Low cost carrier; Delta to honor mistaken cheap fares

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Delta Air Lines said it will honor tickets sold at the incorrect prices earlier Thursday.

The extremely cheap fares were available for around a two-hour period that started around 9 a.m. Bloomberg reports that Delta doesn't know the number of tickets sold at the incorrect prices or have an estimate of the financial impact yet.

Reports of the ultra-low prices were circulated through social media on Thursday, and many were able to take advantage of the mistake.

The Star Tribune reports one White Bear Lake man said he bought four round-trip tickets from the Twin Cities to Hawaii for $86.25 each, all in first class. Those tickets normally go for nearly $2,000 each.

There were other bargain trips that popped up as well, including a round-trip flight between Minneapolis and Cincinnati in February for $25, according to the Star Tribune.

Delta released a statement Thursday saying "for a portion of the morning today, some prices on delta.com and other booking channels were incorrectly displayed, resulting in lower than usual fares for customers. The situation has been resolved, and the correct prices are being displayed. Delta will honor any fares purchased at the incorrect price."

It's not the first time something like this has happened in the industry. According to an Associated Press report, United Airlines experienced an error in filing fares to its computer system. In September, many customers were able to book tickets for $5 or $10, paying only the cost of the Sept. 11 security fee.

George Hobica founder of AirfareWatchDog.com told the AP its likely that the airline tried to tweak it's fares with a $10 or $20 system-wide change and a programmer made a mistake.

"People just go wild. People have been bragging about booking six first-class tickets to Hawaii," Hobica said.

Regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation require airlines to honor any mistake fares that are offered.

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