For a short time yesterday, virtually free flights were available for sale on the United website.
According to reports, a computer glitch caused fares as low as $10 to appear on United.com. A Buzzfeed reader claims to have paid just $10 for a flight from Phoenix to Harrisburg on Monday. And a reporter from Mashable found a transatlantic trip from Newark to Dublin for $49.40.
These unbelievable prices didn’t simply pop up in the search function, though. Flyers had to follow a complex set of steps for the almost-free fares to appear. According to Mashable, “Exploiting the glitch involved setting up a ‘MileagePlus’ account and essentially tricking the site into thinking you had enough frequent flier miles to cover the cost of a flight by setting up the purchase in two different tabs. The entire process took less than 10 minutes and, at time of writing, was still functioning.”
Unfortunately, the glitch is gone now. But United won’t honor the prices anyway, so don’t waste your time seeking the jackpot fares.
This isn’t the first time this has happened: About a month ago, a United computer glitch caused $0 fares to appear in the airline’s booking system. Although we don’t know exactly how many lucky travelers grabbed the dirt-cheap fares, we do know that some people took advantage of the glitch, and that the airline honored these bookings.
Travelers who scored free fares this month were not so lucky. A United spokesperson said that the airline will not honor the fares that turned up as a result of the computer error on Monday.
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