THEY swap information in online forums and use secret codes to hide the information.
What’s the latest trick to find a cheap fare? Book a trip to somewhere, just about anywhere, but let the airline decide where you’re flying. Scott McCartney has details on Lunch Break.
Travel hackers are saving hundreds on finding ‘error fares’. Source:istock
SAVVY travellers have found a way save hundreds on flights and travel the world by hunting “error” fares.
Error fares crop up when an airline or booking website makes a pricing mistake. And while it may sound far-fetched, UK self-confessed life hacker Tom Church, founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, claims he has personally used this hack to save hundreds and it does happen more than you think.
He said he has flown to Mexico for 197 return ($328) a massive 600 ($998) saving on the normal fare using this trick. He has even booked tickets to Denmark for just 1 ($1.70).
With thousands of flights every day, Mr Church insists it s inevitable that blunders happen and sometimes the discounts can be as much as 90 per cent.
The 26-year-old told The Sun that travel addicts actually gather in secret online forums and share error fares with each other.
And to avoid airlines finding out about the mistakes, the bargain hunters use secret codes when talking to each other.
The booking process for airlines is very complicated. There are many different people involved, from the booking engine, to the online travel agency, to the fare database, to the airline itself, he told The Sun .
At every step there s the opportunity for a mistake. With over 100,000 flights a day, you re always going to find one where something has gone wrong.
But error fares are not always easy to spot and sometimes it s just down to luck.
It can take days to find a good error fare and many don t like to share what they find. Most people will be better off following experts with special software and alerts, Mr Church said.
Airlines or booking websites make pricing mistakes more than you might know. And a lot of the time they honour it. Source:istock
HOW TO SPOT AN ERROR FARE
Jack Sheldon, 29, left his job to become a full-time deal hunter for flights. His deals dedicated newsletter, Jack s Flight Club, has over 110,000 subscribers.
When asked how to look for error fares, Jack said: Do broad searches using tools like SkyScanner and Google Flights.
For example, check for fares from Birmingham to all of South America for the month of August and see if anything really low appears.
Another method is to make the departure and return airport different (this is called an open-jaw route).
These irregular searches can often bring out some unexpected errors and help you snag an amazing deal. I found flights to Tokyo, departing from Paris and returning to London Heathrow at 250 ($416) return.
However, sometimes booking an error fare does mean that you may have to travel to an alternative airport, so these types are not always the most convenient.
The other catch is that it s also up to the airline or the booking website to decide whether they honour the deal. But Mr Sheldon said most do.
Around 60 per cent of error fares are accepted, he told The Sun , while the rest end up being cancelled and refunded within a few days.