When Forgetfulness Saves You Money On Flights…

Filed Under: American, Great Deals

You know that feeling you get when that highly coveted award seat you’ve been waiting for finally becomes available? Or when there’s availability to redeem points at a “dream” hotel over the holidays? Usually you get that elated feeling from doing lots of research and/or monitoring availability closely.

Apparently sometimes forgetfulness pays off as well, and this was just such an extreme example that I couldn’t help but share.

I need to fly from Los Angeles to Dallas soon, and when I looked a few days ago, the fare was $212 per person ($424.20 total for two people). I placed it on hold, and was planning on booking it the next day. While I wasn’t thrilled with the fare, ultimately I was willing to book it, since we had to be on that flight from a scheduling standpoint.


Unfortunately that flight slipped my mind the following day. Grrrr. With my luck, I was imagining that the fare had doubled, or something.

Only that wasn’t the case. Instead, the fare fell by over 70%, from $212.10 per person to $58.10 per person.


At that price I ticketed the reservation right away, rather than even placing it on hold, out of fear of making the same mistake again.

I know this might sound minor to some, but I think as humans we have the tendency to be critical of ourselves. I can remember all kinds of instances where I made mistakes when booking travel and it didn’t benefit me. It’s nice to remember that sometimes forgetfulness/not planning as carefully as we should can work out in our favor as well.


Have you ever saved money on travel as a result of forgetting to book something?

  1. What day did you original hold it and what day did you find the lower fare? I find that mid-week fares are usually the lowest

  2. Looks like the tickets were booked in “O” class. Does “O” class refer to Main Cabin Extra (based on the seat numbers)?

  3. Ben, have you ever requested a refund for the price difference when the price has fallen? What’s the procedure on that nowadays?

  4. @ Louis — Many airlines used to offer a voucher for the difference, but most don’t anymore. I know American doesn’t. So unless you want to pay the change fee (which would be more than the fare difference in this case), there’s not really a way to do that.

  5. Any insight on why the fare would go down that much? Is this something that happens often or was it a mistake, or something else? Thanks!

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