Hong Kong Airlines Is Honoring $553 Business Class Tickets To Asia! Rules Of The Deal You Need To Know Before The Next Price Mistake

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Last week we posted a crazy business class fare of just $553 to Asia on Hong Kong Airways.

They have confirmed that they will be honoring the fares. Their chief marketing officer writes that it wasn’t an “intentional glitch” like some airlines have done in the past, but they will be standing by the fares as they were sold to show that Hong Kong Airlines stands by their promises.

Congrats to everyone who got in on the deal!

Major price mistakes happen several times a year. I’ve been blogging since 2004, so there have been hundreds of incredible deals during that time period. The best deals don’t stick around very long, so it’s critical to know some of these “rules” beforehand.

Airfare glitches sure seem to like my family birthdays.

Last August on my wife Mimi’s birthday I had gotten up early to make her some belgian waffles, but wound up finding a fuel surcharge glitch causing insane deals on Air Canada flights and spent the entire morning blogging about the deals available. We spent Shavuos in Israel this year and dozens of people came over to me to let me know they were only in Israel thanks to the Air Canada glitch.

Last week I was in Miami for JJ’s son’s upsherin for his 3rd birthday as well as Mimi’s 31st birthday. So naturally the Hong Kong Airlines glitch came up during our travels.

United’s 4 mile island glitch that allowed bookings to Hong Kong in first class for just 4 United miles occurred on a Sunday afternoon just as we were starting Rafi’s first birthday party.

On a Saturday evening in late November 2010 there was a glitch for free Las Vegas vacations. Free airfare, free Bellagio suites, free Cirque tickets, free limo transfers, etc. Some friends had asked for us to hang out with them, but I was in the zone and blogging away about the possibilities. Eventually Mimi had to tell me that the friends asking to hang out was just a ruse and that there were several dozen people waiting at a surprise party to wish me a happy birthday. Sheepishly I turned off my computer and went to the party. Once there, everyone was incredulous that I didn’t bring my laptop. One guest went home to retrieve his laptop and when he returned I wound up booking free five star Vegas vacations for everyone at the party!

For some odd reason I haven’t had a surprise party since then.

On the day after Mimi’s birthday in 2013 there was a USAirways glitch with tickets to Israel from $302 and on a Saturday evening in late November 2013 Wideroe Airlines gave me another birthday surprise when they created a glitch on United with $127 tickets to Europe and $287 tickets to Israel.

Is it right to take advantage of a glitch? Sometimes a glitch isn’t a glitch at all, but it’s created to generate publicity or profit (just ask Wideroe!). But I’m not your Rabbi, Priest, or ethicist. If you are uncomfortable with a price mistake, then don’t do it. Or ask someone who is one. I’m just here to provide the information and people can do with it what they want. I wrote about some of the halachic (Jewish law) implications of airfare mistakes for the Yated a couple of years ago here.

I’m forgetting some of the other birthday glitches that have popped up over the years, but I suppose one rule might be to stay alert around my family’s birthdays 😉

Of course not all glitches follow that rule. The amazing Delta 2013 glitch with $50 first class tickets to LA, Alaska, and Hawaii happened just after I landed from a red-eye from LA to Cleveland from giving a DansDeals seminar there, so it’s not always on birthdays, but that sure seems like the exception to the rule 😀

Rules of the deal:

  • Don’t call.
    • Don’t talk to the airline or companies offering a deal while the deal is live. You can always ask questions once the deal is gone.
  • Don’t hesitate.
    • These deals never last long, you’ve got to act very fast. Luckily sites like Priceline and Orbitz provide the ability to cancel a ticket for free until the day after you book. That allows you to make a quick ticket and then analyze whether you want to use it after the craziness settles.
    • With some really crazy deals like 4 mile island, the only tickets that were honored were people who booked tickets to travel that week. Luckily there were DDFers who were able to drop everything and fly in first class around the world for just 4 miles.
  • Don’t forget to book your baby!
    • A common theme that I’ve seen with price mistakes is that people forget to book tickets for their infant children. You need to pay 10% of the normal fare for the privilege of holding your child on international tickets. My opinion is that you should always buy a seat and have a carseat for your infant just like you would in a car. But even if that is normally cost prohibitive, when you are getting a tickets to Israel for just $350, surely you should book a seat for the infant rather than pay for the right to hold the infant.
    • Sometimes websites won’t allow infants or kids to book a ticket. The date of birth on a ticket isn’t actually matched up with anything, so I’ve been known to add 100 years to the age of my kids when I need to and I’ve never run into any issues.
  • PGFHGS
    • A common acronym found on the DansDeals Forums is PGFHGS, or pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. Ordering a few items on a price mistake won’t raise any flags and your order may ship, but ordering hundreds of items in one order means that the order is unlikely to be honored and it may ruin for others as well.
  • Browse incognito.
    • If a deal isn’t working for you, open an incognito browser window and try again. You can use the setting menu in your browser to open one up, or in Chrome you can click Ctrl+Shift+N to open one.
  • Mobile browser/desktop browser.
    • Sometimes a deal will only work on a desktop browser or will only work on a mobile browser. If you’re on a mobile device you can go into your browser menu and click “Request desktop site” if your mobile browser isn’t working and you don’t have access to a computer.
  • Follow @DansDeals on Twitter.

