What Is An Error Fare? The Need To Know Guide!

A deal from , 7. Oct. 2015 3:46 pm

What Is An Error Fare?

An error fare aka mistake fares in loose translation is exactly what you think it is, it is a pricing error which has occurred when issuing the ticket this is often referred to as a glitch in other sectors. The airline industry is not only one of the busiest but it is also one of the most complex computing systems around, there are many complex algorithms and structures working simultaneously which can sometimes cause conflicts or errors/mistakes.

You may be surprised to learn that the majority of errors boil down to human error. A simple typing error by missing a zero on a business class click can cause it to shave of hundreds if not thousands of pounds in seconds. This is just the basics of fare construction and to fully understand how and why an error may have occurred you need to dissect the fare and understand all of its components.


When looking at a ticket the final price that you pay is a total price for the ticket you have purchased, you will rarely take a look at the the breakdown of the ticket and it's associated fees and taxes. However, to understand where the error might occur you need to take a in depth look at the fare breakdown to establish where the error has occurred.

So moving back to what is an error fare, it is a pricing error or glitch which could have occurred either down to human error or some sort of computing malfunction. As soon as the airline has loaded this pricing error it will directly show up on the Online Ticketing Agents (OTA's) website within minutes, this is a known as an airline based error fare. This should not be confused with OTA based errors which have occurred on a specific agent's site as these are pricing errors which are specific to one travel agent or group, this type of error is very similar to a pricing error in any high street shop.

The real question is do you dare to book an error fare in the hope that you might be the lucky winner and jet off into the sunset for a fraction of the cost, because its a gamble and if you roll the dice you might just strike lucky.

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15 Rules About Error Fares!

  1. Do Not call the airline under any circumstances to book or otherwise
  2. Do Not book if you do not want to go
  3. Always book with a credit card (when possible even with credit card fees)
  4. Be patient do not book anything else immediately (Hotels, Car Hire, Positioning Flights, Visas etc)
  5. Keep checking the thread to see what others are reporting
  6. Do Not resort to abusing airline staff on social media
  7. Monitor you ticket on check my trip
  8. Remember error fares are human error and not a right
  9. Ask site staff or members about question you have under the specific thread
  10. Error fares require staff to update information constantly, so we might not be able to assist you with specific requests
  11. Do Not only rely on the samples outlined in the thread often other dates will work
  12. If you have found more dates, routes or samples share with the community
  13. Do Not post your error fare ticket on social media (especially personal information i.e. ticket number)
  14. If you find an error inform us either via the Contact Us Form, Facebook or Twitter
  15. Remember error fares are not a right, they are extremely lucky

Whats The Catch?

Booking error fares is a matter of speed, flexibility and desire to explore destinations you might not have considered before. As flights are often originating outside of the UK you will have the perfect opportunity to book positioning flights to a host of European locations such as, Austria, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland + many more.

Error fares are not predicable and this means you have to continually follow us and our associated blogs, we nor anyone in the travel industry know when an error fare will occur, it could be a case of it popping up in the middle of the night and lasting for a few minutes to being active for weeks on end. DO NOT expect error fares to work from all local airports, desired destinations or specific date requirements. To truly enjoy the rewards and benefits of error fares you have to be a continual follower and enjoy holidaying with a twist, there is no guarantees on where the next location will be and this means you will often have to keep an open mind.

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Important Factors To Consider!

The nature of an error fare is such that you do not want to be shouting off the roof tops highlighting that you booked an error fare, the key its to keep calm and cool. You need be patient, and hold on tight as error fares can be a bumpy ride if you start jumping the gun so to speak, they can take a while to establish if they will be honoured, thus being cautious is the best way forward.


Yes airlines are not stupid, they are fully aware when 5000 people are booking the same fare from Stockholm to New York when the average sales per given day is only 15 people. However, by calling them you will kill any hope of you actually even getting to book this fare coupled with the fact its not going to help the situation in any form. The key is to strike the online ticketing agents and book your tickets as quick as possible as you still won't be sure if they will honour them after you have purchased them.

Remember, error fares are such that even if they do get honoured, you will not get an opportunity to reissue the ticket for another date, so make sure you are free to go on the desired dates you have purchased, airlines are not going to let you change your dates once tickets have been issued even if they have a 48 hour exchange policy so ensure all your details are correct and purchase only if you intend on going!

    Frequently Asked Questions!

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    • Do error fares occur in business and first class?

    Error fares occur in all cabin classes, including Economy, Premium Economy, Business Class & First Class. The probability of errors in Economy are significantly greater as the bulk of fares are in this class supported by the fact they are the most honoured as the financial loss is the lowest. However, here at HolidayPirates we share error fares in all cabin classes, you should just note, if its a higher grade fare availability is extremely limited.

    • What is the probability of the error fare being honoured?

    The probability of tickets being honoured is not a precise science, this all boils down to the financial loss to the airline, if the error fare is in Economy Class there is a significantly greater chance the error will be honour compared to that of one in Business or First Class. This does not mean they will not honour them however, it will all be based on the selling price vs number of tickets issued, along with region and period of sale. Airlines often do not mind having an error fare issued as sometimes they will not suffer a huge loss and they might take the view this can be an act of good will to their customers.

