What is an error fare?
Error fares, also known as mistake airfares or airline price glithces are super cheap flight tickets, which represent unusually large deviations from the usual price range for a particular destination.
Why does an error fare occur?
Statistically, mistake airfares are inevitable, and they can occur due to many factors. The most common cause of an error fare is human error, but it can also be caused by technological issues, communication problems or wrong currency conversions.
How do I search for error fares?
Among thousands of flights daily, it would be too time and money consuming for airlines to check and change just about any booking and therefore, they are often honouring such fares. However, you do have to know how to find them and once you do, you have to act very quickly.
Here we bring you 6 tips on how to find ridiculously cheap flight tickets:
1. Find unusual price drops by conducting broad searches in meta search engines
Meta search engines are a great way to quickly explore and compare prices from different airlines, while also offering useful tools such as price forecasting, search results filtering, e-mail alerts, etc.
If you are hunting for error fares, it is best to do a wide search. You can select an entire month for your departure date and in this way you will easily detect any unusual price variations.
Here are some of the best meta search engines for flights:
2. Let others to do the job for you – follow the professionals!
The easiest approach to find error fares is in fact to follow the specialized hot-deal-hunters. Here are some of the most popular resources that post mistake fares and travel deals daily as they are discovered:
If you are flexible about your destination you can also check Airfare Dogwatch's Top 50 Best Fares and Flight Deals.
3. Sign up for e-mail alerts & become a devoted follower on social networks
All the pages mentioned above let you subscribe to their e-mail notifications and alerts, and most of them are active on social media as well. Filling up your inbox and news feed with great travel deals is a great way to monitor the latest offers.
In addition, there are also some great mobile apps that are worth downloading:
4. Subscribe to e-news from smaller airlinesSome low-cost airlines do not allow their prices to be included among the meta-search results because they prefer you to buy directly on their website due to already low prices. Information about their campaigns and discounts are usually communicated directly through their e-news and social channels. Therefore, it makes sense to subscribe to their e-newsletter (if you use Gmail, you can create a filter that allows you to collect all low-cost related mail in one folder. Here it is explained how to do it).
Which low-cost airlines are worth keeping an eye on? Here's the list of the best low-cost airlines in 2019 (by Skytracks):
5. React quickly and keep it for yourself ...
Once you find the error fare, you must act fast because they get eliminated quickly! It often happens that they eliminate the error within a few hours. Also, this kind of information is spreading around very quickly, so the key is to react promptly and never ever call the airline to obtain a confirmation of whether the price is valid. Once they notice the mistake, of course they will change the price. So don't wait!
6. Be aware of the risks
The one disatvantage of error fares is that sometimes the airlines will not honour the booking and your ticket will be cancelled and refunded. This is not very likely to happen, because error fares are usually almost always honoured, but it is still good to know. Therefore, it is advisable to wait at least 14 days after the purchase, before you begin to arrange accommodation and other travel logistics. Bear in mind that even if you receive a confirmation e-mail after your purchase, you are still not completely safe. However, if you also get an electronic flight ticket ... well, then it is very likely that you will get away with it. :)
For more information on how to travel responsibly during the Covid-19 pandemic, here’s Loveholiday's helpful guide with lots of practical tips and resources.