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Published: Friday, 12/27/2013 - Updated: 7 months ago

DELTA AIR LINES

Lucky bargain hunters cash in on Web glitch

Computer glitch causes Delta to sell extremely cheap tickets for nearly 2 hours Thursday

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Some lucky fliers capitalized on a computer glitch Thursday and scored some really cheap flights on Delta Air Lines.

From about 10 a.m. to noon, certain Delta fares on the airline’s Web site and other airfare booking sites were showing up incorrectly, offering some savvy bargain hunters incredible deals. A roundtrip flight between Cincinnati and Minneapolis for February was being sold for just $25.05, and a roundtrip between Cincinnati and Salt Lake City for $48.41. The correct price for both of those fares is more than $400.

Airline spokesman Trebor Banstetter said the problem has been fixed but “Delta will honor any fares purchased at the incorrect price.”

Jackie Fanelli, 27, learned about the super cheap fares from a friend’s Facebook page. She attempted to purchase a $98 roundtrip first-class ticket from her home city of Baltimore to Honolulu on Priceline.com but the transaction didn’t process before the deal was shut down.

“It was too good to be true,” Ms. Fanelli said.

Delta’s Web site was having lingering problems from the increased traffic.

“It looks like Delta’s programmers had a little too much eggnog yesterday,” joked George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchDog.com, which promotes airfare sales.

It’s likely that the airline tried to tweak its fares with a system-wide change and a junior programmer made a mistake or two, he said.

“People just go wild. People have been bragging about booking six first-class tickets to Hawaii,” Mr. Hobica said. “People hate the airlines so much that when this happens, they say: I’m going to get back at you for the time you broke my suitcase and didn’t pay for it.”

Department of Transportation regulations, aimed at truth in advertising, require airlines to honor any mistake fares offered.



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