The short life of the $5 Delta fare

Timing is everything. If you were searching the Delta Airlines website today, maybe you were one of the lucky ones to get a flight for $5.

It was a mistake, the Wall St. Journal reports.

Tazmun Nahar, who runs skiplagged.com, which tracks airfares, said she received an alert about the cheap fares Thursday morning. “So then we did some quality assurance” to confirm the fares, she said. “And we couldn’t believe our eyes.”

She quickly booked a $25 round-trip flight between New York and Seattle and three round-trip seats between New York and Los Angeles for $75 total. “Isn’t that insane?” she said.

Delta took its website down to fix the mistake; it’s back up running now, with much higher fares.

As for the seats that were mistakenly sold, the airline says it will honor the price. That includes the $68 roundtrip fare to Hawaii from Boston. Typically, that’s about a $900 fare.

4 p.m. update
Here’s Delta’s statement on the matter:

For a portion of the morning today, some prices on delta.com and other booking channels were incorrectly displayed, resulting in lower than usual fares for customers. The situation has been resolved and the correct prices are being displayed. Delta will honor any fares purchased at the incorrect price.

  • John

    I’m glad they’re honoring the fares. When you buy an airline ticket, aren’t you more or less entering a contract with the airline? They agreed to the price, they need to honor it.

    Lucky bums though. I haven’t been on a vacation that involved a plane in almost 7 years (going to be another year or two too). Almost free airfare – I’d have made it work. I know – first world problems.

  • Jack

    You would think they would build some logic to prevent abnormal pricing from occurring – both too low and too high.

    Oh well, that’s what corporate America gets running with a lean staff. Hopefully this is a forgiven mistake and not a career-ending one.