China Southern Airlines says it will honour tickets mistakenly sold for a far lower price than the airline intended to sell them, commonly known as ‘mistake fares’, after a computer system ‘abnormality’ on Wednesday night.
Users of the popular Chinese social media site Weibo highlighted the unusual price drops, which appeared to mainly affect domestic flights to and from the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.
Reuters reported that tickets were being sold for as little as 10 yaun, including a flight from Beijing to Chengdu, which is equivalent to less than US$ 1.40. The flight would normally cost as much as 400 yaun.
Airlines normally have language in their terms and conditions allowing them to clawback mistake fare tickets, although Asian carriers have traditionally been more likely to honour mistake fares compared to major airlines in the United States and Europe.
In a statement posted to Weibo, China Southern Airlines said all tickets issued on Wednesday during what it described as a ‘system abnormality’ were valid and could be used by passengers.
The airline also took the opportunity to remind passengers of upcoming sales promotions, including the Double Eleven event on November 11 – a major shopping holiday for Chinese consumers.
Double Eleven was created by Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba in 2009 and has since grown into such an enormous event that it is almost a national holiday.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.