An excursion to Ireland consistently brings abundant excitement. I’m eagerly looking forward to embarking on this week’s adventure, exploring the northern segment of the Wild Atlantic Way, starting from Malin Head in County Donegal and concluding in Westport, County Mayo.
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A Cheap Flight Deal Too Good To Be True
In contrast to my initial trip to the Republic, I won’t be relying on hitchhiking this time. Instead, I’m capitalizing on airfares that are reaching a level that seems almost too good to be true.
I’m departing from London Heathrow to City of Derry airport at a civilized 8.45 am, aboard a comfortable Loganair jet. The last time I traveled from London to the westernmost city in the UK, I departed from Stansted, and the fare was £180.
Considering that City of Derry is, unfortunately, a niche destination served by a 49-seat commuter jet, that price was reasonable. Taking into account Heathrow’s substantial handling fees, I anticipated the one-way fare this time to surpass £200. However, it’s only £54 this time – and that includes a checked bag and a cup of tea during the flight.
On the return journey, the price for the flight from Knock to Stansted with Ryanair doesn’t cover hot beverages or baggage. However, the 400-mile trip, scheduled for a pleasant 6 pm on a Friday evening, comes at a mere £16. In the realm of travel, when an offer seems exceptionally enticing, it could be indicative of fierce competition among airlines.
Mistake Fares Erroneously Taken As Cheap Flight Deals
However, there are certain boundaries. In the previous month, there was a flurry of activity within frequent flyer communities when an individual identified a pricing anomaly through certain Vietnamese online travel agents.
It came to light that the Amadeus Global Distribution System, a reservations system widely utilized by numerous airlines, was employing an exchange rate for Vietnamese dong that deviated significantly from reality.
As news of these “mistake fares” circulated online, hundreds of travelers seized the opportunity for incredible deals. Typically, the fares were only a fraction of their actual value, rendering business or first-class travel remarkably affordable. One fortunate traveler, H. Henry, managed to secure two return business-class tickets from Bali to New York for approximately £400 each.
Correction Of Mistake Fares
Once the unexpected surge in global premium flight bookings originating in Vietnam was detected, what was labeled as “a technical issue with the currency conversion” was promptly rectified. Subsequently, airlines reached out to passengers who had capitalized on such bargains, explaining that they would “cancel and fully refund all itineraries.”
Despite his conviction, Mr. Henry contends that he possesses a valid contractual agreement with the airline, ensuring opulent transportation to New York City. He queries, “How can airlines justify deeming it a mistake and invalidating people’s tickets?”
The legal principle in play dictates that a contract may be voided following a pricing error if the purchaser was aware or should have been aware that the price was unreasonably low.
Half a decade ago, British Airways unintentionally sold numerous tickets from the UK to destinations such as Tel Aviv and Dubai for a mere £1, accompanied by taxes, fees, and charges – significantly below its intended pricing. As I previously mentioned: when an airline inadvertently offers seats at exceptionally low prices, financial and reputational repercussions are unavoidable.
In response, BA chose to irk passengers by asserting that the fares paid were “manifestly incorrect” and proceeded to cancel the bookings. A £100 voucher for future travel did little to mollify the anger of the travelers.
The British Airways debacle was intricate because the lowest-priced BA return tickets from Heathrow to Tel Aviv were approximately £160 – nearly identical to what I paid for a non-error trip from Luton to Israel with Wizz Air earlier this month. Passengers could reasonably argue that they believed the fares were legitimate.
However, concerning the recent “Amadeus aberration” in the previous month, purchasers knowingly pursued an opportunity to capitalize on an error. Regrettably, Marc is entitled only to a refund and nothing more.
It’s advisable to seize “mistake fares” as they may occasionally be honored. Similarly, valuable deals can be found across the Irish Sea, and there’s no denying it.
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