A while back I heard about a website called Scott’s Cheap Flights, they basically scour the internet and notify you of epic airline deals or mistake fares. It is free to join for email updates or there is a premium version for $49/year (see link).
The key is being flexible with dates and travel destinations.
On April 2nd my wife Renee was notified by email about a mistake fare by Air Canada. San Diego to either Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane for $350 round trip travelling during January 2021 or February 2021. It was too good to be true.
We have always talked about someday wanting to visit Australia of course planning and researching, etc., but this deal we just had to act immediately.
Scott’s always advises these types of fares can last a day or two or maybe even an hour or two. We frantically logged onto the Air Canada website picked some dates and pulled the trigger. For $350 r/t you have to really look at the fine print. Well, turns out the flights had to originate out of Canada so we would have to fly North to Vancouver in order to head Southwest. But for that price ($706.22) for two round trip tickets, what the heck.
We booked it, went back picked our seats and then started researching VRBO’s, areas, attractions, etc. Actually, turns out we were probably going to spend time in Tasmania an island off of the southern coast of Australia.
We both knew if the airline honored the mistake fare super if they did not oh well, it was worth a shot.
April 4th rolls around and Air Canada sent us an email. Dear Confirmation Number XXXXXX
I am contacting you regarding the flight ticket that you recently purchased from Air Canada and which was, unfortunately, mistakenly priced and is now corrected. Let me first say that I apologize for the inconvenience and misperception that this error caused. Outlined below are the details of what happened and the steps we are taking to correct this unfortunate situation.
On the evening of April 2, a data entry error resulted in the temporary mispricing of our flights from destinations in the United States to various gateways in Australia. The price of the airfare was mistakenly displayed at approximately USD $400 instead of the correct price of approximately USD $1,300. When we became aware of this error, we immediately suspended sale of the flight tickets until the issue was rectified.
I know that you are disappointed, but I hope you understand that we cannot honour the flight tickets mistakenly sold at the incorrect price. Therefore, any flight tickets you purchased at the incorrect price of approximately USD $400 will be automatically cancelled and refunded. You do not need to contact Air Canada to claim your refund.
If you have already incurred non‑refundable expenses related to this ticket, Air Canada will refund any reasonable, actual, and verifiable out‑of‑pocket expenses that were made in reliance upon the ticket purchase. Please complete a general request using this online form: https://www.aircanada.com/customerrelations.
So, for two days we were excited about going to Australia, now we’ll just have to book the trip on our terms and hopefully find a good deal.
It should be noted it turns out thousands of other folks booked similar deals during the data entry error, so we’re not alone.
I did reach out to Air Canada directly via email, phone & dm and have not heard back.