El Al Airlines Promises to Honor Mispriced Tickets
By David Cogswell
August 09, 2012 10:21 PM
El Al Airlines did what it had to do. It is honoring the tickets it sold by accident for a quarter of the going rate because of a computer glitch in its reservations system.
On Aug. 8, it was reported that a computer glitch had caused tickets on New York-Israel flights to be put on sale for $400 instead of their regular price of about $1,600. The glitch wasn’t discovered and corrected until three hours had passed, at which point 5,000 tickets had been sold at the reduced price.
Five thousand tickets at a quarter of the price is a bitter pill, but the airline surely did the math and realized that the cost it would pay in lost consumer confidence and good will if it tried to renege on the ticket transactions would no doubt dwarf the cost of the pricing error. So El Al is going to take the hit. It’s a lucky day for 5,000 travelers.
Today, one day after the mishap, El Al cleared away any doubt by issuing a statement that it will indeed honor the mispriced tickets. The airline did however throw a couple of bargaining chips on the table. Since the bargain tickets are one-stop tickets, with layovers in Europe, El Al says it will provide nonstop tickets for only $75 to anyone who bought the special tickets. The airline also offered cash refunds to purchasers who want to cancel their tickets.