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Everything You Should Know About Mistake Fares


Fares mistake price is an epithet given to the error fares or price glitches by the airlines. That is to say, an airline or a travel platform might accidentally list a wrong price for a particular flight. As a result, it will end up selling the flight ticket for a lesser price. For example, you may find an amazing flight deal over the internet with extremely low airfare.

You then book the flight and in a few days the airline notifies you about cancelling your flight. Definitely, you will be disappointed. But the airline will justify everything about it saying that the airfare was uploaded by some error.

What Exactly Are Mistake Fares?




As has been noted, they are also known as error fares. This rather happens when an airline in particular sells off flight tickets at a far below price tag. However, they do not intend to do so. It is thus by some mistake or glitch that they sell these mistake fares.

Recently, during the pandemic years, mistake fares were quite common. It’s hard to ascertain whether it was due to some slip of a finger or any technological issue. Yet they made significant appearances at the time of the global pandemic.

History Behind Fares Mistake price Statement Policy


history behind fares


In 2011, The Department of Transportation came to the help of travellers. Thus, it prohibited the post purchase increase in the airfares by the airlines and travel platforms. An official statement from the DOT ordered them not to hike the airfares after being sold. Consequently, in 2012 the Enforcement office had a debate over the same, visa  mistake fares.

In 2014, there were a lot of error fare cases. As a result, the department issuing a notice demanded transparency in airfares. Moreover, it tried to ensure air traveller’s protection as well as ameliorate the environment. At the same time, the department expressed concerns about their spread via travel websites, forums and blogs.

This means in spite of an airline preventing or halting the sale of such fares, sales still may occur fast due to such platforms. In 2015, a new enforcement policy was brought forward by the Department of Aviation Enforcement & Proceedings. Consequently, airlines and travel agencies had to adhere to two new rules.

  • An airline or a travel agency was to demonstrate that the fare was a mistake fare. At the same time, they have to prove that the advertisement that led to the selling of the flight ticket was a mistaken fare scenario.
  • The airline and the travel agency have to reimburse the amount along with other out-of-pocket expenses incurred. Hotel reservations (non-refundable), cancellation fees and international travel fees should be reimbursed.

What Are The Causes Of Mistake Fares?




From the year 2017, these have been occurring quite frequently. Likewise, there were again instances that they raised their heads during the Covid times. The reasons behind their occurrence are in legion. Therefore, we will mention some of the most common and conspicuous ones.

1. Human Errors

It’s indeed one of the most common reasons beyond these Fares mistake price. As a result, the airlines cancel the flight bookings stating this particular reason. This is sometimes also known as “fat finger deals”.

2. Foreign Currencies

You’ll often see some airlines listing their fares while including multiple currencies. Thus, there are instances when these platforms commit some very silly mistakes. That is to say, they in confusion sell flight tickets at a wrong price.

For example, if you are looking for flights to India from Canada, there may be multiple currencies in which you may book these. There can be a possible confusion while converting Canadian Dollars to INR or vice versa.

3. Technological Glitches

Not to mention, even computers can sometimes experience certain glitches. Presently, most of the airlines determine the airfares by using the algorithms. However, sometimes in order to wreck algorithms it can become a complex process. This is something that ultimately leads to publishing the fares at unexpectedly low prices.

4. Communication Issues

As has been noted, the online Travel agents and airlines communicate through a global distribution system (GDS). GDS is a network that facilitates communication and provides real time information. It further allows the travel industry to connect with airlines, hotels and car rentals. Being a computerized system, glitches and communication issues are in fact a possibility.

Henceforth, the airlines provide wrong information to travel agencies. A loading error from the database consultant is indeed the reason behind this. In other words, ATPCO (airline Traffic Publishing Company) is the source of mistake fares. They upload the data for the airlines as well as other OTA on GDS.

5. Fuel Surcharges & Fees

To support differing fuel prices in the 1970’s, fuel surcharges came to light. Consequently, these surcharges have been applied ever since then. Hence, they partly prevent flyers from booking 100% free flight tickets using the mile points.

Fuel surcharges form a considerable part of a flight ticket. Therefore, when an airline leaves out the fuel surcharges, the airfares significantly drop. That is to say, passengers can save a lot on their flights. Thus at times, they might do it accidentally which results in mistake fares.

While looking for cheap flight tickets to India make sure you first confirm beforehand that it’s not an error fare. Otherwise, there is a possibility the booking may get canceled. Surprisingly, you’ll find it may be too late to get a cheap flight deal.

Will An Airline Honour Mistake Fares?

Airlines probably do not have to honour the so-called mistake fares. Especially, after the DOT’s ruling that excuses all the airlines for honouring them lest they fail to prove them as error fares. Therefore, airlines may cancel tickets of passengers with a mistake fare flight.

On the other hand, in order to avoid earning a bad reputation, sometimes airlines honour such fares. For instance, in the past there have been such occurrences when some of the major airlines honoured these fares.


We hope that this little piece of information has given you a fair idea about these fares. Most importantly, it will help you every time whenever you wish to travel by air. In conclusion, we can finally say that error fares can be a result of myriad factors.

Passengers can also avail a refund for such Fares mistake price as many airlines are empathizing towards their customers. Likewise, they also get a chance to book a flight at an alternative price. No matter what the case, you can always find a good solution for your concerns.

MintFares is a reliable and reputed travel platform for people traveling from USA and Canada. We provide the best and the most affordable flight tickets to all our customers.

Our exclusive offers make booking cheap India International flights from USA incredibly easy. That is indeed a reason why our customers have remarkably put their faith in us time and again.

Therefore, if there is something related to international air travel that bothers you, do not worry. It might be booking cheap flight tickets, flight itinerary or any other concern. Get in touch with us so we can render our finest services related to international air travel. Bon Voyage!