The airline mistake fare madness continues:
- Two days ago (November 7) I wrote about how Virgin Australia emailed passengers who booked ~$900 roundtrip business class tickets from Auckland to Oakland on November 1 to inform them that the fare wouldn’t be honored
- One day ago (November 8) I wrote about how Virgin Australia emailed passengers who booked ~$172 roundtrip economy class tickets from Dallas to Melbourne on October 30 to inform them that the fare wouldn’t be honored
I think it’s pretty obvious that both of these were mistake fares, so my major issue isn’t with them not honoring the fare, but rather with the amount of time they took to contact passengers. It’s one thing to inform passengers within 24 hours that a mistake fare won’t be honored, but to wait over a week is completely unacceptable, in my opinion.
When it comes to fares like this, the lack of any sort of communication typically indicates that it’s being honored, so I think people were perfectly reasonable to assume after several days that the fare was likely to be honored.
What I found unusual on the business class mistake fare, though, is that the cheap fares were bookable through both Delta and Virgin Australia, though only Virgin Australia reached out to customers to inform them tickets were being canceled. On one hand, it’s odd for two partner airlines to take different approaches to honoring a mistake fare. On the other hand, Delta usually has a pretty good track record of honoring these types of fares.
Well, I’m now getting quite a few reader reports that Delta is sending out cancelation notices for those who booked business class tickets from Auckland to Oakland under this deal. Apparently Delta is both calling and emailing people, and giving them the option of being rebooked in economy or being refunded. Here’s what the email says that people are being sent:
Last week, you purchased a Business Class fare from New Zealand to [destination]. Unfortunately, due to human error the fare price advertised was incorrect and we’re unable to honor this ticket in its current form. We are very sorry for this inconvenience but would like to offer you some options so you can continue your booking with us.
If you still wish to travel, we will move your booking into Economy . If you decide you no longer wish to travel we’re happy to provide you with a full refund and we’ll cancel the booking.
Please call 1-800-455-2720 Option 4 so that we may address this as soon as possible. Please reference the above case number.
Again, we sincerely apologize for this mistake and we thank you for understanding.
I don’t have any skin in the game here (I didn’t book one of these fares), and I also realize they weren’t required to honor these fares. However, Delta waiting over a week to inform passengers that their tickets are being canceled is unacceptable.
Did you book one of these fares through Delta, and if so, has the airline reached out to you yet?