  •  Join DDF
    • Many great deals are posted on the DansDeals Forums before they are posted on DansDeals.com, so it’s always a good idea to check there for the latest deals. Besides for deals, DDF is also an amazing resource for planning a trip, questions about credit cards, and much more.

You can also learn more about my favorite hobby by clicking on the credit card and points menus on the top of this site or by browsing the DansDeals Forums to search and read about strategies.

What are some of the best deals you’ve nabbed over the years? What other rules would you add to this list? Hit the comments!


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15 Comments On "Hong Kong Airlines Is Honoring $553 Business Class Tickets To Asia! Rules Of The Deal You Need To Know Before The Next Price Mistake"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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S

Dan – where do you have to pay 10% for an infant? Where’s the option for that even?

Chaim

“Luckily sites like Priceline and Orbitz provide the ability to cancel a ticket for free until the day after you book.”
Is that true even for flight booked to travel within the next 7 days?

saudi prince II

dan pls provide a list of all b-days in your family/friends so i can set up my schedule for the year,

pesa

someone told me that he booked on united business international paying with united miles and when it came to pay for the infant they only charged him 10% for the infant in coach not in business this happened to him 2x on 2 separate bookings on 2 different time s is there a reason for that?

Danfan

Until pretty recently my phone dinged when I got a dansdeals message. Now I get the messages but they come through silently. All my other messages ding. Is this something you set up or something unique to my phone and dansdeals? Ty

Bob

You left out the DCA-PEK business class fare of $550 on American Airlines, a few years ago. This turned out to be an expensive deal for me, because with that mileage base I went on to buy more trips to reach Executive Platinum. I still don’t think it was a glitch, I think it was aimed at Chinese government officials in Washington who worked on airline matters, but the secret got out.

I could add another piece of advice: With travel to Asia, remember the IDL. My seven-day trip to Bangkok works out to four nights, and the 2am arrival and 4am departure are not the most convenient. However, no one forced me to buy, or to avoid a refund after second thoughts.

Baruch

“The date of birth on a ticket isn’t actually matched up with anything”
Is this also the case with buying tickets for minors? I tried to buy a ticket for my son, but couldn’t go on because he isn’t yet 18.
It doesn’t make sense actually, as they allow teenagers to fly by themselves from 16 or even 14, no?

Tyvm!

Tom lasorda

I Was thinking about booking this deal, but didn’t because of infant issues. Wanted to book for an unborn, unnamed infant. Would have just added the infant later (lap), but Hong Kong airlines site actually says infants are not allowed in the business class cabin of the A350. Not sure if that’s illegal but ultimately we just said forget it.
Dan, do you think I would have been able to add the infant later? What do you think of that policy?
If it weren’t for the name and birthday of an unborn child, I would have just booked a seat, JustFYI, when I tried to book an infant in lap or in seat, orbitz would let me but it was the same price for either (and same as adult tik)

Motti

Hi Dan,

I’m from Israel so most of your deals (amazon) are not of use to me, however would like to get your airline deals. Is their a way or other twitter account that I can sign up for, that would be great for your international followers (including airline glitches?

Yossi G

One of the best deals was when you told me about the Icelandair price mistake back in 2003 (also after I believe it was your father’s birthday)… I’ve been back twice since and would love to return again soon!

jake hammer

the amount of points whooo!! i dont have where to spend my cards, i wish i would, pls help me spend millions, so i can earn all the points!

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