There’s no better feeling than snapping up a bargain, but this week some lucky and eagle-eyed travellers really hit the jackpot when an airline mistakenly sold them US-Asia business class tickets for a fraction of their original cost…
When it comes to air travel, we’ve seen it all at DMARGE… or so we thought. From Delta’s recent “right-wing conspiracy theory” to industry-insider secrets on how to get a whole row to yourself, we’re pretty well-versed in how to get the most out of your travel experience…
But earlier this week some eagle-eyed and bargain-hungry flyers really showed us how it’s done: When All Nippon Airways (ANA) unknowingly made a currency conversion blunder, the Japenese airline offered up business class tickets for a fraction of their regular cost.
Not wanting to miss out on a killer deal, fast-moving travellers were able to swoop in and grab the tickets before ANA was able to fix the error, with some bagging $10,000 USD ($14,800 AUD) business class tickets for a mere $300 USD ($450 AUD).
WATCH: You may have missed the bargains, but here’s an insider take on the first-class experience.
According to Bloomberg, one lucky flyer paid just $890 USD for first-class flights from Jakarta to the Caribbean via Tokyo and New York… and back again, a journey that covers a colossal 9,000 miles and would normally ANA travellers around twenty times as much for the same seat.
Other quick-clicking customers scored business-class tickets for only a few hundred dollars – between $300 and $550 USD, to be exact – that normally cost anywhere between $8,300 and $10,400 USD.
Unsurprisingly, news of the pricing error spread like wildfire across social media, though it’s ultimately unclear how many people managed to take advantage of the short-lived deal.
One customer and industry insider, Johnny Wong, claims to have booked a return ticket in business class from Jakarta to Honolulu for 13 million dong, equivalent to a paltry $550 USD. The normal cost of that flight? $8,200 USD…
“I never thought I’d catch such a deal.”Johnny Wong
How did this come about? We don’t know exactly, but it appears to be a technical glitch. ANA has said they’re “investigating the cause of the bug and the size of its damage”, while an ANA spokesperson said they would honour bookings made.
However, they later changed their tune, saying an official decision was yet to be made… The airline is expected to make a decision by the end of this month, but any tickets purchased for dates before that period ends will definitely be honoured.
Surprisingly, ANA isn’t the first airline to sell top-tier tickets for bargain bucket prices. In 2019, Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific accidentally sold first and business-class tickets from Vietnam to the US for as little as $675 USD, which usually costs as much as $16,000 USD. The airline went on to honour those tickets.
For the sake of Johnny Wong and other eagle-eyed travellers, I hope the airline does the decent thing and honours all tickets sold during the technical error. Until we find out for sure, you’ll find me crawling SkyScanner, waiting for the next airline that takes its eye off the ball…