San Francisco to London for $267 roundtrip. I know you’re thinking that’s insane and impossible. Here’s some proof that it’s real and a deal you can book yourself:
That fare, which we found in late 2017 is what the Dollar Flight Club team calls mistake fares. It’s simply when airlines publish incorrect ticket prices like $267 roundtrip from San Francisco to London.
Here’s all you need to know about them if you want to save hundreds of dollars on your next international flight to your dream destination.
How to find mistake fares:
- Keep an eye on Google Flights and Momondo daily to see if prices fluctuate significantly. If you’d rather not spend those hours, sign up for cheap flight finding services like Dollar Flight Club, who do all the searching for you and send deals right to your inbox.
- Book the flight as soon as possible! Mistake Fares can last less than a few hours before the airline corrects the error.
- Wait a week or so before you book other travel plans like hotels and tourist activities until the airline confirms your ticket. More recently, airlines are no longer required to honor mistake fares like they were required to in the past. That being said, 90% of Mistake Fares do get honored. Airlines don’t want any bad PR by rescinding flights from customers.
- Book your hotel after a few weeks. We recommend using Pruvo´s free service, which tracks price drops to your existing hotel reservation and notifies you once there is a better price for the exact same room. It’s an easy way to save you hundreds on your hotel booking.
Other Mistake Fares we’ve found:
- San Francisco to New Zealand for $260 round trip.
- Berlin to Cape Town, South Africa for €183 round trip.
- Houston to Melbourne for $184 round trip.
- Paris, France to Sao Paulo, Brazil for €69 roundtrip
- East & West Coast US to India for $244 Round Trip
Why Do Mistake Fares Happen?
Mistake Fares happen because of humans errors, computer system malfunctions, and currency conversion mishaps. At the end of the day it comes down to the fact that airlines and Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) operate on a very complex back-end booking system, so errors occurring now and again are inevitable. While some are technical errors, others are simply human error.
- Simple Human error: It very well may be that a $1308 round trip flight from Boston to Cape Town was actually priced at $130 round trip. Someone omitted or added a number in error when entering a flight price, which can result in a significantly reduced ticket until the error is found by the airlines and corrected.
- OTA Glitches/ Omitting fuel surcharges & fees: Online Travel Agencies (OTA) are often behind these Mistake Fares. Missing fuel surcharges are often why we see prices so reduced. Fuel surcharges are in place to prevent frequent flyer programs from allowing people to book 100% free tickets using miles (as you still pay these additional fees). Every now and then though, these charges may be dropped by mistake. Fuel surcharges can make up hundreds of dollars on some airlines.
- Currency conversion errors: When moving from currency to currency, things can get tricky when you’re working with such complex systems. For example. a $4,000 United Airlines flight was available for around $79 recently. This specific Mistake Fare occurred due to a miscalculation between the Danish Kroner and British Pound.
A few Bonus Tips & Tricks:
- Have VPN access? Try to use your VPN to access the flight comparison sites and set your location to a poorer country with a different currency (not USD, GBP, AUD, etc.) as the flight tickets may be lower that way.
- Try clear cookies after each search or search in “incognito mode” which may bring back a slightly cheaper ticket.
Don’t have time to do all of this? join the club! Our team does this all day like clockwork just for you.
After you book your flight, use Pruvo´s free service to save you hundreds on your hotel booking. Pruvo tracks price drops to your existing hotel reservation and notifies you once there is a better price for the exact same room with the exact same perks. It’s a no-brainer!
Bonus tip–> after sharing with you tips on mistake fares and taking advantage of hotel price drops, we also want to give you a quick tip on how to rent your car for only $1 a day