(TheBlaze/AP) — United Airlines accidentally gave away tickets for practically nothing Thursday — and the airliner says it will honor those prices.
Customers grabbed up tickets for as low as $5 and $10 before the mistake was caught and the company’s website and phone centers were shut down.
United even listed some tickets as low as $0 and customers had only to pay generic airline fees.
Airlines have posted so-called “mistake fares” before. Airlines generally decide on a case-by-case basis whether they’ll honor the ticket.
Megan McCarthy, a United Continental Holdings Inc. spokeswoman, said the mistake was due to “an error in filing the fares.”
It wasn’t a website issue, she added, noting the company isn’t exactly sure how many tickets were sold at rock bottom prices.
“It was $5 round-trip, no fees, nothing,” said excited Houston resident Maura Leahy, who managed to book a trip to visit her parents in Washington. “This is nuts.”
Leahy said one co-worker got a cheap flight to San Francisco while another got one to the nation’s capital for later this year.
“On one day in 2008, United accidentally dropped a fuel surcharge that ran as high as $130. It honored the tickets sold without the surcharge,” CBS DC reminds us. “Today, Social media such as Twitter ensures that word of mistake fares spreads even faster than before.”
As for now, United is keeping mum about how much the accident will cost them.
“The wrong fares were available on its website for a few hours on Thursday. It eventually shut down bookings on its website until it could fix the problem,” the CBS report notes.
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