PHOENIX (3 on Your Side) - Airlines are making mistakes, and travelers are snagging hard-to-believe deals on flights, 3 On Your Side has learned.
Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott's Cheap Flights, says there has been a significant increase in "mistake fares" since the coronavirus pandemic began. A mistake fare is exactly what it sounds like. It's when an airline accidentally sells a ticket for a lot less than they meant to. Keyes calls the mistakes the "holy grail" of cheap flights.
"Some of the mistake fares we've seen in the past couple months include everything from $210 nonstop roundtrip down to Chile, $200 nonstop to Columbia, $23 roundtrip to Puerto Rico, including during Christmas and New Year's," Keyes said. "I have never seen fares like this in my life, but they're happening right now because the airlines are shifting their schedules so much, and mistakes are slipping through the cracks."
Unfortunately, Keyes says there is no real secret to finding a mistake fare, and they typically only last online for three to four hours.
"They happen at random. You never know when a mistake fare is going to pop up because by their nature, they are a mistake. They are an error, and when they do happen, they tend not to last very long," he said. "They last only as long as it takes for the airline to catch it and unwind it."
Legally, airlines do not have to honor mistake fares, but Keyes says they do about 90% of the time.