    Larger ticketing agents are less likely to cancel your tickets of their own will, companies such as Expedia, Ebookers and Last Minute issue tickets very quickly and do not cancel them unless they have been instructed to do so by the airline. We always recommend you stick to these ticketing agents when booking error fares. For the sake of a few pounds you might just miss out on the tickets you intended on purchasing, sometimes you will get a chance to rebook them but you never know how long the cancellation email will take to come which often means you will not have the chance to issue the same ticket stock.

    • Why do I need to book with a credit card?

    We highly recommend booking with a credit card because it increases the probability of your ticket transaction going through quicker, and it also helps you when getting your money back if the error fare is not honoured. The legal protection provided by credit cards is significantly higher then that of debit cards so it is always best to book with them. If you have an Amex Card this will be the primary card of choice in our experience they tend to have the best customer service when it comes to any sort of mistakes, errors and refunds.

    • How can I book the error fare posted?

    We general link to our flights comparison tool, which will cross compare the cheapest vendors ticketing the fare, the cheapest does not always mean the best agent for error fares. Sometimes the smaller ticketing agents who offer the lower priced error fares will not honour the error tickets, so we highly recommend booking with the more established auto ticketing agents such Expedia, Ebookers & Last Minute.

    • Why do you send me from the UK & Ireland site to your European sites?

    The main reason we redirect you to our regional sites is sometimes they will have vendors issuing tickets which will not always be available in the UK & Ireland. This is because sometimes pricing units are exclusive to certain currencies or regions, here at HolidayPirates we are always in communication with our wider network of sites to deliver you a comprehensive array of fares, dates and samples. As this is the case we can always link you into their regional comparison tools which will display you the given fare, you may need to translate the page to be able to make sense of the page, this can be done simply by using Google Translate or the Google Chrome Browser.

    • How do I translate foreign pages?

    When visiting our sister sites in Austria, Germany, Poland, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland you can use Google Translate the text on the respective page however, a fare more effective way is to download the Google Chrome Browser to your respective device as it can translate the entire webpage with a click of a button.

    Tip: You should check our guide 'Best Credit Cards: How To Spend Money Abroad Without The Crazy Charges!' it is perfect for identifying which credit cards to get to avoid foreign currency charges.

    • What happens if my error fare is cancelled?

    Errors are such that they can be cancelled. They are usually cancelled within 72 hours if they are going to be however, the rules and conditions are ever changing. If your ticket is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund of all charges paid including any credit card fees (excluding any currency fluctuations), regardless whether you are booking with a debit or credit card. The main reason we recommend you book your fares with a credit card is so that you will receive you money back quicker in the event your ticket is cancelled supported by the additional protection credit card companies provide.

    • How to monitor your ticket status?

    It is often the case you can check the status of your ticket without even logging into the airline's website, a great tool for this is Check My Trip, this is realtime raw access to your ticket information, you should never share the information from this site with anyone.

    • Is there ever error bookings for hotels & car hire?

    Error bookings do not only occur with flights, they can happen with any online transaction including hotels and car hire, we spot many deep discounts when it comes to hotels and car hire which we share on our blog. Hotel and car hire errors are a little more rare, this is primarily because the time which we spend looking for them is not as much as we do for flights. This does not mean we do not share them and you will always find any errors posted under our hotels or other section.

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    Previous Error Fare Examples!

    Examples Email Acknowledgement!

    British Airways

    Dear Customer,

    It has come to our attention That for a short period of time there was an obvious pricing error for business class seats from Norway to a number of US destinations. The correct prices have now been reinstated. Your recent changes booking was concluded on the basis of the disability fare, Which May have been up to six times lower than the actual fare for That journey, and ordinarily That booking would be void. However, We Have Decided in this instance we will allow you to travel the full itinerary as planned.

    British Airways Customer Service

    *If you have purchased a e-ticket via a third party OTA and not directly with the airline you might not receive such an email from them however, it is often the case if your ticket has been cancelled you might receive something similar to this indicating your ticket is void.*

    Turkish Airlines

    We have received your message dated; 23st of September, 2015.

    Upon your message we have checked your ticket. We would like to kindly inform you that there wasn't anything wrong with the ticket.

    Thank you for choosing Turkish Airlines.

    Kind Regards,

    Turkish Airlines Inc.Customer Contact Center

    Never Miss A Deal Again!

    Newsletter Signup

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    By signing up to the HolidayPirates Newsletter you will find breaking news emails are sent out anytime time we post an error fare, this is the fastest way to ensure you have error fares direct in your inbox.

    HolidayPirates Facebook

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    A great way to keep on top of error fares to to 'Like' the HolidayPirates Facebook Page, you can can browse through all the posts we make daily, with the guarantee that if a error fare is ever found it will be posted here first at any time of the day.

    Flights Deals Facebook

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    As we have a large number of followers who want a clutter free solutions to all the fares we post on all of our sites, we suggest you 'Like' our dedicated flights page FlightDeals Facebook Page. Here you will only find cheap flight solutions and error fares, from the entire Holiday Pirates Network, you can be sure there is an array of delights daily.


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    If you are always on the go and want notifications without all the pictures, why not follow us on Twitter, you will have short and sweet alerts of the latest error fares and cheap flights direct to you smartphone.

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    What Is An Error Fare? The Need To Know Guide!

    What Is An Error Fare? The Need To Know Guide!