SIA to honour sale of business-class tickets at economy-class fares: Other companies which made similar mistakes

The Business Class cabin aboard the A380 Singapore Airlines (SIA). -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES
The Business Class cabin aboard the A380 Singapore Airlines (SIA). -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines said on Monday that it would honour the business-class tickets that were sold at economy-class prices as a result of a ticketing bungle.

The carrier initially tried to recover the cost of the tickets sold online accidentally at the cheaper price. The fares were for flights between Australia and Asia, as well as Europe.

Tickets were sold as much as $5,555 cheaper than what they should have been. About 400 passengers got lucky when they puchased their tickets in Australia between Nov 29 and Dec 1 when the wrong fares were used. 

Here are six other companies who made similar mistakes:

1. United Airlines

In September last year, passengers managed to buy tickets from United Airlines for free. Someone working at the airline accidentally entered "0" as a price, and the carrier decided to honour the tickets. The passengers had to pay only US$5 (S$6.60) or US$10 for a security fee. It is not known how many tickets were bought in the few hours that the website offered its free tickets.

2. Delta Airlines

In December last year, a glitch by Delta Airlines made it possible for passengers to get cheap domestic flights in America. For about two hours, ticket prices shown on the carrier's site and on other booking sites were much lower than their original, with a round-trip flight to Hawaii going for just US$6.90.

 A round-trip flight between Cincinnati in Ohio and Minneapolis was sold for US$25.05, while a round-trip between Cincinnati and Salt Lake City cost US$48.41. The correct price for both fares was more than US$400.

The carrier had to honour the wrong fares due to new regulations by the Department of Transportation to clamp down on misleading advertising. The regulations require airlines to honour any wrong fares offered.

3. Amazon

An engineering student from London got to keep £3,600 (S$7,418) worth of goods from Amazon after a mistake meant 51 packages were sent to his home.

Mr Robert Quinn, 22, started receiving packages addressed to him in late November this year. A computer glitch caused the goods, marked with return labels, to be sent to him, instead of a return depot.

He told British newspaper Daily Mail that he planned to give some of the gifts away as Christmas presents, donate some to charity and sell some back to Amazon.

The items he received included a Samsung 55 inch 3D TV (£889), a Galazy Tab Pro (£338), Radeon R9 290X graphics card (£250), and a Cosatto Supa Baby Buggy (£150).

4. Screwfix

In January this year, British tools and hardware retailer Screwfix suffered a technical glitch on its website that reduced the price of everything sold on the site to just £34.99.

The website offers several appliances under categories such as power tools, plumbing and flooring. Customers pounced on the deals, but Screwfix decided later that those who had not received or collected their items would have to return them for a full refund.

5. Tesco

Tesco in Britain made several iPad fans hopeful, then crushed their dreams when it failed to honour the wrong prices it advertised. In 2012, a pricing error on its website meant that Wi-Fi enabled 64GB iPad worth £500 was going for just £50. Customers flocked to the site to get the the newly-released iPad, and the site eventually crashed.

Tesco, however, said that the price was in fact the result of a technical error, and that those who bought the item would get a full refund. One customer started an online petition to try and change Tesco's decision, but it was unsuccessful.

6. Marks and Spencers

The international label based in Britain succumbed to pressure from its customers in 2012 to honour the wrong price advertised for Panasonic 50-inch 3D plasma television sets following an online petition.

The £1,099 television set was supposed to be sold at a discounted price of £699, but it was wrongly priced at £199 because of a glitch. The retailer initially said that it would offer a refund to those who bought it, but after 34 people signed the online petition, it changed its mind.

Sources: Associated Press, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail