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Mistake Fares: Who wins?


The answer: No one. Here’s why.

Someone posted that they paid a $210 fare for a flight from San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) recently. So it got me thinking…

  • Total distance: 13,052 miles
  • Total time (nonstop): 12:50
  • Taxes Paid: $117.76 (see below)
  • Total Airline Received: $92.24 out of which they pay the online agency a commission.
  • The typical fare for that journey: About $1,100 for a connecting flight and $1,500 for a nonstop flight.

If this keeps happening, the airline will eventually go out of business as the $92.94 does not even begin to pay for that trip :-).

The person who paid the fare is happy as they got a good deal, but that won’t last for long since the airline may not be there in the future. And when they actually buy a ticket at the normal price, they’ll think its expensive :-).

Regardless of the error the taxes must be paid since a passenger was transported.

So what say you about mistake fares? What do you think? Leave a comment below.

New Zealand Passenger Service Charge International Arrivals (KK) $13.40
New Zealand Border Clearance Levy International Arrival (F1) $13.20
US International Departure Tax (US) $17.80
US September 11th Security Fee (AY) $5.60
US Passenger Facility Charge (XF) $9.00
USDA APHIS Fee (XA) $3.96
US Immigration Fee (XY) $7.00
US Customs Fee (YC) $5.50
US International Arrival Tax (US) $17.80
New Zealand Passenger Service Charge International Departures (KK) $13.40
New Zealand Border Clearance Levy International Departure (F1) $2.40
New Zealand Passenger Security Charge International (IA) $8.70
 Total Taxes $117.76

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