Every once in a while, airlines or third-party booking companies will mispost flight prices creating what the travel community calls a “mistake fare”. In September, United accidentally posted all its fares for free, charging customers just $10 in taxes. On Saturday, Norwegian travel-booking site, wideroe.no, posted trans-atlantic flights without the fuel surcharges , resulting in fares from $150 to $300 for most cities in Europe between January and March.
Normally, these are the fares that you hit hard to book as many as you can. But with four weddings in January and February and a Round the World trip taking up all of March, I was able to book only on weekend to Milan in February for $150 roundtrip.
Needless to say wideroe.no was being hit ridiculously hard. I received my confirmation almost immediately after booking around 4:30pm, but when I went to bed around 2am, the flight still hadn’t been ticketed. I was hoping to wake up to a ticketed flight, instead I woke up to a cancellation. For foreign credit cards, wideroe.no needed to confirm the charges. They tried to confirm at 3:08am; at 5:20am, they cancelled the flights.
I was (and still am) pissed, not because I felt like I was wronged (I wasn’t), but because what went wrong was totally in my control to prevent. I obviously had to sleep and there’s no way I could have known they would cancel the flights so quickly, but knowing that if I’d simply responded to an email I’d be going to Milan for $150 is a pretty terrible feeling. The fact that I’d also booked it for three friends added up to a full on Sunday morning pity party.
With the knowledge I had before going to bed on Saturday, I’m not sure how I could have prevented this from happening, but one step I will take next time is calling my credit card company before purchasing something like this from a foreign site. I would probably have still received the fraud email and I would have probably still had the flight cancelled, but at least I know I could have done everything in my power to prevent it from happening.