: John Nguyen | AirlineReporter
A few days ago, I reported that American Airlines had seemingly opted to honor mistake fares purchased, after a currency conversion error resulted in pricing at a fraction of the actual cost. Unfortunately for some passengers, the airline has reversed their position and voided certain bookings it determined to be improper.
American previously issued a statement that it would, “honor mispriced fares that were booked last week in select international markets.” The airline also added, “We hope customers enjoy their experience with American and book with us again in the future.’
However, many customers logged into their accounts to find that their reservations were still canceled, even after their credit cards were charged and ticket numbers were issued. How did this happen? Did American backtrack?
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 – 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?