Singapore Reverses Course, Agrees to Honor Mistake Fare

Last week I reported that Singapore Airlines was refusing to honor a business class mistake fare between Sydney and London.

It wasn’t a cheap fare — about US$3000 roundtrip — but apparently intended as an economy rather than a business class fare.

There are varying reports of between 400 and 900 tickets purchased. And after much criticism of the decision to tell these customers to pound sand they’ve changed their minds and will make good on the tickets.

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) said on Monday it will allow about 400 passengers to fly business class after they purchased fares at economy-class prices in Australia following an embarrassing ticketing bungle.

…About 400 passengers will fly up the front of the plane using tickets that were as much as A$5,000 (S$5,500) cheaper than they should have been.

Singapore does have a nice long haul business product, here’s their new interior 777-300ER business:

I think they have the best main meal options as well.

But I’ve never spent $3000 on an airline ticket, let alone a mistake fare!

Here’s how to find airline and hotel mistake deals. And here are the very best mistake deals we’ve seen.

The thing to understand is that it is quite common for mistake fares to play out as a drama. They won’t be honored, they will be honored. Airlines aren’t always prepared to deal with them. They aren’t prepared for the backlash – from customers and via media – over a decision not to honor. They can be slow to comment, and then slow to react especially if they’re going to reverse course.

That’s why I prefer to book far off into the future and wait and see what happens.

Others take the view they’d rather book for immediate travel, since the slowness sometimes plays out in allowing only immediate bookings to travel. I can rarely do that, and don’t like participating in the drama with plans in flux. I’d rather wait it out from the sidelines!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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